The creation of the textile factories around Harold Hill in Havering is a remarkable story of social engineering.

Harold Hill estate was created in the 1950s by the London County Council as a new town for families from the East End whose homes had been cleared through bomb damage in the Second World War.

The new estate, initially without public transport, relied on relocated factories such as Lee Coopers and Lovable Bras as a source of mainly female employment.

Having to rely on piece work wages led to long hours at the factory or homeworking with little reward compared to the price of the finished garments themselves.

This textile trade became less and less productive through the 1970s as foreign factories with even cheaper labour started to compete for domestic markets. Most textile companies had closed by the 1990s.