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Revised plans for petrol station site


8.41am - 30th July 2011

REVISED plans have been drawn up for a development of flats on a former petrol station site in Epping. 
The new application for the Wintry Park Service Station site in Thornwood Road is for ten two-bedroom and two three-bedroom flats with associated car parking. 
The application will be discussed by Epping Town Council before a decision is taken by the district council.


Footballers set for fundraising dinner


7.49am - 30th July 2011

A CHARITY which raises money for disadvantaged young people in London is holding a fundraising event at Theydon Bois Golf Club on Sunday, September 11 (6pm-9pm).
The patron of the Lisbie Scouting Agency (LSA) is Millwall and former Charlton, Colchester and Ipswich Town footballer Kevin Lisbie. 
The celebrity black tie dinner gala fundraiser is set to be attended by a host of Premiership, Championship and ex- pros as well as Premiership managers. 
The evening will feature a five course meal, live music, comedy and autographed football memorabilia including football boots and shirts from England internationals. The LSA has been set up to combat the number of 16 to 25-year-olds in London who are not in education or employment, living in disadvantaged areas with high crime rates and increasing poverty levels. 
Kevin said: "All the young trainees on the LSA course receive one-to-one coaching from myself and qualified FA coaches developing each trainees' technical football ability. 
"Each mentor focuses on developing a positive attitude amongst the trainees and provide support throughout the employment process with the aim to get them into employment at a professional football club.” 
The money raised will go towards paying for the facilities and equipment used by these young people. 
For ticket information, ring 0845 116 3049 or visit www.lisbiescoutingagency.com


Winning hospice lottery numbers


11.29am - 29th July 2011

THE winner of this week's £1,000 jackpot in the St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Harlow. The winning number is 158545. 
The winner of the £100 second prize also lives in Harlow. The winning number is 818151. 
For information about how to join the lottery, ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).


Bank chief urged to reverse closure


9.02am - 29th July 2011

THE Essex Federation of Small Businesses has written to the chief executive of HSBC asking him to save the Ongar branch from closure. 
Business leaders say the closure of the branch, planned for September 30, will have an impact it will have on the High Street. 
HSBC says that with internet and telephone banking people are no longer visiting the branch in person. The fall in customer visits has now made the High Street branch one of the most under-used in the country. 
Essex FSB representative for Epping Forest, Tina Dulieu, said: "Last week HSBC - which uses the slogan ‘The world’s local bank’ at the top of its letter - told customers that the branch will close on Friday, September 30, which is bad news not just for local customers of HSBC but also for retailers in Ongar Town Centre. 
"That is why Essex FSB has this week written to the chief executive of HSBC, Stuart Gulliver, asking him to reverse the decision to close the Chipping Ongar branch." 
She added: "Having a bank in a High Street brings people to a town and while they are there they use the shops and other businesses that are nearby which helps those retailers remain viable. 
"When HSBC closes there will be another empty premises in an important part of Ongar High Street and such vacant properties make a Town Centre less attractive to shoppers. 
"This is a pity because Chipping Ongar has seen some new and innovative shops open in the High Street in recent times. 
"The implications of the closure of this branch are that there could be a reduction in the number of people visiting and shopping in Ongar and we would urge HSBC to think again and keep the branch open for local people and businesses to use."


Cycle hire scheme launched in forest


8.59am - 29th July 2011

BICYCLE hire is now available in Epping Forest thanks to a service launched by the City of London Corporation. 
The service is being provided by ‘Go Further Cycling’. Once bikes are booked, they will be available to collect from the Epping Forest Visitor Centre, in High Beach, or from any agreed location throughout Epping Forest. 
Bikes are suitable for all, including children from four years of age. 
Also available to hire are child seats, trailers and tag-a-long bikes making it possible for the whole family to get out and explore Epping Forest on two wheels. 
School groups and corporate groups can be catered for. 
Visitor services manager Tony Fenwick said: "For many years we have been inundated with requests to hire bikes from our Visitor Centre in Epping Forest. We are delighted that we can now provide this service. 
"We hope many more people will now be able to enjoy Epping Forest using pedal power.
"With our new bus service operating between Chingford, Loughton and High Beach on Sundays and public holidays, it is now more possible than ever to get out and enjoy the Forest without using a car." 
Wayne Starling, owner of ‘Go Further Cycling’ based at Debden House Camp Site, said: "Cycling is a fantastic way to explore Epping Forest so we are really pleased and excited about giving more people the opportunity to do so. 
"Many of our customers come from London and really enjoy a day away from city life."
To book a bike visit www.gofurthercycling.co.uk or ring 07944 699563. 
Ensure your booking is received 48 hours before the date of hire.


Fundraising dinner for hospice


8.58am - 29th July 2011

A CHARITY dinner will be held at the Spice Garden Indian Restaurant, Thornwood, to raise money for St Clare Hospice. 
Places are available priced £17.50 for a starter, main course, tea/coffee and drinks in the lounge. 
The dinner will be held at the former Mehmann restaurant, High Road, Thornwood, on Thursday, August 18. 
Restaurant owner Zak Miah said: "We are dedicated to enhance the community and doing our fair share. 
"St Clare Hospice has touched so many lives locally and we feel it is important to continue our support for the fantastic work they do." 
The hospice's community fundraiser, Camilla Whitby, said: "We are so grateful that the restaurant has offered to hold a charity dinner in aid of St Clare Hospice. 
"We know that many of their customers have a personal connection with us and hope that the event is great fun and successful." 
To book tickets, ring 01992 574 208 or 07985 490831.


Two injured in road collision


7.51am - 29th July 2011

POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a serious road collision on the A113 between Ongar and Stanford Rivers. 
The collision involving a Mercedes Kompressor and a VW Jetta happened at about 2.20pm yesterday (Thursday). 
The road was closed until shortly before 6pm. 
One of the drivers, a man in his 70s, suffered a serious leg injuries while the other driver, a woman in her 60s, was also taken to hospital but her injuries are believed to be minor. 
Anyone with any information, or who may have seen the incident, is asked to contact PC Dines at Chigwell road policing unit on 0300 333 4444.


Woman injured in robbery attempt


6.21pm - 28th July 2011

A WOMAN fought back when a man tried to grab her handbag as she walked in Chigwell. 
The woman was in Copperfield, near Trotwood, at 5.50pm on Monday, June 27, when a man approached her and grabbed her handbag. 
A police spokesman said: "The woman resisted and was pushed to the ground causing a small cut to her knee." 
Anyone with any information should contact PC Katherine Clarke at Loughton Police Station on 101 or 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111..


Burglaries spark police warning


6.19pm - 28th July 2011

POLICE are reminding people to lock their premises following a rise in burglaries.
The warning comes after a number of burglaries across the western division - which includes the Epping Forest district - some of which could have been prevented if the properties had been properly secured. 
Areas mainly affected include south east Harlow, Pilgrims Hatch, north of London Road, Brentwood, and parts of Chigwell. In some cases entry was gained through unlocked rear doors or by forcing rear windows. 
More recently front doors have been forced, where they have not been locked properly with the key.
Items stolen include jewellery, portable electronic equipment, handbags, wallets, purses and cash. 
Keys have also been taken, including vehicle keys which, in some cases, have been used to steal vehicles parked outside the premises. 
Crime reduction officer Graham Anthony said: "Residents are urged to take greater care in securing their homes, especially when going out or retiring to bed.
"Front and other external access doors must always be properly locked with the key. 
"If you have UPVC doors with multi-locking systems, where you push the handle up to engage the bolts, make sure you also lock the door with the key; otherwise the door is not secure." 
He added: "Windows, particularly ground-floor windows, should be shut fully and locked. Place vehicle keys in a safe but not obvious place. 
"Securing your premises properly will help you to avoid the upset of becoming a burglary victim and the inconvenience of having to deal with the losses.
"Be aware that, if you do not secure your home properly, you may find some insurers may refuse pay out." 
Anyone with information on any crime should contact detectives at Harlow Police Station on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


MONEY MATTERS: Regular column


6.15pm - 28th July 2011

This column is written by Loughton-based accountants Haslers 

HASLERS accountants say unpaid bills still present a major problem for many smaller businesses, new research has revealed. 
The study by Bacs, which runs the direct debit system, shows that more than half (53 per cent) of SMEs in the UK suffered delays in payment. 
This was an increase of eight per cent on last year’s figure. Hiten Patel (Partner, Business Services Group) from the firm, said: "SMEs are owed a total of around £24 billion in unpaid bills, with the average amount of outstanding payments per firm now standing at £27,000. 
"The research suggests that large companies are mainly to blame, with almost a third of bigger firms failing to send off payments on time.
"The problem has also been aggravated by smaller firms having to spend up to half a day a week chasing outstanding invoices. This equates to 158 million hours a year in work time altogether."

Haslers accountants are warning that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is stepping up its tax investigations of specific sectors, with tutors and online traders set to come under scrutiny over the next year. 
Jon O’Shea, (partner Tax Consultancy) from the firm, said: "Although a date for the investigations to launch has yet to be announced, among those targeted will be private tutors and coaches who earn main or secondary income from private lessons, whether they are qualified or not and ranging from national curriculum tutors to fitness or lifestyle coaches. 
"HMRC is also interested in individuals who use online marketplaces such as eBay to buy and sell goods as a trader or business without paying the resulting tax.
"This should not affect low-volume buying and selling by non-traders however." 
Traders whose turnover exceeds the £73,000 threshold but who have not registered for VAT will also be targeted. 
HMRC will also be using tools such as "web robot" software to obtain information from the internet about each targeted sector, including hidden relationships, inconsistencies and income and lifestyle anomalies.


Golf equipment stolen from car


7.47am - 27th July 2011

GOLF equipment worth £3,000 has been stolen from a car in Loughton. 
Entry was gained to a blue Ford Focus car parked in The Broadway overnight on Tuesday. Various brands of custom-made golf equipment was stolen, including a Sun Mountain H20 white stand bag, worth £130; a white and black Galvin Green ASTOR waterproof jacket (large), worth £200; black Galvin Green ALF waterproof trousers (medium long), worth £160; a £30 Titleist black and white staff umbrella; a Titleist 910D3 driver, 9.5 degree with a Mitsubishi Diamana Ahina 72 stiff shaft, worth £275; a Taylormade R11 3 wood with a stiff Fujikura blur 70 shaft, worth £120; a Taylormade Rescue11 hybrid, Aldila Rip 65 stiff shaft, worth £120; a Titleist AP2 irons set (3-P) with Project-X 6.0 shafts (½ inch longer 2 degrees upright); Titleist Vokey wedges (56 degree and 60 degree) with standard shafts with standard loft lie and bounce (½ inch longer), worth £925 combined; a Scotty Cameron California Hollywood putter (33 inches long), worth £250 a silver and black Dell laptop, worth £600; and a Dewalt corded electric drill, worth £250. 
Anyone with any information are asked to contact PC Daniel Stevens on 101 or 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Epping Forest volunteers recognised


7.41am - 27th July 2011

EPPING Forest has won Green Flag and Green Heritage Site awards along with recognition of the sterling contribution made by volunteers. 
A total of 8,833 hours were clocked up by volunteers directly managed by the City of London at Epping Forest during 2010-11, an increase of 32 per cent on the previous year. 
There are currently 204 people volunteering for the forest, with 72 new volunteers recruited in the last year. 
The Epping Forest Centenary Trust (EFCT) completed 5,656 volunteer hours while the Epping Forest Conservation Volunteers (EFCV) completed 4,362 volunteers for the same period, adding up to 18,851 volunteer hours in Epping Forest. 
Green Flag Awards recognise and reward the best parks in the UK, and 15 of the City of London’s open spaces have been singled out for praise by the panel of judges for their excellent use of green space, well-maintained facilities and high standards of safety and security. 
Barbara Newman, chairman of the City of London Open Spaces Committee, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Epping Forest has, once again, been recognised as one of the best run and well-loved open spaces in the country.
"This is thanks to the tremendous efforts of staff and volunteers, who work together throughout the year to maintain and protect the areas for people to enjoy using. 
"The work of the volunteers is much appreciated and mutually beneficial to the Forest and the local residents. In fact, this year has seen an increase of over 2,200 volunteer hours combined. 
"As a volunteer myself, I hope more people can get involved, particularly with the new Branching Out Project which will help shape the Forest’s future.".


Golfers support chairman's charity


7.20am - 27th July 2011

A GOLF day has raised £700.53 for the chairman of Epping Forest District Council's chosen charities. 
Chairman Ken Angold-Stephens played the opening tee shot at the fundraiser held at Chigwell Golf Club. 
A total of 25 golfers comprising councillors, officers, former employees and guests of the chairman took to the fairways to raise money for the chairman’s chosen charities this year - St Clare Hospice and Homestart. 
Winner of the Don Spinks Shield, and champion golfer for 2011, was housing officer Tony Cooper with a score of 37 stableford points. Tony has supported the event for over ten years and was a popular winner. 
The Robert O’Malley Cup for Ladies was won on count-back by Annette Stansfield from the council’s leisure contract provider Sport and Leisure Management Limited with a score of 36 points. 
Annette had won the Don Spinks Shield in 2010. 
Joint runners-up also with 36 points were Kim Bames, from Sport and Leisure Management, and sports development manager James Warwick who had the consolation of hitting the longest drive on the 18th fairway. 
Brian Penelver won the competition for the highest placed guest of the chairman with 31 points and the Nearest-the-Pin prize on the tenth hole went to senior housing officer Colin Stone. 
Other notable scores were Colin Stone again with 34 points, sports development officer James Carstairs (32 points) and senior electoral services officer Wendy Macleod (31 points). 
The chairman’s wife, Jill, provided refreshments at the halfway stage.


Parish pays respects to Norway victims


7.48am - 25th July 2011

NORTH Weald Parish Council has sent messages of condolence to Norway following the twin terror attacks which claimed the lives of at least 76 people. 
North Weald has close links with Norway through the country's involvement with the village during the Second World War, when servicemen were based at North Weald Airfield, through to today with the village's ties with the town of Bodo. 
Parish council clerk Sue DeLuca has sent messages of condolence to the mayor of Bodo and the Norwegian Ambassador on behalf of parish councillors and the people of North Weald. 
The parish council is also arranging for its Norwegian flag to be flown at half mast.
A fortnight ago the parish council paid tribute to a Norwegian serviceman, Inge Ovstedal, who served with the Royal Norwegian Air Force's 331 Squadron at North Weald during the war, when a bench in the parish council cemetery was dedicated in his memory.


Horticultural society holds show


4.38pm - 23rd July 2011

FLOWERS, vegetables and cakes were among the exhibits on display at the Theydon Bois Horticultural Society show. 
The annual event was held this afternoon at the village hall, in Coppice Row, with visitors able to admire the green-fingered efforts of entrants whose creations earned them an array of prizes. 


Flower festival highlights proverbs


4.32pm - 23rd July 2011

FLORAL arrangements at St Mary's Church, Stapleford Abbotts, are highlighting proverbs. 
Numerous displays have filled the church while visitors can also browse over various stalls in the churchyard. 
The flower festival, which continues tomorrow (Sunday - 11am to 3pm), is raising money for church funds. 
The stalls are selling homemade cakes and preserves and books, and there is also a raffle, bottle tombola and refreshments.


Outdoor gym officially opened


4.27pm - 23rd July 2011

LOUGHTON Town Council's outdoor gym has been officially opened. 
Town mayor Caroline Pond cut the ribbon at the gym on the Roding Valley recreation ground. 
The area has been funded by grants from the Awards for All Big Lottery Fund, Essex County Council's west area forum, and £5,000 from Loughton Town Council.
Councillor Suzanne Harper, chairman of the town council's recreation committee, said: "The gym appeals to all age groups and those who don't want to go to organised gyms. We see it as a great way to promote health and fitness for all." 
The town council is now looking into provide a similar facility on the Willingale Road playing fields.  


Treasure find on show at museum


9.40am - 23rd July 2011

A RECENTLY-acquired medieval mount has gone on display at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey. 
The mount was the subject of a coroner's inquest in August 2010. 
The late-medieval silver-gilt crucifix was discovered in February 2009 by metal detectorist Craig Carter while searching in North Weald. 
Under the terms of the Treasure Act (1996), the find was reported to the Essex Finds Liaison Officer, Laura Mclean, at Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service, and sent to the British Museum for analysis and independent valuation. 
It dates to the late 15th or early 16th Century and an unusual arrangement of metal plates on the back of the cross made experts think that it may have originally been a fastener from a larger object, such as a reliquary or decorative book binding. 
Epping Forest District Museum purchased the item last month with assistance from the MLA/V&A Museum Purchase Grant Fund. 
The reward will be shared by the finder and landowner. 
The crucifix mount joins other important religious items from the same period, including the Waltham Abbey Bible, an Abbots’ burial, and the carved stone bust of a king, in the Archaeology Gallery on the ground floor of the Museum. 
This opportunity to put the new acquisition on display coincides with the Festival of British Archaeology which showcases the very best of archaeology within Britain. 
At the same time four gold Noble coins of king Edward III from the Abridge Coin Hoard are being loaned to Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, where they will form part of ‘Buried!’ an exhibition exploring the practise of burying precious objects from prehistory to the 17th century. 
The exhibition will run from July 23 to January 29 at Colchester Castle.


Winning hospice lottery numbers


9.39am - 23rd July 2011

THE winner of this week's £1,000 prize in the St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Harlow. The winning number is 832579. 
The £100 prize goes to ticket number 661584. The winner also lives in Harlow. 
For information on how to join the lottery visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk or ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).


OLYMPICS: Games will "showcase" district


3.03pm - 22nd July 2011

By David Jackman

THE London 2012 Olympics is a "fantastic opportunity" for the district, its businesses and attractions, Epping Forest District Council has said. 
Thousands of people will be flocking to the area as the Lea Valley White Water Centre hosts the canoeing events and North Weald Airfield is the site for a Park and Ride scheme attracting some 3,000 cars a day during each of the five days when events are held at the centre. 
Council leader Lesley Wagland, speaking at a media briefing at the airfield today, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the area. 
"From our point of view the White Water Centre is the one that is offering the most opportunities and is going to be the most striking." 
Business are encouraged to register via the website www.competefor.com so that they can benefit from the business potential the Olympics are bringing. 
Registering their profile will enable firms to receive information on procurement opportunities. 
A range of contracts are still to be awarded for services ranging from crowd control and printing to lighting, signage and flagpoles. 
The White Water Centre is already open to the public and has attracted more than 90,000 people since it opened in April. 
The centre will continue to welcome visitors ahead of the Games, and as an Olympic legacy for many years to come. 
The centre has already been chosen to host the world canoe championships in 2015.
Epping Forest District Council's Olympics Champion councillor Liz Webster said: "The future is looking rosy. 
"We want to use the White Water Centre as a catalyst and encourage people in to the area - to the forest, Copped Hall and Waltham Abbey (Church). 
Councillor Ricki Gadsby, a former mayor of Waltham Abbey and the current district council portfolio holder for leisure and wellbeing, added: "We're hoping Waltham Abbey will have a lot of visitors - you have the Abbey, the Gunpowder Mills, and the museum." 
The Games will also offer additional volunteering opportunities, and a chance for businesses to reap rewards too. 
Mrs Webster added: "I really do think it will put us on the worldwide map." 
Mrs Wagland said that currently 86 per cent of the district's non-food retail expenditure is spent outside the district. 
"This (the Olympics) is all about local businesses understanding that they need to provide the sort of services that add value." 
She added: "It's a fantastic showcase of what a particular area has to offer."

What do you think? Email your views to everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com


OLYMPICS: Airfield to host Park and Ride


3.01pm - 22nd July 2011

SOME 3,000 cars a day will be parking on North Weald Airfield from where a Park and Ride service to the Lea Valley White Water Centre will operate. 
The service will operate on each of the five days that events are held at the Lea Valley White Water Centre, near Waltham Abbey. 
Buses carrying Olympic ticket holders to the centre will follow a route from the airfield to the M11 at the Hastingwood roundabout (junction 7), down the M11 to the M25, round to the A10 and then into Waltham Abbey. 
Buses will remain at the venue until the day's events are finished.
Returning buses will use the A121 link road to the M25, and then return via the M11 to junction 7.
The council is set to consider a permit scheme so that residents and local business people will be able to continue to use car parks such as the pay-and-display car park in Cornmill, Waltham Abbey, which will not be available to Olympic visitors. 
Epping Forest District Council, which owns North Weald Airfield, is not receiving any payment for allowing providing the location, however it will be getting about £4,000 to £5,000 to compensate for the loss of income from events which will have to be cancelled during the five days. 
The regular Saturday market will continue to be held as the Park and Ride will only be operating between a Sunday and Thursday.


OLYMPICS: 'Get prepared now'


2.55pm - 22nd July 2011

WHILE the London 2012 Olympics may still be 370 days away, Epping Forest District Council is urging people to prepare now. 
The council says people should already be considering their plans for the period of the Games so that their lives are not disrupted unnecessarily. 
Council spokesman Tom Carne, speaking at a media briefing at North Weald Airfield today, said: "Think what you want to be doing in 2012." 
He encouraged people to be flexible with their working hours, to avoid travelling at times when the roads will be busy and consider when they take holidays.
Mr Carne added: "Just think how the biggest show on earth will affect you and start planning now."


OLYMPICS: Citizen of Year to get tickets


2.52pm - 22nd July 2011

THE winner of next year's Epping Forest District Council Citizen of the Year award will get two tickets to the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, the council has revealed. 
As a host authority - with the Lea Valley White Water Centre on its boundary and with the council providing North Weald Airfield for a Park and Ride to the centre - it was entitled to bid for tickets. 
The council has spent about £2,875 on lower-priced tickets and has been told it will receive two tickets to the opening ceremony, two to the closing ceremony and 50 to the White Water Centre. 
While the Citizen of the Year winner will receive the opening ceremony tickets, the Young Citizen of the Year will get the two closing ceremony tickets. 
The White Water Centre tickets are set to be given to representatives of worthy local causes. 
A final decision on the allocation system will be taken by the council cabinet. 
A nomination scheme giving people the chance to put forward names of people who they think should receive tickets could also be run. 
The council has stressed that none of the tickets will be given to staff or councillors.


Westival showcases musical talent


7.46am - 22nd July 2011

AN array of musical talent was displayed when West Hatch High School students performed their annual concert - Westival 2011. 
Last night's performances showcased the best of the school's musicians with items ranging from solos and the rock group The Weak(end) Arrows to choral works and the chamber ensemble, and the Caribbean flavour of steel bands. 
The evening's guest 'headline' performer was the classical saxophonist Tyler Rix who appeared on the BBC's Classical Star competition at the age of 14. 
His first album, Ascent - released in February 2009 - reached number one in the classical charts. 
All year groups of the High Road school took to the stage during the evening which included numerous highlights. 
Among them was the amazing operatic tones of Jonathon Antoine whose talents belied his age (just 16) as he sang solo and also performed All I Ask of You, from Phantom of the Opera, with the equally impressive Charlotte Jaconelli. 
There were also performances from the Lower School Choir, the Upper School Choir (which includes members of staff), the Year 7 Steel Band, the Upper School Steel Band and the Year 10 GCSE Group. 
The Upper School Choir gave a moving performance of The Lord is My Shepherd - the version used as the theme tune to the BBC series The Vicar of Dibley - which they dedicated to Anne Horne, a much-loved teacher at the Chigwell school who died last month after a battle with cancer, 
The evening was introduced by musical director Ginette Tomlinson and helped raise about £600 for the Hope in Sri Lanka charity which raises money to support an orphanage in Sri Lanka.


Quiz launches fundraising year


7.44am - 22nd July 2011

STAFF at the Sainsbury supermarket in Debden started their year of fundraising for the Chigwell Riding Trust by holding a quiz night for colleagues and their friends and family. 
The event raised £60. 
Staff have also visited the charity, for a guided tour and to hold the monthly meeting of the store's Colleague Council. 
Sainsbury’s Debden PR Ambassador Maria Cuthbert said: "They are a great cause to support and it costs a lot to do the work they do so it's great to be able to help them even if only in a small way." 
The store also has a stall where customers can purchase books from just 30p each with all proceeds going to the charity. The books can be returned for sale to another customer. 
Store manager Kate Winchcombe said: "I'm very pleased the store has chosen to support the Chigwell Riding Trust, It's a very worthy cause and local. 
"We are looking forward to doing more fundraising events over the coming months." 
The Chigwell Riding Trust was chosen as the Charity of the Year by Debden Sainsbury’s in June.
The charity's manager, Deborah Hall, visited the store to give a presentation after Chigwell Riding Trust was selected as one of two nominated charities.


SHANNON SAYS - Regular column


7.42am - 22nd July 2011

The 'Shannon Says' column is written by Shannon Toms. His articles give a student's view on life and issues in and around the district and highlight what he has been doing as a Young Essex Assembly member. 
To give your views, email everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com

 I AM on the Education, Schools and Exam Stress sub-group, on the Young Essex Assembly (elected youth council for Essex). 
The sub-group is designing and developing an application to aid with exam stress and revision/study management. 
One of the group's other projects is the design of a newsletter aimed at school councils. 
The newsletter will include editorial. a topic of the month, YEA news and sub-group activity updates, involvement team activities and school council news. 
For readers who don’t know, I am also on the committee and am the youth advisor of Loughton Film Society which was formed in September 2010 and aimed to bring the cinema experience back to Loughton. 
The committee has been working really hard over the last ten months and has put on three very successful film showings. 
The film society is a fantastic community group. The society’s first showing was ‘The King’s Speech’, in May. 
The society was formally launched by Ken Angold-Stephens, the chairman of Epping Forest District Council. The second showing was ‘Made in Dagenham’ on June 25 and the third showing was ‘True Grit’ on July 9. 
All three showings have had a fantastic audience turnout. 
The next showing will be ‘Life in a day’ (produced by Ridley Scott) onAugust15 at Loughton Club. 
The society will soon be publishing the programme of showings for the autumn.
Tickets are just £6 (£7 for non-members) and can be purchased by ringing 0845 475 0890. 
For more about the society visit www.filmloughton.co.uk
Adult membership is £10 per annum with membership forms available from the website, by emailing contactus@filmloughton.co.uk or ringing the ticket line on 0845 475 0890.


Club hosts gala bowls day


7.12am - 20th July 2011

A TEAM from Writtle Bowling Club took the honours at the end of a ladies gala day hosted by Loughton Bowls Club. 
Sixty-four ladies took part in the event with teams of four playing seven ends during the course of the day. 
The final was between Goodmayes and Writtle with the Writtle team taking the title.
The event was sponsored by Daniel Robinson & Sons Independent Funeral Directors and the prizes to the winners and runners-up were presented by Seamus Setterfield.


MoT investment boosts council coffers


7.09am - 20th July 2011

A POPULAR council-owned MoT facility in Loughton is helping to keep council tax down. 
Support Services portfolio holder John Wyatt told the council's cabinet that members of the public seemed to like obtaining MoTs through the council. 
Although primarily for servicing and testing its own fleet of vehicles, the council’s vehicle maintenance workshops at Langston Road also offers MoTs to the public. 
Last year fleet operations, which runs the centre, returned an £85,000 surplus thanks largely to the MoT work. 
Cabinet approved the purchase of a new vehicle lift and ancillary equipment costing £24,000 to increase capacity, the income from which helps fund other services and reduce council tax.


Chance to find out more about the forest


7.08am - 20th July 2011

EPPING Forest is showcasing two new ways to interpret the history of the forest and the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge as part of a wider project to improve access. 
Forest staff have launched three handling boxes on the theme of Cattle, Deer, and The Image of the Queen. 
Each box contains an introductory sheet, also available in Braille, a Top Ten Things sheet in large print, and a black ink on yellow paper format for those with sight impairment. 
The Cattle box includes the smell experiences of fresh cow pat and sweet scented hay. 
The experience is designed to help people understand, in a hands-on way, the interlinked stories about grazing in the forest, specifically how wattle-and-daub, hay and straw was used in the construction of the Hunting Lodge by smelling a cow pat and handling the hay; how cows saved the forest - a branding iron is used to explain the ancient commoner's rights of grazing and how these legal rights enabled the City of London to protect the forest - and how Epping Forest today manages an ecological herd of longhorns to encourage diversity of flora in the grasslands. 
Superintendent of Epping Forest Paul Thomson said: "We'll be encouraging all our visitors to smell, taste, pick up, prod and handle objects from our museum collection, replicas from our displays and bits and pieces from the forest to help them understand some key themes of Epping Forest's heritage." 
Additionally, in a separate initiative designed to increase accessibility, Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge now boasts a laptop slideshow for those with limited mobility. 
The Lodge is part of the 1542 Tudor hunt in Epping Forest but the stairs can limit access to the upper two floors for those with limited mobility. 
This new slideshow can either be self-explored or used as a visual story in a mini-tour led by staff. Formal completion of building work is due in Spring 2012, when there will be a lift to the upper floors.


Council expands recycling service


8.21am - 20th July 2011

EPPING Forest District Council has expanded its recycling service to include empty aerosol cans, such as those used for deodorants and air fresheners, and aluminium foil trays.
The carbon-busting move, which was rolled out last year, is expected to prevent an estimated 1,435,752 aerosol cans and 9,678,032 foil containers from ending up in local landfill sites every year. 
Environment portfolio holder John Knapman said: "This service is great news for households who want to do more to help the environment. It answers calls from many local residents to increase the range of items they can recycle at the kerbside."
He added: "The aluminium and steel used in these containers can be recycled endlessly without losing quality, so this is a really effective way for households to help reduce carbon emissions, save energy and ease the pressure on our landfill sites for waste disposal." 
The council is advising households to ensure that aerosols are completely used up before they are put in the clear recycling sacks. 
The containers should not be pierced, crushed or flattened and loose or easily-removable parts, such as the lid, should be removed first. Foil containers should be rinsed clean before recycling.


Family fun day raises over £1,500


8.20am - 20th July 2011

A FAMILY fun day in Waltham Abbey has raised over £1,500 for the Help for Heroes charity. 
The event went ahead despite the wet weather with the number of stalls reduced to those which had reasonable cover. 
There was a bouncy castle, barbecue, tea tent, cream cake stall, tombola and various other stalls. Various vintage cars were on display. 
Pastor Geoff Ace, of the Lea Valley Church, said: "Despite the rain there was an amazing atmosphere as helpers all joined in and made the best of it. It really showed the town can get together and raise money for such a good cause." 
There was also a motorcycle ride-in from the High Beach Motorcycle Tea Hut via Upshire, Ninefields, Roundhills and Sewardstone Road. 
Mike Tobin, chairman of the Roundhills Residents Association which organised the ride, said: "The wet weather obviously put off a number of bikers but the generosity and commitment from those who came was astounding. 
"There were eight bikes and one trike on the event and with the the help of people at the tea hut seeing the ride off we raised over £150." 
Mike added: "Last year the residents' association felt that a small minority of young people on motorbikes and mini-motos had given problems to the police and the community, so it would be good to show that the vast majority of motorcyclist do a lot for the community and particularly for charity."


Investigation launched into blaze


8.19am - 20th July 2011

AN investigation will be carried out into the cause of a fire behind buildings in Loughton High Road.
Two fire crews from Loughton were called to the blaze behind the Santander bank at about 12.30am yesterday (Tuesday) and spent about an hour dealing with the incident.
A thermal image camera was used to check for any remaining hotspots. 
A fire service spokesman said: "The cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation will be carried out by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the police."


Give your views on crime and disorder


6.30pm - 18th July 2011

EPPING Forest District Council's Safer Communities Team is seeking views on crime and disorder in the district. 
They want your views on your local area. What do you think about your local public services? Do you think CCTV helps prevent crime? What crimes do you feel you experience in your own area? 
The council is working in partnership with the police, probation, fire service, NHS and county council to identify the concerns of people who live or work in the district about crime and disorder. 
For the short, online questionnaire, click here 
The council's Safer and Greener portfolio holder, councillor Penny Smith, said: "This is an opportunity for people to have their say about what concerns they have locally in relation to crime and disorder. 
"Our findings will be used to drive the priorities of the Safer Communities Partnership in its activities to target and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area."
All surveys should be completed no later than September 30.


Campaign launched for 20mph limits


6.28pm - 18th July 2011

ACTIVISTS for 20mph speed limits for residential roads have launched an Epping Forest campaign. Limits have 20mph signs not road humps. 
Steven Neville contacted '20’s Plenty for Us' in April with concerns about inappropriately high speeds in Epping Forest. 
He said: "I have seen far too many reports in the papers of dangerous speeding and indeed seen such things myself. 
"Where I live in Buckhurst Hill there have been at least 13 serious injuries and two fatalities in the last five years, and many more coming off the worst for wear." 
Anna Semlyen, campaign manager for '20’s Plenty for Us', said: "I am delighted to help 20’s Plenty for Epping Forest's launch. They join over 75 grass roots campaigns around the country all saying 20’s Plenty where people live. 
"Please get in touch to find out more, join for free or to help." 
Contact 20’s Plenty for Epping Forest by emailing eppingforest@20splentyforus.org.uk or ringing 020 8504 5325. 
Also visit www.eppingforest.20splentyforus.org.uk.
20’s Plenty for Us welcomes comment and feedback - visit www.20splentyforus.org.uk


Wartime memorabilia at Probus lunch


6.27pm - 18th July 2011

GUEST speaker John Henty took along Second World War memorabilia when he visited Epping Probus Club. 
John’s subject was the evacuation of children and mothers from London during both word wars, and some of the consequences. 
The club's next luncheon meeting is on August 10. 
For more information about the club, ring secretary Peter Francis on 01992 573188.


Man jailed over road death


7.52am - 18th July 2011

A MAN has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for causing the death by dangerous driving of a woman in Waltham Abbey. 
Alan Clark, 58, of Roundhills, Waltham Abbey, has also been disqualified from driving for life. 
He had admitted the charge when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on June 14. He entered his guilty plea just before his trial was due to start. 
The collision happened in Parklands, Waltham Abbey, at about 5.20pm one January evening last year when Sandra Toner, 51, of Drayson Close, Waltham Abbey, was struck by a black Nissan Navara being driven by Clark. 
Senior investigating officer Sgt Dave Jones said: "The death of Sandra Toner could so easily have been avoided had Alan Clark acted in a responsible manner. 
"For those diagnosed with diabetes, holding a driving licence is conditional that they test their blood/sugar level before they drive. 
"Alan Clark knew the consequences of failing to test before he drove but still took the risk.
"The result of this dangerous risk taking is that Sandra Toner, who was doing what a lot of people do every day out walking her dog, was knocked down and killed."
Mr Jones added: "Holding a driving licence is not a right - it is a responsibility and some people have additional responsibilities which they must comply with in order to continue to drive. 
"Alan Clark will now have a number of years to reflect on his risk taking and I urge anyone who suffers from diabetes to think about the consequences of not testing before they drive and do everything they can to avoid another tragic case like this." 
In a tribute to his wife of 29 years, Sandra's husband, Phillip, said: "Sandra and I had two children, Joe, aged 24, and Jack, aged 13. 
"My wife until her death was employed as a care worker in a local elderly persons’ care home within our community. 
"She was loved and well thought of and is sadly missed by everyone who knew her. 
"Sandra was out walking our family pet Murphy, an Irish wolf hound, when her life was taken away instantly. The dinner was cooking in the oven - she should have come home to her family. 
"My thoughts of what must have happened and how the horrific way Sandra must have died on the pavement still haunts me. 
"Sandra did not deserve to die in that way. I get through the darkness of each day for the sake of our two boys, but in reality the sunshine has been taken out of all my days.
"We continue to live in the family home where there are memories of Sandra everywhere." 
He added: "We live close to the scene of the crash and to where Sandra died. The bushes have all grown back and life has moved on, but not for us. Our lives stopped 18 months ago when Sandra was taken from us. 
"It has affected the boys deeply as they were close to their mother. 
"You only have one mother and their mother has been taken away from them for ever. "Sandra was always there for them, I try my best, but it’s not the same as being loved by your own mum. 
"If this had been an accident and the man had stopped at the scene and been with Sandra, then he would have been with her when she died. But he didn’t and I cannot forget or forgive him for that."


Winning hospice lottery numbers


7.51am - 18th July 2011

THE winner of this week's St Clare Hospice £1,000 prize lives in Harlow. The winning number is 304527. 
The £100 second prize goes to ticket number 215497. The winner also lives in Harlow. 
For information about how to join the lottery 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).


Slurry pit deaths - update


3.24pm - 17th July 2011

POST mortem examinations have been carried out on the two men who died during an incident at a slurry pit at a Stapleford Tawney farm. 
A police spokesman said a 48-year-old local man died from drowning while a 27-year-old man, originally from Norfolk but who was living in the local area for work, died from immersion. 
Neither of the victims have yet been named. 
Fire crews took about two-and-a-half hours rescuing the casualties from the slurry pit at a farm off Albyns Lane on Friday evening. 
The two men who died were pronounced dead at the scene. 
Two other men were treated in hospital.


Investigation launched into deaths


1.58pm - 16th July 2011

AN investigation is underway into what happened at a farm slurry pit where two men died and two others were injured.
The Health and Safety Executive is investigating following the incident which happened at a farm in Albyns Lane, off the Passingford Bridge roundabout, Stapleford Tawney, at about 5pm yesterday (Friday). 
Ambulance crews from Harlow, Loughton, Stansted and a hazardous area response team (HART) were dispatched to the scene along with fire crews from Ongar, Loughton, Harlow and Brentwood who spent about two-and-a-half hours battling to rescue the casualties. 
Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: “First and foremost our thoughts are with the families of all involved in this tragic incident. 
“On our arrival two men were found in a critical condition and after everyone’s best efforts, they were pronounced dead at the scene.
"A further two casualties, both men, were treated by paramedics before they were conveyed to Whipps Cross Hospital for observations.” 
Essex Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Divisional Officer Greg Keys said: "An investigation is taking place and the Fire Service are working with the Police and HSE (Health and Safety Executive) to establish what has happened."


Elvis and Sinatra remembered in flowers


1.50pm - 16th July 2011

FLOWER arrangements on the theme of 'Music from the modern era' are on display ath St Mary and All Saints Church, Lambourne End, this weekend. 
Elvis Presley (Jailhouse Rock) and Frank Sinatra (New York, New York) are among the displays. 
Outside - as visitors and stall holders braved torrential rain - there are various stalls, a raffle, and refreshments tent serving drinks as well as ploughman's lunches and teas.


EXCLUSIVE: Tip faces closure


9.01am - 16th July 2011

By David Jackman 

THE civic amenity site in Mill Lane, High Ongar, is being earmarked for closure with opening times at the district's two other tips set to be reduced. 
Essex County Council says changes to its household waste recycling centres are needed because of the increase in the amount of material that is being recycled. The county achieved a record recycling rate of over 50 per cent in 2010-11. 
In an email to local councils Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council's economic development, waste and recycling cabinet member, says: "While these new kerbside services have proven very successful they have led to a decline in use of the recycling centres for household waste as the frequency of visits and the range of materials taken have diminished in favour of the convenience of kerbside collections. 
"We believe this trend will continue as more kerbside recycling services are rolled out." 
Across Essex, the county council is proposing to reduce the number of sites from 23 to 21, with the close of the Mill Lane site, High Ongar, and the site in St Osyth (Tendring district). In addition nine sites will see the number of days that they are open reduced. 
The site in Luxborough Lane, Chigwell, and the Waltham Abbey site will both only be open five days a week instead of the current seven days, with the Chigwell site closed on Wednesdays and Thursday and the Waltham Abbey site closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 
Additionally standard opening times at all site will be amended. Instead of opening at 8am they will open at 9am and the existing summer opening times which has seen sites stay open until 7pm between May 1 and August 31 will be axed. 
Ongar county councillor Gerard McEwen is looking to arrange a meeting between Mr Bentley, county council officers and local parish and town councils. 
Mr McEwen told Everything Epping Forest: "As you would expect I have had many representations already - some of which come from people who just a few years ago were objecting to the site when it was first opened! 
"One which has most impressed me was from a resident who was originally opposed but now stresses how tidy and well-run this is by helpful staff." 
He added: "I think this is another example where we don’t realise the true value of an asset until there is a threat of losing it. 
"I am sure we can rely on local parishes to put up a strong defence on behalf of the residents who use Mill Lane."

What do you think? Email your comments to everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com


Robin on Twitter - @robinmingay - "Every recession provides an excuse to hit the public."

George Hart, from Bovinger, writes: "First Essex County Council complain about the increase in fly tipping then they close a legal tip."

'An unhappy Ongar neighbour' writes: We live between Mill Lane recycling site in Ongar and Harlow recycling site and find that the Mill Lane site is easier to get into and much cleaner than the Harlow site, which is at the bottom of a road in an industrial estate. 
There are always lorries making deliveries and therefore trying to park and generally causing chaos to cars trying to get to the 'tip', so of course we would much rather continue to take our rubbish to the Ongar site.
It's all very well the council saying there are roadside bins now but what about other sort of rubbish for which there isn't a bin available, such as wood, electrical appliances, old computers etc, and also the unsightlyness of these bins making the environment look untidy? 
There is still flytipping going on, but with more site closures there will be even more.

Tony Liddicoat, from Ongar, writes: I think it is a very bad move on behalf of Epping Forest District Council to close the High Ongar site. 
Every time I visit this site it is always very busy, the staff are most helpful. I usually visit this site at least once a week as I have a large garden and the collection bin for green waste supplied to me is inadequate for my needs. 
Closure of this site will mean local Ongar residents will have to travel much further and if the other sites are to have their opening times cut that will only add to the problem.


Council urges residents to watch webcast


8.17am - 16th July 2011

RESIDENTS interested in a council debate on plans for 60 homes in Epping are being encouraged to stay at home and watch the webcast of the meeting. 
Almost 250 letters of objection have been sent to the district council opposing the outline scheme earmarked 5.9 hectares of open grassland and woodland south of Theydon Place and Madells. 
The application, which council officers say should be refused for green belt reasons, will be discussed by councillors on Wednesday evening. 
Epping Forest District Council is reminding residents who wish to watch the debate that they can follow proceedings from home. 
Space in the council chamber is limited and so those unable to get into the Civic Offices can still watch the live webcast. 
The meeting starts at 7.30pm. 
For the webcast, click here 


UPDATE: Two die and two injured in farm slurry pit


15th July 2011

By David Jackman

TWO people have died and two others injured after an incident in a slurry pit at a farm in Stapleford Tawney. 
Fire crews from Ongar, Loughton, Harlow and Brentwood were called to Albyns Lane shortly after 5pm and worked for about two-and-a-half hours battling to rescue the casualties. 
Emergency services were called to reports that two people were trapped in a slurry pit on a farm. 
Crews worked to run 120,000 litres of slurry into a field as part of the rescue operations. 
An Essex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the two people who were injured were placed in the care of the ambulance service. 
No other information has been released.


Two trapped in slurry pit


15th July 2011

FIREFIGHTERS are working to free two people trapped in a slurry pit at a Stapleford Tawney farm. 
Fire crews from Ongar, Loughton, Harlow and Brentwood were called to a farm in Albyns Lane shortly after 5pm today. 
A fire service spokesman said crews are running 120,000 litres of slurry into a farming field as part of the rescue operation. 
No other information is currently available (8.40pm).


Cemetery bench remembers Inge


15th July 2011

THE close friendship established between a parish council and a Norwegian war veteran has been celebrated in North Weald. 
North Weald Bassett Parish Council has had a special bond of friendship with its Norwegian friends ever since the arrival of 331 Squadron in the early 1940s. 
The family of Inge Ovstedal, who served with the squadron at North Weald, were at North Weald Cemetery for the dedication of a circular wooden bench, which was made by Midi DeLuca - husband of parish council clerk Sue De Luca. 
Two Royal Norwegian Air Force Vampires provided a flypast during the service which was led by Rev Torbjorn Holt, rector and senior chaplain at St Olav's Church, The Norwegian Church, In London. 
In the early 1940s, Inge was with other brave young men, carrying only a bag of essentials, when he boarded a small boat, possibly near Alesund on the west coast of Norway and headed due west across the unforgiving North Sea to the Shetland Islands, some 5,000 kilometres (as the crow flies). 
Not only was the future unknown and the seas treacherous, but many boats were captured by the Enemy, taken back to land and the occupants shot. 
On landing in the Shetlands, he was taken prisoner and interrogated. 
North Weald Bassett parish councillor Peter Collins, speaking at a reception at the parish hall, Thornwood Common, after today's service, said: "Fortunately his interrogators believed his story and he was released. 
"This was the beginning of a long and lasting friendship with his new world in England."
Inge was later posted to the newly-formed 331 Norwegian Squadron at North Weald where he served in a support role for about two-and-a-half years. 
The Squadron was then posted to France in support of the European invasion force; where the vehicle in which Inge was travelling received a direct hit which through him out resulting in a broken back. 
He was given a full plaster cast and sent back to England to recover.
In 1945 fully recovered he rejoined the Royal Air Force. 
Friendships in England were forged and Inge married Barbara where they set up home in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, and started their family. 
From the 1970s onwards, Inge used to meet up with Norwegian veterans for VE Day in May and Remembrance Sunday in November when a visit to North Weald was a fixture. 
Mr Collins added: "Over the years he continued to visit North Weald for these important occasions, including the special visits we had from Norwegian veterans over the past few years.
"My recollection of first meeting Inge was nearly 16 years ago when we used to have lunch on Remembrance Sunday in the Kings Head.
"It has also been a pleasure getting to know his daughter, Susan, and son, Paul, who have accompanied him on many of his visits here." 
Mr Collins added: "Inge was a true friend of North Weald Bassett and will be dearly missed, but through his family, the bond of friendship will continue, maintaining the very important strong ties we have with Norway, constantly developing with future generations."


Nature reserve opens at former landfill site


15th July 2011

THE Bobbingworth Nature Reserve has been officially opened. 
A unique ribbon cutting - featuring household rubbish - was cut by Epping Forest District Council chairman Ken Angold-Stephens this morning (Friday).
The former gravel extraction and then landfill site has been totally transformed and is now an open space for everyone to enjoy. 
Mr Angold-Stephens said: “Many species of wildlife have already taken up residence and the whole site looks fantastic. 
"I was particularly impressed by the lengths gone to, to develop wildlife habitat for slow worms, beetles and reptiles, and the landscaping of the site including incorporating so many native tree and shrub species including a oak, ash and hornbeam, an emblematic species of our district. 
"It will also be interesting to see if the disease resistant variety of elm survives in the long term too as we lost so many to disease some years ago. 
"I would urge everyone to come and see what has been achieved through the dedication and commitment of so many people.” 
Environment portfolio holder John Knapman said: “I am delighted that this site is now fully restored and open to the public.
"The site is hardly recognisable as the one where work started on this project back in 2007. It really is a wonderful resource for local people as well as those from further afield.” 
The council’s contractor, Veolia, will be managing and maintaining the site for the next seven years. 
During this time, as well as ensuring the design is working, they will be working closely with officers from the engineering , drainage and water team and the council’s Countrycare service in trying to create a biodiversity resource with wetlands, a wildflower meadow, copses and hedgerows. 
More than 5,000 native trees have been planted as part of the restoration scheme in order to offset the carbon footprint of the project. 
Each tree is expected to absorb over one tonne of carbon dioxide over a 100-year lifetime.


Praise given to green belt homes


14th July 2011

SENIOR housing officials from Epping Forest District Council have visited a new housing development in Waltham Abbey. 
Hill Partnership is building 119 homes on green belt land in Sewardstone Road. Eighty per cent of the properties are 'affordable' housing and will accommodate people on the council's housing waiting list. 
Hill Partnership development director Jamie Hunter said: "Our development at Sewardstone Road continues Hill Partnership's strong links within the Epping Forest district following our redevelopment and extension at the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey which has won a Civic Trust award." 
He added: "We were delighted that the councillors who visited the site this week agreed with us that although the Sewardstone Road site was in the Green Belt it is now making an overwhelmingly positive contribution not only to the housing need in the district but also to the physical and visual amenity of the area. 
"This is something we are extremely proud to have delivered." 


Couple celebrate golden anniversary


14th July 2011

IT was a boyhood prank which first brought Keith and Yvonne Woollard together - and now 53 years on they have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. 
Keith Woollard was a 16-year-old boy, in 1958, when he decided to let down the tyres on Yvonne's bicycle! 
Keith recalls: "It didn't go down too well but after I said 'sorry' Yvonne agreed to go out with me." 
And three years later, on July 15, 1961, the couple were married at St Andrew's Church, North Weald, with a reception held in the village hall. 
They began married life in a mobile home at Chase Farm, Vicarage Lane, North Weald, 
Their daughter, Vivien was born in 1964 and son Simon in 1965. Simon sadly died from muscular dystrophy in 1987. 
During their early days at Chase Farm, Keith was a pig farmer and with John Burling they looked after each others' animals when a few days' holiday could be taken. In 1970 the Woollard's bungalow home at Chase Farm was built. 
In the late 1980s the pigs made way for 250 head of prime beef stock to fatten, and with them came a whole new world of friends for Keith and Yvonne 
Both Keith and Yvonne are green-fingered and took their love of gardening and plant nurturing to their current home in Magdalen Laver where they moved in 2005. 
The couple, who have two grandchildren, Jack, 20, and Emily, 18, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a sit-down meal for 100-plus guests in a marquee at their home last Saturday. 
Yvonne is a member of The Lavers and District Horticultural Society and is a Moreton, Bobbingworth and The Lavers parish councillor.
Instead of presents, the couple asked for donations to the Macmillan Nurses.


Flag day collection raises £458


14th July 2011

THE East Herts and West Essex branch of the Multiple Sclerosis has raised £458.26 from a flag day in Ongar. 
The branch has thanked everyone who contributed and also the collectors from the Ongar Mothers Union for their efforts, and also Sainsbury and Senners for allowing the collections. 
This year the principle focus for the proceeds is on providing some group physiotherapy with transport for people with multiple sclerosis in the Epping Forest area.


School praised in report


14th July 2011

INSPECTORS who visited Coopersale Hall School, Epping, have praised its "high standard of education" and its "happy, family setting". 
Three inspectors checked the standards of teaching care and organisation over three days and found that the independent school continues to give exemplary educational and pastoral care to its pupils. 
The inspectors' report says the school meets its aim of providing a high standard of education through a broad curriculum within a happy, secure and disciplined environment. It adds that pupils are well educated, eager to learn and demonstrate good levels of knowledge and understanding, and have well-developed skills in numeracy and literacy. 
The students benefit from a high level of staffing and are taught in a happy, family setting, the report adds. 
Headmistress Kaye Lovejoy said: "I am very proud of the report which reflects exceptionally well on the behaviour and educational standards of the children, the dedication and professionalism of the staff and the support and encouragement of the parents at Coopersale Hall." 
In a letter to parents, school principal Matthew Hagger said: "This is an extremely pleasing report and I'm grateful to Miss Lovejoy, the senior leadership team and every member of staff for all of their incredible hard work in the run-up to this inspection. "
At Coopersale Hall we continue to strive for the best education possible for our pupils, and I'm confident that we will be able to build on this report and take the school to an even higher phase in its continuing development." 
The full report can be seen at www.coopersalehallschool.co.uk.


Collection supports children's charity


14th July 2011

A STREET collection held in Loughton on Saturday (July 9) raised £635.26 for Action for Children. 
NCH would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to collect and to the people whose donations contributed towards the total. 
Action for Children is one of the UK’s leading children’s charities (previously known as NCH the children’s charity).


Man jailed over indecent images


14th July 2011

A MAN from Waltham Abbey has been jailed for over four years in connection with offences relating to indecent images of children. 
Christopher Spooner, 33, of Monkswood Avenue, was sentenced in his absence at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, July 11, to serve four years and eight months in prison with an extended licence of five years. 
Spooner previously admitted assaulting a young boy, photographing the abuse and distributing those images. 
He was also involved in the worldwide sharing of indecent images of the worst kind, involving young boys and babies. 
Detective Constable Phil Merriam said: "The Essex Police online investigation team would echo the comments of Her Honour Judge Walden-Smith sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court who said that Spooner poses a very high risk to children and of re-offending. 
"The sentencing also reflects the strong link between the use of indecent material and offending against children. 
"We are pleased that justice has been done in this case and hope that those involved are now able to move forward in the knowledge that children are now protected from a dangerous man." 
Spooner will be subject to monitoring and restrictions for the rest of his life having been placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject of a sexual offences prevention order.


Hundreds turn out for Race for Life


13th July 2011

SOME 2,000-plus girls and women took part in the Cancer Research UK Race for Life on North Weald Airfield. 
Participants could take part in a 5km or 10km run, jog or walk around the airfield having been welcomed by Epping Forest District Council chairman Ken Angold-Stephens. 
The runners and walkers were given a brief history about Race for Life, and reminded to send in their sponsorship money after the event. 
The event was supported by Tesco and Heart FM.
Among those taking part were female staff and family members from Spencer Munson Lettings’ Loughton and South Woodford branches. 
Their efforts raised almost £600. 
Financial director Kate Munson said: “Everybody knows someone whose life has been affected by cancer. Spencer Munson Lettings wanted to show our support for this fantastic charity. 
"The camaraderie on the night was so uplifting and we all feel a great sense of achievement from taking part and raising money to help Cancer Research UK continue to make progress to fight cancer."


Car crashes into brook


13th July 2011

EMERGENCY services were called out after a car crashed off Broomstick Hall Road, Waltham Abbey, and ended up in Cobbins Brook. 
A police spokesman said officers were contacted shortly before 10.30pm last night (Tuesday) with reports of a silver Audi A4 convertible in the stream. 
No one was injured.


Police warning over cashpoint crooks


13th July 2011

A WOMAN whose cash card was snatched from a cash machine in Ongar later found it had been used to withdraw £250 from another cash machine in the town. 
The woman was using the cash machine at Barclays Bank in the High Street at 10.30am on Sunday (July 10) when, as she entered her PIN number, was pushed by a stocky man, who spoke with a foreign accent. 
Police crime reduction officer Tony Ellis, in a warning to people to be on their guard when using ATM machines, said: "Prior to this incident the thief has obviously been tucked away near Barclays Bank looking for a potential victim.
"As the lady used the machine he must have approached very quietly and, from the side or over her shoulder, watched her enter her PIN number in the ATM. He has then pushed past her as the bank card has emerged from the machine and used the magazine to hide his hands as he stole the card."
The woman was not injured but very shaken.
Mr Ellis says if you are with a friend then get them to stand with you during a transaction. 
He says that thieves are unlikely to take on two persons and your friend can watch your back. 
When using a cash machine you should always cover your hand as you enter the PIN number, even if you are sure nobody is watching you. 
If you see anybody who you feel is suspicious or makes you feel uneasy, trust your instincts and don’t use the ATM. 
Mr Ellis said: "On this occasion the lady tried to fight back. She was very lucky she wasn’t injured. You can cancel your card immediately with no loss to yourself. Don’t put yourself at risk, it’s not worth it. 
"Most ATM’s have an exclusion zone of some sort around them. You have a right to ask a person not to enter that zone whilst you are using the machine. If they refuse take you card and walk away."


Man found with serious head injuries


13th July 2011

THE air ambulance and police were called to a property in Waltham Abbey after a man was found with serious head injuries. 
A police spokesman said officers were called by the ambulance service to an address in Springfields, on the Roundhills estate, at about 10.15am yesterday (Tuesday) where a man in his 80s had been found with serious injuries. 
He was taken to hospital for treatment.
The spokesman added: "It was later established that the men fell over and suffered a head injury while carrying out some maintenance in his bathroom."


Love Loughton attracts 2,000-strong crowd


13th July 2011

MORE than 2,000 people attended the Love Loughton High Road Fun Day.
Love Loughton is an initiative led by four churches who believe that ‘church is at the heart of community.’ 
St. Mary’s, St Michael and All Angels, Loughton Methodist and Loughton Baptist Churches, working alongside a wide variety of partners groups and organisations including schools, businesses, local authorities, charities and voluntary bodies ran the Love Loughton High Road Fun Day on Saturday, July 9, as a celebration of the town and all that makes it great - the place and the people. 
The fun day included a 17m long zorbing slide and aqua zorbing (which more than 150 people had a go on), taste testing by Zizzi, acts as diverse as belly dancing and zumba on the community stage, stands from local churches, charities and businesses and many more attractions that stretched along the High Road from the police station to the crossroads. 
Entertainment was provided by the young people of Loughton Youth Theatre who were dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland and acted in rolling street theatre performances. 
St Mary’s Church launched its ‘Healing on the Streets’ project offering free healing prayer to anyone who wanted to receive it on the High Road. More than 200 bibles were given out to interested bystanders by the Gideons. 
Luke Lowrie, one the Love Loughton co-ordinators on behalf of St Mary’s Church, said: "The day exceeded all our expectations with literally thousands of people taking part, young and old, and many people commented on how the atmosphere on the street felt so different from normal, which, as Christians, we attribute to the presence of God as His church got out on the streets to show the people of the town how much He loves them.
"We want to extend our thanks again for the generous contributions from our sponsors, partner organisations and huge volunteer team from the four churches, without whom none of the day would have been possible. 
"We can’t wait to see what happens next as the question on everyone’s lips at the end of the day was ‘when can we do this again?" 
District councillor Rodney Barrett said "It really was so well organised, just what we needed to put Loughton on the map, and the people attending had a wonderful time, especially the children. 
"There were so many activities for them to participate in and I think they were all very reluctant to go home at the end of the event." 
The Love Loughton partnership are now asking for feedback from people who took part in the day or other organisations who might be interested in getting involved in future events, especially around the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Olympics next year. 
If you would like to get in touch visit www.loveloughton.org, email office@loveloughton.org or ring 020 8508 6172.


Bank closure "will hit retailers"


13th July 2011

THE Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has warned that the decision to close Ongar's HSBC branch will hit the viability of retailers in the town centre. 
Essex FSB representative for Epping Forest, Tina Dulieu, said: "Having a bank in a High Street brings people to a town and while they are there they use the shops and other businesses that are nearby which helps those retailers remain viable. 
"When HSBC closes (on Friday, September 30) there will be another empty premises in an important part of Ongar High Street and such vacant properties make a town centre less attractive to shoppers. 
"This is a pity because Chipping Ongar has seen some new and innovative shops open in the High Street in recent times. 
"The implications of the closure of this branch are that there could be a reduction in the number of people visiting and shopping in Ongar and we would urge HSBC to think again and keep the branch open for local people and businesses to use." 
HSBC has said it has taken the decision to close the branch because of a drop in people using the branch which, it says, has now become "one of the most under-used branches in the country". 
HSBC adds that it has introduced additional opening hours at its Brentwood branch and says many customers are now making use of telephone or internet banking.


Students experience Olympic course


12th July 2011

STUDENTS from Davenant Foundation School tackled the fast-flowing rapids at Lee Valley White Water Centre - the only brand new London 2012 venue people can use and enjoy before the Games. 
Pupils experienced a taste of London 2012 as a part of Lee Valley White Water Centre’s Schools Festival. 
Their skills were tested as they rafted the same white water that the world’s best athletes will face next year during five days of intense competition on the Olympic Standard Competition Course. 
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority chairman Derrick Ashley said: "It was a fantastic day for the pupils of Epping Forest. Not only have they had a chance to see a London 2012 venue for themselves, they’ve also experienced the exhilarating course. 
"Young people are at the heart of the authority’s Olympic legacy commitment and the Schools Festival is just the first step in our plans to engage with the community and give pupils across the capital and surrounding regions a real taste for what will be happening on their doorsteps next year." 
The Schools Festival, funded by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, gave 2,000 young people across London, Essex and Hertfordshire the opportunity to experience the Olympic Games a year before they begin. 
Seb Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), said: "Lee Valley White Water Centre Schools Festival has been a fantastic way to bring the Olympic Games close to the young people of Epping Forest. 
"They’ve experienced something truly unique at a world-class London 2012 venue and they can now say ‘I’ve raced the same course as the Olympians’." 
The pupils also took part in rock climbing and orienteering with Lee Valley Regional Park’s Youth and Schools Service - highlighting some of the environmental and educational programmes that the Park offer and demonstrating how the Park transforms into a wonderful outdoor classroom. 
Lee Valley White Water Centre’s School Festival is one of the outstanding projects granted the London 2012 Inspire mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Games. 


Elderly man robbed near car park


12th July 2011

AN elderly man was robbed as he walked near the Bakers Lane car park in Epping, moments after withdrawing money from a bank. 
The incident, details of which have only just been released by police, happened in Bakers Lane at about 2pm on Monday, June 20, after the man had withdrawn cash from Lloyds Bank in the High Street. 
Police say he was walking across the Bakers Lane car park and out into Bakers Lane when he was approached by a white man who grabbed his walking frame and bag and ran to a nearby silver Peugeot. 
He got into the passenger seat and was driven away.
The car was last seen on St John's Road. Investigating officer PC Jody Greenfield said: "The elderly man was extremely shaken but otherwise uninjured. 
"I would ask that anyone who saw the incident or who has any information to contact me at Harlow CID on 0300 333 4444."


Widespread opposition to homes plan


11th July 2011

ALMOST 250 letters have been sent to the district council opposing proposals for a 60-home development in Epping. 
Council planning officers are recommending that planning permission is refused for green belt reasons. 
The outline scheme has earmarked 5.9 hectares of open grassland and woodland south of Theydon Place and Madells. 
Some 3.9 hectares of the site is designated a County Wildlife Site which is covered by a tree preservation order. 
The plans show 60 dwellings, car parking, access, and other works ancillary to the development with 80 per cent of the two, three and four-bedroom homes designated as 'affordable' housing and the remainder for private ownership. 
To the immediate north and east of the site is the urban area of Epping (Theydon Place, Madells, Broadoaks, and Centre Drive) while to the immediate south and west of the site is the Bell Common amenity area. 
Some 240 residents have lodged objections along with Epping Town Council, the City of London, London Green Belt Council, the Campaign to Protect Rural Essex and Ivy Chimneys Primary School. 
Epping Town Council states that Epping already has 338 residential properties being built or pending building of which 149 are on green belt land at St John’s School. 
"The loss of green belt land around Epping at the pace proposed in recent applications, and without very special reason, risks damage both to the town and its environment," the town council has said. 
A planning officer's report states that whilst the provision of 80 per cent affordable housing (48 dwellings) does have "clear advantages and benefits" to the district, and on the face of it the application site is well located in terms of accessibility, the proposal clearly constitutes inappropriate development and fails to comply with the purposes of including land within the green belt". 
The officer adds: "It is not considered that the circumstances put forward, either individually or as a cumulative package, are considered ‘very special’ or clearly outweigh the harm from this inappropriate development on the openness or character of the Green Belt." 
The report adds that should councillors decide that there are very special circumstances to justify the development, then there would need to be clarity over what distinguishes this proposal from other applications to build houses in the green belt so as to avoid setting an undesirable precedent. 
The application would then have to be referred to district development control committee for further consideration. 
The planning application will be considered by councillors on Wednesday, July 20.


Lee Taylor on Twitter - @leetaylor02 - "Also planning (permission) for 60 homes on green belt in Epping is being sought. Not sure if building on greenbelt is a good idea?"


Explorer Scouts enjoy 24-hour adventure


11th July 2011

THOUSANDS of Explorer Scouts from across the UK took part in their own 24-hour non-stop adventure at 'Gilwell 24'.
The Scout Association’s national annual camp for Explorer Scouts. 
The 14 to 18-year-olds enjoyed more than 70 fun and challenging activities including climbing, rafting, orienteering and quad biking at Gilwell Park International Campsite and Activity Centre, the home of scouting on the edge of Epping Forest. 
'Gilwell 24' takes place every July and this year saw a record 4,000 participants, made up by nearly 3,000 young people, both male and female, aged between 14 and 18, along with more than 600 adult leaders and 500 staff. 
Izzy, from Enfield, said "I have been looking forward to becoming an Explorer Scout for ages so I can come to Gilwell 24. It was an awesome event with so many amazing activities. The best bit was going swimming at six o’clock on the Sunday morning."
Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who over the years has tried out loads of adventurous activities at home and abroad, said: "The Scout Movement is a world-wide force for good and at heart it says that young people have the right to an adventure. And I for one am so proud to be part of that."


Burial park hosts funeral exhibition


11th July 2011

A HORSE-drawn carriage and a motorcycle hearse were on display at the inaugural London Funeral Exhibition held at Epping Forest Burial Park, North Weald, at the weekend.
As well as a wide range of exhibitors, the taboo-busting event also featured films, talks, displays, advice sessions, demonstrations and woodland tours. 
Event organiser Fran Hall said: "There’s a growing trend for funerals to be personalised celebrations of life and we hope the event inspired visitors to consider what sort of send off they’d like."


Straw blaze on nature reserve


11th July 2011

FIREFIGHTERS spent more than an hour dealing with a straw blaze on the Roding Valley Nature Reserve, Buckhurst Hill. 
The blaze, which broke out at about 6.25pm last night (Sunday), involved a pile of straw some 20m x 20m. 
Initially a Woodford crew was sent to the scene, off Roding Lane, along with a crew from Loughton. 
Within a few minutes of arriving the officer in charge requested the attendance of an additional Essex crew. 
A water shuttle was set up to get water to the scene. 
The cause of the fire is undetermined.


Work planned to enhance Linder's Field


11th July 2011

VISITORS to Linder’s Field Local Nature Reserve, Buckhurst Hill, are being told not to be concerned at work being carried out which will ultimately improve the biodiversity and overall look of the meadow. 
The small site is made up of a mosaic of grassland, scrub, ponds and woodland but the grassland portion of the site is currently described as species-poor. 
It has been proven that species-poor grasslands can be enhanced using a technique called green hay strewning. 
Green hay strewning involves cutting a species-rich donor site before the wildflowers have gone to seed. 
The cuttings are then spread over the species-poor site. Countrycare staff from Epping Forest District Council have identified Roding Valley Meadows Local Nature Reserve as being the species-rich donor site. 
This technique can be a very effective but to get the best results the sward, or grassland, must be opened up. 
This will involve the sward being cut and then around 40 per cent to 50 per cent being opened up with machinery to create areas of bare ground. 
Species-rich green hay cut from the donor site is spread thinly, trodden in and left for up to three weeks to allow the seed to fall. 
This area is then rolled, to bed the seed into the ground. 
This method looks extreme but within a few months the original sward will recover and very little bare ground will remain. 
Results will be seen next year although some species may not appear in the sward for several years. 
With continued management of the site, Linder’s Field will become a thriving species-rich grassland with wildflowers including grass vetchling, knapweed, goatsbeard and ox-eye daisy, all species currently found at the donor site in the Roding Valley Meadows Local Nature Reserve. 
Countrycare staff, Roding Valley Meadows Reserve Warden and volunteers from both organisations will carry out the work on July 13, 19 and 20 in a bid to help reverse the 97 per cent decline in species-rich grassland in England and Wales since the 1930s.


Weights and measures to go on show


11th July 2011

AN exhibition of weights and measures on loan from Hoerstel, Waltham Abbey’s twin town, will run at the Epping Forest District Museum from Friday, July 15, until Friday, July 29. 
Dietmar Doerr, from Hoerstel, is a member of the International Society of Antique Scale Collectors. 
He will be bringing part of his collection including Roman weights, coin weights, fish weights and diamond scales, and will be interested to hear from anyone who has their own old scales or weights. 
Dietmar will be at the Sun Street museum throughout the exhibition during regular public opening hours - Monday, Friday and Sunday 2pm-5pm; Tuesday noon-5pm; and Saturday 10am-5pm. 
For more information, ring the museum on 01992 716882.


Heart surgery runner's fun run success


10th July 2011

A RUNNER who underwent open heart surgery just five months ago has spoken of his joy at completing a charity fun run in Epping. 
Matthew Lewis, 19, from Chingford, was among the 80 runners in today's Rhys Daniels Trust five-mile fun run which started and finished at Epping Sports Centre.
Actor Chris Simmons, who played DC Mickey Webb in the long-running ITV series The Bill, started the race.
Matthew, a keen sportsman, spent four-and-a-half hours in theatre at Barts Hospital, London, in February when he had a new value inserted in his aorta, and also had a pacemaker fitted. 
Matthew's father Ron, while waiting to see his son cross the finishing line, said: "Before the operation he was always a bit sluggish running, and he kept on collapsing."
It was then that his heart problems were diagnosed. 
Now Matthew has been able to return to running and supported the Epping-based charity which provides accommodation for parents whose children are being treated at hospitals a long way from home by taking part in the annual run which follows a course which includes part of Epping Forest. 
Matthew, an explorer scout leader, had only slept for an hour-and-a-half before the race having been involved with a 24-hour scouting event at Gilwell Park, Chingford.
Moments after finishing the race, Matthew said: "I can't waste my time now. I've just got to do these things." 
Matthew ran with his friend Wesley Smith who said: "He's just amazing. He's does brilliantly. He's less knackered than I am!" 
Matthew's father, Ron, added: "He's fantastic. All his family are very proud of him." 
The race was won by Joel Goodman, from Epping, in 30mins 37secs with Richard Thomason, from Waltham Abbey, second, and Jon Whitehouse, from Epping, third.
Jay Andrews (33mins 39secs) was the first woman to finish.


Summer pantomime coming to Loughton


9th July 2011

THE pantomime Cinderella is coming to Loughton - but unusually for panto it is coming during the summer rather than at Christmas. 
The production at the Lopping Hall, High Road, Loughton, has been produced and directed by arts grants winners Cameron Murray and Stephen Pemble. 
Cinderella runs from Thursday, July 21, until Saturday, July 23, at 7.30pm with a 2pm Saturday matinee. 
Tickets cost £8 for adults (£7 for children and OAPs - £28 for a family ticket for two adults and two children. 
For tickets and more information, ring the box office on 07546 031657.


Ongar's HSBC "one of the most under-used in the country"


8th July 2011

THE HSBC has told Everything Epping Forest it is closing the Ongar branch because it is "one of the most under used in the country". 
Businesses and residents have voiced their concerns at the closure decision saying it will have a major impact on customers, including local businesses. 
The Essex Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the bank to rethink its decision while Ongar Town Council is writing to HSBC voicing the concerns raised by local residents and businesses. 
A statement issued to Everything Epping Forest says the bank has opened an additional 170 branches, including Brentwood, for longer hours on Saturdays to meet customer demands. 
The statement adds: "We need to ensure that our branches are in the right locations for our customers and on occasions this means that we need to close some branches where customer footfall has fallen dramatically or there has been a shift in customer shopping patterns. 
"Chipping Ongar is a case in point. Customer usage of the branch has fallen significantly over the past few years and it is now one of the most under used branches in the country." 
The statement added: "Customers habits are changing - they are now increasingly using branches where they work, or they are using the 24-hour convenience of internet or telephone banking. 
"Our network has to be 'fit for purpose' and we have to ensure that our branches are located in areas where they are used. 
"Closing a branch is never an easy decision but we are working with the small number of customers who use the branch to see if we can help them reorganise their finances ahead of the planned closure on September 30.
"The two members of staff who man the branch will transfer to other local branches."


Anon writes: "How can Ongar be called a town with hardly any infrastructure for its population? It's trapped in a spiralling hole. Do something now! Save Ongar and it's heritage!"

Email your views to everythingeppingforest@googlemail.com


Winning hospice lottery numbers


8th July 2011

THE winner of this week's £1,000 St Clare Hospice lottery first prize lives in Harlow, The winning number is 373564 
The £100 second prize goes to number 253043. The winner lives in Epping. 
For information about how to join the lottery, visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk or ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).


Bank urged to reconsider closure decision


8th July 2011

THE Essex Federation of Small Businesses is campaigning to try and get HSBC to rethink its decision to close the Ongar branch.
A notice displayed in the window informs customers that the branch will close at 3pm on September 30. 
Despite two requests from Everything Epping Forest, HSBC has failed to provide a statement explaining why the closure decision has been taken. 
A statement on the Federation of Small Businesses website states: "Essex FSB is campaigning to try and persuade the bank to think again as closing a bank branch has a knock on impact on retailers in a town centre."


School hosting fun day


8th July 2011

A FUN day is being held at Shelley Primary School on Sunday (July 10), 
The event is being organised by the school, Shelley Mums and Tots, Bright Stars Pre-School and Little Stars Childrens Centre who will share the proceeds. 
There will be fun events including a bouncy castle, fancy dress competition, cup cake challenge, and arena events including the Tottenham Freestylers and Shelley Dance Stars.
Ongar Round Table will be supplying the beer tent and there will also be a barbecue and visits from the police and fire service.


Are you ready for digital switchover?


8th July 2011

THE digital switchover for the London region, which includes the Epping Forest district, will happen on April 4 next year. 
Vivien Morgan, Digital UK’s London manager, said: "When digital switchover comes to the Epping Forest district and London in spring next year, most of us need to look at our TV sets and make sure we know what to do.
"No-one wants a blank screen especially before the Olympics." 
Going digital is the biggest change in television since the introduction of colour back in 1967. 
This time the benefits will be different but viewers will get more channels, some in HD and in some areas better reception of Freeview. 
Switching off the analogue network will also allow the power of digital signals to be boosted, improving reception for many viewers already watching Freeview, Top Up TV and BT Vision.
Viewers who currently only receive the five standard channels via an aerial on any sets, will need to think about converting them to digital. 
No-one needs to throw away their old set - even a black and white one can be converted with a digital box. Viewers in the London TV region already watching Freeview, Top Up TV or BT Vision will need to retune at switchover to continue receiving all available channels. 
Cable and satellite services are not affected by switchover. 
For more information visit www.digitaluk.co.uk. There is also an advice line on 08456 505050. 
Extra help is available for older and disabled viewers from the Switchover Help Scheme. 
People aged 75 or over, living in a care home for six months or more, registered blind or partially sighted, or on certain disability benefits will receive an offer of equipment to convert one TV set to digital, help with its installation and follow-up support. 
For the poorest eligible households the service is free. 
For more information call free on 0800 408 7654 or visit www.helpscheme.co.uk


Council leader to meet business leaders


8th July 2011

HIGH-speed broadband and how to encourage people to use their local shops will be on the agenda when district council leader Lesley Wagland meets the Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses). 
TIna Dulieu, the Essex FSB representative for Epping Forest, said: "Essex FSB has a good working relationship with Epping Forest District Council and we wish to see that positive partnership continue with the new council leader.
"Among the topics of mutual interest on the agenda will be initiatives for high speed, reliable broadband to be available across the district and also what encouragement can be given to local communities to make better use of the shopping centres that are at the heart of the communities which make up Epping Forest, including Chigwell, Debden, Epping, Loughton, Ongar and Theydon Bois, and to retailers to provide the service local people want." 
She added: "We are looking forward to what we are sure will be the start of a good working relationship for the benefit of the Epping Forest economy." 
Mrs Wagland said: "More than 95 per cent of businesses in the Epping Forest district are SMEs providing many hundreds of jobs and generating considerable wealth for the local economy. 
"As the UK’s largest business organisation the FSB is a strong voice for such businesses and Essex FSB has a very good reputation for the positive way it works with local councils for the benefit of local businesses. 
"I have sought an early meeting with Essex FSB representatives to discuss the needs of our small businesses as I am sure that by working together we have a much stronger voice which can bring improvements for our area." 
The meeting will be held on Friday, July 22.


HSBC to close High Street branch


7th July 2011

THE HSBC bank in Ongar High Street is to close at the end of September. 
A notice displayed in the front window of the branch states that the 'permanent closure' will be from 3pm on September 30. 
The notice informs customers that from that date the nearest HSBC branch will be in Brentwood. 
HSBC is yet to issue a statement explaining why the closure decision has been taken.


Free arts workshop coming to Ongar


6th July 2011

A GROUND-breaking arts project is coming to Ongar and there are just a few days left to book a place. 
The workshop, entitled Youth Express, is part of a two-year, youth-led arts project designed to give 12 to 18-year-olds with physical, hearing and visual impairments the best opportunity to make new friends, have fun and be creative. 
The project is being run by arts charity Zinc and funded by the BBC Children in Need’s Fun and Friendship Programme. 
The first Youth Express workshop in Essex will cover drama, animation and art. It is at the Adult Community Learning Centre, Ongar, on Tuesday, July 26. 
Booking closes on Wednesday, July 20. 
Places are limited and anyone interested in attending should contact Clare Willson on 01277 365626 clare.willson@zincarts.org.uk 
Zinc's senior project worker Tamara Wasylec said: "We are really excited to be running this ground-breaking, mixed media arts project in our home county of Essex." 
The workshop has been designed specifically for young people with physical, hearing and visual impairments and is part of a wider project which will run throughout the eastern region. 
All the workshops will be led by professional artists and during the first year of the project the young participants will work together to design and shape activities for the next phase of the project. 
Tamara added: "We want this project to be truly participatory and run by and with the participants. 
Zinc will support this by running monthly events and cultural excursions as well as residential arts workshops and activities at our newly developed arts centre in Ongar."
In order to make this project accessible to as many eligible young people as possible, Zinc is keen to grow partnerships and welcomes enquiries from schools, colleges, youth groups, voluntary sector organisations and local agencies.


Walks to mark Countrycare's anniversary


6th July 2011

TWO events are being held to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Countrycare. Countrycare has organised a Remarkable Trees walk on Sunday, July 10. 
The two-hour gentle stroll through the local forest will provide a perfect photo opportunity to capture and admire the district's rural surroundings. 
The walk will begin at 10:30am outside the Foresters Arms pub, Baldwin’s Hill. For more information, ring 01277 364522. 
On Saturday, July 16, Epping Forest District Council is inviting people to take part in a free guided walk though Epping Upland and Nazeing. 
Walkers should meet at the car park near The Traveller’s Friend pub, Epping Green, at 10am. 
The guided tour will finish at about 1pm. 
To book a place or for more details, ring 01992 788203.


Circus comes to local libraries


6th July 2011

CIRCUS Stars is this year’s Summer Reading Challenge at local libraries and mobile libraries from July 20 to September 3. 
Loughton Library is holding an Early Joining Day on Saturday (July 9) between 9am and 5pm as part of the Love Loughton festival, when children aged up to 16 can join up and take part in circus-themed activities. 
Over the summer holidays children taking part are challenged to read six books – they will get a sticker for each book they complete which they can place on their own stage, and each child that reads all six books will receive a medal. 
Children aged ten and over can take part in an additional challenge - Show Time. Readers collect six cards containing details of 12 acts. 
To complete the cards young people must either read a book and write about it or find some more information about their chosen act. 
Readers will decide which act they wish to put through to the next round until they get a winning act. 
Then can then vote for it online. For more details, ring Loughton Library on 020 8502 0181.


Hospice in-patient bedrooms refurbished


5th July 2011

THE in-patient unit bedrooms at St Clare Hospice have been refurbished, thanks to a £396,000 grant from the Department of Health. 
More than 60 supporters and friends of the Hastingwood hospice were invited along yesterday to see the new-look rooms. 
Tanya Curry, director of patient care and acting chief executive, said: "Our eight specialist in-patient bedrooms are used 24 hours a day and have been since they opened ten years ago.
"With such demand, they were beginning to look tired and dated. The Department’s grant of £396,000 enabled us to refurbish all eight rooms, installing the very best in patient equipment and making each of the rooms a warm, comfortable and special place for our patients." 
Tanya added: “This is work we simply couldn’t have undertaken without the grant as we have to work incredibly hard to raise enough funds to keep the hospice running every day. 
"It costs over £5,000 each day for us to provide our services and the money we were awarded did not contribute towards care costs, it specifically went towards improving the patient environment. 
"The improvements made have enabled the hospice to provide our patients and their families with the very best environment for specialist palliative care. 
"We are extremely proud of what we have achieved which was delivered on time and to budget.” 
Supporters and friends could view the hospice’s new look unit at a reception supported by Daniel Robinson and Sons, as well as meet with the project team (including the architects, Tooley & Foster Partnerships and building contractors, AOC Interiors), trustees, directors and staff to find out more about what St Clare Hospice has to offer within the local community as well as how the project was delivered. 
St Clare Hospice currently receives only 24 per cent of its £2.6m annual running costs from the NHS. 
Communications manager Giles Wright said: “Our service is having to grow to meet the needs of the population we serve however there isn’t an uplift in our NHS funding.
"This means we must raise vital funds to pay for the care we provide free of charge to hundreds of families each year. 
"Our community has always been very supportive of the hospice and are proud to have the service available. Please do continue to support us in whatever way you can."


Council rewarded for travel plan


5th July 2011

EPPING Forest District Council has been awarded the bronze standard accreditation for successfully introducing a Travel Plan. 
A ‘Travel Plan’ is a package of measures aimed at promoting greener, cleaner travel choices and reducing reliance on the car. 
It involves the development of a set of initiatives that enable an organisation to reduce the impact of travel and transport on the environment, whilst also benefiting employers and staff. 
In September 2009 the council agreed to introduce its own Travel Plan and has since been working in partnership with Essex County Council Sustainable Business Travel Team to implement a number of initiatives. 
The county council has been assisting with the Plan’s development through reviewing, monitoring and advising on implementation and in view of the progress it has made, Epping Forest District Council has been awarded the Bronze Standard accreditation. 
The award is in recognition of various measures the council has already put into place. 
These are the completion of a staff travel survey to obtain information about travel patterns and ideas for improvements, flexi-working, the development of a car sharing scheme, the provision of personal alarms, promotion and introduction of measures encouraging cycling and walking to work as a healthy way to travel including a Cycle2Work Scheme, provision of route maps and timetables for local public transport and promotion of its benefits, and ‘Green Driving Awareness’ for staff.


Driver seriously injured in crash


5th July 2011

POLICE are appealing for witnesses following a collision between a car and a lorry on the Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey. 
A man in his 30s, from Waltham Cross, who was driving a red Peugeot, was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, with serious injuries following the crash which happened at 11.40am yesterday (Monday). 
Firefighters from Waltham Abbey, Loughton and Harlow took about an hour to cut the car driver from his vehicle. 
The lorry driver was also taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries. 
Any witnesses or anyone with information about events leading up to the collision should contact PC Chris Rail at Chigwell Road Policing Unit on 0300 333 4444.


MP praises Open Gardens Day


5th July 2011

EPPING Forest MP Eleanor Laing has praised the efforts of Theydon Bois villagers who opened their gardens to the public. 
The village held its annual open gardens day on Sunday, June 26, when many gardens in Theydon Bois were open for visitors to admire. 
Mrs Laing, who visited many of the gardens with her son, Matthew, said: "The open gardens day is now a firm fixture in the village's social calendar with people coming from some distance to view the gardens. 
"This was the 31st year that the event has been held and I would like to congratulate the organisers (Theydon Youth with the continued support of the Village Association) and in particular the green-fingered gardeners who make this fabulous event possible."


Fun day to support Help for Heroes


5th July 2011

A FAMILY fun day to raise money for Help for Heroes is being held in the Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, on Saturday, July 16. 
The event, which raised over £2,000 for the charity last year, will run from 11am to 5pm with bouncy castles and slides, an old-style coconut shy and tin can alley, five-a-side football, baseball, face painting, nail painting, kids enclosure, belly dancing, majorettes, the RSPCA; police; prayer and motorcycle and vintage cars. 
There will also be a barbecue, tea tent, cream cake stall, tombola, art stalls, ice Cream, sweets, toys and several other stalls 
Lea Valley Church Pastor Geoff Ace said “Last year Mick Fitch worked on behalf of the church to help arrange this event for the community.
"Due to its success he has organised it again this year and we believe it is an opportunity to help the town get together and enjoy a day for all the family.” 
Mick decided again to do it all in aid of Help for Heroes. 
There is no charge for entry to the event although all the profits from the day will go to Help for Heroes. 
There will again be a motorcycle ride-in from the High Beach Motorcycle Tea Hut which will come via Upshire, Ninefields, Roundhills and Sewardstone Road (about 12 miles). 
Mike Tobin, chairman of Roundhills Residents Association - which has organised the ride-in, said “Last year the ride in and subsequent events organised by the residents association raised about £500 towards the total. 
"I hope this year we can do even more to help this very worthwhile charity.”
For details of the ride-in email h4hride@roundhills.org.uk or visit www.roundhills.org.uk 
Mike Tobin added: “Last year the residents association felt that a small minority of young people on motorbikes and mini-motos had given problems to the police and the community so it would be good to show that the vast majority of motorcyclists do a lot for the community and particularly for charity.” 
The ride-in will start at the Bikers Tea Hut at High Beach at 11am. 
A minimum donation of £5 per rider is suggested.


Plane crash drama


3rd July 2011

A PILOT has had a lucky escape after bringing his plane down in a field close to North Weald airfield and the M11. 
The Beagle Pup plane came down after it took off from the airfield at about 2pm..
Initial reports suggested that it had crashed on the Par 3 golf course but it was found by a helicopter, from the airfield, on the other side of the motorway, near homes in Forest Glade and Silver Birch Avenue. 
Bryn Elliott, who was among the first on the scene having been at the North Weald Airfield Museum, said: "The plane was found with its tail in the air. The pilot was okay. There was no fire, the field was slightly dented but no other damage. 
"The neighbours praised the quick arrival of the emergency services." 
Three fire engines, and one on the M11, were called to the scene along with a fire rescue vehicle, an ambulance, a paramedic car, three police cars and the Essex Air Ambulance. 
This weekend Air-Britain's Fly-In, the longest established UK Fly-In organised independently by and for aviation enthusiasts, has been taking place on the airfield. 
It is not known whether the plane was involved with the air event.


Youngsters compete at Howzat festival


3rd July 2011

YOUNGSTERS from numerous local cricket clubs have been competing at the annual Loughton Howzat Cricket Festival. 
Dozens of players were at Loughton Cricket Club for the tournament and fun day with round-robin competitions held for two age groups. 
As well as the cricket, there was also a number of sideshows, musical entertainment, a barbecue and bouncy castle. 
Local cricket clubs taking part included Loughton, South Woodford, Woodford Green, Walthamstow, Woodford Wells, Upminster, Chingford and Gidea Park.


Sixth successive race win for Crispian


3rd July 2011

MORE than 200 runners took part in the annual High Ongar 10k race which was won by Crispian Bloomfield for a sixth successive year. 
Crispian narrowly missed out on beating his course record best of 32mins as he crossed the finishing line ahead of Tim Harvey (Leigh-on-Sea Striders) and third-placed Dave Cox (Woodford Green). 
The race was started by Ongar Rotary Club president Len Moss as runners set out on a course which included Willingale Airfield and All Saints Church, Norton Mandeville.
Louise Brass (Thurrock Harriers) was the first lady home in 41mins 32secs.
Proceeds from the race will go to local good causes.


Students receive achievement awards


3rd July 2011

STUDENTS have been presented with prestigious Jack Petchey Achievement Awards.
The event included six schools, East 15 Acting School and Voluntary Action Epping Forest.
It honoured Achievement award winners aged 11-25 who received medallions to go with their framed certificate and a cheque for £200 for their schools which has already been presented. 
They were nominated by their peers and leaders, winning awards for a variety of achievements but mostly for doing their best. 
Prize money has mainly been spent on extra resources and equipment. 
Seven adults were also celebrated who had demonstrated, in an outstanding way, an ability to motivate young people. 
The leader award winners received a medallion and a framed certificate. 
Winners included James Nunn, 18, from Davenant Foundation School who won his award for his many qualities and service over many years to drama in the school and to the Stage Crew which he helps to run. 
The Head of Sixth Form also nominated him for his extreme diligence as Head Boy and as the co-ordinator of the Prefect team. 
James, who lives in Woodford with parents Alison and Graham and three siblings, was elated when he knew he had won a JPF award. 
He said “It’s a really big deal throughout the school and students aspire to get one. They come with a real feel good factor too because it’s not about being the best but doing your best.” 
James speaks just as highly about his career at Davenant which he feels has motivated him to do well. 
James dreams of a career in acting and hopes to get into drama school.
The grant award was spent on a new lighting desk, microphone stands and mics.
Adam Brewer, 18, from West Hatch High School, joined the school’s sixth form and quickly showed strong leadership enough to be considered part of the head prefect team. 
He wanted to make changes and improvements to sixth form life and be an integral part of them. Adam went on to become head boy. 
Adam lives in Loughton with his parents and younger brother and hopes to go on to Southampton Solent University to study criminology. 
He said “These awards are a real incentive to students to succeed in whatever they do and go the extra mile. Plus it’s recognition and great to win.” 
The grant award was used to purchase an extra computer for year 12 and 13 to use for research in the history department. 
VIPs attending included Epping Forest District Council vice-chairman Brian Rolfe.
He said: “It is a great honour to see our young people celebrated in this way."


Charity holds tea party


2nd July 2011

THE Jubilee Lodge respite holiday centre in Chigwell treated its disabled guests to a tea party to help launch a national fundraising campaign. 
The centre’s guests tucked into tea and fancy cakes baked by the Jubilee Lodge catering staff to mark the official launch of Cupcake Breaks, a new fundraising campaign organised by national disability charity Vitalise. 
The Jubilee Lodge staff were ably assisted by a group of students from nearby Chigwell School, who were paying a visit to the centre to put on a show for the guests and assist the staff. 
The Cupcake Breaks campaign aims to raise funds for Vitalise, which runs Jubilee Lodge and provides essential respite breaks for people with disabilities and their carers. 
Similar tea parties took place at Vitalise’s two other centres in Southampton and Southport, as well as the charity’s offices in London and Kendal. 
Vitalise is calling on supporters to organise cake-related fundraising activities of all descriptions throughout the year. 
The funds raised by the campaign will go towards subsiding the charity’s much-needed respite breaks for the UK’s disabled people and carers. 
Vitalise events manager Karolina Mazur said: "There’s nothing as satisfying as baking a cake, and we’re appealing to all our supporters to follow our lead by baking a cake to fund a break for Vitalise this summer! 
"We want our fans to really use their imagination and come up with some new twists on the traditional tea party to raise funds for our important work. 
"There are any number of cake-related fundraising activities to try and we’re hoping to see some wild and wonderful ideas. We’re hoping Cupcake Breaks will raise lots of dough for Vitalise, maybe even hundreds and thousands - that really would be the icing on the cake!" 
Supporters wanting more information about the Vitalise Cupcake Breaks campaign can contact Karolina Mazur on 0845 345 1972, email events@vitalise.org.uk or visit www.vitalise.org.uk

Guests and Chigwell School pupils enjoy the tea party click here


Winning hospice lottery numbers


2nd July 2011

THE winner of this week's £1,000 first prize in the St Clare Hospice lottery lives in Harlow. The winning number is 104521. 
The £100 second prize goes to ticket number 597796. The winner lives Epping. 
For more about the lottery, ring 01279 773730 (Monday-Friday 9.30am-1.30pm).


Drivers continue to drink and drive


2nd July 2011

A TOTAL of 110 drivers were found to be over the limit during Essex Police’s 2011 summer drink-drive crackdown campaign - 14.7 per cent less than last year. 
Officers were out in force across the county between June 1 and June 30 taking a zero tolerance approach to those who put lives at risk by choosing to drink or take drugs and drive. 
Of the 2,984 drivers stopped and breathalysed during that period some 110 (3.7 per cent) were found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit or refused or failed to provide a sample. 
Of those found to be over the limit, 87 (79 per cent) were men and 23 (21 per cent) were women. 
A total of 42 (38 per cent) were aged under 25 and 68 (62 per cent) were aged 25 and over. 
During last year’s campaign, which ran throughout June, 129 drivers were found to be over the limit. 
Essex Police deals with drink driving robustly 365 days a year but stepped up road checks in towns across the county with bustling night-time economies and rural areas where some drivers believe they have less chance of getting caught drunk behind the wheel. 
This year Essex Police made a plea to drivers, their families, friends and members of the public to take responsibility by reporting drink drivers to Essex Police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.
During the campaign figures showing how many people had been arrested for drink driving were featured on the Essex Police website www.essex.police.uk/drinkdrive.
Last year 122 people were seriously injured or injured as a result of a driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
Casualty reduction manager Adam Pipe said: "The campaign has clearly highlighted that a small but determined number of people who still believe they are above the law and are placing not only themselves but other road users at risk by continuing to drink and drive. 
"Disturbingly a number of road policing operations conducted during the morning rush hour identified a number of drink drivers. 
"Alarmingly, some were at the wheel of commercial vehicles used for work purposes.
"The community that we serve must know who these individuals are that continue to flout the law by continuing to drink and drive and we urge the public to use Crimestoppers to inform us of such drivers. Picking up the phone could save a life. 
"The summer campaign may have come to an end but in no way does that signify an end to our efforts to bring drink drivers to justice. 
"We will not tolerate drink or drug drivers in Essex and our officers will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to it 365 days a year."


Loughton Festival seeks new treasurer


1st July 2011

THE Loughton Festival is looking for a new treasurer as preparations are underway to arrange next year's event. 
Lynda Hodgkinson joined the committee in 2007, only stepping down this year because she needed to spend more time with her family, following a bereavement. An accomplished accountant, 
Lynda helped steer the festival from just one weekend of events to a nine-week festival that includes forest walks, talks, a six-week class, music and children's activities, and also raises money for charity. 
Lynda will be greatly missed by festival director, Sue Taylor, who is hoping she can quickly find a replacement. 
She said: "We really cannot operate without a treasurer so I do hope a suitably qualified person comes forward soon or I am not sure what we will do." 
Sue is appealing for people wishing to be considered to contact her by July 15.
Applicants should have relevant experience, preferably of either fundraising or accounts / book keeping in a work context or as a volunteer. 
The work is occasional, with most taking place from January to April, and it would be helpful if the new treasurer would also help with grant applications.
This is a volunteer post, with expenses paid. 
Applicants should send Sue a brief CV and the names of two referees by email to info@loughtonfestival.org.uk
Sue is also inviting volunteers to contact her if they would like to help her plan next year's festival in March and April. 
She is particularly looking for people able to help with fundraising, publicity, event management and designing publicity materials.
If anyone is interested in joining the team they should email Sue or ring her on 020 8508 2512.


Company prosecuted over banner


1st July 2011

A COMPANY has been fined over a banner which it put up outside premises in Thornwood without planning permission. 
Coward Popplewells Limited, the freehold owners of a site High Road, Thornwood, was prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council for displaying a banner across the front of the site without planning permission. 
The company, which pleaded guilty at Harlow Magistrates Court, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £175 towards the council’s prosecution costs. 
Between January and April this year, five separate letters were sent to Coward Popplewells Limited by a planning enforcement officer employed by the council, requesting that the banner be removed. 
A number of phone calls also took place during which a Mr Coward, a director of the company, assured the enforcement officer that the sign would be taken down. However the sign was not removed so Epping Forest District Council commenced with prosecution proceedings. 
Although the freehold of the site is owned by Coward Popplewells Limited, it was leased to Popplewells Coachworks Limited, which has ceased trading. 
At the June 21 hearing the magistrates told Mr Coward that if he had complied with the council’s request to remove the sign and applied for planning permission in the proper way, he would not be standing before them..


Haslers celebrates 60th anniversary


1st July 2011

CHARTERED accountancy firm Haslers celebrated its 60th anniversary by treating 120 clients and professional contacts to lunch at the Tower of London.
The lunch was held in the tower’s New Armouries suite, which dates back to the 1660s, with guests treated to a three-course meal, and an opportunity to view the Crown Jewels. 
Comedian, writer and broadcaster Barry Cryer, best known as a panellist on long-running BBC Radio 4 programme I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, was the guest speaker. 
Haslers partner Laurence Jacobs said: “We organised the lunch to mark our 60th anniversary and as a way of thanking our clients and contacts for their business and support over the years. 
“The Tower of London is an absolutely superb venue and certainly helped make the occasion even more memorable. We know from the feedback we have already received that our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves." 
He added: “Sixty years is a considerable achievement for any business, so we were absolutely delighted to be able to share this milestone with so many people.” 
The firm has also held a meal for its staff, at The Vault champagne and wine bar in Woodford Green. 
The night included a disco and quiz where staff were tested on their knowledge of the Haslers partners. 
Haslers was founded by Harry Hasler in 1951, when the firm was based in Woodford Green. Now in Old Station Road, Loughton,
its focus has been on developing highly specialised accountancy services for niche sectors such as the construction industry, care homes, pharmaceutical companies and veterinary practices. 
Haslers was named as the Accountancy Firm of the Year in this year’s Essex Accountancy and Business Awards, held at Orsett Hall Hotel, Orsett, in May.