Congratulations on Torch Relay success

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Olympics, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

A message from the Leader of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread on the passing of the Olympic Torch Relay through the Epping Forest district.

I would like to thank everyone involved in the organisation of all the events surrounding the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay into the district. Thanks are also due to all those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes in the weeks and months running up to the event.

Waltham Abbey’s Moment to Shine arrived as the clouds cleared and the sun shone for the arrival of the Flame. An estimated 20,000 people lined the streets of the Abbey to welcome the Flame and send it on its way to the Lee Valley White Water Centre, where it took to the Olympic rapids.

The rain stayed away for the duration of the relay and once it had left our district, visitors were able to enjoy an array of activities into the afternoon.

The whole event could not have been as successful without the hard work and dedication of district and town council staff, the emergency services, as well as the volunteers who ensured everyone was safe whilst having an fantastic time during this once in a lifetime event.

Finally I would like to record my gratitude to everyone who came along to make it an unforgettable day for the district.


Torchbearers shine across region

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Olympics, Our activities, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Your community

Torchbearers from the Epping Forest district proudly represented the area far and wide across the Eastern Region of the UK.

Scarlett Stock of North Weald was nominated by friends and colleagues for her work supporting the district’s young people on Epping Forest District Youth Council. Scarlett carried the Flame in front of huge crowds in Maldon.

Holly Lambert from Waltham Abbey travelled out of the County to Haverhill in Suffolk for her big moment while Daniel Spillman of Epping and Joseph Farquharson from Theydon Bois carried the Flame through the streets of Colchester.

Leslie Snellin from Abridge had less far to travel when he carried the Torch in Brentwood.

Grace Boxall from Buckhurst Hill will be carrying the Flame through Redbridge on 22 July 2012.

Torchbearers in Waltham Abbey

The 5 Torchbearers who ran with the Flame in Waltham Abbey are

  1. Liu Dong – Beijing
  2. Steven Basing – Bumbles Green
  3. Suki Brownsdon – GB and Australia
  4. Ishan Guha – India
  5. Hannah Agyeman-Prempeh – Basildon

Cheering crowds in Waltham Abbey

Community celebrations as Olympics comes to town

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Museum, Olympics, Our attractions, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

East met West as thousands of local people celebrated the Olympic Torch Relay arrival in Waltham Abbey on Saturday 7 July. Estimates of up to 20,000 people thronged the streets, many enjoying the antics of street-entertainers preceding the Flame. As the Flame departed for the Lee Valley White Water Centre, the Epping Forest Pipe Band marched from Waltham Abbey Town Hall towards the Meridian Line to be met by two Chinese lions dancing their way down from the Epping Forest District Museum.

Further displays of Chinese culture were on show outside the Museum where the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Brian Rolfe launched an exhibition of China in the East. Displays of Tai Chi and dance entertained the Sun Street crowds as further community events commenced in the Abbey Gardens.

The Epping Forest Pipe Band led spectators into the Abbey Gardens where they were treated to rousing performances from the Funky Voices choir, further performances of the Epping Forest Pipe Band and the Make a Move dancers.  In addition to the performances, there was a variety of activities for both children and adults, including Tai Chi demonstrations, Play in the Park games, Healthworks, Mini Beasts, canoeing machines and Giant Games.

Councillor Liz Webster, ‘Olympics Champion’ for Epping Forest District Council and Mayor of Waltham Abbey Town Council, was delighted with the day. She said: “Waltham Abbey turned on the style today. Nowhere has the Olympic Flame received a better reception than in Waltham Abbey. The crowds were amazing. I have never seen our streets so colourful or the town looking better.

“There are just so many people to thank. From the teams of workers mowing the grass, clearing litter and putting up decorations to the entertainers in Sun Street and the Abbey Gardens, everyone was wonderful. We should also remember the time and energy spent in planning the day. Epping Forest District Council, Waltham Abbey Town Council, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Waltham Abbey Town Centre Partnership, Essex Police and many other organisations working with local businesses and volunteers did a terrific job. The crowds had a marvellous time. I am sure it will live in the memories of people for many years to come.”


Police ask for patience as Torch arrives in Essex

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Olympics, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Police ask motorists to be patient as Olympic Torch Relay arrives from Suffolk into Essex later this week. Motorists are advised to check that their normal route will not be affected and if it does to expect some delays in order to ensure the event passes off smoothly.

Short delays can be expected on Friday, July 6 as the Torch arrives in Essex from Ipswich. It will be visiting Colchester, just before 8am, then on to Hatfield Peverel on to Heybridge and Maldon then to Rayleigh before a lunchtime event in Southend on Sea. From here it visits the Olympic Mountain Bike venue in Hadleigh,(2pm) travelling on to Basildon, through Grays, then Herongate and Brentwood (6pm) and up to Hylands Park, Chelmsford. The overnight stop is in Chelmsford where the large evening celebration event ‘Sparks will Fly’ will take place at Hylands House.

Traffic speed restrictions will be in place on the A414 Three Mile Hill and surrounding area for the evening celebration and motorists not attending the concert are recommended to find alternative routes where possible.

Waltham Abbey / Epping Forest invites you to welcome the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on Saturday 7 July 2012.

On Saturday July 7, just before 7am the convoy travels from Chelmsford to Harlow then out to Waltham Abbey and the Olympic Slalom Canoe Venue in Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire. After visiting a number of towns in Hertfordshire, the Torch returns to Essex through Stansted Mountfitchet, (11.50am) then on to Newport and Saffron Walden(12.30pm), finally leaving the county into Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in the early afternoon.

Roads along some sections of the route may be closed for some time before the torch arrives and until it has passed. There will also be a ‘rolling road closure’ moving with the torch. Traffic control arrangements have been designed to ensure that traffic flows return to normal as quickly as possible after the convoy has passed. Traffic marshals and stewards will be positioned along the route to offer help, advice and directions.

Police are asking motorists to remain patient if the torch is moving through an area where they are driving. Advice boards are in the locations where the Torch will be visiting and motorists are asked to take note of when there will be restrictions in their area. Police would like to thank motorists in advance for their consideration.

Spectators are also advised to plan their journey; allow themselves plenty of time to get to their chosen viewing point and listen to the advice given by traffic marshals and stewards. Police ask spectators to look after their belongings especially bags, purses and phones. In addition, parents are reminded to keep their children close so they are not in danger within the crowds or near to the road. Remember to lock/close windows and doors in your home and car before your leave.

ACC Sue Harrison said: “The Olympic Torch Relay celebrates local heroes, recognising their contribution to society and their achievements. For our local communities and every Torchbearer the Relay represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; it is our job to ensure they, and the spectators, enjoy their moment safely and securely.”
Information and advice will be on the Essex Police website via the Olympic page; via and via

Sparks Will Fly and Make a Move

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Come along and welcome the great Champion Marina Mightier to the Waltham Abbey Town Show this Sunday 24 June 2012, from 1pm to 2pm. As this beautiful giant continues her journey around the county she is collecting beads in order to play an incredible Glass Bead game at Hylands Park on 6 July.

Internationally renowned outdoor artists Walk the Plank have been working with Epping Forest Arts to create a procession, and welcome ceremony including the presentation of the Glass bead to Marina. There will be a procession of 50 dancers from the community accompanying Marina and the Epping Pipe Band will lead the spectacle around the arena.

County Councillor Jeremy Lucas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture said, “Sparks will Fly is a fantastic countywide celebration and I would encourage everyone in the Epping Forest District to come down to the event and welcome Marina.”

Sparks Will Fly will precede the most amazing en-masse dance spectacle that Waltham Abbey has ever seen. Make a Move involves over 300 dancers of all ages and abilities. These dancers will follow Marina with a fantastic performance to an especially composed score – a spectacle not to be missed!

Follow the Sparks will Fly journey by visiting the website – Like the page on Facebook: or follow Sparks will Fly on Twitter

Waltham Abbey Dog Show

Written on . Posted in Animal welfare, Our activities, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Golden Retriever at Dog ShowTown Mead Park in Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey is host to a Companion Dog Show on Sunday 3 June as part of the promotion of responsible dog ownership by both Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council. The show is raising money for German Shepherd Rescue (West Essex) and Hillside Dog Rescue.

The Kennel Club Licensed show opens at 10am with judging starting at 11am for both the pedigree and the obedience and novelty classes.

There will be 5 obedience classes, 18 novelty classes and 8 pedigree classes as well as various stalls, a barbecue, licensed bar and refreshments and a professional photographer.

Entries are £1.50 per class. There will also be a German Shepherd Rally with 10 classes.

Dogs need not be Kennel Club registered and may be of any breed except Pit Bull Terriers. Puppies under six months are not eligible for competition.

Full entry requirements and further information can be obtained by contacting Lyn Cook on 01992 564077 or email

Dog show schedule (pdf 80KB) Dog Show Schedule 3
Dog show poster (pdf 129KB) Companion Dog Show Poster

Waltham Abbey Portas-Plus bid

Written on . Posted in Business, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Responding to the Mary Portas review on struggling town centres, Waltham Abbey Town Team has submitted an exciting bid to run a pilot scheme to transform the Waltham Abbey town centre into an exciting place to discover, to visit, to shop and to relax with friends.

The team of local retail businesses, commercial and residential property agents, town centre landlords, Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce, Waltham Abbey Town Council and Waltham Abbey Town Partnership all contrs34ibuted interesting and innovative proposals to encourage residents, visitors and new businesses to the town centre. Everyone, including two dedicated officers from the District Council who invested much of their own time to the project, is to be congratulated on their imaginative ideas, their enthusiasm, their commitment and their determination to deliver a bid worthy of a market town with a long and fascinating history.

Key to the bid is the video that sets the scene of the town nestling between the ancient Epping Forest to the east and the gently flowing River Lea to the west. The commentary is given by the young son of a local retailer and there are interviews with young people from the local school, expressing their hopes for their future, particularly their employment opportunities. The town centre is honestly portrayed with shots of the empty properties, a hopeful new businessman and a thriving niche business that exemplifies all that is needed for success.

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The proposal includes the further promotion of the town as “Waltham Abbey, Festival Town of the Lea Valley” adding events including exhibitions in the Town Hall and book and antique fairs in the Market Square.

Young people feature strongly in the bid with plans for them to work with Epping Forest College on Waltham Abbey TV and Radio Waltham Abbey, a programme of training culminating with qualification for work placements and assistance to receive supervised work experience and Saturday employment opportunities.

All this and a town centre equipped with quality street furniture to entice those who have come to visit or to shop, to relax, enjoy a coffee or a cream tea and spend some time talking with friends.

Waltham Abbey has suffered from the development of “out of town” shopping centres and the loss of employment opportunities during the last two decades yet, fortunately, it is not amongst the most deprived towns in England. The foundations for regeneration are already here, the scheme for revival has been created and, whatever the outcome of our bid, we have the plan, now, to bring new life and vigour into our town centre. It may take longer without the injection of cash but we have the will to succeed.

The letters of support that have flooded in, including landlords, retailers, charities and community organisations, have all indicated the same message: our town has the advantage of having retained a greater potential for recovery and, with the inspiration and the dedication that has been exhibited by the town team we can regain our prosperity and transform the town centre into a thriving hub of social and economic activity.

Police exhibition

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

Drawn from the extensive police archives collected locally and held by the Epping Forest District Museum, this exhibition provides a flavour of the lives of police men and women. In addition to the stories there are the tools of a policeman’s trade in the days before they arrived at high speed in motor cars.

The exhibition is being held between 17 March to 23 June 2012 at Epping Forest District Museum.

This exhibition tells the changing story of the Policing of the Epping Forest District over the last 160 years, and the impact of law enforcement by the Metropolitan Police, the Essex police and Ministry of Defence Police on the history of our area.

The exhibition is about ‘old fashioned’ policing, of horses and bicycles and big blue telephone boxes that are better recognised as time machines today. So take a step back in time with us to take a nostalgic view of law enforcement in the style of Dixon of Dock Green and PC49.

As well as a wealth of photographs, uniform and equipment the exhibition also features a reconstruction 1980’s police office. For those not old enough to remember the real thing the exhibition features a child size “Tardis” police box and a reconstruction of the interior from the days before radio and mobile phones.

The exhibition will be held at the Epping Forest District Museum, 39/41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1EL.

Entrance to the museum is Free and opening hours are Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10am to 4pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm.

For information contact 01992 716882 or

Waltham Abbey Olympic Flame route

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

A young teaching assistant from Waltham Abbey will be cheered on when he carries the Olympic Flame through the town on 7 July 2012. Steven Basing from Bumbles Green, Nazeing was announced as one of the Torchbearers as the street route was confirmed on Monday 19 March.

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Steven currently teaches at Hillhouse Church of England Primary School but he has also spent a great deal of time abroad working with young people on Camp America and with orphans in Kenya. He hopes to bring about positive change in the world.

Steven saw people suffering widespread neglect and the dangers of ignoring human rights in Africa, contrasting with four summers working at a special needs camp in the USA. He has also seen the positive effect of sport on people, watching with pride his special needs campers participating in a special Olympics”.

Residents of, and visitors to, the Epping Forest District are being encouraged to welcome the Olympic Flame when it arrives in Waltham Abbey on Saturday 7 July 2012.

Click on photo to enlarge and start slideshow.

The streets along the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay were announced on Monday 19 March. They can be viewed in full at, which gives street-by-street details and proposed start times for when the Olympic Flame will travel through Epping Forest District.

Residents living in and around the district can find out when it will be travelling along their nearest high street, through their town square or past their local village shop. The Torchbearers confirmed to carry the Flame today include those that were successful through the public nomination processes run by LOCOG and the Presenting Partners, Coca Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. LOCOG has endeavoured to slot all community Torchbearers within an hour of their nomination address so family and friends can cheer them on. Each Torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform which has been designed by Adidas.

Councillor Ricki Gadsby, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Wellbeing said “I encourage all residents and visitors to line the route to welcome the Flame to this district. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic Flame and witness the spectacle of the Olympic Torch Relay. This announcement today brings the route to life and I am looking forward to welcoming visitors and the inspirational torchbearers to the historic town of Waltham Abbey in July.”

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG added: “Today we bring the Olympic Torch Relay to life. The Flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey around the UK will bring the excitement of the Games to our streets. Now the people know the route the Olympic Flame will be carried along and the Torchbearers for their community, they can start planning how they might celebrate and make it Epping Forest District’s moment to shine.”

An average of 115 Torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000-mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Torchbearer street route in Waltham Abbey:

  1. starting at the Wheatsheaf public house along the Crooked Mile at 8.26 am
  2. turning off at Parsons Restaurant
  3. along Sun Street passing through the Meridian Line
  4. across the Market Square
  5. along Church Lane in front of the historic Waltham Abbey
  6. into Highbridge Street
  7. and along to the White Water Centre

LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in each Nation and Region of the UK to devise the route and is taking the Olympic Flame to within ten miles of over 95% of the population.

Schools across the UK can now access free learning resources linked to the Olympic Torch Relay through Get Set (, the official London 2012 education programme. The activities are designed to help schools and colleges make the most of the Relay by lining the route, and cheering on their local Torchbearers. Resources include ideas for making Flame hats and shakers to welcome the Flame, an assembly presentation to get the school behind a Torchbearer and a film showing one Get Set network school’s preparations for the Relay.

Olympic Torch preparations discussed

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

On Monday 12 March 2012 Cabinet met and discussed the Olympic Torch, Leader Lodge and the house building programme among many other items.

Council prepares for Olympic Torch

Money has been set aside to ensure the passage of the Olympic Torch relay passes safe and sound through Waltham Abbey.

Detailed announcements are due later but the district council already knows the Olympic Flame will draw crowds as it comes through Waltham Abbey on its way to the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Cabinet agreed to recommend the council set aside up to £15,000 predominantly to ensure the safety of spectators and participants although councillors hope not to have to spend all the money allocated. Councillors also hope to see other organisations contribute. Councillor Ricki Gadsby, Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder described it as a modest amount of money for a significant and beneficial event.

Keeping council flats safe
A number of concessions to council tenants who make communal areas of flats more homely were confirmed. Councillors debated further relaxation of the rules to set aside recommendations of the Fire Authority and include carpets in the exceptions list. Council tenant Barry Johnson, a former fireman called on councillors to support calls for carpets to be retained. Debate surrounded how far the council should follow the advice of the Fire Authority, balanced against perception of the actual risk to tenants.

Councillor Maggie McEwen, Housing Portfolio Holder emphasised her sympathy for tenants who wished to retain carpets in communal areas while drawing a distinction between the rights of private householders to decide their own levels of safety and the council which had a responsibility as landlord for the safety of others.

Exceptions recommended in the report to cabinet included pictures on walls provided the frames contain no glass, rubber-backed mats, flame-retardant curtains and non-flammable items such as pot-plants provided they do not block escape routes.

Following a long and intense debate, councillors also agreed to vary the recommendations of the report so that where all the tenants and leaseholders of a block agreed to meet certain conditions recommended by the Fire Authority, concessions would be made to retain communal carpets.

Cabinet also resolved that the Housing Scrutiny Panel consider an enhanced programme to install smoke-detectors in all council-owned residential properties.

Leader Lodge in North Weald
Leader Lodge, originally associated with the war-time airfield at North Weald is to be put up for sale. Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet agreed to seek tenders based on keeping the current building as well as any plans to demolish as councillors seek to meet the aspirations of local residents consulted through the recent ‘Planning for Real’ exercise.

House building programme
Another step has been taken towards restarting council house building in Epping Forest. Members of the district council Cabinet approved recommendations leading to recruitment process of a development agent. When appointed, the agent will co-ordinate all professional building services including, financial, architectural, quantity surveying, construction and project management. The agent will undertake detailed development appraisals on each site identified by the council. Once planning permissions have been secured, the agent will also undertake the tendering processes to appoint building contractors.

Separately, cabinet agreed to use capital receipts of £125,000 from the development of the council-owned site at Millfield High Ongar to fund future council house building.

Information and cash payments
Epping Forest District Council is set to employ Essex County Council to provide information services via local libraries. District council information services currently provided in Loughton Library, Waltham Abbey Town Hall and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council will be provided by library staff. Staff at Chipping Ongar library will also take on formal district council information service provision.

Plans are also being developed for Waltham Abbey cash desk situated in Waltham Abbey Town Hall to be replaced by a kiosk in Waltham Abbey Library.