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|Notable locations||Albert Square|
|Notable characters||EastEnders characters|
Walford is a fictional borough of east London in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. 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.
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).
It has been suggested that Watford - a town situated just beyond London's borders in the county of Hertfordshire - 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.
As part of 2010 Children In Need, Walford became twinned with Weatherfield in a special programme uniting the two soaps Eastenders and Coronation Street (set in Manchester), called "East Street".
Places of interest
EastEnder's main location is the fictional Albert Square. The following fictional nearby locations are also frequently featured.
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 later by Mark Fowler, Martin Fowler and Ian Beale And Lucy Beale. Businessman Ian once planned to remove the market in favour of a shopping centre, much to the dislike of the residents and his family. In 2004, the residents celebrate 100 years of the market.
Bridge Street also includes many shops and businesses, such as a mini-supermarket named Minute Mart (originally First 'Til Last), which is owned by various people over the years including Patrick Trueman and Denise Fox. There is also the Walford launderette which is owned by Mr Papadopoulos, though he is rarely seen. The launderette is run by Dot Branning. Pauline Fowler works at the launderette for over 30 years until her death in 2006. Dot works with Pauline much of that time, and continues to run the launderette after her death. After Pauline's death, Shirley Carter, Yolande Trueman, Honey Mitchell, Heather Trott, Carol Jackson and Cora Cross work there at various times.
Also in Bridge Street is Bridge Street Cafe. It is originally run by Ali and Sue Osman and Ian Beale is employed there. 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, though Ian buys it back again 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 until their divorce, when Jane becomes the sole onwner, and Carol Jackson becomes the manager. Jane sells it to Phil, who buys it for his partner Shirley Carter calling it "Shirley's". Phil sells it back to Ian in 2012, who calls it "Mandy's", after his fiancee Mandy Salter. Ian's daughter Lucy Beale later renames it "Cindy's" 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.
The name Bridge Street was chosen as the street connects Albert Square to the market.
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.
The houses in George Street would seem to be a step up from the houses in Albert Square. There is also the Argee Bhajee, an Indian restaurant, which is bought by Masood Ahmed and Zainab Masood in 2010 and is run by themselves along with their son Tamwar until it is taken from them due to the mortgage being unpaid. There is also Walford East tube station, outside which Danielle Jones is run over and killed by Janine Butcher in April 2009. King George House is a Bed & Breakfast establishment on George Street where many characters have stayed
Turpin Way includes the local garage, Mitchells Autos (informally known as The Arches), which is bought by the Mitchell brothers when they first arrive in Walford. It is briefly known as Beale's Wheels when Ian Beale owns it. Employees of the garage include Garry Hobbs, Minty Peterson, Carly Wicks, Ryan Malloy, Ricky Butcher, Jay Brown and Connor Stanley. There is also a community centre (briefly a gym) and nearby is the playground.
In Turpin Road there is a bookmakers, run by Carol Jackson and also former employees Glenda Mitchell, Ryan Malloy and Janine Butcher. There is also Beale's Plaice, the local chip shop, owned and run by Ian Beale. The Turpin Road war memorial is also here; it pays tribute to residents of Walford who died in the First and Second World Wars. However, in real life the memorial features names of people involved with EastEnders along with past stars. Walford Video is on Turpin Road for a number of years and managed by Nigel Bates, Barry Evans and later Billy Mitchell, until Phil Mitchell sells it to Manju Patel, who turns it into a Sari shop.
There is also a nightclub called R&R. It is originally named The Market Cellar until George Palmer buys the club and renames it the Cobra Club. When George moves, he sells it to Steve Owen who renames it e20. It is later sold to Sharon Watts who names it Angie's Den. In 2005 the club extends its space when Johnny Allen buys the next door snooker club. It is named Scarlet after Johnny's daughter who died in a fire. In 2007 Ronnie Mitchell reveals her plans to buy the club, which she does with her business partner Jack Branning. Ronnie and sister Roxy Mitchell name it R&R. In January 2011, Jack sells his share of the club (60%) to Phil Mitchell. Later that year, Roxy sells her share of the club to Janine Butcher. When Phil is incarcerated, Derek Branning administers the club with Janine until Phil is released.
The post office on Turpin Road is managed by Zainab Masood until it becomes Gilly's Massage Parlour. The massage parlour is built in 2009 as a cover for a brothel that is run from there. 10 Turpin Road is a beauty salon, originally named SophistiKates and owned by Kate Mitchell. There she worked Chrissie Watts, whom she betrayed by having an affair with her husband, Den Watts. Following Kate's departure, SophistiKates closed. Following the arrival of Tanya Branning the salon was re-opened as Booty. She was later forced to sell. Roxy buys it and names it Roxy's, and employs Kim Fox, Jodie Gold and later Tanya as manager, whilst Syed Masood rents a room for his massage business. Roxy later sells the salon to Tanya and she renames it to its original name, Booty. Later, Janine opens a property management office, Butcher's Joints, next to the R&R.
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 and Ian Beale lived in a flat in Walford Towers in 1985. Carol, Alan, Bianca, Robbie, Sonia, and Billie Jackson lived there before moving to Albert Square in 1994. Billy and Honey Mitchell moved with their children to a flat in Walford Towers in 2008 after a period of homelessness.
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 itself has never been shown.
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.
- Smith, Rupert (2005). EastEnders: 20 Years in Albert Square. BBC Books, BBC Worldwide Ltd. ISBN 978-0-563-52165-5 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- "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