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GCSEs: Epping St John's celebrates results

8.20am - 22nd August 2014

STUDENTS at Epping St John's School have been celebrating their GCSE results. 
Headteacher George Yerosimou said: "We are pleased to celebrate the excellent achievements of all our students, despite significant changes to the exam system and the way the students have been assessed this year. 
"Their achievements are testimony to the hard work, dedication and ability of our students and the quality of teaching and support of parents." 
High achievers were Katie Bennett (5A*, 4A, 1B), Fiona Black (4A*, 6A), Saffron Dunk (3A*, 4A), Hannah Mehew (10A), Arabella Moore (2A*, 7A, 1B), Evie Dolan (4A*, 3A, 3B), Danielle Corrigan (3A*, 4A, 3B), Jade Paterson (2A*, 4A, 4B), Joanne Murdock (1A*, 5A, 4B), David Chapman (1A*, 5A, 2B), Charlotte Wright (1A*, 2A, 6B) and Rory Donnellan (5A, 6B).


Registration open for Santa Fun event

8.13am - 22nd August 2014

REGISTRATION is open for The Rotary Club of Roding's Santa Fun walk or run on Sunday, December 7.
Adult entry costs £10, and includes a Santa outfit while children can register for £5 (and receive a Santa hat). 
Proceeds from participants' sponsorship will go to their chosen charity. 
The event - following a 1km or 5km course - will be held at Ashton Playing Fields, Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge, between 10.30am and 2.30pm. Refreshments will be available.
For more details, ring event co-ordinator Hilary Wrightman on 07836 671582 or email santarunrotary@gmail.com


M25 closed following lorry blaze

7.31am - 22nd August 2014

THE anti-clockwise M25 between junctions 27 (M11) and junction 26 (Waltham Abbey) remains closed this morning following a major lorry blaze. 
Six fire crews - from Harlow, Loughton, Ongar, Brentwood and Epping - took about two hours to tackle the fire which tore through the cab and trailer. 
Crews in breathing apparatus used two main jets, two hose reel jets, 80 litres of foam and a Highways Agency water bowser and high pressure jet to tackle the fire. 
The lorry is believed to have been carrying waste including paint, tyres and paper. 
No-one was injured in the incident. 
The Highways Agency says drivers should expect long delays this morning while the road repairs are carried out and the remains of the vehicle are cut into sections and removed. 
A signed diversion is taking drivers via the M11, A406 and A10, re-joining the M25 at junction 25.


Police appeal for witnesses after Loughton stabbing

3.23pm - 21st August 2014

POLICE are hunting a man who stabbed a Rottweiler dog and tried to stab his owner in Loughton. 
The victim was walking his dog on grassland next to Epping Forest College in Borders Lane at 7pm last night (Wednesday) when he was approached by a man. 
He tried to engage the victim in conversation before pulling out a kitchen knife and attempting to stab him.
The victim was not injured but his dog suffered a stab wound to the chest. 
The man ran off before jumping a fence and turning right into Colson Road. 
He is described as white, aged 17 to 22, 6ft 3ins to 6ft 5ins tall, of athletic to muscular build with short hair and clean shaven. He was wearing a grey tracksuit top, shorts and trainers. 
He also had a dark bag which was slung over his left shoulder. He had pulled the knife from the bag. 
The knife is described as a kitchen knife with a five to seven-inch blade and a black handle. 
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Paul Tindall said: "In the immediate aftermath of this incident the dog was rushed to a vets for treatment and is currently in a stable condition. 
"The owner has been left extremely shocked and distressed by what happened but was fortunately not physically hurt. 
"A full area search was carried out last night with the assistance of the police helicopter but the suspect has not yet been located. 
An area of Borders Lane is currently cordoned off while we carry out forensic and other investigations at the scene. 
"We have not yet established a definite motive for this incident and would appeal for any witnesses or anyone with information to contact us. 
"The suspect was seen in company with another man with a yellow top prior to the incident and he also ran off. 
"We are also very keen to trace a woman, who is believed to be a commuter, who spoke to the suspect shortly before the attack happened. She is described as black, smartly dressed in black and was carrying a bunch of flowers. 
"We would urgently ask her to get in touch with us as we believe she could have information that would be of vital assistance to our enquiry. 
"We are determined to find the man who carried out this attack and arrest him as soon as possible. 
"Anyone who was in the Borders Lane area at the relevant time or thinks they may have any information of use can contact me at Loughton CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."


GCSEs: Bancroft's delighted with results

3.21pm - 21st August 2014

BANCROFT'S School students have again produced a "very pleasing" set of GCSE results. 
The Woodford Green school has maintained it standards with 97% of all exams taken being awarded grades A*, A or B. 
Eighty per cent of the year group obtained an A* in Maths - a school record for the subject. A fifth of the year group achieved eight A*s or better. Almost half (47.5 per cent) of all exams taken were awarded an A*.
Headteacher Mary Ireland said: "We are delighted to report that every single member of this year group has achieved at least seven good GCSE grades. 
"It is a shame that the government is playing politics with our children's futures, however the pupils and staff have all worked incredibly hard to produce this set of results."


GCSEs: Braeside results "reflect hard work"

3.02pm - 21st August 2014

AN impressive set of GCSE results were achieved by girls at Braeside School, Buckhurst Hill. 
Thirty-one per cent of the papers sat were being judged to be at A* or A standard and 88 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades including English and Mathematics. 
Headteacher Gillian Haddon said: "The national press has again recently highlighted the value and success of single sex schools and those of us who work at Braeside truly endorse this opinion. 
"The results this year reflect how hard our girls have worked and how well they have been supported by our experienced, well qualified staff. 
"Our pupils have offers to study in many different Sixth Form settings and I am confident they will embark on their 'A' level courses with determination and clear ambitions for the future. 
"We are delighted for them all." 

* The school, which has been dedicated to the education and well-being of girls since 1944, celebrated its 70th birthday at the end of the summer term and used the milestone as a central theme in its Speech Day. Guest of honour Jo Barnard, an old Braesidian and Director of Quest Professional in Central London, presented the prizes. 
Both she and the headteacher spoke about the changing role of women in society and the considerable opportunities and challenges that are now available to women who have good examination grades, well-rounded personal qualities and a flexible approach to life. In recent years 
Braesidians have successfully moved on to Sixth Form studies and then to university ultimately fulfilling their ambitions in a wide range of professional fields such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, law, accountancy and psychology to name just a few.


GCSEs: Chigwell School student nets 12 A*s

2.54pm - 21st August 2014

CHIGWELL School GCSE students have been celebrating their exam results. 
Of the 82-strong year group, 18 students achieved seven A* grades or more and Rhea Gupta gained an impressive set of 12 A* grades.
In addition to their full complement of GCSEs, four students also took the Higher Project Qualification which requires considerable independent study, and all achieved an A*. 
The A* grade was the most common grade awarded to Chigwell pupils this year and 34 per cent of all grades were A*, five times the national average; 67 per cent of grades were at least an A grade, and 89 per cent were at least a B grade. 
Headmaster Michael Punt said: "We are very proud of all these students. They have worked very hard with their teachers, contributed a great deal and have been a really cohesive year group. 
"I know many were delighted with the results they achieved and I hope that this encourages all of them to continue to set their sights high for the future."


GCSEs: West Hatch "proud" of students

2.04pm - 21st August 2014

WEST Hatch High School is celebrating another round of excellent GCSE exam results. 
Some 90 per cent of students achieved five or more A*-C grades and 69 per cent achieved this including English and Maths. 
Top performers include Brittany Chan (6A*s and 4 As), Taylor Humphreys (6A*s and 4 As), Adedito Falase (6A*s and 2As), Freddie Dell (6A*s and 1A), Joshua Pope (5A*s and 4As), Anne-Marie Heed (5A*s and 3As) amd Matthew Wallace (5A*s and 2As). 
Headteacher Frances Howarth and staff are delighted that so many students can now progress to the next stage in their careers having secured the grades they need. 
For many this means continuing their education in the Sixth Form at West Hatch. 
Mrs Howarth said: "We are so proud of what our students have achieved, especially those who found their studies hard. "Congratulations must go to the students all and their teachers." 
These GCSE results follow last week's excellent A-Level results which saw many of the West Hatch Sixth Form progressing to study at their first choice university.

For pictures click here


GCSEs: Record results for Roding Valley

1.15pm - 21st August 2014

YEAR 11 students at Roding Valley High School, Loughton, have been celebrating following another record set of GCSE results. 
Some 68.3 per cent of all students achieved five A*-C including English and Maths, surpassing the previous record set last year at 64 per cent. 
There were some outstanding individual performances from students with Amy Kibblewhite, Georgina King, Jake Leggat, Rhianna King, Lauren McCorkell, Laura Barritt, Phoebe Cushion and Caris Jaffe achieving exceptionally high levels of attainment. 
Headteacher Paul Banks said: "The results that our students have achieved are superb. Every student has worked incredibly hard and deserves their success. 
"In a national context where GCSE results are dropping overall and grade boundaries are being pushed even higher, it is very pleasing to note that our students, once again, are bucking this trend. 
"Our results this year are the best the school has ever achieved by some considerable margin and I would like to congratulate the students on their hard work and dedication. 
"I would also like to thank the staff whose expertise and tireless support of the students has helped us achieve these outstanding results. 
"Our continued outstanding performance means that more and more of our students are achieving the highest levels of attainment.
"Our results are considerably above the national average and, coupled with the school being given a new 6th form next year, represent another notable achievement for everyone involved with the school." 
The school's incoming headteacher from September, James Luck, said: "I would like to add my congratulations to all the students and to Paul Banks and his staff for such a magnificent set of results. "This is clearly the outcome of so much hard work from all concerned and the students thoroughly deserve their success. 
"I am certainly in a fortunate position to be taking over at a time when the school is in such a strong position." 

Top achievers at Roding Valley High School celebrate their exam successes PICTURE 1  PICTURE 2


GCSEs: Davenant celebrates results

12.50pm - 21st August 2014

STAFF and students at Davenant Foundation School, Loughton, have welcomed another excellent set of GCSE grades.
 Once again the overall score for students achieving five or more A*-C grades (including Maths and English) was high. This year the figure stands at 78 per cent. 
Fifteen students achieved at least ten A*/A grades with Sinead Donaghy and Daniel Rowden each achieving ten A* grades. 
They will now continue with their A-Level studies in The Davenant Sixth Form where it is expected a record number of students may join Year 12. 
Daniel has had a particularly successful summer. Apart from his examination achievements he was chosen to captain the England Boys' Athletics team in the Home internationals - this was after he won the 800m at the English Schools Championships at Birmingham.
In September he will participate in the UK School Games in Manchester. 
Headteacher Chris Seward said: "We have been very pleased with the results received this week for GCSE. There has been talk about some fluctuations because of changes in the examinations in 2014 but, with little exception, we have found our results to be broadly in line with previous years. 
"I would like to thank all staff and to congratulate all students who have worked to ensure that individual goals have been achieved. 
"It is important to us that students of all abilities have been able to achieve their best."

For pictures click here


Up to £20,000 available for community groups

8.18am - 21st August 2014

VOLUNTARY groups, residents associations and parish councils can bid for grants of up to £20,000 from Essex County Council to support schemes benefiting their local communities.
The funding is available through the council's Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) which is aimed at helping local groups develop and improve community services. 
Groups can apply for funding for schemes which improve peoples' health and wellbeing, enhance their education, create a more sustainable environment or stimulate economic growth. 
Groups need to submit an expression of interest form by August 29. 
Libraries, communities and planning cabinet member John Jowers said: "Local groups play a major role in communities and it's so important that they are able to continue their good work, especially during financially difficult times. 
"Through making this money available we can help them maintain and further enhance the services they provide for the benefit of the people of Essex." 
All applications will be assessed with shortlisted groups contacted to further develop their bid. Application forms will then need to be completed by September 26. 
For more details, including the expression of interest form and guidance notes, visit www.essex.gov.uk/cif or ring 01245 437887. 
All completed forms should be email to CIF@essex.gov.uk


Architects shortlisted for award

8.15am - 21st August 2014

BUCKHURST Hill-based architects The Tooley & Foster Partnership have been shortlisted in the Sustainable Social Housing Consultancy of the Year category of The Sustainable Housing Awards 2014.
The firm, which has received 11 environmental awards since 2011, has recently set up a trading division, Accredited Passivhaus Design, to deliver the most tested and proven approach to 'fabric first' low energy building design - Passivhaus. 
Passivhaus buildings provide supremely draught-free thermal comfort with very low energy use and high air quality. 
The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes in London on Friday, October 17.


Hospice launches business fundraising challenge

8.32am - 20th August 2014

HAVEN House is urging local businesses to take on a new fundraising challenge - Mission 365 - to raise £946 in a year to pay for a night of care at the hospice.
Hospice chief executive Mike Palfreman said: "Mission 365 is a brand new initiative which hopes to engage new and existing local business supporters to fundraise for the hospice. 
"It costs £946 to provide a night of care for our children. For many of our exhausted parents and carers that means a night of uninterrupted sleep and some time out, which really is an amazing gift that the local business community can provide to the parents of a seriously unwell child." 
Among the first businesses to sign-up are South Woodford recruitment company Contact Centre Partners.
For more details email mattcharlton@havenhouse.org.uk or ring 020 8505 9944.


Pubs to support The Dream Factory

10.25am - 17th August 2014

THE King William IV pub in Chigwell is underlining its efforts to be "at the heart of the community" by choosing to support the local Dream Factory charity. 
The King William - as well as the George and Dragon in Epping High Street and others in the Essex and south east area - will be holding special fundraising events in the coming months and will be focusing on fundraising for the charity over the Christmas period. 
In the run-up to Christmas the King William IV pub will be hosting a 'Making Christmas Dreams Come True' initiative using the pub as the base for its charity work. 
Manager Lucy Murphy said: "Our guests have really bought into this passion and love asking about what we are doing next and which charities we are supporting! 
"I'm delighted to have made this link with Avril Mills (the charity's founder) and The Dream Factory and look toward to working together to make a difference to some truly amazing and inspirational lives." 
The King William IV pub will be holding a festive showcase on Wednesday, October 15, which will include a preview of its festive menu. 
A number of local businesses will be showcasing their services and a raffle will be held in aid of The Dream Factory. In late November the pub will host a complimentary Christmas lunch for some of the charity's 'dream children' and their carers. 
The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills said: "We're delighted that the King William and others run by the company has decided to support The Dream Factory to help us raise money to enable us to continue to make dreams come true for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. 
"We have already made 290 dreams come true and have many more requests to meet which can only be achieved through our continued fundraising efforts.
"We look forward to working with the pubs and their staff and customers in the months ahead." 
For more about The Dream Factory visit http://www.yourdreamfactory.org/


Ceremony to commemorate Victoria Cross soldier

8.48am - 16th August 2014

A SPECIAL ceremony will be held at Loughton Cemetery to mark the centenary of the award of a Victoria Cross to Private Sidney Godley. 
Private Godley joined the Royal Fusiliers in 1909. At the outbreak of the First World War the Fusiliers were among the first regiments to embark for France, travelling straight to the Front at Mons in Belgium. 
During the Battle of Mons on August 23, whilst guarding vital bridges, his battalion came under heavy fire and suffered terrible losses. 
Despite being wounded Private Godley bravely manned the machine guns to cover the retreat of his fellow soldiers.
His citation for the Victoria Cross reads: "This afternoon Private Godley showed particular heroism in his management of the machines guns, Lieutenant Dease having been severely wounded, and each machine gunner in turn shot. Under extremely heavy fire he had to remove three dead bodies to get to the gun." 
After his capture by the Germans that day, he spent the remainder of the war in a camp at Döberitz before escaping in 1918 and making his way to Denmark. 
Sidney and his wife, Ellen lived for many years in Torrington Drive, Loughton, until his death in 1957. 
He was buried with full military honours in Loughton Cemetery. 
The commemorative service at the graveside - at 4pm on Saturday, August 23 - will be led by Rev'd Geoffrey Smith, from St John's Church, with readings by representatives from the town and district councils. 
All local residents are invited to attend. 
The service will be followed by light refreshments at the Loughton headquarters of the Royal British Legion in Church Hill.


Council making progress with club plans

1.54pm - 15th August 2014

ONGAR Town Council is continuing to progress its plans for when it takes over the management of the Ongar Social and Sports Club facilities when the current lease expires in February 2015. 
Town clerk Aimi Middlehurst has met with the club's treasurer, Roy Durrant, and councillors will be meeting with the club's executive committee in the near future to give a progress update.
Last night's town council finance committee agreed that approaches should be made to investigate all options regarding the future of catering arrangements at the club, and to source potential grant-making organisations, including Essex Environment Trust and Essex County Council's Community Initiatives Fund.
The council has repeatedly stated that it wants to expand the sports and opening times and to ensure that the facilities are made available to the wider community. 
Finance committee chairman Brian Surtees told the finance committee meeting: "We will be managing the premises and seeking to provide as wide a range of facilities as possible." 
The council is currently advertising for a full-time manager for the Love Lane site.


Student appearing in Sky One dance contest

10.03am - 15th August 2014

A WEST Hatch High School student is through to the semi-finals of TV dance contest Got To Dance on Sky One. 
Michael McNeish, 18 - part of the five-member dance group Boyband - appeared on the first episode of the new series when the group wowed judges with their performance. 
Rachael Utting, Head of Dance and Head of House at West Hatch, said: "Michael has been studying dance and Performing Arts at West Hatch High School for the past four years. 
"He is one of the most talented dancers I have ever had the privilege of working with. He is incredibly humble too. 
"Michael has performed in the school dance show many times and always amazes me with his natural performance skills and sheer talent, even though I see him dance every day!" 
She added: "He is a pleasure to teach, an asset to our school and will no doubt 'make it' in the dance world. "I am honoured to call him a student of mine and so proud of his achievements so far." 
Michael, who was in Year 12 at the High Road school last year, has studied A-levels in Dance and Performing Arts. 
He will now be going on to study at Bird College of Dance. 
Dancers in the Sky series are competing for a top prize of £250,000.


A-LEVELS: Exam success at Chigwell School

2.46pm - 14th August 2014

A-LEVEL results have been a cause for celebration at Chigwell School. 
Twenty per cent of all grades were A*, compared to a national average of 8 per cent; 54 per cent of Chigwell grades were at A grade or better, over double the national average; and 84 per cent of grades were at least a B. 
The grades will enable students to take up offers of places on a whole range of highly selective university courses and a small number will move directly into employment. 
Head of School Katie Marshall will take up her place to study Medicine at Christ Church College, Oxford, having achieved three A*s and one A grade. 
Head Boy Richard Stavri's three A*s and two As take him to Durham University where he will study Natural Sciences while Marcin Wajs and Yitian Zhao both achieved four A*s and one A grade taking them to Cambridge University where they will study Natural Sciences and Chemical Engineering respectively. 
Lolita Gendler will be studying Philosophy at Durham with her two A* grades and an A whilst the same grades, in different subjects, mean Kirthana Selvakumar will be studying Economics at Warwick University.
Headmaster Michael Punt said: "We are really proud of the students in this year group, some of whom have studied at Chigwell for just two years whilst others have been with us for most of their lives. 
"As teachers we are always delighted when the young people we have supported, work hard and achieve the very best grades they can enabling them to go on to fulfil their dreams in their lives beyond school. 
"This year, as always, students leave us to follow a whole variety of paths. We wish them all every future success and happiness and hope that they will stay in touch with us."
* The next Chigwell Open Day is on Saturday, September 27 where opportunities for entry into the Sixth Form will be explained with details of A-level courses. 
Students will also be able to find out more about scholarships and bursaries.



A-LEVELS: West Hatch students speak of results joy

2.22pm - 14th August 2014

STUDENTS at West Hatch High School have been speaking about their A-level exam successes after the school produced excellent results across the whole spectrum of A-level and Vocational courses.
Fifty per cent of Year 13 students achieved the highest grades of A*, A and B - up from 45 per cent last year. The percentage of students gaining A* and A grades also improved and now stands at 27 per cent. The overall pass rate is an impressive 99 per cent. 
Many students achieved at the highest level enabling them to go to top universities. 
Reggie Clark, 18, who achieved straight A*s in Maths, Physics and Chemistry and intends to study Civil Engineering at Bristol, said: "I don't know what to say. I didn't expect that." 
Olivia O'Grady, who was the school's top A-level girl after achieving an A* in English Literature and Maths and an A in Biology, said: "I'm really happy." 
She will now study English at University College London. Chloe-Annabelle Ward, 18, from Chigwell, gained an A* in Chemistry and As in Maths and Geography and will study Medicine at Sheffield University. 
She said: "I just can't believe it. Things like this don't happen to me." 
James Elverson scored A* in Biology, A in Chemistry and B in History (Chemistry at Nottingham) and Michael Kavanagh gained A* in Physics, A in Chemistry and B in Mathematics (Electrical and electronic engineering at Bristol). 
Stiff competition came from the vocational courses where 90 per cent of the Cache level three diploma (nursery nursing) students achieved AAA. Bonita Sawyer added BTEC Dance and is going on to study Children's nursing at London South Bank University. 
All of the BTEC Sports Diploma students gained between A*A*A* and A*AA. 
Congratulations also go to Sharrell Marshall, William Sabine, Toby Vincent, Sam Gibson and Head Boy Amrit Panesar, all each achieved triple A* and are going to study Sports Science or Physical Education at universities including Brighton and Middlesex. 
On the Advanced Applied Business course, Connor Hardy, Jack Ware, Aidan Saedi, Travis Ugbelase and Lauren Londors all gained BB. 
First year A-level students (Year 12) also achieved very well with an impressive 27 per cent of students gaining either an A or a B grade at their first attempt. 
Anna Clark achieved grade As in Biology, PE and Psychology and a B in Physics; Max Carlstrom gained As in Biology, Chemistry and Economics and a B in Mathematics. Close behind with two grade As and two Bs were Hayley Blaber, Harry Klein, Edward Yamah and newly-elected Head Girl Deanna Mathers. 
George Green, the school's Director of Sixth Form, said: "As an inclusive, caring, long established and successful Sixth Form we are proud of all of our students' results. 
"Their hard work coupled with excellent teaching from our experienced staff will enable West Hatch to continue to provide a high quality Sixth Form education. " 

For pictures click here


A-LEVELS: Success for Davenant students

12.18pm - 14th August 2014

AN overall pass rate of 99.8 per cent with 26.5 per cent of A-level papers graded at A* or A has given staff and students at Davenant Foundation School much to cheer about. 
Fifteen students each achieved three A grades with Sabina Abraham, Victoria Bedwell and Esther Burgess each achieving three A*s. 
Sabina now plans to read Law at the University of Sussex while Esther expects to attend Bath University to read Psychology. Victoria has a place at the University of Lancaster to read Linguistics. 
Tommy Sutton achieved two A*s and two Grade As and will now go to Cambridge University to read Medicine. 
Headteacher Chris Seward said there has been some uncertainty about the effect of changes in the A-level examination system this year with exams regulator Ofqual stating recently that "results would look different from previous years". 
Mr Seward said: "There are only slight differences to previous years and schools will need to spend the next few days looking very carefully at the results and comparing individual subject results with national data". 
Mr Seward emphasised the hard work and dedication of staff and students. 
"Every year we are able to congratulate students who have done fantastically well and have exceeded their own expectations. 
"I am very proud of the efforts that staff and students make to ensure successful results and, once again, most of our students are able to move on to university, employment and high quality apprenticeships. "We all wish them well."

For pictures of the top students at Davenant Foundation School click here


A-LEVELS: Record results at Bancroft's

8.37am - 14th August 2014

BANCROFT'S School A-level students helped the school see a rise in the number of A* grades. 
Joanne Pham and Charlotte Krishek achieved a total of ten A* grades in their A-levels chalking up top grades in the same subjects - Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Further Maths. 
Both will follow their passions for the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) at university. Joanne has a place at Downing College, Cambridge to read Natural Sciences while Charlotte intends to study Medicine at Imperial College, London. 
Deputy head Mark Dixon said: "This is a remarkable achievement for the two girls. It is the kind of thing we will see once a decade." 
Seventeen pupils achieved at least three A*s (nine gaining four or more A*s) Bancroft's saw an increase in the number of A* grades rise to 30 per cent from 28 per cent last year. 
Head Mary Ireland said: "The school is delighted at the exceptional results achieved by this hard working year group. 
"Overall 90 per cent of the grades were A*-B, the best results the school has ever achieved, despite the increase in rigour in the system. 
"Our combination of bright, hardworking pupils and dedicated staff is clearly a winning one!"



Tea party celebrates three landmarks

5.17pm - 12th August 2014

MEMBERS of 4th Epping (St John's) Brownies and Epping mayor Barbara Scruton were among those who helped mark the 100th birthday of an Epping woman, the 100th anniversary of the Brownie movement and the 100 years since the First World War. 
Lorraine Egan marked her century with a tea party at Bakers Villas in Bakers Lane, Epping. 
The brownies have often entertained Bakers Villas residents with campfire songs and Christmas carols. When the residents learned of the Brownies centenary they agreed to help knit a commemorative blanket with 100 colourful squares. 
They also visited the Brownies to help the girls with their hostess badge by showing them how to make table decorations and button holes for the tea party. 
In turn the girls learnt to knit and made bunting to decorate the tea room. 
The afternoon tea party was a great success with brownies and residents helping each other in games, eating tea and singing songs. 
Brown Owl Julie Taylor said: "We had three special occasions to celebrate not only are Brownies 100 years old, but Lorraine was about to turn 100 and the First World War was also 100 years ago. 
"Our tea party paid tribute to all of these special occasions. We sang along to First World War songs, presented Lorraine with a Fudge Brownie Owl and flowers and presented Bakers Villas with a 'Brownie Rose' to plant in their garden."
The residents, whose ages ranged from late 70s to 99, enjoyed knitting the blanket for the girls and were pleased to hear they will be taking it on pack holiday with them every year. 
Epping mayor Barbara Scruton was also presented with a 'Fudge Brownie Owl' as a memento of the day.
She said: "It was so great to see different ages of the town celebrating together, learning together and having fun together. This was an event full of community spirit and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who attended. 
"The residents and Brownies had obviously worked very hard to organise such an event." 

Members of 4th Epping (St John's) Brownies with centenarian Lorraine Egan PICTURE their specially-made blanket PICTURE and Epping mayor Barbara Scruton PICTURE


PICTURES: Town council's allotment competition

1.12pm - 11th August 2014

ALLOTMENTS on Ongar Town Council's two sites - in Moreton Road and Castle Street - have been judged for the council's first annual allotment competition. 
The awards - to the winner and highly commended allotment - will be presented at the full council meeting on August 28. 
The plots were judged by Sophie Blythe, Edible Essex projects manager from the Rural Community Council of Essex. 

For pictures from the two allotment sites click here


Tower of London talk to ladies group

7.36am - 11th August 2014

A TALK on the Tower of London and its prisoners was given to the last meeting of Ongar and Shelley Ladies Thursday Group. 
The speaker was Brian D'Arcy, a retired Yeoman Warder and curator at the Tower of London who showed slides detailing the history of the tower and how it was built and some of the prisoner who had spent time within its walls.
The next meeting is at the Church Rooms, Castle Street, Ongar, at 8pm on Thursday, September 4.


Man, 64, charged after 1,100 cannabis plants seized

10.42am - 10th August 2014

A 64-YEAR-OLD unemployed man from Woodford Green has been charged after police discovered more than 1,100 cannabis plants at a business unit. 
Terrence Sando, of Rayleigh Road, has been charged with drug production after police executed a drugs warrant at a rented unit at Outwood Common Road in Ramsden Heath, near Billericay, on March 19, and seized over 1,100 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of about £290,000. 
He has been bailed to appear before Chelmsford magistrates on September 17.


Launch of Loughton Art Trail

9.46am - 10th August 2014

THE countdown has begun for Loughton's first Art Trail. 
From September 6-14 there will local artists' displays at various venues around the town, and a range of pop-up events, including meet the artist, street chalking, a children's trail and quiz, as well as a historical display telling the story of Loughton's rich artistic heritage. 
There will also be a display of local artist Jill Barklem's 'Brambly Hedge' prints. Loughton has a thriving visual arts scene with several art clubs. At its heart is Loughton Arts Centre which has showcased local talent for the past five years, and is booked up for the rest of the year. 
The Arts Centre - part of Lopping Hall, the town's 'cultural hub' - is fast gaining a reputation as an artistic stepping stone; a number of exhibitors have gone on to stage major shows of their work in London. 
Trail organiser and former Loughton mayor Stephen Pewsey said: "This is a new event, so we'll be starting small, but we hope the Trail will be fun and inspire everyone to grab cameras, pencils and paintbrushes, and bring out their inner Michelangelo!" Loughton has attracted artists for centuries. 
Poets, playwrights and painters have all been inspired by the ancient majesty of Epping Forest, and the great oaks and hornbeams still dominate the skyline in much of the town. 
To name but a few sculptor Jacob Epstein lived on Baldwins Hill with a panoramic view of the treescape, designer Walter Spradbery incorporated images of the forest into his iconic London Transport posters while painter John Strevens made subtle use of forest motifs in his landscapes and portraits. 
The influence of the arts and crafts movement can still be seen in the town's architecture. 
Today there is still a real if understated artists' colony at work in Loughton, inspired both by its natural aspect and its 'Golden Triangle' lifestyle.


Fire crews pump water from houseboat

8.46am - 10th August 2014

FIREFIGHTERS were called to help pump water from a houseboat at Roydon Marina. 
Three fire crews, from Harlow and Grays, were alerted shortly after 4pm yesterday after the owner raised the alarm after water began leaking into the vessel. 
Initially one crew was sent but additional appliances were ordered by the incident commander. 
The incident was dealt with by 6pm.


Co-op submits plans for Loughton store

7.59am - 9th August 2014

A CO-OP store could be built on Church Hill, Loughton. 
A planning application has been submitted for a convenience store with 12 parking spaces, a dedicated delivery bay and cash machine in the shopfront or the proposed premises at 113 Church Hill. 
The land has been at the centre of a campaign from local residents opposed to any move by supermarket giant Sainsbury to move onto the site with a third food store in the town.


Possession order sought to remove travellers

7.57am - 9th August 2014

LOUGHTON Town Council has instructed solicitors to seek a possession order for the removal of seven caravans and up to eight other vehicles after a group of travellers moved onto the Roding Valley Recreation Ground. 
The council says the caravans and other vehicles forced their way onto the land at the Cranleigh Road entrance on Thursday and are camped alongside the River Roding close to the athletics track. 
A council spokesman said: "We are working with the district council and the police to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. 
"The town council's solicitors have today (Friday) been instructed to seek a possession order for the removal of these trespassers."


Conservatives win district council by-election

10.49am - 8th August 2014

ROBERT Glozier has retained the Broadley Common, Epping Upland and Nazeing seat on Epping Forest District Council for the Conservatives with victory in yesterday's by-election.
He won the by-election, which followed the death of councillor Penny Smith, polling 155 votes - a 33-vote majority over UKIP candidate Ron McEvoy (122 votes). 
William Hartington (Green Party) received 23 votes with Arnold Verrall (Liberal Democrat) getting seven votes.
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing said: "I would like to congratulate Robert Glozier on his victory. He is an experienced and wise councillor and I am sure he will do a great job for the residents he now represents."
The turnout was 18 per cent.


Numbers increase at accountants

7.34am - 8th August 2014

LOUGHTON-based chartered accountants Haslers have appointed a new business development executive as part of the firm's continuing expansion. 
Akosua Safo, 34, joins the firm after a career within finance at Barclays Bank plc and other professional firms. 
Graduating from Greenwich University in 2003 with a BA Hons in Marketing and communications, Akosua also has a postgraduate diploma in event management. 
Her areas of expertise include relationship management, event management, business development and project management. 
She has worked with a range of clients including large FTSE businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises and private clients, in industry sectors including business services, manufacturing, leisure and tourism. 
Haslers' chairman Laurence Jacobs said: "The firm is delighted to welcome Akosua to our Business Development team. 
"Akosua has strong background in business development, particularly in the finance sector, and will take a key role in developing the business in new areas." 
Meanwhile Haslers have also taken on a new audit trainee, who has joined the firm on a year-long placement. 
Stephen Hall, a student member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, will work at the firm as part of his degree in Accounting and Finance at Hertfordshire University.


Cemetery fees to be increased

7.26am - 8th August 2014

ONGAR Town Council is to increase its cemetery fees to bring it more in line with other local councils. 
The open spaces committee is to look at increasing its rates over several years taking into consideration the amount of staff time involved in the management and maintenance of the cemetery in Love Lane.
Council vice-chairman Brian Surtees told last night's committee meeting the council "should up the fees by slowly increasing them to reach parity with other burial authorities". 
He added: "Burials are increasingly likely to be less popular as time goes by."


Dog owners reminded about cemetery fouling

7.24am - 8th August 2014

ONGAR Town Council is reminding dog owners about dog fouling in Ongar Cemetery following further incidents of mess being found in the area. 
The open spaces committee was told of one incident where an attempt was made to cover dog mess left on a path with gravel. 
Councillors have already issued a warning that dogs could be banned from the cemetery if the problem continues. 
Council vice-chairman Brian Surtees told last night's committee meeting: "If you're going to ban dogs, that's fine but you need the ability to police it, and also have a by-law that enables you to take action against anybody you catch." 
The council is to install one new and one repaired dog waste bin in an attempt to solve the problem."


PGA in Essex supports The Dream Factory charity

4.16pm - 7th August 2014

THE PGA in Essex has decided to support the Dream Factory charity. 
One way the charity will benefit through the arrangement is by receiving a donation for every birdie or eagle achieved by its members during the season. 
The charity, founded by Epping mother Avril Mills, has been selected by current PGA in Essex captain Mark Bishop, the head pro at Toot Hill Golf Club, near Ongar. 
The Dream Factory will also be supported next year after the next captain - David Hawkins, from Wanstead Golf Club - agreed to continue the partnership for 2015. 
Meanwhile Geoff Davis, captain at Toot Hill Golf Club, is also supporting The Dream Factory during his year and top European tour golf pro Simon Khan, who plays at Toot Hill, is continuing to support the charity through his involvement as a patron. 
PGA in Essex secretary Colin Reynolds said: "As an Essex-based charity it fitted our plans and having met with Avril recently I was impressed with her dedication and the wonderful work that the charity performs. "I hope can add a little to help such a fantastic cause." 
The PGA in Essex holds about 25 tournaments each season. 
The flagship tournaments are the Essex Open at Wanstead Golf Club next May and the Essex PGA Championships at The Burstead Golf Club in October this year. It is anticipated that The Dream Factory will have a presence at both these tournaments plus some of the Pro-Am tournaments. 
Mr Reynolds added: "In addition we plan to make a contribution based on the number of birdies and eagles our members achieve during the season. 
"This amount will be decided prior to the start of our season in October. This means the more successful our Professionals are then the better it is for our chosen charity!" 
Avril Mills said: "I'm delighted that the PGA in Essex have decided to support us - and the initiative which will see us benefit for every birdie and eagle recorded by its members is a great idea. 
"We look forward to working with the PGA in Essex in the months ahead." 
For details about the charity visit http://www.yourdreamfactory.org/

For pictures click here


GP staff learn more about cancer

1.04pm - 7th August 2014

PRACTICE nurses and nurse practitioners from GP practices across west Essex have completed a Talk Cancer Workshop delivered by Cancer Research UK. 
The group spent an afternoon becoming more confident talking about cancer as well as learning more about the disease and what the benefits of screening and early diagnosis are. 
As part of the workshop the nurses were given information packs containing leaflets that they can give to patients who may raise concerns in conversation. 
Dr Rob Gerlis, GP and West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group chairman, said: "This workshop means nurses in west Essex now have the tools they need to talk confidently to concerned patients, relatives or friends about cancer. 
"Their certificates of attendance show that they can take the crucial message of getting any unusual changes checked by your doctor early, into the heart of their communities." 
Ingrid Sollis, Practice Nurse at the Hamilton Practice, Harlow, said: "It was a very informative workshop and I came away feeling more comfortable and confident in talking about cancer with patients at my surgery. 
"It gave me lots of ideas about how to promote cancer awareness, where to direct patients for further information, and how to talk more openly about cancer, cancer screening, treatments and survival rates."
Cancer Research UK delivered the workshop free of charge to practice nurses from each locality who will use the training in their day-to-day work with local people. 
The nurses are also now better able to encourage people to make lifestyle changes, access local services and visit their GP promptly with any concerns.
Talk Cancer workshops aim to equip and empower community-based staff with the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver key messages around cancer prevention, screening, and early diagnosis to their patients. 
This additional training of practice nurses and nurse practitioners is part of the CCG's commitment to promote early diagnosis of cancer and timely referral to the appropriate treatment.


Church to hold 400th anniversary weekend

12.53pm - 7th August 2014

AN exhibition of photographs, engravings and artefacts will be held at St Michael's Church, Theydon Mount, to mark the church's 400th anniversary. 
The church will be open on Saturday, September 27 (11am-4pm) with light refreshments available throughout the day. 
In the evening (doors open 6.30pm) there will be a 7.30pm presentation illustrating the history of the church in words and music. 
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, will lead a celebration service at 10am on Sunday, September 28, which will be followed by champagne and cake, and a further opportunity to view the exhibition.
As part of the anniversary, an updated and expanded version of the guide book will be available, including new research and colour photographs, and items of commemorative memorabilia. St Michael's Church is Grade I listed, as a rare example of an early 17th church. 
Made with bricks from the local brickfields, it has some Renaissance decoration on the outside as well as the initials of the Smyth family of nearby Hill Hall - who paid for most of it - above the porch door. 
It has a remarkably complete 17th century interior crowded with fine sculptures, monuments and hatchments commemorating the Smyth family. 
It also has the only 'Maiden's Garland' in Essex - a crown-shape decoration trimmed with sprigs of 300-year-old boxwood, tassels and ribbons, carried on the coffin of a virtuous maiden who died before her wedding.
The striking stained glass East window is an allegory of the First World War and was designed by Wilfrid de Glehn, a friend of the famous painter John Singer Sargent. 
For more details, ring Colin Flint on 020 8500 6373 or email chigwell999@hotmail.com; or ring Anne Padfield on 01708 688233 or email anne@littletawney.co.uk


Council objects to Starbucks sign

12.16pm - 6th August 2014

PLANS for an illuminated sign at the new Starbucks coffee shop in Epping High Street are being opposed by Epping Town Council. 
An application is with Epping Forest District Council for an Illuminated and non-illuminated fascia sign and illuminated projecting sign at the former Wimpy premises at 199 High Street.
The town council's planning and general purposes committee has objected to the application saying internally-lit signage is not appropriate in the High Street because it would have an adverse effect on the historic character of the town centre. 
The committee has not objected to the design of the signage, only the nature of the illumination.


Georgie, eight, plans fundraising challenge

8.21am - 6th August 2014

YOUNG fundraiser Georgie Myles, from Nazeing, is taking on a series of summer challenge for Haven House Hospice, Woodford Green. 
Georgie, eight, a pupil at Nazeing Primary School, will be walking 15km up a mountain in the Peak District, running 5km round Holme Pierrepoint Lake in Nottingham as well as undertaking a 15-minute non-stop hula-hoop session, writing a story where the name of every sponsor becomes a character - and going a week without chocolate. 
Georgie said: "I wanted to help local children less fortunate than me as I know how lucky I am to be fit and well. 
"I like to take on a challenge and I thought it would be a great way to spend the summer helping to raise money for others" 
Hospice chief executive Mike Palfreman said: 'We are very lucky that we have such fantastic support from our local community however there is something extra special about a young person like Georgie doing her bit to help other, less fortunate children in her area. 
"We wish Georgie all the very best in her holiday challenge and want her to know that she will be making a vital difference to local life-limited children and families."
To sponsor Georgie and to get a mention in her story, visit https://www.justgiving.com/georgie-summer-challenge/


Race for Life raises £146,000

3.48pm - 4th August 2014

THE annual Cancer Research UK Race for Life event on North Weald airfield looks set to raise £146,000.
More than 1,600 women took part in the event, either running, jogging or walking the 5km or 10km course.
Epping Forest District Council chairman Tony Boyce, who started the race, said: "It was fantastic to see so many local women of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels turn up to support Race for Life. 
"The weather was perfect as they walked, ran and even danced around North Weald Airfield raising £146,000 for cancer research. "
Judging by all the smiles at the finishing line, it looked like everyone taking part had a great time."


PICTURES: Remembering the outbreak of the First World War

3.34pm - 4th August 2014

CHURCH services are being held to remember the day war was declared 100 years ago today. 
Lights Out ceremonies are also taking place to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. 
Wreaths were laid at the war memorial at St Andrew's Church, North Weald, this morning before a Service of Remembrance was held in the church. 
Wreaths were laid by the North Weald branch of the Royal British Legion, North Weald Parish Council, the Royal Air Force Association and the WI before five crosses were planted at five war graves in the churchyard. 
* The Epping and District branch of the Royal British Legion is holding a Lights Out ceremony at Hemnall Social Club in Hemnall Street, Epping, between 10pm and 11pm tonight when the first candles will be lit by Epping Forest District Council chairman Tony Boyce and Epping mayor Barbara Scruton. 
There will be readings of poems and some letters sent home by Epping servicemen as well as the reading out of the names of the 113 men from Epping who lost their lives. 
There will also be the singing of wartime songs before the evening ends with a prayer from Rev'd Canon Geoffrey Connor. 
* A service to commemorate the First World War is being held at St Mary's Church, High Road, Loughton, at 7.30pm. Essex County Council chairman Norman Hume will be among those attending. Everyone is welcome. 
* A Candlelit Vigil with music, poetry and readings to commemorate the outbreak of the Great War is being held at the Abbey Church, Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, at 9.30pm. 

For pictures from the North Weald Act of Remembrance click here


Police appeal over M11 collision

8.01am - 4th August 2014

POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a two-vehicle collision on the M11 near Harlow in which a woman was trapped. 
The collision, which happened on the northbound carriageway between junctions 7 and 8 at about 11.30am yesterday, involved a silver Citroen C5 estate and a silver and black Mitsubishi Shogun. 
The Shogun left the road and hit a tree. 
The Shogun's driver, a 26-year-old woman from Margate, was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. Her condition was described as serious but stable. 
The northbound carriageway was closed so the air ambulance could land and for forensic collision investigators to gather evidence. 
Police officers are grateful to motorists who patiently endured the delays whilst this vital work was carried out. 
Anyone who witnessed the incident should ring PC Paul Lindup at Chigwell Road Policing Unit on Essex Police 101.


PICTURES: Toot Hill Show

9.18am - 3rd August 2014

VARIOUS entries on a Tour de France theme featured in the marquee at the Toot Hill Show. 
There were also classes for vegetables and cookery as well as children's classes and flowers. 
A new addition this year was a craft tent. 
Other attractions included a gymnastics display by Team Kinetix, the Essex Pony Club, classic cars and Morris Dancing by the Etcetera Morris Men, stalls and sideshows and a dog show.

For pictures click here 

For details on how to order prints, which come in presentation folder/mounts, email everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com or ring David Jackman on 07710 447868.


Skate ramps at cycling event

7.36am - 2nd August 2014

YOUNGSTERS can enjoy skate ramps at a free cycling event at Roding Valley High School, Loughton.
Children aged nine and over can go along to the school (Brook Road entrance) between noon and 6pm on Monday and make use of portable skate ramps, including a half-pipe suitable for beginners and experienced riders. 
Membership to Skate Loughton will be required at a cost of £2. 
There will be a free cycle safety and bike set -p service run by Pedal Power from 1pm to 4pm. 
A further session will be held on Monday, September 1 (6pm-8pm). 
For more information visit www.skateloughton.org


Police appeal over pub assault

3.37pm - 1st August 2014

A MAN sustained five broken bones in his face when he was assaulted outside a Waltham Abbey pub.
Police want to speak to anyone who was drinking in the Green Dragon pub in Market Square on Saturday, June 21, and saw the "unprovoked" assault on a 43-year-old man. 
A police spokesman said the victim had been drinking in the pub with a friend and had gone outside to the smoking area for a cigarette. 
While he was outside, at 11pm, he was hit on the right side of his face. 
He was knocked unconscious and came round to find a woman trying to help him. 
PC Clare Ferdinand said: "We do not know if any weapon was used to strike the victim but he suffered extensive injuries including five broken bones in his face. 
"We have yet to identify the attacker but the pub would have been packed at the time as there was a disco going on. 
"I am sure some of the people there must have seen something or may know something about this attack."
Anyone with any information should ring PC Ferdinand at Loughton CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Disability Rocks at Lambourne End Centre

10.25am - 1st August 2014

ABOUT 800 people visited the Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning for its Disability Rocks event.
The charity, which works predominantly with young people helping them build their self-esteem, confidence, life skills and aspirations through our adventurous, environmental and farm activities, was chosen to host a south east England event which provided an opportunity to extend the Paralympic legacy in the area and celebrate diversity. 
Disability Rocks was instigated by a number of organisations working with disabled people in the local area. 
The event featured more than 100 volunteers with music ranging from West End choirs singing show songs to folk, reggae and ska bands, the 'Singing Hands' Makaton signing group from the CBeebies, an open mic busking stage, a DJ-ing workshop, Zinc Arts photo booth and a storytelling and sensory spectacle. 
For future event dates, more about the day and to see pictures click here


School's Early Years teaching praised

8.46am - 1st August 2014

EARLY Years teaching at Coopersale Hall School, Epping, has been praised in an inspection report which highlights the school's "outstanding" qualities. 
The Independent Schools Inspectorate report notes the "broad and balanced" education programmes and the setting of the school which makes "outstanding provision in meeting the needs of (its) children". Children are given "many opportunities to experience a wide range of activities" 
The report adds that staff consistently demonstrate high expectations of children both in terms of behaviour and learning, and they motivate the children with judicious praise and warmth. 
Staff are patient and caring, so encouraging the youngest children to take their time to gather their thoughts and express themselves with increasing confidence. 
The link between home and school is exceptionally strong, the report adds. 
It also states that the provision for childrens' well-being and the quality of leadership and management are "outstanding". 
Staff are skilled and experienced and form strong, vigilant and caring relationships with the pupils presenting excellent role models for kindness and courtesy thereby encourage high standards of behaviour and respect. 
"Consequently the environments are calm and ordered and the children feel happy and at ease".
School principal Matthew Hagger said: "The staff and I are delighted to receive 'Outstanding' judgements in all categories. 
"With such rigorous criteria for inspections nowadays this is a far higher standard than the national trend and is a testament to the hard-working Coopersale Hall staff who give everything for the benefit of the children. 
"With only five days' notice we weren't able to put in any special preparation and were inspected through a snapshot of the school as it normally is, as seen through an experienced team of independent and unbiased professionals. 
"At Coopersale Hall we continue to strive for the best education possible for our pupils, and we are confident that we will be able to build on this outstanding report and take the School to an even higher phase in its continuing development." 
The report's only recommended was that the school should ensure that the outdoor environments provide imaginative and challenging opportunities for children to pursue their interests outside the classroom.


MP praises district's community spirit

8.40am - 1st August 2014

FROM crepe-making at Epping's French Market and opening the Theydon Bois Donkey Derby to helping to celebrate Chigwell Riding Trust's 50th anniversary and having her blood pressure checked at Love Loughton, Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing has been busy attending events across the constituency. 
At the French Market, organised by Epping Town Council, Mrs Laing was invited to make crepes at one of the High Street stalls. 
She said: "It was wonderful to see Epping alive with French atmosphere just a week after hosting the Tour de France.
"One of my ambitions has been to make crepes on a proper French crepe stall - and I was able to realise this at last!"
Mrs Laing then met representatives from local organisations at the Love Loughton event at St Mary's Church in Loughton High Road before going on to chat to green-fingered gardeners at Buckhurst Hill Horticultural Society's summer show at Centenary Hall at St John's Church. 
Mrs Laing attended two equine events on the same day when she was joined the celebrations for Chigwell Riding Trust's 50th anniversary at its Open Day and opened the Theydon Bois Donkey Derby where she also started the first race. 
Most recently Mrs Laing officially opened the High Beach Festival which featured stalls and sideshows at the green near the Church of the Holy Innocents, which hosted an art exhibition, and a variety of attractions at the Epping Forest Field Centre. 
Mrs Laing added: "The events that I have attended in recent weeks just underline what an amazing place Epping Forest. 
"They all help to illustrate what marvellous charities and organisations we have in the area and highlight Epping Forest as an amazing place with such exciting summer events all of which attracted a large number of visitors." 
She added: "I must congratulate everyone involved with the events for their energy and enthusiasm which help support, and raise money for, such good causes."