Lifewalkers walk for charity

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your council

Kind-hearted walkers have supported Cancer Research and Macmillan Cancer Support by raising money whilst taking part in Epping Forest District Council’s Walking for Health Scheme Lifewalks.

Lifewalkers group

Elaine Hammond, a mum who has secondary breast cancer and has been told she has only years to live is hoping to raise £20,000 for cancer charities by organising a series of sponsored walks around the world. Around 65 individuals took part in several walks in the Epping Forest and Lee Valley areas, raising a total of £91.

Elaine Hammond said: “I really appreciate the support the Epping Forest Lifewalks are giving us. Nearly everyone is affected by cancer and walking is a great way to get fit meet new friends and raise money for an extremely good cause.”


There are 27 Lifewalks in various locations in the local area including Loughton, Roding Valley, Lee Valley, Chingford and Theydon Bois. There are 5 led walks a week, which range from 1 to 3 miles. The duration of each walk is dependent on participants’ walking speed. The idea of Lifewalks is to try to walk a little faster than normal to get your heart rate up – as if late for an appointment but still feel comfortable and able to hold a conversation.

The first walk is free and then pay on the day – just £2 per walk. Alternatively, if you hope to come to at least 1 walk a week, pre-pay for 6 months for £27.50. This will entitle you to join up to 5 walks a week. A GP referral system is available – if your GP fills in the form and sends it into us, you are entitled to 1 month of free walking.

You can find out more on the Lifewalks website.

Contact Lifewalks

For a paper copy of the diary contact Karen Murray Lifewalks Co-ordinator


The Great War exhibition at Lowewood Museum

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your council

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.


One Shops Local champions local business

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Building control, Business, Business rates, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Doing business with the council, Epping, Grants, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Planning, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Trees and landscapes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Support local business in Epping Forest - add your business to or join the One Shops Local mailing list.

As the world around us changes, so must we and the world of business is no exception. One Shops Local was created to support local independent businesses within Epping Forest, and help them to survive and thrive in today’s tough market.

The campaign was created nearly 3 years ago by the One Epping Forest Local Strategic Partnership, in the belief that independently owned businesses play a vital role in ensuring we have a vibrant, resilient economy.

One Shops Local logo

How can shopping locally benefit me?

Many people may be concerned that shopping locally is more expensive and less convenient, however this is not necessarily the case. In fact shopping locally can benefit the community, not just the business owner.

When you spend money in locally run, independent businesses, more of your money is returned to the local economy than if you were to spend the same amount in a national chain. Putting money into the local economy, rather than displacing it elsewhere creates jobs for local people, and helps fund many things from the maintenance of the local infrastructure to the emergency services.

Despite all this, you may still be asking how can shopping locally directly benefit me? The answer is that local shops can tailor their business to suit the specific needs of local people, create  unique, bespoke items to suit you, and often give you a great deal to boot. After all, they want you to come back again, and what better incentive than VIP treatment?

Get involved

So how can you get involved? Whether you are a business owner or a resident or visitor, you can help your local economy to thrive by being part of the One Shops Local campaign.

If you own your own independent business within Epping Forest you can sign up for free and have free advertising to over 1,250 subscribers and 2,000 monthly website visitors. If you’re a resident or visitor, your support is still greatly needed. You can do this by

You will get access to many great deals and offers as well as unique shops and businesses that you may not yet have discovered.

Visit, add your business or join our mailing list, support local business in Epping Forest.


A summer to sing and dance about

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Playschemes, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Creative workshops from Epping Forest District Council arts team are now finished for this year, with ideas already buzzing for summer 2015.

Playing with sound

Jazz hands were brought to life at Jazzmatazz, at DNA Studios, Waltham Abbey by a group of young dancers.  Taught by Epping Forest District Council Dance Development Artist Vanessa Gayton, the group learnt how to leap, spin, and drag run as well as learning a tricky routine.

Participants showed off their skill for song writing at Song in a Day at Budworth Hall, Ongar. Guided by musician Phoebe Osborne they wrote, sang and produced a great piece about their adventures during the summer all in a day.

Wagon Wheels, oranges and monkey nuts may be an odd combination but it makes a great animation. Working in partnership with Zinc Arts Centre, budding animators created two short films using different techniques.

Dancer Jenny Bater from Hip Hop Pop was back working with Epping Forest District Council arts team, with another great hip hop workshop. Participants had a difficult routine to learn with moves including Uncle Sams, CCs and The Bart Man.

How to…Draw and How to…Colour In workshops were so popular an extra one was added, giving more opportunity to draw a chicken from a triangle, learn top tips from an artist and the science behind colour.

Summer events finished off with the SX Urban Games, at Town Mead Leisure Park in Waltham Abbey. Along with skate, scooter and bike competitions, spectators and competitors got to try their hands at some graffiti artwork using spray paint, making large colourful letters.

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


Photographic archive donated to museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

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.


Last 2 Lancaster bombers fly over North Weald

Written on . Posted in Epping, Media, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

The last 2 flying Lancaster bombers flew over North Weald Airfield twice on their way to public displays.

As part of the transits between displays, the 2 Lancasters have flown over the Airfield twice so far. One of the Lancaster bombers, named Vera, is visiting the UK from Canada. The other named Thumper, is based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, where both are currently based as part of The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (RAFBBMF).

Lancasters approach

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

The Lancaster crew phoned North Weald Airfield beforehand both times and the operations team were able to alert people on social media to witness this unique pair.

The first flypast on Thursday 14 August had to dodge some thunderstorms in the vicinity. The second on Saturday 16 August had perfect conditions and moody evening light as the 2 aircraft flew to Old Warden for a Flying Proms display before returning to RAF Coningsby.

The Memorial Flight was based at RAF North Weald from February to May 1958 just before the Airfield closed and close links with them have been retained. It was a marvellous opportunity to see these 2 iconic aircraft flying together.

A RAFBBMF Spitfire and Hurricane will be displaying at the North Weald Airfield Community Day on Sunday 7 September at 3pm, which this year is called ‘Wings over Europe, Remembering D-Day‘ .


Red Arrows veteran visits North Weald Airfield

Written on . Posted in Epping, Media, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our attractions, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Your area

Squadron Leader Henry Prince, the original Red 7 from the world-famous Red Arrows RAF Aerobatic Team, visited North Weald Airfield on Saturday 16 August to take part in filming for the Red Gnat Display Team who are based at Hangar 4a.

Henry was part of the world-famous Red Arrows RAF Aerobatic Team when it was led by the legendary display pilot Ray Hanna.

Gnat low pass

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

One of the Team’s aircraft, G-TIMM, is painted in the colours of Ray Hanna’s Gnat, while another, G-MOUR, is in the yellow scheme of the Yellowjacks, which were the forerunners of the Red Arrows. This aircraft once belonged to the Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour.

Henry was a flying instructor on Gnats when he joined the Red Arrows. He had served with 56 Squadron, North Weald Airfield’s longest serving squadron between the wars.

2 of the Gnats went off to display at Eastbourne. On their return Henry was at the end of the runway to receive a special tribute. The Gnats performed individual missed approaches and go-arounds with smoke on. This was recreating a famous low level photograph of Ray Hanna’s Gnat.

North Weald Airfield was delighted to welcome this distinguished RAF display pilot in the Red Arrows’ 50th anniversary year. Henry had helped to lay the foundations for one of the world’s greatest formation aerobatics teams.

North Weald Airfield has  played an important part in this country’s display heritage. The Black Arrows were formed here by 111 Squadron, flying their signature black Hawker Hunters in the 1950s. Their 22 aircraft formation loop at the 1958 Farnborough Airshow is still a world record.


Great start to the summer

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Health, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your council

Creative workshops from Epping Forest District Council arts team have started with great success.

How to … Draw was back this year, with artist Helen Morse Palmer showing that anyone can draw. Participants experimented with shapes, shadow and sound. How to … Draw was accompanied with a How to … Colour In workshop; getting basic tips and tricks on different ways to use colour and the science behind it; being bold with felt tip pens and having a smudging finger ready for chalk pastels.

Using chalk pastels to make multiple colours

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

Also back this year was Bangers and Mash Theatre Company with performances of Charlie Bear and his Smelly Socks and Jack and the Beanstalk, with that classic blend of songs, jokes and puppets. Zinc Arts Centre, Ongar hosted 2 performances as part of Epping Forest District Council’s Inclusion Project, suitable for children and young people with additional needs. With a sell out performance at Epping Hall, Bangers and Mash Theatre Company were certainly back with a bang!

4 to 6 year olds explored the idea of lost and found, balance and making shapes with their bodies in Little Dance Makers at North Weald Village Hall. Participants had fun with feathers, were dazzled by stars and got to show items they had found; stones, flowers, coins and Vivienne the toy cat.

Families joined in the fun at Chigwell Hall for an afternoon of Seaside Shenanigans. The hot weather didn’t stop children and their grown ups from taking part in activities like, crab football, seahorse races, making windmills and dipping their toes into a dance routine.

Summer’s not over yet and there is still many great activities to take part in. We’ve got 2 fantastic dance workshops with Lock, Pop and Hip Hop and Jazzmatazz. Plus learn how to animate and to make a song in just 1 day.

Find out more about our summer activities.


Let your imagination go wild this summer and get creative!

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your council

Epping Forest District Council is offering lots of fun, creative activities all over the district this summer holiday.  There’s something for everyone with workshops in dance, drawing, theatre, family events, animation and music.

Booking essential for all events.  To book a place or for more information call 01992 564226 or visit

Wed 30
Little Dance Makers
North Weald Village Hall, High Road, North Weald, CM16 6BU
Using the theme of ‘lost and found’ create a dance piece, using props and most importantly, your imagination for 4 – 6 year olds. 10.00am. £5/£4.  Please bring an object you have found to use at this session and wear clothes that are easy to move in.

Fri 1
Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot
Activity Hall, Limes Centre, Limes Avenue, Chigwell, IG7 5LP.
Learn Latin inspired moves to create some fun routines and that’ll keep you fit too!  10.00am (7-9 years) 2.00pm (10-12 years). £5.50/£4. Please wear trainers or pumps and bring plenty of water.


Thurs 7
Seaside Shenanigans (Families and children 3 years +)
Chigwell Hall Metropolitan Police Club (large marquee), High Road, Chigwell, IG7 6BD. Come join us for a fun family afternoon of seaside themed entertainment. 1.00pm – 4.00pm, £5/person.

Tues 12
Charlie Bear and His Smelly Socks (2 – 5 years)
Epping Hall, St John’s Road, Epping, CM16 5JU
Join Charlie and his friends on an exciting adventure to help him get ready for school. With great puppets, loveable characters, songs and audience participation this show is not to be missed.  10.30am. £4/person.

Jack and the Beanstalk (4 – 8 years)
Epping Hall, St John’s Road, Epping CM16 5JU
Find out what happens when Jack sells Daisy, what he gets in exchange and what starts growing in Jack’s garden! 2.00pm. £4/person.

(N.B. Inclusive performances of Charlie Bear and His Smelly Socks and Jack and the Beanstalk are playing at Zinc Arts Centre, all ages welcome! Call 01992 564226 for more information.)

Wed 20
How to…Draw!
Oakwood Hill Senior Citizens’ Club, Marlescroft Way, Loughton, IG10 3LZ
An introduction to drawing for 7-12 year olds. Parents are also welcome to book and participate in these workshops. 10.30am. £4/3.

How to…Colour In!
Oakwood Hill Senior Citizens’ Club, Marlescroft Way, Loughton, IG10 3LZ.
This is an opportunity to pick up top tips and explore colour using a variety of materials from pencil to crayon to oil pastel for 7-12 years olds. Parents are also welcome to book and participate in these workshops. 1.30pm. £4/3.
Book How to…Draw! and How to…Colour In! sessions for £7 (£5 concession)

Fri 22
Lock, Pop and Hip Hop
Theydon Bois Village Hall, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, CM16 7ER.
Come and learn all the latest street dance and hip hop moves from locking and popping to waving and tutting and much more. Wear comfortable clothes and bring plenty of water. 10.00am (7-9 years) 2.00pm (10-12 years). £10/8.

Wed 27
Animation Workshop (11-15 years)
Zinc Arts Centre, Great Stony, High Street, Ongar CM5 0AD
Learn about digital animation and make a story come to life using stop-frame animation.  10.00am. £12/10.

Thurs 28
Song in a Day (7-12 years)
Budworth Hall, High Street, Ongar, CM5 9GJ.
Explore writing lyrics and music, share your ideas, and create a song from nothing in just one session! Please bring a pack lunch. 10.00am. £14/11.

Fri 29
DNA Studios, H7 Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JY.
Discover how to isolate moves, suspend through movement and stretch your muscles in this fun-packed workshop. Please wear jazz shoes (if you do not have jazz shoes, bare feet are fine). Bring plenty of water. 10.00am (7-9 years), 2.00pm (10-12 years). £8/6.




Transparent democracy – holding people to account

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Democracy, Epping, Garages, Housing, Loughton, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Residents can now tell Epping Forest District Council what subjects they want councillors to examine.

Healthy Democracy

Most business people will tell you that the best decisions are made by small groups or individuals. The same is true at Epping Forest District Council where a small group of councillors called the Cabinet take most of the decisions. However, unlike business, councils have to be open, inclusive and accountable to everyone who lives and works in the area. Healthy democracy requires a means of holding that small group of councillors to account to the rest of the Council and everyone who lives and works in the district. That is the job of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

How is O&S made up?

O&S is one of the most dynamic and important Council committees. Made up of councillors drawn from all the political groups on the Council, its job goes beyond holding the Cabinet to account. O&S also has the power to call any public sector organisation or public utility including the health, education, social care and the police for public examination. O&S meetings of Epping Forest District Council have looked critically at hospital services, cuts to the police and the provision of Broadband across the district.

You can nominate subjects for discussion

Until recently it was up to councillors to decide what issues O&S investigated. Now the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Richard Morgan is asking local people to nominate subjects or organisations for closer examination. He said: “O&S uses the spotlight of publicity to make its case. It can’t alter a Cabinet decision or make the health services reduce waiting times at A&E. That is for others to do, but the attention it can bring to a problem or debate is a powerful tool for change”.

Councillor Richard Morgan continued: “Quite a lot of our work is generated by councillors either unhappy with a decision of the Cabinet or concerned about an area of policy we think should be examined and possibly changed. We also spend quite a bit of time challenging the assumptions and decisions of other organisations. Bringing an organisation such as the Probation Service or London Underground in to explain themselves can focus the mind remarkably well. All our meetings are open to the public and webcast so you can see exactly what people are saying. Now you can tell us where you think we should be looking.”

How do I submit my topic for discussion?

O&S doesn’t cover planning or licensing applications but most other areas are open to review. If you want Epping Forest District Council to investigate a public service or issue relevant to the district contact

Next meeting

There will be a new work programme from June 2014, the overview and scrutiny committee will consider requests at their next meeting. To view the current work programme  for the latest overview and scrutiny committee agenda document pack and a look for work programme monitoring towards the end of the agenda.