Buzz at first Pop-up Business Café

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Consultation, Councillors, Doing business with the council, Local business, Media, Museum, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

The newly renovated Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey opened its doors on Wednesday 13 July 2016 to local businesses and offered advice to those looking to start-up in business with it’s first Pop-up Business Café.

Pop up business cafe

Pop-up Business Café

The Pop-up Business Café was coordinated by the council in partnership with BEST Growth Hub. Local businesses that visited included a baking school, bookkeepers, an antiques auctioneer, a hotelier, café operators, property professionals and a dog whisperer – to mention just a few!

The following businesses generously gave their valuable advice and time and helped to make the event a great success

A great success

Epping Forest District Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor Anne Grigg said “The Pop-up Café event was a great success. It brought more than 30 local businesses and start-up’s from across the district together for a morning of advice, networking and tea and cake.”

“It was a wonderful opportunity to bring business professionals from different sectors together to learn from one another and gain some free advice from the experts.”

Looking to start up your own business

If you are looking to start up your own business contact Best Growth Hub for advice.

For information on future events in the Epping Forest area contact the Economic Development team.


Memories stirred at Somme exhibition

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Community, Democracy, Media, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Memories are being stirred ahead of #Somme100, the commemoration of the Battle of the Somme later this week.

Members of the public have begun to arrive at a special exhibition in the Control Tower of North Weald Airfield, while work is almost complete on a replica of a WW1 trench outside.

Respects to the Fallen

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow.

Volunteers from the Royal Gunpowder Mills are helping to manage the exhibition with further contributions from the Epping Forest District Museum and the Airfield Operations Team.

Airfield staff will mount an all-night vigil in the trench as a mark of respect for the men who fought the bloodiest battle in British military history. They tried on their uniforms as the first members of the public arrived for the exhibition. The commemorations will culminate in an early morning service at North Weald Airfield at 7.30am on the morning of Friday 1 July, ‘H’ hour when the first British troops went ‘over the top’.

Sounds of battle will reverberate across the airfield before the service in which readings will be given from the Great War. The service is open to all.

The memory of his sacrifice should be kept alive

Pam Gardiner was among the first residents to visit the exhibition. Her father served in the Yorkshire Kings Own Light Infantry before transferring to the Warwickshire Regiment. He fought on the Western Front and was wounded twice.

He never spoke about his experiences but Pam believes he was deeply influenced by the experience and feels it is important that the memory of his sacrifice should be kept alive.

Local men who lost their lives

Other memories will be stirred on Friday by John Duffel of the Royal British Legion. 20,000 British soldiers lost their lives on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

John has researched the names and histories of local men who lost their lives during the battle. He will address the service of commemoration with the story of just one of those men, Paul Kinnell, killed in action on the first day – 1 July 1916.

Memory from the Somme

Corporal George Mitchell front right - Corporal was as far as he ever wanted to go.

Preparation for the commemorations has also brought back memories for Alison Mitchell and her family. Alison works for Epping Forest District Council. Her grandfather was a corporal during the Battle. Men came from all walks of life. George Mitchell joined the Civil Service Regiment shortly after his own father was lost in the sinking of HMS Cressy at the start of the War.

While Pam Gardiner’s father was unable or unwilling to talk about the war, Alison’s grandfather wrote about his experiences. In a ‘Memory from the Somme’ he describes digging his with his bare hands, trying in vain to save fallen comrades buried by a direct hit on the trench in which they were sheltering. His diaries are now held at the Imperial War Museum.

Stories of the Somme including the memories of George Mitchell will be shared by Epping Forest District Council online and via Facebook and Twitter during the all-night vigil starting at dusk on Thursday 30 June 21016.

Want to know more?


Volunteers Week in pictures

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Countrycare, Local business, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Volunteering opportunities, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

To celebrate Volunteers Week we took pictures of some of the districts volunteers.

Volunteers Week ran from 1 to 12 June 2016. Volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and age ranges. Some offer a little time now and again, whilst others are able help on a regular basis.

Volunteer Essex Epping Forest

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

  • Epping Forest Volunteer Police Cadets
  • The collection volunteers at both Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum
  • Countrycare volunteers
  • Epping Forest ReUse Centre volunteers
  • Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF)
  • Volunteer Essex

Have you thought about volunteering?

Search for volunteering opportunities in Essex at Volunteer Essex.

Search Twitter using #VolunteersWeek.


Museum Tea Party for #Queenat90

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, Museum, Older people, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with us at our Museum Tea Party at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey #Queenat90. The Museum Tea Party is on Saturday 11 June 2016 from 11am to 4pm and is free to attend.

Join us for a cup of tea, slice of cake and make festive bunting.

Museum Tea Party 11 June 2016

Museum Tea Party

  • When – Saturday 11 June 2016 from 11am to 4pm
  • Where – 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL
  • Cost – free

Interesting facts

  1. The Queen was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 in Mayfair, London
  2. The Princess was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary at the private chapel at Buckingham Palace
  3. Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Phillip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947

Find more at The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration website

Epping Forest District Museum


Museum galleries spring to life

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Health, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Museum galleries sprang to life in an enchanting dance exploration called On the Move. Dancers performed to over 200 visitors at Epping Forest District Museum on 30 April 2016.

Museum dance residency

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

Students from the Waltham Abbey-based DNA Studios performed dance interpretations by Choreographer in Residence, Elysia Tebb. Dances were inspired by the themes in the temporary exhibitions gallery, On the Move.

The group performed this piece before dispersing around the museum where they performed their own individual pieces, offering a new and slightly different take on the interpretation of the galleries displays.

Reopening celebration

The performances were a celebration of Epping Forest District Museum’s reopening after it’s Heritage Lottery Funded refurbishment and expansion.

Innovative performance

Speaking about the project, Epping Forest District Council’s Dance Engagement Officer Vanessa Gayton said: “The On The Move Dance project finds both the Museum and DNA Performing Arts students experiencing a totally unique way of representation and performance.”

“This is an immersive experience for the young people involved as they interpret the history of the collections, working in unconventional settings and interacting closely with their audience.”

“The week-long residency has challenged their imaginations, spatial awareness, self-confidence and fitness levels, building towards what will, no doubt, be an innovative performance for our visitors to enjoy.”


New Horizon’s co-ordinator, Hettie, retires

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

New Horizon’s Hettie Williamson has hung up her ‘days trips hat’, after 26 years of organising the Epping Forest District Council run ‘Stepping Out Club’ outings. Future day trips are to be run by Karen Murray, the District Council’s Older People’s Engagement Officer.

Julie Chandler (Assistant Director of Community Services and Safety), Hettie Williamson (Ex-coordinator of New Horizon’s outings) and Karen Murray (New coordinator for New Horizon’s outings)

Karen Murray said: “Hettie has done a fantastic job and we are sad she won’t be organising the trips any more, but she will hopefully be coming along on a few trips as a guest in future, that’s if she’s not too busy with all her other activities!”

Hettie joined the team as trip coordinator in November 1989 and since then she has dedicated her time and energy into making the club a success.

88 Years Young

At 88 years young, Hettie will continue to manage the District Council’s Bowls club at the David Lloyd Health and Fitness Club in Chigwell and organise her monthly tea dances. Hettie said: “I never looked back and in its heyday I was arranging up to 22 day trips a year. We have been like one big family and we have shared many happy memories together”.

Hettie is an ‘inspiration’

Julie Chandler, Assistant Director for Community Services and Safety said: “I’m delighted that Hettie has been part of the Council for so long. She has been an inspiration to many people and still is. On behalf of the Council, I’d like to thank Hettie for the commitment and energy that she’s given to the Stepping Out Club over the years.”

Popular day trips

New Horizons offers a range of sporting, social and leisure pursuits for the over 50s. They offer everything from badminton to yoga, dancing to petanque, bowls and the ever popular day trips. Trips are run throughout the year to stately homes, gardens, coasts, as well as other special events.

Day trips in 2016 include:

  • Friday 24th June – Oxford the “City of Dreaming Spires”, £41.85 per person
  • Monday 12th September – Royal London-with a visit to Buckingham Palace, £45.65 per person
  • Tuesday 22nd November – Christmas in Faversham & Canterbury with Choral Evensong at the Cathedral, £28.75 per person

Whether you are looking for a new interest or simply looking to enjoy the company of new friends, take a look at what is on offer this year.

For further details about the trips or Tea Dances or 01992 564222

All trips include coach and entry costs unless otherwise stated and local pick up points are available

Museum reopening a huge success

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chairman, Community, Councillors, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Museum reopened it’s doors to the public on Saturday 19 March 2016 after a 2 year long Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment.

EFD Museum reopening

To view photos in a slideshow, click on a picture below and click start slideshow.

The bells of Waltham Abbey Church rang as reenactors from the 44th East Essex Regiment marched up Sun Street towards the museum to help the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Liz Webster cut the ribbon to officially reopen the museum.

Party atmosphere

A party atmosphere was enjoyed by all who came to celebrate the museum’s special day. They were treated to a jive dance demonstration and a morris dancing display by the Chingford Morris Men in Sun Street.

Over 750 people visited the museum, they enjoyed activities including decorating eggs in the new community space, and were given access to all the museum’s new galleries for the first time.

Welcome back

Museum staff were thrilled with the positive feedback they received. Comments include “Big improvement, proud to live in the Abbey” and “Welcome back! We’ve missed the museum and love the new look!

Museum on the Move

The museum team also celebrated the reopening of the museum by making a film showing what has been going on behind the scenes. The ‘Museum on the Move’ film also features as part of the museum’s first temporary exhibition all about transport through history.

Epping Forest District Museum reopens

Future events

This reopening sees a new start in the museum’s history with a fantastic programme of events and activities coming up in the next year. The museum’s annual Easter Egg Hunt will be back this year taking place on Saturday 26 March from 10am to 3pm. The public is invited to follow the trail around the museum and solve the puzzle to win their chocolate prize. The event is free and open to all.

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