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September 2005

01 09 05 The fragility of modern life was highlighted on 29 Aug 05 when hurricane “Katrina” hit the southern shores of the United States, particularly the city of New Orleans. Extensive flooding and damage was caused resulting in looting, corpses floating the streets and a complete breakdown of all essential services including law and order. The immensity of the disaster resulted in the personal involvement of the President of the United States in the relief efforts. Several residents of the Epping Forest District were in the city and described their horrifying experiences on their return to the UK, and expressed their good fortune in surviving the disaster. The America oil producing facilities, including refineries, in the Gulf of Mexico were also damaged which immediately reduced the world output of motor fuels and forced up the price at roadside petrol stations in the UK. Commenting on the resulting lawlessness in the City and the terror experienced by its citizens, Eleanor Laing MP, remarked that this was a stark warning we should all heed. Systems of Government exist to protect the weak from the wicked - see what happens when such systems break down!

Following the rejection last July of the planning applications at Parsonage Golf for a Tennis Academy and an associated car park, a further application was now made for an extension to the golf course currently being developed. Once again, there was adverse reaction from many in TB especially Jacqueline Dodman of Theydon Park Road who commented that there appeared to be no limit, under the original planning application, to the amount of waste (spoil) deposited on the golf course site. The granting of further planning applications would give the developer a further mandate to dump waste on our green belt land as long as this was profitable. Leslie Jerman of Coppice Row added his view that we (TB) were already surrounded by golf courses, which were having to advertise for members. Therefore he thought that the new scheme seemed to be more about money than golf.

02 09 05 On a pleasant summer’s afternoon, a small group of family and friends attended St Mary’s church for a Service of Praise and thanksgiving for the life of villager Florrie Benjamin. She first moved to Theydon Bois as a child together with her family from Wales and then lived in Forest Drive, Orchard Drive and the Roberts Daniels Court before finally moving to a retirement home in Surrey where she ended her days aged 92 and was cremated. She was of a quiet disposition and an ardent worshipper at St Mary’s which she attended whenever possible. In early days she was well known locally as the receptionist at the Village Surgery of Doctors Scott and Grylls, located at the junction of Buxton Road Forest Drive. The service was attended by members of her family - sister in law Rosaline Cole and Michael, John and Geoff Cole - who afterwards witnessed the burial of her ashes in St Mary’s Churchyard. They then joined the rest of the congregation in a small social gathering at the Church kindly organised by the Church Ladies. Canon Colin Travers, the Vicar of St Mary’s, officiated at the Service and afterwards in the Churchyard.

08 09 05 The Theydon Bois Music Society commenced its new season of meetings with a recital given by Laurette Pope – Harpist, and Lucille Burns – Flute. Their delightful programme included works by Handel – Flute Sonata in F, and the Gareth Walters composition - Little Suite for Flute and Harp. The delightful combination of music by these two fine instrumentalists was especially appreciated by the audience and most appropriate for a warm summer evening in late summer.

Christopher Breavington from TB married his university sweetheart Michelle Archard, from Chippenham, at St Peter’s Church in Michelle’s hometown. The couple held their reception at the Bowood Golf and Country Club and spent their honeymoon at Zakynthos, Greece. The Bridesmaids were Deborah, Kate, Amy and Faye; Matthew Breavington was the Best Man.

09 09 05 The EFDC’s decision to revise the refuse and recycling system in the District, which had resulted in much objection and correspondence during the previous months, commenced in a welter of confusion. Wheelie bins collections for domestic waste in TB were now expected to commence in early 2006. Meantime the usual regular refuse collection day for the village was changed from Monday to Friday. Domestic (black bag) collections would continue to be made weekly, but those for recyclable materials would also take place on the new collection day, but only fortnightly. The EFDC circulated specific details to all householders but residents were caught off balance and waste material of all kinds was lying in the village for some days until the new collection system clicked into place. Further confusion was caused when the collections for garden waste were also moved to the new day. The EFDC mounted special collections to cover “collection gaps” and this appeared to resolve the immediate problems.

15 09 05 The Little Cherubs Toddlers Group which meets at the Theydon Bois Baptist Church, recently held its summer party which included a musical puppet show and children’s entertainment. The group, which is led by Claudia Slater meets regularly on Tuesday afternoons during school term times and the children regularly enjoy creative activities which include dressing up, clay modelling and playing with toys.

Members of the Theydon Lodge were present at Freemason’s Hall in London to see a local Freemason installed as their new Provincial Grand Master. John Webb of Loughton, a retired director of a building company, became the leader of 12,000 Freemasons in the Province of Essex, which is the fourth largest in the country. John has been married to his wife Diane for 21 years and they have four children and seven grandchildren.

The ancient right of the Commoners of Epping Forest to graze pasture cattle in the Forest, and to elect Forest Verderers, was once again publicised. A new Register of Commoners for the election of Verderers was being prepared by the Epping Forest Conservators and claims for registration were therefore invited. Those eligible had to be owners or occupiers of at least half an acre of land not covered by buildings and lying within the ancient boundary of Epping Forest, as set forth in the perambulation made in the 17th year of the reign of Charles II. The right of Commoners to put cattle in the Forest has existed for more than 800 years and the Office of Verderer is of similar antiquity. However, under the Epping Forest Act of 1978, four Verderers are now elected every seven years, two for the northern and southern Forest Parishes respectively. Verderers had to live in a Forest Parish and be members of the Epping Forest and Commons Committee of the Corporation of London. The next election of Verderers would be in March 2006.

18 09 05 An underground fault in the electricity supply network resulted in more the than 800 TB residents being without power from 08.30 onwards for some 36 minutes. This was the latest in a series of disruptions which began on 09 09 05, due to a fault in the overhead distribution system, and further disruptions then followed within days. A local resident commented that it was unbelievable that this situation could occur during the 21st century and wanted the power company to look at its distribution systems and provide a proper service; a spokesman for EDF Energy subsequently apologised to customers for the interruptions. It was pointed out by an electrical engineer that TB was possibly connected to a “spur” in the distribution network and so was one of the first areas to be affected when “load shedding” was necessary, due to a fault or for any other reason.

22 09 05 The AND Technological Research business of Forest Drive TB, celebrated its 25th anniversary with an open day to which both industry and public were invited. Its premises were transformed into themed areas featuring the different services and skills the business provided. A special guest was Steven Norris, the previous MP for Epping Forest, who spoke about the history of the business, and a 25th Anniversary Cake was then cut to mark the occasion.

29 09 05 The attempt by John Knapman, Leader of the EFDC, to get lorries taking spoil to the Parsonage Golf site in TB to use the M11 service slip road instead of the current route through Abridge to TB, was balked yet again. The Highways Agency was reluctant to agree to the change due to the nature of the slip road, and now police approval was also necessary; John Knapman expressed his sympathy to the people of Abridge in this matter. Others affected by this movement of spoil were all the users of the Abridge / TB Road, especially in the vicinity of TB, because of the dangerous and filthy state of the road due to the lorry movements.

A recent Business Golf Day at the TB Golf Club raised over £5,400 for the appeal fund for the Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs and the St Clare Hospice, as set up by Brian Sandler, the current chairman of the EFDC during his year of office. The overall winner of the individual competition was won by Simon George of PFE Loughton, and the team prize went to the EFDC team comprising Bill Brooks, Simon Hill, David Clifton and Trevor Johnson. The event was sponsored by the Loughton based Higgins Group.

A group of 6 Year pupils from the Theydon Bois County Primary School joined TBPC Councillors Peter Hammond and Peter Gooch in a demonstration against the closure of the Village Youth Centre in Loughton Lane, and the proposed housing development on the site. The development plans were thrown out in 2004 by the TBPC and the EFDC but the ECC, the proposer, was appealing against this rejection. The group assembled outside the School where Peter Hammond told of the TBPC’s wish to open a drop - in centre where the older children could receive general advice in addition to socialising. The village had a school which was over subscribed, an increasing young population and nowhere for young people to socialise. This new facility could be also used for the community generally as well as young people. The demonstration also served to remind residents that the ECC appeal was to be heard on 5-6th October next, and to also rally local support for the case against the appeal.

The bi monthly meeting of the TBPC was held in the TBVH when the following matters were dealt with and discussed:

Blunts Farm estates had written to the TBPC seeking discussions regarding various leisure schemes proposed by the EFDC, and those which could benefit TB and the local community.

EFDC had also written to the TBPC regarding the problems at parsonage Golf and giving assurance that the site is regularly monitored and control exercised.

At a meeting of 26 Sep 05 between representatives of the TBPC and EFDC Planning to discuss the Blunts farm (Parsonage Golf) Site, Councillor Gooch stated that lessons had not been learned regarding the lack of conditions for other similar developments and there was a general lack of confidence in the EFDC regarding planning matters. Councillor Hammond stated that the EFDC planners should have been aware that a survey of the site levels should have been carried out prior to the deposit of soil. He had visited the site and found no evidence of illegal dumping; it was not in the interests of the developer to flout the law and the Environment Agency was monitoring the site. Extremely deep holes had been dug for clay extraction and some 70,000 cubic meters of spoil was needed to fill them. Any one dissatisfied with the EFDC handling of the situation was free to contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Councillor Hammond had visited the successful “ Box” youth venture facility in Epping, which was run by volunteers. He pointed out the some 250 youngsters in TB could benefit from a similar facility. Both the Local Police and the British Transport Police supported the case for retaining the youth facility in TB; the appeal against its closure would be heard on 5-6 Oct 05.

Councillor Purkiss reported that pavement /road/kerb barrier improvement work was due to commence in the pedestrian crossing area.

Councillor Purkiss reported that, at joint meeting between representatives of the town councils of *Epping and Loughton together with the Parish Councils of Theydon Bois, Lambourne and Stapleford Abbotts, it was generally agreed that the ECC and the EFDC were under performing in several areas. A joint approach, with other local Councils, to the District and County authorities might have greater impact.

*The Clerks from these five authorities would now meet quarterly.

Councillor Jones read out a letter from the EFDC to all Parish and Town Councils requesting that they refrain from making spurious objections to planning applications as this wasted time. Councillor Gooch referred back to his earlier, comments regarding planning and said that confidence in the EFDC Planning Department was now “rock bottom”

The following matters were raised "from the floor” during the open session of he meeting:

1. The TBPC would enter the Calor Gas sponsored ICT competition. Jim Watts was preparing an entry.

2. An accident had recently occurred involving a lorry leaving the Blunts Farm site.

3. Piercing Hill was becoming a road accident “black spot” following another accident.

4. The speed camera in Coppice Row was not working and a speed camera was needed in Loughton Lane.

During August and September, the following entries were recorded in the registers of St Margaret’s Church:


28 08 05 Megan Baker

18 09 05 Ophelia and Olivia Gregory


24 09 05 Louis Barnes and Barry Slyman





Ivy Rann, 80, a Red Cross volunteer for more than 63 years, received official recognition of her efforts from the Voluntary Action Epping Forest Group. Ivy joined the Theydon Bois (TB) Red Cross Youth Unit in 1942, during WWII when she was 16, and studied basic nursing to help with the war effort. Her service has been unbroken, except for a brief period due to illness, and she has spent the last twenty years working at the Red Cross medical loan department in Loughton.

A Chinese Evening was the main feature at the August meeting of the TB Wine Circle. The members enjoyed a Chinese Meal, which was followed by a quiz based on anagrams of Chinese names - the winners were Kathy Lock and Dick Kent.

EFDC (Epping Forest District Council) Leader, John Knapman, criticised the Highways Agency for failing to help resolve the current problems caused by heavy lorries moving through Abridge and TB with soil deposits for the Parsonage Golf Development. A sensible solution would be for these vehicles to use the M11 motorway and exit via the spur road leading the Coopersale Lane, and then directly onto the development site. The Agency contended that the spur roads were not official slip roads for vehicle exit, but only access roads to the motorway maintenance unit. Also, significant engineering work would be necessary for lorry use of this nature.

In a letter to the local press, Mike Emmett of Abridge Road TB pointed out that the EFDC’s recently published leaflet for the Abridge Conservation Area refers to the historical and architectural characteristics of this locale which contains 12 Grade II listed buildings and a road bridge over the river Roding. How, he asked could the EFDC Planning Department produce this leaflet and then grant planning permission for the Parsonage Golf development, so allowing 300 heavy trucks a day to desecrate the village (Abridge) and stand by while the 200 year old bridge is endangered?

In further letters, Connie Garrett of Forest Drive TB complained of the constant noise from the site as early as 4 am. in the early morning; one Saturday, the work continued right through the day when it was supposed to finish at 1 pm. Commenting on the withdrawal of the proposals to erect a tennis academy and construct a car park, Jacqueline Dodman of Theydon Park Road said that we (the village) should stand firm and resist any development from this developer. We are at the beginning of a battle that could last for years and will involve a lot of campaigning: we have won the first point but winning the match is a long way off.

The Three Valleys Water Company apologised for any inconvenience incurred by the one-week delay in repairing a water leak at the junction of Piercing Hill and Morgan Crescent TB. The Company attended to 24,000 leaks annually and prioritised repairs according to the potential hazard, scale of the leak, residential impact and the type of road. The leak in TB was to a fire hydrant and liaison with the fire service was necessary before repairs could be affected.

The second Toy and Train Collectors evening was held in the TBVH (Theydon Bois Village Hall) and again proved popular. The Hall was packed for the two-hour event and the impressive amount of items for sale stimulated considerable business.

The sound of music was again echoing in Piercing Hill TB despite the closure of Wansfell College. The Theydon Bois Friends of Cancer Research UK held a celebration of Opera in the Garden at Brocket, 36 Piercing Hill, in support of this charity. On a pleasant summer evening, Cameo Opera gave vocal excerpts from a number pf classical operatic works including Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Puccini’s Tosca and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. The singers were Judith Buckle, Clarissa Stedman, Richard Owen and Matthew Craven. The pianist was Kenneth Roberts.

A 74 year old woman resident of The Green, TB was reading her newspaper late in the evening when she heard noises in her kitchen. On investigation, she found that two men were trying to break into her property. She shouted at them to leave and used a mop to deter them until they fled empty handed. The police said she hit one of the men who she described as being white, about 5ft 7ins tall, handsome with nice brown curly hair and who was using a “nice smelling” after shave lotion.

On a pleasant summer’s afternoon, a small group of family and friends attended St Mary’s church for a Service of Praise and thanksgiving for the life of villager Florrie Benjamin. She first moved to the area from Wales with her family, and subsequently lived in Forest Drive, Orchard Drive and then the local Frank Foster Home; her final move was to another retirement home in Surrey where she ended her days and was cremated. She was of a quiet disposition and an ardent worshipper at St Mary’s which she attended whenever possible. In early days she was well known locally as the receptionist at the Village Surgery of Doctors Scott and Grylls, located at the junction of Buxton Road and Forest Drive. The service was attended by members of her family - sister in law Rosaline Cole and Michael, John and Geoff Cole - who afterwards witnessed the burial of her ashes in St Mary’s Churchyard. They then joined the rest of the congregation in a small social gathering at the Church kindly organised by the Church Ladies. Canon Colin Travers, the Vicar of St Mary’s, officiated at the Service and afterwards at the burial of ashes.

In 1893, an ornate drinking fountain for the use of the general public, and animal-drinking trough for livestock, was erected by a Mrs Moss on the western corner of the green at the junction of Coppice Row and Piercing Hill. Jack Farmer, in his book “Theydon Bois and All That" describes the Fountain in detail but, basically, it was a neat, blue grey, granite structure with two drinking positions with chained metal mugs and an area at the bottom for small animals to drink. In the mid nineteen thirties, it was replaced by a small utility model with a vertical drinking jet it was removed following the general decline of visitors to the village after WWII (the popular Retreats having been destroyed by bombing), There has now been a recent resurgence of interest in the Theydon Bois village scene with the restoration of the “finger" signposts for Coopersale Lane and Piercing Hill, and the possibility of a fountain on the village green is being explored. But then who was Mrs Moss, do the original Fountain and Trough and the subsequent smaller fountain still exist, where are they, can they be retrieved, restored and replaced? Hopefully, someone somewhere has answers to these questions. If so, there is a possibility that an original fountain and trough may once again be seen on the Green to complement the attractive area of the hoppit, old school house, church and churchyard. It will also show that Theydon Bois is proud of its history and cares for the environment. Anthony Purkiss or Trevor Roberts would welcome any information on this subject, either directly or via the Parish Clerk (01992 813442).

During June, July and August, the following entries were recorded in the registers of St Mary’s Church:


06 08 05 Cree Coburn 14 08 05 Freddie and Oscar Davies


30 07 05 Elizabeth Martin and Stephen Homes

13 08 05 Jacqueline Bell and Grahame Dowling

Blessing of Marriage

06 08 05 Beverly and Russell Coburn


27 06 05 Miles Foster 14 07 05 Mick Harrington

15 07 05 Dorothy Webb

Burial of Ashes

24 07 05 Lewis Bowe 30 07 05 Jean Dicey


JULY 2005


Villagers continued to express their concern over the work on the Parsonage Golf Course especially, Mr M Emmett of Abridge Road who saw hundreds of earth laden lorries passing his front door each day. He contended that the approval for the Course had allowed the developer to make enormous profit by importing over a million tons of spoil for its construction; any further applications from the development group or individuals responsible should be rejected out of hand. Subsequently, an anonymous letter writer to the local press complained that lorry movements commenced in the early hours under the cover of darkness, and asked how long the bridge at Abridge could withstand the heavy loads to which it was being subjected?

Further criticisms of the work being carried out at Parsonage Golf included the inadequate monitoring of lorry movements and the lack of restrictions placed on the development during the planning stage. It was also suggested that the development could increase the risk of flooding in the village.

Once again the Plain in Epping Forest off Coppice Row resounded to the laughter of children and the braying of donkeys when the Theydon Bois Scout Group held its annual Donkey Derby. Peter Simmance had retired as “Chairman” of the event after 15 successful years, and was succeeded by Phil Koczan. Seventeen races were held with titles ranging from “Silver Jubilee Stakes” to “Hire Standard Hurdles”. And the runners were similarly named eg. "Lost My Way" by Map out of Date, "Getting Married" by Bachelor out of Excuses, and "Masons" by Tuesday Meeting out of Scout Hut. The steeds acted true to form with some throwing their riders, resulting in a few sore bottoms, to balking at the start and then being partly dragged around the course by their rider. The events proceeded at a spanking pace under the direction of Philip Simmance, the Master of Ceremonies and Race Commentator. Popular amusements kept the children, and therefore their parents, happy; other attractions included vintage motorcycles, astronomical viewing and the local fire vehicle complete with firemen and siren. Judging by the size of the printed program and its supporting adverts, much effort had gone into this year’s event and all concerned were to be congratulated.

The news that the Olympic Games in 2012 would be held in London was greeted with considerable interest by villagers. In the final selection ballot held by the Olympic Committee in Singapore, London beat its closest rival France by only four votes. The selection ceremony was televised at midday and there was mass jubilation especially in London, when the result was announced. This decision meant that finance would be available to rejuvenate the run down areas of East

London, especially Stratford which would become the Olympic Centre, and the event would be a major boost to the national economy. It would appear that London’s winning formula was based on bringing sport to children worldwide, the redevelopment of a depressed area and the presence of more than 200 different racial elements in the local population.

In a dreadful contrast to the previous days celebrations in London, the metropolis was plunged into total horror and disruption when a suspected Arab terrorist organisation detonated four bombs in Central London at the height of the morning rush hour; three were placed on trains in the underground system at Liverpool Street, Kings Cross and Edgware Road and a fourth in a London Bus in Tavistock Square. Some 50 people were killed and at least 700 injured. The train and bus systems in the area were shut down and the capital became traffic grid-locked for a time. The emergency services were well rehearsed to deal with such an atrocity. Consequently, rescue teams were quickly in operation with transport, including requisitioned London Buses, taking the victims to the major London hospitals. Many villagers work in London and commute via the Central Line and so were involved in the chaos; others, either late for work or otherwise delayed arrived to find the Station locked up and the rail tracks deserted. The efficiency of the emergency services ensured that the incidents were quickly dealt with and some degree of normality was restored by midday; but many commuters either stayed in London overnight or had difficult journeys home, which entailed a lot of walking!

The Sixtieth Anniversary of the VE (Victory in Europe) and VJ (Victory over Japan) Days concluded in London with a Thanksgiving Service in Westminster Abbey and a Grand Commemoration Show on Horse Guards Parade, both attended by the Queen. The Show concluded with a Commemoration Flypast of historic aircraft including a Lancaster bomber, which dropped a million poppies along Pall Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace. The Queen also held a lunch at the Palace for War Veterans and those invited included ex RAF member Peter Twinn and his wife Marjorie from Dukes Avenue TB (Theydon Bois). In the evening the village held its own Special United Commemoration Service in St Mary’s Church at which the Rev Dr Anthea Cannell officiated, and which was attended by ex-service men and women resident in TB.

The Theydon Bois Branch of the Epping Forest Conservative Association held its summer garden party at Thrifts Farm TB by kind permission of the owners Robin and Jean Llewellyn-Jones. In glorious weather some 140 members and guests enjoyed a buffet lunch chased down by champagne and orangeade (“buck’s fizz”) and ample wines. When not engaged in extensive conversation, members and guests admired the wonderful view across the Roding Valley and enjoyed the cool breeze sweeping up the hill. At the conclusion of the day, those remaining enjoyed the sight of the historic aircraft flying into London for the Commemoration Flypast.

The Theydon Singers gave a summer’s evening concert in the TBVH entitled “Turn of the Century”. The programme included a number of popular vocal items appropriate to the time of year, together with recitations. During the evening the large audience present enjoyed a supper provided on a “bring your own drinks” basis.

A picture of a rat attacking wildfowl by the pond on the village green won local press photographer, Shaun Curry, an award as runner up in the Regional Press Awards of the National Photographer of the Year competition. Shaun happened to be present during the incident and took the split second dramatic shot. Shaun worked for the local Guardian Group of Newspapers and was fortunate to achieve this honour so early in his career.

The concern expressed by visitors to the village and others regarding the lack of public toilets was again highlighted by Leslie Jerman of Coppice Row. He pointed out that local shopkeepers were often approached for the use of their toilets, not an ideal situation; such facilities were vital when parties of school children visited TB as part of their educational programmes. The public toilet on the village green was demolished at the beginning of the year, possibly because the local authorities could not ensure its upkeep and maintenance. Leslie asked why an automatic toilet, as installed by the public library in Loughton, could not be located in TB?

The TBWI (Theydon Bois Womens’ Institute) held a Strawberries and Cream Tea afternoon in support of the Fleming Ward (Cardiac Care) at Princess Alexander’s Hospital in Harlow. More than eighty attended, mostly ladies but some husbands/partners had reluctantly succumbed to feminist pressure to also attend and found that the teas were much to their liking. An extensive plant stall in the foyer, provided by a local horticulturist, did brisk business and the same gentlemen who had attended the function were, no doubt, spending the subsequent evening busy planting the shrubs and plants which had been “bought for them” by the ladies.

During an evening, a 93-year-old resident in Thrifts Mead allowed a man, claiming to be representing the water company, to enter her home for him to “check her pipes”. During this time cash amounting to £150 was taken; she had left her front door open through which, it is believed, a second man also entered. The police are constantly warning about this type of crime and stressed that the credentials of any caller should always be checked; moreover, such calls were rarely made in the evening so suspicions should be aroused.

The Playground by the village green echoed to the laughter and shouts of delighted children who had come to enjoy a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in the Playground. For a small fee the children had to find a paper teddy bear hidden in the Playground and, when successful, were rewarded with a real teddy bear. Apart from the swings and slides, which were in good use, other entertainments were provided eg. score a goal (football) and card and drawing games. The brilliant sunshine ensured that the area was quite full so that the event raised a considerable sum in support of the current fund raising project of the Playground at Theydon Charity, which maintains the Playground. This special project is the replacement of the floor of the playground with a more modern and resilient rubber based material, which would be especially suitable for handicapped children. The TBPC (Theydon Bois Parish Council) subsequently agreed to make a grant of £5,000 to the Charity to help with meeting the total cost of £35,000. Grants are also being sought from other organisations, which, so far, have been reluctant to contribute without an initial commitment from a local authority; therefore the TBPC grant is especially welcome.

Exactly 14 days after the bomb outrage in Central London, the London Transport Tube and Bus System was again badly affected by identical incidents, which occurred at midday. Devices were planted at Shepherds Bush, Oval and Warren Street Underground stations, and another in a bus in Hackney. Mercifully, only the detonators of these devices exploded and so the “suicide bombers”, some possibly injured, had to flee from the massive police manhunt which ensued. Tragically, a suspected fugitive refused to stop at Stockwell station when pursued by the police and was consequently shot dead. However there were only minor injuries and no deaths among the general public; moreover, the authorities now had substantial forensic evidence derived from the unexploded material. The transport system was only shut down briefly and commuters including those from TB were able to return home, but with some difficulty. Subsequent to the recent bomb outrages in London, London Underground had shelved plans to reduce staffing levels, which would have affected Theydon Bois station.

After several years of major success in the annual Calor Essex Village of the Year/Best Kept Village Competition, this year , Theydon Bois only managed to gain a “merit award” in the first round of assessment, and failed to qualify for the second. Areas of the village judged highly were the Village Hall, Children's Playground, Village Pond, Playing Field, Bus Shelter and Cemetery; however the telephone kiosk, notice boards, litter bins, business premises and footpaths only received average marks. A particular disadvantage was the absence of a public convenience (recently removed). This result was not a fair reflection on a highly active community strongly supportive of charitable activities and keen to preserve its attractive environment. Still there would, hopefully, be an opportunity next year for Theydon Bois to regain its status as a premier village in Essex.

The Cabinet of the EFDC (Epping Forest District Council) rubber-stamped their previous decision to introduce the scheme of alternate weekly collection of domestic refuse, using wheelie bins, as part, of a major operation to increase the level of domestic recycling in the District. Landfill sites were fast becoming unavailable and expensive, and the EFDC (and therefore council taxpayers) would face a possible £1.75m landfill tax by 2009-10. Moreover, other financial penalties of £1m annually would be incurred if the current recycling figures of 21.54% were not doubled in four years. The new scheme would be introduced in phases commencing with Chigwell in October – November 2005.

Leading resident Peter Simmance of Coppice Row was presented with an Edinburgh crystal decanter to mark his 500th platelet donation. Platelets are important in the treatment for cancer and other illnesses; donations can only take place in static clinics and are time consuming. Peter began donating blood at the age of 15, at Loughton, because he liked the idea of doing something useful and helping others.

The EFDC confirmed without comment that two planning applications for developments at Blunt’s Farm TB, for a tennis academy and a car park, had been withdrawn. These proposals were the subject of considerable objections by the some 150 people who attended the TBPC Planning Committee meeting of 30 06 05 to protest generally at the disturbance to the village resulting from massive quantities of soil being deposited to create a golf course and the extensive lorry movements involved. The applicants, Blunt’s Farm Estates, had claimed that these proposals would have benefited the village, particularly the car park that would have reduced parking pressures in the village.

David Walmsley, the EFDC Enforcement Officer, together with EFDC Councillors Kay Rush and Janet Whitehouse, the developer’s representative and the golf course architect had visited the Blunts Farm development. It was agreed that some areas of soil deposit were too high and others the subject of disagreement would be surveyed. Checks on the type of soil entering the site and clay extraction for site capping were discussed. Lorry movements would continue for another year and the course opened in 2008. EFDC had contacted the ECC about highway issues concerning the Abridge Road.

More than 500 visitors attended the annual Theydon Bois Horticultural Society’s Show and some 50 adults and 110 children entered exhibits. In 137 categories. G Haslehurst was most successful winning the Banksian Medal (most successful exhibitor), Frank and Josie Way Memorial Cup (best fuscia) and the Ted Long Memorial Cup (best cactus). Other winners were the Gazette Challenge Bowl (best fruit or vegetable) – J Parsons, Gerald Buxton Cup (best flowers or plants – A Lowe, John Monkhouse Cup (most successful amateur exhibit) – H Bird, William Way Cup (most successful amateur exhibit excluding five past winners) – A Hollingbury, Jubilee Trophy (assorted exhibits) – J Parsons, Elcee Cup (handicrafts) – A Pollard, Committee Cup (photography) – B Turner, Keswick Cup (cookery) – J Hollingbury, Silver Spoon – H Bednarek, Gerald Buxton Cup (home brew) – J Jenkins, Garden News Shield (most successful junior exhibitor) – B Sowerby.

During June, the following were recorded in the registers of St Mary’s Church:

Baptism 05 06 05 Barnaby Merritt

Marriages 26 06 05 Sally Timms and Richard Hughes

Blessing of Marriage 04 06 05 Emily Hayes and Andrew Maust

Funerals 09 06 05 Frederick William Jarrold

Burial of Ashes 05 06 05 Lily Denby


Copyright 2005. Trevor Roberts, Local History Recorder.


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Last Up Dated: 19th October 2005