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

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    Townfield Street car park is reopening ahead of schedule after two months of refurbishment works.

    Commuters can once again park up from Monday (September 22) despite the finish date being initially pencilled in for October.

    Chelmsford City Council cabinet member for safer communities Ian Grundy said: "We are very pleased with the work that has been done at the car park and to complete the work and open it up to the public ahead of schedule is a good achievement. 

    "The work that has now been completed will help to preserve and extend the life of the car park. 

    "The Council would like to thank everyone for their patience during this time and we are confident that the car park is now a much improved environment for drivers."

    Work started at the end of July to install new movement joints, apply protective coatings to the decks, wells, ceilings and columns.

    New bay markings were added and the internal staircase towers were redecorated.

    During the works permit holders could still park on the roof but it was closed to day users.

    Townfield Street car park in Chelmsford to re-open early


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    The starting gun will be fired at the first ever Chelmsford Marathon in under one month.

    The prospect of the 26.2 mile two-lap route, which will take in five of the city's parks, might appear daunting to some, especially if you've slacked on the preparation or it has somehow slipped your mind.

    Essex Chronicle reporters Ciaran Gold and Peter Walker are also taking pary, but it seems they're at different stages of the preparation process.

    We checked up on them to find out how their training is getting on, and it seems Peter will need to get his boots on sharpish if he wants to cross the finish line.

    What is your regular training schedule?

    Ciaran Gold: It's supposed to be interval training Tuesdays and a long run building up to marathon distance on Sundays, with two eight to nine miles in between.

    However, as the big day approaches, I've been slacking massively and I know it's going to come back and bite me. I had a target time but I think I'll just accept a finish now.

    If I do three runs a week I'm pleased.

    Peter Walker: What schedule?

    What food are you eating at the moment?

    CG: Far too much junk food. If I'm going for a long run then I'll made some effort to carb load the night before, but otherwise I've made few changes.

    One of the best things about running is you burn off a shedload of calories, so you can get away with eating rubbish!

    PW: The food I usually eat: cereal for breakfast, sandwiches and lots of fruit for lunch, and for dinner, usually a pasta, rice or red meat based hot meal

    Have you run along the route? 

    CG: I haven't, but as it's Chelmsford, it's flat, so I'm happy about that. There's been some criticism that it's a boring route, but I think that will be the last thing on my mind on the big day.

    Also, it's the first Chelmsford marathon. It's great that we're even having one.

    PW: Yes, but only because the Saturday morning 5k parkrun in Central Park, which I attend sporadically, takes in part of the route

    How often do you run?

    CG: If it wasn't for the marathon, I would run maybe once a week. I'm a part of Bishop's Stortford Running Club and they run Wednesdays, but there's loads of clubs around here like the Springfield Striders. I find running pretty boring on my own but it's far better with other people.

    PW: Perhaps once a week, but I play lots of football as much as five times a week, does that count?

    Have you run a marathon/race before?

    CG: I've never run a marathon but I've run a number of races since I started running in December.

    I started because my girlfriend Ruth was running the Brighton marathon in April. She was running to raise money for the Brain Tumour charity after her best friend died from a tumour in December, a week before she was due to get married.

    I wanted to help her train and my first race was the Essex 20 mile road race in March, which was Ruth's final training run before the marathon. I can remember being petrified beforehand but it feeling like a massive accomplishment afterwards.

    Since then, I've done a number of 10k, 10 mile and half marathon races, my last being on Sunday.

    I would definitely recommend them to anyone before trying a marathon to get a feel of what it's all about.

    You will be overtaken by people far older than you – on Sunday a chap in his 70s comfortably beat me in a half marathon with a time of something like one hour and 45 minutes.

    Once you learn you're only racing against yourself it becomes so much more enjoyable and social. If you're struggling other runners will help you with words of encouragement – some people go round the whole course chatting.

    And if you're reading this and thinking that running isn't for you or that you 'can't run', come down and watch the marathon and you will be inspired.

    Ruth struggled to do 400m in December, yet in April ran Brighton in five hours and seven minutes – not bad!

    PW: I ran a half marathon three years ago. I felt very ill afterwards.

    Sponsorship money raised by the Chelmsford Parks Marathon will go directly to the J's Hospice. See here for more information

    Chelmsford Marathon 2014: How ready are you?


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    A car has crashed near the Maldon turn-off of the London-bound A12. 

    The car is having its roof cut off. 

    There are three fire engines, police and the ambulance service on scene. 

    More to follow.  

    Car is 'having its roof cut off' after London-bound A12 crash


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    Students will be descending on Chelmsford and Essex soon as Freshers' Week gets under way.

    So they might need a bit of an introduction to the county. Make sure you're fully clued up on the basics in case they ask any questions.

    Or if you're new to the area, ease yourself in with these simple general knowledge questions

    How well do you know Essex? 10 questions to test your knowledge


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    A man received head and spinal injuries tonight after a rush-hour crash on the London-bound A12. 

    The accident, which occurred near the Maldon turn-off shortly before 5pm, saw three fire engines, two ambulance vehicles and police attend the scene. 

    Lanes were closed while the emergency services dealt with the man, who is in his 30s and is understood to have non life-threatening injuries. 

    He was taken by ambulance to Broomfield Hospital for further treatment. 

    Man hurt after rush-hour A12 smash


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    COMMUTERS have faced travel chaos this evening after residual flooding disrupted services to and from London Liverpool Street. 

    Flash floods at Manor Park Station, as a result of overnight storms, have led to rail services running via London Liverpool Street to Romford and Shenfield suspended until 9pm. 

    There are currently delays of up to 80 minutes on routes via Manor Park, including the metro service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and lines to Ilford, Braintree,Southend, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich.

    Greater Anglia has advised passengers to avoid travelling via the affected areas unless necessary. 

    Those already aboard services to and from the London station face considerably delays as a result of the congestion. 

    Greater Anglia have tweeted: "I am very sorry for the disruption at #ManorPark this evening."

     Customers with tickets from Manor Park are however advised that tickets dated for travel today will be valid for travel tomorrow (September 20) too. 

    Flooding at Manor Park station brings chaos to railways


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    A CARE worker was subjected to a terrifying attack at the hands of a 14-year-old boy with learning difficulties after her employers switched off her panic alarm – but failed to tell staff.

    Jennifer Stafford, 39, was working as a residential support worker at children's home Hargrave House, in Great Baddow, when she was repeatedly hit by the 6ft 2in teenager.

    Essex County Council has now admitted liability for the long-term injuries she sustained after switching off the fob alarms issued to staff, but insists it has since improved safety for those working with children with special needs.

    Jennifer, who lives in Melbourne, said: "It was a terrifying incident that has knocked my confidence and left with me with lasting physical injuries.

    "I loved my job, but it could be dangerous because of the issues some of our patients had. I had trusted that I was protected because of the alarm I had been given and I never would have imagined that it would have been turned off."

    Jennifer originally began working for the 16-bedroom care home on Molrams Lane in 2006 after relocating from London. She provided support in the day-to-day care of its young residents, many of whom suffer with severe learning difficulties.

    On October 30, 2011, she found herself supervising two teenage boys alone when one became violent.

    She told the Chronicle: "He didn't go out to attack me; I had stood between him and another child who he was going to hit. I was guiding him back with his shoulder but then he turned on me.

    "I was hit on the head, face and ear. I was exposed as he pulled my top off and the other boy was laughing. I was trying to pull my top down which was what stopped me being able to fend off the blows.

    "The lady I was with heard me and came rushing out but when she came to my assistance the other boy jumped on her back and stopped her getting to me."

    Both women were furiously pressing their fob panic alarms throughout the attack but no help came until their screams alerted three other members of staff – and it later emerged the alarms were switched off at the time of the incident.

    Stuart Bacon, a personal injury lawyer at BTMK Solicitors, who represented Ms Stafford, said: "This was a shocking failure by an employer to protect a carer who was working in a dangerous environment."

    Jennifer, who has 22 years of experience in the care industry, emerged with scratches and bruises to her neck and chest, and was later diagnosed with long-term degenerative nerve damage in her neck, the severity of which had been accelerated by the incident by five to eight years.

    After the attack Essex County Council was issued with an improvement notice by the Health and Safety Executive, which determined that "adequate measures to control and mitigate risks from violence and aggression have not been taken" for Hargrave House, a requirement which was complied with by July 2012.

    A spokesman for the council said: "This was a serious incident and we deeply regret the injuries and distress it caused to Ms Stafford."

    Care home worker's terrifying attack at hands of boy, 14, after panic alarm switched off


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    A FORMER Maldon policeman hopes to raise £100,000 for charity by driving 8,000 miles to Norway and back – on a 13mph tractor.

    Intrepid Peter Matheson, 50, is driving from Land's End to John O'Groats, via Essex. He will then catch a ferry to Denmark and head for the Arctic Circle in Norway, then return to Land's End – a trip that will take four months.

    On Tuesday (September 16), he stayed with a fan of his pursuit, the secretary of the East Essex Smallholders Group, Donna Perkins, at her farm in Mundon, and enjoyed a trip back to his favourite pub in Maldon, the Blue Boar.

    He told the Chronicle: "I worked in Maldon for many years and my sister still lives here."

    Peter, of Colchester, dreamed up the idea with his son, Alastair, 18, after wondering what he could do to help the Tom Bowdidge Foundation, started in memory of Tom, who died from cancer aged 19, in October last year.

    Peter said: "I have a son who is blessed with good health and I can't imagine what my friends have had to go through and are still going through."

    But Peter does concede his idea was formed after "too much whiskey" during a trip to his former home in Scotland in July.

    He estimates he has to stop 60 times a day and is joined by one companion, his pet Labrador Amber, for the trip through the freezing Scandinavian winter all the way to Nordkapp in Norway.

    "I've heard that Scandinavian people are very friendly – and they may have to be," he said.

    Mr Matheson bought the vintage 1972 Massey Ferguson tractor for £7,000 on eBay and will spend an estimated £16,000 getting to Norway and back, with 20p from every £1 donated spent on fuel. The money will be divided between the Tom Bowdidge Foundation and Unicef.

    To donate and find out more about Peter's journey go to www.tractorbumble.com

    From Land's End to John O'Groats in charity tractor dash


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    SOMETIMES painted as this decade's answer to the pit bull, Staffordshire bull terriers are often in the news for all the wrong reasons.

    But one woman in Essex is trying to change that.

    Charley Nathan, 53, who runs AA Dog Rescue in Latchingdon with business partner Karen James, has teamed up with Battersea Dogs Home to re-brand the breed.

    The campaign, Staffies: softer than you think, aims to raise awareness about the breed and change public perceptions of the animal, which used to be known as "nanny dogs" because of their propensity to care for children.

    "One in six dogs in the country is a Staffie," said Ms Nathan, who has 11 dogs of her own, including several Staffies.

    "They have been over-bred and as a result around 400 a week nationwide are being put down. We want to change people's perception of them."

    But it seems Chronicle readers don't need convincing. We asked our readers what they thought of the breed, almost 2,000 took part in our survey overwhelmingly giving Staffies a big thumbs up! "They are absolute cuddle monsters, they just want to sit on your lap and lick you to death," Ms Nathan said.

    "Of all the dog breeds, Staffies are the only one recommended for children by the RSPCA, The Kennel Club, Battersea Dogs Home and the Dogs' Trust."

    But such is the bad reputation of the breed, that Ms Nathan said people often come to the centre stating they want a rescue dog, just not a Staffie.

    "The people who come in saying they won't have one often walk out two or three hours later with a Staffie, saying that they didn't realise what they were actually like," she added.

    "But we also have Staffie owners who say that people cross the street when they see them coming with their dog, Staffies have that look, and people are scared of them, they believe they are killer dangerous dogs, but we need to change that perception."

    Although the majority of our readers came down on the side of the Staffie, 68 per cent said they thought the breed's bad reputation was down to some irresponsible owners training them to be aggressive, while 16 per cent thought this was due to hearing about dog attacks in the news.

    Another 14 per cent said it was down to people misunderstanding their nature, and two per cent said it was their size and look.

    "If another dog bites someone, it's just reported as a dog bite, but if it's a Staffie, it makes headlines," said Ms Nathan.

    "Of course there are a few that bite, but with something like that there is usually a reason. It's not the dog, it's the owner."

    As well as re-branding the Staffie, Ms Nathan, a former police officer, will also be working with local youth offending teams, encouraging young people who have fallen into bad situations to work with the dogs in order to teach them about responsibility.

    "Everything I'm doing now is coming to fruition," Ms Nathan explained. "If I died now, I'd die happy."

    For more information on the campaign and adopting a dog, visit: www.aadogrescue.org.uk

    Essex charity aims to rebrand the Staffie: See results of our survey


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    SQUASH sensation Ben Coleman is hoping he can build on the momentum gathered from last season when he gets his new campaign under way this month.

    The 23-year-old won three out of four tournaments between April and June to rocket up the world rankings to a career-high 68.

    With a quarter-final exit at the Kent Open in his final tournament of the season, the Chelmsford player ended the year 71st in the world.

    And Coleman gets his season under way in the USA as he travels to Utah and Phoenix this week to compete on the World Tour.

    He said: "This is when everything really starts for me again and then in the beginning of October it is when the tournaments begin at home and the Premier League starts again.

    "Everything starts to step up a gear. I have these two tournaments and then travel down to Bexley, Kent, for my first tournament at home.

    "I have got real aspirations to push hard to get up and inside the top 50 in the world rankings by the end of the season.

    "I feel like I am capable of doing that on the back of my success from last season, but I just need to be confident in what I am doing in training and take that forward into the tournaments, hopefully they will take care of themselves.

    "I am off to Phoenix and Utah for a couple of World Tour events to get my season started. I have had a good couple of months of hard training and am really looking forward to try and kick start my season."

    But competing is not cheap for the youngster, who is searching for sponsorship to help him fulfil his aspirations.

    Coleman added: "I have been on the search for a new kit and equipment, having talked to a few local companies about some financial aid. I am happy to advertise them on my playing kit, shirts and through social media.

    "Hopefully that can really help me push on to that next level, helping me travel around and get even better access to training. Just the sheer cost of travel is pretty high and so any sponsorship would really help fund my progress."

    Anyone interested in sponsoring Coleman can email him at bwcoleman@blueyonder .co.uk or call 07921500455.

    Coleman planning to carry last season's form into new campaign


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    GREAT Baddow's Alex Dowsett added the Tour of Britain's yellow jersey to his Commonwealth Gold medal after finishing in second place at the end of the sixth stage.

    Since winning gold in Glasgow, the 25-year-old Movistar rider has been showing a lot of aggression in some of his recent performances, his name featuring in time trial results and mid-race sprints in the Eneco Tour – the hard- fought stage race that features many of the tough spring Classics climbs and cobbles – and the Tour du Poitou-Charentes.

    But after suffering a double puncture on stage four of his home Tour, Dowsett vowed to keep on chasing the stage result he looked like achieving and that he felt his form was promising.

    And that opportunity came during the 206km stage from Bath to Hemel Hempstead. By then Dowsett had already picked up bonus seconds and points on the second and fourth stages – all boosting his overall combativity total – and added double mid-race sprint and mountains wins on the road to the Hertfordshire finish.

    Dowsett broke clear with two other riders after 50km of racing. Working together, they opened a gap that at one point stretched to nine minutes before the peloton started to pull them back.

    "I'm in the form of my life but that was the hardest day of my life," Dowsett explained after the stage. "When our lead reached nine minutes, that's when I really started digging in.

    "Later I sort of made an agreement with Matthias that he could win the stage as it looked like there was a good chance of me taking yellow. It was a risk I was willing to take.

    "For the last 100km, I was more or less flat out but I was buckling in the last 5km and I was relying heavily on Matthias. This is more proof to me that I'm able to compete at this level."

    Second place on the stage gave Dowsett the lead – and his first leader's jersey in a national Tour – by 34 seconds with just three stages, including an 8.8km time trial, before the race finish in London.

    Unfortunately for Dowsett, the 225km seventh stage from Camberley to Brighton included two climbs too many, with the Essex rider unable to hold his place in the front group when they hit a trio of significant climbs in the last 60km of that decisive section.

    Helped by team-mate Giovanni Visconti he pulled back some lost time but the final climb came too soon, sealing Dowsett's fate.

    Losing more than two minutes to eventual stage winner Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) Dowsett slipped back to tenth place overall.

    He said: "I was disappointed. I thought I woke up feeling pretty fresh, but as soon as we hit those climbs, I knew I was suffering. But the team were amazing."

    The final day saw the riders facing a split stage starting with an 8.8km time trial won by Sir Bradley Wiggins, but Dowsett improved his overall position to eighth with just the final 88.8km stage around some of London's most iconic landmarks to come.

    Dowsett didn't hold back even in that final stage. He broke away, initially on his own before being joined by a handful of co-escapees, and really shook up the chasing bunch, who expected the final stage to be dominated by the sprinters' teams.

    Dowsett had to settle for second overall in the sprint competition and held onto his eigth place overall, finishing the nearly 1400km race just 54 seconds behind overall winner, Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle.

    Alex Dowsett enjoys dose of yellow-jersey fever during Tour of Britain


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    The new series of Downton Abbey will return this weekend, and its reported the series could be getting some added stardust in the shape of George Clooney and Kim Kardashian.

    Clooney is already confirmed for a cameo role in a scene to be televised on ITV's Text Santa but tabloid rumours this weekend suggested she had asked Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, for advice on how to secure a role.

    The opening episode, set in 1924 will return to ITV screens at 9pm on Sunday with a previously released trailer hinting that at disaster caused by a fire:

    Richard E Grant also makes his debut in the fifth series as Simon Bricker, along with favourites the Dowager Countess, and Anna and husband Bates, off the back of her traumatic ordeal in series four.

    The Granthams will also have to cope with the fallout after the birth of Lady Edith's illegitimate son, and Branson has a new love interest.

    What time is Downton Abbey on? See the series 5 trailer as Kim Kardashian is linked with role


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    ESSEX Fire Service have been inundated with calls over flooding in Witham since early this morning following heavy rainfall overnight. 

    Since 6.30am firefighters have attended a number of incidents, including a collapsed roof at the Rivenhall Hotel as a result of rain water. 

    Water was pumped from the drain at the three star hotel at Rivenhall End and the area was made safe. 

    Houses on Lyme Close have also been affected by flooding and crews attended to pump water from the properties. 

    Brentwood PCSO and Witham resident Matthew Grimwood has been helping residents escape their flooded homes since 7am this morning, including rescuing a young family and their guinea pigs from a house three foot under water. 

    "I came out just after 7am because I could see how bad it was, it's the worst flooding I've ever seen in Witham," he said. 

    "There isn't a lot the emergency services can do. People are still driving through the flood water, that's why they've had to close off some roads because the waves from the cars driving through was making flooding in the houses worse."

    The A12 in the area has also been subject to rolling road blocks as a result of the severe weather. 

    Motorists are being advised to avoid driving in areas of flood water, and there are some remaining delays on trains via Witham and Braintree. 

    'Dozens of calls' to Essex Fire and Rescue over flooding in Witham


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    Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck will be aiming to get his shooting boots back on as the Gunners head to Villa Park aiming to put their Champions League defeat to Dortmund on Tuesday behind them.

    The former Manchester United star has gone 15 league games without a goal and has scored 10 in his last 82 appearances.

    And Arsene Wenger's side have had a less than auspicious start to the Premier League campaign so far this year, winning only one game.

    Fortunately, their injury problems seem to have abated, with Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers expected to return after missing out in midweek with a groin injury and tonsillitis respectively.

    Nacho Monreal is out with a back injury but Jack Wilshere should be fit.

    Aston Villa have been in good form so far this year, collecting 10 points from four games, and will be hopeful of putting on a decent show in front of their home crowd.

    Aston Villa vs Arsenal kicks off today at 3pm

    What time does Arsenal vs Aston Villa kick off?


    0 0

    MILLIONS of music fans tuned in to watch a teenager X Factor sensation wow the judges and sail through to the next stage of the ITV contest.

    James Graham, 17, of Westerwings, Bicknacre, was labelled the competition's 'dark horse' by music mogul Simon Cowell after he wowed 5,000 spectators in a live audition at Wembley Arena.

    The teenager has already beaten thousands of other hopefuls to get through two auditions to the boot camp stage, which will be televised in two weeks.

    "I was really nervous, the crowd can get to you," James told the Chronicle.

    "The bloke before me was a bit of an eccentric and got booed off the stage so that made it worse.

    "But once I got going I settled in. Simon helped me a lot, he put me at ease, and at the end I couldn't have been happier with the result."

    James, who says his mum Paula is his biggest fan, wowed the four judges with his rendition of Adele's I Can't Make You Love Me.

    Notoriously hard-to-please Simon Cowell said afterwards: "This stage either makes you or breaks you. And it made you. You could hear a pin drop in here.

    "You might be the dark horse in this competition."

    Former Spice Girl Mel B added: "You've got it and more with sprinkles on top, it had everything. It was soulful and sexy."

    His first taste of the big time came in April 2012 when he beat 17 other hopefuls to win Maldon's Got Talent with his rendition of Andrea Bocelli's Because We Believe – and the top prize of £700.

    Before that, aged just 14, he performed at Open Mic UK 2011.

    Filming for the show has already taken place up until the live shows.

    "All I can say is that there will be fireworks, there are some twists and turns and it makes for really good TV," he laughed. "It's still weird watching myself on TV but it's getting easier to watch.

    James lives at home with his mum, Paula, his dad Dave and his older brother Ben, 20, and has spent hours practising his singing in his bedroom when he isn't helping out in the AT Music studio in Rettendon with Heybridge voice coach Marc Lincoln-Fargeot, MD of AT Music.

    Billericay's Lauren Platt, 16, was also put through to the next round by the judges.

    What time is the X Factor on tonight? James Graham is ITV talent show's 'dark horse'


    0 0

    Homes up and down Essex are seeing something of a spider infestation at the moment due a combination of unseasonably warm autumn weather, and the mating season.

    Experts say the decent conditions also mean the spiders may even be bigger than normal.

    Essex Chronicle readers have been quick to send their snaps of their new friends, but we aren't all fans of the arachnids and would prefer not having to reach for a glass - or a rolled up magazine

    Follow these simple steps below to keep your home spider free:

    Keep the house clean

    Regularly vacuuming and dusting the house can prevent webs and colonies being built up. Try and do this at least once a week

    Use vinegar

    Believe it or not, spraying all the cracks and crevices around your home with vinegar has been shown to do the trick. Not exactly conducive to inviting guests over though..

    Stock up on citrus fruits

    Alternatively you can rub citrus peel on spider friendly areas such as windowsills and bookshelves

    Use your cats and dogs to their full advantage

    Make sure they keep an eye on the floor for any spider scuttling across the ground. Might save you a job, and the guilt!

    Chestnuts on the windowsills

    They're not just for roasting, and can be a great deterrent if scattered around potential entry points

    Cigarettes/tobacco

    Not to encourage smoking, but tests in America have shown sprinkling small amounts of tobacco around the house can also ward them off

    Peppermint

    A much better alternative to filling your house with the smell of vinegar. Make sure to spray it in the direction of any cracks or gaps

    Sweep and clear the garden

    Spiders like to hide out in piles of leaves and weeds - don't give them the opportunity!

    Get rid of boxes in the shed and garage

    Similarly, piles of empty unused boxes also gives spiders somewhere to go before taking the next step to the house. 

    Seal cracks in the walls/doors

    Sounds obvious, but is an easy way of preventing spiders from scuttling in as they please

    Seal items kept outdoors in plastic bags

    Leaving goods or other items outdoors before bringing them back into the house is also a common way or providing spiders with free transport. Don't do it if you don't want them in!

    Even more giant spider pictures: 11 proven ways to keep them out of your home


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    MICHAEL Cheek's brace helped Chelmsford City to their first home win of the season as they beat Weston-Super-Mare 3-2

    Cheek struck in the first minute before Nicky Nicolau got his first ever goal for the club.

    The striker then made it 3-0 before the visitors came back strongly to almost grab a point.

    Firstly, skipper Tom Jordan scored with a header and then Corey Williams also struck to give the Melbourne Stadium crowd a nervous last 15 minutes.

    But the Clarets, managed to hold on to earn all three Conference South points and move up the table to 17th.

    Mark Hawkes made three changes from the team that lost 4-0 to Boreham Wood last week, as Cheek returned to the starting line-up in place of Luke Callander. Evans Kouassi made his debut start for the club, as Christian Smith dropped to the bench, and Nik Freund stepped in for injured goalkeeper Nicky Eyre.

    The Clarets got off to the perfect start when Cheek opened the scoring in the first minute. Lee Sawyer clipped the ball over the top, which the striker latched onto, he fired in a shot which was saved by the legs of keeper Luke Purnell. But Cheek got to the rebound first to poke the ball home and send the 664 Melbourne Stadium crowd wild.

    Cheek and Kouassi seemed to have already developed a decent understanding, as the goalscorer out-ran the two centre-backs once again to get to the by-line. He cut the ball back to his striking partner, but Kouassi's shot was well saved by Purnell.

    Freund then made a fantastic save to keep the Clarets ahead. Joe McClennan fired the ball into the middle and Yado Mambo accidentally smashed it towards his own goal. But the young keeper did brilliantly to parry the ball away from close range and keep the lead.

    And that save would be vital as Nicolau then extended the advantage twenty minutes in. Kouassi was running the Seagulls' defence ragged and he shook off a defender to feed Cheek. The striker then laid the ball back to the Cypriot winger who calmly took a touch and then fired it into the bottom corner to score his first ever goal for the club.

    The visitors enjoyed a lot more of the possession in the final 15 minutes of the first half, but the Claret's contained them well with the Seagulls unable to break them down.

    Chelmsford almost started the second half the same way they did the first when Joe Ward came close. Cheek dispossessed Clayton Fortune down the right and fed the winger, but he dragged his left-footed shot wide.

    Ward then missed a golden chance to make it three when he latched onto a Cheek header in the 50th minute. He jinked into the box but fired his shot just over the bar from eight yards out.

    But the third goal did come in the 53rd minute thanks to a lovely ball from Ward. Mambo headed the ball to the right-winger, who beat the left-back Aaron Brown. Ward delivered a perfect low cross along the six-yard box to find Cheek at the back-post who bundled the ball home.

    Weston-Super-Mare started taking more of the possession and managed to grabb their first goal with just over 20 minutes to go. Skipper Jordan rose highest at a corner and bullet his header past Freund.

    And in the 77th minute substitute Williams pulled another one back for the Seagulls. Jake Harris got to the by-line and pulled the ball back for Williams, who calmly swept it home into the bottom corner.

    But the Clarets would do just enough to hold out and take the victory, with the visitors unable to grab the equaliser.

    Chelmsford City: Freund, Love, Redwood, Hughes, Haines, Mambo, Sawyer, Ward (Gordon 74'), Kouassi (Smith 84'), Cheek, Nicolau.

    Subs not used: Morgan, Callander, Ekpiteta.

    Booking: Redwood (90')

    Goals: Cheek (1', 53'), Nicolau (19')

    Weston-Super-Mare: Purnell, Mitchell, Brown (O'Sullivan 59'), Mawford, Jordan, Fortune, McClennan (Harris 71'), Cane, Lucas, Grubb, Fiddes (Williams 59').

    Subs not used: Teale, Ash.

    Booking: Jordan (84')

    Goals: Jordan (69'), Williams (77')

    Referee: Michael George

    Attendance: 664

    Chelmsford City secure first home win with Weston-Super-Mare victory


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    CCTV has been released of a man and woman wanted in connection with a theft from a Chelmsford store. 

    On August 27, at around 7pm, a man and woman were seen filling up their trolley with various items at the Co-Op store on Beehive Lane. 

    They then placed the trolley, full with items worth about £80, in the boot of their silver Mondeo and drove away. 

    To help catch the thieves Essex Police has released these images of a man and woman they wish to speak to in connection with the incident. 

    Anyone who recognises the man and the woman shown in the CCTV images is asked to contact PC Emma Bright at Chelmsford Police Station on 101.

    Chelmsford Co-Op targeted by trolley thieves


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    A FORMER hospital building was struck by lightning in Braintree this morning (Saturday). 

    Firefighters were called to St Michael's Hospital, on Rayne Road, at 8am where an unused building had a fire in the roof as a result of being struck by lightning. 

    Crews also found that the entire building, which measures 16 by six metres, was entirely smoke-logged. 

    They wore breathing apparatus and used two hose reel jets to extinguish the flames by 9.15am. 

    Former hospital building struck by lightning in Braintree


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    ESSEX Fire and Rescue have confirmed they have received more than 80 calls from members of the public affected by flooding in Braintree and Witham today (September 20). 

    Firefighters have also responded more than 20 incidents as a result of the severe weather which left parts of Witham and Braintree under water - including a hotel roof collapse, and a hospital building struck by lightning. 

    The worst affected areas in Witham were Hawthorne Rise, Powers Hall End, and Lime Close, and Perryfields in Braintree, with some residents needing rescuing from flooded properties. 

    Firefighters also had to rescue a motorist trapped in flood water under the A12 flyover in Rivenhall End. 

    At just before 8am flood water caused the partial collapse of the roof at the Rivenhall Hotel in Witham, leading to problems with the electrics. 

    A spokesperson from Essex Fire and Rescue said of the incident: "On arrival the incident commander reported that a blocked drain in the roof had caused water to pool and part if the roof had collapsed. Firefighters isolated the electrics and pumped water from the drain."

    And in Braintree a building formerly used by St Michael's Hospital was struck by lightning leading to a fire in its roof. 

    Firefighters attend more than 20 flooding-related incidents in Braintree and Witham


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