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April - June 2004 News

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Parish Council Minutes: The May Parish Council Meeting Minutes, which contain details of how the controversial decsion to reject the Tennis Club Lighting was arrived at are now available. Click here.


The Month in Theydon: Trevor Roberts latest (May) take on village events is now on line. Well worth checking out for to find out in greater detail what happened last month. Click Here.
Primary School Medieval Fayre: Saturday 26th June 11.30am - 4.30pm.

The Fayre's ErpynghamRetinue Timetable

10.30 Procession starts from event site passing along your proposed route.

11.00 Procession arrives back at event site.

11.30 Opening ceremony of event with short Gun demo. Finish approx. 11.45

12.15 Birds of Prey 1st demo. Finish approx. 12.45

13.00 Retinue 1st demo. Dance. Finish approx. 13.30

13.45 Guns 1st demo. Finish approx. 14.15

14.30 Retinue 2nd demo. Arming-a-Knight Finish approx. 15.00

15.15 Birds of Prey 2nd demo. Finish approx. 15.45

16.00 Retinue 3rd demo. Combat Finish approx. 16.30

16.30 Final volley from guns to officially close the event


Village News Issue 46: The June issue of Village News is now being distributed around the village and we the full colour PDF version available on site. Click here.
Theydon Bois & District Preservation Society Committee Members: and other interested local groups met with our local MP Eleanor Laing on Friday 28th May to object to government proposals to build 18,600 in the Epping Forest District between now and 2021. This represents a 36% increase over present stock compared to an 18% proposed increase for Essex as a whole. Much of this would have to be built on Green Belt land as there are not sufficient 'Brown Field' sites. The inevitable pollution caused by a development on such a scale would also cause untold damage to the Biosphere of Epping Forest. TBDPS challenged the statistics on which the need for this number of houses was proposed and Mrs. Laing promised to find an opportunity to raise this in the House of Commons and also suggested that she present a petition on the safeguarding of Epping Forest. TBDPS are in no doubt that the EERA proposals are a direct threat to our village. See more in their Newsletter which is just being circulated.
If you are able to help circulate the Newsletter or help collect this years subscriptions please contact Martin Boyle Tel: 01992 813132 or any of the committee members listed on the society's notice board by the Bull.

Pension Service Surgeries in Theydon Bois:
LOCAL SERVICE SURGERIES - The Pension Service is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. It has been set up to improve the service to people who are already pensioners, or those planning their retirement. "Meet us to find out more".
If you would like to find out more about Pension Credit or other entitlements, please come and talk to a member of staff from the Local Pension Service. We will be holding quarterly drop in surgeries in Theydon Bois at the following location in 2004:
Essex Mobile Police Van (Outside Village Hall 10.00-12.00am) - Thursday 1 July, 9 September & 16 December.
For further information about your nearest surgery please phone 0845 60 60 265 and ask for the Local Pension Service.
Further information is available on our website.

Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter: Chris Caten and Allan Perrett Beatmobile newsletter for 31st May to 4th June is now on site. Click Here.
Country Dance Club: We may still be enjoying the start of the summer (hopefully) but Theydon Bois Folk, Country & Barn Dance Club have been busy preparing their autumn programme and these are now on our Club Details Page. This friendly club has grown in popularity recently but still welcome new members. Why not check them out next season. First visit is free.
Open Air Theatre: WADHAM PLAYERS THEATRE GROUP
present their annual 2004 open air production of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of pirates and buried treasure adapted by Bernard Miles.

TREASURE ISLAND
Saturday 11 July 2004 at 3pm ONLY.
at Barnsbury Wood, Islington, North London

Saturday 17 July 2004 at 3pm and 7.30pm
Sunday 18 at 3pm ONLY.
at Willow Cottage, Stapleford Abbotts, Passingford Bridge, Essex

Tickets £6, children £3
available in advance from Michael on 020 8527 4690
or Bob on 020 8527 6456 or Email


Theydon Bois Playgroup: is situated in the Scout Hut in Loughton Lane. Pre-school children from the age of two and a half meet to enjoy National Curriculum based activities, song and play. As the majority of the playgroup children progress onto Theydon Bois Primary School, the friendships formed at playgroup help the children to settle into the school environment. Children can attend as many or as few sessions as they wish (space permitting). As they get older, they are offered full day sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays. This is beneficial as it teaches the children lunch box skills and helps them adapt to school life.
The playgroup has recently passed its Ofsted Inspection and is thought to be a friendly, popular and relaxed asset to the village.

Playgroup meets at: The Scout Hut, Loughton Lane, Theydon Bois On: Monday 9.15am - 11.45am
Tuesday 9.15am - 11.45am
Wednesday 9.15am - 11.45am & 12.15pm - 2.45pm*
Thursday 9.15am - 11.45am
Friday 9.15am - 11.45am & 12.15pm - 2.45pm*

*all day sessions are available for older children

For more information, please contact Suzanne Peddle on 01992 815103


Launch of Theydon Bois CCTV System:
Wednesday 19th May 2004 saw the official introduction of the CCTV security system for our village. The project has cost £26,000 with £12,000 coming from Parish Council funding. At the launch Parish Council Chairman John Eaton made the following introductory statement:

"In a way today is a very sad day for Theydon Bois. When I first moved here 28 years ago, the local village bobby knew the rascals at the local school and, depending upon their degree of exuberance, felt their collar appropriately, Yes… there were kids with high spirits then, but their crime was little more than naughty pranks or scrumping.

Today, we are gathered to make the official launch of the new CCTV system in the Village centre, necessitated by the ever increasing levels of juvenile arrogance, contempt for authority, lack of respect for people’s property, lack of pride in the village and worst of all their apparent belief that nobody can touch them.

If there is to be a celebration today, it is that we hope passionately that today will mark the end of this wanton intimidation and anti-social behaviour. Not only do we hope that we can identify the relatively small band of youths who are the troublemakers and bring them to book, we hope to proactively use the cameras as indisputable evidence to trap those parking illegally and those of all ages behaving in an antisocial manner in public. In a way, a much welcomed new beginning.

Out thanks must go to the support we have received from the Vandalism and Antisocial Behaviour Group, from which I think it correct to say, this CCTV installation was spawned. I would also like to thank Simon Ford of EFDC for the contribution he has made to this venture and also the funding. We received a £5,000 grant towards the cost of CCTV from Epping Forest District Council.

I would like to mention the following people who have made a major contribution in moving this project from drawing board to implementation. Without their help we could not have succeeded and our sincere thanks go out tot them.

Tony Ellis, Safer Communities and Sue Purkiss, Community police officer, - Essex Police.
AVS, CCTV Equipment Suppliers, and particularly Scott who has been of tremendous support to the Council.
Diana Ingram and David Norman, both of whom have very kindly agreed for CCTV equipment to be fixed to their property.
Those on the Parish Council who have given so much of their time on the CCTV project.
John Padfield and Robert Glozier for their exhaustive research of the chosen system which has taken seven months of dedicated work,
Lastly, as we were proposing to spend public funds on this project, Peter Gooch, Ken Cushing and Ron Smith, who undertook a Peer Group Review to corroborate John and Robert’s finding prior to the final decision being made.
The Parish Council would also like to express its thanks for the support it has received from other Village associations, particularly the Village Association and Playground at Theydon."


Four Years of the Parish Council: With the elections due on Thursday 10th June Parish Council Chairman, John Eaton has written an overview of the past four years which is on our Council News Page.

This great event is coming again soon. 21 gardens will now be opened by village gardeners. See the Open Gardens Page for more details.


Skateboarders: It will no doubt have been noticed that there is a growing group of Skateboarders in our village, the age range form 6 years to 15 years. It is a growing sport for many young people across the UK. Many Towns and Villages have made provision by creating areas specifically for skateboarders. Using the car park and roads are not ideal places, neither are they safe nor designed for such a purpose.
Our Village is becoming ever younger in its population, a natural renewal bringing with it new challenges. I have always felt that the very young and more ‘mature’ villagers are served well by EFDC and Parish Council but this middle age range are not so easy to accommodate. Vandalism is every growing perhaps in part because of lack of activities for this age range.
A small group of Mothers and skateboarders have met with members of the Parish Council to discuss ways in which we can try and provide an area in which our young people can skateboard and perhaps other activities in a safe and designated area.
This is not going to be easily achieved and will need discussion, debate and fund-raising by parents and the kids who want to have this facility. Even though your children may be small now in a very short space of time they will not be and they too will be needing a place in which to ‘play’.

If you have an opinion or any suggestions please call me on 01992 813749. I and others really want to get this on the agenda. Once we did not have a playground, the one we now have was mainly built by parents fund raising and Parish Council support. We can do it.

Polly McCarthy
Parent


Short Mat Bowls AGM: The Annual General Meeting of the Theydon Bois Short Mat Bowls Club took place in the Village Hall on Thursday 13th May.
Ann Washer, the Chairman, thanked all who supported its activities resulting in a very happy and successful year.
The Treasurer, Bert Taylor, reported that the finances were in good shape and that, despite rising prices, suggested an annual subscription of £50.
The Secretary, Ted Norris, told the club that five new members had joined the club, making 50 Members.
The Officers, Chairman - Ann Washer, Secretary - Ted Norris and Treasurer - Bert Taylor, together with five committee members were re-elected en bloc.

The club meets every Thursday in the Village Hall, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois and welcomes new members. For more details please telephone the secretary on 01992 812104.


Chris Caten' s latest Beatmobile Neighbourhood Watch report: is here. Chris is in hospital as from 7th June and will be away for about six weeks, he is having a small operation, Dupuytren’s Contracture Release. Other officers will be covering the venues for him but but his e-mail system will have to be closed for that period of time. We wish Chris all the best.
Motorised scooters – called ‘Gopeds: Now that the lighter evenings have arrived so youngsters who own a ‘goped’ are out and about – and why not, everyone should be able to enjoy themselves – BUT are you aware that there are legal requirements for riding one of these scooters. Some of these youngsters are under age drivers and sometimes ride two-up, in other words with a passenger. Parents with children who do not have motorised scooters may be unaware that they may be riding on the back of these uninsured vehicles.’

Parents – In law these scooters are classed as motorcycles and are subject to legal requirements. Crash helmets are required – lights – proper insurance, together with a driving licence and tax. In fact, everything that a motor cyclist would require. If you are in any doubt or require clarification then our local police will be happy to advise you. These scooters can reach speeds of 25 mph and seeing two people on them driving down the centre of our roads is very disturbing as they are putting themselves and other road users in danger.

Unfortunately one parent in the Epping Forest District decided to ignore the rules after being fully informed of the legal position and allowed his child to carry on regardless. He was taken to court and received a very hefty fine together with a number of penalty point on his licence.



COPPED HALL CORNER: THE ROYAL VISIT
Theydon Bois was represented at Copped Hall on Tuesday 27th April 2004, the greatest day yet for the Copped Hall Trust and Friends. The Prince of Wales visited the Mansion and Gardens to view the “wonderful work” of restoration taking place there. His tour included the newly created gallery where he opened an exhibition of botanical watercolours painted in the late eighteenth century by Matilda Conyers, the daughter of the first owner the Georgian Mansion. However the Prince was keen to meet the “workers” engaged on various tasks at the site and spent much time talking to them. He was given tea and cake in the Racquets Court where he was formally introduced to leading members of the Friends organisation including Theydon Bois residents Sylvia Keith, Nicola Munday and Trevor Roberts; another resident previously introduced was Councillor John Padfield. This event typifies the strong links existing between Copped Hall and the village, many residents of which are members of the Friends organisation whose first Chairman was another resident, the late Charles Rush.
OTHER FUNCTIONS
Other functions at the Mansion immediately following the Prince’s visit included two evening viewings of the Conyers’ Paintings when several were sold and a musical evening of ”Screen Gems” given by mezzo soprano Jane Webster and pianist Carol Wells. To conclude an eventful week Frances Taylor, mandolin, together with Jacqueline Vann, harpsichord, and Anita Strevens, cello, gave a unique recitial of Italian Baroque Music for Mandolin and Continuo. Both musical events were a sell out
FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Open Day of Mansion and Grounds on 30th May - 11 am to 4 pm.

A production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” , in the Grounds, given by the Chapterhouse Theatre Company on 10th July – 7.30 pm.

A piano recital given by Iwan Llewellyn Jones in the Mansion on 11th September – 7.30 PM

A Traditional Jazz Concert in the Mansion on the 12th September – 7.30 PM

Sunday Morning Tours on 20th June, 18th July and 15th August, all between 10.30 and 10.45 am.

For further enquiries: 0208 505 1041 or 01992 619834


JULIUS CAESAR AT WANSFELL COLLEGE: The Friends of Wansfell College (Charity No 1026081) are presenting the Greek Theatre Players in "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare in the beautiful garden setting at Wansfell College, Piercing Hill, Theydon Bois on Sunday, 13th June at 4 p.m. Tickets at £7.50 (including interval refreshments) can be obtained from Kay Rush on
01992 813717.

This is the last occasion on which this event can be staged, due to the regrettable decision by Essex County Council to close the College in August and sell off the site. The Friends hope that there will be a large audience once again to give a fitting farewell to this splendid company who have given us such excellent entertainment over the past 20 years.


Theydon Bois Music Society: The Theydon Bois Music Society have made an early announcement about their 2004/5 season programme which starts on 9th September at the Village Hall at 8.00 PM The opening concert is Alison Gillies – Cello with Piano accompaniment.
The Society has vacancies for new members and if you have an appreciation of good music in good company then why not join us.

Concerts are on the second Thursday of the month, September to June.

For more information please contact the membership secretary, Harry Memory telephone 01992 812696 who will be pleased to tell you more about the society.


More Dates for Your Diary: We will be adding these dates to our Diary Page closer to the events but you may wish to make note of them now.

Local Elections Thursday 10th June.

Theydon Bois Primary School Medieval Fayre Saturday 26th June

Open Gardens Sunday 27th June.

Donkey Derby Sunday 11th July

St Mary’s Church Flower Festival 28/30 August

Litter Picks Saturdays 3rd July, 7th August, 4th September


Neighbourhood Watch and the Beat Mobile: Chris Caten's latest neighbourhood watch news for 3rd - 14th May is now on line. Click Here.
Epping Forest Community Transport: A Parish Council Transport Meeting held at the District Council offices on
4th March 2004 expressed concern at the number of routes being terminated
as a result of withdrawal of financial support from Essex County.
The meeting made a decision for all Parish and Town Council representatives
present to seek approval from their respective Councils to work together in
a consortia and for each Council to apply for a government grant of £10000
to purchase and run the community bus services.
Please note the intention of being part of the scheme is not to replace a
bus route or run alongside an existing bus route, it is to give all the
community an inexpensive service to take them to places now made difficult
by the ending of a service or where one does not exist anyway.
The proposal is that Theydon Bois would become part of a consortium lead by
Epping and would include Abridge, Chigwell and Chigwell Row, Stapleford
Abbots and Lambourne End.
The seven Councils would collectively receive £70000 every year in
government grants.
The vehicles would be properly maintained and insured by the EFCT and all
journeys would be arranged through their offices.
If we can make it work then a typical cost for a round-trip journey to Harlow
Hospital door/door, would be about £11 rather than £40 by taxi.
Nothing is going to happen in the short term as there is much to be done,
including consultation with our community as to what is wanted ( through
Village Association, Parish Council, Churches and Public Meetings )
We will keep you informed of progress but a great need at the moment is for
Volunteer Drivers for the buses already in service.
All that is required is for a current, clean driving licence and a little of
your time.
Interested? Then please call 01992 564040 and speak to EFCT directly or call
in at the Parish Office at the Village Hall and speak to Madeleine Murphy.

The Essex Strategic Health Authority: recently sent out a questionnaire
involving a three part enquiry to assist in the planning of health services
for the future.
Part 1 headed Vision and Plans covers a three year Local Plan for strategy
And change.
Part 2 headed Reviews of Hospital Services covers highly specialised
services which will include the possibility of cross-hospital working.
Part 3 headed More Choice is intention for new policies on patient's choice
which take place from April 2004 onwards.

All the documentation and response can be seen by contacting Madeleine
Murphy, Parish Clerk, 81 3442 or by using the Essex NHS website
www.essex.nhs.uk


Theydon Bois Friends of Cancer Research Events: Theydon Bois Friends of Cancer Research UK
are holding a QUIZ NIGHT on 14th May 2004
at Theydon Bois Village Hall - 7.30 for 8pm
Fish or Chicken Chips supper - table of 8
Tickets from Lesley Tel: 01992 614008
***************
Theydon Bois Friends of Cancer Research UK
are having a PLANT SALE on Saturday 12th June
at 28a Theydon Park Road - 10.30 - 1pm
Tea/Coffee, Cake stall, bric a brac, raffle

Cemetery Working Party: A working party was held at the Parish Cemetery on 31st March with the aim of re-planting at the Garden of Remembrance, checking the safety of headstones and generally tidying up. The Parish Council would like to thank Jacqui Dodman, George Gardner and Ron Hall for their help on the day.

Village Vandalism: Vandals badly damaged the 16th Green at the Golf Club by driving a quad bike over it in March.

Vandals damaged a tennis court at the Tennis Club in April by pouring emulsion paint over it, which had probably been stolen from outside the garage of a local resident. Additionally, there have been several incidence of damage to the infrastructure of the club.

Crime Reporting Residents are reminded that incidents of vandalism, antisocial behaviour and other crimes should be reported to the police. To help the Parish Council to help you, please follow these simple steps when telephoning the Police:

1. Report the incident and ask for a Crime Report Number.

2. Obtain the officer’s name or number.

3. Time and date when you made contact.

4. Inform the Parish Clerk.

With this in mind, here are some useful telephone numbers:

Police - Epping and Harlow 01279 641212 or 999

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 (if you have information about people committing crime).

Parish Clerk – Madeleine Murphy 01992 813442.


Parish Council Report: The full report of the Parish Council Meeting for Thursday 25th March is now on site. Click Here. We also have Parish Council Chairman, John Eaton's report to the Annual Parish Council Meeting on the same day Click Here. Villagers are not always aware of the hard work put in for free by our Parish Councilor's so it is well worth checking these reports out and coming along to the meetings.

Anti Social Behaviour: The Village Anti Social Behaviour Group has found that quite often crime or yobish behaviour goes unreported because people are frightened that if they make a report that they may be picked on next. If you see unacceptable behaviour that you want to report the police will accept your information anonymously. You can ring Epping Police on Telephone Number 01279 625442 or the CRIMESTOPPERS HOTLINE is
0800 555 111.

Chris Caten's Latest Beat Mobile Newsletter for the 5th - 16th April is now on site and as usual has plenty of useful information on preventing crime affecting you. Click Here.


Village News Sponsors: We hope you like the new look Village News which is circulated by volunteers to ever home in the village and now has eight pages in colour. This has in part been made possible by three local companies agreeing to sponsor all of the issues for 2004. Our thanks to these companies for there generosity.
Theydon Bois Balti House
Woodland & Wildlife Conservation Co. Ltd

The above links to their web sites have been added as Village News Sponsors links on our Link Sites of interest Page.


Churches Walk of Witness: St. Mary's Church and Theydon Bois Baptist Church are combining for a United Walk of Witness on Good Friday. The walk will start at 11.30am on Friday 9th April from St. Mary's and go via the Baptist Church to the village shops where there will be a short service. Both churches also have an extensive programme of services over the Easter period.
Taoist Tai Chi in Village Hall: Every Monday Mrs. Eleonor Spencer, a certified Tai Chi Instructor, holds classes in the village hall. The beginners classes start at 1.30pm. and the regulars start at 3pm. and end at 5pm. The first two classes are free.
The exercises are slow and consist of standing movements designed to promote a healthy lifestyle. You can contact Mrs. Spencer on Tel: 020 8504 9808 or there are more details on our Club Details page.


Parish Council Seeks more information on Theydon Bois Street Cleaning: This is the recent letter sent to H Bruty, EFDC Re: Street Cleaning.
Thank you for your letter dated the 23rd March 2004, which probably crossed in the post with our letter of the 22nd March 2004.
Our Council looks forward to receiving a copy of the new street cleaning schedules in due course but in the meantime would you be good enough to confirm the current arrangements for Theydon Bois.
This information would be very useful in assisting our Parish Clerk to
provide satisfactory responses to enquires which are regularly received from our villagers about this matter. I thank you again in anticipation of your assistance.

Essex NHS: The Essex Strategic Health Authority recently sent out a questionnaire involving a three part enquiry to assist in the planning of health servicesfor the future.
Part 1 headed Vision and Plans covers a three year Local Plan for strategy And change.
Part 2 headed Reviews of Hospital Services covers highly specialist
services which will include the possibility of cross-hospital working.
Part 3 headed More Choice is intention for new policies on patient's choice which take place from April 2004 onwards.
All the documentation and response can be seen by contacting Madeleine Murphy, Parish Clerk, 81 3442 or by using the Essex NHS website
www.essex.nhs.uk

Scouts Announce Donkey Derby Date: So Be Prepared.


The conservators of Epping Forest have again granted our Scout Group permission to hold their fund raising Donkey Derby on The Plain and this will be the 17th year of this fun event. At this stage they are still looking for sponsors and advertising for the programme/race card so if you can help or would like more information contact Peter Simmance on Tel: 01992 814410. Our pictures of the previous Donkey Derby's are still available in our Photo Galleries.


Wansfell College closure confirmed: On Tuesday 23rd March the Audit Scrutiny Committee of Essex County Council confirmed that Wansfell College is to close at the end of August.
The Scrutiny Committee had three options available to it; it could ask the cabinet member who had made the decision to reconsider. It could recommended to the full council that the cabinet member be asked to reconsider or it could take no further action, which would mean the closure decision would stand.
There were over 150 villagers and 'Friends of Wansfell College' some who had traveled some distance, including 45 on a coach from Wansfell, in the council chamber
to support the college and hear the decision. ECC Cllr. Smith-Hughes, Mrs. Sharon Collins, Mr. John Rapley (for the friends) and Cllr. Robert Glozier made a spirited defense of the college as a unique learning institution and its importance as a community asset. Those present felt that they showed the figures presented to EEC on which the closure was based were shown as deeply flawed. Despite a number of the committee members believing that the real reason for closure had more to do with the asset value of the site Cllr. Hart, the cabinet member who had made the original closure decision, insisted that this was not the case and that business plan designed by Wansfell in which they showed a break-even position in 2004/5 was inadequate.
The committee finally decided in a close run 7 to 6 vote 'to take no further action' which means the closure will go ahead.

Neighbourhood Watch and the Beat Mobile: Chris Caten's latest neighbourhood watch news for 22nd March - 2nd April is now on line. Click Here.
Theydon Bois & District Rural Preservation Society have just announced their programme of Footpath Walks for this year. The Society's Chairman Peter Newton who usually guides these walks has come up with some intriguing titles and as people who have participated in the past know he has many anecdotes to pass on along the way. The first walk is titled "Harewood Hill & a Lost Rocket" and starts at 2pm on Sunday 4th April from the Village Hall. This guided walk is free and all are welcome. More Details.
Village News: The latest issue has just been published and a PDF version is now available on our site. Click Here.
Computer Viruses: We have been getting a lot of e-mail's lately via the sever for our Web Site that contain computer viruses. We believe that quite a few of these may come from infected PC's in the village. It is VERY EASY to become infected these days, not even know it and then also without knowing it forward the virus to your friends and contacts.
A lot of the e-mail's appear to come from genuine & helpful sources such as support or admin@microsoft ect., your own or a well known ISP or from someone you know and pretend to give you warning about viruses or problems with your e-mail but this is designed to make you open them. If you open the attachment (or even have the preview panel of your e-mail software open) you will, unless you have the very latest (dat) data files for your anti-virus software installed (and these really need to be updated at least weekly) probably infect your PC. This will then e-mail everyone in your address book with the virus the next time you connect to the internet without you knowing and may also leave a 'Trojan' that leaves you open to attack by 'hackers' who can get at your personal files. If you have opened any messages like the above or you have not updated your Virus Dat Files lately we suggest you go to the support site for your anti-virus software and do so. Then make sure you run a Full System Scan with your Anti-virus software which will make sure you have not already been infected. Keep your Dat Files updated regularly and you should not have any problems and will also avoid passing them on to others and slowing down the internet in general. If you do not have anti-virus software you do need it. A good version can be had for FREE from AVG so there is no excuse.

For further information on current viruses see McAfee or Symantec.


TOP

SPRING, AND THE SAP IS RISING: With spring in the air as you read this, (we hope), perhaps you are already thinking about your garden. Perhaps you are also thinking about applying for an ALLOTMENT because NOW is the right time and plots are currently available.
To get you started the Parish Council will even pay the hire charge for a rotavator if you think it necessary.
At only £16 pa, (half price for pensioners) it's an inexpensive way to have a lot of healthy pleasure.

Phone Madeleine at the Parish Office to make enquiries (813442).


Tesco Express Store Set to Open: Shoppers in Theydon Bois are set to benefit from a nationwide initiative of smaller Tesco stores, providing quality and value on customers' doorsteps new Tesco Express store, opening on Monday 15th March, will replace the One Stop store on Coppice Row, which is currently closed as the conversion work is carried out. Tesco management say customers will benefit from increased ranges, lower prices and first class service.
Tesco are increasing the number of Tesco Express stores following requests from customers for smaller outlets, conveniently located in their local community.
Tesco have taken on the staff from the One Stop store and over the coming weeks will recruit additional staff to work at the new Tesco Express. Anyone interested in working at Tesco Express can telephone the recruitment hotline on 01707 295201.
The opening of the store in Theydon Bois is part of a three-year initiative by Tesco, who are investing in convenience shopping across the whole of the UK.
A spokesperson for Tesco Express said; "Tesco have recognised the need for quality, convenient shopping outlets and Theydon Bois is one of the areas that will benefit from Tesco's latest investment programme.
"Tesco have listened to customer requests for smaller outlets that provide the same quality brands and service conveniently located on their own doorsteps."
Tesco Express will offer over 3,000 product lines with extensive fresh and chilled ranges including fruit and vegetables and ready meals along with frozen food, tinned products, cereals and pasta sauces.
The store will also offer customers other essentials including toiletries, stationary, newspapers and magazines, beers, wines and spirits and flowers plus a wide range of `food to go' such as sandwiches, crisps, drinks and snacks. Shoppers at the store will also have access to a non-chargeable cash point and a National Lottery terminal.
The new Tesco Express store is keeping the Post Office and has during the four week closure period operated a free mini bus service every Thursday to a nearby Post Office in Epping.


The doors of the Tesco Express in Theydon Bois will open for the first time at 8am on Monday 15th March and will then open from 6am to 11pm seven days a week.


Cricket Club Looks Forward To New Season With Confidence: Theydon Bois Cricket Club is looking forward to the forthcoming cricket season with confidence following last season's success when the Club won the League and Cup double.

The Club which fields two Xl's in the Herts & Essex Observer Cricket League on Saturdays and one Xl on Sundays playing friendly games, offers excellent facilities at their Loughton Lane ground. If you are interested in cricket and would like to become a member, either as a player or as a social member, then the Club would like to hear from you. If you just want to come and watch then that's fine too, spectators are always very welcome.

The Colts Section of the Club also goes from strength to strength and provides professional coaching and organized matches for boys and girls from eight years old upwards. Colts nights at the Club will this year be on Thursday evenings commencing at 6pm. Anyone requiring further information on the Colts should contact Ameet Sharma on 01992 813274.

Further information on Theydon Bois Cricket Club can be found on their web site at www.tbcc.co.uk or contact Club Secretary Peter Gooch on 812908


Wansfell College Closure Threat Latest:
At a meeting of the College governors with Dr Margaret Keeling, Head of Service, Libraries, Culture and Adult Learning and Michael Bowes, Head of Adult Education, on Tuesday 17 February, we heard nothing which would lead us to believe that these officers will alter their decision to recommend to Council Members that the College should close at the end of this academic year - 31 August. The members' decision will than be made by just one portfolio holder.
Replies coming in to the hundreds of letters written to county councillors by supporters of Wansfell show that there is strong support for the retention of the college by County Councillors of all parties. In view of this, and the long and honourable record of service of Wansfell College, the governors feel that this should be either a Council Cabinet decision or a decision of the whole Council.
If you haven't yet written in support of Wansfell College, please do so now. Apart from the great blow the loss of the college would be to all its users, what would the consequences be for the village? In a worst case scenario the lovely gardens of Wansfell could become part of John Prescott's M11 corridor!
Write to Councillor Mrs E. Hart, Lifelong Learning and Libraries, Councillor David Finch, Finance and Resources or the Leader of the Council, Lord Hanningfield, all at Members' Suite, County Hall, or email Cllr.Elizabeth.Hart@essexcc.gov.uk, Cllr.David.Finch@essexcc.gov.uk, Lord.Hanningfield@essexcc.gov.uk.
John Rapley
Wansfell College Governor

Wansfell College was established in 1949 for the general education of adults. There had been an agreement by ECC in 1943 to establish such a college once hostilities had ceased.
The college has always catered for older learners who wanted to study what used to be called "liberal adult education" and has never run very many examination courses. The vast majority of the learners are older people who enjoy studying a topic intensively for a few days. During the week the college has had a mixture of users, some of the courses are published adult education courses. There are courses delivered for specific organisations such as groups from overseas and many local people will have met students from Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, America and New Zealand or organisations such as The Townswomen's Guild. Then Wansfell also has a wide range of organisations who use the premises as a venue for training. These are frequently charities and including some of the largest in the country who see this college as a cost effective and tranquil venue for their work. Wansfell also provides a venue for courses delivered by the Workers Education Association, The University of the Third Age, the Embroiderers' Guild, the Keep Fit Association and various universities.
It has been essential for the college to seek external business and courses as the funding has not been stable or particularly generous since the early 1990s. When budgets were delegated to the Adult Community Colleges in Essex in 1994, Wansfell was given a large deficit budget. The staff worked very hard to turn the situation around and were successful, eventually creating a surplus which was re-invested in the building and facilities. There is a deficit at present, initially created by a 50% cut in funding a couple of years ago and made much worse by the cancellation of business worth £50,000 during the Foot and Mouth epidemic. This business is slowly returning but it seems as though Wansfell will not be given any more time to turn the situation round.
A wide range of well known people have taught here over the years and at one time in the late 1960s and early 1970s many of the BBC adult education courses were linked to weekends at Wansfell delivered by the course presenters including Dr. David Bellamy, Anne Ladbury and Patrick Moore, who taught here fropm 1949 until his retirement in 1999. The feed back from students indicates a very high satisfaction rate. The sort of courses offered here are frequently no longer available in other localities and so there are learners at Wansfell who travel the length of the country to attend courses. This is seen as a point against the College as there are too few local Essex people attending courses. Yet the image of Essex matters to the County Council and they promote tourism into the area. The learners who attend Wansfell courses have a very different view of Essex to the one protrayed in much of the media.
The college currently delivers about 200 courses a year. Most are residential courses but there have been numerous day schools and taster courses especially in Computer technology which have been attended by many local people. Some of these have been specifically designed to help older people take the first steps into understanding and using computers and have been very well supported. Over 530 learners from the Epping Forest District Council area attended courses here in 2002-2003. Lots of local people enjoy the college so much that they come as resident students although they live quite close to Theydon Bois.
The "Friends of Wansfell College", is a very active organisation has been established for more than 20 years. They provided funding for the installation of facilities for the disabled as long ago as the 1980s and this provision is extensively used. They also organise and provide volunteers for the maintenance of the gardens and the library. Their work is very much appreciated by the college staff and students. The Friends have regular Sunday afternoon or evening activities and a regular summer production in the garden. This year it is Julius Caesar on Sunday, 13 June. They have raised £100,000 towards the installation of a lift which we had hoped to start in 2004 before we were informed of the review of the College.

The threat to the college will have implications for the village. Many of the full and part time staff are local people and the possible closure will mean a loss of jobs.The college purchases goods and services locally. The students do spend money in the village and the college supports village activities such as the Open Gardens Day and the Donkey Derby.

Essex County Council has a difficult task to balance the budget and maintain Council Tax rates at a level that householders find acceptable but the sale of Wansfell will provide very little to the overall sum required. Once such an asset is disposed of it will never be restored.
Marilyn Taylor


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Basketball sessions in Epping: The Sports Development Team at Epping Forest District Council in association with General World Sports are starting Junior Basketball sessions at Epping Sports Centre, 25 Hemnall Street, Epping, starting on Tuesday 24 February at 3.45pm.

The weekly sessions will run from 3.45pm to 4.45pm and will cater for 8 to 10 year olds and the second session will run from 4.45pm to 5.45pm and is for 11 to 14 year olds.

The sessions cost £3.40 per week and will be coached by Stephen Ogunjimi, a fully qualified Basketball coach and an ex-National League player himself. The sessions will be based around fun drills and small-sided games.

For more information or to book a place please contact James Carstairs the District Council's Sports Development Officer on 01992 564567.


NEWS FROM THE THEYDON BOIS GUIDES - WEEKEND CRAFT CAMP: Each year the Theydon Bois Guides have the opportunity to attend a Craft Weekend, where even those who don't like the great outdoors, can attend safely in the knowledge they don't have to contend with creepy crawlies or wet blankets as the camp is indoors!
This year the Camp was held at Skreens Park, near Chelmsford and was focused on craft making.
The following diary of the weekend was captured by three of the guides: Samantha Rutter, Sophie Phillips and Olivia Powell:-

'This years guide indoor craft weekend camp was held at Skreens Park on the 27th - 29th February 2004.
We were put into four groups and did different activities and then swapped around. The four activities were:
· Putting pictures onto a glass by using a stencil and a glass engraver
· Making a Mother's day card using a stencil and gel pens
· A bracelet using beads and string
· Making a photo frame using pieces of paper and rolling them up.
We were put into different rooms with four bunk beds in each room. We each had a cabinet.
We got to play bingo in the evening and in our free time we could play table tennis and hockey. There was a pay phone so if you wanted to phone anyone you could. There was also a shop so we could buy food and souvenirs.
On Sunday, 29th February we did five more fun crafts. The five activities were:
· Making dolls using a wide range of different coloured beads
· Making a model of a flower using wire and a selection of paints
· Designing wood by engraving it with a hot tool
· Painting a picture of our choice onto a pillow case
· Modelling clay into anything we wanted then heating it so it became hard'

As parents arrived to pick up their daughters, they were all talking enthusiastically about the weekend, (although a little jaded from lack of sleep) and eager to show all the crafts they had made.

Next year they are keen for the camp to extend to five days so Guide Leaders be prepared!
A very big Thank You to all Guide Leaders and helpers who made the camp such a success.


Theydon Bois Tree Strategy: First Phase Completed!
The first phase of our new tree planting has just been completed with additional trees to Baldocks Road, Purlieu Way, Dukes Avenue and the entrance to Hornbeam Road off Loughton Lane.
The cost of this work was funded by donations from The Parish Council, Theydon Bois Rural Preservation Society and Theydon Bois Horticultural Society. We were also able to arrange for 3 memorial trees to be planted and these were funded by two residents, in memory of their loved ones.
This work is carried out in co-operation with Epping Forest District Council, with whom we have regular meetings to plan each phase. There are many locations in the Village that have been identified as would benefit from additional trees but due to funding we have to spread the work over a 5 year period.
We will be pleased to arrange for further memorial trees in our next phase of planting, end of 2004, early 2005, current cost including the planting £100 per tree, so any resident who is interested please leave a note at the Parish Office. It was very pleasing to receive a donation from a resident towards the cost of the next phase, this was given as a 'thank you for what you are doing'. If there are any more donations it would help with our next funding.
Cllr Wilfred S Shales
Tree Strategy Committee

COPPED HALL CORNER: News from Copped Hall by Trevor Roberts.
VICTORIAN EXTENSION
Work is continuing apace to complete, by this spring, the viewing gallery for Copped Hall artifact. These items will include the recent acquisition of original watercolours by Matilda Conyers, which have been discovered after several hundred years. Matilda, the daughter of the original owner of the Georgian Copped Hall, was one of the greatest practitioners of eighteenth century flower printing. Also on display will be a fine hall seat circa 1775, bearing the Conyers coat of arms, which is the first purchase to be made from the Copped Hall Acquisition Fund. These artefacts are not kept at the Mansion but will be made available for viewing on special occasions.

WALLED GARDEN POND
This is another Copped Hall success. The Pond has been almost fully restored and awaits the return of aquatic flora and fauna. While it was drained, the opportunity was taken to make provision for a central feature in the Pond which probably existed in Victorian times. Access paths around the Pond have been uncovered and will be restored. The circular banks are being reinstated and, as a temporary measure, planted with bulbs to welcome the coming spring.

BALLUSTRADING PROJECT
The erection of ballustrading between the Mansion and North Summer House has recommenced following problems experienced due to the hot summer of last year. One end will have to be underpinned and financial support is being sought for this work. However, it is hoped to complete this project soon.

SPRING LECTURES
Paul Atterbury of the BBC Antiques Road Show gave the first spring lecture in the village hall; his subject was the Golden Age of Transport. The large audience present was intrigued by his descriptions of travel by road, sea and air in early days, which often became epic journeys and were only affordable by the wealthy. One fascinating insight was that Queen Victoria had a special brake flitted to the Royal Railway Coach, which she could apply if she considered the speed of the train to be excessive. The second lecture, a resume of the restoration work carried out at the Hall during the past year, will be given, again in the village hall, on 21 Mar 04 by Allan Cox, the Trust’s Architect.

MUSIC AT THE MANSION

The Copped Hall Trust is shortly presenting two musical functions in the Copped Hall Mansion. On Friday 30th April 2004 at 7.30 PM., an evening of Screen Gems, songs and music from the magical world of the cinema, will be given by Jane Webster (vocalist) and Carol Wells (pianist). Both artists have performed in London’s West End and on the QE2 liner. Tickets for this function are available from June Brown on 0208 505 1041.

On Saturday 1st May 2004 also at 7.30pm., Frances Taylor, who is a leading exponent of the Italian School of mandolin playing will give a recital of Music for the Mandolin together with Anita Strevens (cellist) and Jacqueline Vann (harpsichord). Tickets for this function are available from Frances Dennett on 01992 619834.

SHAKESPEARE AT COPPED HALL
Following the great success of the performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream staged at the Hall in 2001, another popular Shakespearean play, As You Like, will be performed in the Gardens of the Mansion on Saturday 10th July 2002 at 7.30 pm. Gates will be opened at 5.00 pm. for picnicking beforehand and a cash bar will be provided. Tickets are available from June Brown on 0208 505 1041.

OTHER FUTURE EVENTS
AGM of The Friends of the Copped Hall Trust: Sunday 23rd May 2004 at 2.30 pm in the Racquets Court at the Mansion

Open Day: Sunday 30th May 2004 at the Mansion and Grounds from 11.00 am. to 4.00 pm.

Sunday Morning Tours: 21st March, 18th April and May 16th all between 10.30 and 10.45 am.


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HAVE ALL THE SPARROWS GONE ?
The recent wild bird count organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds confirmed that the Sparrow is now very much absent from our gardens and fields. So where are they? Have you looked in your Theydon Bois garden lately?

Birds can be creatures of habit, especially when feeding and I refill a bird feeder every day around 7 am. Within a short while a flock of some ten Sparrows, comprising probably several families, flies into an adjacent bush and after checking that all is clear (no Sparrowhawks around) descend on the feeder in a strict pecking order. They are messy feeders and strew seed around the feeding area so that the garden soon becomes an avian Piccadilly Circus. Some white doves from a flock resident elsewhere in the village are next to arrive, followed by Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock (Hedge Sparrows), Chaffinch, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Starling, Gold Finch, Green Finch, Blackbird, Thrush, Jackdaw, Magpie and, in this cold weather, Fieldfare (Scandinavian Thrushes). The latter are most aggressive and quickly take over a feeding area. Amazingly, all this activity takes place with in a very short time, often in only ten minutes, and can be a great source of pleasure and interest to the observer.

The Sparrows who arrive are a mix of House and Tree Sparrows and form a flock, which can be seen elsewhere in the village, possibly in your own garden, if attracted by food. They circulate between feeding sites, which often results in inaccurate bird counts as the same birds can be recorded several times and so give a false impression of numbers. The decline of these cheeky and popular birds is not new. Their numbers have been decreasing since the beginning of the twentieth century when the motor vehicle began replacing the horse as transport in towns and cities. Vast quantities of horse manure was deposited on the roads in those days such that crossing sweepers could make a reasonable living by clearing paths through the muck for ladies in their long dresses; the House Sparrow fed on the grain in the manure and so thrived in immense numbers, especially in London, for a time. Current factors affecting the decline of this bird is the reduction of hedgerow habitat, the use of pesticides generally and the fashion for the sanitised and classic “show garden”.

The creation of a wildlife garden is the best way to encourage birds, but small changes to any garden will achieve the same results. The first is undoubtedly a pond of any size for avian drinking and cleaning together with a small marsh area; the latter will provide mud for nest building and also harbour other wildlife. Next comes the need for a number of small bushes and trees to provide cover; a tall tree can also become a home for owls and other large birds. A lawn or large grassed area is desirable provided that it is kept well mown. Blackbirds love searching for worms on a mown lawn, especially after a period of rain, and will probable sing their appreciation of your efforts. Don't forget that long grass can harbour four legged predators so wise birds will keep away. Tree trunks or large logs can be used for edge borders and when allowed to rot will contain much insect life for natural bird feed and can also produce attractive fungi. Bird boxes can be suitably sited high off the ground and near to cover; a garden shed can be adapted with small entrance holes to attract nesting Robins. A useful ploy is to let leaves remain on the flowerbeds during winter as these provide cover for insect life and therefore food for the birds. If you have an apple tree, keep back some of the crop for winter feed; the Blackbirds and Thrushes will have a high old time fighting for possession of this valuable food source.

For artificial feeding a bird table is a must, preferably with a weather cover and a clear feeding surface to facilitate cleaning, especially after kitchen scraps have not been taken; again this must be placed near to an adjacent shrub or tree. Strong squirrel proof bird feeders should be used and sited near the house (and natural cover) so that the antics of our feathered friends can be easily observed. Good quality birdseed is also a must. Some of the inferior mixes contain seed which is not taken by the birds, and so roots to produce some interesting plants; cannabis has been known to appear in some gardens! Finally, feed must be put out on a regular basis and in the same spot. The birds will soon latch on and wait for you to fill the feeder. Indeed, I have experienced the unique situation of being scolded by a Blue Tit because I was late in providing his breakfast. And the sight of two Fantail Doves tapping on the lounge window because the feeder was empty, and subsequently indulging in an attractive courtship, has to be seen to be believed.

So to answer the original question, sparrows are here in Theydon Bois but only just. We are fortunate in having a substantial number and variety of birds in the village. It only needs a little encouragement, as suggested, to ensure that these numbers remain or even increase – and that includes the Sparrows.


Theydon Art Group's: next exhibition of paintings for sale at the village hall will be on:
Friday 23rd april 7 to 9 pm
Saturday 24th April 10 am to 5 PM
50p entry, refreshments available

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