Meet the artist, Jeff Cummins to visit museum

Written on . Posted in Museum, Our attractions, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Cover artist Jeff Cummins will be at Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon on Saturday 10 March to give a personal tour of his exhibition, Vinyl Canvas.

The exhibition showcases a stunning collection of vinyl record covers and original artworks designed by Jeff for music legends such as Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Rainbow and Whitesnake. Uncover the secrets behind the covers and discover how they came about in this relaxed and informal session.

Jeff will be at the museum from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, don’t miss out on this one-off event. Signed limited edition prints will also be available for purchase.

The exhibition, Vinyl Canvas, will be on display at Lowewood Museum until 31 March 2012.

For more information on the museum, visit


Mosaic to celebrate museum’s 30th anniversary

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Museum, Our attractions, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Epping Forest District Museum at its site in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, a special mosaic has been made for the museum’s garden.

The mosaic was designed and created by members of Community Development’s Youth Club, ‘We Don’t Do Bored’ based in Ninefields, Waltham Abbey. Ten young people from the group visited the museum to choose objects to include in the design and find out more about the history of the district.

They worked with Essex based mosaic artist, Paul Siggins to come up with a design, then over February half term they have been making the mosaic at the museum, assisted by visitors to the museum including the Chairman Ken Angold-Stephens and his wife Jill who really enjoyed having a go.

The mosaic will be completed on Friday 17 February and will be installed in the museum garden on Tuesday 28 February.


Waltham Abbey cinema at the town hall

Written on . Posted in Our attractions, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Waltham Abbey Town Council launched the new Waltham Abbey Cinema at screenings on 17 and 18 February 2012. The first screening on the Friday evening of the film, Johnny English Reborn, was a great success, and the Saturday morning screening of Happy Feet 2, to an audience of 150 parents and children, was a triumph. Town Clerk, Mrs Kathryn Richmond, said “We are absolutely delighted with the way these two first screenings have been received; the support from the people of Waltham Abbey for this initiative has been great”.

The aim is that the cinema screenings will be run with volunteer support from the community, so anyone interested in getting involved in this exciting new facility, should contact the Town Hall.

With the success of these two launch films, a full programme is now being produced, with extra screenings for school holidays now being planned. The next showings are Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows on Tuesday 6 March with doors opening at 6.45pm, and Puss-In-Boots, on Saturday 10th March, doors opening at 9.45am.

Tickets are available to buy from the Tourist Information Centre, 2-4 Highbridge Street, or by calling 01992 652295, and will also be available on the door.  A schedule of screenings is now available on the town council website.

Don`t miss the official opening of the Limes Centre

Written on . Posted in Community, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

Limes Centre GraphicCome along and have a look at our brand new community facility, everyone is welcome and the event is free!

On Monday 20 February 2012 from 3pm we are opening the Limes Centre in Chigwell and launching the Limes Farm Festival of Healthy Living.

Come along and enjoy:

  • The official launch of the fabulous new Limes Centre facility
  •  Fun children’s crafts and activities, including free face painting
  •  A free manicure
  •  Free henna and glitter tattoos
  •  Information stalls from lots of different organisations
  • A chance to hear about the “Works Like A Charm” arts project and ways in which you can get involved
  •  Register for a residents’ activity discount card
  • Meet a Tottenham Hotspur player and Tottenham Hotspur Foundations’ coaches
  • and much, much more

The Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens will be officially opening the Centre at 4pm.

The new community facility can be hired out for wedding receptions, children’s parties, fitness classes, meetings and events.

The fully accessible Limes Centre has 3 distinct areas:

  1. The Limes Hall comes with a fully-fitted kitchen and can accommodate up to 200 people
  2.  The Limes Activity Hall is a space for up to 50 people and has a small kitchen area
  3. The Limes Meeting Room is a meeting area for up to 12 people

An affordable pricing structure varies according to the time and day of hire and means that the meeting room can be hired out for as little as £2.50 an hour and the Limes Hall for £10 an hour. Special discounted rates are available for Limes Farm residents.

Call us on 01992 564561 or email for information on how to hire the Limes Centre facilities.


Councils team up to run Lowewood Museum

Written on . Posted in Museum, Our attractions, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Published on 9 February 2012

As from 1 February 2012, Broxbourne Council will enter into a five-year partnership arrangement with Epping Forest District Council for the operation of Lowewood Museum, Hoddesdon.

Following the retirement of the Museum’s two long standing staff members, Broxbourne Council was able to explore the cost-effective opportunity of a service level agreement.

Under the new arrangement, Broxbourne Council will continue to own and maintain the listed building whilst we will deploy staff from our museum in Waltham Abbey to manage the facility. The existing identity, opening hours and current programme of temporary exhibitions will be maintained.

With years of experience operating Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Broxbourne Council expects a seamless transfer period and hopes the partnership will promote future service development.

The integrated service aims to draw on the collections of both museums and provide an opportunity for wider ranging exhibitions to increase interest and footfall.

Councillor Ricki Gadsby, Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: “This is a great deal for both councils and residents. Broxbourne and Epping Forest have independently built high reputations for their respective museums. We hold common values, working at the heart of our communities. The staff at Epping Forest share a deep respect for the work done by their colleagues in Broxbourne and are committed to continuing the cultural legacy of Lowewood. The two service collections will compliment each other as will the new working arrangements between our two councils.”

Portfolio Holder for the Community for Broxbourne Council, Councillor Paul Seeby, says: “With this partnership in place, it will enable the Lowewood museum service to be developed further, building upon the excellent work that has already been achieved. We look forward to a long and prosperous working relationship with Epping Forest District Council.”

For further information of the new arrangement or services that Lowewood Museum provides, residents are asked to call 01992 445596 or visit the leisure and culture pages on Broxbourne Council website.

Plane fire at North Weald Airfield

Written on . Posted in North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about

Firefighters were called to a fire at a parked aircraft at North Weald Airfield on Monday 2 January. Fire crews used foam and powder to extinguish the fire by 8:06 pm. According to Essex County Fire and Rescue one 48 year old man was seriously injured and suffered burns. He was placed in the care of the Ambulance Service.

The plane, based at the airfield, was parked at the time of the incident. Runways and aircraft movements into and out of the airfield are unaffected. The Air Accident Investigation Branch of the Civil Aviation Authority has been notified but has indicated that it will not be investigating the incident as there was no intention to fly. The matter is currently in the hands of Essex Police.

Museum exhibition celebrating 30 years

Written on . Posted in Museum, Our attractions, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Join us this autumn in celebrating the 30th anniversary of Epping Forest District museum. A special exhibition showing the life and work of the museum over the last 30 years runs from 8 October 2011 to 3 March 2012 at the historic museum in Waltham Abbey.

For 30 years the museum has celebrated the unique history of this beautiful part of South West Essex, capturing the unique stories of those who have lived and worked here. To mark this special occasion the museum is hosting an exhibition looking back at the last 30 years and looking forward to the next 30!

Museum celebrating 30 years

On display you will see a number of highlights from the museum’s collection since it first opened its doors to the public in 1981. From paintings and posters by local artists Walter Spradbery and Eric Dawson, to pieces from the museum’s unique police collection. Also on display is a snapshot of some of the museum’s best loved exhibitions. From Narnia to the WWI trench, this 3D interactive room is not to be missed.

Why not email us at and tell us about your memories of the museum?

Sue Davies (former museum officer), Tony O'Connor (current museum officer), Chairman Ken Angold-Stevens (Epping Forest District Council) and Anne Edwards (the museum's first museum officer)

Opening the exhibition Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens said: “Museum collections have the power to tell stories, connecting us to the people and communities who have been here before. This service would not be possible without the support of local people and visitors who help to record our district’s rich history so it can be celebrated for generations to come. We are very proud that the museum is viewed as resource at the heart of the community.”

Admission is free, for information and opening times contact the museum by telephone on 01992 716882 or email

Epping Forest District Museum, 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1EL

London 2012 and Epping Forest district

Written on . Posted in North Weald Airfield, Olympics, Our attractions, Out and about

Almost exactly one year to go to the opening ceremony for London 2012, the Leader of Epping Forest District Council and fellow councillors have been talking about the impact the Games will have on local people and businesses.

Hadleigh Farm

In addition to Essex being a host county, providing the Mountain Bike venue at Hadleigh Farm in Castle Point, the district’s local boundary in Waltham Abbey is literally a few yards from the Olympic Canoe Slalom at Lee Valley White Water Centre. Travelling by Central Line, residents and visitors to Epping Forest district are also no more than a few minutes from the main Olympic venue in Stratford.

The White Water Centre is the only brand new Olympic venue completed and opened to the public before the Games. Councillor Lesley Wagland described this as a “fantastic site” which has already taken bookings from almost 90,000 people since opening in the spring. While Canoeing will form the Olympic focus, white water rafting in the legacy period after the games is expected to be the main public activity.

The White Water Centre is due to close its doors temporarily for three weeks while it goes through a rigorous test event designed to make sure the Olympic show goes faultlessly. In the short time it has been open, it has attracted rafters and canoeists from across the region and abroad.

Go white web

With a local venue and the Olympic Park in Stratford so close, Councillor Wagland believes local business is well placed to benefit. Among the business opportunities listed by LOCOG as still currently available are printing, events management, security, training volunteers, crowd control, graphics for buses, parking, fire alarms, signage and flagpoles.

Councillor Wagland said: “We are all excited by the opportunity that this event will provide. It’s a great opportunity for local businesses. ‘CompeteFor’ is a website set up for businesses to register an interest in supplying goods and services the games. Currently 93 local companies have taken up the challenge. We would like to encourage more local companies to register. Some local companies have already won contracts.”

Councillor Liz Webster is a former Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (owners of the Lee Valley White Water Centre) and the ‘Olympics Champion’ promoting the Games on behalf of Epping Forest District Council.

“We are so lucky to have the White Water Centre on our doorstep,” said Councillor Webster.

Councillor Webster and Derek Macnab, Epping Forest District Council’s Acting Chief Executive, also sit on a Legacy Board, attended by the Lee Valley Park Authority and the other key partners, charged with maximising the benefit at the White Water Centre for local people.

“In the long run the White Water Centre is much more than just the best Canoe Slalom facility in the world. We want to make the White Water Centre appealing for families. We want to encourage tourists into the area. We have many historic visitor attractions such as Waltham Abbey. We are already benefiting from the fact it has been opened ahead of the games,” said Councillor Webster.

She added: “The legacy looks even brighter since an announcement earlier this year that the White Water Centre is also to host the World Canoe Championship in 2015. The Olympics and World Championships can showcase our district, encouraging people to return again and again.”

Councillor Ricki Gadsby, Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, sees 2012 as an opportunity to invest in Waltham Abbey. Events such as the W Festival are already drawing greater attention to the town which must benefit from the spotlight.

Many events are planned leading up to the Olympics. The W Festival is part of the Cultural Olympiad. Other major events next year include the Queen’s Jubilee. While the route of the Olympic Flame is a closely-guarded secret, councillors hope this will also come to the district as part of the 2012 celebrations.

These Olympics are planned to be the most environmentally-friendly ever. Travel forms an important part of that strategy and Epping Forest District Council is making a direct contribution. North Weald Airfield (owned by the Council) will become a Park and Ride facility for spectators visiting the White Water Centre during the Games.

As a ‘host council’ Epping Forest District Council bid for tickets on behalf of local residents. Two tickets each for the opening and closing ceremonies plus 50 tickets for the actual White Water events were obtained and these will be given to lucky local residents. Some are earmarked for local school children. Others may be offered to local charities. Others may be given to local residents nominated by friends, family or neighbours. None will be used by councillors or council staff.

The council has run park and ride before in conjunction with international scouting events. It is confident cars and buses can be managed with minimal disruption to local residents and normal airfield activities, such as flying and the Saturday Market.

However, residents and businesses across the district are being advised to think about the potential disruption to their daily lives next year. The message is think about what you will be doing during the period of the games. Don’t stop doing your normal things but think about how you can adjust your timetable to try and take some of the pressure out the system and transport network.

It is particularly important for businesses that rely of staff, customers, supplies and transport links to start planning now if they have not already done so.

Anyone planning a large-scale event or activity during the Games period is also being urged to talk to local people, neighbours and their town or parish councils. Many activities require official permissions, such as licences or planning applications but there may be other good reasons to stop and check before going ahead.

Information on planning your own event is just part of the resource available on the Epping Forest District Council website.

The London Olympics 2012 offers opportunities for everyone across Epping Forest district. The council is looking at plans with LOCOG to ‘dress’ the district. “The Games will be a festival for the whole community” says Councillor Wagland. She hopes people will embrace and enjoy the events. “We want to spread the celebration around the whole district. Waltham Abbey will enjoy a special place during the Games but there is a role for every parish and community.”

Crowds Flock to American Eagles Fun Day and Fly-in

Written on . Posted in North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about

Over 4,500 people flocked to Epping Forest District Council`s North Weald Airfield on Sunday, 5 June to enjoy a community fun day and fly-in. The day was organised by Weald Aviation in association with Epping Forest District Council and The Squadron.

[tubepress video=”4zD2VfWyFIY”]

The American Eagles Fun Day and Fly-in was held to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the American Eagle Squadron at North Weald Airfield during World War II. Visitors were able to enjoy displays by Samurai Warriors, military re-enactors and their vehicles and equipment, The Essex Chapter Harley Davison motorbikes and dancers, as well as a static display of various aircraft and fly-ins throughout the day.

Younger people were well catered for with fairground rides, a bouncy castle and children`s entertainers. Charities raising vital funds on the day included St Clare Hospice, The Royal Air Force Association, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

[flickr set=”72157626905936906″ title=”the American Eagles Fun Day and Fly-in”]

The highlight of the day for many was the arrival of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire. It flew past several times before landing and delighted the crowd, bringing back many memories.

The day was raising funds for Help for Heroes and the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust. The final total is not yet known.

A Council Spokesperson said: The day was a fantastic success. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and we raised vital funds for several charities on the day.

Earlier that day wreaths were laid at the base of the Gate Guardian in memory of those who had lost their lives in conflict.

It was attended by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens, Colonel Sonny Blinkinsop, American Air Attaché to the UK with 4 American Honour Guards, and representatives from the Royal British Legion.

Former Chairman visits Bodo in Norway

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Democracy, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Your council

Former Chairman of Council Councillor Anne Grigg, as one of her last events of her year as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, was invited to visit Bodo, the home of the Norwegian Air Force. The town has very close links with North Weald Airfield and so it was particularly apt that the Chairman was invited as she is also the local Ward Councillor for North Weald.

Councillor Grigg enjoyed a wonderful four-day visit as guest of the Town and the Royal Norwegian Air Force. She was very grateful to Bodo Mayor Odd-Tore Fygle and Per-Egil Rygg, chief 132 Air Wing, who were her hosts.

Former Chairman and her husband were accompanied by North Weald Airfield historian Arthur Moreton and his wife Marion. He liaised and worked with Norway throughout the organisation of the visit. The Norwegians were very friendly and welcoming with wonderful hospitality.

Councillor Grigg laid wreaths at a memorial to RAF pilots who flew Gloster Gladiator bi-planes in the wartime defence of Bodo and at the town war memorial.

The former Chairman enjoyed a day`s boat trip around the islands off the coast of Bodo, with lunch in a Village Hall on one of the Heligvaer islands. She was particularly pleased to spot several White-tailed Sea Eagles, for which the Bodo area is famed, from the boat in the afternoon.

Councillor Grigg was honoured to be invited to `inspect the guard` of the Nyholms Scandses Compagnie at the head of the National Day celebration parade on 17 May. Whilst we in the UK know very little of this the Norwegian National Day is celebrated in every town and village, with the entire country more or less coming to a halt every 17 May.

Councillor Grigg said: I really enjoyed seeing all the national costumes being worn by people of all ages.

She went on to say: I had a lovely time and was very grateful to the people of Bodo for their warm, friendly welcome. I was made to feel very much at home and part of the village during my stay. I felt very honoured that this was my last official engagement as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.