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

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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.


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 (search Epping Tourism Conference).

For further information contact Quentin Buller at or 01992 564116 or visit

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

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Museum secures ‘resilience’ funding

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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.”


King Harold Day

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Attractions including a living history re-enactment camp, archery, falconry display and the Queen’s entourage were some of the attractions at the Annual King Harold Day Festival in Waltham Abbey.

A Knight and a Chairman

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More than 4,000 visitors were entertained by an array of colourful attractions. A traditional procession of medieval dressed performers walked along Sun Street through the Market Square to the King Harold Memorial Stone where Councillor Tony Boyce , Chairman of Council of Epping Forest District Council and Councillor Ann Mitchell MBE, Town Mayor laid floral wreaths.


The Great War exhibition at Lowewood Museum

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A new exhibition will open at Lowewood Museum on Saturday 13 September 2014, marking the centenary of the start of the First World War. The display will explore how the Borough of Broxbourne was affected.

The free exhibition, entitled ‘The Great War: Home Life and Service during the 1914-18 War’, first takes visitors back to 1914, revealing how the War was met with initial excitement by many, with huge numbers volunteering to enlist in Kitchener’s army.

The Great War Exhibiton poster

The exhibition goes on to show how this initial excitement quickly declined as the horrors of war began to show. By 1915, Britain was on full alert as the menacing zeppelin entered the skies. By the end of 1915, 37 tonnes of bombs had been dropped over Britain and the Borough of Broxbourne did not escape. For the first time in history Britain faced a world war, with threats from land, air and sea.

From the top to the bottom of society, people stepped up to help with the war effort. This exhibition reveals just this, showing how local people adapted and did their bit, from the role of local women and the Special Constabulary, to the establishment of make-shift hospitals like Rosehill in Hoddesdon.

Exhibits include a collection of diaries written by Stephen Warner, the great grandson of John Warner of Hoddesdon. During the War, Stephen served initially as a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps, but after a 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 where he was served with distinction and was awarded the Military Cross, which also can be seen on display.

Find out more

The exhibition runs from 13 September to 20 December 2014 and entry is free.

You can find the address, contact details and opening times on the Lowewood Museum website.


Funday Sunday at North Weald

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The sun shone as record crowds enjoyed the best Funday yet at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 7 September.

Thousands of happy families and plane enthusiasts started arriving early in the day for the latest event organised by Weald Aviation and Epping Forest District Council.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane completed the first official air display at North Weald Airfield for 15 years (1999 being the last). Stalls, exhibitions, music, classic cars and a funfair for children kept everyone happy on the ground.

The Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre and the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Tony Boyce were joined by members of the Royal British Legion and veterans of Afghanistan to take the salute. The Epping Forest Pipe Band led the march past and the Last Post was played in remembrance of all who have lost their lives in defence of freedom.

Band of Brothers

2014 is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings marking the start of the liberation of Europe in 1944. North Weald Airfield played a major role in the invasion as the starting point for Czech soldiers in the multi-national airborne force. 50 years later it reprised a similar role as the backdrop to Band Of Brothers, the landmark television series produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Visitors were able to see a special exhibition about the filming of scenes at the airfield with a real DC3 Dakota and many military vehicles forming the backdrop to a display of photographs taken from the film sets.

Fun of the fair

Fairground rides, slides and bouncy castles were free for children in the main arena. Classic cars including Ford Mustangs, MGs and Volkswagen Campers were on show. Many of the airfield’s classic cold-war jets including 2 Gnats made famous by the Red Arrows were on static display. The pride of North Weald’s Cold War jets Hawker Hunter Fox 1 formed up for a spectacular flying display with the ‘Norwegian’ Vampire.

Lord Petre and Councillor Tony Boyce

Marvellous event

District Council Chairman Tony Boyce congratulated everyone involved in the event. He said: “I want to say thank you to everyone at EMAS Weald Aviation, Epping Forest District Council, and the huge number of individuals and other organisations that made it such a fantastic day. It was a marvellous event and a true measure of the community spirit that makes our district such a great place.”

He continued: “I also want to pay a special tribute to the veterans, young and old, who joined us for the day. It was a real privilege for me and the Lord Lieutenant to stand and take the salute with them. In particular I want to say how much I enjoyed meeting RAF medics Kevin and Laura McClean and their young daughter. Both must have saved many lives while serving in Afghanistan on casualty evacuation duties. Kevin is still in the RAF while Laura now works in a local hospital. For me they epitomized all that is best about our great Country and I was proud to stand beside them.”

Profits from the North Weald Airfield Community Day will be donated to the Royal British Legion and the Herts Air-Ambulance.

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Photographic archive donated to museum

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The Epping Society has donated a collection of approximately 150 8″ x 10″ monochrome photographs of street views of buildings in Epping and Coopersale to the Epping Forest District Museum.

The photos, taken in the early 1970’s by Stuart Turner LRPS form part of his bequest to the Society. The majority of his pictures were left to English Heritage but he wanted these to be kept in the local area. As well as these photographs the Society is donating around 20 postcards and smaller prints as well as approximately 100 colour prints of Epping High Street in 2003. The photos will be looked after for future generations to enjoy.

Jill Holmen and Andrew Smith

Collection Management Officer Jill Holmen said: “We are extremely grateful to the Epping Society for this generous donation. These photos will be a vital record of changes to shop ownership and detail of everyday life and the changing street scene. They will also be of interest to researchers and visitors.”

Epping Society Chairman Andrew Smith, who handed over the photographs said: “We are delighted to present these photos to Epping Forest District Museum. They will now be available to a much wider audience and even more people will be able to enjoy them.”

Images have been digitised and will be available to view on the Epping Society website.

Museum redevelopment

The Museum is currently closed for redevelopment. However, there is still plenty going on, both in the district and at our sister museum, Lowewood, in Hoddesdon.


Still life drawing workshop for young people at Lowewood Museum

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Young people aged between 13 and 17 years are invited to get creative at Lowewood Museum for a still life drawing workshop.

Part of the ‘Young People in the Arts’ programme, the session is suitable for anyone who has an interest in learning how to draw still life or those who want to fine tune their sketching skills.

Still Life Drawing poster

Working with a professional artist, participants will learn how to draw the Museum’s objects in still life arrangements. From pencil to pastel, this workshop will allow young people to explore a variety of mediums, helping them to discover their favourite drawing styles.

This workshop caters for any level of artist, from the experienced to the beginner – everyone will learn how to draw still life arrangements confidently.


Saturday 23 August between 11am and 1pm.

How much?

£3 per person. There are just 12 places so young people are asked to book early to avoid disappointment by calling the Museum on 01992 445596.


Village day a big success

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Fun was had by all at the Fyfield Village Fun Day on Saturday 9 August.

Officially opened by Chairman of Council Councillor Tony Boyce, there was plenty to see and do. With attractions for young and old it really brought the community together as well as drawing in families from across the district. The event, organised by Epping Forest District Council, was held to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Children being entertained by Punch & Judy

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Well-known children’s author and illustrator Nick Butterworth ran a drawing session, which was then followed by book signings – including his popular stories of Percy the Park Keeper! With family connections in Fyfield, it was a pleasure to have him attend and see him bring joy to the children who met him.

Children were entertained by the Punch and Judy shows with ‘Dog’ and ‘Sword’ balloons being made.  They also enjoyed playing with the large selection of toys provided by the Council’s Community Development Play in The Park Team and Spurgeon’s Children’s Centre.

Animal lovers weren’t left out with ferrets and owls on display. Teenagers were invited to join in the basketball shootout activity as well as taking part in the Epping Forest Youth Council games and consultation.

BBQ, teas and cakes and the bar proved popular. Musical entertainment was provided by the local Ukulele Band and families had the opportunity to look around fire engines and board the part bus, part train from Epping Ongar Railway, which was made for the original TV advert for London travel cards.

Bikes were repaired and serviced during a special workshop, plants were on sale, games and a raffle were held as well as a Chocolate Tombola. Epping Forest District Museum provided an informative display themed around World War I in Fyfield and our Arts Team displayed the outcome of their ‘Arts in Windows’ war-themed project.

Epping Forest Youth Council secured funding from the 02 Think Big Fund and also sourced £300 worth of prizes from local businesses for the activities on their stall. This in turn enabled them to raise £106.44, which has been donated to Help for Heroes.

This event was part of the Rural Roots Project to work with rural communities in partnership with local groups from Fyfield. A church service was held on Sunday 10 August, remembering those lost during the War.