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Council staff praised after 'suspect package' found 

1.34pm - 22nd September 2014

DISTRICT council staff who found a 'suspect package' in the Civic Offices in Epping have been praised for their "calm level-headedness and professionalism". 
Police were alerted shortly after 9.30am today when staff became suspicious about an envelope containing white powder. 
A police spokesman said officers were alerted following reports that an envelope containing white powder had been received. 
The police spokesman added: "Officers attended and cordoned off the area whilst enquiries took place. It was ascertained that the powder was a harmless substance and no one suffered any ill-effects." 
Police have told Everything Epping Forest that the substance was found to be sugar. 
Three police vehicles were seen at the offices with officers seen speaking to a number of people outside the main entrance. 
A council spokesman said police were called as a precaution and disruption was kept to the absolute minimum with business as usual for the rest of the council. 
Council leader Chris Whitbread praised the staff involved and thanked police for their speedy response. He said: "I want to commend the people involved in the discovery of the package who acted with calm level-headedness and professionalism.
"As a council we practice our Business Continuity Plans to ensure we know exactly what to do in such circumstances. 
"Our top priority is always to keep everyone safe, after which it is a matter of minimising disruption to our customers. 
"It is disappointing that we have to make such plans but I was very pleased to see the system work so well. I also want to thank Essex Police for a rapid and excellent response."


School unveils new long jump pit 

12.49pm - 22nd September 2014

HEREWARD Primary School in Loughton has installed a new long jump pit as part of its commitment to the post-Olympic sports legacy. 
The work was completed through the use of the government's Sports Premium Grant which is designed to help schools improve the quality of sport and Physical Education provision for their children. 
Hereward PE teacher Elizabeth Ladlow said: "We hope to see future Olympians getting their vital first experience in athletics jumping events at our school." 
The long jump pit will be used to help train children for athletic competitions in the summer term.


Sugar sparks 'white powder' alert at Civic Offices 

12.42pm - 22nd September 2014

AN area of the Civic Offices in Epping was cordoned off this morning after staff became suspicious about an envelope containing white powder.
A police spokesman said officers were alerted to the Epping Forest District Council offices shortly after 9.30am following reports that an envelope containing white powder had been received. 
The spokesman added: "Officers attended and cordoned off the area whilst enquiries took place. It was ascertained that the powder was a harmless substance and no one suffered any ill-effects."
Police have told Everything Epping Forest that the substance was sugar. 
Three police vehicles were seen at the offices with officers seen speaking to a number of people outside the main entrance.


Brownies celebrate two anniversaries 

5.30pm - 20th September 2014

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing cut a special birthday cake when she visited the 3rd Theydon Bois Brownies at the St Mary's Church Hall in Theydon Bois. 
Mrs Laing was invited to cut the cake to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Brownie movement and the 45th birthday of the 3rd Theydon Bois Brownie Pack. 
The Brownies ran various stalls, inviting visitors to decorate biscuits, tie knots, have a go at solving puzzles and toast marshmallows. 
The girls served sandwiches and birthday cake to visitors. 
Mrs Laing said: "I was delighted to celebrate with the Brownies in Theydon Bois their 45th anniversary and the centenary of the founding of the Brownie movement. 
"I was a Brownie long ago and I still remember a lot of the things that we were taught." 
She added: "I congratulate all the people who work so hard - the Brown Owl and all her helpers - to keep our local Brownie pack so lively and so interesting. It's a really important part of our local community."



MP comes face-to-face with Vikings 

5.28pm - 20th September 2014

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing came face-to-face with Vikings and English Civil War characters when she visited the Fayre Times Festival at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey. 
The two-day event - on today and tomorrow (Sunday) - features a variety of re-enactment battles and a host of live action role players from Vikings and soldiers from the Second World War to dwarfs, elves and goblins. 
There are also static displays where visitors can look at both historical and fantasy camps and see how people lived in different times and realities. 
There are also traders selling goods from all periods of history. 
Mrs Laing said: "I was delighted to see such an important event at the Royal Gunpowder Mills. 
"Our local community is very proud of the historic significance of the Gunpowder Mills and its involvement in many of the great historical moments of the last few centuries. 
"It was the Gunpowder Mills that contributed so some of Britain's greatest victories and of course to the defence of freedom in two wars." 
Commenting on the festival, Mrs Laing said: "I greatly admire the wonderful realism of the costumes, from Vikings to the Civil War. It's a magnificent way of bringing history to life." 



Charity shops - could you spare some time to help?

2.28pm - 19th September 2014

Dorothy Organ highlights the work of volunteers at local charity shops 

MOST people would like to help charities that fill the gap between the 'have' and 'have nots' but it can be hard to know how. 
This is where charity shops come into their own. 
By recycling unwanted items they earn money to send to their charity and enable local people to get a bargain. 
People bring along books, toys, clothes, jewellery, accessories of all kinds, handbags, shoes, china, glass, cutlery, linen and all sorts of household items. 
Everything is carefully sorted with absolutely nothing accepted that is not perfect. 
All of this depends on volunteers working half a day, once a week. 
This is ideal for someone with a bit of time to spare. Some people are at the till, the others sort, classify and arrange things in the shop. 
All responsibility for running the shop falls on a manager appointed by the charity and at the present time donations are pouring in - customers are happily buying stock but, alas, shops are often closed for a day or so because of a shortage of volunteers which can mean a loss of several hundred pounds to the charity. 
Volunteers who come regularly often have to take time off for one reason or another and someone else will fill in. 
Some volunteers have been working for their charity for 25 years or more and love every minute of it. 
Can you help?..


Search starts for Citizen and Young Citizen

2.13pm - 19th September 2014

THE search is on to find the Epping Forest district's 2015 Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year. 
Epping Forest District Council is seeking nominations for the awards - to be presented to someone who goes that extra mile to care for their town or village and for the people who live there. 
If you know someone who deserves the title, why not nominate them for the prestigious award? 
Anyone nominated for the Citizen of the Year award must be aged 11 to 18. 
The winners will be invited to the civic awards ceremony in February to receive their award and certificate, The Young Citizen of the Year will also receive a cheque for £100. 
Council chairman Tony Boyce said: "The annual civic awards ceremony enables the council to thank publicly those special residents of our district who always 'go the extra mile' and often think of others before themselves. Without them our district would be a much poorer place. 
"If you know someone who you think has made an exceptional contribution to the Epping Forest district community do please take the time to fill in a nomination form now so we can all celebrate the efforts of these unsung heroes in our community."
Nomination forms can be obtained from the council's reception desks. 
The closing date for nominations is November 21..


Dance group celebrates 24th anniversary

11.07am - 19th September 2014

THE Ongar Circle Dance Group celebrated 24 years of dancing in Ongar with a dance party. 
The group meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at Zinc Arts Centre, High Street, Ongar, at 7.30pm. New members welcome. 
Circle dancing (often called international folk dancing) is gentle exercise for mind and body and beginners soon join in with the simple basic steps. 
For more details, ring Jill Hope on 01277 363085 or Marie Mackie on 01245 441782.


Hospice holding Make A Will Week

11.02am - 19th September 2014

HAVEN House Children's Hospice is holding a second Make a Will Week, from October 6-10. 
During the week 15 local solicitors have agreed to give up their time and provide a free standard Will-writing and updating service in support of Haven House. 
This is on the understanding that a small donation is made to the hospice and that local residents might consider leaving a 'legacy' gift to Haven House in their Will. 
Haven House chief executive Mike Palfreman said: "Writing a Will is something that most of us put off if we can, but it's something that we should all consider, if we want to provide for our loved ones in the future.
"Once provision is made for your nearest and dearest, the smallest legacy gift to Haven House means we can plan and safeguard the future of the hospice and the children and families that we look after." 
One of the solicitors taking part is Laderman & Co, based in South Woodford. 
Sadia Anwar from the practice, said: "We were delighted to take part in the inaugural Make a Will Week last year raising more than £1,700 for Haven House. 
"It was an amazing contribution and also raised awareness of the importance of a professionally drafted Will. We look forward to taking part in the campaign again this year." 
For a list of the west Essex and east London solicitors taking part, and to make an appointment, visit www.havenhouse.org.uk/makeawillweek or contact Teena Antoniou on 020 8498 5845 or email teenaantoniou@havenhouse.org.uk


Outline approval for pub car park homes

8.51am - 18th September 2014

OUTLINE planning permission for five houses on part of the Royal Oak pub car park, Stapleford Abbotts, has been granted by district councillors. 
The application was approved despite objections from nearby residents who fear the loss of parking spaces at the pub will cause problems in the area. 
A planning officer's report said the 32 parking spaces which would remain following the reduction in size would be "acceptable and there would be no undue harm to the residential amenity of neighbouring properties". 
Planning officer Nigel Richardson said the proposal could be considered "infill development". 
The applicant's planning agent, Richard Ford, told last night's area planning committee that the proposal was well designed and "would fit in nicely". 
Local councillor Heather Brady said: "This is for five houses. It's opposed by the parish council and objected to by what appears to be four very nearby neighbours and another five from Kensington Park."
She added: "This road (Oak Hill Road) is very, very busy and there would be a problem if cars didn't have enough space in the car park and have to park all along that road. 
"It would lead to unfortunate relationships between the people who live nearby and the pub. It's a difficult one."


School remembers former student

5.55pm - 17th September 2014

A CHERRY tree has been planted at West Hatch High School in memory of a former student who died in a road collision earlier this year. 
The parents of Mandeep Padda - who was known as Mandy - have also donated a memorial bench which has been placed near the school's Sixth Form block and a special trophy to be presented each year for creativity in upper school studies.
Mandy, 20, was involved in a collision on Epping New Road last February. 
Mandy, a former A-level student at the High Road school, attended the school from 2005 until 2011.
Headteacher Frances Howarth said: "Mandy was a very gifted and talented art student. She was a pleasure to teach. She had very creative ideas and the technical ability to produce outstanding work.
"Mandy was a kind, thoughtful and considerate student who had a great sense of humour. 
"She was popular and, as a school prefect, contributed much to the life at West Hatch." 
Her family said: "Mandy was a very precious person - loving and caring at all times - thinking of others before herself." 
They said the bench, tree and trophy would ensure that Mandy would always be remembered at West Hatch. 
A short outdoor memorial service which reflected Mandy's love of colour and travel was held at the school today (Wednesday, September 17) and was led by Rev Ian Monks, curate at St Paul's Church, Woodford Bridge. 
The service was followed by a reception in the school library where cakes and pastries were served, reflecting Mandy's sweet tooth and love of desserts. 
Several pieces of her art work were also on display.



Council launches Christmas card competition

3.33pm - 16th September 2014

LOUGHTON Town Council has launched its 'design a Christmas card' competition with the winning design to feature on the council's card. 
The competition is open to everyone who lives, works or attends school in Loughton. Entrants need to design an original drawing, photograph, picture, illuminated poem or script, or any other artistic style.
Designs can be in colour or black and white but must be of A5 size (portrait (upright) or landscape) and suitable for reproduction. 
Four winners will be awarded a £25 gift card while an overall winning design will be chosen as the council's official Christmas card. 
There are four categories depending on age to cover infant, junior, secondary students (depending on school year), and adults (Year 12 and over). 
Entry forms and competition rules can be downloaded from the council's website - www.loughton-tc.gov.uk - or collected from the council's office at 1 Buckingham Court, Rectory Lane. The closing date is Wednesday, November 12. 
The runners-up in each category will receive a laminated certificate. 
An exhibition of the winning designs alongside a selection of the best entries will be displayed in Loughton and Debden libraries during December and January.5.


Chance for parents to speak on children's health services

3.03pm - 16th September 2014

PARENTS and carers can discuss how they get the most out of local health and care services at a parent focus group at the Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow, between 1pm and 2.30pm on Monday (September 22). 
Parents will be able to discuss the choices they make for their children when they are ill. It will also assist them in making the right choices for their families. 
Members of the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, a doctor, health visitor and community paediatric nurse will be on handt to listen to parents' experiences and provide advice on where to access the most suitable services for their children. 
* The CCG's annual general meeting is at Harlow Leisurezone, Southern Way, Harlow, at 2pm on Thursday, September 25.


Cancer group's founder receives special honour

2.31pm - 16th September 2014

A 96-YEAR-OLD woman who set up the Theydon Bois and District Cancer Research UK Friends Group in 1972 has received the charity's Flame of Hope honorary fellowship. 
Marjorie Chapman formed the group with friend Eileen Wilson and started fundraising in her friend's living room after hearing that two people from the village had been diagnosed with cancer. 
The first event the committee organised was a jumble sale which raised £90. 
The group continued to grow and to raise incredible funds through collections and events and in August 2012 they surpassed the £500,000 milestone. 
Although now 96, Marjorie is still an integral member of the group and is still the president. Until she was 88, Marjorie was still out and about with the group at various fundraising events. 

Marjorie Chapman with local fundraising manager Claire Marmion and members of the committee


Three members of Higgins family at ribbon cutting

2.29pm - 16th September 2014

OLIVE Higgins, of the Loughton-based construction family, was among three members of the family to officially open the refurbished rooms at Vitalise Jubilee Lodge,. 
She was joined by sons Richard, chairman of Higgins Group plc, and Stephen, a board member, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 
The Higgins family have been supporters of Jubilee Lodge for many years and contributed significantly to Vitalise's ongoing 'Raise a Room' campaign enabling guests rooms at the centre to be fully refurbished and named in their honour. 
Olive donated £2,850 to the campaign and Higgins Group plc then gave a further £5,700 enabling three guest rooms to be refurbished. 
Olive carried out the ribbon-cutting on the Olive Higgins Room, one of three rooms at Jubilee Lodge honouring the Higgins family and Higgins Group plc, in recognition of their support of the campaign. 
Olive and her sons also admired a tree that Olive and son Martin had helped plant in the courtyard in 2005, in memory of Olive's late husband, Derek, a former vice-patron of Vitalise. 
Derek Higgins, the founder of Loughton-based Higgins Construction, had supported the charity for more than two decades and raised well over £1m for the redevelopment of the Jubilee Lodge site.
One of the newly-refurbished rooms bears his name. 
Accompanying the Higgins family were Vitalise chairman Mindy Sawhney, Vitalise chief executive Chris Simmonds and Ros Dover, of the Friends of Jubilee Lodge. 
The guests toured Jubilee Lodge to meet staff, volunteers and guests enjoying breaks at the centre. 
Olive said: "I was so pleased to have the opportunity to visit Jubilee Lodge once again, along with Richard and Stephen. 
"Jubilee Lodge has been close to the Higgins family heart for a great many years and I am very proud of the part my family has played in making the centre what it is today. 
"I sincerely hope the Higgins family will continue to be part of Jubilee Lodge's story in the years and decades to come." 
Vitalise chairman Mindy Sawhney said: "It was lovely to welcome Olive and her family to Jubilee Lodge. They have been devoted supporters of the centre from the very beginning so it is quite fitting that three of our new rooms have been named in their honour. It really is the least we can do to thank them for their support. 
"I hope Olive and her family will carry on supporting Vitalise's important work here for many years to come." Vitalise is a national charity providing essential breaks for people with disabilities and carers. Vitalise provides essential short breaks in a holiday environment for people with disabilities - including Alzheimer's and dementia - and carers at Jubilee Lodge and two other accessible UK centres, with 24-hour nursing care on-call, personal support and a range of accessible excursions, activities and entertainment. 



Work starts on 'Space to Breathe' garden

4.06pm - 15th September 2014

WORK is underway to create an outdoor haven for patients and families at St Clare Hospice after supporters helped secure a £49,832 grant from the Big Lottery. 
Thousands of people voted for the Hastingwood-based hospice as part of last November's People's Millions competition in conjunction with ITV, helping the charity scoop the vital funding to turn its vision for a 'Space to Breathe' family garden into a reality. 
Work started last week on transforming an area of the hospice's grounds into a secluded space where patients and their loved ones can spend time together. 
The project, expected to take eight weeks, is being carried out by Harlow-based landscapers The Whitelaw Brothers.
St Clare director of fundraising and marketing Elizabeth Palfreman said: "It is wonderful work has now started on our 'Space to Breathe' garden and we can't wait to see it starting to take shape over the coming weeks. 
"We were thrilled and overwhelmed by the response of our community during the People's Millions competition - polling an incredible 12,403 votes - and we very much feel that without the public's support this important project would not be possible. 
"As well as caring for the physical needs of those with a life-limiting illness, helping to relieve suffering and making them comfortable, we also care for their emotional wellbeing. 
"As such, we know the many therapeutic benefits a garden can bring, so this project will make a very real difference to the lives of those we support and their loved ones." 
The tiered garden, designed by Stansted-based landscape architects Liz Lake Associates, will feature raised flower beds, a calming water feature, seating and wheelchair-friendly paving. 
It will be accessed via the newly renovated family room in the eight-bed in-patient unit.


School's "exceptional" SATs results

3.36pm - 15th September 2014

CHIGWELL School's Year 6 students from last year have achieved an "exceptional" set of SATs results.
In Maths, 77 per cent of pupils achieved level 5 with 21 per cent achieving level 6 - the nationally expected level for a 14 year-old. 
In English Reading, 91 per cent of students scored a level 5 - the school's best ever results while in English Writing 74 per cent achieved level 5 and 21 per cent level 6 - again the school's best ever achievement.


School holds graduation evening

3.14pm - 15th September 2014

LAST year's sixth form students returned to Davenant Foundation School for the annual Graduation Evening. 
The summer 2014 leavers gathered to collect certificates and prizes on an occasion that was fully attended by parents, staff and governors. 
Headteacher Chris Seward spoke about the pace of change since this group of students begun secondary school in 2007 and compared the changes with the consistency of standards and values that are a feature of the school's unchanging ethos. 
The guest speaker was Peter Harvey, a senior executive from the banking sector. He spoke of the lessons that he had learned in his career at Barclays and Co-operative Bank and emphasised that success in life is largely about getting on with people. 
He also reflected on Theodore Roosevelt's call that people should be 'in the arena' and be courageous enough to take risks even if that means, on occasion, experiencing disappointment. 
Among the award presented were: 
Head Prefects' Prize to last year's Head Boy and Head Girl - Daniel Ajetunmobi and Amy Shulton. 
Peter Cross Cup to the year's outstanding footballer - Jamie Raymond. 
Nina McKay Trophy to the student who gave selflessly of their time - Rebecca Coburn. 
Jennifer Hawes Award to the girl who had shown outstanding effort, commitment and attitude to all aspects of school life - Victoria Bedwell. 
The Governors' Medal for Scholarship was awarded to Sabina Abraham, Victoria Bedwell, Esther Burgess, Katherine Gibbs, Elizabeth Hodges, Tommy Sutton, Jemima Williamson and Demi Alexandrou.


Police seek "assaulted" woman

6.58pm - 14th September 2014

POLICE are trying to trace a woman after they received a call from a concerned member of the public saying they had saw a woman being assaulted in Winters Way, Waltham Abbey. 
Police officers attended the scene at about 10pm on Friday following reports that the woman had got out of a car while the driver was in an argument with a group of youths. 
She was then seen to be pushed to the ground by the driver and bundled back into a small silver car that drove off. 
Officers immediately searched for the car but following extensive enquiries in the wider area have been unable to find a similar vehicle or the woman. 
She was described as white with blonde hair and a red top. The man was also white, in his 40s, bald and wearing a T-shirt and jeans. 
Detective Inspector Mark Barber said: "I am appealing for the woman involved to contact us to confirm she is okay. "This may have been a domestic dispute between the two but I want to hear from her." 
Police are also appealing for the group of young men who witnessed this incident to get in contact.
Anyone with any information should ring Essex Police on 101 and quote incident 1154 of September 12.


PICTURES: Pub hosts charity truck pull

6.56pm - 14th September 2014

THE Nags Head pub in Moreton this afternoon hosted a charity truck pull to raise money for the Help for Heroes and Parachute Regiment charities. 
Teams of two took it in turns to pull 'Vera', the ex-Army vehicle which the Bricklayers Arms troop - from the Bricklayers Arms pub in Stondon Massey - are using as their support vehicle for their five-day trek recreating the route of Operation Market Garden in Holland and Belgium 70 years ago. 
The Nags Head has been supporting the 15-strong group of fundraisers which set off for Arnhem early tomorrow morning. 
This morning a service, during which a wreath which will be laid at Arnhem was dedicated, was held at St Mary's Church, High Ongar.

For pictures click here


CCTV images released in hunt for burglars

4.58pm - 13th September 2014

DETECTIVES in Loughton investigating a burglary have released CCTV images of two men, wearing grey tracksuits, they want to identify. 
The burglary happened in England's Lane between 10am and 12.55pm on July 31 when thousands of pounds worth of jewellery was stolen, including several gold and diamond and diamond and sapphire rings. 
The victim had her late mother's diamond engagement ring stolen and also jewellery she was given over the years by her late husband. 
Investigating officer PC Amy Kavanagh said: "This has obviously caused great distress to the victim as these items are irreplaceable. 
"I am asking for any information the public may have on this and any help they can provide with identifying the suspects." 
Anyone with any information should ring Pc Kavanagh at Loughton CID on 101 (extension 313405) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



PICTURES: Horticultural society show

4.38pm - 13th September 2014

FROM pumpkins to cup cakes - a wide variety of entries were on show at Buckhurst Hill Horticultural Society's autumn show. 
A queue built up outside the Centenary Hall at St John's Church before the doors open at 2pm today and visitors flocked in to see the array of displays in various classes - from cakes and dahlias to various children's classes and vegetables. 

For pictures click here 

For details on how to order prints of any of the pictures featured email everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com or ring David Jackman on 07710 447868.


Six men arrested in drugs operation

8.49am - 13th September 2014

SIX men have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the supply of drugs following a drugs operation at business premises in Nazeing. 
Police officers executed a search warrant at the premises yesterday (Friday). 
One man has been charged and will appear before magistrates in Chelmsford today. 
John Twitchings, 61, of Oak Avenue, Enfield, has been charged with possession of Class B drugs - cannabis (72 kilos), with intent to supply. 
The five other men have been released on police bail while enquiries continue. 
They are a man aged 60, from Harlow; a 43 -year-old man, from Roydon; a 45-year-old man, from Enfield; a 43-year-old man from Nazeing and a 39-year-old man from Harlow. 
They have been bailed until November 26.


Hospice receives Foundation boost

3.31pm - 12th September 2014

ST Clare Hospice has received a £1,000 grant from the Santander Foundation after being nominated by a supporter as thanks for caring for her father. 
The hospice was put forward for the Community Plus cash award by Tracy Begley who filled out a form at the Chelmer Village branch. 
Her dad was supported by the St Clare community team before he died last December while her sister has been receiving bereavement counselling at the hospice since his death.


Council hosts Local Plan discussion

3.12pm - 12th September 2014

MEMBERS of the public were invited to an Open Forum with Ongar Town Council's planning and environment committee to share their views about development in Ongar.
The session was held so local residents couldo inform councillors before the next stage of discussion about the Epping Forest Local Plan. 
The document will be produced in draft form for consultation next year. 
Introducing last night's session, committee chairman Brian Surtees said: "It is good that parish and town councils will be included in the workshops being planned by Epping Forest District Council and the town council representatives need to have as good a understanding of local feeling as possible."


Homes planned for Fyfield Business Park

7.30am - 12th September 2014

A PLANNING application for about 100 homes on Fyfield Business Park is set to be lodged towards the end of the year. 
The development, which would include 'affordable' homes and not affect a listed building and current businesses such as the cafe and creche, would see a roundabout built at the Fyfield Road entrance.
Planning consultant Geoff Armstrong told Ongar Town Council's planning and environment committee that the residential scheme was to be submitted following two years' of marketing which had failed to attract interest to the existing buildings and approved new business premises on the site. 
Mr Armstrong said the site's owner was keen to retain existing long-term tenants. 
He added the proposal would be for two, three and four-bedroom homes in the style of The Gables development next to Ongar Leisure Centre. 
Mr Armstrong told last night's meeting: "It will be a once-and-for-all scheme for Fyfield. We are at the very early days. 
"The plan is to put an application in before the end of the year. It's a genuine mixed use scheme - a genuine proposal."


Spinning talk to WI group

4.49pm - 11th September 2014

A TALK from Celia Gwynne entitled 'Spinning the Yarn' was given to the last meeting of Fyfield and District WI. 
Celia spoke about the history of spinning which started some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. A hand-spun, hand-knitted sock had even been found in Tutankhamun's tomb. 
Often spinning is carried on from generation to generation but in Celia's case she had tried spinning whilst on holiday and never looked back. 
She took along her spinning wheel (an Ashford NZ) and explained the processes involved from the sheep being shorn to the finished garments she had dyed and knitted. 
Celia took along some items to sell, including bars of lanolin soap (a by-product of the wool).


Marathon runner to the rescue

4.49pm - 11th September 2014

LOUGHTON accountant Jon O'Shea rescued a fellow competitor who had knocked himself out during a training exercise for the World Marathon Challenge. 
Jon, from chartered accountants Haslers, was taking part in the Kazbegi Marathon in Georgia to prepare for the challenge of completing seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in January. 
Racing over rocky terrain at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, Jon met fellow competitor James who had suffered a big fall and knocked himself out. 
Jon said: "This was just after mile 19 and he was plastered in blood. He clearly had only just regained consciousness and was running back in the wrong direction. 
"Like the US Marines and the British Army marathoners I would never leave a man behind, so I turned him around and started to walk with James towards the next drinks station (about a mile ahead) and had several repetitive conversations. James was clearly concussed. 
"After five minutes or so another runner caught us up and I explained what had happened. 
"He set off to the drinks station to alert them in advance. Incredibly, despite the fact we were in a fairly remote spot, the ambulance arrived in about ten minutes and they took James to hospital." 
Kazbegi is in the Caucasus Mountains, and is the northern most Georgian terrain before Russia. Runners faced a steep climb, treacherous descents, strong winds and glaring sunshine.
Jon said: "The marathon itself had everything. Starting at an altitude of 5,500ft it climbed to over 7,000ft between mile one and two-and-a-half! 
"That alone took nearly 40 minutes and I was gasping for breath already with 24 miles still to go. This was followed by the same rate of descent which was both scary and great fun, it felt as though I was flying down the mountain trails. 
"From mile five onwards, the course was nice and flat albeit at 5,500ft above sea level and straight into a head wind. 
"The turning point came at mile 15 at which point the course was all along stony trails, which to be honest my feet didn't really appreciate. 
"At least I knew on the way back the wind would be behind me. 
"Well as luck would have it, the instant I turned the wind dropped and the sun came out to say 'hello' which was great news because I was already dehydrated and being the colour of Casper the Ghost I was lapping up those rays. 
"Everything was going well until I found James of course. After we managed to get him to safety we still had six miles to go and I was now picking my steps more carefully, mostly because the meadow I was crossing was full of cowpats. 
"I struggled across the line in 5 hours 20 minutes which is not too bad under the circumstances. "I was pleased to see James later that evening, patched up with three stitches above his right eye but well again." 
To sponsor Jon visit his Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/worldmarathonchallenge


Cost of meals-on-wheels to increase

5.06pm - 10th September 2014

ESSEX County Council is to increase the cost of meals-on-wheels by 25p per meal to £4.20 from November. 
The decision comes after public consultation revealed service users did not want to lose the service and believed a full removal of the subsidy would result in the service being unaffordable. 
As a result the council has decided not to remove the subsidy but to increase the cost of meals. 
Councillor Anne Brown, cabinet member with responsibility for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "The consultation showed us that MoW's customers really valued the service that is offered. I'm delighted we have been able to protect this service allowing older residents across the county to have access to an affordable hot meal. 
"Essex County Council is faced with significant financial pressures and we have had to review the subsidy the council currently pays towards these meals. 
"From November we will reduce the subsidy the council pays resulting in a 25p increase in the cost of meals for service users. 
"I believe this is a manageable increase for service users and ensures our service remains low compared to the private market and other local authorities. 
"Ultimately this is good news for service users and shows we have truly listened to consultation feedback. Meals-on-wheels costs remain extremely low and affordable, and have only increased by 45p in the last seven years."


EPPING STABBING: Second man bailed

4.52pm - 10th September 2014

A SECOND man arrested over the Epping High Street stabbing has been released on police bail. 
The 25-year-old man, from Stamford Hill, London, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the incident in the early hours of Saturday morning. 
he man is due to report back to police on Wednesday October 22.


EPPING STABBING: Second arrest; man bailed

7.49am - 10th September 2014

A 20-YEAR-OLD man from Hackney arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the stabbing of a man in Epping High Street has been released on police bail. 
He is due to report back to police on Wednesday, October 22. 
Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man, from Stamford Hill, London, also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder remains in police custody for questioning.


CHIGWELL SHOOTING: Police seize vehicle

5.34pm - 9th September 2014

DETECTIVES investigating the shooting of a man at the Woolston Hall site, Chigwell, have seized a vehicle and spoken to more than 40 people. 
A 36-year-old man from east London left hospital on Sunday evening after receiving treatment to a bullet wound to his shoulder in the incident which happened at about 3.50pm.
Police have completed their forensic enquiries and the scene has been released. A number of vehicles have been searched and one vehicle has been recovered for forensic examination athough it is not believed to be directly connected to any suspects. 
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Smith said: "We have spoken with more than 40 people who were at Woolston Hall on Sunday afternoon and a number of them have already given us statements but we believe there are others who were there who we would still like to speak to. 
"The Hall would have been very busy and understandably some people would have wanted to leave very quickly given what happened. 
"We would ask them to get in touch with us as they may have seen what happened or have other vital information of use. 
"f you were at Woolston Hall and have not yet spoken to us please call Loughton CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111." 
DCI Smith added police were also examining footage from a number of CCTV cameras in the area to help piece together what happened.


School's gardening club growing giant pumpkin for charity

8.21am - 9th September 2014

THE Chigwell School Gardening Club is going from strength to strength with its members hoping their green-fingered talents will raise plenty of pounds for charity. 
The students have already seen a pumpkin growing on their vegetable patch swell to an estimated 100kg - but they now intend to let it grow even bigger and raise money for charity. 
Sarah Inch, the teacher in charge of the Gardening Club, said: "The gardening club acquired the greenhouse in February. 
"Salad leaves, peppers and tomatoes were all sown at that time and are now cropping magnificently.
"Subsequently carrots, mange tout, broad beans, beetroot, turnips, wheat and pumpkins were sown and we are currently reaping the rewards of our labour!" 

Members of the Chigwell School gardening club with their giant pumpkin PICTURE


EPPING STABBING: Man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

7.28am - 9th September 2014

POLICE investigating the stabbing of a man in Epping High Street have arrested a 20-year-old man from Hackney on suspicion of attempted murder. 
He has been taken to Harlow Police Station for questioning.


Leukaemia survivor facing 150-mile rowing challenge

5.37pm - 8th September 2014

A LEUKAEMIA survivor will set out on Thursday to row the entire 150 miles of the River Thames. 
Chris Spencer, 48, from Abridge, is aiming to row the length of the river, setting off from Halfpenny Bridge, Lechlade, and finishing at Greenwich at noon on Sunday. 
Chris is attempting the 'Great Thames Row' to raise awareness and money for the Anthony Nolan charity.
Ten months ago Chris underwent a second life-saving bone marrow transplant co-ordinated by Anthony Nolan. 
Chris grew up in London's East End and now lives with Jo, his wife of 17 years, in Abridge. 
An accomplished rower before being diagnosed with the blood cancer leukaemia, Chris represented England and Great Britain and at the age of 18 was GB Junior Sculling Champion. 
He is currently Captain and Trustee of the Poplar Blackwall and District Rowing Club, alongside his brother Roger, a fellow trustee of the club. 
Chris was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1997 and underwent a bone marrow transplant two years later. 
In June last year he was diagnosed with bone marrow failure and had to find a donor to save his life. 
He sought the help of Anthony Nolan and a donor was found in Germany. 
Last November he had a second bone marrow transplant. 
Chris said: "Anthony Nolan saved my life and, basically, it's payback time." 
Chris, who is now back at work as general manager of the Everyone Active Hornchurch Sport Centre. "I'm so grateful that just months since my second transplant I'm in a position to face this 150-mile rowing challenge. I want the Great Thames Row to raise awareness of Anthony Nolan's work and raise funds for the charity so more people's lives can be saved. 
"It's hard to find a donor in the UK as only relatively few people put themselves forward. In some countries, people have to 'opt out' of being a donor rather than 'opt in'. This gives a massive pool of people and therefore a much greater chance of finding your perfect match." 
He added: "When I was younger Anthony Nolan was a real boy who tragically didn't survive leukaemia. Today there is a greater understanding of the disease and a far better survival rate, provided people can find a suitable donor. 
"There are so many charities vying for our attention and money that you have to really go some to get noticed. I'm hoping my Great Thames Row effort will be noticed. 
"Even if my marathon row only encourages one donor to sign up and one life to be saved, the effort will be worth it. But I sincerely hope a lot more donors will step forward and many more lives will be saved as we support Anthony Nolan in its work."
Chris will row as Stroke Man alongside his brother, Roger, and rowing club mate Daniel Bartlett, 39. Bow Man is Robbie Coleman, 42, and their Cox is Paul Prentice, 59. 
Despite their experience and previous accomplishments including rowing for their country and Great Britain, the five men have set themselves a tough challenge, each day rowing up to twice the distance that many professional rowers at the top of their sport would not contemplate. 
As they pass Westminster in the final stage of the ambitious rowing challenge, a mini armada of boats will join behind them.


Accuro charity needs your vote

5.13pm - 8th September 2014

THE Accuro Saturday Play Club has been shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank Community Fund 2014. 
By encouraging the public to vote, Accuro Saturday Play Club has a chance to receive a grant of up to £3,000 from Lloyds Bank to enable it to continue doing good work in the community. 
Accuro Saturday Play Club, part of Accuro (Care Services), the Hastingwood-based charity which provides services for children, young people and adults with disabilities, is based at Dame Bradbury's School in Saffron Walden. 
The club aims to provide opportunities for children and young people aged between six and 16 with a range of disabilities and needs, to engage in constructive and imaginative play within a safe, caring environment. 
The club aims to develop each individual's confidence and self-esteem by increasing their communication, social and life skills through the medium of play. 
Many of the children and young people who access Accuro's Saturday Play Club have communication issues. 
Some are unable to communicate verbally therefore it is necessary to find other ways to communicate with them. In the last 18 months staff at the club, working in partnership with parents, have successfully implement a new communication system for a user using an Apple iPad app. 
The outcome means a young man has been able, for the first time in his life, to make choices in several areas of his life. 
Accuro Saturday Play Club is committed to continue developing functional communication systems for the children and young people attending the club. 
Winning the Lloyds Bank Community Fund would enable Accuro to significantly expand its work in this area. 
For example it could fund a range of equipment which by co-operating with parents and schools, can carefully match the needs of individual children. 
The funding would also enable the charity to provide appropriate training for staff. 
The benefits of such a project would be long term with the user having a communication system that is appropriate for their current needs and which can be adjusted and developed to meet future requirements. 
Accuro chief executive Arthur Steward said: "Communication is so vitally important to all of us that it is easy to see what a huge difference the Lloyds Bank Community Fund could make to children and young people attending our Saturday Play Club. 
"Many of us take for granted being able to easily express our wishes and needs but for some young people with a disability, for whom this is not the case, providing a means by which they can express themselves can frankly be life changing. 
"I would ask you to vote for this project. In so doing you really could help make a significant, lasting difference to the lives of a group of local children with a disability." 
Members of the public can vote for their preferred community group on-line, by text message, via Twitter, or in Lloyds bank branch until October 10. 
The local good cause that receives most votes in each community will receive an award of £3,000, with the other groups receiving £2,000, £1,000 or £500 depending on the votes received. 
For more about the Community Fund and Accuro Saturday Play Club, and to cast your vote, visit the Lloyds Bank Community Fund website www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund


Hog roast raises £3,500 for Jubilee Lodge

4.59pm - 8th September 2014

A HOG roast raised £3,500 for Vitalise Jubilee Lodge, the Chigwell respite break centre. 
The Friends of Vitalise Jubilee Lodge event, supported by Ongar Round Table, was held at Garnish Hall, Theydon Garnon, on Sunday with the 200 guests - twice as many as last year - enjoying entertainment and activities including an art exhibition, music by 'Second Nature' and stalls selling cakes, produce and books. 
A raffle organised by Vitalise raised £700 alone.
 Vitalise is a national charity providing essential breaks for people with disabilities and carers. 
Vitalise provides short breaks with 24-hour nursing care on-call and personal support at Jubilee Lodge and two other UK centres, in Southampton and Southport. 
Each centre offers a wide range of accessible activities and excursions in a holiday environment. 
Ros Dover, of the Friends of Vitalise Jubilee Lodge, said: "What a wonderful day we had. The sun shone, the food was delicious and we had record numbers of guests attending to support Jubilee Lodge. 
"Each year the hog roast raises valuable funds for Jubilee Lodge. In this, our ninth year, the event raised over £3,500, so I would like to thank the local community for their kindness and generosity in support of this fantastic local cause. 
"On behalf of the Friends of Jubilee Lodge I would also like to thank Ongar Round Table, the Rotary Club of Epping Forest and the Epping and North Weald Air Cadets for their generous support in helping us make the event happen, and Di Collins for allowing to use her beautiful garden." 

Epping Forest Rotarians on the Hog Roast PICTURE


CHIGWELL SHOOTING: Police search every car on shooting site

11.12am - 8th September 2014

POLICE investigating the shooting of a man at the Woolston Hall site in Chigwell searched every vehicle on the site. 
Officers took hours to undertake the task after declaring a "critical incident" yesterday afternoon. 
An armed police presence has now been lifted but officers remain on-site carrying out forensic investigations. 
Businesses on the site have been able to open today. 
A 36-year-old man who was shot in the shoulder has now left hospital.


Prison talk to ladies group

11.12am - 8th September 2014

A TALK on her time as prison officer was given by Pauline Martindale to the September meeting of Ongar and Shelley Ladies Thursday Group. 
Pauline had been a prison officer for over 23 years working at Holloway Prison and Wormwood Scrubs Prison. 
The Sun newspaper's Royal photographer Arthur Edwards will be the guest speaker at the next meeting, in the Church Rooms, Castle Street, Ongar, on Thursday, October 2.


Hospice launches scratch card

10.34am - 8th September 2014

ST Clare Hospice has launched a scratch card as part of the expansion of the St Clare Lottery. 
As part of the launch the Hastingwood-based charity held a 'Bring a £1 to Work Day' for staff and volunteers, with 112 cards sold and 23 cash prizes won. 
St Clare lottery manager Caron Lakey said: "Buying one of our £1 scratch cards is an easy and affordable way to support your local hospice, helping us generate vital income to ensure we can continue providing our incredible care, comfort and support free of charge to local people with a life-limiting illness and their families." 
The scratch cards are on sale at the seven St Clare shops and other selected outlets within the hospice area and will also be available at fundraising events. 
The hospice is inviting local companies to become St Clare Corporate Ambassadors to help promote the scratch cards by organising their own 'Bring a £1 to Work' days. 
In May St Clare introduced a new prize structure for its weekly lottery giving players the chance of winning one of 24 weekly cash jackpots and introducing a new rollover prize of up to £10,000. 
"With better odds than a national lottery, more than 6,700 people play the St Clare Lottery, helping raise over £16,000 each month. 
To sign up for the St Clare Lottery, ring the Lottery team on 01279 773730, email lottery@stclarehospice.org.uk or visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk/hospicelottery.htm


CHIGWELL SHOOTING: Shot man leaves hospital

8.18am - 8th September 2014

A 36-YEAR-OLD man from east London who was shot on the Woolston Hall site, Chigwell, has left hospital after receiving treatment to a bullet wound to his shoulder. 
Police have stood down their armed presence at but detectives and forensic teams remain at the location carrying out further enquiries. 
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett said: "Specialist search teams will be carrying out a sweep of the location this morning but arrangements have been put in place to make sure that businesses at the location can open as usual. 
"We have spoken to a large number of witnesses and are building up a picture of the circumstances surrounding this incident. 
"We will be carrying out further enquiries today and if anyone has any information which could assist us I would ask them to call Loughton CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 
"I would reiterate that all the information we currently have suggests there is no threat to the general public from this incident."


PICTURES: North Weald Community Fun Day

8.14pm - 7th September 2014

FLYPASTS, plane stunts and a sombre march past to remember The Fallen all featured at the North Weald Community Fun Day on North Weald Airfield. 
This year's theme was remembering D-Day. 
Visitors could see an exhibition of the making of the film 'Band of Brothers', part of which was filmed on the airfield, with photographs of the sets. 
There was a flypast from various planes and a chance for the thousands of visitors to get up close to many others on the ground. 
There was also a display of military vehicles, classic cars, motorcycles and the Copped Hall Rolls Royce.
The march past finale was led by the Epping Forest Pipe Band with the salute taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre. 
All profits will go to the Herts and Essex Air Ambulance and the Royal British Legion.

For pictures click here 

For details on how to order prints of any of the pictures featured email everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com or ring David Jackman on 07710 447868.


CHIGWELL SHOOTING: Man shot at Woolston Hall site, Chigwell

7.07pm - 7th September 2014

ARMED police have been called to the Woolston Hall site in Chigwell after a man was shot in what has been declared a "critical incident", police have said. 
The victim suffered shotgun wounds to the upper body. He has been taken to a London hospital where he is undergoing assessment. 
A police spokesman said it is believed his injuries are not life-threatening. 
The incident happened shortly before 4pm today. 
Armed officers are at the scene which has been secured. 
Detectives are currently speaking to witnesses to establish the exact circumstances of what has happened. 
The entrance to the site, off Abridge Road, remains cordoned off with several police vehicles still at the scene. 
A police spokesman told Everything Epping Forest no-one has been arrested at this time and enquiries are on-going.
Essex Police are also liaising with the Metropolitan Police and other surrounding police forces. 
Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason said: "This has been declared a critical incident and Essex Police has mobilised a large number of officers including armed units in response. 
"At this time there is no evidence to suggest that there is any threat to the general public. 
"We will be constantly reassessing the information we receive as the investigation progresses to ensure that the safety of the people of Essex remains paramount. 
"If anyone was in the Woolston Hall area at the time of the shooting and has information of use to our enquiry I would urge them to contact us on 101."


Pub to host charity truck pull

12.51pm - 7th September 2014

A CHARITY truck pull at The Nags Head pub, Moreton, on Sunday (September 14) will be raising money for Help for Heroes and the Parachute Regiment Charity. 
Bonnie Skilleter, who took over the pub with her husband, Leon, in June, said: “This will be our first major fundraising event and we’re delighted to be supporting two very worthy charities. 
“We hope many people will come along to cheer on the truck pullers - and even come forward to take part themselves!” 
Proceeds from the event - which runs from 3pm until 5pm - will support The Bricklayers Arms Troop - a 15-strong group of pub-goers from the Bricklayers Arms pub in Stondon Massey, who are about to retrace the historic 75-mile route of Operation Market Garden 70 years ago. They will set off early on Monday, September 15. 
On Saturday (September 6) the Troop and their supporters stopped off at The Nags Head during a ‘military vehicle tour’ of local pubs to add to their current £9,000-plus total already raised. 
They clambered aboard ’Vera’, an ex-MoD Bedford MJ truck, which will be the group’s support vehicle for the five-day trek, and were joined for part of the route by a wartime Green Goddess fire engine. 
Group organiser Gary Middlehurst said: “We really appreciate The Nags Head holding the charity truck pull which will be our last ‘training exercise’ before we set off the following morning.” 
The group will cross each of the nine bridges which featured in Operation Market Garden in the Second World War during their five-day route march. Operation Market Garden - one of the most famous battles of the Second World War, the Battle of Arnhem - was immortalised in the film 'A Bridge Too Far'. 
On September 17, 1944, Operation Market Garden - the plan devised by Montgomery to end the war by Christmas - commenced with 35,000 US, Polish and British paratroopers flown 63 miles behind German lines in an attempt to capture the bridges between Lommel in Belgium and the town of Arnhem in Holland. 
For details about how to sponsor the Bricklayers’ Arms Troop, email Gary Middlehurst at gary.middlehurst@icloud.com or ring him on 07795 545843. 
You can donate at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OMG2014 

To register to receive news updates from The Nags Head send an email with ‘NAGS HEAD’ in the subject line to everythinglocalbusiness@gmail.com


EPPING STABBING: Police appeal to taxi and minicab drivers

12.30pm - 7th September 2014

POLICE investigating the stabbing of a man in Epping High Street have seized a vehicle and are appealing for information from taxi and minicab drivers. 
The victim, a 31-year-old man from London, remains in a critical but stable condition at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, having undergone surgery to s stab wound to the chest. 
The High Street has reopened to pedestrians but a section remains closed to vehicles while police carry out further searches. 
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett said: "The investigation is progressing, we executed a search warrant in east London late last night and have recovered a motor vehicle we believe is linked to this incident. 
"Today we will be continuing to search an area of the High Street using specialist resources. The High Street will remain closed to vehicles but there is access for pedestrians to the shops. 
"We fully appreciate the disruption this investigation has caused, but it is necessary for us to continue our search for evidence. 
"The victim was very seriously injured and remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital. It is vitally important that we secure all the evidence available to assist our enquiries. 
"From our initial review if CCTV it would appear that there were a number of witnesses to this incident including taxi and mini cab drivers. We would urge them to come forward to tell us what they saw." 
Anyone with information about the stabbing should ring Essex Police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


EPPING STABBING: Businesses come forward with CCTV offer

5.51pm - 6th September 2014

BUSINESSES in Epping High Street have contacted police to offer CCTV footage in a bid to help detectives with their investigations into the stabbing of a man. 
Several store managers have spoken with police at the scene saying they have CCTV cameras which it is hoped may have vital images as police continue to investigate the incident which happened in the early hours of this morning.



EPPING STABBING: Part of High Street to remain closed overnight

5.49pm - 6th September 2014

PART of Epping High Street is to remain closed overnight as police continue their forensic investigations after a man was stabbed. 
A 31-year-old man, from London, who was stabbed in the chest in shortly before 4.25am today, is in a critical but stable condition in the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, where he underwent surgery. 
Police enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the attack are continuing. 
Anyone with information which could assist detectives should ring Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 
A police spokesman said forensic examinations of the scene are not yet complete and a section of the road will remain closed overnight to both vehicles and pedestrians.



BREAKING: Man found stabbed in Epping High Street

8.53am - 6th September 2014

A MAN is undergoing surgery after being found stabbed in Epping High Street.
The road remains closed this morning as police investigate the incident which happened in the early hours. 
Officers were called shortly before 4.25am today following reports that a man had been found collapsed.
Ambulance paramedics were called and he was taken the Royal London Hospital for treatment. 
A police spokesman said it has been established that the man, who is believed to be in his early 30s, suffered a stab wound to his chest. He is currently undergoing surgery. 
Police have cordoned off an area of the High Street while a forensic examination of the area is carried out. Officers would like to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time that the incident occurred. 
They can contact Essex Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.



Counting the cost of vandalism

10.17am - 5th September 2014

ONGAR Town Council has voiced its disappointment that there has been continued vandalism at the council's play areas, skate board park and allotment sites. 
Deputy clerk Judith Cook told last night's open spaces committee that recent damage had taken the total repair bill to over £1,000 in the past couple of years. 
Councillors were told that police are actively investigating the latest incident with the use of CCTV images and hope this will result in the perpetrator being apprehended. 
Committee chairman Alison Wingfield said: "It seems that a few people are intent on ruining facilities provided for the enjoyment of others. 
"Play equipment has been damaged, which is clearly a danger to children's safety, as well as fires lit in several areas. 
"Allotment tenants must be very disheartened to have had damage done to their crops after all the hard work they have put into it. This also has a detrimental effect on council finances as funds are required to repair the damage and therefore cannot be used for new projects." 
Councillors are appealing for the public's help to prevent more damage. 
Anyone who sees any suspicious behaviour should report it to Essex Police on the non-emergency number 101 or to Ongar Town Council on 01277 365348.


Lifewalkers walk for charity

8.33am - 5th September 2014

WALKERS have supported Cancer Research and Macmillan Cancer Support by raising money while taking part in Epping Forest District Council's Walking for Health scheme Lifewalks. 
Elaine Hammond, a mum who has secondary breast cancer and has been told she has only years to live, hopes to raise £20,000 for cancer charities by organising a series of sponsored walks around the world.
About 65 people took part in several walks in the Epping Forest and Lee Valley areas, raising £91. 
Elaine 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."


Sikhs mark First World War centenary

8.31am - 5th September 2014

THE centenary of the start of the First World War was commemorated by representatives of the East London Sikh Community at the Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Buckhurst Hill. 
The Council of Gurdwaras South East paid tribute to the men and women from all faiths and cultures from around the world who served in the First World War. 
The three-day event included lectures and presentations from historians, faith leaders and politicians. These included Lord Indarjit Singh, author Bhupinder Singh Holland, Pastor Steve Adewole and Epping Forest District Council chairman Tony Boyce. 
Among the guests were East Ham MP Stephen Timms, Ilford South MP Mike Gapes, Grange Hill councillor Kewal Chana and Sikh veterans from the Second World War. 
Mr Boyce said: "The Sikh contribution and involvement in the First World War is often overlooked. This event serves as an important and poignant reminder to today's younger generation of the sacrifice 130,000 Sikhs made fighting for Britain. 
"Their devotion to duty and loyalty to their regiments should make every member of the Sikh community proud. 
"We in Britain owe them our eternal gratitude as their sacrifices have given us the freedom we all enjoy today."


Council to increase cemetery fees

8.19am - 5th September 2014

ONGAR Town Council is proposing to raise its fees for the Love Lane cemetery "above the level of general increase".
The matter was discussed by last night's open spaces committee which agreed the details of the increase should be determined by the finance committee. 
Council vice-chairman Brian Surtees said the increase was "an opportunity to slowly bring them (the fees) in line with other burial places and establish a maintenance fund".


Town council to highlight vandalism

8.17am - 5th September 2014

MORE incidents of vandalism have been reported by Ongar Town Council which is now compiling a list of damage costs to highlight the problem to the public. 
In the latest incidents a litter bin in the Bansons Lane skate park has been set on fire and a rubber seat on the zip wire at the QE11 recreation ground, Love Lane, cut off and an attempt made to start a fire.
Meanwhile tomatoes from the plot on the Moreton Road allotments which won a best kept allotment award from the council have been thrown into the road, last night's open spaces committee was told.


Accountant facing seven marathons in seven days

11.17am - 3rd September 2014

A PARTNER with Loughton-based Haslers chartered accountants is one of 12 competitors hoping to conquer one of the most extreme marathon challenges - running a marathon on each of the seven continents in just seven days. 
Jon O'Shea  will be taking part in the World Marathon Challenge, which starts on January 17 on the Union Glacier in Antarctica where he will face temperatures of between -20C to -25C. 
He will then attempt to complete full marathons in Punta Arenas (Chile), Miami, Madrid, Marrakesh in Morocco, and Dubai, finishing in Sydney, Australia. 
In completing the World Marathon Challenge, Jon will have run 183 miles, travelled about 24,000 miles around the world whilst experiencing a likely 50 degree temperature change and living off of airplane food, all in less than 168 hours.
Jon is taking part in the challenge in memory of two colleagues at the Loughton firm who lost battles with cancer, and is aiming to raise £50,000 for three charities. 
He said: "In the last two years we have lost our former chairman, Martin Anderson, and also our youngest employee, Charlotte James, to the curse that is cancer and I will do this challenge in their memories and to raise funds under the Haslers Foundation banner." 
The full amount raised will be split evenly between St Clare Hospice in Hastingwood, Teenage Cancer Trust and the many local charities and causes that the Haslers Foundation has supported. 
Jon added: "I am only going to do this once! So now is the time to dig deep and make a real difference to these incredible charities. I hope with the support of the public I can raise close to my £50,000 target." 
To combat the marathon fatigue, jet lag and sleep deprivation that Jon is likely to face, he has already started an intensive training regime. 
Part of his training will include running four marathons including the Kazbegi Mountain Marathon at 6000ft above sea level on September 6, the Volcano Marathon in the Atacama Desert at 14,000ft, a marathon in Chelmsford and a 50km Ultra-Marathon in London in mid-October. 
The World Marathon Challenge is organised by Polar Running Adventures, the organisers of the Volcano Marathon, North Pole Marathon and Antarctic Ice Marathon. 
Haslers chairman Laurence Jacobs said: "Jon is being given all the help and support he needs and as a firm we are extremely honoured and touched that he is doing this monumental challenge in memory of Martin and Charlotte and is raising money and awareness for two charities that are extremely important for the firm. 
"We hope clients, businesses and the people of Loughton and Essex really get behind Jon and help him reach his target of £50,000." 
To sponsor Jon please visit his Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/worldmarathonchallenge Jon will be updating supporters on his training via an online blog at http://www.haslers.com/worldmarathonchallenge/


Allotment holders praised for their efforts

10.53am - 3rd September 2014

LOUGHTON Town Council has presented its annual allotment awards. 
The presentations were made by deputy mayor Judy Jennings who congratulated all the allotment tenants on their hard work in tending their plots despite the changeable British weather. 
This year's professional judge was Jeff Barber, Eastern Region representative from the National Allotment Society. 
Following his visit at the end of July he said that every shortlisted entry was worthy of judging and he was very impressed that the plots were weed free given the recent weather conditions. 
Whilst noting that fashions in allotment growing change over time, Jeff was surprised on the low popularity this year of asparagus, herbs and blueberries and by the number of plot holders at the different sites growing purple climbing or French beans. 
This year's best allotment plot award went to Rosie Partridge, from the Loughton Potato Ground. 
A previous winner, in 2009, Rosie received the large silver cup to hold for 11 months and a £25 gardening voucher. 
Jeff said Rosie's plot met all the criteria and congratulated her on her attention to detail and obvious forward planning of cultivation to avoid bare soil. He particularly liked the wide variety of brassicas on her plot grown in shorter rows. 
The winner of the Best Newcomer Award for allotment tenants with less than two years' experience was Sebastian Perri, from the Roding Road site. 
Sebastian, who had only held the plot since April, received the commemorate shield and a certificate.
Certificates were also presented to the highly commended and commended plot holders. 
Following the recent dissolution of Debden Horticultural and Allotments Society after 64 years, Mrs Jennings took the opportunity to pay tribute to the work of all the former committee members of the society for their hard work and dedication in undertaking the managerial role at the Willingale Road site, a role which is unpaid and can be extremely challenging. 
The site is now directly managed by the town council.


PICTURE: Chairman of governors receives BEM

8.52am - 3rd September 2014

THE chairman of governors at Hereward Primary School, Loughton, has been presented with the British Empire Medal he was awarded in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. 
Raymond Warner is recognised for his 20-plus years' service to Hereward Primary School and to the community in Loughton and Epping Forest. 
Mr Warner received the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre, when he was accompanied by his wife, Hilary, to a ceremony at Ingatestone Hall, last night (Tuesday). 
Mr Warner said: "The ceremony was moving and dignified. I felt honoured to be amongst people being recognised for the contribution they have made to their community. 
"I am especially pleased that Hereward School featured in the citation read at the ceremony." 
In addition to his work with Hereward Primary School, Mr Warner has for many years been chairman of the Epping Forest District Committee of ABF The Soldiers Charity which raises much-needed funds for injured soldiers and their dependents. 
Mr Warner has always had a keen interest in local and national politics and continues to take part in a wide range of activities. 
He has held several senior officer posts in the Epping Forest Conservative Association including chairman on two occasions. 
He was Election Agent for Eleanor Laing MP at the last General Election. 

Raymond Warner with the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre PICTURE


PICTURES: Charity founder presented with BEM

8.35pm - 2nd September 2014

THE founder of The Dream Factory charity, Avril Mills, has been presented with the British Empire Medal she was awarded in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. 
Avril, 55, received her honour from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex at a ceremony at Ingatestone Hall this evening (Tuesday). 
She was accompanied by her daughter, Emma, son, Josh, parents Sara and Ron Kay. 
Also at the presentation were Lynda Clarke, chair of the Dream Factory trustees and charity patron Ruth Clarke. 
Avril, who lives in Epping, said: "The honour of receiving such a special award from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex in front of my family is something I will remember for the rest of my life." 
Avril founded the charity six years ago following the death of her nine-year-old son, Oliver, from leukaemia in 1999. 
Avril, who has been invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party next summer as part of her award, was told of her honour on Friday, June 13, on what would have been Oliver's 24th birthday. 
Avril began fundraising in 1994 when she raised money for Barts and the London Hospital. 
She then worked voluntarily for the charity Hopes and Dreams which aims to grant the dreams of sick children. In 2000 she was employed as a part-time fundraiser at Haven House Children's Hospice, Woodford Green, and quickly progressed to events manager in 2004. 
In 2008 she founded The Dream Factory which has now granted 285 dreams for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. 
The charity is currently working on more than 50 new dream requests.
Avril is involved at all levels of the process of dream granting, including fundraising, media, social networking and attending events, raising money to make sure the dreams can happen.
In the years since she founded The Dream Factory she and her fantastic team of volunteers have been able to grant dreams leaving the children and teenagers with special memories which help to ease their life of constant visits to hospital. 
For details about the charity visit http://www.yourdreamfactory.org/ 

Avril Mills with the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre PICTURE

Avril Mills with the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre, daughter Emma and son Josh PICTURE 

Avril Mills with the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre, daughter Emma and son Josh and parents Sara and Ron Kay PICTURE 

Avril Mills with the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre, daughter Emma and son Josh, parents Sara and Ron Kay and charity patron Ruth Clarke (second from left) and Lynda Clarke, chair of the Dream Factory trustees (far right) PICTURE


Ongar Community Orchard taking shape

4.46pm - 2nd September 2014

ONGAR Community Orchard is starting to take shape with the help of Epping Forest Countrycare and funding partly provided by Ongar Town Council's Community Grants Scheme. 
The idea was created several years ago by local conservationist Alan Brett who was concerned that the number of local orchards had declined by more than 80 per cent in the last 25 years. 
In 2011 a small group of interested locals made a proposal to Epping Forest District Council to use the former allotment land on St Peter's Avenue, Ongar. 
Funding was obtained from the Rural Community Council of Essex (funded by the Big Lottery's Local Food Scheme and supported by Essex County Council) as well as Ongar Town Council. 
The Epping Forest Countrycare team supervise the volunteers to ensure safe working conditions and provide essential expertise. 
The orchard now contains apples, plums, pears, greengages and cherry trees which were planted in January and the committee is just waiting for them to bear fruit. 
It is hoped the orchard will be a useful resource for local schools and youth organisations with a theme of healthy eating and sourcing food locally.
A party of schoolchildren visited the orchard in March when they planted more than 300 wild flowers. 

(left to right) Abigail Oldham, from Epping Forest Countrycare, volunteer Alan Brett, Ongar Town Council chairman Diana Roberts, volunteers Jack Welchman and Wendy Brett and town councillor Andrew Kaye PICTURE


Three held over £2.4m tobacco smuggling plot

11.52am - 2nd September 2014

THREE men - including two from Loughton - have been arrested and illicit cigarettes and tobacco seized after a raid in the Abridge area by HM Revenue and Customs into a suspected tobacco smuggling plot worth an estimated £2.4m. 
HMRC Officers, supported by Essex Police and the National Crime Agency, seized 8.5 million cigarettes and 30kg of shisha tobacco as they were being unloaded from a container at farmland in the Abridge area on Saturday, August 20. 
The haul had arrived in the UK through London Gateway Docks from Dubai. 
Officers also searched premises in Loughton and east London seizing computers, mobile phones and paperwork. 
The three men - two from Loughton and one man from east London, all in their late 40s, were arrested on suspicion of tobacco smuggling under the Customs and Management Act 1979. 
They have been bailed until November 27. 
Martin Brown, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: "Tobacco crime undermines legitimate producers and retailers costs the UK taxpayer around £2 billion a year in lost revenue and has a serious and detrimental impact on our communities. 
"We encourage anyone with information about tobacco smuggling and fraud to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000." 
Essex Police Chief Inspector Jon Hayter said: "Essex Police regularly works with and supports other agencies. This was a successful result and an example of effective partnership work." 



Councillor proposes monthly litter picks

8.53am - 2nd September 2014

A PARISH councillor is willing to organise monthly litter picks in North Weald. 
North Weald Parish Council could purchase gloves and black refuse sacks for the initiative which would be organised by councillor George Mulliner on the first Saturday of the month around the North Weald Village Hall and Weald Common area. 
He told last night's meeting that he had recently cleared 60 items of litter and ten condoms from the area.


Complaints over M11 noise

8.52am - 2nd September 2014

A PARISH councillor has called for traffic noise coming from the M11 to be monitored following complaints from Hastingwood residents. 
North Weald Parish Council vice-chairman Brian Eldridge told last night's council meeting he had received "a lot" of calls from residents. 
He said the problem was worsened by the type of road surface and there being no roadside barriers. 
He added: "Along there the noise is continuous and when the wind is from the west it needs monitoring. When the M11 was built there should have been barriers."


Flats plan "madness beyond belief"

8.50am - 2nd September 2014

PLANS for 12 flats on the site of the former Carpenters Arms pub in Thornwood have been branded "madness beyond belief". 
The comments were made by a local resident who addressed last night's North Weald Parish Council planning committee. 
He added that the proposal made no mention of any evidence to support a view that the premises - latterly used as an Indian restaurant - had been advertised as a potential going concern. 
The meeting heard the proposal included 22 parking spaces. 
Councillor Peter Collins said: "We need to learn a lesson from the Blacksmith's Arms which was flattened and numerous properties put there which have created lots of local issues. 
"This is bleeding the heart out of the local community." 
The council agreed to object for various reasons including overdevelopment, the proposed building being out of character, noise and parking issues.


Fundraisers holding military vehicle tour

8.47am - 2nd September 2014

VARIOUS wartime military vehicles will take to the roads around Ongar and Brentwood on Saturday as fundraisers prepare for their charity challenge in Holland and Belgium. 
The Bricklayers Arms Troop, a 15-strong group of pub-goers from the Bricklayers Arms pub in Stondon Massey, will be retracing the historic 75-mile route of Operation Market Garden 70 years ago. 
But before they set off - on Monday, September 15 - they will be raising money as they drive a convoy of vehicles between local pubs giving customers and passers-by the chance to make a donation to their cause, and see the historic vehicles. 

Their itinerary is: 
2pm - Matching Tye - The Fox 
2.30pm - Moreton - Nags Head 
3.15pm - High Ongar - Forresters 
4pm - Blackmore - Leather Bottle 
5pm - Stondon Massey - Bricklayers Arms 
6pm - Leave Stondon Massey to head back to Matching Tye via Ongar High Street. 

Among the vehicles will be 'Vera', an ex-MoD Bedford MJ truck, which will be the group's support vehicle for the five-day trek, and a wartime Green Goddess fire engine. 
Group organiser Gary Middlehurst said: "This will be a great way for us to further raise the profile of our charity trek and to give people the chance to come out and show their support for our fundraising efforts.
"We will be collecting money as we go round the pubs and look forward to meeting as many people as possible." 
The Bricklayers' Arms troop has already raised over £9,000 towards its original target of £10,000 with the money supporting Help for Heroes and the Parachute Regiment Charity. 
The group will cross each of the nine bridges which featured in Operation Market Garden in the Second World War during their five-day route march. Operation Market Garden - one of the most famous battles of the Second World War, the Battle of Arnhem - was immortalised in the film 'A Bridge Too Far'. 
On September 17, 1944, Operation Market Garden - the plan devised by Montgomery to end the war by Christmas - commenced with 35,000 US, Polish and British paratroopers flown 63 miles behind German lines in an attempt to capture the bridges between Lommel in Belgium and the town of Arnhem in Holland.
The Troop has received support from numerous local businesses and charities, and is seeing its fundraising total boosted thanks to sales of a special OMG beer brewed by Brentwood Brewing Company which is making a donation for every barrel, pint and bottle sold. 
For details about how to sponsor the Bricklayers' Arms Troop, email Gary Middlehurst at gary.middlehurst@icloud.com or ring him on 07795 545843. 
You can donate at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OMG2014


Four candidates for district council by-election

4.12pm - 1st September 2014

FOUR candidates will contest the Epping Hemnall district council seat in the by-election on Thursday, September 25. 
The by-election follows the death of town and district councillor Ken Avey. 
Mr Avey's son, Nigel, is the Conservative candidate. 
Also standing are Kim Adams (Liberal Democrat), Andrew Smith (UKIP) and Anna Widdup (Green Party).


Airfield Community Day will remember D-Day

4.09pm - 1st September 2014

SECOND World War fighter planes, military vehicles and classic cars will be on display at the North Weald Community Fun Day on North Weald Airfield on Sunday. 
Family activities including free fairground rides for children will be available as well as refreshments and licenced bar.
This year's theme is remembering D-Day which took place 70 years ago on June 6, 1944. Visitors will be treated to an exhibition of the making of the film 'Band of Brothers', part of which was filmed on the airfield, with photographs of the sets. 
There will be a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Fight Spitfire and Hurricane, Cold-War Vampires, the airfield's Hawker Hunter and Jet Provosts as well as lots of static aircraft on display. 
There will also be military vehicles, classic cars, motorcycles, radio-controlled models and the Copped Hall Rolls Royce. 
Family friendly activities will include bouncy castles, free fairground rides, an adventure corner and farm animals. 
Visitors can also ride in a helicopter and browse a selection of stalls from the local community and the district council. D-Day veterans will share their experiences and the day will end with a march from the Royal British Legion and their band. 
Tickets, £5 per person, can be purchased at the gate from 10am. Free parking is available. 
All profits will go to the Herts and Essex Air Ambulance and the Royal British Legion. For more details, visit www.northwealdairfieldfunday.com


Chance for Ongar residents to comment on Draft Local Plan

10.51am - 1st September 2014

A PUBLIC discussion session on the Draft Local Plan, which will govern development in Ongar and across the Epping Forest district, is being held by Ongar Town Council on Thursday, September 11. 
The 'open forum' at the council offices in Bansons Way, Ongar, at 7.30pm will give local people a chance to air their views about the potential effect of the Plan before a series of meetings are held for parish, town and district councillors, starting in October.
Town council planning and environment committee chairman Brian Surtees said: "The 'open forum' at the town council's planning and environment committee meeting on September 11 will ensure Ongar councillors are best able to communicate the views of residents at the forthcoming meeting." 
Comments on the Draft Local Plan can also be made to Ongar Town Council by emailing clerk@ongartowncouncil.gov.uk


New Local Policing Team structure launched

10.48am - 1st September 2014

A NEW Local Policing Team structure for Epping Forest and the rest of the county is being introduced from today. 
Each of the ten policing districts, under the direction of a local Chief Inspector, has a team of officers responsible for responding to and investigating crime and other community concerns. 
The new Local Policing Teams will work from local stations and operate on a 24/7 basis. 
The changes will move 500 officers to work under the direct control of local police commanders. This is made possible by aligning the currently centrally co-ordinated response officers to the local policing teams. 
The reorganisation recognises the importance of local policing, clear accountability to communities and strong understanding local problems. 
A policing 'hub' will operate in each district with each hub, led by a local inspector, and is responsible for maintaining strong community ties and working with partners to tackle local problems. 
The teams will take a particular interest in dealing with issues such as anti-social behaviour, safeguarding repeat and vulnerable victims and tackling drug and alcohol misuse. 
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "Local policing is at the very heart of how I believe the public want policing delivered in the county. The changes we are making demonstrate our commitment to local policing. 
"The development of local teams, supported by the new policing hubs, recognises the fact that communities want officers with good local knowledge who really understand their local issues. 
"Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) visibly patrolling their beat continues to be a key part of the policing style in Essex. 
"I understand and agree with the importance residents and businesses attach to this local presence." 
Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston said: "I welcome the introduction of a new model for local policing which will ensure high levels of local responsibility for responding to and investigating crime and ASB incidents. 
"I'm pleased Essex Police has been consulting widely with local stakeholders about these plans.
"At the heart of the Police and Crime Plan for Essex is the concept of local solutions for local problems, and I know Chief Constable Kavanagh remains committed to this approach. 
"Returning officers to local supervision ensures ongoing ownership of crime and ASB incidents by local officers. 
"I'm delighted that PCSOs remain an integral part of the local policing model. I know how highly they are valued by local communities, and the visible presence they provide through their regular patrol beats is invaluable. 
"Another key element is close working between Essex Police and key partner agencies, such as Community Safety Partnerships, who together can help build a safer Essex. 
"As the local policing model develops, plans for enhanced and focused meetings between local officers and PCSOs and the public they serve will be implemented. 
"I see the opportunity such engagement provides for ensuring local challenges are addressed and resolved over time as a key part of the new local policing model." 
Dedicated domestic abuse investigation teams, code named Op Juno, have also been introduced across the county. Specialist officers and staff will oversee all domestic abuse investigations as well as work closely with partner agencies ensuring the best possible support for victims and a robust, co-ordinated response to those responsible. 
The Brentwood and Epping Forest Local Policing Team is headed by District Commander Chief Inspector Denise Morrissey.


Boys robbed by men with baseball bat and knife

7.46am - 1st September 2014

THREE boys were robbed when they were threatened with a baseball bat and one had a knife held to his throat as they walked along Alderton Hall Lane, Loughton. 
Police want to hear from anyone with information about the robbery which happened near the railway bridge at 10.40pm on Friday (August 29). 
Police say the 16-year-old boys were approached from behind and forced to hand over their belongings, including an Armani bag, a wallet and an iPhone. 
They were unharmed. 
The men ran off before driving away in a vehicle parked in Alderton Hall Lane. Both men are described as white and aged between 18 and 20. One was wearing a distinctive blue hooded top with white stitching around the pockets. 
The other suspect was dressed in black. Both men had their faces hidden under their hoods. Investigating officer DC Stephen Baker said: "This incident understandably left these boys very distressed. I'm keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time.
"I'd also like to urge people to be vigilant, stick to main roads and avoid taking short cuts." 
Anyone with any information should ring DC Stephen Baker at Loughton CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Churches to open for charity event

7.44am - 1st September 2014

TWO local churches - the Church of the Holy Innocents, High Beach and Abbey Church, Waltham Abbey - will open on Saturday, September 13 (from 10 am) for the church charity event Ride+Stride. 
Church supporters are sponsored to get on their bikes or put on their walking boots and visit as many churches as possible. 
Half of the funds they raise will go to their local church with the other half going to the Friends of Essex Churches Trust which makes grants to local churches in need of repairs and restoration work. Ride+Stride is open to everyone.
To find out how to take part and to download a sponsorship form visit www.foect.org.uk/rideandstride