the history of Leyton and Leytonstone
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The first years of the Conservative government with Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister, from 1979, were a period of turmoil in the British economy. Employment rose from 1.2 million to 3 million in 1982. Industrial output fell by an average of 11%. Manufacturing capacity reduced by about 25%. Interest rates reached 15.7% in 1980 and in that year the pound sterling increased in value against other currencies by 10.1%. Inflation increased prices by 18% in 1980 and 11.9% in 1981. 1 These conditions helped those who were able to increase their income to match or surpass inflation. During the 1980s earnings rose faster than prices (7.9% against 3.4% in 1986) 1. As a London suburb Leyton might be expected to have fared better than an industrial town in northern England or the Midlands. It should have been well placed to benefit in the shift to wealth creation from financial and media services which took extensive office space in central London and the Isle of Dogs.
Jerry White writes in ‘London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People’ of the crisis of 1980s London with “its traditional industrial base deconstructing, its public realm shabby and withering, large numbers of its people pauperized without work or hope”.