Walford East Tube Station, located at the heart of Walford
|Creator||Tony Holland & Julia Smith|
|Notable locations||Albert Square|
|Notable characters||EastEnders characters|
EastEnders is filmed at Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, towards the north-west of London. Much of the location work is filmed in nearby Watford. It has been suggested that Watford was chosen for much of the exterior scenes due to its close proximity, and that the town name is so similar to Walford. Thus, any stray road signs or advertising boards which are accidentally filmed in the back of shots will appear to read Walford. Locations used in Watford include most interior and exterior church scenes of various churches, the snooker club, the County Court and Magistrates' Courts courtrooms, and the cemetery (where most of the deceased characters are interred).
The name Walford is both a street in Dalston where one of the series' creators, Tony Holland, lived and a blend of Walthamstow, where Holland was born, and Stratford. The suffix 'ford' is also found throughout East London, for example, South Woodford. Walford's London postcode district is E20 (real East London postcode districts only went up to E18 until 2011, when E20 was introduced to serve the London 2012 Olympic Park) and a fictional tube station, Walford East, which is located on the EastEnders tube map in the position normally occupied by the real Bromley-by-Bow tube station. Denise Fox also mentioned that Walford has another tube station called Walford West.
Places of interest
Albert Square, also known as 'The Square', is where the majority of the original characters and a large number of the current characters reside. In its fictional history, it was built towards the end of the Victorian era, and named after the then recently deceased Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. At the centre of the square is a garden, containing within it Arthur Fowler's bench, regularly known as 'The Bench of Tears', and one corner is taken up by The Queen Victoria Public House, named after Victoria. There is a B&B, owned by the the Butchers, and later by Patrick Trueman and his wife Yolande Trueman. When Kim Fox (Tameka Empson) owns the business, it becomes Kim's Palace, but it is closed in 2014 when Kim and Denise Fox both leave. On another corner of the square is a car lot, launched by Frank Butcher as Frank's Autos. It becomes Deals on Wheels when David Wicks (Michael French) works there, and when Max Branning (Jake Wood) takes over, it becomes Branning & Son, and then Branning Brothers. David later goes into business with Max and changes the name back to Deals On Wheels.
Bridge Street is the main street into Albert Square and is home to the Walford street market, which includes a fruit and vegetable stall originally run by Pete Beale, and currently owned by Pete's grandson, Peter Beale (Ben Hardy). The market sees many changes over EastEnders history, including a merger with the nearby Spring Lane market in 2014. Businessman Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) once plans to remove the market in favour of a shopping centre, to the dislike of the residents and his family. In 2004, the residents celebrate 100 years of the market, and it is recognised as the centre of the community; the residents, led by Ian Beale, fiercely protest against the market's proposed closure in 2014, resulting in it ultimately staying open. The market is currently run by Aleks Shirovs (Kristian Kiehling), and his assistant, Tamwar Masood (Himesh Patel), but there have been many market inspectors over the years. Bianca Butcher (Patsy Palmer), Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace), Alfie Moon (Shane Richie), Donna Yates (Lisa Hammond), and Pam Coker (Lin Blakley) are amongst the market traders currently operating.
Bridge Street also includes many shops and businesses, such as a mini-supermarket named Minute Mart (originally First 'Til Last), which is managed by various people over the years including Patrick Trueman and his wife Yolande Trueman (Angela Wynter). It is currently run by Denise Fox (Diane Parish), and Shabnam Masood (Rakhee Thakrar) also works here. There is also the Walford launderette which is owned by Mr Papadopoulos. The launderette is run by Dot Cotton (June Brown), alongside Pauline Fowler, until Pauline's death in 2006. Dot continues to run the launderette after her death, alongside various employees, including Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell).
Also in Bridge Street is the Bridge Street Café, currently named Cindy's. It is originally run as Al's Café by Ali (Nejdet Salih) and Sue Osman (Sandy Ratcliff) and Ian Beale is employed there. The Osmans also run a taxicub firm, OzCabs from the café. Ian later buys it and names it Kathy's, after his mother. At one point, the café is named Laura's when it is owned by Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), though Ian buys it back and changes the name back. The café undergoes a refurbishment in 2009 after it is destroyed by fire. Ian then runs it with his wife Jane Beale (Laurie Brett) until their divorce, when Jane becomes the sole owner, and Carol Jackson becomes the manager. Jane sells it to Phil, who buys it for his partner Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) calling it "Shirley's". Phil sells it back to Ian in 2012, who calls it "Mandy's", after his fiancee Mandy Salter (Nicola Stapleton). Ian's daughter Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater) later renames it "Cindy's" in 2012 after her mother Cindy Beale after Ian disappears and she disowns him. Lucy then becomes the owner of the café when she demands Ian to sign all his businesses over to her in case he disappears again. Ian later tricks Lucy into selling it back to him. In 2014, the cafe is once again refurbished.
The name Bridge Street was chosen as the street connects Albert Square to the market.
Turpin Road is joined to Bridge Street and runs adjacent to the tube line that crosses the market. At the centre of Turpin Road is the war memorial for Walford, dedicated to soldiers who fought in the First and Second World Wars. There are many businesses found here, including a bookmaker, which was previously run by Pat Butcher (Pam St Clement) and Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulsen), and the local chip shop, Beale's Plaice, owned by Ian Beale since 1995, which is originally the Green Lantern Chinese.
There is also a nightclub called R&R, currently owned by Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). It takes its current name from its previous owners, Ronnie (Samantha Womack) and Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons), who completely refurbished it on takeover in 2007. It is originally named The Market Cellar until George Palmer bought the club and renamed it the Cobra Club. Previous owners include Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), Johnny Allen (Billy Murray), and Steve Owen (Martin Kemp).
In 2013, Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) goes into partnership with Ian Beale and together, they open a restaurant named Scarlett's (after Janine's daughter), at the location of Moon's Antique Emporium. Following Janine's arrest, Jane Beale buys her share of the restaurant. After Jane buys Janine's share it's refurbished again and renamed Beale's.
Another large business on Turpin Road is The Albert, an upmarket bar run by Sharon Rickman and her fiancé Phil Mitchell. The venue is originally The Dagmar, a pub to rival The Queen Victoria, but after being burnt down in 1988, Ian turns it into his first restautant, The Meal Machine. It later becomes a discount store, and was a beauty salon for many years, with several different names, owned variously by Chrissie Watts, Tanya Branning, Roxy Mitchell and Sadie Young. The Albert is opened in 2014, abd Sharon employs Johnny Carter (Sam Strike) and several others to work there.
Janine Butcher's short lived Butcher's Joints, a property letting company which employed Lucy Beale, Billy Mitchell and Danny Pennant (Gary Lucy) between 2011 and 2014, was based on Turpin Road; the site is later purchased by Stan Carter (Timothy West) for his grandson Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo) for conversion to a salon. In 2014, Les Coker (Roger Sloman) and his wife Pam Coker move their funeral parlour, Coker & Sons Funerals, from their old premises to Turpin Road.
Other businesses here include McKlunky's Restaurant and Takeaway, a fast-food chicken restaurant which employs Liam Butcher (James Forde); Hungry Hank, a restaurant; Ned's Computer Repairs; a tattoo parlour; On the Spot Cash, a pawnbroker; and a Polish delicatesen. A discount store called In for a Penny currently occupies the shop that was first seen as the Post Office, run by Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia), and later became Gilly's Massage Parlour. Turpin Road Pharmacy was previously Walford Videos, and then Mrs Patel's sari shop. There is also a Cancer Support Trust charity shop, where Cora Cross worked before she was unfairly dismissed and returned to the laundrette.
Guiseppe's restaurant, run by Rosa di Marco, is originally on George Street. It later becomes the Argee Bhajee, an Indian restaurant, run by the Masood family after they buy it in 2010. It is run by Zainab Masood, along with her son Tamwar and her husband Masood (Nitin Ganatra). However, they lose the business to debt collectors due to unpaid bills.
There is also Walford East tube station, outside which Danielle Jones (Lauren Crace) is run over and killed by Janine Butcher in April 2009. It replaces Bromley-by-Bow station on maps within the tube station, and the station was first seen in 2011 when Charlie Slater (Derek Martin) left Walford. The train sound was first heard in 1987 and the train's first appearance was in 1988 at Lou Beale's funeral. Trains did not appear again until 4 February 2010, when CGI was used in the show for the first time.
Next to the station are the Brewery Appartments, described as "swanky flats". There is also King George House, a bed and breakfast establishment on George Street where many characters have stayed. The square's public toilets can also be found here. In 2014, Ronnie Mitchell runs over Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) outside No. 89, causing Ronnie to have flashbacks to Danielle's death, which she witnessed and came soon after the revelation that Danielle was her secret daughter.
Turpin Way includes the local garage, Mitchell's Autos (informally known as The Arches), which is bought by the Mitchell brothers when they first arrive in Walford. Phil Mitchell continues to own the garage, and employs Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) and Dexter Hartman (Khali Best). There is also a community centre (briefly a gym), where during school holidays a playgroup is run for the children of Walford by Ava Hartman (Clare Perkins) and Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), until Ava leaves the square and Whitney runs it with her replacement. Between the community centre and the Arches is a playground.
In 2011, Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) open a gym named Basher Branning's, named after Jack's father, Jim Branning (John Bardon). When Michael is killed by his wife Janine Butcher, his 50% share is left to her but she sells it to Jack. When Jack leaves the square, his ex-wife Ronnie Mitchell buys and begins running the business.
Victoria Square is home to a number of bedsits that are considered to be low-class. These are usually used when characters find themselves homeless. Ian Beale owns a property here that he lets out. Walford's police station is also found here, in close proximity to the square so residents have easy access to it when reporting a crime.
Walford Towers is a tower block of flats where various characters in EastEnders have lived over the years. Walford Towers can be seen from Albert Square (a real block of flats in Borehamwood called Canterbury House), though closer exterior shots of the building have used a variety of different towers through the years.
Pete, Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) and Ian Beale lived in a flat in Walford Towers in 1985. Carol, Alan (Howard Anthony), Bianca, Robbie, Sonia (Natalie Cassidy), and Billie Jackson (Devon Anderson) lived there before moving to Albert Square in 1994. Billy and Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) moved with their children to a flat in Walford Towers in 2008 after a period of homelessness.
Spring Lane is a street close to Bridge Street. It is mainly mentioned in 2014, when the Walford council are considering closing Bridge Street market, and combining it with Spring Lane market. After the residents of Bridge Street begin a campaign against the council, they decide to combine Spring Lane market with Bridge Street market, infuriating Donna Yates, who is forced to move her trading to Spring Lane. Pam Coker moves her flower stall to Bridge Street Market also.
Walford's High Street is often mentioned by characters, who usually go there to buy items not available in the shops featured. The High Street was shown for the first time on 2 August 2013 with scenes featuring Whitney Dean and Kat Moon.
Daisy Lane is a street near to Walford police station, which was named after the daughter of Series Designer Steven Keogh.
Walford is also home to Walford General Hospital, Walford Primary School, Walford High School and Walford Town Football Club and Walford College. Diggory Passage is another road whose sign is seen in promotional videos for EastEnders: E20.
- List of fictional railway stations
- List of fictional rapid transit stations
- List of London Underground-related fiction
- Smith, Rupert (2005). EastEnders: 20 Years in Albert Square. BBC Books, BBC Worldwide Ltd. ISBN 978-0-563-52165-5.
- "How was the name Walford chosen?". BBC. Archived from the original on 5 April 2007.
- "Underground EastEnders". Underground History. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- Eastenders Website
- "Welcome to Albert Square". Inside Soap. 12-18 July 2014.
- "Get your anoraks on... trains are coming!". BBC Online. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
- "Lucy Beale Case File - Evidence: Funeral". EastEnders. BBC Online. Retrieved 18 July 2014.