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 JUNE 2007 AND WHICH WERE RECORDED BY
Alarm bells rang in Theydon Bois and the surrounding area when it was revealed that the West Ham Football Club was allegedly expressing interest in the controversial Blunts Farm/Parsonage Golf site as a possible location for a new training facility. The West Ham Chairman confirmed that a new training facility was a priority in the Club’s future plans and land co owner Phil Newman confirmed that talks were taking place with the Football Club. This was the latest twist in the ongoing saga of the site, and campaigners against its development and the associated lorry movements (currently stopped) immediately expressed their concern. An Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) spokesman said ”We have attended a preliminary meeting with the owners of the site and West Ham may be interested in part of the site for an academy”. A Theydon Bois and Abridge Action Group spokesman said, “ These (academy) plans must be treated with the utmost suspicion, we need to protect the green belt”. This situation is a repeat of that five years ago when the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club wished to establish their training facility in Epping Lane between the Village and Abridge; the application was rejected on green belt grounds.
The Avenue across the Village Green, which is lined by oak trees planted early in the nineteenth century to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria, was closed for a week to allow work to be carried out on the trees. In discussions between the Theydon Bois Parish Council (TBPC) and the City of London, which manages the Green as part of Epping Forest, it was agreed that four oaks would have to be felled on the grounds of public safety. It was also agreed, in principle and for the benefit of future generations, that a second Avenue of Trees (oaks) would be planted on either side of the existing line and within a specified distance subject to criteria as laid down by the City Of London. The matter of replanting now appeared to be “on hold” which did not please those who were angered at the felling now taking place. Also not pleased would be the owner of a motor vehicle left parked for several days in the Avenue when all other parked vehicles had been removed for the work to be carried out, especially as this vehicle was next to a tree due for felling.
A sombre occasion at St Mary’s Church was the Service of Praise and Thanksgiving held for Roger McEwen who unexpectedly died on 12 Jun 07 at his Theydon Bois home in Morgan Crescent. A young 62, Rogers’ death was as shock not only to his family but also to many villagers as he had served the local community in a number of ways including that of Parish Councillor. The Church was full for a simple but expressive service at which the Revd. Dr. Anthea Cannell officiated. A moving tribute, prepared by his wife Christine and brother Gerard, was read by a friend Roy Newland and a poem by Christina Rossetti was read by his close friend Robin Runsam. Following the service Roger was cremated at Parndon Wood in Harlow and many relatives and friends proceeded to his home for a small reception.
The heavy rains in late June had disastrous consequences for other areas of the UK notably North Wales, Shropshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire where extensive flooding occurred. Roads became impassable, with parts of the M1 Motorway closed and the rail service between London and Edinburgh being cancelled. Town and village centres were flooded and in Sheffield office workers had to be rescued from rooftops by helicopter. Most serious was the possible failure of a large dam near Rotherham, which resulted in the mass evacuation of nearby villages. Nearly 4 inches of rain fell in 24 hours and, as a national weather forecaster put it, “The south east of the country was fortunate to have avoided the deluge” which included the Epping Forest and Theydon Bois areas, although local rainfall was heavy. The weather prompted Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing to comment that, ”Being British means you ignore our horrible summer weather and just get on with whatever event you have planned and make the best of it. I congratulate everyone who has carried on regardless and battled with the weather.”
The 27th Annual Theydon Bois Village Open Gardens Day was a muted success due to the bad weather. Despite support from the many regulars and “brave hearted”, the attendance was down at least by 50 %. Twenty private gardens across the Village were open, four for the first time, with some “park like” and others just simple family plots; a few included small stalls selling plants and refreshments (Pimms No 1!) in aid of charities. The furthest away were at Great Gregories in the north, and Theydon Park Road in the south and special minibuses provided free transport to these locations. The Theydon Bois Village Hall (TBVH) was the centre of operations and a hive of activity with ticket and programme sales, the provision of lunches and teas and as a general congregating area. The day concluded with a short Songs of Praise service in the adjacent St Mary’s Church Hall conducted by the Rev. Canon Colin Travers and the Rev. Dr. Anthea Cannell with music provided by the Band of the Salvation Army from a local Citadel. Once again the event involved the efforts of a large number of people, not least the organisers Graham and Carol James, which illustrated the tremendous community spirit of Theydon Bois. The proceeds of the event went to support the TBVH and the Playground At Theydon (PAT) Charity.
In his Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) column in the Epping Forest Guardian, Loughton CAB member and local resident Tony Ames gave advice about making claims for compensation and claims management companies. He advised that a Compensations Act has been passed which covers claims for personal injuries, criminal injuries compensation, employment matters, housing disrepair, financial products and industrial injury disablement benefits. From April 2007, it is an offence to provided claims management services without authorisation, or exemption. Claims management companies will be regulated and they must have a formal complaints procedure.
Local pharmacist Sailesh Dawda of the Theydon Bois Pharmacy offered free advice to those who wished to stop smoking. At a pre-arranged appointment, the readiness of a person to cease smoking can be assessed, and a personalised plan developed to help them drop the habit. The triggers, which make people reach for cigarettes, can be identified and the pharmacy can offer support for several weeks including replacement therapies.
Once again, the TBVH resounded with the sustained and enthusiastic applause from an audince of some sixty members and friends at the June meeting of the Theydon Bois Music Society. In line with the Society’s policy of encouraging young musicians embarking on their musical careers to play at the Society’s meetings, its Chairman, Barbara O’Connor, scored a major success by engaging the Erato Piano Trio. This ensemble played works by Mozart, Suk, Bridge and Rachmaninov. But it was in the Mendelssohn Barholdy Piano Trio in D Minor that the players really excelled themselves and delighted their audience. Ilya Movchan – violin and Julia Morneweg – cello gave excellent and sensitive performances but it was the brilliant and lively piano playing of John Paul Ekins, which gave the essential background to their wonderful music.
The Theydon Bois Country, Folk and Barn Dance Club received unexpected and well-deserved publicity when featured in the local Epping Post. Run by Tricia Hazlehurst and Don Edmunds, the Club has been in existence for some fifty years and currently holds its weekly meetings in the TBVH. It has about forty members of whom some 22 are regulars; the age range is 40 years plus with the eldest being 80. This form of dancing is an enjoyable way of keeping fit in congenial company.
Local resident Jennifer Gunnell took part in a ten-day 60km trek along the Great Wall of China. She was one of a party of 31 who collectively raised £70,000 for the children’s cancer care charity CLIC Sergeant through its corporate partnership with Virgin Vie at Home. A lot of training and effort was entailed beforehand but she was rewarded, not only by helping a worthwhile charity, but also trekking in an incredible country and being able to view its scenery and meet its people.
Forty-six members and friends of the Theydon Bois Art Group visited Denham in Suffolk to spend a day in the countryside, which has been depicted many times by the great English painter John Constable. There was ample opportunity to paint, but as the weather was very hot, some time was spent in the shops and pubs of this pretty village.
A party of members and friends from the Theydon Bois Horticultural Society travelled by coach to the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in Surrey. A sunny day enhanced the beautiful surroundings and the party had the opportunity to view the new glass house encompassing 300 square meters which is due to be opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second later this month.
A Mind, Body and Soul Fair was held in the TBVH by Vicki Alano and Louise Lazarus who run the Archangels Shop in Loughton Lane. A series of de-stressing therapies were available including Indian head massage, reflexology and palm reading. Stalls also offered aura photography, candles, crystals, jewellery, books and CDs
The work of local artist and resident, Belinda Tong was on display at an exhibition currently being held by the Society of Women Artists at the Mall Galleries in London.
The Theydon Bois Friends of Cancer Research held their annual plant sale at 28A Theydon Park Road. The event was well supported with cakes and books being also on sale.
At the end of June the 50th Anniversary of the Theydon Bois Village Primary School was celebrated by a Ball held in a marquee in the school grounds.
HAPPINESS AND SADNESS
During May and June, the following entries were made in the registers of St Mary’s Church:
13 05 07 Poppy Knight
20 05 07 Oliver Rason
24 06 07 Libby Slyman
16 06 07 Sarah Carter and Ben Phillips
25 06 07 Roger McEwen
Burial of Ashes
29 05 07 Rose Barsby
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE EVENTS, NOT NECESSARILY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE VILLAGE OF THEYDON BOIS DURING MAY 2007 AND WHICH WERE RECORDED BY TREVOR ROBERTS, THE THEYDON BOIS LOCAL HISTORY RECORDER.
At the beginning of the month, elections were held in certain wards of the Epping Forest District (not Theydon Bois) where Epping Forest District Councillors (EFDC) had served their statutory term. This resulted in a further two conservative Councillors being returned to office, making a new total of 32 in the EFDC Council chamber, and consolidating the party's overall majority. To some, including the Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing, this was partly due to the general disapproval and annoyance of residents resulting from the confusing revision of the local refuse collections system by the previous administration. A key factor was the change from weekly to fortnightly collections of domestic rubbish but, from 14 Apr, this had reverted to weekly collections again but during the summer months only.
The creeping tide of violence involving the use of the knife, now prevalent in parts of London, finally reached Theydon Bois. Early one morning a sixteen-year-old Loughton youth sustained multiple stab wounds after an altercation with a group of youths outside Theydon Bois Station. The victim was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he was reported to be in a stable condition. The police were seeking two boys in connection with the incident; one was in his mid to late teens, 5ft 4 ins to 5 ft 7 ins tall, with brown hair and a pink polo shirt, the other was aged about 17, of 5 ft 9 ins height and average build with a black tee shirt. They were also seeking to interview three teenage girls who were outside the Tesco Store in Coppice Row about the time of the attack, and the occupants of Fiat Rover /Volvo cars seen in the vicinity. Increasing youth violence near local Central Line Stations has increased since the Mayor of London introduced the issue of free travel passes to those aged 16 and under. This made travel out of London easy for the troublemakers of this age group and so increased the strain on local police resources.
Local resident and millionaire publisher David Sullivan made known his wish to become involved with the West Ham United first division football club. Sullivan, who was recently named as the ninth richest man in British football, would be prepared to offer financial support. He is also the owner of the championship club Birmingham City that had won promotion to the premiership for the next football season. Later in May he suggested that the 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium being built at Stratford for the London 2012 Olympic Games would be an ideal home for West Ham United. He criticised the plan to reduce the stadium capacity to 20,000 seats after the Games so to cater for athletics. He also said “West Ham, if they had an 80,000 capacity stadium, could be the people’s club of London and you could price games so everyone could afford to come – it could be the cheapest Premier League football in London.
Leslie Jerman of Coppice Row gave warning of possible further soil dumping in the area following what he interpreted as being the “soil dumping debacle “ at Blunts Farm. EFDC Planners were now looking at an application to tip 141,000 cubic meters of soil at North Weald Golf Centre in Merlin Way. He also advised of a proposal to build a new sewage tunnel under London. Soil dumping was a very profitable business and he wondered how much displaced soil might come here?
The Theydon Bois and Abridge Action Group (TBAAG) commented on Lesley Jerman’s warning and asked why these golf schemes, which involve the lucrative importation of thousands of cubic metres of waste, keep popping up in the EFDC area. The letter also cited work at golf courses in North Weald, Romford and at Blunts Farm in Theydon Bois. All these Courses can import material with the relevant planning permission because of a loophole in the Environmental Waste Exemption legislation. As well as lobbying the EFDC to stop this mindless vandalism of our green spaces for profit, the public should also lobby David Milliband, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This was just landfill tax circumvention.
The surface of the B172 Abridge Road between Theydon Bois and Abridge is deteriorating rapidly and causing considerable complaint from motorists, particularly Robert Adlington of Harold Wood and Ann Byers of Loughton who use it frequently. The road was constructed in the late 1930s as part of the Green Route around London, which was superseded by the current M25 Motorway. A three-lane road now reduced to two, it was nevertheless a wide highway, which encouraged fast motoring and considerable use by heavy vehicles. Until the soil dumping at Blunts Farm was stopped, the earth carrying lorries used it extensively and no doubt contributed to its current state. The constant seepage of water onto the road from surrounding farmland has also caused damage. More serious, several fatal accidents have occurred especially involving motorcyclists and in one case the road surface was quoted as being a cause. An Essex County Council (ECC) spokesman claimed that extensive resurfacing work could be carried out on the B172 late this summer (2007).
The car park of the Theydon Bois Village Hall (TBVH) became a bus park when a number of vintage double and single-decker buses arrived to take part in the North London Transport Society Meeting. Many were London Transport vehicles from the 1940s onwards and these magnificent vehicles in their red and green colour schemes made a handsome sight against the spring foliage of the village. Many were reminded of the single-decker London Transport bus that once ran from Epping to Romford via the village along a route, which was recently discontinued, in late 2006. The Society therefore made several commemorative runs along part of this route running between Theydon Bois and Collier Row. During one run the passengers, travelling at no charge, were pleased to see that a bus on the new village service, which now runs between Buckhurst Hill and Epping, had to follow the slower but reliable older vehicle. Modern Routemaster double-deckers brought passengers to the event, again at no charge, from Chingford and Loughton stations. The interior of the TBVH was filled with many stalls selling model buses, videos, books and timetables and other bus memorabilia to remind visitors of days long gone.
The Whitsun Bank Holiday Weekend was a complete washout over most of the country including Theydon Bois. By the Monday evening, much of the country had experienced a month of rain in 48 hours with gale force winds and temperatures as low as 6 degrees C. Many outdoor events were cancelled and, in the Village, the St Mary’s May Fayre and Fun Day became an indoor event in the TBVH at very short notice through the hard work of Church members and their helpers. A number of stalls did good business and the refreshments, as organised by the Ladies, were much in demand as usual. Many of those attending “came in out of the cold” not only to support the event but possibly because of a two hour power cut in parts of the Village due to the weather. Nearly £3,000 was raised for Church Funds and the event was considered a big success.
Theydon Bois Primary School defended its decision not to include pupil Carly Buisson in an inter schools rugby tournament, following suggestions that this was because he was “too good”. Carly trained regularly at the Davenant Foundation School, Loughton, and also played for the Chingford Rugby Club. The Primary School’s Head teacher, Elspeth Bonds, explained that Carly had represented the School at other events including last year’s rugby festival. The School takes part in plenty of competitive sports but this (inter schools rugby) tournament was intended to involve children enjoying the sport, competing in a team and not necessarily taking part to win.
The TBPC Chairman, Robert Glozier, presented Jim Watts with the Chairman’s Rose Bowl Villager of the Year Award. Although only a Village resident for the last nine years, Jim has shown great commitment and dedication to Theydon Bois especially regarding the Village Website and the production of the Village News. He is also a member of the Rural Preservation Society and diligently reviews many planning applications relevant to the Village, which is of great assistance to the TBPC Planning committee.
The Theydon Art Group held its 47th annual two-day exhibition in the TBVH. Thirty-three members exhibited a total of 156 paintings in various mediums ranging from watercolour to wood veneer; 38 paintings were purchased by visitors, a record compared with previous years. Another feature was a number of "100 mm charity squares" painted by the members in support of the Winged Fellowship charity; some were sold and realised nearly £200 for this charity.
The Theydon Bois Friends of the Cancer Research UK charity received a Certificate of Achievement from the Charity for its efforts in raising more than £400,000 for this cause over the last 33 years. Its local chairman, Marjorie Chapman of Heath Drive, explained that this success was due to the efforts of the many helpers who organised numerous functions including raffles, bazaars, bridge evenings, quiz nights, wine tastings etc. And the recently announced total for 2006 was a most creditable £21,900.
The Theydon Bois Golf Club was the venue for the recent annual charity dinner of Epping Forest Rotary Club. The Speaker was Mike Brace who, spoke about his successful career in sport despite losing his sight when teenage. The Club President Mark Chambers presented a cheque for £1,150 to the St John’s Music School being the amount raised by the Rotary Clubs of Epping and Epping Forest at the Carols on the Green event in Epping on Christmas Eve 2006. During the evening further contributions were received towards the Rotarians St George’s Day collection held at the Epping Tesco store in aid of the Haven House Hospice, making a total of £1,000.
The Theydon Bois Short Mat Bowls Club held its Presentation Lunch in the TBVH. After an excellent meal, the Club Secretary Ted Norris presented the Eric Furze Cup to Penny Page. He also made further presentations as follows (winners named first, runners up second): Men's Singles – Bert Taylor and Alan Drake, Ladies Singles – Penny Page and Barbara Langford, Men’s Pairs – Brian Parker/John Field and Ken Rae/Ted Norris, Ladies Pairs – Joan Larner/Penny Page and Ann Washer/Val Mathews, Mixed Pairs – Bert Taylor/Iris May and Brian Parker/Penny Page, Target Bowls – Bert Taylor.
The Theydon Bois Tennis Club held a charity tennis event which was supported by some 70 players and friends. Simon Wallace won the Men’s Tournament with John Jones and Ben Johnson as joint runners up. Gwynneth Mingay and Clare Smith were the joint winners of the Ladies event. The event raised £640 for the St Margaret’s Hospital Breast Cancer Research Unit at Epping.
An evening Toy and Trains Collectors Fair was one again held in the TBVH. There were a large number of stalls selling models of trains and cars together with items of memorabilia. These events have become popular at this venue and this evening’s Fair was well patronised.
HAPPINESS AND SADNESS
During April and May, the following entries were made in the registers of St Mary’s Church:
26 04 07 Kirstie Finch and Neil March
05 05 07 Caroline Edwards and Zak Carroll
Jenny Atkinson and Christian Sturt
03 05 07 Ivy Locks
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE EVENTS, NOT NECESSARILY IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE VILLAGE OF THEYDON BOIS DURING MARCH 2007 AND WHICH WERE RECORDED BY TREVOR ROBERTS, THE THEYDON BOIS LOCAL HISTORY RECORDER.
The last of the 2007 Series of Weekly Lent Soup-Lunches leading up to Easter was held at the beginning of the month in the St Mary’s Church Hall. The Hall was packed to capacity with most of the seven soups available being quickly consumed within an hour, as had the all rolls butter and dessert pies – a complete sell out! The Rev Canon Colin Travers announced that the proceeds of today’s lunch would go to support the Church Missionary Society, and that the 2007 series of lunches had raised some £1,300 for a variety of charities.
Once again there was criticism of the EFDC Planning Department, this time by Dr John Warren of Woodland Way regarding planning permissions. He cited the building of a house on green belt land in the Abridge Road and particularly the Blunts Farm/ Parsonage Golf Course Development where, he claimed, insufficient restrictions were placed which had allowed the developer to import unlimited quantities of landfill spoil and so earn a substantial amount in the process. There appeared to be no topographical record of the original site but a condition was placed on the developer, which allowed excavation to a minimum of six feet so that digging to Australia was possible.
At short notice, the baritone Carl Murray and piano accompanist John Rippin, gave a recital of popular vocal music at the April meeting of the Theydon Bois Music Society. Carl sang a variety of songs by English composers, by Schubert and some Italian arias. Also included were some lively numbers by the musical satirists Flanders and Swann, and songs by Rogers and Hammerstein and Cole Porter.
In his Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) column in the Epping Forest Guardian, Loughton CAB member and local resident Tony Ames gave advice about Child Trust Funds (CTFs). A CTF is a long-term investment account to help save money for a child when it reaches the age of 18 years. On another occasion Tony gave advice about flexible working hours for the carers of adult dependents, when a carer is in employment.
William Atkinson, 22, of Slade End and a Death Metal musician was one of ten musicians selected to star in Musicool, a reality television show. The long-term object was for the ten to perform within nine weeks in a musical to be staged at a London West End theatre before a live audience. William writes his own music, sings, and plays the guitar and drums, dances, all attributes that he may well be using in his new venture.
Two local residents, John and Audrey Redfern, celebrated their golden wedding 50 years after meeting in the church choir of St Mary’s, Chigwell, which they attended for 47 years before moving to Theydon Bois. John worked as a stockbroker and Audrey was a home adviser for the gas industry. John is an active member of the Epping Forest Conservative Association and also runs several charities. Consequently, several eminent members of the community were present at their anniversary party held at Chigwell School including Eleanor Laing MP for Epping Forest and many former Young Conservatives and their wives. During the celebrations, the Bell ringers of St Mary’s rang a quarter peal in honour of John and Audrey.
The extended spell of glorious spring weather, which commenced in mid April, resulted in daytime temperatures reaching 25 degrees C. a record. Summer clothes were the order of the day on the South Coast and even in Liverpool where the Grand National, the greatest steeplechase in the world, was run. Weather experts expected another recording temperature-breaking summer this year.
The Theydon Bois Singers gave their annual Spring Concert to a large audience in the TBVH. This vintage company of mainly older residents showed that long established Village organisations, as the Singers, could still flourish despite the modern trend away from community-generated entertainment in this “modern” age. Their singing was melodious, robust and most enjoyable against the setting of a glorious English spring evening.
The annual London Marathon was run in hot conditions unusual for April. One participant was TBPC Councillor Martin Olivier entering for the first time and in support of the Whizz Kids charity for which he hoped to raise some £3,000. He had expected to complete the run in 4 hours 30 minutes, which he overran by only 9 minutes, a most creditable effort at the age of sixty. Another participant was Phillippa Sharp, 25, of Coppice Row who suffered a leg injury during the run but limped over the finishing line in just over 6 hours to raise £1,000 for the Children with Leukaemia charity. Phillippa’s friend Shivaney Lovage of Coopersale Lane completed her run in 5 hours to raise £500 for the charity Racing Welfare.
Continuing agitation by TBAAG members about the planning issues associated with the Blunts Farm/Parsonage Golf development and the involvement of certain TBPC Councillors came to a head with the publication in the Epping Forest Guardian of a letter from Councillors Robert Glozier and John Padfield. Allegations against certain individuals had been investigated by the Standards Board for England and who now considered the matter to be closed. The concluding paragraph of the letter said, ”The whole planning and enforcement process (concerning Blunts Farm) has been a nightmare and, at the stage we are now at, surely everything possible needs to be done to secure an acceptable outcome “.
The Theydon Bois Tennis Club held their annual Saturday afternoon fund raising event at the Club Courts off Sidney Road in the Village. The event was open to all players aged 16 and over. Last year the Club raised more than £700 for the Breast Cancer unit at St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping and the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, a figure that the Club hoped to exceed with today’s event.
With the month almost over, the Met Office announced that the mean temperature recorded for April in the UK was 10.0 degrees C. (48.6 degrees F.) that exceeded the previous record of 9.2 degrees C. (48.6 degrees F.) registered in 1945. The mean temperature for 2006-2007 was also heading for a record at 10.4 degrees C. (50.7 degrees F.)
During March and April, the following entries were made in the registers of St Mary’s Church:
15 04 07 Olivia Bird
19 03 07 Albert Stone 13 04 07 Kenneth Drew 17 04 07 Josephine Chambers
Burial of Ashes
27 03 07 Mary Ivey 30 03 07 Eileen Johnson 07 04 07 Geoffrey Holley (Priest)
Copyright 2006/7. Trevor Roberts, Local History Recorder.
Last Up Dated: 6th August 2007