Minutes of  the WATP Steering Committee

Tuesday November 9th, 2021

Present: Cllr. H.Kane, Cllr J.Lea, T.O’Connor, J.Law, D.Bensted, R.Walters, P.Messenger, D.Haslam, M.Sheffield, D.Evans, M. Horton, M.Boyce

Apologies:  Rev. P. Smith, C.Simpson, T.Gurnett, B.Elliott

Chair:  Paul Violet

Minutes taken by P. Violet

AOB request German Visit

Minutes of last meeting agreed. There were no matters arising.

Organisation Updates

Waltham Abbey Church

Since 3rd November the Abbey Church has been open on Wednesdays from after the 10.30 service until 4pm; the Friends’ shop is also open.

The autumn season of Saturday Music for Lunch recitals at 12.30pm runs until Saturday 27th November. Due to on-going Covid restrictions refreshments will not be served and audience members will be asked to wear a face covering unless exempt. The upcoming programme is: 13th November – Yohei Nakajima viola and Rimantras Vingas piano; 20th November – Chamber music programme, Trinity Laban Conservatoire; 27th November   – Organ recital, artist to be announced. Felicitas are giving their Christmas concert “Rejoice and sing!”  at the Abbey Church on Saturday 4th December at 7.30pm.

Our sister church St Lawrence, Ninefields, has a Coffee Morning at Hillhouse School next Saturday, 13th, from 10.30am, and the Waltham Abbey Mothers’ Union are providing Bacon rolls and coffee, with a CD and book sale and raffle, on Saturday 20th from 11.30am-2pm at the Abbey Church Centre.

The Civic Service of Remembrance will be at 10.45am next Sunday (14th).

LVRP: The Wassailing event is planned for Saturday January 8th. at 5.30pm in the Apple Orchard. Refreshments will be available and there will be Morris dancing, with the customary removal of the evil spirits!

Museum: An application has been made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to enhance and restore some of the standing monuments in Abbey Gardens.  There will also be funding available to improve the signage. It is planned to restore the Midnight Chapel to allow visitor access  to it. The aim is to make the Abbey Gardens “shine”. A bid has been submitted which will have an application added to it in March 2022 with a view to the project starting late 2022 or 2023.

There has been a successful bid to fund Covid secure activities. The £149.0k will be shared with various organisations including activities at the Museum and the Christmas Market and Cavalcade.

Game activities for families is going well. On Friday it is “Take Over Day,” when students from schools are invited to manage the Museum

Town Centre Manager  Paul M reported several businesses have signed up to the App. It would be useful if all activities are included on it. There are plans for 10 Planters to be sited in Market Square. Initially these could be a temporary measure to assess their viability with a view for a more substantial feature in the future.

Paul is arranging for a Brass Band from Epping to be in the town on Saturdays prior to Christmas to play Carols.

Heritage Trail: This continues to make slow progress with planning permission for the Boards being the main obstacle. A promising site in Romeland now needs planning permission to include the exact wording that is to be on the Board.

Festival of Light and Cavalcade.

The Cavalcade is to be re-routed as on the map in the Town Crier, with the Parade stopping and starting at the Town Hall. This will be followed by a sing a long outside the Church with a Brass Band.

There will be an event on Ninefields on the Monday evening with shops being lit up, Morris dancing and a tree. This has  been greatly supported by Cllr. Sam Kane.

Four schools and the Museum have been active in making lanterns with children.

An unofficial group led by Mark Boyce, has evolved in this planning and it is hoped it is an initiative that will continue in the future. The aim is to make it a Community event engendering a real community spirit.

The Window Competition in the Town has been well publicised and promoted, with the theme being lights.  Prizes for participants have been offered by EFDC.

AOB The annual visit of our Town Twinning Germans will not happen again this year. It especially disappointing as there is to be a Memorial Service for Norma Green on Friday November 26th. This date was planned for the Germans to be able to attend.

Paul thanked everyone for their support and attendance.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday December 14th. 9.15am Council Chamber.