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

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    From sore thumbs to "Nintendo epilepsy", a team of Dutch researchers have revealed a long list of ailments caused by playing Nintendo Wii.

    The findings, gathered after the researchers looked into Nintendo-related problems to conclude whether it's a safe present to give this Christmas, will be revealed in a festive issue of the British Medical Journal.

    They found 38 reports of injuries and problems ranging from neurological and psychological to surgical.

    Nintendo Wii bosses have reacted by stressing that customers should "pace themselves" and "not overdo it".

    Here are some of the reported injuries:

    1. A sore thumb (from hammering the buttons too hard).

    2. A stroke. The researchers found two patients were rushed to hospital having had a stroke while playing.

    3. A hernia. After exercising on the Wii Fit game.

    4. Chest bleed. A 55-year-old woman suffered the bleed after falling on to her sofa while playing Wii tennis.

    5. Nintendo-related incontinence. There were reports of Children unable to tear themselves aware from playing Super Mario Bros, even to go to the toilet.

    6. Nintendo-neck. A child complained after playing his Game Boy for 30 minutes in a hunched position

    7. Nintendo elbow. Diagnosed in a 12-year-old who played his console "a lot" for more than a month

    8. 'Nintendinitis'. Complaints from pain in the thumb, hand and wrist from strenuous game play using a traditional controller with buttons or a joystick.

    9. Acute Tendinitis in right shoulder. A 29-year-old suffered after playing Wii Sports for several hours.

    10. 'Nintendo epilepsy'. Even reports of seizures.

    The researchers, led by Dr Maarten Jalink of the University of Groningen, said: "Overall, a Nintendo is a relatively safe Christmas present.

    "However, those who receive such a gift should not swing the controller too hard, they should be careful about where they play, and they should take frequent breaks."

    A spokesman for Nintendo said: "The Wii video game system is often credited with getting people up off the couch. But, as with any activity, people playing the Wii system, or any other Nintendo product should pace themselves and not overdo it.

    "Nintendo is committed to the safety of its customers and always includes comprehensive health and safety guidelines with its products. Provided these are followed correctly, a user should be able to enjoy their Nintendo product safely.'"

    No Nintendo for Christmas? 10 'gaming-related injuries'

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    A Braintree road has been closed by police after a crash involving a motorbike, another vehicle and a pedestrian.

    The collision happened just before 8am on the A131 High Garrett in the town near its junction with Grove Orchard.

    Essex Police say the road will be closed for "quite some time" and advise motorists to find alternative routes.

    A131 closed after smash involving pedestrian, motorbike and vehicle

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    A motorcyclist has died and a teenage pedestrian seriously injured after a head on rush hour collision on the northbound A131 in Braintree.

    The crash, which took place shortly before 8am, happened when the rider, a man in his 40s from Witham, tried to overtake a car.

    He is believed to have then struck a 16-year-old girl, while she was crossing the road to reach a bus stop, before colliding with a blue Toyota travelling in the opposite direction.

    The was flown to Queen's Hospital in Romford for treatment, where she currently remains in a serious collision.

    The driver of Toyota, a woman in her 50s, was unhurt.

    The road remains closed while police continue their investigations

    Motorcyclist dies and girl, 16, flown to hospital after A131 smash in Braintree

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    Police officers remain at the scene of a suspected stabbing in Chelmsford, two days after a teenager is thought to have been stabbed in the legs.

    The 18-year-old victim was taken to hospital at around 9.45pm on Tuesday (December 16) with suspected stab wounds the attack in Nelson Grove, near Admirals Park.

    Residents reported hearing a low flying helicopter over the scene

    An Essex Police spokesman said the man's injuries, which consist of five puncture wounds to the legs, are not thought to be life threatening. He remains in hospital.

    No arrests have been made.

    Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    Investigation ongoing into stabbing of 18-year-old in Chelmsford

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    IN THE latest fitness column from BlitzFitMe, Dan Reeve writes about sleep and why it is essential for weight loss and more importantly long term health.

    Would you believe me if I told you that you can lose weight by simply spending more time in slumber land? No, well after attending the Bioprint course run by the world's best strength coach, Charles Poliqiun, I can confirm it is possible.

    The BioPrint course looks at our individual hormonal balances and how and where we store our body fat is affected by these hormones.

    Scientists have identified sleep as one of the cornerstones of health, mental and physical, and it turns out that sleep can not only keep you healthy but also help you get thinner.

    The growing waistlines of the nation are thought to be related to the growing insomnia epidemic and obesity curves in western world countries match that of sleep deprivation curves.

    So how do our hormones react to a lack of shuteye? Here comes the science........ One of the main effects of sleep deprivation is that it drives inflammation up in the body. Inflammation is known as the silent killer because it aggravates many other conditions and diseases.

    As inflammation increases from the body not being given enough time to recover and regenerate, it in turn reduces the body's sensitivity to insulin and drives up cortisol production. Insulin is the nutrient storing hormone which opposes cortisol, the stress hormone. They are in delicate balance between each other to keep blood sugar level.

    Crave sugary food after a restless night? Reach for the sugary cereals? That's because lack of sleep alters the balance between insulin and cortisol and destabilises your blood sugar. Not only can lack of sleep make you crave sugar but it can also make you greedy too. By shortening the duration of night you also diminish the production of leptin and boost the production of gremlin, two hormones that regulate your appetite.

    Still thinking that sleep isn't important to staying healthy? Well the endocrine chaos doesn't stop there. During the night the body produces testosterone and growth hormone which are key to regeneration after a workout and necessary to maintain lean body mass. Less sleep, less testosterone, less growth hormone, more body fat.

    The duration of your sleep is predictive of the magnitude of your fat loss when on a diet and exercise program. When given caloric restriction, people in a sleep-deprived group lost less fat than people in a normal sleep group.

    I hope you can see now how important sleep is to your health and if being a lean mean fighting machine is your goal, adequate zzzzzzs could be your answer.

    Look out for our Bioprint program in 2015. This cutting edge approach will see great results.

    Stay healthy.

    Dan Reeve

    How getting a good night's sleep can help you lose weight

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    Roadworks programmes in Essex are being suspended over the Christmas period, including work on the Army and Navy roundabout in Chelmsford.

    Essex highways will be stopping the work on the notorious roundabout from tomorrow (December 19), until January 5.

    A dedicated left turn is being created from Parkway to the A138 with the aim of providing extra capacity, easing congestion and improving traffic flow.

    Work at Station Square in Duke Street will also cease between these dates – work there includes repaving pedestrian areas and widening pavements.

    There will also be suspensions of major works in Basildon, Harlow and Colchester.

    In Basildon work on Nethermayne will be suspended from Tuesday (December 23) until January 5.

    During the suspension traffic management will remain in place and Ashdon Way will be closed.

    The A176 will remain operational at all times to maintain services to the hospital and variable messaging signs will be in use to give up to date traffic information.

    Work on the Harlow Clock Tower will also be suspended from this date, starting at 5.30pm on Tuesday. Traffic management will remain in place.

    And in Colchester, after completing phase one of the bus priority improvements scheme, the second phase will not be started until the New Year.

    Essex County Councillor Rodney L. Bass, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said: "We want to make it easier for everyone who needs to visit family and friends at Christmas, so suspending work on our countywide road improvement projects over the festive period is the best way to help the county's road users.

    "It also makes sure our teams and crews have a well-earned rest before resuming the robust programme in the New Year."

    An Essex Highways team will be on duty all over the Christmas holiday period to respond to emergencies and monitor weather conditions requiring the gritting of Essex roads.

    Army and Navy work in Chelmsford to halt for Christmas

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    Emergency services have landed at Oakland Park in Chelmsford and the area has been cordoned off.

    Paramedics were seen rushing into the building in Moulsham Street after the police helicopter and the air ambulance were heard above Princes Road.

    Witnesses said there were at least five ambulances on the scene.

    More to follow

    Air ambulance lands at Chelmsford Museum after police activity at Miami Roundabout

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    A SEARCH is under way after a man was seriously injured after being stabbed in Chelmsford this afternoon (December 18). Parts of Oaklands Park, where Chelmsford Museum is based off Moulsham Street, has been cordoned off following the incident. An air ambulance, one ambulance and an East of England Ambulance Service officer was sent to the scene and the man was rushed by land ambulance to Broomfield Hospital. A police spokeswoman said: "Police are at the scene of an assault at Oaklands Park. "Officers were contacted just after 3.15pm this afternoon after reports a man was stabbed in the park. "The man was taken by ambulance to Broomfield Hospital and a cordon established at the scene. "An area search is ongoing for the suspect.

    "Anyone with information is asked to contact Chelmsford CID on 101." The spokeswoman added there were no further details available at this stage.

    Manhunt after stabbing at Oaklands Park, Chelmsford

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    A murder investigation is now under way after a young man found stabbed in Oaklands Park in Chelmsford this afternoon (December 18) died in hospital.

    The victim, thought be in his late teens and from Chelmsford, was rushed to Broomfield Hospital after police, paramedics, and the air ambulance attended the scene in Moulsham Street at around 3.15pm.

    The area is still cordoned off while forensic examinations are carri.The suspect is described as white, 6ft tall, of medium build, with light brown hair, wearing a dark coloured top. 

    Police said searches are continuing to trace him.

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact Chelmsford CID on 101 or email

    Murder probe after man fatally stabbed in Oaklands Park in Chelmsford: Police search for suspect

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    IMPROVEMENTS to the region's rail network could bring an extra £4.1 billion into the economy by 2026 and a further £1.3 billion of capital investment with the creation of 48,000 jobs.

    In Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement, the Government took on all the recommendations of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce that was set up to get more funding for the region's rail network.

    These improvements include an additional service per hour along with other timetable changes, plus new and faster trains, as part of Greater Anglia's short-term franchise extension to October 2016.

    Improvements to rail infrastructure, including the quality of track, will enable faster running services of up to 110mph, with journey times from London to Norwich slashed to 90 minutes and London to Colchester down to 40 minutes.

    In the first two-and-a-half years of the franchise, Abellio Greater Anglia made a profit of £4 million, with £150 million going back to the Government each year.

    "There's been underinvestment in the region for years so it is the time to make the case for East Anglia to get an increase in funding," said Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at Abellio Greater Anglia and member of the (GEML) task force.

    "We are a profitable franchise and a region that contributes positively to the country's GDP."

    One of the items on the wish list included a loop north of Witham, which could include an extra track at Cressing so that trains going in opposite directions could pass each other and therefore double the amount of trains from Braintree to London.

    Another option could be to build a shuttle line from Braintree to Witham so that passengers could link up with the more frequent service to London.

    The first phase of the improvements by Network Rail will see some line speed increases on the Intercity trains that run from Norwich to Liverpool Street between 2015 and 2016.

    The second phase of upgraded or new rolling stock is likely to be on the whole of the East Anglia mainline, probably around 2019 after the franchise has been decided.

    The third phase is the additional infrastructure improvements, such as loops north of Witham and improvements to overhead lines, the track and signalling that could happen between 2019 to 2024.

    Mr Denby told the Chronicle: "It's important the commitments that have been made by the Government are kept regardless of the election.

    "We have pushed for these improvements and will continue to do the best for customers."

    A Government consultation is under way that gives passengers the chance to have their say on how the new franchise operates.

    An invitation to tender will be sent out to between three and five bidding companies, then around August 2015 the Government will announce the winning bidder for new Greater Anglia franchise to start the new franchisee in June 2016.

    "These improvements will be subject to who wins a new deal for the franchise, but passengers can have a say what kind of franchise companies they will be bidding against. I would encourage people to take part," Mr Denby added.

    The consultation will run until 16 March 2015 and can be found at passenger-franchise

    Promise to invest in Essex's 'underfunded' railways

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    A TWITTER troll who has posted distasteful tweets about the Hillsborough stadium disaster and murdered children is now living in Chelmsford.

    Robert Ambridge, 52, formerly of London Road, Braintree and now of Chelmsford, caused uproar earlier this year with his offensive tweets, aimed mainly at the people of Liverpool but have also included attacks on Islam and disabled people.

    The self-confessed troll, who tweets from the @oldholbornlolz feed, appeared on a Channel 4 documentary earlier this year about the online craze and believes his comments should be protected under freedom of speech.

    The Liverpool-based Protectors of the Justice for the 96 have said they have complained to the police, both in Merseyside and Essex, about the troll's tweets about the Hillsborough disaster, but earlier in the year he was cleared of all charges by the CPS.

    Peter Hodgson, from Kirby, was a childhood friend of James Bulger's mother, Denise Fergus, and member of the Protectors of the Justice for the 96 who was targeted by Old Holborn.

    "It's disgusting what he is doing and he needs to be stopped as soon as possible," said Mr Hodgson.

    "He found out about my six year-old daughter's death and told me to put my Wendy house on eBay – it was vile and sickening, people don't deserve to be treated like this."

    Until April this year, Old Holborn, as he was known online, was able to post online anonymously.

    That was until the group from Liverpool, incensed at his tweets, published his name, picture, home address and workplace online.

    The father-of-six was then the subject of a series of death threats – as were his colleagues at Alchemy Recruitment in Braintree.

    A spokesman for the Protectors of the Justice for the 96, who have monitored the abuse, said "it's high time the press highlighted the real Robert Ambridge".

    Old Holborn was cleared last October by the CPS as they said there was no case to answer, and he said on his blog at the time: "This is a battle that needed to be had and I'm glad that I tested the new Social Media Free Speech guidelines to destruction. I make no disguise of my wish to live in a society where I may speak freely."

    Asked for a comment, Mr Ambridge declined.

    Twitter troll Old Holborn leaves town...and moves to Chelmsford

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    Stores in Chelmsford are primed for their busiest shopping weekend of the year this weekend, as gift buyers rush to collect gifts before Christmas. Thousands will descend on town centres to take advantage of the sales and promotions ramped up by all the big stores. And it appears the price slashing has had an effect on the tills, with retails sales hitting a 10 year high in November, according to the Office of National Statistics. The number of items bought jumped by 6.4 per cent when compared to the same month last year, which is the biggest increase since 2004. In total, shoppers spent an average of £400million a week more in November than last year, taking the total up to almost £32billion. Argos, which has two stores in Chelmsford, is already marketing its 'biggest ever Toy and Game sale' which includes deals for Amazon Kindles and Google Chromebooks, Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and iPad Mini 3s.Argos in Chelmsford to sell Amazon Kindles for £99: Shops primed for Christmas rush

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    SEVEN years after planning began to bring a multi-million pound transformation to Essex Cricket Ground, developers have marked their progress with a 'topping out' ceremony.

    Held at the top of Tower A, Tuesday's ceremony was held to signify that the first building had reached its highest point.

    Tower A is the first of four such towers to be built that will provide about 350 new homes in the area of New Writtle Street, in Chelmsford, and cost upwards of £85 million by the time of completion.

    The land, which was just overgrown shrubbery in March, will also include 15,000 sq. ft. of retail and leisure facilities surrounding a new public piazza area, all served by a new pedestrian bridge across the River Can, providing improved routes through to Central Park and the town centre.

    Nick Bache, Essex-based operations director at developer Kier Group, said: "This is a huge milestone for us to get to this point and a journey years in the making.

    "I know the area well and I always thought that the plot would have made a nice job. It's in a great location and in a great community. I'll be able to say to my family that 'I helped build that' and that will be something I'll be really proud of."

    It is believed topping out ceremonies have been performed since ancient Egyptian times, when workers would bless the final stone at the top of their pyramids with gifts to the gods.

    Latterly, in Scandinavia, workers celebrated the moment when they reached the pinnacle of a building project.

    Representatives from the Kier Group, and Birmingham-based developer MCD joined players from Essex County Cricket Club and deputy mayor Councillor Sandra Pontin at the ceremony.

    A traditional beer, named Proper Job, was poured over freshly-laid concrete to complete the occasion.

    Mr Bache said: "It has been great to receive the support from the cricket club and that the players, who I know are working hard in pre-season, took time out of their schedule to take a look."

    The first block, the smallest of four to be built along the River Can, should be ready by September 2015.

    Developers have already sold 61 of the 62 flats in the building and two flats in Tower B, which has not even been started yet.

    When finished, Tower A will contain a mix of one- and two-bed homes starting at £220,000 and new state-of-the-art facilities for the Essex Cricket Club.

    Part of the development will include 65,000 sq ft of space for members and visitors to enjoy, including a media centre, a new pavilion and conferencing facilities. The capacity of the ground itself will be increased from 4,500 to 8,000 seats.

    Cllr Pontin said: "This is a huge part of the regeneration of Chelmsford. It's in a prime position on the edge of the city, with great views of Central Park.

    "It's great for the city; there is a lot of excitement surrounding development here. It's also great for the cricket club. It's important that they stay in the city and continue to grow."

    Keith Brown, chairman of the ground development panel of Essex County Cricket Club, said: "After years in the planning and overcoming numerous hurdles, to start this development is a huge step forward.

    "It will lead to the creation of state-of-the-art facilities for Essex Cricket Club, its team, academy, members and sponsors, with banqueting and meeting facilities."

    Topping out ceremony marks Essex County Cricket Ground transformation

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    Detectives investigating the suspected murder of a man in a Chelmsford park yesterday, Thursday, December 18, have made two arrests.

    A 17-year-old boy from Chelmsford and a 19-year-old man from Maldon were arrested in the early hours of this morning, Friday, December 19, on suspicion of murder.

    They are currently in police custody.

    A man from Chelmsford died in hospital after he was stabbed in Oaklands Park, Chelmsford, at around 3.15pm on Thursday.

    Police are continuing to appeal for any witnesses to contact detectives on 101 or


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    A young man killed in Oaklands Park in Chelmsford this afternoon has tonight been named by friends.

    Ash Woolley, from Chelmsford, died after he was stabbed in the grounds of the park in Moulsham Street. He was taken to Broomfield Hospital at around 3.15pm, but died a few hours later.

    Police have now launched a murder investigation and are keen to trace a suspect, described as white, 6ft tall, of medium build, with light brown hair, and wearing a dark coloured top.

    The victim's devastated friends and ex-schoolmates tweeted their shock this evening, and a Facebook page has been set up in his memory.

    benedthridge said: "Disgusting the evil in this world, when it happens in a park two minutes from where you live it really puts things in perspective #ripash

    Tia MacRae added: When we were close you honestly gave me my favourite and craziest memories of school ash, rip 

    Olly Barlow wrote: "Don't know what to say, was one of the nicest guys and have so many memories with him, love you ashRIP x

    The area is still cordoned off tonight while forensic examinations are carried out.

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact Chelmsford CID on 101 or email

    Did you know Ash? Pay your tributes below or email

    Young man stabbed to death in Oaklands Park, Chelmsford is named by friends as Ash Woolley

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    CHELMSFORD Rugby Club's Eddie Gooby was delighted his youngsters didn't let their heads drop after their Diss defeat as they impressed against Basildon.

    Two weeks ago Gooby took an understrength team to title rivals Diss and they were turned over 57-0, but on Saturday they bounced back with a victory that sent them top of London Two North East.

    The director of rugby dismissed the Diss game as a blip in their season and saw it as a learning curve for his younger players.

    "The team was so young and we lost quite a lot of our leaders in the team that day and these youngsters probably grew up a little bit," said Gooby. "A few of them played again against Basildon and they played a lot better than the week before.

    "They were more determined, more physical and they realised they weren't up to it the week before and this week they really improved to do a good job for the team. You take these sorts of things as you go along and you just carry on playing.

    "It was just one of those circumstances where we had so many players missing and the opposition [Diss] were really hyped up for it, the whole place down there was buzzing, and our youngsters found it too much."

    Gooby didn't want to dwell on the Diss game, as he was happy with how his team bounced back to go top, but he isn't getting carried away.

    "We all looked at each other, took it on the chin and said let's move on. That was only our second loss of the season and somehow we're back on top of the league.

    "The confidence in the boys led to them being able to bounce back this week against Basildon.

    "It was a messy game but we never looked like losing, we controlled the game and we got the bonus point in the end and that's what we set out to do.

    "I think everyone's realistic and we're enjoying being at the top but it was just a case of us regrouping and we've got to make a lot changes again this weekend with players not being available so we'll go down with the team and see what happens.

    "We regrouped this weekend and got on with it to get the win and somehow we've gone back to the top.

    "That's what the boys achieved so it ticked the box and we move on to concentrate on the next game."

    Gooby proud of his young Chelmsford side's response

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    Essex County Council is braced for a tough year balancing the books after the government announced it would cut its grant to the authority by £49million this year.

    County Hall's early assessments of the annual provisional local government finance settlement in 2015/2016, show facing a cut of around 15 per cent on its funding when compared to last year.

    Council leader, Cllr David Finch, said that it will be 'tougher' for the council to remain 'financially robust'.

    He said: "As a forward thinking authority we have worked hard over many years to have new and pioneering approaches in place to ensure we maintain a financially robust council that builds a better Essex for everyone

    "This is going to get tougher, but we are working closely with our partners across the county in order to deal with these funding reductions.

    "With our communities also stepping up and working with us to help improve the areas they live in or supporting elderly and vulnerable neighbours we can achieve our ambitions for Essex.

    "Resilient communities are always important but especially at a time when councils simply cannot afford to do everything they used to do."

    Cllr John Spence, cabinet member for finance, said: "We understand the government has to tackle the deficit but that does not detract from our responsibility both to balance the books and to provide the best possible service for the people of Essex.

    "Every successive round of cuts makes the challenge harder.

    "We have already secured so many efficiencies.

    "We will continue to work creatively with our dedicated and innovative officers to find new solutions but make no mistake – it will be tough."

    Essex County Council faces £49million CUT in government funding

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    Oaklands Park remains closed to the public today as police continue to investigate the circumstances behind the fatal stabbing of a popular Chelmsford man yesterday.

    The museum will also remain closed over the weekend, it was confirmed.

    Ash Woolley died in Broomfield Hospital yesterday evening (December 18), hours he was discovered after he was found on the grounds of Oaklands Park.

    Today (December 19), tributes continued to be laid at the park,and several people left floral tributes and cards.

    Although the park remains cordoned off, police said they would be moving the flowers in to the park throughout the day.

    In one card, two friends described Ash as a boy with "a heart of gold", adding "you'll be the brightest star in the sky".

    Other friends took to Facebook to share their condolences.

    Elaine Baxter said: "Cannot even begin to imagine the pain Ash's family are going through right now. Awful awful thing to happen to a young person. RIP Ashley and condolences to his family and friends. He is going to be greatly missed."

    Shannon Clark added: "Been feeling sick since I've found out, it's disgusting, will miss him so much, such an amazing boy xxx"

    And Tom Whitten-Morgan posted: "Rest in peace man, such a great lad! You will be truly missed by many people! My thoughts are with your family"

    Others, who didn't know Ash, but who had been shocked and saddened by the news, posted messages of sympathy and support for his family.

    Caroline Neville-mandell said: "I didnt know Ashley, my thought are with u all, we are all standing beside u in ur grief xxx"

    A 17-year-old boy from Chelmsford and a 19-year-old man from Maldon were arrested in the early hours of this morning, Friday, December 19, on suspicion of murder.

    They are currently in police custody.

    Chelmsford Museum to stay shut over the weekend after death of Ash Woolley in Oaklands Park

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    Have you been really organised and bought all your gifts? Or are you planning on getting them all this weekend?

    With only two weeks to go it's time to finish off that last minute shopping! Take a look at the stores open around Essex.


    Meadows Shopping Centre 42-47 High Street, Chelmsford:

    Monday, December 22(9am to 8pm)

    Monday, December 23(9am to 8pm)

    Christmas Eve open from 9am to 5pm

    High Chelmer Shopping Centre, 15a Exchange Way, Chelmsford:

    Thursday late nights, open until 9pm

    Saturdays, open until 7pm(8pm on December 20)

    Monday, December 22(open until 8pm)

    Tuesday, December 23(open until 8pm)

    Christmas Eve(open until 6pm)


    Christmas Eve(9am to 6pm)

    Christmas Day (Closed)

    Boxing Day(9am to 7pm)

    December 27 - 30(9am to 10pm)

    New Year's Eve(9am to 6pm)

    New Year's Day(10am to 7pm)

    January 2 to 3(9am to 10pm)


    Colchester Christmas late night shopping

    Three consecutive Wednesdays from December 3 to Christmas Eve, shops will be open until 9pm.

    Westfield Stratford

    Monday, November 3 to Sunday, December 24:

    Monday to Friday (10am to 10pm)

    Saturday (9am to 10pm)

    Sunday (12 to 6pm)

    Monday, December 15 to Sunday, December 21:

    Monday to Friday (10am to 11pm)

    Saturday (9am to 11pm)

    Sunday (12 to 6pm)

    Monday, December 22 (9am to midnight)

    Tuesday, December 23 (9am to midnight)

    Christmas Eve (9am to 6pm)


    The Liberty Shopping Centre

    Sunday, December 21(11am to 5pm)

    Monday, December 22 to Tuesday, December 23(9am to 8pm)


    Eastgate Shopping Centre

    Friday, December 19 (9am to 8pm)

    Saturday, December 20(9am to 8pm)

    Sunday, December 21 (10am to 5pm)

    Week starting Monday, December 22

    Monday, December 22(9am to 8pm)

    Tuesday, December 23(9am to 8pm)

    Wednesday, December 24(9am to 6pm)


    The Victoria Shopping Centre

    Open until 24 to Christmas Eve:

    Every Thursday shops will open until 8pm but some stores may vary.


    Lakeside Shopping Centre

    Monday to Friday (9am to 11pm)

    Saturday (9am to 10pm)

    Sunday (11am to 5pm)

    Christmas Eve(9am to 6pm)

    Not sure where to go to find those gifts? Check out our list of local shops and browse for all your favourites here!

    Christmas 2014: What time do Lakeside and Bluewater close after late night shopping?

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    Firefighters rescued two dogs from a burning bungalow in Witham this afternoon.

    Crews were called to the home in Pelly Avenue at 1.30pm today (December 19) and found the building 25 per cent alight.

    No one was trapped or missing as a result but the crews rushed the canines to safety.

    Wearing breathing apparatus they extinguished the blaze with two hose reel jets by 1.41pm.

    Two dogs rescued from Pelly Avenue bungalow blaze in Witham

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