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

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    Drivers have been urged to beware of flooding and surface water affecting many roads today (October 13) following heavy rain across Essex.

    Emergency services are dealing with a number of fallen trees and reports of localised flooding.

    Deep surface water is also affecting a number of major routes, including the A12, during this morning's rush hour.

    Know the risks - police advice

    Many cars will start to float in as little as 12 inches of water. This can be extremely dangerous; as the wheels lose grip, and you will lose control - with the obvious risks and consequences.

    The engine air intake on many cars is low down at the front of the car; just an egg cupful of water ingested into the combustion chamber is sufficient to destroy an engine. 

    Water does not compress, resulting in bent or broken con rods or split engine block. Driving too fast, even in relatively shallow water can cause water to be ingested.

    Even appropriate fording can cause costly damage. The catalytic converter, (part of the exhaust system) which works at extremely high temperatures, can crack upon contact with cold water, requiring costly replacement.

    Only drive through flood water if you know it's not too deep. This will be no deeper than the lowest part of the vehicle's bodywork, (usually the bottom of the spoiler (front panel) or sill panel, (below the doors).

    Do not attempt to drive through fast-moving water, such as at a flooded bridge approach - your car could easily be swept away, even at modest depths.

    With standing water, physically test the depth of the water with a pole (wade in, if necessary, but only where it is safe to do so), or observe the depth against other vehicles that cross successfully. (Just because they are successful does not mean it is appropriate to follow, see above). If in doubt....don't!

    If you have to drive through water, select a low gear so the engine revs are higher, slipping the clutch if necessary or, for automatic vehicle, select the lowest ratio and balance the throttle and brakes.

    Before entering, consider other drivers - pass through flooded sections one car at a time, don't drive through water against approaching fording vehicles.

    Drive slowly and steadily to avoid creating a large bow wave.

    Test your brakes as soon as you leave the water.

    Wet weather in Essex prompts police flood warning - see what to do if you get caught


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    A HUSBAND who lost his wife to a rare cancer at the tender age of 24 walked from London to Chelmsford on the anniversary of her death to raise cash in her memory.

    Wayne Dixon, 35, of Stansted Close, Chelmsford, trudged 34 miles in the rain along with 15 family and friends to raise £800 for the goblet cell carcinoid cancer (GCCC) charity for his late wife Danielle.

    "Seeing the church at Hylands Park and knowing we had to walk up the hill, we knew we were close to home but not there yet," said Wayne, describing the toughest bit of the 11-hour, 45-minute challenge.

    "If you google goblet cell carcinoid cancer there's hardly any information so I'm really trying to raise awareness of the disease for government funding, as well as raising a bit of money too."

    Indeed, Wayne's Facebook page, which has attracted 1,600 likes, is fifth in the results on Google, and he has even set up his own charity and website www.helpthefight.co.uk

    After nine years of unsolved symptoms that many doctors mistook for irritable bowel syndrome, Danielle was finally diagnosed with the aggressive form of the cancer, which usually starts in the appendix.

    Commonly affecting people aged 50 to 60, its symptoms are incredibly hard to trace and it is believed she may have suffered from the undetected cancer since she was 13.

    Despite being a fit and healthy mother-of-one, just fourteen months later Danielle lost her fight and died in September last year.

    Wayne walked with his lifelong friend Mark Devine and thirteen others, including his mother, uncle and two cousins, to raise money towards a grand total of nearly £5,000 since he launched the not-for-profit organisation Help The Fight.

    At the beginning of the month Wayne also organised an all-day music event and raised a further £325 to the cause.

    All the money raised is donated to the NET Patient Foundation and the Royal Free Charity, which both specialise in research into GCCC.

    When talking about Danielle, Wayne described his loss as incredibly hard, however with three loving children, William, 15, and Kayleigh, 8, from a previous relationship, and Jayme, 3, Wayne is not short of support.

    When speaking about life as a single parent, Wayne added: "It is hard but you just have to get on with it. When I look at pictures of Danielle I only see happy and fun memories."

    Wayne continues to raise money for his charity Help The Fight to fund much-needed research into the disease which took Danielle's life. To find out more see www.helpthefight.co.uk 

    Widower walks from London to Chelmsford in memory of tragic Danielle


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  • 10/13/14--01:29: Kevin Bryan's record reviews


  • "The Very Best of the Everly Brothers" (Union Square USMMDCD005)- The Everlys' distinctive  brand of tunefully harmonised  pop has been the subject of countless compilations over the years,and this new 2 CD set explores very familiar territory as it revives the cream of their  output from the late fifties and early sixties. Don and Phil's smoothly expressive approach to music-making also went on to  influence performers such as Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles during their formative years,and although the duo's personal relationship may have grown  increasingly fractious as the years wore on their classic  early recordings have lost little of their pristine melodic charm with the passage of  time.
    "Look Again To The Wind-Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited" (Sony Music)-  Johnny Cash's 1964 long-player "Bitter Tears" must have been one of the first ever concept albums  as it explored  the sad plight of the Native American population via  eight songs which helped to forge the singer's reputation as a campaigner for human dignity and ,in this case,long overdue social justice. Producer Joe Henry has enlisted the aid  of  some of the leading lights of America's roots music fraternity to breathe new life into this impressive song cycle half a century after its intital release,with the likes of Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch making telling contributions to a splendid package which also features Cash's old friend  Kris Kristofferson  on "The Ballad of Ira Hayes."
    "The Blues"(Union Square Music)- The contents of this compelling collection showcase some of the finest  examples of  urban and country blues that you could ever wish to hear ,drawing on archive recordings from many of the leading lights of the genre. The impact that many of these performers made on mainstream pop and rock music during the fifties and sixties simply can't be overstated, and this inexpensive 2CD set  features memorable contributions by everyone from legendary Delta bluesmen Robert Johnson and Son House to innovative harmonica ace Little Walter and  guitar boogie specialist John Lee Hooker,who chips in with his 1948 r&b hit, "Crawlin' King Snake."
    Simple Minds,"Big Music" (Caroline International)- Scotland's  prime purveyors of widescreen stadium-rock are much less prolific  on the recording front these days ,but Jim Kerr and company have finally been tempted back into the studio for the first time  since the release of 2009's "Graffiti Soul," and this typicaly expansive offering  is the result. It would be a trifle unrealistic to expect Simple Minds to spring too many surprises on their devotees at this advanced stage of their career but "Big Music" still succeeds in serving up a string of powerful and passionate rock anthems for your listening pleasure nonetheless,with the forthcoming single,"Honest Town" emerging as the best of the bunch.

    Kevin Bryan's record reviews


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    Chelmsford 30 Norwich 27

    (London Two North East League)

    A PENALTY kick from Simon Hoult, two minutes from time sealed a dramatic win for Chelmsford, a result which means that they are now top of the table with 4 wins out of 4.

    However, Norwich will count themselves unlucky as they dominated the second half of the game and turned round a deficit of 12 – 20 at half time to lead by 27 – 20 with seven minutes to go on the clock.

    Chelmsford's forwards never really got into top gear in the game and Norwich bossed matters up front, particularly in the second half. Their driving mauls were a feature of the game and with Chelmsford's line out not functioning properly, they struggled to get their hands on the ball in the second half. From what looked like a winning position at half time they handed the impetus back to their opponents.

    Both sides had some early chances to score from kick aheads, but Chelmsford centre Graig Wooldridge had the best chance to register Chelmsford's first points, following a break by fellow centre Adam Cunnah, but Wooldridge was unable to hold on to the pass with the line at his mercy. Following an infringement in a ruck, fly half Hoult put Chelmsford ahead after 12 minutes with a kick from 30 metres.

    Shortly afterwards, Norwich began to put some good phases together and found themselves deep into Chelmsford's 22 metre area. Unfortunately for the home side, number 8, Simon Quinn was yellow carded for pulling the maul down and with Chelmsford down to 14 men, this proved costly as Norwich scored two tries in the space of seven minutes, both from pushovers at the scrum. In between both tries Hoult slotted over another penalty to make the scoreline 6 – 12.

    Fortune now favoured the home side, when another attack from Norwich saw them spill the ball near the Chelmsford line and fly half Simon Hoult picked up the ball to run fully 70 metres and outpace the cover defence to score a great try, which he converted from wide out to take Chelmsford into a 13 – 12 lead. Then immediately from the kick off, skipper Paul Redford picked up the ball and drove forward, he slipped the ball to 2nd row Nick Sany, who threw a dummy and then a good threequarter movement saw full back Tom Morrish go over for another score underneath the posts, which Hoult converted to take Chelmsford into a 20 – 12 half time lead.

    The second half should have seen Chelmsford take a stranglehold on the game and use the wind and slope in their favour to mount attacks on the Norwich line. Unfortunately these tactics were not employed and Chelmsford struggled to get any meaningful possession.

    Norwich reduced the arrears by three points when they were awarded a penalty after 12 minutes and then a few minutes later they scored their 3rd try and with the conversion being successful, they took a 22 – 20 lead. Norwich continued to apply the pressure on Chelmsford and 15 minutes into the half they scored their fourth try to take them into a 27 – 20 lead.

    Chelmsford realised they had to dig deep and eventually they managed to get their hands on the ball and put pressure on their opponents, and as a result of this, seven minutes from time, full back Jamie Morrish went over for his second try and with Hoult converting, the scores were now level at 27 points each. Just two minutes from full time, Norwich were penalised for being off side and from fully 40 metres out wide, Hoult was successful with his kick to take Chelmsford into the lead and with Chelmsford fielding the resultant kick off from Norwich, the ball was kicked into touch, whereupon, the referee blew for full time to the delight of the large crowd.

    Hoult finished the game with a personal tally of 20 points, one try, three conversions and three penalties. This coming weekend sees Chelmsford visit newly promoted Campion, who have made a good start to the season and the game should provide Chelmsford with a stiff test.

    Chelmsford maintain unbeaten start with late penalty


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    With more than 14,000 listed and ancient buildings, Essex can officially call itself the epicentre of all things scary.

    And when better to get up and close and personal with this history of blood and gore than to take a closer look at some of these spooky places and attractions?

    Visit Essex will host a series of fun events and fabulous places to visit throughout the county to coincide with the holiday - why not brave them yourself. Recognise any of them?

    Borley Rectory, near Sudbury

    Widely proclaimed the 'Most Haunted House in England,' this Victorian mansion is said to be plagued by the ghosts of a monk and nun who fell in love.

    They attempted to elope and, when caught by elders, the monk was beheaded and the nun imprisoned in the vaults beneath the rectory.

    The ghost of the nun was so frequent that Reverend Bull, who built the house, had another house built overlooking the area where the nun's apparition walked!

    The rectory was destroyed by a fire in 1938, but its reputation lives on with apparitions reportedly still seen where the house once stood. 

    Chelmsford's Civic Theatre

    The theatre is said to be haunted by a former technician who was killed in nearby Duke Street. Many visitors are shocked when they're told the man who showed them around was actually the residential ghost.

    Startled theatre-goers have also reported seeing a spirit which takes the form of a white butterfly, but only during one show in Christmas week…

    Canewdon

    Known as 'The village where witchfinders feared to tread,' it is apparently home to witches and warlocks galore and has dozens of ghost stories, mostly focused on the church. 

    Legend has it if you if you walk around it seven times on Halloween you'll see a witch, 13 times you will become invisible and if you run round it anti-clockwise, the Devil will appear, meaning Essex Police often seal this area off on October 31 to avoid an influx of people prepared to give it a go.

    The most widely seen apparition is that of a faceless grey lady who has been spotted floating on moonless nights from the church's west gate towards the river. Many of these ghosts are believed to be the spirits of supposed witches who wander the earth unable to rest due to injustices committed against them when they were alive.

    Maldon's Old Railway Station

    Maldon's Jacobean style Victorian Railway Station closed its doors to passengers many moons ago…except for one. Before it was closed, an apparition of a white lady was sometimes seen groaning eerily and late night passengers passing through would often get a ghostly chill.

    In the 1980s, the station temporarily became a restaurant though many complained of sudden temperature drops, some even seeing a white ghostly mist coming from near the restaurant toilets.

    Manningtree

    Home to legendary 17th century 'Witch Finder General' Matthew Hopkins, it is thought he and his assistant 'Witch Pricker, John Sterne' sent up to 400 souls to their deaths – 19 of whom were hung.

    The old, one-legged animal lover Elizabeth Clarke was his first victim, accused of nourishing five animals through having unnatural teats. Other methods Hopkins used included pricking – puncturing the skin of victims looking for areas that didn't bleed, acting as the mark of the devil. The swimming method was also used where the individual was bound and thrown in a pond – if they did not sink they were a witch, though of course all tests resulted in the victims drowning.

    Hopkins was buried at Mistley Heath and his spectre is said to appear at full moon by the village pond, a scene of many of his witch trials. He is also said to haunt Hopping Bridge, the Mistley Thorn Hotel, The White Hart Inn and The Red Lion.

    Colchester

    Britain's oldest recorded town naturally has a wealth of tales. Among these, in 1991 a member of staff at a shoe shop reported seeing an apparition of a woman in a long white dress in the stock room, and after hearing unexplained footsteps and witnessing boxes of shoes jumping off the shelves, she refused to work in the room ever again.

    Colchester Castle is Europe's largest Norman keep and was built on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius. It is said James Parnell was a Quaker imprisoned for his beliefs and died in the castle's prison in 1656. 

    Legend has it that every time he wished to eat, his captors would make him climb a rope. One day, too weak to hang on, the 20 year old fell to his death and haunts the dungeon still.

    Tilbury Fort

    Queen Elizabeth I famously rallied her troops at Tilbury Fort as they prepared for the arrival of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and her ghost is said to appear there. Locals also say a ghostly soldier can be seen patrolling along the walls of the fort at night, but he vanishes when you approach him. Phantom soldiers have also been heard marching, day and night, coming from the parade ground.

    Thorpe-Le-Soken

    This was once home to notorious bigamist Kitty Canham who is said to haunt the Bell Inn. In 1972, a guest of the pub awoke to find the room's heavy wardrobe had been moved and the spare bed looked slept in, and many have felt a presence watching them in that same room.

    In 1999, a fire destroyed most of the pub and attached cottage, but Kitty's painting on the pub's wall remained undamaged…

    It is also where Sir William Gull, doctor to Queen Victoria, is reportedly buried, though many people speculated that he may actually have been Jack the Ripper!

    Layer Marney Tower

    A man in full armour on horseback has been seen climbing the staircase of Layer Marney Tower, and it is believed to be Lord Marney himself. It is thought the Lord haunts his former home because he is unhappy the building was not completed to his liking, his son dying twoyears after he did (1523), leaving no male heirs to continue the construction.

    Although the building dates back to Tudor times (Elizabeth I stayed here), the majority of the ghosts seen in the grounds are wearing Victorian clothing. Poltergeist activity in the east wing has been witnessed with objects moving in front of people, and the ghosts of servants and workers have also been seen in the building.

    Harwich Redoubt Fort

    The most common apparition seen here is a headless soldier, thought to be the ghost of a man who was decapitated when a cable attached to a heavy cannon snapped. There is also said to be ghosts of a shabby looking man and figures peering through the windows from empty rooms.

    The Curse of John Francis

    John Francis was a British soldier whose brother was killed in the massacre at Cawnpore, India in 1857. The butchered body parts were flung down a well by the rebel Indians, and John volunteered to retrieve them, coming across the severed head of his brother. On returning to Brentwood, he cursed the people for their lack of compassion.

    In 1921, Doctor Walker visited the area and woke in the night to find a ghost of a man carrying a severed head. In 1847, a woman in the high street also saw a similar picture, though this time the severed head was dripping blood onto the pavement.

    A lot of pubs in the 1950s and 60s in Brentwood reported poltergeist activity including the Golden Fleece, Swan Inn and White Hart Inn/Sugar Hut, believed to be John Francis' apparition, haunting them still.

    The Red Lion Hotel, Colchester

    It is one of the oldest inns in East Anglia and is said to be plagued by the ghost of Alice Catherine Miller with sightings dating back to the 1800s. She was a chambermaid at the hotel and brutally murdered by her lover there in 1638. A couple centuries ago the hotel owner was so terrified by the ghost he bricked up her old room to stop the hauntings, but in vain.

    Staff and guests have since witnessed her ghostly apparition in various rooms and heard her talking to them, and she has also been seen disappearing through one of the walls to her bricked up bedroom. The assistant manager also saw her in an old rocking chair, and when he asked if she was alright, she replied 'yes' before vanishing into thin air.

    The Spiderman of Stock

    The 400 year old Bear Inn is said to be haunted by a man named Charlie, nicknamed the Spider, who worked at the inn in the 1800s. To make more money to fund his drinking habit, he developed an alter-ego of Spider to entertain guests. He would disappear up the chimney in one of the rooms with a pint of beer, drinking it before descending down a different chimney and appearing in a different fireplace.

    However, sometimes drunken locals played a trick on him, lighting a fire to smoke him out. On Christmas Eve they tried this but he never came down again, believed to have died in the chimney though his body was never recovered. Since then, witnesses have described seeing a ghostly apparition of a man exiting the chimney whilst two ex-landlords described the cheerful ghost as likable! Sooty footprints have also mysteriously appeared on the pub's carpet without explanation.

    Chelmsford Prison

    In the mid-1800s, many prison wardens lived with their families within the prison complex. This included the second governor of Chelmsford Prison, Captain Henry McGorrey. 

    His four children all died under the age of 11 as well as his wife, and since then, a woman in a crinoline dress and bonnet has been witnessed by many startled prison officers as well as hearing the eerie sound of phantom children, reported by inmates as well. Could these be the spirits of McGorrey's tragic family?

    Have we missed any spooky places off? Register and add your suggestions below if so.

    The 14 most haunted places in Essex to visit this Hallowe'en


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    BURNHAM Ramblers suffered their seventh straight defeat as they lost 5-1 at Thurrock on Saturday.

    The defeat cemented their place at the bottom of the Ryman One North with only eight points from 16 games.

    The Ramblers went behind in the tenth minute at James Goode put the hosts ahead, with Ross Wall adding another just four minutes later.

    Things got worse for Bertie Brayley's men as Mark Onyemah made it 3-0 from the penalty spot, before L'Heureux Menga pulled one back for Ramblers.

    But on the stroke of half-time Wall bagged his second of the game to regain the three-advantage going into the break.

    A feisty second half saw an incident occur between Andy Walker and Kye Jude in which both players were shown a red card.

    Lewis Clark scored a fifth for Thuurock, compounding a miserable afternoon for Ramblers.

    Brayley's men will look to pick themselves up for Tuesday night when they travel to Waltham Abbey.

    Burnham Ramblers suffer seventh straight loss with Thurrock defeat


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    Pop star Pixie Lott is helping youngsters follow in her footsteps by setting up a stage school in Chelmsford.

    The 23-year-old number one selling artist is to form an Italia Conti associate school, along with her sister Charlie-Ann and mother Beverley

    The Pixie Lott Italia Conti theatre school, for youngsters aged three and up, will open at Boswells School in Chelmsford in January 2015.

    The school, which will run on Saturdays, has direct links to the famous London performing arts college where Pixie attended from the age of 11, after attending Saturday schools from the age of five.

    Pixie, who is one of the favourites to win this BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing, will help take classes as much as she can.

    Pixie, who performed her latest single "Break Up Song" which is released last weekend, said she was excited to see the range of talent coming through the doors next year at the open day held at Boswells School.

    She said: "Italia Conti is the school I grew up in.

    "I went to Saturday classes from the age of five doing acting. I took more classes at 10 that took me to the main school which took me all the way through.

    "Just from first-hand experience it gave me the best foundation. I made friends there and it help build my self-confidence and I really loved it and was really passionate about it.

    "I always wanted to music and singing but I also really enjoyed the dancing and acting

    "I always thought that the most rounded you can be the better and then I just loved it and wanted to go to main school.

    "I could only go there if I got a scholarship and you could only get a scholarship if you went to the Saturday school and so that was a stepping stone."

    The school has been set up to give youngsters a chance to reach for their own dreams in theatre and music, and Pixie is looking forward to help nurture when lessons start in January.

    She added: "It is really inspiring to meet young talent and even today it was great to hear some of them sing and it is great that I am going to be able to meet lots of them in January and see how they progress and see if there any future stars."

    Pop star Pixie Lott launches stage school in Chelmsford


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    British fans of the latest comic book drama to hit our screens have been eagerly awaiting its arrival tonight (October 13).

    The US crime television series Gotham concentrates on Detective James Gordon (played by former OC star Ben McKenzie), who is hired by the Gotham City police department to solve the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

    He meets a young Bruce Wayne during the course of his investigation, in which he is paired up with Henry Bullock. The pair then go on to forge an unlikely friendship.

    The drama, "will follow Gordon's turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain Sarah Essen, as he goes head-to-head with major crimes unit detectives Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen.

    "It also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

    "It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he's destined to be."

    Gotham will premiere in the UK on Channel 5 at 9pm tonight (October 13).

    What time is Gotham on Channel 5 tonight?


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    WITHAM Town have been given a home draw in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round against Weston Super Mare.

    GARRY Kimble's side made history by beating Needham Market 2-1 on Saturday, making sure that Witham reached the furthest point they have ever reached in the club's history.

    And they have been rewarded with a home tie against the Conference South outfit with the winner earing £12,500.

    The Seagull's are currently 20th in their league and the fixture will take place on October 25.


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    BRAINTREE TOWN will start their FA Cup campaign with a trip to Weymouth on October 25.

    In a repeat of last year's fourth qualifying round fixture, the Iron will be looking to re-create the 2-1 victory.

    Matt Paine and Sean Marks scored early goals for the Iron, with Sam Poole pulling one back for the Terras in the 90th minute.

    Weymouth beat Billericay in the previous round of this seasons competition and currently sit fifth in the Southern League Premier Division.

    Whereas Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Southport on Saturday mean that the Iron have now not won in five games in the Conference Premier.


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    CHELMSFORD CITY have been handed a bumper home draw in the FA Cup if they are to get past Whitehawk in their replay tonight.

    The Clarets will host Conference Premier leaders Barnet in the fourth round qualifying at Melbourne Stadium, but must beat the Hawks first.

    Mark Hawkes' men played out a thrilling 4-4 draw at Whitehawk on Saturday, with the winners of tonight's game set to take on the Bees.

    The tie will take place on October 25 with the winner also set to earn £12,500.


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    A man seriously injured after he was injured in a suspected fight in Braintree High Street in the early hours of Sunday is now in a stable condition.

    The 26-year-old victim sustained a head injury in the disturbance, which started in Bar Sport before spilling out into the road.

    The High Street was fully re-opened at 6.15pm yesterday (October 13) after it was cordoned off by police for investigation.

    One other man, taken to hospital following the incident, has since been discharged.

    An Essex Police spokesman said the investigation into what happened is still ongoing. 

    Anyone with information can call Braintree CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

    Braintree High Street attack victim 'improving in hospital'


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    More than two dozen NHS workers at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford joined thousands up and down the country in walking out this morning in a row with the Government over pay.

    Midwives, nurses and hospital porters, from seven unions, stood on the picket line for four hours this morning.

    The strike, the first of its kind in the NHS in 32 years, and the first ever walk-out by midwives, was over a pay dispute in which staff demanded a one per cent pay rise, a figure recommended by the Independent Pay Review Body.

    Staff will "work to rule" from Tuesday to Thursday rather than work any unpaid overtime.

    Senior midwife and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) union rep Susan Alcide, who has been a midwife for almost 20 years, said: "This is the first time midwives have ever taken strike action. We all love our jobs, but we're under so much pressure.

    "We're not getting paid what we're due, and that's wrong.

    "There was an overwhelming yes vote to strike action from union members. Come 2016, we'll be on the same pay we were on in 2013. All we're asking for is 1 per cent."

    As well as members of the RCM, members of trade union Unison, which include everything from occupational therapists to hospital porters, also took part in the industrial action.

    "All the trusts in this region set aside one per cent to cover these pay rises, but the government said they couldn't afford it," said Tracey Lambert, the head of health for Unison in the east of England.

    "The government says the country can't afford it – we say they can't afford not to pay it. 

    "In Essex NHS, in the next six to 12 months there is an incentive to recruit 1,000 staff from abroad because people are leaving as they can't afford to work here. 

    "So one per cent is a small price to pay to keep the staff."

    ' We're not getting paid what we're due': NHS staff stage walkout in dispute


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    Wales' game against Cyprus tonight has been described by captain Ashley Williams as a must win encounter if they want to qualify for Euro 2016.

    Chris Coleman go to the Cardiff City stadium top of Group B after a win away to Andorra in September was followed up by a 0-0 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday.

    A big crowd is expected for tonight's game, with a wave of optimism fuelled by UEFA's restructuring of qualifying.

    However, the side is without 11 players, including Crystal Palace midfielder Jonathan Williams, Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey and James Collins, of West Ham.

    Wales vs Cyprus is live on Sky Sports 5HD at 7pm, kick off is at 7.45pm

    What channel is Wales vs Cyprus on tonight and when is kick off?


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    A man in his 20s was assaulted and robbed as he was walking home from Braintree town centre late at night.

    The victim was at River View between 3am and 3.30am on October 4 when he was grabbed from behind, thrown to the ground and overpowered by two assailants.

    One of them held him down while his accomplice rifled through his pockets and helped himself to the victim's brown River Island wallet containing about £90 and a driving licence.

    Investigating officer DC Mike Pannell said: "This was a 'vicious robbery' but luckily the man was not badly injured, although he was badly shaken. 

    "We would like to hear from anyone who might have been in the area at the time and saw the suspects either hanging about or running away."

    Anyone with information should contact DC Pannell at Braintree CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

    Man pinned down and assaulted in 'vicious robbery' in Braintree


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    A MARRIED teaching assistant has been spared jail after admitting to a two year fling with a teenage pupil during which the pair exchanged around 3,000 WhatApp messages.

    Charlotte Parker, 32, pleaded guilty at Basildon Crown Court today (October 13) to engaging in a sexual relationship with the pupil at Hylands School in Chelmsford.

    A tearful Parker was handed a 12-month sentence, to be suspended for two years.

    Judge John Lodge said: "This is a case of gross child abuse. People who work as teaching assistants of whatever gender who take on victims of whatever gender commit a very serious offence indeed. 

    "It makes no difference that he might well have felt that he was in a relationship with you, the law is there to protect vulnerable people from others who might take advantage of their youth, of their naivety, of the fact that they might feel flattered that somebody older is taking an interest in them."

    'Baby, did I kiss you too much'

    Parker, of Ravens Lane, Billericay, admitted four counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust, including kissing, encouraging him to perform a sex act on himself over social media, and performing oral sex on him. 

    She also admitted two counts of making indecent photographs of a child. 

    The court heard how the pair bonded when the victim gave Parker a Christmas card, who suffers from a long history of psychiatric problems, while she was working in classrooms at the Chelmsford school.

    The pair went on to exchange the thousands of WhatsApp and social media messages, which included comments such as "You have had your hands everywhere", and "baby, did I kiss you too much."

    The relationship was only discovered after the student confided to a family friend, who in turn arranged a discussion with his parents who subsequently contacted police last September. 

    Prosecutor Austin Stoton added: "The victim had explained to the family friend prior to that talk that he had been seeing this defendant for two years.

    "He was aware she was married, and 'she had bad mental health problems'. 

    "He told him they were in love and thought one day they would buy a house together."

    Parker was ordered to sign the Sex Offender's Register for 10 years, and told to undergo treatment for her mental health problems.

    She no longer works at the school. 

    Ex-Hylands School teaching assistant Charlotte Parker admits to two-year affair with pupil who said 'they were in love'


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    KEITH WILSON has warned there may be more changes at Heybridge Swifts after his side fell to a 1-0 defeat at former club Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday.

    The Swifts boss labelled it the club's "worst performance of the season" and suggested he might have to make freshen up his team further after bringing in three players before last Saturday's 2-1 at home Cray Wanderers.

    "Realistically I do not feel the group I have at the moment will be able to get me to where I want to be and where I want to take this club," said Wilson after the Wakering loss. "We're short of goals and short of quality so that is something I will need to address.

    "I feel the squad needs a shape up for sure and will need to assess this in the coming weeks to see where we can improve. We will need more than a new striker to improve this side.

    "We were probably better in the first half in terms of possession but unfortunately possession doesn't win games I'm afraid. We had a couple of half chances but I never felt we had enough sustained pressure to score goals.

    "In the second half our legs went and Wakering took control."

    Wilson, a former Wakering player, enjoyed returning to his old stomping ground, although he would have preferred to have picked up all three points.

    "It was nice to be back but it was just a shame they won," he admitted. "I had two spells here as a player and loved every minute of it. 

    "They're a great club and although they are down the bottom at the moment they'll be absolutely fine come the end of the season. They deserved the three points and I wish them luck for the rest of the season."

    Heybridge Swifts boss Wilson says he may make more changes to squad


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    Crimestoppers is offering a £3000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of two men involved in a corrosive liquid attack in Witham earlier this year.

    The incident, which left Wayne Ingold, 56, with severe injuries to his hands and face, took place at around 10.45am on August 8, as he collected his post from the communal area of a block of flats in Bramble Road.

    The 56-year-old met with the sight of two men banging on the door and, after a brief exchange, they threw the corrosive liquid on him.

    The assailants, who had a blue Vauxhall Signum or hatchback-style vehicle, were seen wandering around looking at property numbers before the incident happened, but it is believed the attack was a case of mistaken identity.

    Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £3,000 for information that is passed to the charity's anonymous 0800 555 111 number leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible.

    Ann Scott, Crimestoppers' Eastern Regional Manager, said: "This is a particularly nasty attack in broad daylight which has left an innocent member of the public with horrific injuries.

    "You have nothing to fear by giving Crimestoppers information as we never ask for your name or take any personal details.

    "We don't record our calls and can't trace calls/computers. Those giving information won't have to go onto to give a statement to police or go to court. 

    "You don't even have to speak to someone if you don't want to – you can give information online. It really is quick, safe and easy. And, it could be vital in helping police to bring those responsible to justice".

    If you have any information on this attack then please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

    £3k Crimestoppers reward to catch Wayne Ingold's chemical attackers


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    The Government has announced a series of measures aimed at minimising the threat of the ebola virus coming into the UK.

    Passengers arriving at Gatwick Airport and Heathrow Airport after connecting flights from the countries worst-hit by the ebola outbreak will be screened for the virus by Public Health England.

    Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in the Commons today (October 13) the measures would come into force at Terminal 1 at Heathrow tomorrow (October 14), before being rolled out to other terminals and to Gatwick and the Eurostar hub, St Pancras.

    Anyone arriving in the country after travelling from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia will be subject to the screening.

    Travellers believed to be at "high risk" will be contacted every day by Public Health England officials.

    Mr Hunt said tacking the outbreak in Africa was the "single most important way" of preventing Ebola arriving in the UK.

    "We should remember that the international community has shown that if we act decisively we can defeat serious new infectious disease threats such as Sars and pandemic flu.

    "The situation will get worse before it gets better, but we should not flinch in our resolve to defeat Ebola both for the safety of the British population and as part of our responsibility to some of the poorest countries on the planet."

    Ebola crisis: Small handful of cases predicted for the UK


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    CHELMSFORD City booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round qualifying by despatching of ten-men Whitehawk 4-1 at Melbourne Stadium.

    With Barnet to play in the next round, this replay was always going to be hotly contested, especially after the 4-4 result in the first encounter.

    But Joe Ward's brace, Christian Smith's penalty and Lee Sawyer's first goal for the Clarets sealed the win.

    Danny Mills had pulled one back to 2-1 for the Hawks, but when Osei Sankofa was sent off for a foul on Rohdell Gordon, it would always be a tough ask for the visitors.

    Sergio Torres had an early chance for Whitehawk with a long-range effort in the second minute. He took the ball on the volley from just outside the box but his shot just sailed over the bar.

    Ward then chased down a clearance from Hawks keeper Lewis Ward, but the midfielder was unable to gather the rebound. There was a shout from the Clarets' faithful for a penalty but referee Ian Fissenden waved away the claims.

    Torres then rattled the post in the 19th minute with another shot from the edge of the box. His thunderous effort hit the outside of the woodwork courtesy of a touch from Niklas Freund to take it out for a corner.

    But it was the hosts who got the first breakthrough just ten minutes later. From a break away Michael Cheek haired down the right wing and slipped through Mark Hughes. The skipper managed to round the keeper, slip and then regain his feet to cross to Ward who slid the ball into an empty net.

    And just three minutes later the Clarets would make it two with Whitehawk also being reduced to ten men. Rohdell Gordon burst through the middle and was brought down by Sankofa in the box. Referee Fissenden immediately pointed to the spot and gave the right back his marching orders. With the Clarets having missed three penalites in three consecutive games, the money would have been on keeper Ward. But Smith strode up confidently to slam the ball home and make it 2-0.

    From here you would expect the Clarets to go on and grab another, but it would be Whitehawk who got the next goal. Chelmsford switched off from a free kick and Sam Deering found his way to the by-line. He cut the ball back to Mills who's deflected shot found a way past Freund half the deficit.

    Freund did well to keep that scoreline just before half-time, saving well again from Torres. The ex-Crawley Town man fired in an effort from edge of the penalty area but the youngster got down well to and tip round the post.

    Straight after the break the Clarets did get their two-goal lead back with Sawyer's fantastic effort in the 52nd minute. The midfielder cut in from the left and fired in a bullet past a helpless Ward.

    And just three minutes later Joe Ward bagged his second to put the game beyond doubt. From the edge of the left flank, the winger whipped in a free-kick that beat everybody and nestled into the top corner.

    From there the Clarets did a professional job of seeing the game out, with Cheek having a good chance of making it five. However, the stiker wasted the opportunity and blasted the ball over.

    Smith then coolly blasted the ball against the post in the 80th minute as the midfielder came close to grabbing his second.

    Ward then made two decent saves from Cheek right at the end to deny the striker his goal for the night.

    Chelmsford book Barnet clash after despatching Whitehawk in FA Cup


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