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

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    Spurs defender Kyle Naughton has reportedly been identified by Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson to help the club stay in the Premier League.

    The 26-year-old has found it difficult to make it into Mauricio Pochettino's plans this season and it looks likely the Spurs boss could cash in on the player to free up funds.

    Naughton has played just ten times for Spurs this season and has been sent off twice in the process and with the imminent return of Kyle Walker it seems his place in the team is under jeopardy.

    He was once touted as a huge prospect for England when he started out at Sheffield United but has been sent out on loan on there occasions by his current employers - including to Leicester City in the 2010/11 season.

    The defender enjoyed what was probably his best year of his career at the foxes having played 34 games and scoring five goals in the process so a prospect of a return to them could be beneficial for all three parties involved.


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    TWO prolific criminals have been told to expect jail after admitting to stealing Royal British Legion poppy appeal collection tins from across Essex in the run up to Remembrance Day.

    Anthony Archer, 53, of Ongar Road, Writtle, and Roma Taylor, 51, of Cedar Avenue, Tiptree, pleaded guilty to 17 theft charges at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Tuesday, January 6).

    The charity estimates up to £1,000 was stolen, as well as from shops in Chelmsford.

    The court heard how the pair acted as a team to steal the tins from shops across Colchester, Ingatestone and Tiptree during a fortnight in October and November.

    Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said: "One acts as the distractor, or the blocker, while the other then removes the poppy collection tin and on a number of occasions replaces it with a dummy tin."

    The pair's barrister, Mr O'Toole, told the court how they were heavily addicted to heroin.

    He asked Judge Cristopher Ball QC to postpone their sentencing so probation officers can conduct a pre-sentence report.

    "They're at risk of a significant sentence and they're both people with long criminal records," said Judge Ball, who said the two could be jailed.

    "That being said I think it will be helpful to see what drives people to sink as low as this, to steal charity collection tins in the days leading up to November 11 and maybe the pre-sentence report will shed some light on the standard with which these two lead their lives."

    The two were remanded in custody to reappear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentence during the week of Monday, February 2.

    Heroin addicts admit 17 thefts of Royal British Legion poppy tins in Essex


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    Police looking for missing dad Bradley Arthur have halted the search after a body was found in a drainage dyke in Grays.

    Officers from the Essex Police Marine Unit were carrying out a search in Manor Road when the body was discovered just before 11am today (January 6).

    The 24-year-old, from Chafford Hundred, vanished after he was last seen at a house party in Grove Road, Grays in the early hours of New Year's Day.

    He left there at around 3.30am and had not been seen since. His disappearance sparked a large scale campaign conducted by his family and friends via social media. 

    The owners of the CTZN bar also pledged yesterday to provide a cash reward to those who provided information which could potentially lead to him being returned safe and well.

    Detective Chief Inspector Richard Baxter, who has been leading the search for Mr Arthur said: "The body has not been formally identified at this time but we have suspended our search for Bradley.

    His family have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this very distressing time.

    Search for missing Bradley Arthur suspended after body found by police


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    People in Essex are fatter than the national average, with 16.7 percent of year 6 pupils in the county and 24.5 per cent of adults categorised as obese.

    The statistics, published by Public Health England, come as Essex County Council calls for families to cut down on their sugar intake as part of new national Change4Life campaign, Sugar Swaps.

    And the idea of eschewing sugary snacks and drinks is being backed by high-profile celebrity Jamie Oliver, who this week called for the UK to follow France's example and tax sugary drinks, suggesting that sugar should be taxed like tobacco due to the health problems it can cause.

    More than 250 pre-schools, schools and colleges across Essex are already signed up to Change4Life, and work will take place throughout January to encourage primary school teachers to help pupils make healthier snacks, while Change4Life workshops will also take place at shopping centres across the country.

    Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council's cabinet member for Communities and Healthy Living, said: "Unfortunately, too many of us are guilty of not paying close enough attention to the sugar content of our diets.

    "Too much sugar can lead to high levels of stored fat, as well as problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

    "By simply swapping your foods and drinks for no added sugar or sugar free alternatives you can make a huge difference to your family's health.

    "The council is working very hard to improve the health of Essex residents and wholeheartedly supports this campaign." 

    One quarter of adults in Essex obese as council joins Jamie's Oliver's anti-sugar campaign


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    The search for a missing Colchester woman has been suspended after a woman's body was found in land around University of Essex this afternoon (January 6).  

    Police were searching for Aleasha Coan after she was first reported missing on Sunday (January 4).

    The discovery was made in Wivenhoe Park at around 1.25pm.

    Supt Steve Ditchburn, coordinating the searches said: "The body is yet to be formally identified but Aleasha's family have been updated and our search suspended."

    Police will now be liaising with HM Coroner.

    Body found at Wivenhoe Park in search for missing woman


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    A PHOTOGRAPHER has teamed up with a firm of solicitors and Colchester United Football Club to photograph 1,000 people in aid of charity.


    Gavin King will work with Kerseys Solicitors and the club  for the project dubbed '1,000 Faces of Colchester' to raise money for the Tom Bowdidge Foundation (TBF).


    Staff at Kerseys Solicitors, which has an appointment office in Colchester Business Park, have been inspired by the story of Tom Bowdidge.


    The teenager died in October of last year, aged 19, from a rare stomach cancer. But he raised over £170,000 for charity while battling his illness.


    His family, parents Nikki and Richard Bowdidge and sister Emma, then launched the foundation on what would have been his 20th birthday on February 28.


    Now Kerseys has offered to donate £1,000 to the charitable trust if 1,000 people take part in photo-shoots at Colchester United Football Club.


    Kerseys managing partner Anthony Wooding said: "Tom Bowdidge's story moved us all. He was a brave local boy whose final wishes to 'crack on' have inspired many people.


    "His legacy lives on and we want to do our small part to help raise money for such worthwhile causes.

    "We are delighted to be working with Colchester United on this exciting project.  We hope people will rally round to take part and support this."


    The charitable trust, which has its headquarters in Colchester, raises funds to support research projects and to provide physical and emotional support to teenagers and young people with cancer. It has raised money for Sarcoma UK, CLIC Sargent and Teenage Cancer Trust.


    Matt Hudson, Media Manager at Colchester United, added: "We are really excited to be working on this project.

    "We have some further good news coming up about the Tom Bowdidge Foundation in the next few weeks, and we are already also looking forward to this idea. We hope our fans and people using the stadium will help us reach the 1,000 faces target."

    Gavin, 33, who ran a similar project in Ipswich to show the diversity of the town, gives people a white board so they can write down whatever they are feeling as a way to express themselves.


    He said: "I imagine the project, while challenging, will be a lot of fun too and will hopefully raise awareness and funds for such a worthwhile cause."


    Tom was a Colchester Royal Grammar School sixth-former from West Bergholt. His mother, Nikki, teaches at Heathlands Primary School.


    Richard Bowdidge said: "We are really pleased that so many people have been inspired by Tom and this project has been launched. It is a way of paying homage to Tom and allowing us to continue our work supporting teenagers and young people with cancer."


        ·         The project will be launched at the Leyton Orient game on Saturday, January 24.   To find out more about the charity, visit http://www.tombowdidgefoundation.org/

    Campaign to photograph 1,000 Faces in Essex in aid of charity


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    'Passionate' people in Essex looking to get hitched this year have been encouraged to apply for the new series of Don't Tell the Bride.

    The hit BBC Three show is now accepting applications for its ninth season, which is set to air in 2015.

    The popular programme follows husbands to be as they aim to plan that perfect wedding for their bride - together with their best men - including venue and decorations. The whole process takes three weeks.

    They are given a £12,000 budget, but the brides are not allowed to be involved at any stage - well, until the wedding itself.

    Don't Tell the Bride is produced for the BBC by Renegade Pictures. If you want to apply, visit here, and let us know if you're successful.

    Essex couples wanted for BBC show Don't Tell the Bride


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    Award-winning Italian restaurant, Tutti Grille, Freeport Braintree is looking for teams of four to take part in a relay whisky barrel race for the Essex Air Ambulance on Burn's Night (25 January at 11am).

     

    Each fundraising team will be required to roll a barrel of whisky 60 metres in relay and the winning team will win a year's supply of pizza*.  Rob Reeley, Managing Director, Tutti Grille, explains why he has decided to organise this crazy challenge.  He says: "I'm a Scot so I'm eager to celebrate Burn's Night in style. We think this will be a fun way to engage the community, raise funds for a very good cause, and remember Robbie Burns south of the border!"

     

    To register each team needs to contact hilary@bigwavepr.co.uk to complete registration details and for their sponsorship pack. The barrel race is open to groups of four aged 18 and over.

     

    Tutti Grille opened its doors in 2004 and since that time has won a whole host of awards for its excellent customer service, and remains the only independent business at the designer outlet shopping centre at Freeport Braintree.

     

    *Year's supply of pizza – offers each winning team member one free pizza a week each until the end of 2015. The prize is not transferable and no cash alternative is available.

     

    For more information about Tutti Grille, visit www.tuttigrille.com.    


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  • 01/06/15--23:12: ESSEX TRAVEL: Wed Jan 1
  • On the A12 South Bound there is slow moving traffic between Junction 12 (Shenfield A1023) and Junction 11 (Brook Street/M25)

    On the A13 Londonbound there is heavy traffic from Stifford to the M25 at J30 (A13).

    Blue Mills Hill in Witham is partially blocked by a single vehicle accident near the junction with Maldon Road.

    On the M25 anticlockwise there are queues from J28 (A12) to J27 (M11) carriageway was closed to clear a loose horse. It is now fully open but queues remain.

    On the trains there are delays between five and six minutes to mainline services via Shenfield due to a late running freight train.

    ESSEX TRAVEL: Wed Jan 1


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    The Department for Transport have postponed the abolition of paper driving licences, originally scheduled for this month, until June this year.

    From 8 June 2015, the photocard licence paper counterpart will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA.

    When DVLA stops issuing the counterpart, you should destroy yours but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.

    You'll still be able to use the counterpart driving licence to change your address with DVLA. You can also change your address online.

    Those paper driving licence holders issued before 1998 will remain valid, and should not be destroyed. 

    From 8 June 2015 endorsements/penalty points will no longer be recorded on these driving licences. This information will be held on DVLA's driver record, and can checked online, by phone or post.

    Driving licence changes: What you need to know


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    CLIFF AKURANG suffered his first defeat as manager of Heybridge yesterday in their 2-1 loss away to Redbridge.

    Reece Morgan gave the Swifts the lead just before half-time but that was cancelled out almost immediately through Patrick Damali after a fortuitous deflection looped in over Danny Sambridge.

    The game had evened out in the second half but it was the home side who got the winner when substitute Brian Moses cut through the defence to finish confidently.

    Redbridge put their visitors under immediate pressure from the off and could have been 2-0 up inside five minutes when firstly Hulusi Mustafa cut back from the byline only for Sambridge to palm away.

    Then minutes later left-back George Winn found space in the box to shoot but his shot was blocked before Chinedu McKenzie was found at the back post but opted to take a touch instead of taking it on first time, allowing the Heybridge defence to close him down.

    Swifts were struggling to cope with the quick tempo their hosts had set from the off and on 15 minutes Redbridge countered again as McKenzie whipped in an early ball into the box that was just inches away from the head of Jacob Cleaver.

    Redbridge's early pressure soon wore off as the half went on allowing the away side a chance into the game and on 44 minutes they took it.

    Joe Pearman timed his pass to Morgan with perfection whose run into the box caught Redbridge asleep however his shot looked a comfortable save at the near post but somehow it crept in to give Heybridge the lead.

    With just minutes to go until half-time Akurang would have been relieved to have got his team in at half-time 1-0 up but that all changed with second to go in the half.

    Damali picked up the ball roughly 40 yards out from goal and unleashed an audacious strike at goal but a deflection off Moshood Olafunmishe caught Sambridge as the ball looped in over his head to end the half 1-1.

    Redbridge came out in the second half much like they started the first, on the front foot, and on the 48th minute had a great chance to take the lead when Shane Wallace had time in the box to shoot but Sambridge did well to save with his feet.

    As the half went on the game became more stretched which seemed to suit Heybridge and their best chance to take the lead again came on the 55th minute when Morgan lead a counter attack that saw four versus three in Swift's favour but his pass to Billy Hunt sent him wide and his shot could only find the side netting.

    Stoppages in the game due to injuries slowed the game down in the twenty minutes but on the 85th minute substitute Brian Moses gave Redbridge all three points.

    The tall forward was an immediate threat coming on in the 75th minute and when McKenzie played him through his pace took him past the tackle of Emmanuel Monthe and showed composure to finish confidently.

    Heybridge Swifts line-up: Sambridge, Willmore, Spriggs, Gayle, Olafunmishe, Monthe, Pearman, White (Henry-Francis 71), Bryan, Morgan, Hunt.

    Unused subs: Lowton, Good, Preston, Loveridge.


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    THE beloved Marconi heritage could remain engraved on Chelmsford's road signs following an overwhelming response to revelations that it could be removed.

    Chelmsford City Council leader Roy Whitehead said he is "optimistic" that the Birthplace of Radio message will stay.

    The Chronicle previously revealed how the wording would be erased from the 10 brown signs when replaced because the Highways Agency says the long sentence distracts drivers.

    The Department for Transport, however, has since denied it ever ordered the message to be removed, and Cllr Whitehead believes the squabble could be resolved at a meeting with county council highways boss Rodney Bass tomorrow (January 8).

    "Everybody is saying 'it was not me' and I'm trying to resolve it," said Cllr Whitehead.

    "I am optimistic that with the support of the public and the support of the Chronicle we could go back to having those words on the signs."

    'Ludicrous'

    Chelmsford MP Simon Burns said he rang the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin on Sunday, incensed after reading the Chronicle article.

    Mr Burns said the transport department, responsible for the legislation the Highways Agency enforces, denied the decision ever rested with them.

    Mr Burns said: "It's quite ludicrous the amount of time and the squabbling that is going on about the signs to welcome people to the city of Chelmsford.

    "To me the most sensible thing is to have "Welcome to the City of Chelmsford – the Home of Wireless" and denoting the two towns twinned, with the picture of Hylands House.

    "I trust that, at the meeting on Thursday between the two local authorities, an agreement can be fleshed out on the composition of the signs so that the whole thing can be resolved and Chelmsford can get its signs."

    The design already drafted by the city council reads "City of Chelmsford" on a backdrop of Hylands Park, but Cllr Bass has asked it to read "The County Town of Essex" too.

    'Buzzword'

    Cllr Bass refused to comment before his meeting with Cllr Whitehead.

    Pam Swaby, of the Chelmsford Civic Society, said: "It is an outrageous travesty that we are not being consulted over this tourist sign on entering Chelmsford.

    "Wireless is the buzzword at the moment and Marconi in Chelmsford is responsible for introducing it to the world."

    The DfT refused to comment directly about Chelmsford's signs to the Chronicle.

    But it did say: "It is up to councils to decide if they want to replace or install new signs on their roads.

    "The department provides guidelines to local councils to help them produce signs that comply with the regulations and are clear for road users.

    "If a council wants to erect a sign that is not prescribed in the current regulations, they need to seek further authorisation for its design."

    Similarly a Highways Agency spokesman said: "Road signs play a vital role in road safety, and it's important that they strike the right balance between giving drivers the information that they need, while remaining easy to understand."

    'Optimism' that Chelmsford's Marconi heritage could be saved


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    A gym is offering its clients an extra incentive to shift the post-Christmas baggage by vowing to give a pound of food to the city's needy for each pound its clients lose in weight.

    And TMFIT hopes its January challenge will see their 140 clients burn off 10 stone between them, which would see them donate the equivalent weight of food to Chelmsford Food Bank.

    Laura Manley, 31, a personal trainer at the Howe Street gym run by her husband Tom, 37, said: "We decided to donate to the Chelmsford Food Bank because we wanted to help out people less fortunate than ourselves and we've heard really good things about them.

    "Our aim is for our clients to collectively lose ten stone and then we can donate ten stone of food to the food bank. People gorge over Christmas so we think it will be quite achievable."

    The gym, at Warners Farm on Main Road, opened in April 2010 and it is the first time the owners have introduced such a challenge to its clients.

    Members will be weighed once a week before mother-of-one Laura calculates how much food she will need to buy each Saturday this month.

    Laura, of Woodhouse Lane in Broomfield, continued: "Roughly 30 people have signed up already but we hope it will gather pace as the challenge progresses through the month.

    "We will donate a mixture of food but we still want to provide healthy and nutritious stuff.

    "The food bank probably gets everyone's leftovers from Christmas, so we want to give them something a little bit different – I'm sure they're sick of shortbreads by now."

    The challenge began on Monday and will conclude on January 31, with the couple hopeful of stuffing countless storage containers full of highly nutritious goodies.

    Speaking of how best to tackle New Year resolutions, Laura, a former University of Essex student, believes the key is to set realistic goals from the outset.

    She said: "My advice to people would be to be sensible and don't be too drastic, too soon.

    "Identify bad habits and try to rectify them; anyone can lose weight.

    "Even if you're a mum doing the school run, just little things like parking the car further away or not driving at all, can really help."

    Lose weight at the gym for 2015 AND help Chelmsford Food Bank


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    Looking to fight off those January blues? What better way would there be than to scoop a massive National Lottery win?

    The jackpot for the winner of the of tonight's triple rollover is a mammoth £9.5million - what would that buy you in your wildest dreams?

    The winning Lotto numbers are 10, 15, 17, 18, 19, and 31, and the bonus ball was 24.

    The Thunderball numbers are 1, 11, 15, 25, 35 and the Thunderball 6

    Lotto tickets can be bought daily until 11pm, or 7.30pm on draw days.

    Lotto, EuroMillions, and Lotto HotPicks sales then reopen at 9pm. Thunderball reopens on Fridays and Saturdays at 9pm.

    National Lottery triple rollover: What the jackpot on January 7 and what time is the draw?


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    A man has died after he collapsed in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral.

    East of England Ambulance Service offers were called to the grounds of the building in New Street at around 12.50pm yesterday (January 6) to reports that a man, in his 60s, had been taken ill.

    Police were called after paramedics required some assistance with crowd control.

    An Essex Police spokesman said the man's death was not being treated as suspicious.

    Man dies after falling ill in Chelmsford Cathedral grounds


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    January 7th is the 7th day of the year: and of the month.   Let's do something different, shall we?   Here's ten '7' themed questions … 
    Q1)7 is a Prime number: in other words, it's only exactly dividable by itself: and what other number?
    Q2)True or False: 7 is a Fibonacci number.
    Q3)What are the chances of rolling a seven, on two standard, six sided dice: 1 in 6, 1 in 8 or 1 in 10?
    Q4)What name is given to a seven-side, two dimensional, shape: a heptagon, a septagon or a septisimal
    Q5)Write the number seven … in binary.
    Q6)In Jewish tradition, what's the seventh day of the week?
    Q7)What's 7 squared?
    Q8)The Lotus 7 car features in the opening titles of which TV series: 'The Fugitive,' 'The Prisoner' or 'The Avengers'?
    Q9)Name any one of the seven hills of Rome.
    Q10)Finally … The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros feature in which series of books: 'The Lord Of The Rings,' 'A Song OF Fire and Ice' or Terry Pratchett's 'Discworld'?
    Here's last week's (online only) questions and answers …

    Questions.
    Q1)London's New Year's Eve celebrations are ticket only, this year: by order of London's Mayor.   Who IS the Mayor?
    Q2)Name either of the first two nations to see in the New Year.   (Both are island nations in the Pacific.)
    Q3)New Year's Eve is also celebrated as Saint who's day: Sylvester's, Helen's or Malachi?
    Q4)Which Scottish song is traditionally sung at New Year's Eve?
    Q5)More to the point, who wrote the poem the song is based on?
    Q6)London's New Year's Eve celebrations focus — in part — of the ringing of the bell in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament.   The bell's better known how?
    Q7)Iceland's biggest New Year's Eve events are usually held in the capital city.   What's that city's name?
    Q8)'Hogmanay' is a term for New Year's Eve: with it's origins in which country of the UK?
    Q9)The small town of Bideford is noted for it's New Year's Eve celebrations.   Bideford is in which English county?
    Q10)Finally … 'La Bonn Année' is a 1973 French-language film whose title means 'Happy New Year'.   Where was it made: Canada, France or Haiti?
    Answers.
    A1)The original Eton Mess, Boris Johnson.
    A2)Kiribati and Samoa.
    A3)Sylvester.   (He's the Pope named in the (forged) 'Donation Of Constantine' as the man who Constantine gave the Imperial crown to: in case you didn't know.)
    A4)'Auld Lang Syne'.
    A5)Excise man, farmer and Scotland's favourite son, Robert Burns.
    A6)Big Ben.   (Go on: correct a tourist when they call the clock, Big Ben, you know you want to!)
    A7)Reykjavik.
    A8)Scotland.   (There's a saying I've heard from many Scots: "Hogmanay's like Christmas: except God's not involved.")
    A9)Devon.
    A10)France.
    Here's the 24th's questions and answers … 

    Questions.
    Q1)24th December sees the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast by the BBC.   From which Cambridge College: Christ's, King's or Queen's … ?
    Q2)On Christmas Eve, many Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries have a Midnight Mass called Misa de Gallo: or Mass of the … what … ?
    Q3)Christmas Eve is on the 24th December: All Hallow's Eve is on which date … ?
    Q4)Eve Harrington is a character is a character in which 1950 film … ?
    Q5)More to the point, Evey Hammond turns up in which 2005 film … ?
    Q6)Living between 140, 000 and 200, 000 years ago, what name is given to humanity's most ancient common female ancestor … ?
    Q7)In which book of the Bible does Eve appear … ?
    Q8)The EVE probe is a proposed European Space Agency probe.   The ESA wants to send it to which planet?
    Q9)Eve is a rapper: originally from Philedelphia.   Her biggest UK hit, 'Let Me Blow Ya Mind', was a duet with which singer?
    Q10)Finally … Which Christmassy poem is set on the night of Christmas Eve?
    Answers.
    A1)King's.
    A2)Mass Of The Rooster.
    A3)31st October: it's better known as Halloween.
    A4)'All About Eve'.
    A5)'V For Vendetta'.
    A6)Mitochondrial Eve.
    A7)The Book Of Genesis.
    A8)Venus: EVE in this case, being an acronym that means 'European Venus Explorer'.
    A9)Gwen Stefani.
    A10)'A Visit From Saint Nicholas': better known as 'Twas The Night Before Christmas'.
    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 TeasersGazette 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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    POLICE officers in Essex are concerned for public safety because £72.5 million of cuts are "eroding" the force.

    Essex Police Federation, the organisation that represents the county's officers, launched its three-month Cuts Have Consequences campaign yesterday (January 6).

    Its first report said more than 90 per cent of its officers from a 1,000-strong survey were concerned for public safety, cannot provide prompt response times and think policing has deteriorated since 2010 because of cutbacks.

    "The Government can't continue to cut in the way that they have been otherwise it will be the end of policing as we know it," said federation chairman Mark Smith.

    The campaign aims to spell out exactly how Government cuts are affecting front line services at Essex Police and to persuade politicians to avoid cutting its budget further in the future.

    The force has already shaved £42 million off its budget and has been tasked with saving a further £30.5 million by April 2017.

    There are 410 fewer officers in Essex than in 2010 and this is predicted to rise to 600 fewer by 2016.

    The force's marine unit was reduced, its police dog numbers cut from 52 to 40, its roads policing officers reduced from 161 to 103 and its firearms officers cut from 109 to 79 by December 2014.

    The federation says 21 police stations have been closed to the public and hours restricted at another 16.

    The campaign, which will stop by April so as not to interfere with the General Election, encourages residents to lobby their MPs.

    Two thirds of the force's funding comes from central government and the rest from local council tax charges.

    "The police service is being eroded, neighbourhood policing is being eroded and our members are worried about the level of service they can provide to the public as a result of ongoing cuts," added Mr Smith.

    "For the public of Essex this means a poorer service with fewer front line police officers.

    "When the public are being told that 'the front line is being protected' – this we are afraid is very far from the truth.

    "We can only provide you with the service you are entitled to if we are funded correctly."

    The campaign, which Mr Smith says is the first of its kind nationwide, received 40,000 views via www.cutshaveconsequences.co.uk within an hour of going live.

    "No other federation has thought of this but they wish they had," said Mr Smith.

    Cuts to Essex Police 'will lead to the end of the force as we know it'


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    This shrill sound captured in the video continues to disrupt people in Writtle overnight.

    The piercing alarm-like noise, which is thought to emanate from a nearby farm, has confused and frustrated homeowners in equal measure.

    People nearby came forward to the Essex Chronicle Facebook page with their own theories, and reader Andrew Clugston sent in his own evidence.

    Do you know what it is or where its from? Email the newsroom on newsdesk@essexchronicle.co.uk

    Mystery over overnight Writtle noise - where is it from?


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    Two men have been interviewed at Chelmsford police station in relation to the alleged verbal abuse of a family on board a Colchester bound train

    The incident, which occurred in the early hours of December 7, sparked an appeal which was widely shared on social media.

    The duo aged 21 and 20, and both from Chelmsford. One man attended yesterday (January 6), and the second today (January 7). Both were interviewed under caution.

    Neither man has been arrested or charged in relation to the incident and police are continuing to make enquiries.

    Several other individuals have come forward as witnesses and are assisting officers.

    Detective Constable Sally Everritt said: "I would like to thank the public for their response to our appeal for information.

    "The information provided has proved vital in furthering our investigation. I would also like to thank local media for their assistance."

    Duo hand themselves in over alleged racist train rant at family


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    AFTER extending his loan at Chelmsford City until the end of the season, flying winger Rohdell Gordon is hoping that if he shines for the Clarets he will earn himself a new contract at Sky Bet League Two side Stevenage.

    The 18-year-old has been in brilliant form in recent weeks for City, and has formed a thrilling attacking trio alongside Michael Cheek and Jaanai Gordon.

    He said he had no qualms about extending his stay at Melbourne Park.

    "As I started playing more over the season, the gaffer and Steve [Smith – City's assistant manager] spoke to me and asked whether I wanted to extend my loan," he said.

    "I said 'of course'. I'm happy to be playing games. My target is to play in the Football League, but as a young player it's hard to force your way in.

    "If I'm on loan, I'm getting games and showcasing what I can do.

    "So maybe getting a season out on loan is the best thing for me at the moment."

    Gordon turned out for Boro in League One during a couple of games as last season drew to a close. His contract is up this summer and he is desperate to earn another one.

    "I've got to fight for another contract at Stevenage. As long as I'm playing well it'll come," said the teenager. "As a young player you've got to go through these things. It's not like you come up through the youth ranks and you're straight into the league.

    "My main target this season is to get out, play games and get a good campaign under my belt. I'm doing that right now and I'm happy to be here."

    Gordon struggled to hold down a first-team spot in the opening weeks of the season as he came to terms with the differences between academy football and the adult game at City.

    "When I first came here, I came on for a game, a 15-minute spell, and did well. Then I started the next game and didn't do so well," he explained.

    "Men's football, that's where it's cruel compared to youth football. If you're not doing the business, you're out. So when you get the chance again you have to take it, which I did.

    "There was an injury and I got back in the team and played well. Off the back of that I played again and started getting more starts, and now I've become a regular."

    He added: "I believe in my talent. I think I've got used to the league and knowing what my strengths are, so I can be more direct and look to add more goals to my game and assists, because stats don't lie. That's what you have to do to impress."

    City boss Mark Hawkes is more than happy to keep the talented attacker.

    "His first two or three weeks at the club weren't great and he got left out a couple of times. But he seemed to kick on and really get to grips with non-league football," he said.

    "That's why we've kept him here for the rest of the season. He knows what's required and he's delivering at the moment."

    Rohdell Gordon aims to use time at Chelmsford City to earn new Stevenage deal


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