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ECC Chairman joins Mayor in plaque unveiling

by admin on November 13th, 2015

It was a moment to savour.  The Chairman of Essex County Council, the Mayor, representatives of the Corporation – and the Hills Amenity Society.

All there to see the fulfilment of a dream to unveil a plaque recording the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Society in 1972.  No matter that it had taken some four years from inception through patient persuasion to unveiling.  The plaque was finally there – and looking pretty amazing at the popular viewing spot at the top of York Hill.

An idea which evolved from a suggestion at a Hills Committee meeting, picked up and run with by chairman Stephen Cohen, made real and visible with drawings by his designer friend Daniel Wallis, adopted and supported by County Councillor Chris Pond through Town, District and County, aided by Forest Commissioner Richard Morris – painstakingly the pieces fell into place as the project wound its way through the labyrinths of authority.

Gradually the idea became “a project” which helped it gain traction.  “Community Funding Initiative”…that sounded good.  Not just a plaque but other long campaigned-for items such as replacing and re-bedding the bollards alongside York Hill Green – and, while we are at it, repaint the ironwork, scrub down the road signs, repair the verges.

And what a result.  Many of the cottages alongside the green have been spruced up in the last year or two, all now having their fences repaired or replaced and painted and no tithe Gardeners Arms is being spruced up, too.

Well done Stephen and Daniel, Councillor Pond, Commissioner Richard Morris, the Town Council, County Council, City Corporation and Forest Commissioners….and the Hills Amenity Association.

Our pictures from top: County Council Chairman Norman Hume, Town Mayor Judith Jennings and County Councillor Chris Pond after the unveiling of the plaque; the permanent record of the partnership which made it all happen: the Corporation of London, Essex County Council, the Town Council and Hills Amenity Society; the bollards along York Hill green looking spick and span at last;
Video clip of unveiling P1013695; ..and not forgetting the heroic chaps who did all the work.  Well done lads!

Mayor recalls romantic moment on York Hill

In her address Mayor Judith said: “Welcome to the York Hill Conservation Area and this picturesque green with its dramatic view over London.  This is a very popular destination for local residents and tourists particularly in the summer who come to enjoy the panorama.

“I can remember being here with family and friends to celebrate the Millenniu

m and we enjoyed the wonderful sight of fireworks going off all over London.
“We are here today to celebrate the completion of the Pump Hill Environmental Project.  Theinitial idea for this came from the Hills Amenity Society as part of their plans to mark its 40th anniversary, so I am pleased to welcome Stephen Cohen, the current chairman of the Society.
The Society is a local residents’ group, originally formed in 1972.  Their aim is to preserve and improve features of this part of Loughton and to promote higher standards of planning and design in keeping with the rural character.
“I hope you will forgive me for saying that I am possibly better qualified than most to express a deep affection for this particular spot. It was on this Green (well, just across the road in the car park actually) that my husband, Bob, first asked me out on a date about 34 years ago. A few years later we moved in just down the road, and about 22 years ago Bob was, himself, Chair of the Hills Amenity Society. Of course I never imagined then that I would be standing here as Mayor today.
“We have always felt very proud and priviledged to be living here in the heart of the Conservation Area. The Hills Amenity Society first approached the Town Council in 2013 for help with its aspiration to install an orientation display board depicting the London skyline.
The Council’s Environment and Heritage Committee agreed to take on this project and also widen the scheme by including other environmental improvements.  These include the new Victorian style grit bin, new and refurbished wooden bollards with refector strips, and renovated street name signs.
“The Hills had already commissioned local artist Daniel Wallis, to provide the design for the orientation board.   We are very grateful to Daniel who gave his time and expertise for free.   Daniel is unable to join us today but we are delighted his mother is with us this morning. I would also like to thank the City of London, represented here today by Verderer Richard Morris, for their assistance with the project and for granting us a licence for the works.  The green was originally part of Epping Forest before the cottages were built and it is still owned and managed by the City of London today.
“Finally I am very pleased to welcome here today Cllr Norman Hume, Chairman of Essex County Council.   Whilst the bulk of the money for this project was provided by the Town Council, we are indebted to Essex County Council for the generous award of a £1,500 grant from the Community Initiatives Fund which enabled the completion of the project this year.”


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