Tour de France – cycling history in Epping Forest District

Epping Forest District Museum

There has been a lot of excitement building with the Tour de France coming through the district on 7th July.

As part of the Museum on the Move programme the Museum team will be at Epping Town Show on Sunday 6th July making masks and flags ready for Monday 7th July.

Leading up to the day the Museum has been sharing historic cycling images from the district on the Museum’s twitter page @EFDMuseum. We will be sharing many more things from the Museum’s photographic archives throughout the Museum’s redevelopment so why not follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to see them!

The District has a long cycling history; from Ongar Cycling Club and the Cottis family of Epping to the increased interest in cycling as a pastime within the forest. So here are some of the best historic cycling images from the Museum’s collection.

W. Cottis and Sons W. Cottis and…

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Make a difference, be a parish councillor

Justin's #hyperlocal democracy blog

Back in May there was barely a mention in the media of the historic elections to London’s first ever parish council in Queen’s Park, Westminster. To be expected really given their obsession with what would happen to UKIP and the Liberal Democrats in the European elections and how many London’s borough councils would turn red.

But the same might happen again next year, when the vast majority of parish council elections are potentially held on the same day as the General Election.While there is always stiff competition to get into Parliament, this isn’t always the case for the first tier of Government. And this concerns me. A lot.

Just over two years ago my colleague Danny Moody from the Northamptonshire Association of Local Councils wrote a guest post on their efforts to promote local democracy in the county and some important points about holding public office at a very local level. Well he’s been at it again, this time with a brilliant piece for his county eUpdate (their newsletter) on…

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Information about Race Day: Tour de France in Epping 7th July 2014

There can surely be nobody who is still unaware that the Tour de France is coming to Essex on July 7th. The County and District Councils have provided leaflets and newsletters to every home detailing the route, the timings, the disruption, the expected crowds. Not to be outdone, we have looked at all the information available and picked out the information that relates specifically to Epping to try and give residents a clearer idea of what it will be like here in the Town.

Race Information

The race will enter the Town from North Weald, passing down the Plain, Palmers Hill and the High Street and leaving the Town via the High Rd en route to London. – The expected arrival time of the race itself in Epping is around 2.30 -2.45pm - The caravan will arrive up to an hour earlier with sponsors floats and entertainment. – Several hundred support vehicles will follow behind the cyclists themselves. – There is a mini-sprint stage which will have its finish line outside Barclays/ Costa.

Road Closures

There will be massive disruption on the day of the race on the road network. The route through Epping will be closed from 9.00 am to vehicular traffic. It will not re-open until around 5 pm. It will be possible to cross the High Street on foot at the existing pedestrian crossings until shortly before the caravan arrives. Palmers Hill will not have barriers beside the Town Greens so pedestrians will be able to cross there freely until just before the caravan arrives. Other roads in the Town will be open, with barriers only at the junctions themselves. There will be marshals at all the junctions.

Toilet Facilities

There will be around 20 portable toilets provided in the Town, a large block near the existing toilets in the Cottis Lane Car Park and a smaller block on the other side of the High Street near Grove Lane.

First Aid

St John’s Ambulance will be providing first aid support in the Town. There will be two medical treatment facilities provided, one on the forecourt of the Duke of Wellington and one on the access road behind the High Street outside the EFDC depot (opposite Station Rd). Ambulances will be stationed in St Johns Rd and Clarkes Lane.

Disability Viewing Areas

Two areas have been arranged specifically for disabled residents to view the race, outside the Fire Station and on Grove Lane. Space is limited and residents should contact Peter Charman at the District Council to book places. He can be contacted at


Additional Car Parking will be available on the day at Shaftesbury Farm, Lindsey Street, Thornwood Rd and St Johns School Crowds The organisers have anticipated that there are likely to be up to 20,000 people in Epping to watch the race, with as many as 6,000 of these expected in the market area alone. The event is massive so please plan ahead and arrive in plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

Other Activities

There will be a funfair at the Stonards Hill Recreation Ground to entertain before or after the race itself.  The Hemnall Social Club on the junction of Clarkes Lane is organising activities for children, entertainment and face painting and of course refreshments


More Information

From Essex County Council: Click Here

From Epping Forest District Council: Click Here

Featured picture courtesy of Rob Ibjema

Ivy Chimneys Playground Consultation

After a well attended public consultation last Wednesday evening with adult residents and a comprehensive consultation of the children of Ivy Chimneys School by the year 5 students, we are now be collating all the feedback received to prepare a scheme for consideration by Council in June.

The Town Council would like to thank everybody who has engaged with the exercise, particularly the students, who really took the bull by the horns and examined in detail what could be delivered within the budget available and came to the exercise with a totally different perspective.  We also learned from the children who the users of our play area are and the sort of facilities we need to provide to make the park a more attractive place to visit for both the children and the parents.

The children were also asked to design signs to be displayed in the play area.  Today, the Town Mayor, Will Breare-Hall, having judged the designs, visited the school to award certificates to the  children who produced the best 3 designs. The winning design by Holly Smith will be made into a sign that will be displayed to welcome people into the refurbished park when the improvements are complete.  The designs of runners up Daniel Logan and Izzy Goodland will appear in next month’s Talk About Epping.

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Picture: Town Mayor Will Breare-Hall with the winners of the sign competition

Public Consultation re: Ivy Chimneys Playground

The Town Council has secured some funding to make improvements to the play area next to the Ivy Chimneys Primary School. The year 5 children have been undertaking work to measure, redesign and make recommendations about how they would like the playground to be improved – within the Council’s budget!  Their work will be available to view at the public consultations.

At the meetings, we will reflect the feedback we have already received from the children and from the school itself and take on board the views of residents, with the intention of preparing a final design which will be the scheme that is delivered. If you are planning on attending one of the sessions, it would be really helpful if you would take a few moments to indicate your attendance on the school’s website here -> link

We hope to see you there!


The Town Council awards a certificate to the Epping business that creates the best window display to celebrate St Georges’ day each year.  This year, Lanes Dress Agency beat off stiff competition from Argus Lighting, Cooks and others to receive the award for the second year in succession.

Manager Sally King and colleague Sue Olateru are pictured with Town Mayor Will Breare-Hall receiving the certificate and the winning shop display can be seen below.



Epping has actually had four Charters granted for it’s Market.  The first was granted in 1253 by King Henry III to the Abbott of Waltham Abbey for a Market at Epping Heath.  This original Market was, like today’s, held on a Monday.


In 1575, Queen Elizabeth I granted a Charter to a Mr Thomas Heneage to hold a market on a Friday in the Manor of Epping. Heneage was born at Copped Hall and was a Privy Councillor to Henry VIII and a member of Queen Elizabeth’s Court, being appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1590.


The third Charter was granted in 1683 by King Charles II to Thomas Grey.  We do not have details as to exactly who Thomas Grey was, although there was a Thomas Grey, 2nd Earl of Stamford who was a contemporary of Charles II.  If anyone can help us with this information we would be grateful. This charter allowed markets to be held on Thursdays.

The 4th and final charter, which moved the market day officially back to Monday was granted in 1930 by King George V to Ernest Whythes, well known as the last inhabitant of Copped Hall and the man who paid for the construction of the Church Tower of St Johns, amongst other things.

The powers of the Manor including the Market were passed to the Epping Urban District Council and the market subsequently to the Town Council.

A full transcript of the charter can be accessed below:

[link to charter transcript]





AT Friday night’s Mayor’s Reception, Derek Whitbread was awarded the Townsperson of the Year Award for his long service to the Town as a firefighter at Epping Fire Station.

Mr Whitbread joined the Fire Service in 1975, attaining the rank of Sub Officer in 2000, a post he has held ever since.  He is currently one of the longest serving officers in the whole County and the announcement of the award by Town Mayor Will Breare-Hall was greeted with enthusiasm by the assembled audience representing Epping’s Community Organisations.


The Town Council is supporting Epping Forest District Council’s ‘Play in the Park’ scheme, which is all about playing games and having fun outdoors. The Town Council is supporting 3 dates during the upcoming holiday, so please come along and join in the fun!

Trained play workers will bring an exciting array of play and sports equipment, games and even art and craft materials. Everyone is encouraged to join in the fun – children, young people, parents and carers are all welcome to come and play.

The sessions are FREE of charge and open to boys and girls aged from 5 to 13 years.

Our motto is:

  • Free of charge
  • Free to come and go
  • Free to play

There is no need to book, just turn up and join in!  The dates in Epping are:

8th April – 1.30 – 3.30, Stonards Hill Rec Ground

9th April – 10.00 – 12.00, Ivy Chimneys Rec Ground

15th April – 1.30 – 3.30, Stonards Hill Rec Ground



Last week Epping Forest District Council offered the Cottis Lane Car Park to the Town Council as an alternative location for the Town Market on July 7th as the High Street will not be available.

The Town Council consulted with the market traders, and over 75% of them (representing 82% of the number of stalls) voted against holding the market in the Car Park.

Town Mayor, Will Breare-Hall said “The Town Council sought permission to move the market to Cottis Lane because we considered it important to support the traders, on what will be one of the busiest days in Epping for many years. However, our consultation with them revealed that they don’t wish us to pursue this option further and we respect their decision.”

Responses from Market Traders:

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