After more than a year of restrictions on getting out and about to visit people and places across the Brentwood and Ongar constituency, it was a pleasure to spend time in Ongar last week meeting some of the people who keep the town, and its activities, running.
I caught up with representatives from Ongar Town Council to discuss roads and the town’s hopes for some form of restriction which will stop huge lorries shaking the road and historic buildings to their core as they rumble through the High Street. I’m currently discussing what can be done with Essex County Council and, although progress towards a solution is slow, there are various options available.
Ongar’s High Street is looking better than it did before the coronavirus pandemic hit – as if local entrepreneurs have spent the enforced time at home coming up with great business ideas, and putting them into practice as soon as restrictions have lifted. They are to be congratulated, as the High Street was buzzing with shoppers and those enjoying the various cafes, when I was in town last week.
Ongar Town Forum supports the local shops and businesses, and is planning to bring a Farmers’ Market to the town next month. Help is needed with marshalling and on-the-day organisation, so if you are keen to support local business and have some time to spare, the Ongar Town Forum will welcome your help with open arms.
I managed to meet up with Will Spanton-Coates, Chairman of Ongar Young Farmers too for a coffee at the Ongar Deli, and found Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon Prime show about farming is going down a storm in the farming world. According to Will, ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ farm has been the best possible shop window for what it is like being a 21st Century farmer, and tackles issues truthfully and with great humour.
It’s clear Ongar is thriving at the moment, and there is much to attract visitors to the town, not least its railway, historic building and great food (NB the Two Brewers is soon to reopen having had a refurb and a new chef, and the Cock, the King’s Head and Smith’s are superb eating places).