Monte Carlo comes to Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Out and about, Residents, Sports, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area

The townspeople of Waltham Abbey are gearing up for the flying visit of classic cars in the Monte Carlo Historique Rally. Entering the event for the third time, Epping Forest District couple Gaye and Neil Sjoberg are among the Monte Carlo Historique entries from Glasgow heading to the first overnight stop in Waltham Abbey before crossing the Channel on their way to the South of France.

Over 50 classic cars are expected to leave Glasgow on Thursday 27 January, arriving in Waltham Abbey in the small hours of Friday.

As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Rally, Neil and friends brought four past Monte Carlo vehicles to the Abbey to meet District Councillor Anne Grigg, the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Mayor Councillor Ricki Gadsby. Neil`s 1967 Triumph Vitesse and 1969 Triumph Spitfire were accompanied by David Stimpson’s 1954 Jowett Jupiter (2nd in 1956) and Allan McNab’s 1927 Bugatti (Bugatti won in 1956).

Councillor Grigg joined Councillor Gadsby in wishing Neil well. Neil is crossing his fingers that wife and co-driver Gaye will be recovered from flu before the start of the Rally.

Having previously competed but failed in the gruelling but ultra-glamorous event in their Spitfire, Neil changed to the more powerful and spacious Vitesse last year to complete the rally 276th out of 520. The Historique Rally follows the week after the true Monte Carlo on the same course but with pre 1980 cars. The former being a racing test of the most modern in engineering innovation, the latter being an exercise in navigation, vehicle reliability and driving in difficult conditions.

Competitors and their support teams have just over 19 hours to make the first leg of the trip from Glasgow to Calais. Waltham Abbey Town Council is laying out the red carpet for the competitors as they enter Epping Forest District in the small hours of the morning.

Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council are working together to support the event. District Council Chairman, Anne Grigg explained. “Neil is a well known local resident who runs The Epping Golf Course. This year is the one hundredth anniversary of the very first Monte Carlo Rally which also set off from Glasgow and hosted the start in 1973. When the organisers were looking for a suitable overnight stop, Neil immediately thought of the District. After a chat with the District Council he got straight on the phone to the Clerk of Waltham Abbey and back to the event organisers in Scotland.”

Councillor Ricki Gadsby continued: “We thought it was a great idea. Even though the cars will be coming to us in the middle of the night, it is a terrific opportunity for the town to show itself off. People love classic cars and the Monte Carlo carries its own romance. The Town Hall will be opened specially for the competitors as they get a few hours sleep before the next stage. Everyone is doing this for the love of the event with volunteers across the town coming to help.”

Adding colour to the warmup in Waltham Abbey last Tuesday, Neil introduced Dave Stimpson with his 1952 Jowett Jupiter and Allan McNab with his 1927 Bugatti. Also adding some Gallic Flair was local resident Michel Trouard-Riolle, currently of Upshire but originally from the Anjou region of France. Andy Farrow drove the Spitfire as stand-in for Gaye Sjoberg. While the Jowett and Bugatti will not be competing in this year’s rally, both these lovingly restored classics hold the Monte Carlo pedigree. Town and District Councillor Syd Stavrou was very happy to pose in the gorgeous red Jowett outside the Abbey church.

Cars are expected to start arriving in Waltham Abbey from about 1am on the morning of Friday 28 January. However, the process for Neil and Gaye starts days earlier. First to go will be the car, safely loaded on a transporter for the long haul up to Glasgow. Neil and Gaye fly up from Stansted but need to be in plenty of time for ‘scrutinising’.

“Everything on the car needs to be genuine, original and in good working order.” says Neil. “The scrutineers go over the car with a fine tooth comb. Safety is a prime consideration and old cars like these will be put through great stress before we reach Monte Carlo. Everything has to be right before we set off.

“The last time the Monte Carlo set off from Glasgow was nearly 40 years ago.” says Neil. “It will be a big event up there with a special reception for all the competitors the night before. The last time it set off from Glasgow only one car made it through deep Pennine snow. Hopefully we will have more luck.

“We have nineteen and a half hours to get to Calais. Half an hour late and you are out! Then it will be another 32 hours to reach the South of France.” Once you factor in traffic, repairs, food and rest stops for a bit of sleep it becomes a real marathon especially when you remember the cars are at least thirty years old.”

World Class White Water Centre Opens

Written on . Posted in Olympics, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

The best venue of its type in the World, was how Sports Minister Hugh Robertson described Lee Valley White Water Centre following the official opening of the facilities by The Princess Royal on 9 December 2010. Princess Anne, President of the British Olympic Association started the first race on the brand new 300 metre Olympic Slalom Canoe Course.

Olympic athletes joined sporting celebrities including Lord Sebastian Coe and local civic leaders from Essex, North London and Hertfordshire for the opening of the Centre 85 weeks before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Situated on the boundary between Waltham Abbey in Epping Forest District and Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, the £31 million project is the first entirely new facility to be opened in anticipation of the Games. Delivered on time and within budget, John Armitt Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority described it as World Class – the best in its class.

Residents of Epping Forest District could not be better placed for the Olympic Games. Spectators will be encouraged to use public transport, with the district`s central line stations offering access to Stratford in a few minutes. Proposals are also being drawn up to make North Weald Airfield the hub of a Park and Ride service for the canoeing events at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. To the east of the District, Hadleigh Farm in Thurrock will host the Mountain Bike events at the very end of the Games.

Councillor Anne Grigg Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Olympics Champion Councillor Liz Webster were among the invited guests at the White Water Centre. Councillor Webster said: We were blown away. Lee Valley White Water Centre is going to be a fantastic venue for the Olympic Games. Seeing members of the British Team come down the rapids in their canoes and rafts was terrific. However, the importance of the centre goes well beyond the training of the British Olympic Team and the hosting of the Olympic Games.

Councillor Webster continued: We also have a facility right on our doorstep for the whole community. We estimate the Centre will attract up to 70,000 visitors a year, bringing a massive boost to the local economy for decades to come. While the focus at the Games will be canoeing, people of any ability and experience will be able to enjoy the adrenalin rush of white water rafting. We are promised the Centre will also be available to our local community with young people particularly getting the opportunity to experience the thrills of rafting and canoeing.

Councillor Webster concluded: I would like to congratulate Lee Valley Regional Park, the Olympic Delivery Authority and everyone involved in the construction of what I believe will become an Iconic Olympic venue.”

New Horizons Bowls Gala Day 2010

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Your area, Your community

Over 60 short mat bowlers and their supporters from all over and around the Epping Forest District took part in the 21st Annual Bowls Gala Day hosted by the Council`s New Horizons 50+ Scheme on Thursday 28th October.

The event which was held at Epping Sports Centre, attracted 16 teams from short mat bowls clubs as far as Sheering in the north to Woodford in the south, who played a full days bowls, which was eagerly watched by District Council Chairman Cllr. Anne Grigg.

Victorious Upshire Team with Chairman of Council, Cllr Anne Grigg

A fun and competitive day was had by all, but the players from Upshire Bowls Club were certainly on top form on the day, with their team successfully winning their half, resulting in them facing the Queens Hall (North Weald) team in the final.

Cllr. Grigg was delighted to be present on the day, to watch the very closely fought matches between all of the teams taking part in the event and to witness the obvious enjoyment had by everyone involved “ including the spectators.

In her speech, she thanked the Council`s Sports Development team for organising the event, which was a tremendous success and for the assistance of the many helpers that were involved in providing teas, raffles, scoring and umpiring on the day, all of whom were of retirement age themselves.

She then took great pleasure in presenting the Upshire team with the Bowls Gala Championship Trophy and the Queens Hall team with their runners up awards.

Hole in One for Chairman’s Charities

Written on . Posted in Local business, Our activities, Out and about, Sports, Supporting business, Your area

In a keenly fought competition golfers raised over £800 for charity at this years Chairman`s Charity Golf Day held at Chigwell Golf Club. The Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Anne Grigg invited 30 contestants including Councillors, Officers and Guests of the Chairman, on 15 June 2010 to raise money for the Chairman`s chosen charities: St Clare`s Hospice, Cancer Research UK, Chigwell Riding Trust and the Air Ambulance based at North Weald Airfield.Chairman Anne Grigg presenting the Don Spinks Shield to Annette Duncan

The winner of the competition and recipient of the Don Spinks Shield, and champion golfer for 2010 was Annette Duncan. The Chairman provided welcome refreshment at the halfway stage, proving popular with all the contestants, and presented the prizes in the Clubhouse after.

Chairman of Council, Councillor Anne Grigg said: “I would like to thank all who helped to make my Charity Golf Day such a success. It was a glorious summer afternoon and I had a fun and memorable day. We raised £818.68, a significant amount of money that will be shared between the 4 worthy charities that I have chosen to support during my year as Chairman.”

Scores and Competition Winners

Don Spinks Shield
39 points Annette Duncan from Sports and Leisure Management Ltd (SLM)
36 points James Carstairs, Epping Forest District Council Sports Development Officer
35 points Colin Stone, Epping Forest District Council Housing Officer

Robert O`Malley Cup for Ladies Golfers
33 points Kim Bames, General Manager at Epping Sports Centre
25 points Julie Chandler, Epping Forest District Council Assistant director for the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive

Robert O`Malley Cup winner Kim Bames and champion golfer 2010 Annette DuncanNearest the Pin Prize
James Warwick Epping Forest District Council Sports Development Manager

Longest Drive Competition
Nick Fanning Epping Forest District Council Auditor

Highest placed Guest of the Chairman
34 points Dave Wilson
29 points Chairman`s husband Ian Grigg

Other notable scores were ex-employees Trevor Johnson with 33 points and Bill Brooks with 32 points, whilst the defending Champion Dave Clifton scored 31 points.

Sports Bursary Winner – Emma Hollis

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Emma Hollis, a young lady from Theydon Bois, is no stranger to the Council or to our local newspapers. She is making the headlines as one of our top hopes for a swimming medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Three years ago she was a recipient of a small sports bursary, receiving £500 towards her training and competition costs.

Now aged 18 and studying for her A-levels at Chigwell School, our Sports Bursary winner trains six evenings and two mornings each week. A member of Epping Forest District Swimming Club at Loughton Leisure Centre, she is a British record holder in the S8 400 metre Individual Medley, the S8 50 metre and S8 100 metre Breaststroke.

Chairman Penny Smith with Emma Hollis

Small bursaries can be a wise investment in our young people. This year, three smaller sports awards will also be made. One of £500 to Emma`s younger brother James who is also a swimmer. Another to Charlie Collins to develop his martial arts skills in Karate and the third to cyclist Edward Bird, each of whom will receive £250.

Arts Bursary Winner – Christoper Crichlow

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The Arts Bursary winner is a young man from Ongar who attends Debden Park High School. His interest is in music. As a member of the Loughton Youth Project he is one of the presenters of the Urban Show broadcast every Thursday. He featured on the Loughton Youth Project recording `Wot Defines U`.

At just 16 years of age, he is already a talented composer, writer and producer. During the judging process, our panel was especially impressed by his drive to make inspirational, positive and enriching contemporary music. The Bursary will help to meet the costs of equipment and recording time in a professional studio.

Christoper Crichlow with Chairman Penny Smith

Four further Arts awards of £500 to £1,500 are to be made to Laura Sibbick from Loughton for her redevelopment of the Deptford Mice theatre production, Georgina Perriam from Loughton who has created a new piece of children`s theatre, Aaron Griffiths from Loughton for a Mac Book to develop his skills as a Graphic Artist and Toby Riches from Ongar to support two international tours with Essex Music Services and Chichester University.

Competition to Find Freestyle Footballer

Written on . Posted in Community, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Your community

The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is running an exciting freestyle football competition that will see one lucky winner being offered an amazing 6 Month Casual Freestyling Contract. The competition, taking place in January and February 2010 will be judged by World Famous Football Freestyler Billy Wingrove. He will be on hand to offer advice and tips to the next generation of Rooneys and Ronaldos.

The Epping Forest Freestyle Football Competition Poster

The free to enter competition is being run in partnership with Epping Forest District Council’s Sports and Health Development team and is open exclusively to residents of Epping Forest. Youngsters will be split into 3 age categories and will be showcasing their skills in four heats and a grand final scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club Training Centre.

Each venue will host three age categories on the same day. The age categories are 11 and under, 12 to 15 and 16 plus.

     The heats will be held at:

  • Limes Farm Estate on Thursday 28 January 2010 from 6pm to 9pm
  • St Johns C of E Secondary School on Friday 29 January 2010 from 6pm to 9pm
  • Waltham Abbey Sports Centre on Saturday 30 January 2010 from 1pm to 4pm
  • Roding Valley High School on Friday 5 February 2010 from 6pm to 9pm

In addition to the top prize of a casual Freestyling Contract which will be awarded to the winner of the 16 plus age group, other prizes on offer include trophies and tickets to a Tottenham Hotspur First Team game. Heat winners will each receive a Puma Football and Kit, while all participants will receive an exclusive goodie bag.

Places are restricted and are reserved only on a first come, first served basis so people are encouraged to book sooner rather than later. For more information or to reserve a place, contact the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation on 020 8365 5138.

Celebrating 25 Years of New Horizons

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Our activities, Residents, Sports, Your community

Around 100 people congregated at Epping Hall on Thursday 3 December to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of New Horizons, the Council`s highly popular 50+ Leisure scheme.

The scheme has been in operation since August 1984. It provides a whole host of activities and opportunities for people aged over 50 to be active including sport, dancing and the ever-popular Stepping Out Club, which provides two trips per month to stately homes, gardens and other places of interest.

The celebration event, which was organised by the Council`s Sports and Health Development Section, was an opportunity for existing and founder New Horizons members from the 1980s and 90s to meet up again and share their appreciation along with three of the original staff who have worked on the scheme over the past 20-25 years.

Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith joined the celebration and presented gifts for long service with New Horizons to Malcolm Wollin from High Beach, who has organised and taught bowls for 20 years; Margaret Weston from Loughton, who has taught yoga for 20 years; and Hettie Williamson from Epping, who has organised the Stepping Out Club and local tea dances for 20 years.

The original New Horizons Co-ordinator Julie Chandler was also at the event in her capacity as Assistant Director of Community Services and Customer Relations. She was delighted to see so many of the original members of the scheme, many of whom are now in their 80s and 90s and still keeping fit.

If you are interested in getting fit, being active, or simply making new friends through New Horizons, please contact Sports and Health Development on 01992 564567.

Chairman Opens Nazeing Play Area

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Democracy, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Local children celebrated the launch of a second refurbished playground in Nazeing on Tuesday 3 November 2009.

Councillor Penny Smith opens the play area

Picture caption – Chairman of Council, Councillor Penny Smith cuts the ribbon and opens the play area in Nazeing with local councillors, local children and Council staff.

The new play facilities at Elizabeth Close were funded via the BIG Lottery Children`s Play Programme to the value of £49,000. Funding was secured by Epping Forest District Council`s Community Development Team, who subsequently worked closely with the landowners Nazeing Parish Council, to bring about the much- needed playground improvement scheme.

Councillors and local children on the new play equipment

Picture caption – Councillors, local children, parents and Council staff on the new play equipment.

The new facility was opened by the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Penny Smith, who congratulated everyone involved in the project including local children, parents and Council staff from Community Development.

Councillors and local children by the new play equipment

Picture caption – Councillors, local children, parents and Council staff by the entrance to the new play area.

Presentation of Football Kit

Written on . Posted in Community, Our activities, Residents, Sports, Young people, Your community

Ivy Chimneys School in Epping has been presented with the football kit and football supplies won for them by one of their pupils. At a special assembly on 6 November 2009 the new kit was presented to the winner of the football badge competition, Arabella Moore.

Arabella Moore presented with the new kit in front of the school assembly

Picture caption – Chairman of Council Councillor Penny Smith and Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Brian Rolfe present competition winner Arabella Moore with her football kit at a special assembly at Ivy Chimneys School.

Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Penny Smith attended the assembly to present the brand new kit. Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder Councillor Brian Rolfe and the women and girl`s Football Development Officer from the Essex County Football Association Emma Burden were also in attendance.

School children across Epping Forest district were invited to design a badge for the new women`s football club – the Davenant Diamonds – that Epping Forest District Council and the Essex FA set up last year.

Over 500 entries for the competition were submitted. The standard of the badge designs were extremely high but Arabella`s simple design of a diamond placed on a pink background, featuring the team`s name, was chosen as the winner.