Readers snap up signed copies of book on Redbridge’s ‘Essex identity’ at Woodford Green event

From left to right, Andrew Summers (author) Tan Dhillon (Village Book shop owner) John Debenham (aut

From left to right, Andrew Summers (author) Tan Dhillon (Village Book shop owner) John Debenham (author) and at front helping out Chander Dhillon. - Credit: Archant

Authors of a book exploring the hotly debated “Essex” identity of Ilford, Redbridge and surrounding areas visited a Woodford Green bookshop on Saturday to sign copies for readers.

Andrew Summers and John Debenham wrote Metropolitan Essex, which chronicles the history of parts of the former county of Essex that were moved into Greater London in 1965.

Although the land taken was a tiny proportion of Essex, it contained a third of the county’s population.

Mr Summers said the connection has remained strongest in Ilford, Romford and other areas further from the centre of the capital.

He believes that media and popular culture including television show The Only Way Is Essex may have played a part in keeping the debate going.

Mr Summers said: “I think the Essex label will continue for at least another generation.”

Tan Dhillon, owner of The Village Bookshop, in High Road, said: “We had quite a few people turn up and they discussed various aspects of the book.

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“It’s an interesting issue.”