10 Things You May Not Know About Waltham Forest


1) Roman remains have been found scattered around the borough, proving it was a significant area of Roman occupation. Finds in the Leyton area suggest a Roman settlement. A Roman road probably ran north from London on the line of Leytonstone High Road where fragments of fire cracked flint have been recovered during archaeological digs.

2) Waltham Forest is, or was, home to a number of bands which have found success including Iron Maiden, East 17 and Blazin’ Squad. Primal Scream’s first single Loaded, produced by DJ Andrew Weatherall, was recorded at Bark! studios in Walthamstow. E17 has also been home to indie band Hefner and Current 93’s David Tibet.

3) Despite Leyton Orient being the only professional football club in the borough, neighbours Leyton FC was the first to be founded in 1868, and was the second oldest club in Greater London, after Cray Wanderers, until January 2011 when it went into liquidation.

4) The Bremer, Britain’s first four-wheeled car powered by an internal combustion engine, was built by plumber Frederick Bremer in his small workshop in Connaught Road, Walthamstow, in the 1890s. An example can be seen today at Vestry House Museum.

5) The flight of the first all-British-built aircraft flown by a British pilot was on Walthamstow Marshes in 1909. Edwin Alliot Verdon Roe built a tri-plane underneath the railway arches on Walthamstow Marshes which he flew himself.

6) Two ply toilet tissue was invented at a paper mill just off Blackhorse Lane in Walthamstow. The name Andrex originated with the street name where the mill was located: St Andrew’s Road.

7) The London Motor Omnibus Company, established in 1905 in Hookers Lane, Walthamstow, later became the Associated Equipment Company Limited (AEC) – the main builders of London buses until 1979. AEC built the iconic Routemaster buses, some of which are still used in London today, which are the basis of the design for new TfL buses being introduced across London today.

8) The designer of the Concorde was born in Highams Park. Sir George Edwards studied at Walthamstow Technical Institute Engineering and Trade School.

9) Sir Jonathan Ive, the designer of the iPod, grew up in Chingford and attended Chingford Foundation School. He is now Senior Vice President of Design at Apple. He was knighted last year.

10) Baroness Scotland of Asthal, who became the first female Attorney General since the office was created in 1315 when she was appointed in 2007, grew up in Walthamstow and attended Walthamstow School for Girls.