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the history of Leyton and Leytonstone
from . dot to … dots – with plenty of spaces
The 1960s tower blocks were a terrible mistake and many have now been demolished. The Cathall and Oliver Close estates have been rebuilt by the Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust, and some of the Beaumont estate tower blocks have been demolished by London & Quadrant Housing Association. The Avenue Road development has been refurbished. The Leyton Grange estate is being modernised, also by London & Quadrant Housing Association. Livingstone College and John Drinkwater Towers have gone. It could have been worse : the collapse of the Ronan Point block was elsewhere.
The 1960s saw the most dramatic change to the look of Leyton with the construction of tower blocks as part of the Beaumont, Oliver Close and Cathall estates, and also the Avenue Road and Leyton Grange Estates, with blocks overlooking Epping Forest (the John Drinkwater Tower), Wanstead Flats, Knotts Green (Livingstone Tower) and (an earlier, better design) at Leyton Green. Complete neighbourhoods of modest terraced housing were replaced by the Council with poor quality blocks of flats.
In September 1969 tenants from the Beaumont Road Estate invaded the Town Hall to complain of fungus growth, cracked walls and overflowing sewage since the estate opened four years previously. The Chair of the Housing Committee, Councillor Gerald King, refused to see them, and said afterwards “I fail to see why they are so irate.” 1.