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

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    ESSEX is renowned across the globe for some of its most influential exports.

    Chelmsford is the birthplace of radio and Brentwood home to The Only Way Is Essex - but the county also boasts a thriving hospitality scene.

    The second annual Essex Tourism and Hospitality Awards were held last week, spanning 22 categories and recognising the best of the county's pubs, hotels and visitor attractions.

    Held at Boreham House in Chelmsford, the swanky ceremony saw the venue packed out by those nominated for the titles.

    One of the big winners was Jahdre Hayward, who scooped the Chef of the Year title as well as landing the Best Fine Dining Restaurant for his Hayward's establishment.

    The Bermuda-born chef, 34, who runs the kitchen of the restaurant in Epping, says he was taken by surprise when he heard his modern-European style cuisine had been nominated.

    The 17th century barn-turned-restaurant is situated on the edge of Epping Forest and its head chef was delighted with the double victory.

    He said: "We're already really busy but hopefully after this win we can get a bit busier. To be voted the Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Essex is massive.

    "We didn't know the judges had come until they had finished their meals.

    "We've got two forks in the Michelin Guide but every chef's goal is to get the Michelin star.

    "For now though we're just concentrating on having a successful restaurant."

    The showcase of talent continued through the evening as event organiser, Anne Pocock, and Ricky Allan, commercial director of the Essex Chronicle Media Group, hosted the ceremony.

    It was an event symbolic of the county's emerging and existing talent, illustrating what a crucial part the tourism and hospitality sectors play in Essex's economy.

    Another chef whose drinks tasted that bit sweeter after topping both categories he was nominated for was Simon Edwards of The Spotted Dog in Barnston.

    The 52-year-old father-of-one made two trips to the winner's stage for both Best Gastro Pub and Best Restaurant Service.

    The Spotted Dog offers customers a British pub vibe in a stylish and relaxed environment, something which made him popular with judges last year too.

    The head chef, who lives at the premises with his front of house wife, Anita, said: "It was very nice to win the double but we didn't have time to celebrate – it was straight back to work.

    "The awards are an incredible honour and we look forward to defending our titles next year."

    Special awards for outstanding contributions to tourism and hospitality were given to Dominique Tropeano of Colchester Zoo and Mark Baumman of Baumanns Brasserie in Coggeshall, recognising their hard work, innovation and achievements.

    Mr Baumann, 50, was delighted to pick up the prestigious award, despite being lured to the ceremony on the premise he was only there to present the Chef of the Year prize.

    The father-of-two, from Colchester, said: "It was quite a surprise to win as I knew nothing about it – I'm very humbled.

    "The people who guarded the secret did a really good job – it's no easy thing to keep secrets from me.

    "I thought the purpose of my invitation was to present awards so I was gobsmacked. I did have the odd beer to celebrate afterwards though.

    "It's always nice to be recognised, it gives you more drive and ambition.

    "All three of the nominated chefs are superb. It's great that our county has such amazing talent to shout about."

    Paul Dent-Jones, senior editor of the Essex Chronicle Media Group, added: "We have much to celebrate in Essex.

    "Not only do we have one of the most spectacular coastlines in the country but we have a fantastic range of activities and attractions.

    "We have a fabulous choice of places to eat and a plethora of people who go out of their way to give visitors a warm welcome, putting in extraordinary amounts of time and effort."

    Video: Meet the winners of Essex Tourism and Hospitality Awards

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    Essex Trading Standards are warning parents to keep their children away from Halloween fangs this year – as they could damage wearers' chances of having offspring in the future.

    The authority says that the fangs contain high levels of phthalates, a substance that is added to increase flexibility and durability, which can cause reproductive problems.

    In the run-up to the scariest night of the year, Essex Police are also warning people that while fun can be had, officers will be taking a "firm approach" to those who cause problems for others, who perhaps do not find it such a fun evening.

    Inspector Paul Seabright said: "We understand that children and young people find this time of year exciting and fun, however many members of your community find Halloween and Bonfire Night very stressful.

    "It's important that all of us consider the feelings and needs of the most vulnerable in our towns and villages. What might seem like fun and being mischievous to young people can be frightening for others.

    "The throwing of items at houses or playing practical jokes on neighbours who are not known to you or have not agreed to participate in trick or treat is unacceptable and in many cases may be criminal in nature."

    He added that pre-arranging visits to friends and neighbours could be preferred, particularly if there are elderly people living in the area.

    "The most important message is that we want all children and young people to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night by keeping themselves safe and making sure they do not cause problems in their communities," he added.

    Residents should call 101 if they feel concerned throughout the evening. 

    Halloween fangs 'could cause fertility problems'

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    Essex's favourite tree is in the running to become the country's first ever Tree of the Year.

    Old Knobbley, situated in Tendring village Mistley, has been nominated as one of the ten finalists in the Woodland Trust's new competition.

    The winner will represent England against competitors from Wales, Scotland and elsewhere in Europe in a competition run by the Environmental Partnership Association in April 2015.

    Over 200 trees were nominated in the initial rounds of voting so Old Knobbley, which is said to be up to 800 years old, has fought off fierce competition to get this far.

    But now it's down to the business end of the competition and Old Knobbley is up against a whole host of historic trees.

    These include the Ankerwycke Yew at Runneymeade where King John is said to have signed the Magna Carta and the Flower of Kent apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor, in Lincolnshire, that Isaac Newton is supposed to have sat under.

    Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Specialist Jill Butler said: "We sometimes take our trees for granted, but every nomination in this contest reminds us how trees are incredibly significant in people's lives, over many years.

    "More importantly we want this recognition to be a step in ensuring all our special trees can be protected for future generations to enjoy."

    Here is the full shortlist for the inaugural Tree of the Year 

    • Ankerwycke Yew, Runnymede, Berkshire
    • Kett's Oak, Norfolk
    • Major Oak, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
    • Allerton Oak, Liverpool
    • Whiteleaved Oak, Herefordshire
    • Shugborough Yew, Staffordshire
    • Big Bellied Oak, Savernake Forest, Wiltshire
    • Newton's Apple Tree, Lincolnshire
    • Old Knobbley, Essex
    • Ickwell Oak, Bedfordshire

    Old Knobbley is a much loved local icon in Mistley and even has a website dedicated to it as well as a biography printed about it called Old Knobbley the Oak Tree.

    But with just ten trees left there can only be one winner.

    Voting is now open and will remain so until Tuesday, November 4.

    To vote go to the Woodland Trust's website at

    For more information about Old Knobbley go to

    Old Knobbley Tree in Mistley in top 10 shortlist for Tree of the Year

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    Chelmsford motorist who spotted what appeared to be a hand grenade on the southbound A130 this morning has described how his "heart was racing" as he drove past it.

    Police swiftly closed the carriageway at the junction with the A127 near Saddler's Farm at around 7.50am after a passing driver spotted the device in the road.

    But, after experts from the Colchester Army Barracks were called, one officer spotted that the object wasn't even a dud hand grenade – it was an imitation.

    Online insurance director James Wilson, who was travelling from Chelmsford to work in South Benfleet, said: "As I drove up to the A130 roundabout, I thought there had been an accident, because I saw two officers standing by the kerb.

    "It was quite confusing because as I drove past, I didn't see any commotion, just two officers. When I looked closer, I thought I saw a hand grenade. I was totally shocked.

    "I was really nervous because I was extremely close to it; the officers were really close, too. My heart was racing; it felt like a dodgy situation."

    Mr Wilson, 27, said he had to wait until he got to work at Surewise to discover the threat wasn't as real as he'd imagined. Police confirmed it was a toy around one hour later. The roads were later opened at 9am.

    "The first thing I did when I got to work was check Twitter. At first, I couldn't find anything and then an hour later I tried again and it was full of speculation about a hand grenade.

    A spokesman for Essex Police confirmed that the device was in fact a toy, which will now be destroyed.

    Mr Wilson added; "I was 99.9 per cent sure a grenade was what I had seen. I had action men when I was a kid so I know roughly what they look like.

    "I was thinking whether it was some sort of ridiculous prank, but I was relieved when I heard it wasn't real. I made a joke on Facebook asking whoever left their grenade on the side of the A130 to come and collect it." 

    Motorist's explosive reaction to 'hand grenade' found on A130

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    'Tis the time of year when the familiar sight of large orange pumpkins start popping up all over the supermarkets and farms alike.

    Yes, Hallowe'en is here, and now it's your chance to show yours off your prized and carved possessions to fellow Essex Chronicle readers.

    Simply post yours on our Facebook pageor tweet them @Essex_Chronicle and the best one will be picked before we then put them to the vote over the weekend following Hallowe'en itself.

    See below for terms and conditions

    • Comp closes at 10pm on Friday (October 31)
    • Entries will be judged by the Essex Chronicle team and the editor's decision is final and binding
    • Winner will be announced on the Essex Chronicle Facebook page on Monday (November 3) and the winning pumpkin will appear in the November 6 edition of Go!
    • No correspondence will be entered into. No cash alternatives.

    Send us your pumpkin picture carvings for our Hallowe'en competition!

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    Chelmsford has been the county town of Essex since the 13th century, and can now add city status to its long and incident packed history.

    With a cathedral, the former Shire Hall courthouse and the Britvic factory still standing, its unappreciated past still stares people in the face.

    And now its history has been chronicled in a book. Jim Reeve's Chelmsford Through Time charts the development of the city through a series of snapshots. 

    See below for 20 of the pictures and press the slider to compare and contrast with how it looks now:

    Chelmsford High Street
    Moulsham Street
    Duke Street
    Chelmsford County High School for Girls
    Black Boy Inn
    King Edward VI Grammar School
    Chelmsford Railway Station
    Chelmsford Bus Station
    Broomfield Hospital
    Chelmsford Cathedral
    See more pictures here

    Chelmsford through time: See 18 pictures from the past

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  • 10/28/14--14:36: Gray and Sons to Riverside
  • Gray and Sons

    Stone Bridge, Chelmsford
    Chelmsford Museum
    Market Road
    Great Baddow
    Saracens Head Hotel
    Chelmsford and Essex Hospital

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    Barnet 4, Chelmsford City 1

    (FA Cup, fourth round qualifying replay)

    CHELMSFORD will not be hosting Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup first round proper after being stung by an early blitz of Barnet goals at The Hive on Tuesday night.

    The Clarets were 2-0 down to their Vanarama Conference Premier hosts after just 10 minutes. John Akinde used his strength to muscle his way on to a loose ball and slot home before David Stephens tucked in from close range when a corner fell his way.

    Dazzling footwork by Luke Gambin gave him space to set up Barnet skipper Curtis Weston for the third on 29 minutes.

    Joe Ward struck one back for the lower league visitors ten minutes into the second half with a clinical low shot.

    City had a big shout for a handball in the Barnet box by home substitute Jon Nurse during a decent spell from the visitors, only for Luisma Villa's deflected effort to loop into the City net on 78 minutes to seal the result.

    City boss Mark Hawkes stuck with the team that drew 0-0 with the Bees at Melbourne Park on Saturday. Barnet manager Martin Allen made just one change, bringing in Gambin with Sam Hoskins having gone on loan to Yeovil Town.

    The Clarets didn't seem to be overawed by the surroundings of The Hive in the early exchanges, but the power of Akinde, which proved troublesome on Saturday proved lethal three days later.

    The warning signs were there on three minutes when he wriggled through on goal, but was denied by the quick reflexes of Clarets goalkeeper Tony Thompson.

    Then a header back from the City midfield three minutes later gave Mark Haines a problem as Akinde brushed him aside before powering on to slot past Thompson.

    On 10 minutes, the lead was doubled as a corner bounced at the feet of Stephens to stab home from close range.

    The pressure was all coming from the Vanarama Premier hosts and Bondz N'Gala sent a header from a corner just over the angle of crossbar and right post.

    Moments later Barnet right-back Andy Yiadom showed great control to take a ball down and motor into the box before testing Thompson with a low shot that the keeper parried and the ball was cleared to safety.

    It didn't stay out of his net for long though as on 29 minutes, Gambin shuffled the ball from one foot to another to jink into the box and pull the ball back for Weston to fire in a fierce shot. Thompson got a hand to it, but could only help it on its way into the top left corner.

    Both managers made substitutions on 32 minutes. For the visitors, Haines, who came off injured in the first game, was replaced by Marvin Ekpiteta, and for Barnet Jack Saville was brought on for N'Gala.

    Six minutes later, Akinde saw his header from a deep Gambin cross from the left fall on to the roof of the Clarets' net.

    City's only chance of the first half came when Christian Smith's in-swinging free-kick from the right was cleared off his goal line by Barnet goalkeeper Graham Stack, with City defender Yado Mambo getting the faintest of touches on the way.

    Striker Michael Cheek did not reappear on the pitch for the second half, replaced by Luke Callander.

    The Clarets held their own in the half's opening stages as Barnet stepped down a gear and were Hawkes' men were rewarded by Ward's superb strike on 55 minutes.

    He stole on to a bouncing ball, drove into the right-hand side of the penalty area and unleashed a low drive just inside the left post of Stack's goal.

    That had the Claret Army, boasting 403 away fans, behind the Bees' goal singing 'We're going to win 4-3' and their players weren't about to rest on their solitary goal.

    Ekpiteta headed on a corner to the back post, but Smith could not hook the ball in from a very tight angle, finding the gloves of Stack instead.

    Barnet's attacks were becoming less frequent and when Ward sliced a shot back across the box from a Callander cross from the left, the ball struck the arm of Nurse, prompting a big penalty claim from the City players and fans, but the referee Colin Lymer was unmoved.

    The injustice burned even more brightly when Villa's shot from outside the box deflected up and over Thompson's despairing dive and into the net with 12 minutes to go.

    Neither goalkeepers were troubled for the remaining time and now Chelmsford must forget about the FA Cup and turn their minds back to league action with a visit to Basingstoke Town on Saturday.

    CHELMSFORD: Thompson, Girdlestone, Redwood, Haines (Ekpiteta 32), Mambo, Sawyer, Ward, Gordon, Cheek (Callander 45), Smith (Kouassi 73). Subs not used: Freund, Morgan, Nicolau, Barham. Att: 1294.

    No Wycombe Wanderers tie for Chelmsford City after Barnet FA Cup defeat

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    BRAINTREE Town sealed their place in the FA Cup first round and a potential televised home clash against League One Chesterfield, after battling to a 5-3 win over Weymouth at Cressing Road tonight (Tuesday).

    The Iron surrendered a 3-1 lead in the fourth round qualifying replay, with the Southern League Premier Division side netting twice in three minutes to send the game to extra-time.

    But after battling back so well the Terras simply ran out of steam in the extra 30 minutes and Braintree's superior fitness told.

    Manager Alan Devonshire was able to name an unchanged side from the one that drew 0-0 on the south coast on Saturday, though admitted afterwards that only one of his seven substitutes was fully fit.

    The Iron started the brighter of the two teams and Dan Walker was the first test the Terras' player-manager Jason Matthews with a 25 yard shot that the keeper was right behind.

    Braintree won several corners which the visitors coped with and James Mulley had two shots blocked before Weymouth got their first shot on goal on 14 minutes through striker Stewart Yetton.

    Walker again kept Matthews keen and Chris Sheppard's weak shot was easily saved by Iron keeper Nick Hamann before the visitors gave the home side a scare on 25 minutes.

    Adam Kelly, Weymouth's standout player on the night, curled a beautiful shot from 20 yards which had Hamann beaten, but it hit the far post before right-back Jamie West blazed over the rebound from the right side of the box.

    Walker forced a smart low save from Matthews and striker partner Jordon Cox sent a loping header over the bar, before the latter opened the scoring three minutes before the break.

    A ball over the top was chased by Cox and Matthews came out to clear but could only blast the ball straight at the striker. It rolled towards the Weymouth goal and Cox ran on to neatly slide the ball in from a tight angle close to the byline.

    In fairness it was nothing more than what the Iron had deserved having had the lion's share of the chances and a minutes later they almost made it two as Walker got in and forced a good save from Matthews, before Mulley had his follow-up blocked by a defender.

    The Iron continued in the same vein after the break with Akinola cutting in from left and curling a shot at goal through a host of players that Matthew managed to turn around the post.

    However, He didn't have to wait long for his first Iron goal, as on 51 minutes he robbed West of the ball on the left and skipped past the challenges before finding the net with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box.

    The Iron were looking comfortable with the visitors offering little until a goal came out of nowher on the hour mark.

    Chris Sheppard made a great run into the box and was denied by Alan Massey, but Braintree could only half clear and Kelly curled in a fantastic shot from the edge of the box to haul the Terras back into the contest.

    On 72 minutes Braintree restored their two-goal cushion with the first of three goals in an explosive four minutes.

    A fantastic ball from Akinola in the left channel over to Walker on the right, saw the front man run at the Weymouth defence, cut inside, and blast into the far corner for 3-1.

    But a minute later Weymouth pulled a goal back as Yetton found space on the right of the Braintree box and his cross-cum-shot was turned in at the back post by a sliding Kelly.

    The Iron were rocking and twominutes later the visitors equalised. Kelly made a great run in from the left and when challenged the ball fell to Yetton, six yards out, who blasted home.

    With ten minutes to go the visitors were edging the tie and Braintree were looking weary. Akinola's deflected shot was held by Matthews and the Iron won a series of corners as they tried to search for a winner, but after four minutes of added time, another 30 would be needed.

    The break seemed to revitalise the home side, while the visitors were never in it as their tiredness began to tell.

    Three minutes in Braintree regained the lead as Sam Habergham got away down the left and delivered a fantastic cross that Akinola headed in from eight yards out.

    Akinola stung Matthews' palms and the keeper had to be alert again as he came out and stopped Walker from netting his second with a fine block.

    Two minutes into the second half of extra-time the game was over. A tired Weymouth pass was picked up by Walker just inside the visitors' half. He ran at the defence and then from the edge of the box, fired into the left corner of the goal.

    This time there was to be no fine fightback from the Terras, they had used up their energy the first time.

    Braintree threatened to add more gloss as Akinola went close with a fierce drive. However, he was denied his shot at a hat-trick when he was replaced by Charlie Strutton, making only his second appearance for the Iron having come on as a substitute in the original tie.

    The front man, who has been out injured since pre-season, immediately got in the thick of things, firstly rolling his man in the left channel and running at goal before blasting right across the face of goal.

    Then Matthews blocked his shot after Ryan Peters' pass, following a burst across the penalty area, had found the front man in space in the box, but it five would prove to be enough.

    Braintree: Hamann, Peters, Brundle, Massey, Habergham; Mulley, Isaac, Paine, Akinola (Strutton 112; Cox (Sparkes 109), Walker. Unused subs: Case, Pentney, Maybanks, Davis, Sowunmi.

    Braintree Town set up FA Cup clash with Chesterfield after Weymouth win

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    The A127 Prince Avenue, Southend on sea is seeing heavy traffic westbound from Nestuda Way to Kent Elms Corner

    The M11 Londonbound is seeing heavy traffic from J6 (M25) to J4 (A406 North Circular Road)

    In Great Wigborough, Peldon Road is partially blocked by an accident and fallen cables between Wigborough Road and Maldon Road.

    The A13 Londonbound is seeing slow traffic from the Stifford Interchange to the M25 at J30.

    And on the trains a generally good service is running on all routes in and out of Liverpool Street with no line problems to report at present. 

    ESSEX TRAVEL: Wednesday October 29

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    JAMES Graham's mother Paula has revealed how one of the mothers from Stereo Kicks turned on outspoken reality TV star Katie Hopkins after she said they looked like they were "waiting at an STI clinic".

    Former The Apprentice candidate Katie Hopkins was giving her opinions on the acts during the "The Xtra Factor" which is aired after the X Factor.

    She described the eight boys as looking like they were "waiting for a bus", and added: "They look like teenage boys waiting at an STI clinic to find out some really bad news.

    "Oh my God, what have I caught, who have I slept with, what have I caught?".

    "I understand what she's about," said Paula Graham. "But I must say I felt she crossed the line with her comments.

    "Some of these boys are only 14 and for her to say stuff like that was incredibly rude. And the boys were sitting right there – it was unnecessary."

    One of the mums was reported to have called Katie "Horse Face" but Paula said "it certainly was not me – I wouldn't bring Essex into disrepute." 

    X Factor James Graham's mum denies Katie Hopkins 'horse face' jibe

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    The price of fuel has fallen to its lowest level since December 2010 with prices in Chelmsford being reported as low as 120.9p for a litre of unleaded.

    Asda was first to announce a cut, and it has taken 2p off a litre of petrol and diesel.

    Sainsbury's in Springfield are currently selling at 120.9p a litre on Monday it was selling it at 122.9p

    Tesco and Morrisons have now also announced a cut of up to 2p per litre on both fuels.

    AA head of roads policy Paul Watters said: "These latest price moves are a timely boost for UK families as they see fuel consumption go up with the start of winter driving and the heating being switched on at home."

    The latest prices for a litre of unleaded as quoted by were as follows (with dates)

    BP Baddow Road 121.9p on October 24

    Co-op Chelmstar Baddow Road 121.9p on October 24

    Tesco Chelmsford Princes Road 123.9 p on October 27

    Esso Princes Road, Chelmsford 123.9p on October 27

    BP Broomfield Road 123.9p on October 26

    Tesco Chelmsford Princes Road 123.9p on October 27

    Cost of petrol slashed in pump price war

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    Pumpkins are aplenty in supermarkets at the moment, but once you've taken it home, how do you do it justice in the Hallowe'en stakes

    You might be inspired by the entries to our Hallowe'en carving competition, but don't know how to take it that one step further.

    Never fear, we've collected a step by step guide to creating the perfect festive creation.

    1. Choose a pumpkin with an irregular shape– a funny looking pumpkin has some Halloween character – and a pumpkin with a thick and dark-orange and or colourful skin.

    Thumping the outside gives a clue to how thick the skin is. You want something that feels and sounds solid. More colour also tends to indicate a greater thickness.

    And like any piece of fruit, freshness is of utmost importance.

    2. Set up the carving area.

    You need plenty of newspaper to line your table with, a few bowls of various sizes for storing things like guts, seeds, and cut-outs and a few different knives.

    You are best with a small chef's knife for cutting out the top, and a couple of sturdy, sharp-tipped paring knives.

    You also need a waterproof pen for drawing the design on the surface before you begin carving.

    3. Cut the lid making sure to cut it wide enough to give you room to scrape out the inside easily later.

    If you plan on using a candle cut out a chimney hole to allow smoke to escape.

    4. Scrape the seeds out by making a scraping the seeds and soft flesh with your bare hands, and later scrape out the inside of the pumpkin with a spoon until there is about an inch or two of flesh remaining (the more complex your design, the thinner you'll want the flesh to be).

    5. Use a waterproof pen to mark out your design on the skin. Remember, the design can only be as fine as the size of your knife and straight lines are much easier to carve than curves, so be aware of that as you plan your carving.

    6. Start carving. Carve by plunging the knife tip into the lines and work from the centre outward.

    7.Secure a normal candle inside and light it only when it your pumpkin is outside your house, and see your family and friends gawp in wonder at your skills

    Hallowe'en 2014: 7 steps to carving the perfect pumpkin

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    Repairs costing £500,000 being carried out on Shire Hall in Chelmsford are set to be completed in the next few weeks.

    Scaffolding on the front of the grade 2 listed building will be removed in the coming days and scaffolding on the west side will be taken down by the middle of November.

    The works on the Georgian building, which started in April, were subject to a detailed review and consultation process, including obtaining listed building consent from English Heritage.

    Essex County Council cabinet member and ward councillor, Cllr Dick Madden, said: "I welcome the news this essential maintenance work at Shire Hall to address the deterioration of its outer fabric is virtually complete and on schedule.

    "This is a much-loved building and we have used the best contractors and craftsmen to make sure the work is of the highest quality to preserve and enhance the character of this wonderful building."

    The priority works on the building that is situated next to Chelmsford cathedral included conservation stone repairs, cleaning stone surfaces, an overhaul of the metal and timber windows and general maintenance work.

    Work on Chelmsford Shire Hall nears completion

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    A murder inquiry is underway after a holidaymaker from Colchester was found dead outside a hotel in France.

    The man, who is understood be 50-year-old John Napoletani, left the Formula 1 hotel in Dole, near to the Swiss border, late on Saturday (October 25) after drinking wine with his wife and other guests at tables outside the front door 

    Reports suggest he was found in a pool of blood early the next day

    "I am devastated," his wife, Evelyn Napoletani, told The Daily Telegraph. 

    "It's like a nightmare. I keep thinking I am going to wake up and it's all been a bad dream."

    The couple had been driving back home from a holiday in Italy and had just stopped off at the hotel for the night, it is reported

    Holidaymaker from Colchester found dead outside hotel in France

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    Police are treating the discovery of the remains of a woman, missing since November last year, as murder.

    Angela Millington's bones were found washed up in a salt marsh area on Foulness Island on June 21 by a group of ramblers as they walked on the island. The alarm was raised and a full search of the island also took place and further skeletal bones were located.

    It is not known when the 33-year-old died, or how she ended up there, but experts believe she was either taken there or washed up by the tide.

    Angela lived in the Southend area. She was last seen when she visited a housing officer in Westcliff on November 21

    Detectives have since been supporting her family and speaking to people who knew her to try and find out how and when she died.

    DCI Simon Werrett, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, is leading the investigation.

    He said: "Money was also drawn out of her bank account on November 21.

    "Her mobile phone has not been used since the end of November and we have not found any of her clothing or belongings. Angela was known to associate with street drinkers and local homeless people.

    "There was a sighting of her by a police officer in the Porters Grange area of Southend on January 6 but we have no definite details of her movements since November 21.

    "The expert reports indicate that she did not die on Foulness but was either taken there or the body was carried there in the tide."

    He added: "We have launched a murder investigation as we don't know what happened to Angela. We are keeping all lines of enquiry open.

    Anybody with any information is asked to contact the dedicated incident room on 01702 470173 during office hours or 101 outside of those times.

    Murder investigation launched after discovery of human bones of Angela Millington in Southend

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    ALAN KIMBLE has declared 'it's time for changes' at Maldon & Tiptree as he looks to stamp his mark on the football club.

    Almost a month into his time at the Jammers and Kimble has assessed his squad and decided it is time for an overhaul of at least "50 per cent" of his players.

    "It's time for changes," he said. "I'm looking for new players all over the squad. Every position needs strengthening. It's a results-based business and I've been brought in to sort things out."

    He added: "It's about time people took notice of Maldon & Tiptree Football Club because we're only going to go one way – up."

    Maldon have lost their last nine league games and Kimble, who has mostly overseen cup matches during the early weeks of his tenure, has been using them to decide who stays and who goes from his team.

    "The buck has to stop with the manager and I'm sure people looking in are seeing another defeat, but I've inherited this team from the previous manager," he explained.

    Kimble has already strengthened the spine of his team by bringing in central defender Youcef Bouamrame on loan from Vanarama South Ebbsfleet United, central midfielder Simon Glover from Thamesmead Town and striker Joshua Oxinsan from Met Police. And he expects to bring in another two players.

    All three started as Maldon beat Coggeshall Town 6-0 in the D'Arcy Memorial Cup on Tuesday night, with a hat-trick from Tunde Adewunni, plus strikes from Max Lette-Jallow, Nathan Korentang and Jack Stevenson.

    Kimble added: "My phone hasn't stopped ringing this week. I need men and leaders, I can't take second best.

    "I'm not after players looking for money. I need experienced players and the odd rough diamond."

    This Saturday sees Kimble's former side Aveley come to Park Drive. Aveley sit in mid-table, while the Jammers lie second from bottom in Ryman North, albeit with games in hand on some of those around them.

    Kimble only spent a couple of months at Aveley before leaving the club for personal reasons. "I had family issues at the time and I couldn't fully concentrate on the job," he admitted. "It's just another game for me though."

    Kimble rings  the changes at Maldon

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    29th October saw the birth of what we now call the Internet.   Given the thing's importance, I think ten questions are appropriate.
    Q1)29th October saw the first computers linked up in the Internet's predecessor: the ARPANET.   ARPANET is a contraction of Advanced Research Projects Agency … what … ?
    Q2)In which year of the 1960s was this … ?
    Q3)The ARPANET was funded by which US government department: the Department of Defense, Treasury or Education … ?
    Q4)The name, 'Internet' is short for what … ?
    Q5)ARPANET's funders paid for the software that lets thing on the Internet talk to everything else on the 'Net: it's called TCP/IP.   What do either of the P's stand for … ?
    Q6)Many of us on the 'Net, make use of the World Wide … what … ?
    Q7)Many internet addresses start with the letters 'http'.   What does the 'h' stand for in 'http': hyper, hypo or happy … ?
    Q8)Those addresses are called URIs: or Uniform Resource whats … ?
    Q9)Many of us use tablets and smart phones to surf the 'Net.   Most of which connect to the 'Net through what: the mobile phone network, an ethernet cable, or carrier pigeon?
    Q10)Finally … most of us will connect — wirelessly or otherwise — to the internet through a what: Router, Grouter or Gromit?
    Here's last week's questions and answers … 

    Q1)22nd September saw The Supremes become the first girl band to have a Number One hit album.   In which year of the 1960s?
    Q2)Was this in the US, the UK or the Ukraine … ?
    Q3)The album was called 'The Supremes A' go go'.   The phrase, 'A' go go', comes from which European language: French, German or Hungarian … ?
    Q4)The album was on the Motown label.   Who was the famous boss, owner and manager of Motown … ?
    Q5)Motown's owner co-wrote a song on 'The Supremes A' go go'.   Which song: 'You Can't Hurry Love,' 'Money,' or 'Get Ready'?
    Q6)The Supremes consisted of three singers.   Diana Ross was one.   Name either of the other two.
    Q7)The Supremes were the USA's most successful vocal group.   How many Number Ones did they have: eleven, twelve or thirteen?
    Q8)Those Number Ones were on the Billboard — or US — charts.   Which British band is the most successful band to feature on the Billboard charts?
    Q9)Which British Girl band held the record for most chart entries: Bananarama, The Spice Girls or The Saturdays?
    Q10)Finally … What was The Supremes' biggest hit, with their original line-up: 'You Can't Hurry Love,' 'You Keep Me Hanging On' or 'The Happening' … ?
    A2)The US.
    A3)French.   (Used, here, to mean 'in abundance' or 'plenty'.   There was also a famous Parisian nightclub called 'Whisky A' go go'.)
    A4)Berry Gordy, Junior.
    A5)'Money'.   (Or 'Money (That's What I Want)'.   'You Can't Hurry Love' was by Holland-Dozier-Holland, whilst 'Get Ready' was written by Smokey Robinson.)
    A6)Mary Wilson or Florence Ballard.   Mary Wilson is still alive today: Florence Ballard died of a heart attack, in 1976, at the age of 32.
    A7)Twelve.   (They tied with Madonna.)
    A8)The Beatles.   They managed a grand total of 20 Number Ones.
    A10)'The Happening'.
    If you'd like a frequent challenge, you can visit Nik Nak's Old Peculiar, and try the Daily Teaser: today's is at the top.If you need quiz questions in a hurry, you're also welcome: you'll find the free Friday Questions Sets — covered by the Creative Commons License* — very handy.Movie fans are welcome, too: as are Dr Who fans.   I tend to write about them, too.   If you enjoy what I do, and wish to contribute, feel free to click the PayPal Donate button in the Old Peculiar's sidebar.   Every penny is gratefully received.

    Enjoy the week, folks.

    *        All that means is that you're free to copy, use, alter and build on each of my quizzes: including the Teasers, Gazette Teasers and the Friday Question Sets.   All I ask in return is that you give me an original authors credit on your event's flyers or posters, or on the night: and, if you republish them, give me an original authors credit AND republish under the same license.   A link back to the site — and to the Gazette's, if that's where you've found these — would be appreciated: as would pressing my donate button, here.   Every penny is gratefully received.

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    A young couple are planning their dream, no expense-spared, wedding after winning more than £240,000 in the Euromillions, after playing it on a whim.

    Billy Baldrey matched the five main numbers and a Lucky Star during the draw on Tuesday (October 21). He played the game online while partner Sarah, who has already taken his surname, was out for the evening with their two boys, aged two and seven months.

    The 23-year-old was prompted to play the Lucky Dip after chatting about the gigantic £120m jackpot with his work colleagues. The next day he was emailed about a win but wasn't able to access his account.

    But he learned of his £241,508.90 win after meeting Sarah at her mother's house the next day and managed to successfully log on to his account.

    Billy said: "As soon as I saw the size of the win on the screen I let out the biggest yell and then couldn't stop leaping about the room and whooping with joy.

    "In fact I was screaming so loudly both boys burst into tears, I told Sarah what had happened but she didn't believe me and calmly took the boys upstairs for their bedtime bath.

    "We've been through some tough times so I think it was Sarah's way of coping. In fact, she wouldn't believe it really was true until the winners advisor visited us and finally confirmed we were £241,508.90 richer."

    Billy also revealed how the win will be life changing for the pair of them.

    He said: "Although I work full time money has often been tight and there hasn't always been enough to cover the monthly expenses let alone a wedding.

    "We got engaged just before we found out Sarah was pregnant with our first son. Since then every time we started planning the wedding some other expense came up and it went on the back burner. At last I will be able to give Sarah the wedding she has always wanted."

    He added: "Of course the wedding will be amazing but the thought that we will then be coming home to our own house, in our own car, knowing that there is money in the bank for the boys future is the stuff of magic.

    It means I will no longer have to work silly hours and we can really enjoy being a family rather than just getting by. I never dreamt for one moment that our life could be like that."

    Couple's joy after scooping share of £125m Euromillions jackpot

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    It may not have been the question David Cameron wanted to hear so soon after the nail-biting finale to the vote in Scotland - but now he is being asked about devolution for Essex too.

    Bob Russell - MP for Colchester - put it to the PM at the House of Commons today: "More people live in Essex than voted yes in the Scottish referendum. With fairness needed for citizens in all parts of the UK, would the prime minister agree than what Scotland gets so should the people of Essex and East Anglia."

    Perhaps he has some of the TOWIE cast members in mind for some top jobs in a new independent Essex.

    For good measure Mr Cameron made it clear that all parts of England should benefit from any powers being granted favourably to MPs there.

    He said: "If we are, and I believe we should, keep our promises to the people of Scotland in terms of additional powers to the Scottish parliament, including powers over tax raising powers, then we must make sure than MPs for Essex or indeed other counties and towns in England have the ability to vote on these issues as they effect England in this house."

    The only way is Essex devolution - PM told

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