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Essex Chronicle stories feed from registered users of the site and Northcliffe Media editorial

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    THE Iron again proved masters of being able to beat relegated Football League clubs when they put in another excellent all round display on Saturday to deservedly beat Bristol Rovers 2-0 in front of their biggest gate - 1,621 - of the season at Cressing Road on Saturday.

    Kenny Davis scored from the penalty spot and Dan Sparkes added the second as the Iron won their third match in a row.

    The penalty came after a left wing cross by Sam Habergham was collected safely in the hand of Rovers keeper Steve Mildenhall, but referee Daniel Cook declared that Iron striker Jordan Cox had been fouled by defender Tom Parkes as the ball came in.

    His decision led to an unsightly melee as the Rovers players, along with their 565 fans in the crowd, let their feelings be known what they thought of the decision.

    Up until then it had been an open game with attacks at both ends with the Irons' Sparkes sending a curling free-kick over the visitors' bar in the tenth minute.

    Four minutes later what turned out to be crucial moment in the game came when Iron keeper Nick Hamann made a spectacular save to deny Adam Cunnington with a header.

    An early goal then for Rovers may have given them the initial upper hand but credit to the Iron players they kept a high pace in their play, passing the ball through midfield rather than relying on long, high ball up to the front strikers as they had done in a couple of their opening games.

    Rovers did get the ball in the Iron net on 35 minutes but Parkes had netted from an off-side position.

    The second half though belonged to the Iron as they took control of the game not allowing the visitors to get one shot in on goal to cause Hamann any problems.

    On 50 minutes the Iron almost added a second when in a sweeping move up field, Davis moved the ball into Cox, who passed it wide to Sparkes and from his early cross, Simeon Akinola's header was flicked just wide.

    With all their attacking pressure the Iron need that second goal to give them breathing space and they did in spectacular fashion on 59 minutes.

    Excellent link-up play between Cox and man-of-the-match Akinola opened the Rovers defence down the left side before Akinola left the covering defender for dead with some skilful footwork, crossed the ball to the edge of the box where the unmarked Sparkes was waiting to slide the ball into the net, giving Rovers' keeper Steve Mildenhall no chance.

    This goal destroyed any playing pattern from the visitors and from then on the Iron dominated the game and should have scored at least two more goals.

    Long before the final whistle many of the visiting supporters were heading for the exit while this win pushes the Iron up into tenth place.

    Braintree Town: Nick Hamman, Mitch Brundle, Sam Habergham, Remy Clerima, Alan Massey, James Mulley, Kenny Davis, Dan Sparkes (Dan Walker 73), Chez Isaac, Simeon Akinola (Michael Bakare 90), Jordan Cox (Steve Smith 85). 

    Third win on the bounce for Braintree Town with Bristol Rovers victory

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    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child, Clarence House announced today.

    It follows months of speculation. Kate Middleton's spokesman today confirmed she is suffering from an "acute form of morning sickness" and is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace, rather than a hospital.

    Son George turned one this year and his little brother or sister will become fourth in line to the throne, moving Prince Harry further down the succession line.

    Kate had been due to carry out her first overseas tour in Malta later in October.

    Clarence House added: "The Queen and members of both families delighted with the news that their Royal Highnesses are expecting their second child."

    Prime Minister David Cameron also tweeted his congratulations this morning, along with Labour leader Ed Miliband and 

    Duchess of Cambridge pregnant with second child

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    Bristol Rovers have confirmed that they will launch an investigation in to allegations that a supporter punched Braintree Town's Jordan Cox during the 2-0 Iron win on Saturday.

    Tensions flared in the away end after referee Daniel Cooke awarded penalty after Rovers defender Tom Parkes and Braintree striker Jordan Cox were involved in an off-the-ball incident at Cressing Road.

    A Rovers supporter is alleged to have attempted to strike Cox in the head after a melee on the pitch saw the striker bundled into the back of the goal net.

    Bristol Rovers released a statement, which said: "We will be investigating the incident that occurred at yesterday's game between supporters and an opposition player.

    "While we understand that feelings are running high at the moment, there can be no excuse for this sort of behaviour, and we do not want people like this associated with Bristol Rovers.

    "We take issues like this very seriously, and we will take appropriate action on completion of the investigation."

    The incident, meanwhile, is understood to have been included in the referee's report.

    Bristol Rovers to investigate alleged attack on Braintree Town player

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    Police are trying to identify two men caught on CCTV in connection with a theft of a £44.98 pair of trainers.

    The JCB trainers were stolen from B&Q in Cuton Hall Lane, Springfield, in Chelmsford, at about 4.30pm on Monday, August 4.

    The trainers were removed from the box before the thief left the store and drove off in a grey saloon car.

    Two suspects were identified by witnesses, one as being white, in his early 20s at least 5ft 10in tall, with short black hair, while wearing a white top with black stripes on the sleeve with black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

    The other man was white, at least 5ft 8in tall, with blond hair and also in his early 20s.

    He was wearing a blue baseball cap, a red and white striped t-shirt, red shorts and blue trainers.

    The two men pictured in CCTV were seen entering the store during the same time period shortly before 4.30pm.

    Anyone who recognises either man is asked to call PC Rob Bentley at Chelmsford CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

    CCTV appeal over theft of JCB trainers from B&Q Springfield

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    The third supermoon of the year is set to appear overhead tomorrow evening, brightening up the night skies darkened further by the streetlight switch-off.

    The full moon, following on from sightings in July and August, will also be the last one until September next year.

    It will be appear bigger and brighter than normal because it will be around 14 per cent closer and 30 per cent brighter than when it's at its furthest point from the earth.

    It appears in lunar cycles every 14 months.

    Are you supermoon spotting? Tweet us your pictures at @Essex_Chronicle, or post them to our Facebook page.

    Supermoon in September: Full moon set to shine over Essex

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    MALDON and Tiptree suffered their third defeat in four games and had two men sent off as Terry Spillane's side were beaten 1-0 by AFC Sudbury.

    Former Witham midfielder Kris Newby scored the only goal of the game as Maldon slipped down to 11th in the Ryman One North.

    Maldon and Tiptree gave a home debut to Hayes Thomas and settled first with Karl Asante getting in a header from a Lewis Dark cross that visiting keeper Alex Archer saved comfortably.

    The Jammers then looked dangerous when a deep Tommy Spillane cross was headed back by Paul Burnett to Ollie Berquez but his header was easily dealt with by Archer.

    Newby headed Wilkinson's cross just over then substitute Stefano Mallardo put in a good low shot that home keeper Jack Giddens just saved low down at his near post.

    On a rare foray into the visitors penalty area Asante just lost control of Hayes Thomas's cross allowing Archer to collect before the visitors Michael Shinn put a speculative 30 metre drive well over the bar.

    Potentially one the home sides best scoring chances was denied by a fine tackle by Sudbury's Craig Pope to deny Asante after he had broken through the visiting defence's off side trap but the visitors took a deserved lead after 34 minutes when the Jammers inability to defend from set pieces was again exposed.

    After keeper Giddens had pushed a good low Payton Swatman shot around the post when the resultant corner came over Newby rose well at the far post when virtually unmarked to bury his header into the roof of the net.

    A second half of few highlights seemed to just pass away with Sudbury content to preserve their one goal cushion and the home side not able to get any good enough play.

    Maldon and Tiptree seemed short on ideas to break the stalemate but Joe Pearman did get a good low shot away after cutting inside but Archer was able to turn his effort round the post.

    An unusual incident half way through the half saw visiting keeper Archer penalised for taking too long to clear the ball and conceding an indirect free kick just inside his own penalty area. When the kick was touched to Pearman he saw his shot cannon off an opponent in the defensive wall and go for a corner.

    On 80 minutes the home sides skipper Danny Johnson was dismissed for a second cautionable offence to make the Jammers search for a goal even harder and then just 4 minutes later, it was game over as they were reduced to nine men when Ben Sartain was shown a straight red for dangerous play.

    Nine-men Maldon beaten by AFC Sudbury

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    A WOMAN 'forced into a car' in Braintree on Saturday (September 6) evening could have been in the early stages of pregnancy, according to Essex Police. 

    Detectives are appealing for information following reports of the incident in Clare Road at around 6.20pm on Saturday during which a woman was allegedly forced into a car, while 'unsteady on her feet'.

    Other witnesses have suggested however that the woman, who could have been in the early stages of pregnancy from descriptions, may have simply been taken home by friends and there has been no reports of a woman missing as yet. 

    Police went to the scene and carried out an extensive search around the Braintree area but there was no trace of the people or vehicle involved, which was reported to be a small, silver, X-registered Fiat or Ford KA with black bumpers.

    The woman was said to be aged between 18 and 25, about 5ft 7in tall and of skinny build but possibly in the early stages of pregnancy. She had shoulder-length brown hair, spoke with a local accident and was wearing a red top and blue jeans.

    Witnesses said that two men, both aged in their early 20s, were responsible for forcing the woman into the car. One was white, about 5ft 8in tall, of stocky build and with short dark hair. He had distinctive buck teeth with a gap between them and spoke with a local accent.

    The second man was described as being of medium build, tanned and spoke with an Eastern European accent. He was wearing jeans and white trainers.

    A spokesperson said: "Detectives are investigating the incident and want to hear from anyone with information. They also want to hear from the two men if they knew the woman and had taken her home for her own safety."

    Anyone who can help should contact officers at Braintree CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

    Police appeal to trace young woman 'forced into car' in Braintree

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    Drinkers in Essex can still buy a pint of beer for less than it would cost in London, but will still pay more than those in the north and Midlands.

    The average price of a pint in the county stands at £3.32, according to the Good Pub Guide, with those in the capital shelling out an average of £3.79.

    And with a strong list of pubs in the county recommended by the guide, Essex residents are quids in. 

    But does your local make it onto the list of pubs recommended by the Good Pub Guide? See below to find out

    • Wooden Fender, Colchester Road, Ardleigh
    • Axe and Compasses, Arkesden
    • Rose and Crown, Ashden
    • Axe and Compasses, Aythorpe Roding
    • Half Moon, Cole Green, Belchamp St Paul
    • Three Willows, Birchanger Lane, Birchanger
    • Lion, Main Road, Boreham
    • Nags Head, Brook Street, Brentwood
    • Bulmer Fox, Bulmer Tye
    • White Harte, The Quay, Burnham-on-Crouch
    • Ash, Burton End
    • Bell, St. James Street, Castle Hedingham
    • Queen's Head, Lower Anchor Street, Chelmsford
    • Cricketers, Wicken Road, Clavering
    • Compasses, Compasses Road, Coggeshall
    • Five Bells,Mill Lane, Colne Engaine
    • Theydon Oak, Coopersale Street, Epping
    • Griffin, Main Road, Danbury
    • Sun, High Street, Dedham
    • Three Horses, Duton Hill
    • Square and Compasses, Fuller Street, Fairstead
    • Sun, Feering Hill, Feering
    • Fox, Finchingfield
    • Whalebone, Chapel Road, Fingringhoe
    • Queen's Head, Queen Street, Fyfield
    • Black Bull, Dunmow Road, Fyfield
    • Pheasant, Audley End, Gestingthorpe
    • Chequers, Church Street, Goldhanger
    • King's Head,The Street, Gosfield
    • Crown and Thistle, High Street, Great Chesterford
    • Henny Swan, Henny Street, Great Henny
    • Rainbow and Dove, Hastingwood Road, Hastingwood
    • Duke's Head, High Street, Hatfield Broad Oak
    • Thatchers, Stortford Road, Hatfield Heath
    • Bluebell,High Street, Hempstead
    • Cock, Church End, Henham
    • Olde Dog, Billericay Road, Herongate
    • Anchor,Ferry Road, Hockley
    • Bell, High Road, Horndon-on-the-Hill
    • White Hart, Thaxted Road, Howlett End
    • Shepherd,Moor Road, Langham
    • Crooked Billet, High Street, Leigh-on-Sea
    • Green Man, Green Man Lane, Little Braxted
    • Haywain, Bentley Road, Little Bromley
    • Crown, Little Walden, Essex
    • Compasses, Littley Green
    • Victoria,Smarts Lane, Loughton
    • Blue Boar, Silver Street, Maldon
    • White Hart,The Tye, Margaretting Tye
    • Chequers, Matching Green
    • Old Crown, Lodge Road, Messing
    • Viper, Mill Green Road, Mill Green
    • Thorn, High Street, Mistley
    • Thatchers Arms, Mount Bures
    • Plough and Sail, East End, Paglesham
    • Punchbowl, Church End, Paglesham
    • Rose, Colchester Road, Peldon
    • Bell, The Street, Purleigh
    • Cricketers Arms, Rickling Green
    • White Horse, Mill Road, Ridgewell
    • Hare,Bishops Stortford Road, Roxwell
    • Eight Bells, Bridge Street, Saffron Walden
    • Old Windmill, South Hanningfield Road, South Hanningfield
    • Mole Trap, Tawney Common, Stapleford Tawney
    • Dolphin, Coggeshall Road, Stisted
    • Hoop, High Street, Stock
    • Prince of Wales, Woodham Road, Stow Maries
    • Cherry Tree, Crow Lane, Tendring
    • Swan, Bull Ring, Thaxted
    • Queen Victoria, Coppice Row, Theydon Bois
    • Horseshoes, Horseshoe Hill, Upshire
    • Bell, Royston Road, Wendens Ambo
    • Victory, The Green, Wickham St Paul
    • Fleur de Lys, High Street, Widdington
    • Black Buoy, Black Buoy Hill, Wivenhoe
    • Wheatsheaf, The Green, Writtle
    • Green Dragon, London Road, Youngs End

    The best pubs in Essex, according to the Good Pub Guide

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    PARENTS fighting an £120 penalty fine for taking their son out of school will no longer stand trial after Essex County Council dropped its legal case.

    JP Morgan banker James Haymore and his wife Dana were preparing for a landmark two-day trial in October after taking Toby, 11, out of Chancellor Park Primary School for a memorial service in California.

    But after Toby finished his time at the Chelmsford school, and after the couple left their Chelmer Village home for the USA, the county council says it would cost too much money to chase the couple.

    Cabinet member for education and lifelong learning Cllr Ray Gooding said: "We have had to take a decision based on the public interest of pursuing a case where the family have emigrated and are no longer being educated in an Essex school.

    "This is an unusual situation but we have chosen to be pragmatic and accept that continuing with the prosecution serves little purpose and will cost the council money."

    The Haymores took their three children out of Chancellor Park for six days for the memorial service for their great grandfather in spring this year.

    The school claimed the absence meant their eldest, Toby, attended only 87 per cent of lessons between November 4, 2013, and March 21, 2014.

    The couple appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court for a preliminary hearing in July where they pleaded not guilty to one count of failing to ensure their child regularly attends school.

    The offence carried a maximum £1,000 fine.

    Human Rights organisation Liberty were advising the Haymores, who moved to the UK from California about four years ago.

    On the day, Liberty released a statement attacking the ambiguity surrounding ex-education secretary Michael Gove's hard-line policy, introduced in September 2013, against unauthorised school absences.

    The Chronicle however understands that JP Morgan banker Mr Haymore, 32, and Mrs Haymore, 34, had already decided to move back to the US before the court appearance.

    Cllr Gooding continued: "We take unauthorised absence very seriously and support the principle of the Government's strengthening of the rules in September 2013, which meant that term-time absence had to be authorised by head teachers and only in exceptional circumstances.

    "It is extremely important to remember that in this case, the school followed the policy to the letter."

    A Chancellor Park Primary School spokesman said: "Chancellor Park Primary takes school attendance very seriously and following government guidance only authorises term time holidays in exceptional circumstances.

    "We adhered to the law in this case, passing to the local authority to progress the fines.

    "The matter of dropping the legal case against Mr and Mrs Haymore is not one for the school and will not result in any change to our attendance policies."

    School holiday fine legal case dropped after Haymores move from Chelmsford to the US

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    EA Sports has announced that Lionel Messi has been rated the best player in the world.

    The game's release date has been confirmed for September 26, and the Argentinian Barcelona star has come out on top, as he did last year.

    He scored an impressive 93 with Cristiano Ronaldo narrowly missing out by just one with 92.

    Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer were among those to get 90.

    Wayne Rooney was the only English player to make it. See below for the full list

    • Lionel Messi 93
    • Cristiano Ronaldo 92
    • Arjen Robben 90
    • Zlatan Ibrahimovic 90
    • Manuel Neuer 90
    • Andres Iniesta 89
    • Luis Suarez 89
    • Bastian Schweinsteiger 88
    • Franck Ribery 88
    • Eden Hazard 88

    UK FIFA 15 release date and top player ratings confirmed by EA Sports as Lionel Messi comes out on top

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    Visitors to the Southend Sea-Life Adventure will not be seeing red when they visit the aquarium this year.

    The rare crustacean, who has yet to be given a name, is one of only two to have been found in the UK in the last 20 years. It was caught off the Dorset coast and is now on display at the centre in Southend's Eastern Esplanade.

    It will be used by Sea Life as "an educational example" in talks on how albinism takes place. Incidentally, a lobster's regular colour is dark blue.

    Senior Aquarist Amelie Brackin said: "Although they are extremely rare, compared to normal lobsters, albinos are not impossible to find – albeit your chances are approximately a million to one.

    "Scientifically speaking, there may be some environmental factor that has increased albinisms in lobsters, or a certain habitat condition that has allowed them to survive longer on the west coast."

    Albinism is caused by a lack of melanin in the skin, which means there is a lack of colour pigment. The fact they stand out would also make them vulnerable in the wild.

    Sea Life has since launched a competition for its visitors to find a name for the lobster, with the winner announced on September 22.

    'Million-to-one' Albino lobster on show at Sea-Life Adventure in Southend

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    A police helicopter search was conducted above the Viking Estate in Maldon this morning ( September 8)after reports of a man acting suspiciously in the area.

    Residents of the Viking Estate heard the police helicopter overhead at roughly midday today in the area above Wentworth School which was joined by police cars.

    No one was arrested after a search of the area.

    ​Police helicopter search draws blank in Maldon

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    LUNCHTIME shoppers were left stunned when a car pulled into Morrisons car park in Witham with smoke coming from the bonnet - before bursting into flames.

    The shocked bystanders looked on as the silver Ford Fiesta entered the Braintree Road car park at around 2.20pm.

    Staff rushed to the female driver's aid and contained the flames with fire extinguishers until the fire brigade arrived to put out the blaze.

    "Someone told me a car was on fire and when I looked I thought it was my car as I was parked next to her, but as I rushed over I could see it was not mine," said Stephen Strain, who was collecting for the RSPB in the foyer of the store at the time.

    "At this time it was only smoking a bit so I was able to move mine out of the way, any later my car would have caught alight as well.

    "I was lucky, a few minutes later and I wouldn't have been able to go near my car."

    The fire was out 10 minutes later and a section of the car park was cordoned off while the burnt out vehicle was removed.

    Salesman Kevin Lehane was working on an AA stall outside the shop as the drama unfolded.

    "As she came round the corner there was a little bit of smoke coming from the car, then she opened the bonnet and came over to ask for help," he said.

    "Then more smoke started coming from it so she shut it, then flames started coming from the car.

    "Some of the Morrisons staff tried to put it out with extinguishers but it was too intense and they had to get back.

    "The fire brigade arrived quickly and it was out within minutes."

    No one was injured and a fire investigation has been launched into the cause of the blaze.

    Car bursts into flames in Witham Morrisons car park

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    Apple is set to reveal the details of its much anticipated new iPhone 6 handset tomorrow, amid reports details of the components of a new iWatch could also be announced

    The web has been a flurry of speculation over what the look and features of the iPhone, but details have remained a closely guarded secret for now.

    Two separate iPhone 6 models are set to be unveiled, with 4.7" and 5.5" screens. Journalists have only been sent a cryptic message stating "wish we could tell you more".

    The event will take place at Cupertino in California at the Flint Centre, a change from San Francisco, and there will also be space for more than 2,400 guests.

    It is set to start at around 10am US Pacific Time, the equivalent of 6pm UK time.

    Reports have suggested the iPhone 6 will have a new fast wifi chip and a fingerprint sensor, as well as Apple's next generation A8 processor, putting it well ahead of the rival Android operating system.

    Just as importantly it is expected to have a vastly improved camera, with a 13-megapixel sensor, .made by Sony. And it could have a contactless digital card paying system.

    What time does the iPhone 6 launch start? New features and an 'iWatch' set to be unveiled

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    AN ANTIQUE dealer claims council planners have "missed the point" after rejecting his bid to host classic car events in Battlesbridge.

    Chelmsford City Council turned down Jim Gallie's application to continue running showground events for classic cars, bike and even boats for up to 130 days a year at Muggeridge Farm.

    But the father-of-four and owner of Battlesbridge Antiques Centre, who has been running events on the 16-acre green belt farm for more than 25 years without the need for official permission, says he will continue regardless of the decision.

    "We're very disappointed," said the 63-year-old. "We think the council has been narrow-minded and missed the point here because now we will carry on by going for a certificate of lawful use.

    "It has lost the opportunity to put conditions on us and has chosen to ignore the planning application almost universally."

    Neighbours claim attendance at the events has skyrocketed over the last two years, including for the September Grand Motobilia Day, which now attracts about 3,000 people.

    After persistent noise and traffic complaints, predominantly from Maltings Road residents who claim the shows leave them trapped in their own road, the council imposed a ban on Mr Gallie permanently leaving his marquee up, ordering him to take it down after each event.

    A community consultation followed last October, where Mr Gallie claims one resident "wagged his finger" at him claiming he was trying to run a 24/7 nightclub.

    Mr Gallie said he eventually submitted his two planning applications, one to leave his marquee up as a permanent fixture and one to hold the events voluntarily in order to reassure residents. Now faced with the latest knock-back, he says he will be able to continue regardless by submitting the certificate of lawful use application.

    "We submitted a package in our application where we were trying to be reasonable," said Mr Gallie, who has promised he will not hold more than 100 events in the year.

    "We volunteered conditions to restrict the number of events which led to a good period of negotiations with planning officers."

    Chelmsford City Councillor for Rettendon and Runwell, Ray Ride, said Mr Gallie's events were not sustainable considering the roads, infrastructure and sewerage in Battlesbridge.

    "The application he put forward was not acceptable to the council," said Mr Ride, who is also a Conservative cabinet member on the council.

    "What comes first? The residents who have lived there and are entitled to a level of amenity they have enjoyed for a number of years since before these events ever occurred, or a businessman in the form  of Jim Gallie creating a level of business opportunities for himself?

    "There is nothing wrong with the events but the council has come down on the side of the community."

    Mr Ride, who added somewhere nearer 20 events per year for Muggeridge Farm might be acceptable, also said the council could still refuse his certificate of lawful use application – which allows the council to exempt an applicant from enforcement action and the need for planning permission.

    Fellow Rettendon and Runwell councillor Lance Millane said: "All we have been trying to do is to help the people in Maltings Road because they're suffering and suffering badly."

    A city council spokesman added that the application was refused because the use of land is "harmful to the openness, rural character and intrinsic beauty of this Green Belt and Coastal Protection Belt location".

    They further said it was refused because of an unacceptable impact on amenity to nearby residents, noise and traffic. 

    Mr Gallie says he will host the Grand Motobilia Day on Sunday, September 28, regardless.

    Show will go on at Muggeridge Farm despite events rejection

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    A WARTIME hero who saved fellow factory workers when a German V2 rocket struck Chelmsford has died at the age of 94.

    Well-known character Bertie Upson was born in Witham in Mill Lane in 1920 and worked in the Hoffmann factory in Rectory Lane, Chelmsford, as a machine tool setter.

    He lived his whole life in Witham and in recent years was recognisable to many as he travelled around the town on his mobility scooter.

    His daughter Lin Rogers told the Chronicle: "He was a very strong and determined person. Our parents' door was always open and he was well-known in the town. We used to have great Christmas parties and it was always a happy and fun home."

    When war broke out a 19-year-old Bertie wanted to join the RAF but was told he could not due to the polio he contracted when he was eight, which affected his left leg throughout his life.

    And so he continued to work at Hoffmann, the prestigious Chelmsford engineering firm.

    There were 1,000 Hoffmann ball bearings in a Second World War Spitfire fighter's Rolls Royce Merlin engine, and 4,000 in the engines of the Lancaster bomber, so it was no wonder the Nazis wanted to flatten the manufacturing plant.

    On December 19, 1944, at around 1.30am Mr Upson was working one of his 12-hour night shifts when the ballistic missile, more powerful than the infamous doodlebugs, crashed through the factory roof.

    Thrity-nine were killed and Bertie and his colleagues spent most of the night rescuing people from the burning rubble of the factory of which large sections had been destroyed by the blast, along with several homes in nearby Henry Road.

    The explosion left Bertie deaf in the immediate aftermath and permanently damaged his hearing.

    The harrowing sight of his disfigured colleagues, many of whom lost limbs, haunted him for years after.

    In an interview with the Chronicle in May 2009, Mr Upson recounted the events of that night.

    "I went off and didn't go home for a day or two, where I was I don't know, but I just couldn't take it," he said.

    "A lot of them that were killed were young lads and such lovely girls. The works manager came down to our section and said I had done a wonderful job and was going to get a medal.

    "There was no medal but I didn't want one, all I wanted was for them to be alive, not dead."

    The soles of Mr Upson's shoes burnt through on the smouldering debris as he ferried the injured, dying and dead.

    Hoffmann later gave him 30 shillings and seven coupons to buy himself a new pair.

    After the war Bertie carried on working until 1972.

    The third oldest of 11 children, four of whom still live in the area around Witham, Bertie was married to Doreen (nee Hazell) for 58 years until she died in 2006.

    The couple lived at Pitt Green from 1954 and Bertie remained there until a couple of years ago, when he became a resident of Park View care home in Kings Chase until his death on August 22.

    The couple had three children, Bob, who lives in Great Totham, Lin and Jenny, five grandchildren and a great-grandson.

    "All of us are very proud of him, not just for what he did in the war, but because he was our dad," said Lin, who now lives in Queensland, Australia, as does her sister Jenny.

    "He was always there for us, playing cricket and games in the garden. He had a very positive, happy attitude to life and was so generous."

    Mr Upson visited his daughters and their families in Australia eight times, most recently when he was 88.

    A burial service will be held at St Andrews Church in Hatfield Peverel – the church where Bertie and Doreen married 66 years ago – on Tuesday, September 9, at 10.30am.

    Tributes to WWII hero who risked his own life after Chelmsford factory rocket hit

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    ELDERLY residents are facing a price hike in the cost of their Meals on Wheels service after a decision by Essex County Council to raise the rates by more than 6 per cent.

    Previously, the service cost customers £3.95, with the county council subsidising that cost by 84p, a figure that has previously risen once since 2006 when it cost £3.50.

    However, following a consultation into the Meals on Wheels service by Essex County Council, the council's own subsidy will decrease and the cost will be passed onto elderly residents, who will have to pay an extra 25p per meal from October 1 - representing a price increase of more than 6 percent

    The consultation found that service users were keen to see the scheme continue, but the council that in order to retain the service, it would have to reduce its financial input.

    Essex County Councillor Anne Brown, cabinet member with responsibility for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "The consultation showed us that MoW's customers really valued the service that is offered. I am delighted that we have been able to protect this service, allowing older residents across the county to have access to an affordable hot meal.

    "ECC is faced with significant financial pressures and we have had to review the subsidy ECC currently pays towards these meals. From October we will reduce the subsidy ECC pays, resulting in a 25p increase in the cost of meals for service users. I believe this is a manageable increase for service users and ensures our MoW service remains low compared to the private market and other local authorities.

    "Ultimately this is good news for MoW service users and shows we have truly listened to consultation feedback. MoW costs remain extremely low and affordable, and have only increased by 45p in the last 7 years."

    Essex County Council raises price of Meals on Wheels

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    The wait is over for eager gamers waiting on the next instalment of FIFA 15 as EA Sports confirms the release of the demo. The preview will be released to players on the PC on September 9 free of charge and has been dubbed as an 'Ignite demo.' Playstation Network gamers should also get a sneak preview of the game at some point in the day. It will just be a sample of the full experience. Previous reports have suggested the likes of Paris Sain Germain Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea will feature in the demo. The full game itself will be out in the UK on September 26.

    When is the FIFA 15 demo out?

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    The A13 into London is currently closed following a seven car pileup between the Pitsea Flyover and the Five Bells interchange, Basildon.

    The accident is thought to have happened at around 8.08 am this morning. Firefighters were called to the scene, but on arrival reported that no one was trapped. They made the vehicles safe before leaving the scene at 08:33 hrs.

    A13 in Pitsea  is reported to be blocked, while there is congestion at Sadlers Farm Roundabout and queuing traffic London-bound between Pitsea Flyover and Five Bells Interchange.

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    The third supermoon of the year is set to appear overhead in the UK tonight - and it will be last one for at least another year. The full moon will appear bigger and brighter than normal, and will be best viewed from this evening at around 8pm tonight. It follows sightings in July and August and appears in lunar cycles every 14 months. Experts believe the best place to see the Supermoon will be in northern Scotland, because this is where it appears lowest in the horizon in the UK. Overall, it will be 14 per cent closer and 30 per cent brighter than normal.

    When is the best time to see the Supermoon tonight?

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