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A multiracial satellite of eastern Ilford, separated from the Becontree estate by Goodmayes Park. Conventional wisdom has it that the name derives from John Godemay, a fourteenth century landowner, but local historian Peter Foley argues that Godemay took his name from the place, not the other way around. Citing another local name, Mayfield, Foley suggests a link to the herbaceous plant, madder. Like neighbouring Seven Kings, this was empty farmland until the end of the nineteenth century when local developer Cameron Corbett (later Baron Rowallen) erected the Mayfield estate south of the railway line. Corbett’s Scottish origin shows in the names of many of the streets. To ensure the success of his project, he pressed for a railway station to serve the area and this opened in 1901. Shopping parades followed, on the High Road and Goodmayes Road. In 1909 the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie presented a public library and lecture hall. Today, the big local landmark is a Tesco superstore, opened in 1987 on land formerly occupied by railway sidings. In a relatively recent transformation, under half of Goodmayes’ population is now white and the next largest ethnic minority is of Indian origin. The Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths are all well represented. Three-quarters of homes are owner-occupied.

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Goodmayes is looking the worse for wear lately, as east London decay washes outwards and across it

Postcode area: Ilford, IG3
Population: 10,994
Station: One Great Eastern (Zone 4)
Further reading: Peter Foley, Seven Kings and Goodmayes: Origins and Early Development, Heptarchy, 1993

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