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

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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.

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Join our Somme Centenary Commemoration

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

On 1 July 2016 it will be exactly 100 years since the First World War’s Battle of the Somme started. Epping Forest District Council Chairman Jeane Lea would like to remind residents they are invited to our Somme Centenary Commemoration.

The Somme Centenary Commemoration takes place at North Weald Airfield on 1 July 2016 at 7.30am, the time when troops went over the top. Services of commemoration will be held throughout the UK.

Chairman Jeane Lea and husband Tony

Epping Forest District Council and the Royal Gunpowder Mills are also mounting a special educational exhibition in North Weald Airfield Control Tower. The exhibition is free and available to residents and school groups between Saturday 25 June and Friday 1 July 2016.

Battle of the Somme

In World War 1, the Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles on the Western Front. It claimed more than a million casualties in 141 days.

Battle of the Somme

Overnight vigil

Chairman Jeane Lea said: “Our commemorations begin the night before with an overnight vigil. Airfield staff will dress in 1916 British Army uniforms and tend a brazier lit by our Vice-chairman throughout the night next to a reconstruction of a WWI trench.”

Early morning service of commemoration

Chairman Jeane Lea continued: “At 7.30am the soldiers will take their place by a symbolic trench as Father James Rodley leads the service of commemoration with hymns, prayers and readings from the verses of the Great War poets.”

“The service is free to attend and I hope that residents will join me for this simple service of commemoration. Help us keep alive the memory of our fallen heroes. We must never forget the price paid by so many poor men all those years ago.”

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Pop Up Business Café comes to town

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

Join us on 13 July in Waltham Abbey for a Pop Up Business Café for the Epping Forest district businesses.

Are you interested in free, 1 to 1, sound business advice from local professionals? Then join us at the district’s first ever Pop Up Business Café at the newly-refurbished Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey on Wednesday 13 July 2016, between 10am to 1pm.

Pop-up business cafe leaflet

Epping Forest District Council has teamed up with BEST Growth Hub to host this exciting new format event. It is a great opportunity for any local business, whether you are just starting-up, already established or looking to grow, to come along and gain the business advice you need in a relaxed and informal setting.

Local business professionals will be on hand throughout the morning, to offer free advice and answer any questions you have relating to

  • accounting
  • law
  • tax
  • HR queries
  • marketing tips

What’s more, you can, of course, also enjoy tea and cake whilst meeting fellow local businesses with the fantastic newly renovated museum as your backdrop.

Book your free place

Book your free place at the Pop Up Café by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pop-up-business-cafe-tickets-25811659368. Please note places are limited.

New format event

Epping Forest District Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Holder Councillor Anne Grigg said: “We are very excited to be partnering with BEST Growth Hub to test this new format event here in Epping Forest district.”

“This is a wonderful chance for those in business or looking to set-up to speak directly and informally with other members of the local business community that are experts in their respective fields to gain free advice.”

“We have had great support from local businesses wishing to provide advice and we look forward to welcoming businesses and those looking to start-up on 13 July. I would urge people to come along, enjoy the café atmosphere and gain the information they need to move forward any specific aspect of their business they are looking to address and to make further business connections locally.”

 

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

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  • 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.

 

Battle of the Somme Commemoration

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

Epping Forest residents are invited to take part in national commemorations marking the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Battle of the Somme

Early morning service

Following an all-night vigil by airfield staff, residents are invited by Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Jeane Lea to an early morning service of commemoration for people of all faiths at North Weald Airfield.

The service will begin with the sounds of distant battle at ‘H’ Hour 7.30am, the hour at which troops along the line left their trenches for the bloodiest day of fighting in British military history. The battle was to rage on at terrible cost on all sides until the 18 November, leaving families devastated by loss across the length and breadth of the British Isles.

Exhibition

Epping Forest District Council has joined with the Royal Gunpowder Mills and the Royal British Legion for the commemorations. Members of the public will be welcome to visit an educational exhibition for local school children currently being prepared at the airfield, this includes

  • A reconstruction of a WWI trench
  • Indoor displays and exhibition

Provided by Epping Forest District Museum and the Royal Gunpowder Mills, and Mills volunteers to talk to local schoolchildren about the First World War.

Keeping the memory alive

Chairman Jeane Lea hopes local residents will join her at the early morning service to be taken by Father James Rodley of St Andrews Church.

She said: “100 years on, it is so important that we keep alive the memory of the First World War. If we are to avoid such terrible mistakes again, we must never forget the price paid by so many poor men all those years ago or the lessons learnt for future generations. The Battle of the Somme left scars that have reverberated through the years.”

“I particularly hope that there may be some residents with connections to the battle or indeed the Great War, whether through great grandfathers, uncles or other connections, who will join me at ‘H’ Hour for this simple service of commemoration.”

Mrs Lea (a former member of the Women’s Royal Army Corp) continued: “The British Army of 1916 was made up of soldiers from every colour, faith and culture. Sikhs, Muslims and people of Jewish faith were just some of the soldiers of different faiths who stood prominently beside their Christian comrades in those terrible months and years. I hope people of all faiths and cultures will feel able to stand with me in commemoration of those sad days.”

Overnight Vigil

Events at North Weald Airfield will begin as dusk approaches on the evening of Thursday 30 June 2016. Airfield Officers dressed in the uniforms of the British Army of 1916, will invite the Vice-chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor David Stallan and other invited guests to light a brazier. Those staff will tend the brazier throughout the night.

As the hour approaches (7.30am) when troops left the comparative safety of their trenches, the sounds of battle will be broadcast across North Weald Airfield. Members of the Vigil they will take their place by a symbolic trench as Father Rodley leads the service of commemoration with readings from the verses of the Great War poets.

Residents will be offered light refreshments at the end of the service in North Weald Control Tower, where the exhibition by Epping Forest District Museum and the Royal Gunpowder Mills will be on display. The exhibition will remain open to visitors and school groups between Saturday 25 June and 5pm on Friday 1 July.

We should never forget

The 1 July 1916 is the bloodiest day in British military history. The British Army alone sustained 57,470 casualties in the first 24 hours, of which 19,240 soldiers perished.

Over the next 141 days the battle claimed over 1 million casualties

  • German casualties            500,000
  • British casualties               419,654
  • French casualties              204,253

Services of commemoration will be held throughout the UK as the Nation remembers. 

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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

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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 kmurray@eppingforestdc.gov.uk 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

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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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Museum reopening date confirmed

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

After a 2 year long Heritage Lottery Funded project, the reopening of Epping Forest District Museum is on the horizon.

Museum reopening flyer

Come and see us

We would like to welcome members of the public to the museum on Saturday 19 March 2016 from 10am to 5pm to see the fantastic improvements and changes that have taken place on site.

With a new community room for schools, groups and activities, a lift making all galleries accessible to the public for the first time and the chance to see behind the scenes the museum will be a unique offer to both local people and the wider community.

The museum team are now in the process of reinstalling the objects in the 6 new galleries ready for the reopening in March, with a much greater number of objects going on display than ever before.

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Find us

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

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