Bethnal Green Road with Patrick and Oliver

My favourite TV Show – East Enders. This is because it is almost the only TV show I ever watch. I live in Switzerland, but we have more than 100 channels from all over Europe and we pay a little extra for the BBC and ITV. I usually read a book in the evening. Mr. Swiss might watch a German criminal cop and robber thing as the Swiss TV is only Swiss when they bring the news and political discussions, otherwise the rest is  better on the German TV. I have now become tri-lingual after 50 years Switzerland (German, Swiss German and English) so I would have not problems, but I do like to watch East Enders.

Explanation of the photo –  taken in 1989 on  Bethnal Green Road in the East End of London with my two sons. I was then 43 years old – oh how the days have flown past.  This photo was taken in the real East End, note the picturesque scenery. It is not a photo from Walford, the East Enders TV programme, for the simple reason that Walford is fictitious. They do have an underground station in the programme, which I assume is probably somewhere between Bethnal Green and Stratford on the central line. According to the map shown on the introduction to the programme it must be situated somewhere near the Isle of Dogs and Victoria Park – yes only a professional East Londoner like myself would find the connections.

Of course all the families appearing in the programme are related, either by marriage or by normal relationships. Most of them have killed someone on the way, be it a husband, wife or just a colleague. Even the 12 year old son of one of the families is at the moment serving time in a correction centre for his sister’s murder. There have even been two murders that the police never discovered. One of the victims was himself a person of a doubtful criminal past, and the other sent a post card to say he was having a lovely time in Spain, although he was crushed in the boot of a car by one of those machines that deal with unwanted cars. It was an accidental mistake, the wrong person got killed.

If a romance develops it is between two characters that live next door to each other, or just around the corner. There is no chance of marrying outside of Walford. I assume this is because it would  cost an extra wage to pay a new actor. No-one has their own washing machine. There is a Laundrette in the square (it all happens around the square in Walford) and this is run  by Dot who should have been retired about 20 years ago. I know that the actress playing the role is approaching her 90th birthday, so go figure. She does the washing for everyone in her 10 machines, so there is apparently no need to have your own machine.

There is naturally also a pub where everyone goes for a drink in the evening. My mum and dad never went for drinks in one of our many local pubs, they could not afford it. There is an occasional drug dealer and even a community hall. Of course there is a church nearby with a graveyard where all the burials take place of those in Walford that have either been killed, committed suicide, or in rarer cases, die a natural death. That is when the local undertaker, who also lives in Walford on the square, organises the funeral and the vicar appears for the service. I do not know where this church actually is, but it looks far too good for an East End church.

The english people reading this will know this soap. I do not know if it has managed to cross the pond, but it would probably need subtitles as the main language used is cockney (oh yes, another one of my many languages). Even Mr. Swiss watches it with me, although continually is asking what did he say. He speaks very good english, but is still learning the intricacies of the cockney tongue.

This is the only programme on the TV I follow. It is an insult to the intelligence perhaps, but as they say you can take the East End out of a girl, but a girl not out of the East End. I left voluntarily and have never regretted it. I also like watching Master Chef on the BBC, but that is smooth running, unless someone makes a mess of the dish he is cooking. It is not as exciting and breathtaking as East Enders.



  1. I loved reading this! I’m glad you mentioned how no one owns a washing machine, I’m always thinking this. I watched it from the very first episode. But then I went abroad, and after Max got buried in the woods then came back to life, it got too complicated for me. I dont know who anyone is now. How did Kathy come back from the dead? Who got killed in the boot in a car crusher? I missed that storyline too. Is Phil Mitchell dead yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Tania had regrets and dug him out again, but I cannot remember. I only got to know Cathy when she returned, but apparently she was never dead. it was all a ruse due to the boyfriend she had at the time who was a dodgy bloke. He also came back but she wanted to stay in Walford. There was a big drama and now she is back to stay. Fatboy got killed in the boot of a car in the crusher, but you probably never knew him. Phil Mitchell is waiting for a liver transplant as he hit the bottle a little bit too much. Ben wanted to donate his liver, but that has not worked out. Probably they will find a donor eventually. Phil looks a bit rough, but is now at home and sorting things.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For a while in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were a bunch of shows set in Boston. We lived in Boston at the time and we loved watching them, especially when someone would drive over the bridge and come out 20 miles west of the city. Wow, what a trick! A lot of commuters would like to know how you do that.

    Then, there was parking. The people on these shows ALWAYS got a perfect parking space right in front of wherever they were going … and no one towed their car. Amazing! In Boston, if you stop too long at a red light, they’ll probably have you hooked up to the tow truck before you can say “hey, wait a minute!”

    I don’t think they’ve ever made anything for this area. I’m not even sure most people know we exist. This may be one of the least well-known regions in New England.

    I really liked London. Spent a month there in 1979 and only wished it could have been longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those shows are so unreal, but that is the fun of watching them. Now and again they make a series arouind a Swiss town, usually Zürich. They are not bad, but we only have so many actors you can use. A good one was about an undertaker that used to be a police officer. At the beginning it was interesting, but eventually began to repeat itself.


  3. We get Eastenders here in Australia and when it first arrived more than 20 years ago I watched a few episodes but never really got involved. Mum used to like “Coronation Street” back in the days of Ena Sharples and her hairnet and I remember those characters much better than those of Eastenders even though geographically that’s closer to where I am from too. I had not realised that the ficitional Walford was so dangerous. I had thought that the fictional county of Midsomer contained the most dangerous towns in England.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I watched Coronation Street in London when I still lived there when it began and I remember Ena Sharples and her two cronies very well. Now and again I see an episode today, but I have no idea who is who (except for Ken Barlow) and what it is all about.
      I see the Barnaby series now and again but it does not impress me so much.


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