17th June 2003
Final Event of Stansted Airport Consultation
** 12 noon Official Public Opening by Terry Waite at Oakmeads (a few minutes walk from the Prince of Wales pub on the Pledgdon Green Road) – all welcome
** 2.30pm Gathering for prayer with Terry Waite at the Hostages’ Window of Hope, Broxted Church – all welcome
Terry Waite CBE is to conduct the official public opening of Vanishing Villages featuring Broxted Open Gardens at noon on Sunday 29th June from the garden of a 400 year old cottage – ‘Oakmeads’ – which would be bulldozed if Stansted Airport were to be expanded with even one extra runway.
Mr Waite will also lead a special prayer gathering at the Hostages’ Window of Hope in Broxted Church at 2.30pm for those who want to join him.
Oakmeads is a stunning example of the heritage at risk from airport expansion but, at least as important, it is also home to Sarah and Andrew Cousins who live there with their two young children. The Cousins represent just one of three hundred families whose lives would be shattered if expansion goes ahead. Many more – whilst remaining in their homes – would also suffer severely from its far-reaching impacts.
Vanishing Villages meanwhile represents not only four communities threatened with extinction – Bamber’s Green, Brick End, Mole Hill Green and Woodgates End – but also scores of others which would lose their charm and tranquility because of the induced development, noise, increased traffic and roads that further runways would bring.
Oakmeads is one of more than a dozen Broxted gardens and three special exhibition areas which will be open between 12 noon and 6pm in Stop Stansted Expansion’s final event of the public consultation period into the government’s plans for adding capacity at the UK’s airports. Thousands are expected to attend and, by coming together, celebrate the rich tapestry of the region and signal opposition to the government’s plans.
The event differs, however, from most normal open gardens events in that special displays will be mounted for the day at some of the participating venues – notably Moor End Farm, Browns End Cottage and Broxted Church – in order to draw attention to the rural character that would vanish from more than 70 villages and market towns.
Those signing up to take part alongside the local residents who are putting the finishing touches to their gardens include the Woodland Trust, Council for the Protection of Rural Essex, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and numerous local history and special interest societies.
Many of the parishes whose tranquil character would be eradicated with the creation of an Essex Heathrow will also be represented with stalls – serious and festive – to remind people of the importance of the sense of community that villages and market towns – unlike urban corridors – have to offer.
There will also be a gallery of many of the buildings not on the Vanishing Villages circuit which are nevertheless at risk of demolition – in all some 326 homes and buildings are threatened, including 65 listed properties.
Some of the region’s finest views, hedgerows and ancient lanes will also disappear as countryside is concreted over to make way for an expanded airport and new roads.
Vanishing Villages is organised by Stop Stansted Expansion with the support of Broxted Parish Council which has coordinated the arrangements for the open gardens. Financial support towards the event is being provided by Uttlesford District Council and Saffron Walden Town Council.
“Vanishing Villages featuring Broxted Open Gardens” – Sunday 29 June, 12 noon – 6pm. £4 entry fee to participating gardens for adults (children free; dogs welcome in most gardens); guided walks and events along the way are free. Parking will be signposted but will primarily be at Moor End Farm. Free shuttle buses will provide transport between parking, gardens and exhibition sites.
DIRECTIONS to ‘Vanishing Villages’ From The M11:
* Enter Stansted Airport from M11 direction and follow signs to the Terminal.
* Go to LAST roundabout just before slip road to Terminal.
* Take second exit (not to car park) out of airport.
* Turn immediately left, following sign to Mole Hill Green.
* After about one mile, by Three Horseshoes pub, turn right to Mole Hill Green and Broxted.
* Prince of Wales pub is at the staggered junction (some parking) or follow signs to event parking at Moor End Farm (shuttle buses will provide transport to the Prince of Wales Pub and other properties which form part of the event.