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  • "In 1808 the British Copper Company (BCC) purchased the "Oyl Mill" on the river Lea and began to produce copper Walthamstow pennies and half-pennies.

    The copper was smelted in Landore near Swansea in south Wales, rolled into thin sheets and sent to the BCC "Coppermill" and elsewhere in the UK to be stamped into coins.

    The coins were used as currency in Walthamstow and elsewhere for more than a century. Remaining coins are highly collectable and turn up for sale as far away as Australia.

    The building can still be found at the end of Coppermill Lane."
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Ten things you may not know about Waltham Forest

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Ten things you may not know about Waltham Forest Ten things you may not know about Waltham Forest

TEN INTERESTING FACTS 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.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(Roman chariot races reproduced at the Epping Forest Festival)

 

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.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(Owner Brian O'Shaughnesy at Bark! studio)


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.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(Leyton FC, in white, play Cheshunt in 2010)

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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. 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(A drawing of the Bremer)

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.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(Eric Verdon Roe with a replica of his grandfather's famous tri-plane)

 

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.  

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(An early advert for Andrex)

 

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.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(A routemaster driven by Terry Grant at a vintage bus celebration)


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

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

 

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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.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(Jonathan Ive designed the iPod)


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.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(Baroness Scotland returns to Walthamstow)

READER'S CONTRIBUTION, COURTESY OF SAHW:

In 1808 the British Copper Company (BCC) purchased the "Oyl Mill" on the river Lea and began to produce copper Walthamstow pennies and half-pennies.

The copper was smelted in Landore near Swansea in south Wales, rolled into thin sheets and sent to the BCC "Coppermill" and elsewhere in the UK to be stamped into coins.

The coins were used as currency in Walthamstow and elsewhere for more than a century. Remaining coins are highly collectable and turn up for sale as far away as Australia.

The building can still be found at the end of Coppermill Lane.

READER'S CONTRIBUTION, COURTESY OF RUTH BARRETT:

Stuart Freeborn, born in Leytonstone in 1914, created the make-up for all the characters in the Star Wars Trilogy, incluing Chewbacca and Yoda, whose face was partly based on his own and Albert Einstein.

He was also in charge of the creation of the Jaba the Hutt puppet.

Our man Freeborn was also the make-up artist on Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey and created the humans/apes characters for the iconic Dawn of Man sequence.

Freeborn also worked on Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove and other films featuring Peter Sellers - Dude! 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

READER'S CONTRIBUTION, COURTESY OF BLACK MIDI

Cornelius Cardew, avant-garde music theorist, experimental composer and left-wing activist, lived and died in Leyton.

Cardew was an early member of free improv unit AMM in the 1960s and went on to become a pioneering composer in his own right.

He created a number of graphic scores, an alternative to traditional musical notation, which promoted freedom of interpretation.

He was killed by a hit and run driver in, I think, High Road, Leyton in May 1982 as he walked back from Stratford. The driver was never found and there are a number of conspiracy theories about his death.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

(A cornelius Cardew score)

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