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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


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 has decided to undertake a number of initiatives at it’s meeting on Tuesday  designed to improve the character and amenity of the Town for residents and visitors alike.

Blue Plaque Scheme

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The Council is looking at introducing a Blue Plaque Scheme in the Town to recognise important people who have lived here in Epping over the centuries and important places and events in the Town’s history.

There are currently only two blue plaques in the Town, one dedicated to Lucien Pissarro at 44 Hemnall Street, (who we covered in last month’s Talk About Epping) and the other to Henry Doubleday in Buttercross Lane that was put up by the Epping Urban District Council, predecessor to the Town Council.

Initially, the Council are looking at memorial plaques for Sir William Addison and former Prime Minister and Town MP Winston Churchill.  However, we would be delighted to hear from residents about who or where from the Town’s past should be recognised in this way.


We are also going to contact the County Council to see if they will agree to let us replace the ugly traffic sign on the Town Green (pictured above) with a period fingerpost that would fit much better with the historic setting. We will let you know how we get on.

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Still on the subject of signs, we want to try and provide a tourist information board for visitors arriving by tube by the Station.  This is something which has been clearly lacking for many years – visitors get off the train and have no idea where the Town, the Forest, the Essex Way or anything else is  – If TfL are willing to let us put an information map up, this will hopefully change.


Lastly, the Town Council has decided to turn around one of the benches on the Town Green so it faces into the Green and not out at the road.

This may not seem like a big issue perhaps, but you would be amazed how many times it is raised by residents who want to sit for a moment on the Green and enjoy the open space rather than the traffic around Hemnall Street.


In June it will be 70 years since the loss with all hands of HMS Sickle, the warship adopted by the towns of Epping and Harlow during warship week in 1942.

The people of Epping,  Harlow and villages raised £176,000 to sponsor the vessel, which was commissioned in December 1942.  Sickle spent most of her active service in the Mediterranean. The stories of her patrols during the war have been collated by local historian John Duffel, and and can be found here [click here]

The Town Council, Epping Forest District Museum, St John’s Church and the British Legion are organising events on June 18th to mark the 70th anniversary of the loss, which will include:

  • A one day exhibition of the history of the Sickle to be held at Epping Hall
  • A memorial service to be held in St John’s Church; and
  • Providing a permanent memorial plaque for the men of Sickle, to be placed in the Garden of Remembrance at St John’s Church with the Civilian Memorial so that respects can be paid each and every Remembrance Sunday.

The Town Council has agreed to underwrite the cost of the plaque, but it is hoped that the costs will be met by public subscription.


HM S/M Sickle


Many residents will not be aware that the District Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan.  As part of the process, there are areas that are currently designated as Green Belt (and therefore protected from development) which have been put forward for consideration to be released for future development.  The consultation document can be found here.  The portion of the document that covers Epping Greenbelt starts on page 82.

Epp-B Local Plan ext

The focus of this post is the land marked on the plan as “Epp B”, also known as “Old Pastures”.  A view across the land is pictured at the top of the post.  This land is next to the Stonards Hill Recreation ground and stretches along Stonards Hill up to the Epping – Ongar Railway line and backs onto the St Margarets Hospital site. (See Map below)

Epp-B Google

Epping residents have enjoyed access across this land as though it was a public open space for as long as anybody can remember.  The Town Council’s staff see residents accessing the land from the Recreation Ground on a daily basis to walk dogs, walks to Coopersale, picnics in the summer or sledging in the winter when there is snow.

The Town Council is seeking to protect the land for future generations by applying to have it registered as a Common.  

This is where we need your help.  To qualify for registration, we must be able to evidence that “a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years”

We are looking for Local Residents (or former Local Residents) who use or who have used this land for recreation to come forward and provide evidence to support our application.  Please tell friends and family who use the land for recreation to do the same.

Registration as a Common would protect the land from development and ensure the right of residents to use the land for recreation.

If you use “EPP B” or have done in the past , please complete the attached questionnaire and email it to . Even better would be if you could print it and sign it, then send it in as we will need you to sign a form at some point for evidential reasons when we make the application!

[link removed]


One of the items of business Council had to consider this week was what to do about the Mayoral Chain of Office.

The Chain is the Civic Regalia of the Town Mayor but was previously the chain of the former Epping Urban District Council, which was abolished (with all other Urban District Councils) in 1974 when the District Councils were created.  It was the Chairman’s Chain of Office from 1894 until 1973 and when the Town Council was created in 1974 (along with the office of Town Mayor) it became the Mayor’s chain of Office.

The chain and the office are synonymous: The only thing that marks a Town Mayor is the chain and the present Town Mayor has remarked that when the Mayor is invited to Civic functions “it’s the Chain that’s been invited, not me”.

The Chain has been engraved with the name (and term of office) of every Chairman of Epping Urban District Council and every Town Mayor from 1974 to date.  The problem facing Council is that they have run out of tablets to engrave names on to! The Town Council had to decide whether to add extra links to the chain to enable this tradition to continue and how many to add.

Their decision was to add 20 links, which will have enough space for the next 40 years