Here are some of my favorites over the years: Dot & Pauline at the launderette; Minty & Gary at the Arches; Tracy, the sometime barmaid at the Vic; Martin and his fruit stall; Pat at the bookies; Patrick & Yolande at the Mini Mart; Nigel in the video rental store; and Robbie, the market road sweeper, later to be replaced by Gus.
Isn’t interesting that it seems the only jobs in Albert Square are service-related?
Why are there no financial services, insurance companies, solicitors, or realtors? Sure, Johnny Allen is doing his best to fill the void of the latter as the Square’s benevolent loan shark.
With exception of Sonia who earned a nursing degree, there’s a dearth of higher education, which is odd considering all the universities in real London, including the East End. Sure, in the early years, Michelle went to college, as did her well-schooled roommate Rachel.
Sure, on occasion a doctor will become a principal character (e.g., Dr Legg or Dr Trueman), but it seems to me that EastEnders’ creative team embraces an interpretation of an East End working-class neighbourhood that might be a tad yesteryear, considering all the gentrification taking place in London in the New Millennium.
What do you think of Walford’s lack of economic diversity? And what are some of your favourite occupations in Albert Square?
May Arthur rest in peace. He was my favourite market sweeper.
—Larry Jaffee, editor & publisher, email@example.com