This lively modern town lies immediately to the north of Greater London and five miles east of Watford. Borehamwood is surrounded by stretches of attractive Green Belt countryside which separate it from the nearby towns and villages of Elstree, Bushey, Radlett and Shenley. Originally a small rural hamlet, it was the construction of the Midland Railway and the opening of Elstree Station in 1868 that led to the expansion of Borehamwood. Manufacturing industry followed, particularly with the outbreak of war in 1914 and the construction of the Barnet bypass in 1927. Borehamwood has been called the 'British Hollywood' and the film industry has certainly played a leading role in the development of the town, providing employment and laying the foundations for economic growth. Today Elstree Film Studios continues to attract major movie talent. Hertsmere Borough Council is the Studios' landlord. The last period of significant growth occurred during the 1950s following Borehamwood's selection as a location for London overspill housing. Today the town centre provides local shopping facilities for residents of the town itself and the surrounding villages as well as jobs in light industry, offices and shops.