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The waves of refugees and immigrants to East London have left an interesting legacy of architecture, commerce and culture. Innovators, reformers, performers and philanthropists have appeared from the area over the years.
Famous names include Alfred Hitchcock, born in Leytonstone. Also playwright, Harold Pinter, and hair stylist Vidal Sassoon, were both born in the East End. Better forgotten names include Jack the Ripper and the Kray Twins.

Fassett Square, Hackney, is in one of the most Western regions of the East End. Before the houses of the Square (and other similar developments before it) were built Hackney was still considered a village. The population of Hackney in 1851 was approximately 53,589. By 1871 (Square built in the 1860’s) the population had more than doubled to 115,110. This rise did not subside until the 1920’s.

Researchers, from the BBC, came to the East End In the 1980’s for inspiration for a new Soap Opera. They found a very different Fassett Square to the one that exists today. The area has defiantly been gentrified. There were brief plans to actually set the soap here, but the German Hospital turned out to be too demanding for the script writers. Even so, it is clear to see where much of the inspiration comes from, with Ridley Road market across the main train line, and a ‘Queen Elizabeth’ pub round the corner. I’ve also noticed a ‘Mitchell’s Motors’ under the arches off Mare Street!