Volunteer to preserve your local history

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“Volunteering is fun, rewarding and enriches lives, come and give it a go!” says Katie Weston, volunteer coordinator at Epping Forest District Museum.

Epping Forest District Museum Volunteers

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

“Our museum collection volunteers come from all over the district and meet twice a week to catalogue and document new objects. In 2016 volunteers will be based at the newly refurbished Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey.

We’re always looking for new volunteers

“Volunteers are a mix of ages and interests. Some are here simply because they love history, others to learn new skills. One of our volunteers is using the sessions to gain experience to get future work in a museum” said Katie.

“We’re currently looking for new Visitor Assistant Volunteers. These volunteers will help engage visitors and interpret our collections, it’s a really exciting role and we’re thrilled to be expanding our volunteer team. I can offer them a fun, friendly and interesting environment to work in. If you’re interested in volunteering call me on 01992 716882 or email me at kweston@eppingforestdc.gov.uk.”

I find the work fascinating

Husband and wife volunteers Andrew and Sarah recently moved to the district and joined the group.

Andrew said: “Today we’re cataloguing medals from a man who served in North Africa and Italy in the Second World War. The medals were donated by his family after his death along with other personal items.”

“I’m particularly interested in these items as my father served in the same area at roughly the same time. We know the man lived in Ongar, and went to Theydon Bois Council mixed school where he was known as ‘the boy from the country’. I find the work fascinating – it’s like piecing together a jigsaw of someone’s life.”

I love old objects

Elisabetta recently moved from Italy where she was a student in anthropology. She said: “The artefacts in the UK are completely different from those in Italy. I volunteered because I love old objects. The best object I’ve seen here so far is an instruction manual for the first ever fire extinguisher dating back to the early 1900s. It includes a page which describes how a prototype was demonstrated in front of the pope.”

It’s really good fun

Retired teacher Carolyn was cataloguing photos and a programme from 1963 for the play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ performed by the Loughton based Becket Theatre Drama Company. She said: “I really love history. You get to see some wonderful objects and it’s really good fun!”

Want to volunteer?

Contact Katie Weston, volunteer coordinator at Epping Forest District Museum

 

#OurDay 2015

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A snapshot of 24 hours in the life of Epping Forest District Council for #OurDay 2015.

Jarvis, Karen and 14 keen cyclists set off on a 10 mile ‘Cycle For Health’ on ‪#‎OurDay‬

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

Find out more

Find out what was tweeted

 

Stephen Warner war diaries shared online

Written on . Posted in Media, Museum, Our attractions, Out and about

The diaries of a local soldier who served in the 9th Battalion Essex Regiment in World War 1 are being shared online on the day they were first written exactly 100 years ago.

Medals

Stephen Warner diaries

A blog to follow Stephen Warner’s journey in the First World War can be read at www.lowewoodmuseum.com.

Stephen kept a day-by-day account of his journey through the First World War. He served initially as a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps, but after some time there he felt that he could not let others bear the brunt of the battle and so became 2nd Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion Essex Regiment.

He served  in the 9th Battalion Essex Regiment with distinction and was awarded the Military Cross.

Read the blog

Follow Stephen Warner’s diaries at www.lowewoodmuseum.com.

The diaries are part of Lowewood Museum’s collection. They provide an insight into an individual’s experience of the First World War.

 

Book your kids summer activities now

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Museum, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Youth activities, summer sports, family entertainment, activity camps & more – book your kids summer activities now!

Summer activities 2015

You will find lots of exciting things to do throughout the school holidays. There’s a wide variety of activities including arts and crafts, children’s theatre and multisport activity sessions.

The Epping Forest Inclusion Project runs a number of sessions and activities for children and young people with additional needs.

Book your activities in 3 easy steps

      1. Choose the activities you’d like your kids to attend

        Read our summer activities brochure 2015 (pdf 1.26MB)

      2. Book and pay for the activities online

        to book by telephone please call 01992 564226 from 1 July

      3. Add the dates to your diary

        Get ready to celebrate the summer!

What’s going on?

  • Activity Camp

Activity Camp is the new playschemes programme from Epping Forest District Council. Each day of the Activity Camp is jam packed with sports, arts, dance and drama activities that will keep young children smiling and having fun all day long. Find out more in our summer activities brochure 2015 (pdf 1.26MB).

  • Play in the Forest

Play in the Forest is all about playing games and having fun in the forest. Play Rangers will bring along a wide range of equipment and activities for children and young people to enjoy and will help them explore the forest. Activities will include den building, nature trails and woodland arts and crafts. Find out more in our summer activities brochure 2015 (pdf 1.26MB).

  • Play in the Park

Play in the Park is all about playing games and having fun outdoors. Play Rangers will bring along a wide range of equipment for children and young people to enjoy and will help organise games. Space Hoppers, flying saucers, cricket, football, art & crafts … endless fun! Find out more in our summer activities brochure 2015 (pdf 1.26MB).

Celebrate the summer

Councillor Helen Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder said: ‘Don’t let your kids get bored this summer! Our summer activities brochure is packed full of fun and exciting ideas.’

‘Give your kids the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends … book now and celebrate the summer!’

 

Museum Heritage Lottery fund project update

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

Building work has begun on Epping Forest District Museum’s Heritage Lottery Fund redevelopment project. Work began on 20 April 2015 after Coniston Limited was appointed to do the construction.  Coniston Limited have worked on a number of museum based projects including the Imperial War Museum, The British Museum and are also currently working on the refurbishment of the Europe Galleries at the Victorian and Albert Museum.

Museum, Heritage and Culture team on a site visit

Work has started to prepare the building for its new layout and expanded facility. The museum which is extending into the first floor above the local library has been opened up to create a blank canvas for construction to begin on the new room layouts. The stairs have been removed and work has also begun to prepare the space for the lift which will be installed to make the museum fully accessible.

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council’s Leisure and Community Services said: “It is fantastic to see the building work has begun and that the museum’s redevelopment is really progressing now. We are all very much looking forward to seeing the next stages when the new layout and accessibility features will really begin to take shape. The final product will be a great facility for both Waltham Abbey but also the wider community.”

The next stages of the project will include the installation of new wiring and electrical systems before the decoration can begin as well as the continuing work to install the lift and new staircase.

Another major part of the project is the opening up of the front door to 39 Sun Street which will form the new main entrance to the museum. This work will also take place in the coming months.

Museum volunteers nominated for award

Written on . Posted in Community, Media, Museum, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

The collections team at Epping Forest District Museum has been nominated for the 2015 SHARE Volunteer Awards in the Behind the Scenes Award category. The volunteer collections team has been nominated for their contributions and fantastic work during 2014.

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

The first annual SHARE Volunteer Awards for Museums in the East received an impressive 87 nominations from 46 different museums around the Eastern region. Nominations were received from museums all sizes as the awards scheme seeks to recognise the valuable contribution that volunteers make to museums and their communities.

The judging panel is sitting in the middle of May and the winners will be announced at a celebration and awards evening with drinks and canapés on 4 June at the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds.

Expertise and enthusiasm

The museum’s Volunteer Coordinator, Katie Weston said: “We’re thrilled that our collections volunteer team have been recognised for the SHARE volunteer awards. They’re a brilliant team who add so much expertise and enthusiasm to the Epping Forest District Museum service. As a small museum team, we really appreciate the support of local volunteers, who are helping us shape our new museum through our heritage lottery funded re-display.”

The importance of volunteers

Of the regional scheme, Simon Floyd of SHARE Museums East said: “These Awards are an ideal chance to celebrate the importance of volunteers to museums, showcase the range of roles that volunteers undertake, and demonstrate the diversity of the people who offer their time as volunteers. In addition, through these awards, SHARE can highlight best practice in both volunteering and volunteer management.”

SHARE Museums East

Further information and a full list of those nominated can be found at

 

Mythical creatures exhibition

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Enter into the world of mythical creatures and discover an enchanted universe hidden from everyday life.

Come and see our free mythical creatures exhibition at Epping Forest College in Loughton from 14 April to 8 May 2015 … in here, they exist.

Mythical Creatures exhibition poster

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  • The display is in the pop up gallery in the ‘street’ within Epping Forest College
  • The exhibition is on Monday to Friday between 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm

From the dawn of human history, stories have been filled with tales of strange and mysterious beasts. Taking you on a journey from the ocean’s depths to the mountain’s peaks, this exhibition explores the provenance of mythical creatures from around the world, delving into the fantastical stories that explain their existence.

Mythical Creatures is a touring exhibition is being held from 14 April to 8 May 2015 at Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3SA. It is produced by Epping Forest District Museum and funded by Arts Council England.

Mythical Creatures has been curated by art students from Epping Forest College as part of Epping Forest District Museum’s Young Curators Programme. Inspired by the legends, these students have crafted a series of original artworks to display within the exhibition that express their own interpretations of mythical creatures. From a giant origami Nidhogg Dragon to chilling images of a modern Medusa, this exhibition is filled with fascinating, frightening and fantastical artworks that will stretch your mind and imagination.

This exhibition is the 5th in a series of touring exhibitions produced by Epping Forest District Museum and funded by Arts Council England. Additional funding has been awarded by the Royal Opera House Bridge to enable the museum to run its Young Curators programme. After its launch at Epping Forest College, Mythical Creatures will go on to tour the East of England.

 

Pupils spruce up museum’s garden

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Students from King Harold School in Waltham Abbey visited Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon to give the garden a makeover ahead of the museum’s busy Easter weekend.

The finished garden

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The 12 students were taking part in Epping Forest District Council’s volunteering initiative to introduce school students to skills outside the classroom. They took an active role in designing and planning the museum’s planting beds as well as weeding and pruning.

This is the first time the museum has hosted a volunteering project in the garden thanks to the partnership between Broxbourne Borough Council and Epping Forest District Council.

 

Conference targets growth in tourism

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Councillors, Countryside and wildlife, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Tour de France, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Local business people who want to make more from tourism are invited to the One Epping Forest Tourism and Visitor Board Tourism Conference on 20 March at the Marriott Hotel, Waltham Abbey. The conference which starts at 2pm is free. Organisers aim to boost local tourism and visitor offer as well as increasing income and jobs in the district.

EOR

Chairman is leading the investment drive for local tourism

Worth almost £200m per annum and already supporting 7% of local employment, the tourism economy is significant to growth in the Epping Forest District and offers opportunities for both established and new business to capitalise upon.

Partners on the Tourism and Visitor Board believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of local potential and offer the conference as an opportunity for attractions and those who would benefit from a growing number of visitors to come along, discover what’s already happening across the district, and contribute their views on how working together can maximise these opportunities.

A range of speakers will address different subjects including accessing grants to promote investment, new ideas for activities designed to boost visitor numbers and the wider picture and support from Visit Essex.

Help us plan a better future

Councillor Tony Boyce, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Chairman of the Tourism and Visitor Board said: “Our district is already performing well in terms of its visitor economy which has grown steadily in the last few years. With a range of top attractions such as the forest, Epping Ongar Railway, historic Waltham Abbey plus tranquil countryside and a host of great restaurants, pubs, high streets and independent shops, it can do even better. We want this conference to bring together all those already working in the sector or thinking about expanding into or starting out in the visitor economy to come along and help us plan a better future”.

Those who would find this conference particularly beneficial include

  • Anyone involved with or with an interest in the visitor and tourism economy
  • Anyone looking for business building opportunities Anyone who values networking with local tourism and visitor related businesses
  • Anyone interested in finding out how Visit Epping Forest and Visit Essex are supporting and promoting business growth in the district

Book your place now

The conference is free for local businesses. To secure a place register at www.eventbrite.co.uk (search Epping Tourism Conference).

For further information contact Quentin Buller at qbuller@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or 01992 564116 or visit www.visiteppingforest.org/members.

Top visitor destinations

Councillor Boyce recently took Essex County Councillor George Kieffer on a whistle-stop tour of just a few of the district’s tourist and visitor attractions

  • The market town of Epping
  • High Beach Forest Centre in Epping Forest
  • Marriott Hotel Waltham Abbey
  • Waltham Abbey church, grounds and market square
  • The Royal Gunpowder Mills via Lea Valley White Water Centre
  • Chigwell Village (via Loughton)
  • Mayhem (Paintball)
  • Stapleford Airfield
  • Greenstead Church and Ongar town centre
  • Smith’s Brasserie
  • Ongar station – Epping Ongar Heritage Railway Train to North Weald Station.
  • North Weald Battle of Britain Airfield
  • Ashylns Organic Farm
  • Phoenix Hotel

Reasons to visit the Epping Forest district

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

 

Museum secures ‘resilience’ funding

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

The Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey and the Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon have just been awarded £55,000 from Arts Council England as part of the Museum Resilience Fund. Epping Forest District Museum, which is currently undergoing a major capital redevelopment supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is 1 of only 2 museums in Essex to have been awarded funding.

‘Lady Godiva’ visiting Waltham Abbey Museum in 2012

Lady Godiva at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey.

The Arts Council Museum Resilience Fund, part of its strategic funding programme, has been designed to support museums to become more sustainable and resilient. The grant will go to support 2 strands of work

  1. The first is to explore the possibility of setting up a body to secure funding for the delivery of museum, heritage and culture activity in the Epping Forest District and the Borough of Broxbourne
  2. The second strand of work would be to explore other opportunities created by the expanded museum offer and the services provided. A further application will be made to support the implementation of any recommendations later this year

Engage in the rich heritage

Museum, Heritage and Culture Manager Tony O’Connor says: “We are delighted to have secured this funding for this work at this exciting time in the museum services development and are grateful for the support of Arts Council England in providing the opportunity to undertake this piece of work, which will improve the opportunities for residents and visitors to Epping Forest and Broxbourne to engage in the rich heritage and cultural offer we share.”

Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council’s Leisure and Community Services said: “Achieving this funding will allow us to explore how the museum, heritage and culture service can continue to contribute to the health, wellbeing and economic development of the district in a sustainable way. Ensuring the museum is sustainable in the long term will ensure the newly developed building continues to contribute to Waltham Abbey town, business and communities.”