IT'S the weekend again and we've put together a few things to keep you busy.

1. Leigh Regatta - Old Leigh

ORGANISERS of the Leigh Regatta are promising the best year ever.

Taking place on Sunday, September 20, the Lions Club of Leigh has put together a number of activities with the 3rd Chalkwell Bay and 4th/6th Leigh Scouts to improve the event.

The formerly two-day event was salvaged by the Lions Club when the Scouts, who have traditionally organised it, found themselves with a shortage of volunteers.

Chief organiser Tony Prior said: “Last year, we were left with just six weeks to go, whereas this year we’ve had a whole year to organise it, so it’s going to be a much better event.”

The day will start at 10.30am with a traditional service by the Salvation Army before an array of local craft stalls, children’s games and entertainments fill the High Street.

Moored by Bell Wharf in Old Leigh will be two of the “little ships” from Dunkirk - the Endeav-our and the Gerfalcon – which will be joined by modern cockle boat the Lewis Andrew.

At 2pm the Hoy Shanty Crew will be performing a selection of shanties and sea songs and there will be traditional folk dancing from the Cockleshell Clog, both of whom will also be performing alongside the Thameside Mum-mers at the Regatta Arena at Victoria Park by the Mayflower.

At Strand Wharf there will be a beer tent with real ales and ciders alongside a barbecue run by the Lions Club, as well as performers Arfur Doo and the Toe Rags, Crafting for Foes, the Famous Potatoes and Grand Reunion. Opposite Strand Wharf, in the Foundry Car Park, the Scouts will be hosting a coconut shy and crazy kitchen.

For more information, contact Tony Prior on 01702 715111 or 07805 641797.

2. Fire station open day - Canvey fire station, Long Road

CANVEY firefighters will be holding an open day at their station from 10am until 2pm on Saturday. They will also be doing a flood demonstration exercise.

3. Classic car and bike show - Ford Dunton, near Laindon

CLASSIC cars and bikes will be on display at a vintage festival.

Visitors to the event, which is now in its fourth year, will be able to enjoy music through the decades.

There will also be a tea tent, an ice cream van and barbecue and stalls.

The event will take place between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, September 20.

For more information, call 01708 771427.

4. Autumn Plant Fair - RHS Hyde Hall, Chelmsford

RHS Garden Hyde Hall is encouraging its visitors to plant now for spring colour, by stocking up on bulbs, perennials and shrubs at the Essex Plant Heritage Autumn Plant Fair on Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 September (10am to 4pm each day).

Organised by the Essex branch of Plant Heritage, there will be over 30 specialist nurseries from around the region setting up shop at the garden and selling a range of unusual plants. All exhibitors will be able to sound advice on plant selection so if you’re thinking of making a few changes to your garden come along and pick up some plants and growing tips.

It’s also a perfect time exploring Hyde Hall’s richly coloured estate with its tones of reds, oranges and russets. Take planting inspiration from the eclectic mix of planting styles so that you can extend the colour and flowers in your garden long into autumn. And why not treat yourself to a nice cup of tea and slice of homemade cake to round off your visit.

5. Wedding photo exhibition - All Saints’ Church, London Road, Vange

WEDDING photographs of nearly 100 couples are being put on show as part of a church’s heritage weekend.

The church will open its doors between 10am and 3pm on Saturday and again on Sunday to allow visitors to see wedding photos, from the Forties to the present day.

There will also be tombola, a book stall, and a homemade cake stall.

For more information, call 07729 817164, or visit

6. Wickford Carnival - Various locations, Wickford

This year’s Wickford Carnival will be held this Saturday.

The event will start at Runwell Park, at 1pm then will continue along Church End Lane, Swan Lane, High Street, Nevendon Road, and will finish around 2.30pm at Nevendon Park.

7. Tweed Ride - Belfairs, Leigh

The fifth annual Tweed and Vintage Bike Ride will begin at 2pm on Sunday, September 20, from Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh, riding down to the seafront.

8. Quiz Night - Lee Chapel North Community Centre, Laindon

A QUIZ night is being held this weekend to raise money for the battle against the controversial Dry Street housing development.

Teams of as many as eight people are invited to sign up for the quiz, at Lee Chapel North Community Centre, in Ballards Walk, Laindon.

All money raised will go to Basildon Green Action Group’s legal bid to stop 725 homes, shops and a school being built at Dry Street, in Langdon Hills.

It starts at 7pm on Saturday.

For more information, call 01268 459349 or email

9. Ride with cycling legend - Various locations, Southend

Cyclist Francesco Moser will join fellow riders on the roads of Essex this Sunday for the inaugural Moser Sportive GB.

The Moser Sportive GB has been organised by Southend’s Vic Haines, himself a former national champion.

The route starts in Barling Magna, near Southend and heads out to Little Baddow, taking in the challenging 1.6km climb of North Hill in Danbury. From there it arcs back to the starting point, going via Battlesbridge and Rochford.

Entries for the Moser Sportive GB are still available. For more information and to register, visit

10. Fun day to raise money for Southend’s homeless - Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff

A FUN day for the homeless will be held at the Cliffs Pavilion on Saturday, September 19.

The event, organised by Southend Peers and Harp at the Cliffs Pavilion, will include free dance lessons with the Ambleside Jive, Live music from Blazin Aces and DJ Raven, a barbecue and fully licensed bar.

Visitors are asked to bring along donations of non-perishable food, sleeping bags, men’s clothes and anything else to keep the homeless warm for the colder months ahead. The event is from 10am to 4pm.

For more information, email