There are various versions of Billy Bragg's 'A13' around but I don't think you can beat this one from a youngish Billy on tour in Germany in 1985. I've long since lost count of the number of times I took the A13 in the 1980s and 1990s. My girlfriend's family lived in Barking and (no offence Barking, I'm sure you understand) we sometimes longed to do as the song suggests and:
It starts down in Wapping
There ain't no stopping
By-pass Barking (Billy Bragg's birthplace) and straight through Dagenham
Down to Grays Thurrock
And rather near Basildon
Pitsea, Thundersley, Hadleigh, Leigh-On-Sea,
Southend's the end
Like my home town of Stoke, Barking has become better known than it should have because of the success of the far-right British National Party in gaining seats on the local council. As in Stoke, the BNP is pouring resources into its general election campaign there, as well as trying to build on its local council base. So I dare say I'll be driving down the A13 to support old friends and family in the borough who'll be doing their best to stop them.
The people at Philosophy Football have produced another of their fine shirts (above), inspired in part by Billy Bragg's 'A13', to support the anti-BNP campaign. You can buy it here.