Loughton High Road towards Kings Green in the late 1920s.

A dinner at the Kings Head (centre) allegedly took place in 1860 when the lord of the manor invited all the loppers.

The wine flowed freely and all got drunk, except Thomas Willingale, who sneaked out with his axe to cut a branch in the forest then returned to the King’s Head on the stroke of midnight, thereby saving the lopping rights.

Epping Forest Guardian:

A view of the scene today

Householders believed their right to lop trees would be forfeited if they failed to commence lopping at midnight on November 11 every year.

Today the forest is protected by the Epping Forest Act of 1878.

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