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1965 to 1979

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the history of Leyton and Leytonstone

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Local Centres

Much of continental western Europe had a pattern of sizeable towns which could offer most services including administration.  The geography of England adapted less happily to higher personal income, a rapidly expanding retail sector and widespread ownership of cars.  Vigorous competition required a streamlined, more centralised distribution of goods and services.  On the east side of London, Stratford, Ilford, Barking and Romford became regional shopping centres with branches of leading multiple retailers.  They already had railway stations at which semi-fast services could stop, and from which bus services could radiate.  Those four places made natural centres for the larger boroughs created in 1965 (the location of Council offices was of relatively minor importance).  The Greater London Council encouraged further concentration of retail stores into the more successful shopping centres outside ‘Waltham Forest’.