Waltham Forest is one of the outer London boroughs, situated to the north-east of London, and was created when Chingford, Walthamstow and Leyton were amalgamated in the 1960's.
The borough has a long history dating back to the Stone Age, with evidence of Bronze Age civilisation, but since the Industrial Revolution it has been a home to industries of all sorts, from copper refining to milling. The Royal Small Arms Factory supplied the military for centuries and was based in the borough.
In the 1960's the famous Matchbox Company was producing some of the archetypal toys of the era, and was based in the Lea Valley, now home to a historic steam railway. Nowadays the district is a busy shopping area with Europe's longest market based in Walthamstow.
Waltham Forest is one of five London boroughs which will host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the other four being Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.
Upon hearing the decision to award London with the winning bid, Councillor Clyde Loakes, head of Waltham Forest Council said: "This is a truly historic day for the borough and London as a whole. Hosting the world's most prestigious sporting event and largest party is an amazing opportunity for Waltham Forest and I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who has backed the bid and helped to make this possible. The world's sporting gaze is now well and truly fixed on east London and Waltham Forest. Let's show them what we can do!"
Waltham Forest has been home to anumber of famous people over the years: both William Morris (artist) and Alfred Hitchcock (film director) were born in the borough and David Beckham was born and raised there.