Issued: November 27, 2017
Epping Town Council hosts surprise tea to mark Freeman of the Town's
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A surprise celebration hosted by Epping Town Council was held to mark the 100th birthday of a Freeman of the Town and a former Town Mayor of Epping.
Past and present councillors and representatives of local organisations he has been involved with were on hand to congratulate centenarian Denys Favre at Epping Hall on Friday.
Mr Favre spent 51 years living in Epping before he moved, two years ago, to Yorkshire to be nearer his family.
Town Mayor councillor Tony Church said: "On behalf of Epping Town Council and all the people of Epping, I was honoured to be able to congratulate Denys on his forthcoming 100th birthday.
"Denys has accomplished so much for Epping and its surroundings over a 51-year period, including the saving of Hill Hall and Copped Hall and his achievements through The Epping Society, Epping-Eppingen Association and Epping Town Council, particularly as Mayor. What a special and selfless man."
In the 1970s Mr Favre became interested in the Elizabethan mansion Hill Hall at Theydon Mount.
With the property then earmarked for development, Mr Favre was determined that was not going to happen.
He called upon Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, an eminent figure from The Victorian Society - and their campaigning efforts resulted in the former womens' prison - renowned for its famous visitor Christine Keeler - beingg saved, to be converted into apartments.
Mr Favre's next challenge was to help to save historic Copped Hall, and with architect Alan Cox he established The Copped Hall Trust to save the historic building from being sold.
In 1995, after a nine-year campaign, The Copped Hall Trust purchased the property and a team of volunteers began their tireless efforts to raise money for the Hall's restoration.
Mr Favre is Life President of the Copped Hall Trust.
In 1972, Mr Favre founded The Epping Society which was established to help protect the town - with a focus on its future and how development would shape the next chapters in his history.
In 1976, Mr Favre joined Epping Town Council. He was elected Town Mayor in 1980.
During his mayoral year he visited Epping's German twin town of Eppingen.
He was made a Freeman of the Town in 2015.
During the Second World War, Mr Favre was one of the first recruits to the Air Sea Rescue which aimed to save the lives of pilots shot down by German gunners.