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Once a village of ancient times, Acton is located in the borough of Ealing, having become part of the city as it expanded from Middlesex after 1965. Originally the main road ran from London to Oxford, and the inns were a frequent resting place for travelers. The King's Head, one of the original inns, is still serving pints today. Once famous for its health spas in the Elizabethan times after the discovery of underground springs, the town later became the hub for the laundries of London; "Soapsuds Island" is now primarily a residential neighborhood.

The warehouses left over from the laundries and other industrial times have been refurbished into modern technology centers, and cafes line the streets, where new shopping centers provide souvenirs for tourists. Restaurants feature Middle Eastern food, and the once primarily polish community has branched out to include a diverse population. The name of the borough is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for "oak town," and is most popular as the birth place of the rock band sensation, "The Who." (All the members of the band save for Keith went to Acton High School.) Churchfield road was the location for the filming of the popular Monty Python skit "The Bicycle Repairman."

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