The London Borough of Ealing was formed in 1965 when the old Middlesex municipal boroughs of Acton, Ealing and Southall were amalgamated. The borough is on the west side of outer London and covers just over 20 square miles. It is bordered by the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow.

Population change
1966 303,940 people
1998 298,900 people

Ealing started to develop in the mid-19th century, and by the 20th was sometimes called the 'Queen of Suburbs' because of its attractive, wide, tree-lined streets. In the early part of the 20th century several estates in Acton were developed along garden city lines, in imitation of the nearby Bedford Park garden suburb. Other parts of the borough were heavily built up between the wars with the development of the road network in west London.

Ealing's light industry developed at the same time but the borough's best-known 20th-century industry is the production of film and television. William George Baker, a recognised film producer, moved to Ealing in 1904. He established 'Baker Motion Photography', which immediately flourished. Within ten years, his Ealing studios had become the largest in England, producing successful programmes such as the Ealing Comedies. In 1955 the studios were sold to the B.B.C. and began to produce television dramas.

The borough's population changed rapidly during the 1960s and 70s as many East African Asian refugees settled in the borough. By the end of the 20th century, 40% of Ealing's population came from a minority ethnic background, particularly Indian Punjabi Sikh and Sri Lankan. Southall has become an important shopping and cultural centre for London's Indian community.

Although the borough is relatively urban there are areas such as Perivale and Greenford that have retained their more open feel, with village centres and churches. There are also parks and open spaces such as Acton Park, Gunnersbury Park and Osterley Park (which crosses the border into the borough of Hounslow). Acton Park covers 23 acres and as well as parkland includes tennis courts and bowling greens.

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