Essex

Harlow celebrates its 70th anniversary as a new town

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Media captionHarlow: London satellite new town turns 70

Harlow is celebrating the 70th anniversary of being designated a new town.

It became one of the UK's first post-war settlements in 1947 following the previous year's New Towns Act.

It is credited as having the first modern high-rise residential tower block, The Lawn, which opened in 1951.

Designed for 60,000 by English architect, Frederick Gibberd, the town also included the first all-pedestrian shopping precinct.

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Image caption Harlow New Town was created in 1947
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Image caption New homes, like these photographed in 1964, were built to relieve the population density of London
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Image caption Joan Evans watches television with her husband and four children at their new home in 1958
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Image caption The town attracted lots of young families and, in the 1950s, one-fifth of the population was under five years old
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Image caption There were even pram garages for young mothers
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Image caption This is how The Stow shopping precinct looked in 1956
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Image caption The Stow shopping precinct today
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Image caption The town included many modern buildings including the fire station, photographed in 1966
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Image caption The fire station today

In April 1964, councillor Reginald Ward, chairman of the Harlow Urban District Council, showed off Harlow to visiting Italian prime minister Aldo Moro, from the roof gallery of the Town Hall.

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Image caption Councillor Reginald Ward points out features of Harlow to the visiting Italian prime minister
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Image caption A sign erected by Harlow Urban District Council welcomes motorists to Harlow New Town with the town's coat of arms in emblazoned on the right of the sign

Today, Harlow is a thriving town with a population of 85,500, which includes residents from a wide range of countries.

A mural featuring Harlow citizens, including its MP Conservative Robert Halfon, was created by Polish artist Jola Kudela for the book festival this month.

Image caption Polish artist Jola Kudela created a mural featuring Harlow citizens for the town's Meet the Neighbours Polish Day

The artwork, called "We're all the same boat", was created after a Polish man was killed in the town.

The artist Ms Kudela said: "The message is just relax guys and let's live together peacefully and quietly."

A large number of events are being planned to celebrate the town's 70th birthday and more information is available on the Harlow 70 council website.

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