The Month in Theydon Bois
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE EVENTS, NOT NECESSARILY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE VILLAGE OF THEYDON BOIS DURING MARCH 2006 AND WHICH WERE RECORDED BY TREVOR ROBERTS, THE THEYDON BOIS LOCAL HISTORY RECORDER.
An “Investor in People” award was made to the Montessori Nursery based in the Theydon Bois Village Hall (TBVH) in recognition of the high standards maintained by the Nursery. Nursery Manager Debbie Palmer said that she had to receive 6 months of training, which included staff management and development, before the Nursery could be assessed for accreditation; this assured parents that their children were being looked after by professionally trained staff. Paul White, the Client Services Adviser of the Business Link organisation, presented the award.
The Theydon Bois Friends of Cancer UK held a wine and cheese tasting evening in the TBVH. The event was hosted by the Waitrose food-retailing organisation and included a finger buffet; tickets were priced at £8.
During the period over the end of February and the beginning of March, the weather in Theydon Bois (TB) remained extremely cold with a driving northerly wind, hard overnight frosts and sporadic snow showers. However these conditions were mild compared with the North of England, Wales and Scotland where the harsh winter weather closed schools and made roads impassable. Nevertheless, TB gardeners lost outdoor plants to the frosts and even those in unheated greenhouses were devastated. Conditions improved on 6 March when relatively milder winds from the south west brought the first rain for some time although this was not enough to fill reservoirs running dry as this winter was now the driest for many years. Already water companies were talking of standpipes in the summer and the present serious situation was endorsed by Thames Water and the Three Valleys water companies who would shortly introduce hosepipe bans, this early and in late winter!! Conservation was now the keyword in water usage.
The second of a series of six annual Lent Lunches was held in the St Mary’s Church Hall. A modest outlay of £4.00 secured a bowl of soup with roll and butter, a slice of fruit tart and a cup of coffee. All the food was prepared and provided by the ladies of the church with the soups ranging from curried parsnip to a combination of ham, leek and potato which was very popular. The proceeds of the event would support the Church Missionary Society, several members of which originated from TB ie. Alison and Mozi who were working in Albania, and Pat Nickson currently at either the University of Liverpool or somewhere in Africa.
The Developers of the Parsonage Golf Course at Blunts Farm in Coopersale Lane threatened to develop the site for housing if their appeal against the EFDC enforcement action, to prevent the further dumping of soil on the site, was lost. Furthermore this development could involve the adjacent Queen Mary’s College sports ground, near Theydon Bois station, through current planning applications now under consideration. Some 4,500 “affordable” houses in total could be built which would quadruple the size of the village. The Theydon Bois Parish Council (TBPC) Chairman, John Eaton, claimed there would be uproar if such planning consent was given and TB would effectively be “killed”. The leader writer in the local Epping Guarding commented that the developers maintained that they were the answer to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s housing problem, and asked if the housing shortage could be justification for filling our fields with endless rows of identical houses?
It was also revealed that the Developers of Parsonage Golf Course were appealing against the Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) enforcement action and had elected that the outcome be decided by public enquiry. They contended that the course required only a few months of work to complete, that this would comply with all relevant planning policy, would not harm the area and be appropriate to the green belt. This appeal followed reports that the Theydon Bois and Abridge Action Group (TBAAG) had forwarded, to the local Government Ombudsman, a complaint regarding the EFDC’s handling of the Golf Course development.
The last night of “84 Charing Cross Road “, the current production by the Theydon Bois Drama Society (TBDS), was the usual “sell out”.
In a letter to the Epping Forest Guardian, Frazer Freeman of the TBDS paid tribute to local drama critic Phyl Romeril who had died recently. She was an ardent supporter of the TBDS and a great enthusiast for local drama generally. Her regular reviews in the Guardian were essential reading for performers and audiences alike.
The Friends of Wansfell College association, which continued to flourish despite the closure of Wansfell College in 2004, held a musical afternoon in the TBVH, which was attended by nearly 100 members and friends. The well-known baritone Carl Murray presented a talk about music relating to William Shakespeare and described how much excellent music had been written in connection with his plays eg. Romeo and Juliet and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. His talk included some vocal examples and Carl's renderings of "Who is Sylvia and Where the Bee Sucks” were especially appreciated. Marilyn Taylor, the principal of the also flourishing new Wansfell College 2, gave details of this year’s programme of college courses most of which were already over subscribed. She ended on an ironical note by mentioning that the education authority of the Essex County Council (ECC), the body that closed the previous Wansfell College, had now congratulated her on the success of Wansfell 2.
The second of the Copped Hall Trust (CHT) Spring Lectures was given in the TBHV by the Trust’s architect Alan Cox. He described in considerable detail, both verbally and with slides, the substantial progress made in the restoration of the Copped Hall Mansion and grounds during the past year. The work carried out in the Victorian Wing was especially featured. Reference was made to the proposed redevelopment of the derelict Home Farm on the Copped Hall Estate with the CHT Chairman Denys Favre, saying “ The future of the CHT as a whole will be much enhanced if a planning application for modest conversion of an adjacent and derelict farm building goes ahead. The general community will gain, as also will the City of London with the acquisition of buffer lands where this may apply”.
The village, generally, was disappointed by a Government Planning Inspector’s decision to allow the appeal by the ECC against the EFDC’s rejection in 2004 of the ECC plans for residential development on the site of the village youth club in Loughton Lane. TBPC Councillor Peter Hammond who helped present the evidence against the appeal was staggered by the decision. He claimed that the Inspector disregarded their entire case, which was to effectively take no cognisance of their evidence as put forward. Although the Club had now been closed for some time, action was being taken to have the area declared as common land based on its long-term usage by the village for recreational purposes, especially by young people eg. Scouts and Guides. Campaigners for this declaration were hoping that proposed government legislation in the form of the Open Spaces Bill would strengthen their case and put the ECC in "another position".
A party of 53 from the Theydon Bois Women’s Institute WI travelled in a “double decker coach” to attend a matinee performance at the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff on Sea where the Southend Operatic and Dramatic society (SODS) were staging the popular musical “Me and My Girl”. After an eventful journey and, for some, a shopping spree in Southend, the party took their seats for an unrivalled performance by one of the leading amateur societies in the country. The musical number the “Lambeth Walk” was the most popular of the many in the show and members of the audience were calling out the catch phrase “OI” at the relevant time whenever this tune was played, even during the overture. The staging was impressive, the orchestra first class and the principals exceptional. However, this was not surprising as many theatricals live in the local area, hence the tremendous local support for this successful Society and the wealth of local talent available.
A Government proposal to change the pension arrangements for local government employees, so that early retirement was not possible, resulted in a national one-day strike across the UK. This was not so wide reaching or effective as the General Strike of 1926 but EFDC employees took part so council services were disrupted eg. Refuse collections were late and some schools closed. The village seemed to be affected little, if at all, but circumstances could be different if a protracted strike developed.
An ex resident of TB, Steve Antiss of Abridge and the Superintendent at the EFDC’s Offices in Epping, was training hard for the 14th London Marathon to be held next April. He would be pounding the streets of the capital to raise funding for the local St Clare Hospice and, in the process, hoped to beat his time of 2 hours 44 minutes achieved in a previous London Marathons. Steve is a member of the Loughton Athletic Club and has previously supported Cancer Research and other charities with his running achievements.
Eyebrows were raised when 30mph speed limit signs only 4 feet high were installed in roads in the village. Some could not be seen easily, being hidden by parked vehicles, and their use was therefore criticised. However the ECC advised that these were only repeater signs for use in areas without street lighting, of which TB is one, and to remind road users that a 30 mph restriction applied throughout TB as indicated by signs of standard height located at the entrances to the village.
Following the recent “threat” by the developer of the Blunts Farm/ Parsonage Golf Course to build up to 4,500 houses on the site, John Knapman, Chairman of the EFDC, warned that the existing green belt status of the land would come up for review in 2006/2007 and sites close to an existing transport infrastructure will have to be considered. That is not to say that it was a good idea to build in TB but TB residents should realise that the case for retention of green belt status is weaker (because of motorway in the proximity?) than elsewhere. Also, prior to WWII, plans existed for housing development on this site. However, the residents deserved a solution to these issues, which achieved the right balance between protecting and enhancing the environment while helping meet housing needs in the Epping Forest District.
The development “threat” prompted a response from Michael McGough of Loughton. He was worried that the EFDC was considering this option, which would allow residential development in the Green Belt generally and drew attention to the general lack of local infrastructure eg. water supplies (where hosepipe bans were currently in force). He added “Housing demand was fuelled by population growth (largely through immigration), family break up and the growth in single parent families. Many young people resorted to single parenthood as a means of competing on the basis of need for state accommodation. None of the major parties had policies to address this problem; now was the time to curtail immigration and introduce family friendly tax policies”.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE EVENTS, NOT NECESSARILY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE VILLAGE OF THEYDON BOIS DURING FEBRUARY 2006 AND WHICH WERE RECORDED BY TREVOR ROBERTS, THE THEYDON BOIS LOCAL HISTORY RECORDER.
The ticket office at Theydon Bois (TB) was closed, permanently, as part of a radical new scheme to phase out paper tickets in favour of prepaid Oyster electronic cards. This immediately presented problems to many, especially senior citizens who experienced difficulty in operating the existing electronic ticket machines and greater difficulty in completing the Oyster Card application forms. Local resident and Epping Forest District (EFDC) Councillor Kay Rush commented that the Central Line was their (senior citizens) link with Epping as the local bus service was limited. Fares had now increased from £1.30 to £3.00 for the Epping journey with Oyster users paying only £1.00. Mrs Rush described this as appalling and added It's a case of pay more and get less as service levels deteriorate".
The increase in the local fox population resulted in these animals becoming active in daylight as reported by local resident Connie Garrett. On looking out of her bedroom window, she was surprised to see two healthy specimens roaming around on the roof of her neighbours shed without concern for the humans who watched them. Residents had now found it advisable not to put out domestic refuse sacks overnight for collection, as foxes destroyed the sacks in searching for a meal and made a mess in the process.
The Theydon Bois Village Hall (TBVH) was the venue for a unique Celebration of Faith Civic Service organised by the EFDC; Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Bahai and Hindu religions were all represented. Brian Sandler, Chairman of the EFDC, formulated the occasion and the service was led by his two Chaplains, the Rev Peter Trendall - Team Rector of Chigwell and Chigwell Row, and Rabbi Maurice Michaels - South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue. Also present were Lord Petre - Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Jennifer Tolhurst High Sheriff of Essex, and various Mayors and Chairman from local authorities. Peter Moore, Town Crier to the Lord Mayor of London, led the procession of guests. Presentations were given relating to each particular religion and the service ended with the lighting of prayer candles by members of each faith to represent a unity in religious belief.
Brilliant beyond brilliant was an appropriate description for the stunning musical recital given at the February meeting of the Theydon Bois Music Society (TBMS). The pianist and key performer was Jakob Fichert who was until recently a Junior Fellow of the Royal College of Music (RCM). The violinist was Polish Iwona Boeshe, currently a teacher at the RCM, and Sarah Dubost-Hautefeuille from France, also a student at the RCM, was the cellist. This highly talented trio played chamber music by Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Hadyn. As solo items, Jakob played a Schubert prelude and Iwona almost brought the house down with two virtuoso pieces by Kreisler and Bazzini.
The Essex County Council (ECC) announced plans to fence off the TB Youth Centre, at a cost of £2,110 to ward off trespassers. This brought a sharp response from Thea Buisson, Chairman of the Theydon Bois Pre-school Group, who described the move as disgraceful and maintained that the Group had used the location for many years as a play area and for nature trails. This cost was to be met from additional funding, allocated by the ECC to meet the expense incurred by a two-day extension of its appeal against the rejection, by the EFDC, of the ECC plans to demolish the Centre for residential development. This extension was deemed necessary by the officiating Government Planning Inspector to cater for the large number of local residents wishing to make representations at the appeal hearing.
The contentious plans by Mountcharm Ltd for the redevelopment of Wansfell College were rejected at an EFDC Planning meeting as being an over development which would be detrimental to local residents, and create traffic congestion. The meeting was first adjourned for ten minutes after councillors had voiced concern regarding letters received by planning officers that were thought to contain unsubstantiated claims and which cast aspersions. The application was for the conversion of the college building into 20 flats and for the demolition of the caretakers house to create 20 car parking spaces. TBPC Councillor Gooch stated that his council had voted against the plans and suggested that 14 flats were more appropriate. He further added that the views of his council had been disregarded in the past by the EFDC, and described the planning officers as having lost all standing in the eyes of the TBPC. Local resident Nessa Hart commented. This is a lesson to all residents to stand your ground against John Prescott (the government) and developers who put forward planning applications which are not appropriate to the area but which are still recommended by a planning officer.
The Theydon Bois Cancer Research UK Branch recently received a donation of £1,200 from the East 15 Acting School, based at Rectory Lane in nearby Debden. The sum was raised from the Schools gala performance of the hit show Music Hall which was directed by former student Kate Williams, now a star of the TV Channel 5 programme Family Affairs. The cast comprised second year students from the School and pianist Colin Sell provided the music.
A sad feature of winter in TB, as much as elsewhere, was the increase in funerals and a typical, but none the less moving example, was that for Barbara (Babs) Bushell of Orchard Drive TB. Babs died aged 63 after a long illness and was cremated at Parndon Wood Crematorium, Harlow, on a dull winters day at a simple service attended by many relations and friends. The Rev. Canon Colin Travers of St Marys TB officiated and in his address gave a background to Babs life, especially in the village where she had lived with her husband Tony and their children for many years. Babs was a caring person, quietly looking after her family and other youngsters as she did in her employment as a member of the support staff at Roding Valley High School in Loughton, where her colleagues spoke highly of her. It was requested that Babs be remembered, not with flowers, but with donations to particular charities, in this instance to either the St Clare Hospice or Cancer Research UK.
The President of the Theydon Bois Womens Institute (TBWI), Doreen Snell, welcomed 66 members and 4 visitors to the February meeting of the TBWI, which was held in the TBVH. The speaker was Miss Pauline Martindale, who gave an informative and interesting account of her experiences as a Prison Officer at Holloway Prison.
On a bitterly cold February Day, the TB 2005 celebrations of Trafalgar Day were carried over into 2006 when a 10ft oak tree was planted on the village green to commemorate Nelsons victory of 1805. A group of schoolchildren from the Theydon Bois County Primary School (TBCPS), who had previously taken part in the 2005 celebrations, carefully shovelled prepared soil around the tree roots to ensure that it was well and truly planted. Also present were Councillor John Padfield, leading members of the TB community and Councillor Sue Jones (also a teacher at the School) who stressed the importance of involving young people so to give them an understanding of such historic events. The planting was organised by the TBPC and EFDC Parks and Leisure Services, in conjunction with the Epping Forest Conservators
The recent Parliamentary vote, a majority of 200, for a complete ban on smoking in public places was supported by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing who commented that her belief in the freedom of the individual was eclipsed by her concerns over health; she sincerely hoped that, controversial as it is, when we look back on the smoking ban in a few years time we will see it as the beginning of a new era of significant improvements in peoples health. Peter Cardy of Macmillan Cancer Relief said that Parliament had seen sense and taken the most effective step in reducing deaths from lung cancer.
Leslie Jerman of Coppice Row drew attention to the frequency of air movements in the area which had caused concern, to some, that an air collision was possible. He advised that the circling aircraft were holding on the Lambourne Beacon, an electronic navigational system sited at nearby at Stapleford Airfield, prior to flying on into London Heathrow. An independent aviation authority pointed out the possibility of collision was minimal; however, the frequency of air movements in the Theydon Bois area was now one in every 30 seconds, which included visible flights (from the Beacon and local airfields) and non-visible flights (high altitude continental overflights). Therefore atmospheric pollution from aircraft exhaust gases and vented fuel could be high and perhaps a greater threat to the local community than that of an actual collision.
Many residents of TB can be found serving local communities outside the village in a number of ways. One example is Tony Ames of Hill Road TB, the hard working editor of the successful Theydon Bois Village News, who is also a volunteer adviser with the Loughton and District Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). Tony also writes a CAB Column in the local press and, in his current contribution, he explained the function of a CAB and how it offers general advice and information on any subject including welfare benefit, consumer problems, housing issues, and relationship problems plus special advice on employment and debt. Each CAB is a registered charity staffed by volunteers; the nearest to TB are located at Loughton and Epping. Each CAB functions under the auspices of Citizens Advice, a parent organisation which provides a background of administration, the provision of general information and the training of advisers where relevant.
On Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) some 28 pupils aged between 5 and 6 years from Class RM1 of the TBCPS together with school staff members Mrs M Manton, Mrs R Roberts and John White attended the TBWI pancake coffee morning in the TBVH. The children took the stage in groups and, helped by nominated TBWI Ladies, competed against each other in a pancake tossing competition. Each group had its favourite competitor and the ensuing cheering and shouting from their peers resulted in absolute pandemonium. The winner, a young Harry Oliver, was so skilled that many a cricketer would have envied his technique and so he received a large Easter Egg as a prize. The remaining children all received chocolates for their efforts, on their return to School. The Ladies then paraded their home made Easter Bonnets with the winners being First - Ruby Parrott, Second Sally Sayers and third Anne Lowe. The proceeds from this enjoyable event were divided between the Princess Alexander Stroke Unit at Harlow and the TBWI funds.
During the January and February 2006, the following entries were recorded in the registers of St Marys Church, TB:
25 10 06 Vera Gooch 26 01 06 Edna Flack
09 02 06 Walter Noble 13 02 06 Barbara Bushell
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE EVENTS, NOT NECESSARILY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE VILLAGE OF THEYDON BOIS DURING JANUARY 2006 AND WHICH WERE RECORDED BY TREVOR ROBERTS, THE THEYDON BOIS LOCAL HISTORY RECORDER.
The year started with a bright spot for Matthew Eggert, 25, of Woburn Avenue TB (Theydon Bois) when he learnt that he had been successful with his entry at the Oska Bright film festival for short films made by people with learning difficulties. His entry Beside the Seaside was the first in its class and won him a handsome trophy. He had also won this category last year when his entry Tree Whizz and Apple Attack gained him a bursary for two days training in filmmaking.
The claim by the EFDC (Epping Forest District Council) that the introduction of the new refuse collections in Chigwell and Lambourne End, using wheelie bins, were a success was criticised by Dr John Warren of Woodland Way TB. The EFDC claim was based on the new scheme resulting in an increase of 50%in the collection of recyclable material. Dr Warren pointed out that this increase related to the large amounts of garden waste which had dramatically increased the weight of recyclables; the ratio of green waste bags to recyclable bags as put out by householders was now as much as 10 to 1. This increase was due to green waste now being collected all year, instead of for a limited period, and to the large issues to residents of additional green bags without charge; consequently green waste was now less likely to be deposited in the black domestic bags scheduled for landfill sites. The residents of Chigwell and Lambourne End would be better able to judge the success of the new collection scheme, and the use of wheelie bins, during the hot summer months when the domestic waste in the bins began to putrefy, and smell, while awaiting the new fortnightly collection.
Councillor Peter Hammond of the TBPC (Theydon Bois Parish Council) requested residents to attend the hearing on 31 01 06 of the appeal by the ECC (Essex County Council) against the EFDC rejection of its plans for residential development of the former youth centre site in Loughton Lane TB. Following the rejection, proposals had been submitted by the local community for the land to be registered as a village green, and therefore protected for the future use of the community. By being present, villagers would demonstrate the depth of public feeling in this matter. Councillor Hammond was also appealing for more material evidence to prove that the adjacent open space by the scout hut, also on the redevelopment site, had been used as such by the community for many years.
Councillors Peter Hammond and Anthony Purkiss subsequently joined forces in preparing their defence of the EFDCs rejection. Councillor Purkiss claimed that Theydon Bois was at a critical point. Weve always had a nice village but there are significant external pressures bearing upon it and its vital we fight to keep what weve got. For years the youth local groups and residents have used the Centre
and the adjoining fields for recreational purposes. But what were seeing here is creeping development where the village could end up without any open space for villagers to enjoy and play. Councillor Hammond said that there had been massive support for the Centre among local residents, which underlined the importance of residential backing.
Following the disclosure of massive excavations on the Blunts Farm/Parsonage Golf Development site, the EFDC Leader, John Knapman, admitted that the planning controls for the site were nowhere as near stringent as they should have been and had specified minimum and not maximum depths of 1 metre for earth work. The EFDC Planning Committee failed to take on board the concerns of the TBPC, and local residents, regarding the associated lorry movements. However if the evidence were undeniable he would support any action to stop further lorry movements other than those necessary to finish the development.
The concerns and protests over the Blunts Farm/Parsonage Golf Course development finally came to a head when the Environment Agency confirmed that it had suspended the Waste Management Exception agreement for Blunts Farm after unannounced inspections confirmed local residents claims that general waste was being brought onto the site. Agency spokesman Daniel Taylor said the Agency was also concerned about the unauthorised transfer of rainwater, from one of the three excavated pits, to the nearby Garnish Hall brook. Through its spokesman Jacqueline Dodman, the Theydon Bois Action Group hoped that the Agency action would not deter the EFDC (which fully approved this move) from taking enforcement action. Thousand of lories had delivered waste to the site and three enormous pits have now been excavated. Residents would find it difficult to accept that more waste would have to be imported to fill these workings in order to landscape a golf course.
Cliff Collins, a keen golfer, thought that the EFDC Planning Department had a lot to answer for in allowing ten courses to be built within a perimeter of some 5 miles from TB ie. North Weald (three), Theydon Bois (three), Epping (one), Debden (one), Abridge (one) and Toot Hill (one). He contended that that there should be a fully independent or Audit Commission enquiry into the actions taken by the EFDC in allowing these types of developments to continue despite wide scale objections from local communities.
Leslie Jerman of Coppice Row thought that there was a case for a Government Enquiry into the matter of the Blunts Farm development and that Eleanor Laing MP could raise the matter in Parliament. Anthony Hares of Forest Drive echoed these views continued by saying that As residents we have a right to knows who permitted this mess, who has allowed the deep pits on the site to grow deeper and who will be prosecuted for it all.
Fire crews from Epping and Loughton were called to a fire which broke out at 4 am. at the Housing Association sheltered accommodation at the Robert Daniels Court in Thrifts Mead TB. An elderly man in a wheel chair suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene by an ambulance crew. Police and fire officers were carrying out a joint investigation into the cause of the fire.
The Theydon Bois Drama Society dispensed with its annual pantomime this year and produced instead a musical play A Chorus of Disapproval" by Alan Ayckbourn. The play portrayed the problems experienced by an amateur group rehearsing for a performance of The Beggars Opera. The play, which was especially suited to players who can act and sing, was slow to start but livened up when the hanky panky developed and the humour became more obvious. Dafydd ap Llewellyn the forceful director, played by Dave Bennett, was in a permanent frenzy coping with the difficult cast, Jonathan Mayer played the shy diffident newcomer Guy who worked stoically through many traumas (and the ladies), Betty Gilbert gave a polished performance as Rebecca Huntley-Pike and Irene Jones was a smooth Hannah ap Llewellyn. Janet Cass was especially notable for doubling up as actress (Miss Ames), and as a musical director together with Kathy Wilson.
Jean Jones of Abridge Road TB and the wife of a farmer who was a registered Epping Forest Commoner was critical of the statement by the Epping Forest Conservators that they were hoping that cattle grazing could be safely re-established in Epping Forest, in an area from Wanstead in the south to Epping in the north. She did not know of any farms in the Wanstead area which bred cattle; there were none in TB and only one in Abridge. Keeping cattle was no longer viable because of the red tape and restrictions relating to cattle grazing, which emanated from the government organisation DEFRA.
Jonathan Huff, 13, of Dukes Avenue TB and a pupil of the Davenant Foundation School in Loughton was offered a place as trumpeter in the National Childrens Orchestra of Great Britain, widely regarded as one of the worlds finest childrens orchestras. His mother Julie, who accompanied him on the piano during his audition, said the whole family were very proud of his success.
The Annual Coffee Morning of the Theydon Bois Music Society was held on a bright January Saturday. The event was organised by the Society Committee and supported by some sixty people who enjoyed excellent coffee and biscuits in like-minded company. A raffle was held and the event raised some £200 for the Society funds.
At a recent meeting of the TBPC Planning Committee, also attended by villagers, parish councillors roundly opposed the planning application by Jason Cooper to convert the former Wansfell College building into 20 apartments. Also opposed was a further plan to demolish the groundsman/caretakers house to either make way for further development or on-site parking. Parish Councillor Sue Jones commented The number of flats would increase the number of those living in the area, put extra pressure on resources and increase traffic, especially along Piercing Hill.
The EFDC gave planning permission for a burial site to be established at Roughtallys Wood in nearby Theydon Garnon. Burials and internments of ashes for all denominations would take place in the wood but monuments and cask would not be allowed. The site would also contain a single storey reception centre, Gathering Hall, Woodland Hall and two Woodland Sanctuaries providing shelter for visitors. The general opinion was that the project would be a positive improvement to woodland in need of regeneration.
The EFDC finally took a stand over the Blunts Farm development by issuing an enforcement notice that the dumping be stopped. Since the granting of planning permission in 2004, the land had been raised by 5 metres and almost double the agreed 169,000cubic meters of material had been taken onto the site. However, EFDC Leader John Knapman warned that enforcement action could result in the EFDC facing a compensation bill for £1.6m. And Jacqueline Dodman, leader of the Theydon Bois and Abridge Action Group said "Our concerns now centre on the outstanding application for an extension to the development, which could ostensibly remodel the entire course.
During December 2005 and January 2006, the following entries were recorded in the registers of St Marys Church, TB:
20 01 06 Matthew Licence and Destin Morries
22 01 06 Alexander Middleton
15 12 05 Gladys Shales
20 12 05 Alice (Rene) Frost
30 12 05 Sally Ward
Burial of Ashes
18 12 05 Bernard Fewtrell
Copyright 2006/7. Trevor Roberts, Local History Recorder.
Last Up Dated: 17th April 2006