An Overground line that runs from Liverpool Street northwards has been renamed after the important textile trade that flourished along its route.

The Weaver line, which will be shown by maroon parallel lines on TfL maps, will transport passengers on two main branches towards Chingford, Enfield Town and Cheshunt.

It is one of six separate routes created as TfL gives individual services their own names and colours to make the network easier to navigate.

Here we take a look at why transport bosses decided to give the route the name of Weaver.

Hackney Gazette: TfL has released this new map of the six Overground routesTfL has released this new map of the six Overground routes (Image: PA/TfL)

Spitalfields' French Protestant past


The Weaver line will pass through Bethnal Green and Hackney, both areas of London known for their textile trade.

The start of the route in Liverpool Street lies close to Spitalfields, which is where the capital's silk weaving trade used to be centred.

The industry sprang up in the area with the arrival of the Huguenots, a group of persecuted Protestants who fled France for England in the 17th Century.

Many were skilled silk weavers and set up their looms in their new homes in Spitalfields.

According to author Liz Trenow, whose ancestors started her family’s silk weaving business in the early 1700s, at one time a quarter of all those living in Spitalfields and Bethnal Green spoke only French.

The industry flourished in the area for centuries after the first Huguenots arrived, and by some estimates there were still almost 50 silk weaving workshops there when the First World War broke out.

TfL has said that the renaming of the Liverpool Street Overground line is a nod to this history, as well as the “diverse migrant communities and individuals” that shaped the area.

But London's textile industry is not just history, and still has roots in the capital to this day. 

The Weavers’ Company, which dates back to the 12th Century, is based near St Paul’s Cathedral and continues to support the textile industry through education and training programmes.

James Gaselee, clerk for the Worshipful Company of Weavers, said: “We are delighted that one of the newly named London Overground lines will be called the Weaver line in recognition of the silk weaving trade that was centred on Spitalfields.  

“This is not, however, purely historic as the name of the line will also shine a light on the silk weaving, textile and fashion industries that continue to flourish in London and across the country."