Create a better neighbourhood

Written on . Posted in Community, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Create … a better neighbourhood is a free event for community minded individuals and groups.

The event takes place on Wednesday 5 October 2011 at Waltham Abbey Town Hall, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1DE.

Taking the next step – 10am to 1pm

An opportunity for anyone new to being a trustee, or who has been a trustee for a while and needs refreshing, or anyone interested in forming a new group.

  • What should your group be doing?
  • Identify essential roles and responsibilities
  • Promoting your group
  • How to recruit new members
  • Finance tips


Breaking it down – 2pm to 4pm

Choose a workshop from the following …

  • Chairs update – top tips for effective meetings, get up to date news and legislation
  • The role of the secretary and minute taking – find out the legal and practical purpose of minutes and learn confident techniques
  • Looking after the finances – simple do’s and don’ts, good practice, top tips

Light lunch provided. Delegate packs. Full day or half day bookings available.

To book your place call Epping Forest District Community Services on 01992 564226 or email

London 2012 Olympic festival comes to Waltham Abbey

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

W-Fest-4A unique afternoon of entertainment and activity. With just 1 year to go to the start of the London 2012 Olympic games, over 300 young people and families came out on a glorious summer’s day to join in celebrations at the W festival in Waltham Abbey.

Accompanied by the sounds of DJ Clay, young people enjoyed the many activities and events put on, making fantastic use of the new Skate Park in the skateboarding and BMX competitions.

Budding young football fanatics were inspired by expert Freestyler demonstrations and coaching sessions were provided by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Football.

The free festival at Townmead Recreation Ground on Sunday 24 July 2011 had a wonderful community atmosphere. It was part of the London 2012 open weekend to celebrate the beginning of the London Olympics.

Presenting prizes to the competition winners was Ken Angold-Stephens, chairman of Epping Forest District Council. He was joined by London 2012 mascot Mandeville who came along to support the event and meet everyone there as part of a journey across the UK to inspire young people to choose sport.

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Screenings of the skateboard classic ‘Lords of Dogtown’ and last year’s hit film ‘Streetdance, the movie’ were followed by a hip hop master class from ‘Game’, one of the film’s stars.

Hair braiding, henna tattoo and nail art were all very popular with the young people who were also encouraged to participate in dance workshops and a healthy lifestyle quiz.

The event was organised by Epping Forest District Council in partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Waltham Abbey Town Council. Skateboarding and BMX competitions were co-ordinated by Stanley Bridges Cycle Shop and Community Development. Films were arranged by Epping Forest Arts and dace workshops and quiz were run by HealthWorks. The Townmead Social Club provided a special W Festival menu with great food and refreshments throughout the day.

Waltham Abbey to Benefit from Olympic Legacy

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

Residents and businesses in Waltham Abbey and surrounding areas have reason to celebrate after the International Canoe Federation awarded the British Canoe Union the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. In a tightly fought contest, the British Canoe Union managed to prevail over a strong bid from the French Canoe Federation, bringing the Championships back to British waters for the first time in 20 years.

The ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships will provide an olympic legacy for the White Water Centre

Delighted with the announcement, Paul Owen, British Canoe Union, CEO, commented The British Canoe Union is extremely proud and excited to have been awarded the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships at Lee Valley White Water Centre. We are fully commitment to delivering a World Class Event on behalf of the International Canoe Federation. I would like to thank our partners for the fantastic support the British Canoe Union has received in preparation of the bid, especially that of our Government, Lee Valley Regional Park, and UK Sport who all played a substantial part in the bids success. I am convinced that the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championship will be a fantastic event, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase our sport worldwide.

A contributing factor in the decision to award the Championship to Great Britain was to ensure the legacy of the State of the Art white water stadium post the Olympic Games, Lee Valley and Canoe Slalom are the first 2012 legacy venue to have won a World Championships. 

Another great strength of the bid was the partnerships and commitment displayed between Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, UK Sport and the BCU. A thrilled Shaun Dawson Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority commented We are delighted to host the World Championships here at Lee Valley White Water Centre. The competition allows us to see legacy in action and raise the profile of this exciting sport to a wider audience. We are looking forward to hosting the event and bringing an international audience to the Centre in 2015.

Seb Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee said:  This is fantastic news.  We always said that hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games would lead to a legacy of world class sporting events happening in the UK.  The Lee Valley White Water Centre will be a fantastic Canoe Slalom venue in 2012 and 2015 and I offer my congratulations to the British Canoe Union, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and all involved in the successful bid.

The BCU has a membership of over 75,000, including over 550 affiliated clubs and 170 approved centres. According to the RYA Watersports Survey there are an estimated 1.26 million people take to the water in a canoe each year. The vast majority do so under a watchful eye of one of the 11,000 BCU Qualified coaches or as part of an affiliated organisation.

Bellringers to mark Centenary at Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Waltham Abbey ChurchWaltham Abbey will be a first stop for bell ringers from all over the UK converging on London on Saturday 26 March to celebrate the centenary of their weekly journal, ‘The Ringing World’.

‘The Ringing World’ was first issued on Friday 24 March 1911 and its centenary is being marked by a big celebration in central London on Saturday.

Bellringers from all over in the UK have a number of different routes to get to the celebrations via churches at which they are able to ring.

For those coming from the north east (M11/A10), Waltham Abbey Church will be their first port of call and they will have the opportunity to ring the Abbey`s twelve bells between 9 and 10am on Saturday morning before continuing their journeys into London.

Jane Walters, Tower Captain at Waltham Abbey, said: “It is a great privilege that the Abbey will be one of the first churches where the bells will be rung on this great day”.

As well as ringing at towers in and around London throughout the day the celebrations include exhibitions, Evensong at Westminster Abbey and a Centenary Reception at Central Hall, Westminster, and a hand bell concert at St Margaret`s Westminster.

Business and Tourism Day Seminar

Written on . Posted in Business, Local business, Olympics, Out and about, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area

The Marriott Hotel in Waltham Abbey is hosting a Business and Tourism Day Seminar on Wednesday 16 March 2011 from 7:30am to 8pm.

This event will provide inspiration, ideas, and support to take advantage of the business opportunities, created around Waltham Abbey and Waltham Cross by The Lee Valley White Water Centre, the finest white water centre in the world; and The London 2012 Olympic Games Canoe Slalom Events being held there. There are opportunities to bring investment, business and jobs into the area.

The London 2012 Games and its Legacy

    Seminar options include:

  • How to use the press to promote your business activities and events
  • How to use social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your business or activities
  • An economic development study is being undertaken that will look at how the Lee Valley White Water Centre can be used to create a leisure destination. This is an opportunity to voice your opinions on what you feel will improve the area, as a leisure destination, and for your business
  • Why is branding important and how can businesses work together to maximises customer demand`. A brainstorming session on how to brand an area
  • How to win Olympic contracts through `Compete for`
  • Planners, machines or human beings. When do you need planning permission, how do you apply, what is the process and how do you increase your chances of your application being approved

Book your seminars online

Olympic Legacy – White Water Centre

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

The first positive signs of a legacy, which the 2012 Olympics could provide for Waltham Abbey, were unveiled when Andy Goodsell, the British Canoe Union`s (BCU) Competition Manager met with members of Waltham Abbey Town Partnership and outlined the details of the BCU`s bid to stage the 2015 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

The ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships will provide an olympic legacy for the White Water Centre

In his introduction to the members of Town Partnership, representing local businesses, organizations that contribute to the town`s tourist industry and all levels of local government, Andy spoke enthusiastically about the centre and provided a superb introduction to the background to the bid and the advantages that its success could bring to Waltham Abbey.

He provided members with a detailed breakdown of the costs that a successful bid would incur and outlined the source of some of the sponsorship that would need to be secured. He also made it clear that local sponsorship, large and small and in kind, too, would be a valuable source of support from local business and the community. 

In conclusion, the discussion moved to the outline of the long term benefits that the bid could bring to the UK,and to our area in particular. Locally this could be in the region of £1.5m: a tremendous contribution to the local economy.

Following the meeting Tony O`Connor Chairman of the WATP tourism group and Manager of Epping Forest District Council`s Museum in Waltham Abbey, said, “This proposal demonstrates the long term benefits the new Lee Valley White Water Centre brings to the local area. Waltham Abbey has a fantastic concentration of tourist attractions for a wide range of visitors. Events like this will increase the town`s exposure and allow potentially thousands of people to discover this hidden gem.”

Cathy MacBride Town Centre Officer, for Epping Forest District Council said, “The 2015 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships would attract thousands of people to the actual event over 5 days plus the competitors and support staff for a longer period. Lots of those visitors will be staying over night and will want great places to eat and shops to browse around. The potential legacy promised by the Olympics is beginning to show itself for businesses and the community.”

Monte Carlo comes to Waltham Abbey

Written on . Posted in Out and about, Residents, Sports, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Your area

The townspeople of Waltham Abbey are gearing up for the flying visit of classic cars in the Monte Carlo Historique Rally. Entering the event for the third time, Epping Forest District couple Gaye and Neil Sjoberg are among the Monte Carlo Historique entries from Glasgow heading to the first overnight stop in Waltham Abbey before crossing the Channel on their way to the South of France.

Over 50 classic cars are expected to leave Glasgow on Thursday 27 January, arriving in Waltham Abbey in the small hours of Friday.

As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Rally, Neil and friends brought four past Monte Carlo vehicles to the Abbey to meet District Councillor Anne Grigg, the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Mayor Councillor Ricki Gadsby. Neil`s 1967 Triumph Vitesse and 1969 Triumph Spitfire were accompanied by David Stimpson’s 1954 Jowett Jupiter (2nd in 1956) and Allan McNab’s 1927 Bugatti (Bugatti won in 1956).

Councillor Grigg joined Councillor Gadsby in wishing Neil well. Neil is crossing his fingers that wife and co-driver Gaye will be recovered from flu before the start of the Rally.

Having previously competed but failed in the gruelling but ultra-glamorous event in their Spitfire, Neil changed to the more powerful and spacious Vitesse last year to complete the rally 276th out of 520. The Historique Rally follows the week after the true Monte Carlo on the same course but with pre 1980 cars. The former being a racing test of the most modern in engineering innovation, the latter being an exercise in navigation, vehicle reliability and driving in difficult conditions.

Competitors and their support teams have just over 19 hours to make the first leg of the trip from Glasgow to Calais. Waltham Abbey Town Council is laying out the red carpet for the competitors as they enter Epping Forest District in the small hours of the morning.

Epping Forest District Council and Waltham Abbey Town Council are working together to support the event. District Council Chairman, Anne Grigg explained. “Neil is a well known local resident who runs The Epping Golf Course. This year is the one hundredth anniversary of the very first Monte Carlo Rally which also set off from Glasgow and hosted the start in 1973. When the organisers were looking for a suitable overnight stop, Neil immediately thought of the District. After a chat with the District Council he got straight on the phone to the Clerk of Waltham Abbey and back to the event organisers in Scotland.”

Councillor Ricki Gadsby continued: “We thought it was a great idea. Even though the cars will be coming to us in the middle of the night, it is a terrific opportunity for the town to show itself off. People love classic cars and the Monte Carlo carries its own romance. The Town Hall will be opened specially for the competitors as they get a few hours sleep before the next stage. Everyone is doing this for the love of the event with volunteers across the town coming to help.”

Adding colour to the warmup in Waltham Abbey last Tuesday, Neil introduced Dave Stimpson with his 1952 Jowett Jupiter and Allan McNab with his 1927 Bugatti. Also adding some Gallic Flair was local resident Michel Trouard-Riolle, currently of Upshire but originally from the Anjou region of France. Andy Farrow drove the Spitfire as stand-in for Gaye Sjoberg. While the Jowett and Bugatti will not be competing in this year’s rally, both these lovingly restored classics hold the Monte Carlo pedigree. Town and District Councillor Syd Stavrou was very happy to pose in the gorgeous red Jowett outside the Abbey church.

Cars are expected to start arriving in Waltham Abbey from about 1am on the morning of Friday 28 January. However, the process for Neil and Gaye starts days earlier. First to go will be the car, safely loaded on a transporter for the long haul up to Glasgow. Neil and Gaye fly up from Stansted but need to be in plenty of time for ‘scrutinising’.

“Everything on the car needs to be genuine, original and in good working order.” says Neil. “The scrutineers go over the car with a fine tooth comb. Safety is a prime consideration and old cars like these will be put through great stress before we reach Monte Carlo. Everything has to be right before we set off.

“The last time the Monte Carlo set off from Glasgow was nearly 40 years ago.” says Neil. “It will be a big event up there with a special reception for all the competitors the night before. The last time it set off from Glasgow only one car made it through deep Pennine snow. Hopefully we will have more luck.

“We have nineteen and a half hours to get to Calais. Half an hour late and you are out! Then it will be another 32 hours to reach the South of France.” Once you factor in traffic, repairs, food and rest stops for a bit of sleep it becomes a real marathon especially when you remember the cars are at least thirty years old.”

World Class White Water Centre Opens

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

The best venue of its type in the World, was how Sports Minister Hugh Robertson described Lee Valley White Water Centre following the official opening of the facilities by The Princess Royal on 9 December 2010. Princess Anne, President of the British Olympic Association started the first race on the brand new 300 metre Olympic Slalom Canoe Course.

Olympic athletes joined sporting celebrities including Lord Sebastian Coe and local civic leaders from Essex, North London and Hertfordshire for the opening of the Centre 85 weeks before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Situated on the boundary between Waltham Abbey in Epping Forest District and Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, the £31 million project is the first entirely new facility to be opened in anticipation of the Games. Delivered on time and within budget, John Armitt Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority described it as World Class – the best in its class.

Residents of Epping Forest District could not be better placed for the Olympic Games. Spectators will be encouraged to use public transport, with the district`s central line stations offering access to Stratford in a few minutes. Proposals are also being drawn up to make North Weald Airfield the hub of a Park and Ride service for the canoeing events at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. To the east of the District, Hadleigh Farm in Thurrock will host the Mountain Bike events at the very end of the Games.

Councillor Anne Grigg Chairman of Epping Forest District Council and Olympics Champion Councillor Liz Webster were among the invited guests at the White Water Centre. Councillor Webster said: We were blown away. Lee Valley White Water Centre is going to be a fantastic venue for the Olympic Games. Seeing members of the British Team come down the rapids in their canoes and rafts was terrific. However, the importance of the centre goes well beyond the training of the British Olympic Team and the hosting of the Olympic Games.

Councillor Webster continued: We also have a facility right on our doorstep for the whole community. We estimate the Centre will attract up to 70,000 visitors a year, bringing a massive boost to the local economy for decades to come. While the focus at the Games will be canoeing, people of any ability and experience will be able to enjoy the adrenalin rush of white water rafting. We are promised the Centre will also be available to our local community with young people particularly getting the opportunity to experience the thrills of rafting and canoeing.

Councillor Webster concluded: I would like to congratulate Lee Valley Regional Park, the Olympic Delivery Authority and everyone involved in the construction of what I believe will become an Iconic Olympic venue.”

New Buses for Waltham Abbey Community Groups

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Residents, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Waltham Abbey Town Council replaced two old minibuses that had both come to the end of their useful lives with two new white buses each seating about 15 people, one being fitted with a tail lift. The funds were kindly donated by the Waltham Abbey Branch of the Rotary Club, following its closure.

The buses were formally handed over to the Mayor of Waltham Abbey Town Council Councillor Mrs Ricki Gadsby on Wednesday 1 September 2010.

Mayor Mrs Ricki Gadsby accepting the minibuses

The buses are for use by community groups, if you would like further information regarding their use, then please call the Town Hall on 01992 714949 and ask for Bev.

King Harold Day Shortlisted for Tourism Award

Written on . Posted in Community, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

King Harold Day LogoWaltham Abbey`s hugely popular King Harold day, has been shortlisted to receive an Essex Tourism award. The medieval style family day out is competing with two other local attractions in the `Events and Festivals` category.

The Essex Tourism awards were introduced last year and are run by the Archant Media Group in conjunction with Essex County Council to promote local tourism in Essex. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner on 23 September 2010 at Le Talbooth in Dedham, Colchester. The successful candidates will be nominated in the Regional Tourism Awards and then on to National Awards.

King Harold day is held each year on the nearest Saturday to his death (14 October) and takes place in the beautiful Abbey Gardens at Waltham Abbey. The day which this year takes place on Saturday 16th October 2010, consists of a variety of activities and exhibitions based on the style of living in the middle ages, including a medieval village, crafts, food, weaving, calligraphy and the preparation and care of weapons and armour.

People dressed in historic costume for King Harold Day

This year due to the success in previous years, an extra event has been organised. Helen Hollick, Author and screen writer of the film 1066 and a number of other historical books will be giving a talk at the Abbey Church centre, Waltham Abbey on Saturday 18 September 2010, at 7.30pm. Tickets will be £10 and include cheese and wine. For further details contact The Tourist Information Centre, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey in person or by telephoning 01992 652295.