Issued: February 8, 2016
PICTURES: Pictures can be viewed and downloaded HERE
Blue plaque marks Sir Winston Churchill's links with Epping
A blue plaque highlighting Sir Winston Churchill's links to Epping - where he was Member of Parliament for 1924 until 1945 - has been unveiled in the High Street.
The plaque is on the frontage of the Marks and Spencer store from where Churchill addressed the crowds during his time as MP.
The plaque was made possible by Epping Town Council following a request from Epping resident David Lodge.
Mr Lodge said: "Winston Churchill is one of our greatest leaders in history and he should be recognised in this town."
Epping Mayor councillor Michael Wright, who unveiled the plaque, described Churchill as "a truly great man".
He added: "Sir Winston Churchill is such an important historical figure and such an important figure in this district. In 1923 Churchill was encouraged to stand for MP for the Epping Division and in 1924 was successful. The rest, as they say, is history.
"He was successful in three more elections in Epping, in 1929, 1931 and 1935, being as forthright on our behalf as he was as Prime Minister.
"Churchill campaigned in 1935 in Epping High Street. outside the Victoria Buildings, which is now Marks & Spencer. How amazing to think he stood in our market with his trademark cigar.
"Despite being very busy during the wartime years, Churchill still took an interest in what was going on in the area. He sent messages of congratulations when money was raised during events such as War Weapons Week.
"His wife, Clementine, attended a number of events in the town, including inspecting the Epping detachment of the Girls Training Corps, and some of our residents remember meeting her."
In October 2008, a plaque to commemorate Sir Winston Churchillâ€™s many years of service as Eppingâ€™s MP was unveiled on the same shopfront by current MP Eleanor Laing.
Churchill's grandson Sir Nicholas Soames - in a message to Epping Town Council - said the Churchill family were "very touched" that Epping should have marked his grandfather with the latest blue plaque.
Sir Nicholas added: "My grandfather was proud to be a Member of Parliament in your part of the world."
Mrs Laing said: "It is a great privilege to represent in Parliament the seat held for such a long time by Winston Churchill and we all really appreciate the Churchill familyâ€™s continued interest in and support for the Epping Forest constituency.
"Winstonâ€™s inspirational speeches saw our country through its darkest hours during the Second World War. It is not difficult to imagine him standing right here in the middle of Epping, rousing his audience with his great rhetoric.
"I am so pleased that this new plaque has been put up. It is important that future generations learn about what Winston Churchill stood for. And it is great to celebrate the central role that Epping played in his life.â€
Before unveiling the plaque, at a ceremony attended by councillors, local residents and Marks and Spencer staff, Epping Mayor Michael Wright said: "It gives me the greatest pleasure to unveil this blue plaque to Sir Winston Churchill, to make sure our history is marked for future generations.
"Never has so much been owed by so many to one man."