Romford, Essex? Times change, say Twitter and Facebook users

Romford residents want their addresses addressed after BBC’s The Apprentice sparked a debate on Twitter and Facebook.

The show, filmed in Romford Market last month, referred to the area as “Romford, Essex” – prompting local blogger Romford Life to start a campaign to get “London” onto people’s envelopes.

Romford is legally in Havering, which has been a London borough since the 1963 London Government Act.

“If the town and area is constantly referred to as Essex then it’s no wonder even most residents think we’re run by Essex County Council,” Romford Life tweeted at the Recorder.

“We need to start deleting the word Essex out of daily activity. Yes, it’s part of our history, but boundaries change all the time. Move on.

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“Let’s start writing Greater London on our addresses to wake everyone up.”

But not everyone thinks the line is so clear-cut.

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Writing on the Recorder’s Facebook page, Kerry Gibson of Hornchurch said: “I still like to feel I’m from Essex and always put Essex on my address. I realise of course we technically live in a London borough, but I think Havering still feels more Essex than London.”

James Whiston added: “We’re both – we’re part of London and Essex. I just say I live in an Essex/London area as that is what it is. We are in between.”

Twitter user Bill Green (@bpgreen1975) agreed with Romford Life, tweeting at the Recorder: “Approx 5 miles from my house going out on A12 to Brentwood is sign ‘welcome to Essex’. Therefore I am in London.”

And Alex Donald of Upminster wrote on Facebook: “I’m from the freakin’ London Borough of Havering! I’m not an Essex boy. I’m a Londoner. London is cosmopolitan, alive and groovy.”

Despite references to red London buses and the fact Romford pays council tax to a London borough, a majority of those who commented said they still preferred to feel they were from Essex.

But Steve Davies of Romford wrote: “People only ‘feel’ like they’re in Essex because everyone refers to the area as Essex. If everyone said ‘Romford in London’ then people would feel the opposite.”

Several people brought up the fact Romford does not have a London postcode such as N, E, S or W.

But Royal Mail spokesperson Valerie Antoine said: “Postcodes are first and foremost a routing instruction that allow Royal Mail staff to sort and route mail for final delivery to any address in the country. As such they are linked closely to the national distribution and delivery network operated by Royal Mail and not to county, borough, or parish boundaries.

“Postal addresses are not geographically accurate descriptions of the location of a property.”

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