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Points of Interest: Romford
Now a large town in the suburbs of London, Romford started out as agricultural settlements and expanded into corn mills and other industries before becoming a market town in the mid-13th Century.
Situated just 14 miles from Charing Cross, Romford is now identified as one of the 11 major metropolitan centres on the London Plan. The opening of the first railway in 1839 allowed for its Star Brewery to take shape and the town to develop.
In modern day, its economy is made up of both a retail and service sector and is complemented by a central business district. In comparison to other similar London areas, Romford offers more retail and commercial office employment which accounts for around 70% of its turnover.
Romford has a large night time economy, with 11,000 visits to pubs, clubs and other entertainment venues compared to 12,000 during the day.
Havering Council has an urban strategy that aims to make Romford into a cultural destination which, considering its popularity, shouldn’t be a problem. There are two main theatres in the area: Queens Theatre and Brookside Theatre.
The town is also home to Romford Greyhound Stadium, the last remaining greyhound track in East London. With capacity for over 4,300 people and a numbers of bars and restaurants, it’s still a popular destination for locals.
Romford has a strong association with electronic group Underworld, as it was formed in the town in 1986. A number of the band’s songs, such as ‘Born Slippy’ and ‘Pearl’s Girl’ are actually named after greyhounds that ran at the track.
The Brewery is a shopping and leisure centre based on the site of the former Star Brewery, which produced John Bull Bitter until 1993. It joins The Liberty and The Mercury as one of the three main shopping centres in Romford and is also home to 16-screen cinema.