• Man injured in ceiling collapse

    A MAN was knocked out cold after a ceiling collapsed on his head just after he got home from work. The tenant had just returned to the house in Heygate Avenue, Southend, when the accident happened. Firefighters and an ambulance were called and the man

  • Crash halts traffic on A127

    A THREE-CAR crash on the A127 caused rush-hour gridlock after police were forced to close a mile-long stretch of the entire road for almost two hours. The accident, in which a woman suffered suspected back injuries, happened on the London-bound carriageway

  • Fined for having a ‘for sale’ sign in car

    A MOTORIST who left for sale notices taped to her car windows faces a £60 fine after she was accused of using a council car park to try to sell the vehicle. Gill Ockelford, 43, parked her black Fiat Punto in the main council-owned car park in High Street

  • £100k raid as burglars plunder Woolies

    BURGLARS made off with £100,000 of goods and cash after raiding Woolworths in Wickford High Street. The thieves, who broke in through the fire escape, ripped security cameras and alarms from the ceiling before gathering up games consoles, including Microsoft

  • Tragic end for mum accused of killing sons

    A MUM, who was freed after being wrongly convicted of killing two of her children, died accidentally after suffering acute alcohol intoxication, a coroner has ruled. Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said there was no evidence Sally Clark, 42, intended

  • No room at the inn for ugly sister

    HE may be one of the stars of Cinderella, but pantomime actor Darren Southworth fears he could be acting out a more traditional Christmas story this year after finding no room at the inn. Darren, 39, is set to appear as one of the ugly sisters in the

  • Clubbers' toilets? It's a cover-up!

    CLUBBERS will be able to enjoy a private moment when nature calls when new doors are installed on Southend's night-time urinals. The eight portable loos are set up in the High Street at weekends to stop revellers leaving nasty puddles in alleyways or

  • Ban on new pubs stays... for now

    A BAN on new pubs, clubs and bars in Southend town centre is to remain for at least a year, councillors have decided. Southend Council's cabinet yesterday voted to keep its policy restricting the number of new nightspots in the town centre. Senior council

  • Pair deny threats to kill family

    A FOSTER father wept as he told how he was forced to drive into an industrial estate before a man threatened to kill him and his family. Richard Bacon said he "felt uncomfortable" when two men, including one who gave his name as Darren, called at his

  • Keddies developer wants more homes

    PLANS for extra flats in an 11-storey extension above the Travelodge hotel in Southend are being recommended for approval by the council. The proposal by Barratt Homes is for 94 flats in the back of the former Keddies department story building in Chichester

  • ‘Firework yob could have hurt someone’

    ANGRY shop owners claim a "pathetic" yob could have seriously injured someone by throwing a lit industrial firework in their business. Police are investigating the incident as a suspected arson attack, after someone ran past Fireworks Inc, in High Street

  • 20 years for family charity

    A CHARITY has celebrated 20 years of helping families with young children. Home Start South East Essex marked its birthday with a lunch at Saxon Hall, Aviation Way, Southend. The group promotes the welfare of Southend and Castle Point families with

  • Campaign to stop mini-roundabouts

    THE CAMPAIGN to stop controversial plans to install mini roundabouts in Corringham Road, Stanford-le-Hope, is gathering pace. Basildon and East Thurrock MP Angela Smith, has written to Thurrock Council while Terry Piccolo, chairman of public interest

  • What a cover-up!

    YOU couldn't make it up.Dinky little modesty doors will be fitted to Southend's night-time urinals. They will protect those who lose track of which way they are pointing. This will apply to girls as well - they sometimes attempt to use the urinals

  • Cunning plan may just work

    GOVERNMENT plans to raise the school-leaving age from 16 to 18 have been broadly welcomed in Essex, even by those who will be in the front line - the teachers. The main concern is schools will have to carry the most disruptive pupils for an extra two

  • Theatre-goers to enjoy safer nights

    SOUTHEND councillors are being asked to approve changes at the Palace Theatre in Westcliff, which have already taken place. A report to the development control committee by head of planning Steve Kearney said the work had been carried out by HQ Theatres

  • We’re leaders! Pupils go on patrol

    THIRTY children have graduated as playground leaders in a special assembly. The Year 6 pupils at Kents Hill Junior School, Benfleet, have been to six training sessions since the start of the school year. They learnt how to become playground leaders,

  • Ray did not break rules over plans

    A COUNCILLOR investigated by a Government watchdog after a complaint by a developer has been cleared of breaching rules. The Standards Board for England has concluded Ray Howard, a member of Castle Point Council's planning committee, did not breach the

  • Vandals put buses in peril

    A POPULAR evening bus service is facing the axe - after yobs targeted six of its vehicles. Ensignbus, the police and Thurrock Council are now joining forces to catch the vandals who smashed the windows of the number 73 buses, which travel through housing

  • Forties fun to support poppy appeal

    THE FORTIES are being celebrated this weekend in Southend to remember those who died in conflicts across the world. The Park pub, in London Road, is hosting three days of events to raise money for the Royal British Legion's poppy appeal. There will

  • Proud to see dad’s name on memorial

    A FATHER who lost his life during the Second World War will finally have his name added to a memorial - thanks to his proud son. Derek Dearson, from Canvey, will watch as Castle Point MP Bob Spink lays a wreath at the war memorial in Essex Way, Benfleet

  • Top firm hired to design sports village

    A HIGH-PROFILE design firm will help shape Basildon's £35million sporting village. International design consultants EDAW have been signed up to get the wheels in motion for the centre, which will be built in Gloucester Park and hopefully act as a training

  • Don’t forget our war dead

    A WREATH has been laid at graves in Rayleigh Cemetery in memory of those who died in battle. Graves there are for some local men, as well as others from the Glasgow Highlanders and further afield. John Dickson, president of the Rayleigh branch of the

  • Man had stash of stolen goods

    A MAN has been warned it is almost inevitable he will be sent to jail after he admited handling stolen goods from four burglaries. Kevin James, 39, of Curling Tye, Basildon, pleaded guilty to four counts of handling stolen goods when he appeared at Basildon

  • Burst water main gridlocks streets

    HUNDREDS of motorists were caught in traffic chaos after a burst water main caused gridlock in Rayleigh town centre. Essex and Suffolk Water began emergency repairs at around 5am yesterday after the four-inch main burst in Eastwood Road, near Rayleigh

  • Children get a taste of technology

    BRIGHT sparks can bang out a tune on an electric guitar or learn how to create their own exciting computer game thanks to a series of creative classes being held in Basildon. Youngsters aged from six to 18 are welcome to attend Technology4kids sessions

  • University centre plans win support

    PLANS by the University of Essex to use the former Prudential building in Southend as a new cultural centre are set for approval. The proposals are being recommended by head of planning, Steve Kearney, to Southend Council's development control committee

  • Basketball: Excellent Southend see off Excelsior

    SOUTHEND Swifts under-16 girls team succeeded in building on their unbeaten South Division start to the season when they triumphed 102-17 over Redbridge Excelsior at Rayleigh's FitzWimarc School. Redbridge scored the first basket of the contest, but

  • Cast away in Pitsea for a great night out

    IT'S unlikely that anyone's ever thought twice about Pitsea as a place to go out for a nice meal. There are fast food drive-throughs, pub grub venues and pizza restaurants, but for a long time there's been nothing better than that. I can now confirm

  • Eight men arrested in drug raid

    POLICE have dismantled a "multi-million pound criminal organisation" with the arrest of eight Vietnamese men in a drugs raid. The arrests were made early this morning, when officers raided a warehouse on an industrial estate in Purfleet. It followed

  • Did rushed ops kill mum-of-four Carol?

    A GRIEVING family claims a grandmother was given two damaged hearts during supposedly life-saving operations. Carol Smith, 50, of Dinant Avenue, Canvey, died the day after surgery at Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge. The hospital announced last week

  • Don’t let purse thieves get away with it

    SHOPPERS are being warned not to leave themselves open to criminals following a spate of thefts. Several people visiting Thurrock's Lakeside shopping centre in recent weeks have had purses, wallets and mobile phones stolen. In a bid to prevent more

  • Stop pavement bike menace

    A COUNCILLOR is demanding action to stop cyclists riding on pavements after a man was hit by a bike and suffered a hip injury in Southend town centre. The 62-year-old man was taken to Southend Hospital after the accident in the High Street, near Alexandra

  • Billericay 1 King's Lynn 3

    BILLERICAY Town's hopes of getting a massive boost prior to Saturday's first ever meeting with Football League opposition ended in disappointment at New Lodge last night. The hosts, who take on League One high-fliers Swansea at home on Saturday in

  • Tilson blasts referee after Forest defeat

    SOUTHEND United manager Steve Tilson hit out at referee David Foster following last night's defeat at Nottingham Forest. The Blues boss believed the home side's second goal should have been ruled out for offside. And he also slammed the decision

  • Grumpy women have a laugh about growing old

    "I'M having a ball," beams Dillie Keane. Dillie is with her new pals Britt Ekland and Denise Black at a sweltering rehearsal room in south London. They're rehearsing for a new tour of the phenomenally successful show, Grumpy Old Women Live - and clearly

  • East Thurrock United 2, Aveley 0

    THIS Essex Senior Cup derby was decided by a goal in each half. It was a meeting of familiar faces as both sides have players who have worn each other's shirts, including Rocks' Wes Faulkner and Bradley Stevens and it was another borough old stager

  • Grays Athletic 2, Braintree Town 1

    A FAST-paced display from a much-changed Grays overcome Blue Square South side Braintree, managed by former East Thurrock boss Lee Patterson. After an even start to this Essex Senior Cup tie the odds turned in Grays' favour on a 14th

  • Canvey Island 1, Maldon Town 0

    TEN-man Canvey Island held on for a deserved Ryman One North victory over Maldon Town at Park Lane last night. The only goal of the game arrived after 27 minutes when Nicky Rugg set up Danny Curran to give the Gulls the lead. Curran's goal completed

  • Bands forced to get fans to pledge they will turn up to gigs

    DWINDLING crowds at live gigs could herald the end of original music, but one musician has come up with a possible solution. Sick of having to dig into his own pocket to fund a show, John Young, who performs with Scorpions, Asia and Bonnie Tyler, has

  • Keep up good work , demands Duncan

    SOUTHEND United's youth team manager Ricky Duncan wants his promising Shrimpers side to continue their recent resurgence in the first round of the FA Youth Cup tonight. The Blues babes have turned around their shaky start to the season. And Duncan

  • Wakering face Ilford in cup

    FOUR teams will go into Essex Senior Cup action tonight knowing what awaits them if they win through their third round matches. For the draw for the fourth round was being announced today shortly after 4.30pm with Billericay Town manager Matt Jones

  • Canvey lad Stokes up Hammers

    CANVEY-based Tony Stokes was West Ham's saviour as the Irons Reserves twice came from a goal down to snatch a 2-2 Barclays Premier Reserve League draw with Arsenal at Upton Park last night. Former Castle View School pupil Stokes, 20, was on hand to

  • Kristian bucks Doggetts trend

    WHILE double-figure common carp seem to be dominating the scene in recent weeks, the same cannot be said at Doggetts, where smaller fish have become the order of the day. Difficult conditions meant Kristian Buckley from Eastwood did well to land a

  • Codling galore for sea anglers

    BRADWELL, Mersea, Canvey, Southend, Two Tree and Crouch Boats fishing with Boycarl and Cloudnine had skate and cod to 5lbs, whiting, pouting dabs and loads of doggies. There was also an unconfirmed report of a very large cod being caught in the Wallet

  • Five star Nathan is carping on and on

    YOUNG Nathan Glover went nap after landing his fifth 20lbs-plus carp from Northlands Park's Cafe Lake. The 12-year-old's latest big catch was a superbly-conditioned long lean common of exactly 20lbs - following on from fish of 21lbs, 23lbs, 24lbs and

  • Sunday best sees Powell take crown

    A PERFECT autumn day greeted the 576 runners who took part in the annual Billericay Striders 10K Road race on Sunday. With the sun shining and cool windless conditions, the race was the ideal course to challenge elite club athletes and enthusiastic

  • Skipper Neill lines up £75K a week Hammers deal

    WEST Ham captain Lucas Neill is believed to be in talks over a bumper new £75,000-a-week contract. The new deal would put the Australian, who signed a £60,000-a-week two-and-a-half year contract with the Irons when he joined them from Blackburn Rovers

  • Basketball: Lads lose their unbeaten status

    SOUTHEND Swifts' under-15 boys were in South Confer-ence home action against Brentwood Fire and lost 66-62, failing to maintain their unbeaten record. Joe Hart led his team with 32 points, but this was a disappointing performance for Swifts as they

  • Why the cage is all the rage in Southend

    THE old saying that from little acorns mighty oaks grow is certainly proving true for Southend brothers Dan and Alex Burzotta. The pair are busy preparing for their fifth Ultimate Warrior Challenge show - dubbed UWC 5 Undisputed - at Southend Leisure

  • Man avoids prison after attacking girlfriend

    A VIOLENT boyfriend repeatedly attacked his girlfriend and bombarded her with threatening text messages, a court heard. Sam Dawkins, 28, flew into a rage, then punched and kicked Emma Hammerlsey when she visited his home in Furness Close, Grays, on June

  • Vandals torch caravan

    FIREFGHTERS put out a fire in a derelict caravan on Canvey last night. Crews were called to Thorney Bay Caravan Park at 8.20pm and found the unoccupied caravan "blazing from end to end". It is believed to have been set on fire by youths who then fled

  • Motorist's lucky escape

    A MOTORIST was lucky to escape with his life after an early morning horror smash. The man was driving his black Citroen Saxo on the Southend-bound track of the A127 when the crash happened. It is thought he hit the kerb, losing control of the car which

  • How could they rob woman, 87?

    MUGGERS stole £600 from an 87-year-old woman. The pensioner, who was on her mobility scooter, had just been to collect her pension when she was attacked. She was using a zebra crossing in Crest Avenue, Pitsea, when a car pulled up alongside her. The

  • I saved the day as fire threatened flats

    A QUICK-THINKING neighbour put out the flames after a flat on Canvey was targeted by arsonists. The resident heard a door slam, then spotted smoke and water spilling from the ground floor flat on Gafzelle Drive. Vandals had left a towel on the hob and

  • Wind farm approved off coast

    FINAL permission has been granted for the construction of the world's largest wind farm off Essex The London Array wind farm, which will consist of 341 turbines, will be built 12 miles off the Essex and Kent coast between Clacton and Margate. The Government

  • Children must stay at school

    GOVERNMENT plans to raise the school leaving age from 16 to 18 have won support in south Essex. Schools Secretary Ed Balls wants to see teenagers remain in education or training for longer to improve their prospects. A Bill to change the law will see

  • Coryton blast emergency crews praised

    WORKERS at Coryton Refinery have been praised for their response to last week's blast and blaze at the plant. Emergency crews sprang into action after a processing tower at the plant spilled fuel which caught light, sending flames shooting 100ft into

  • 'Explosions shows need for second road'

    A WOULD-be MP is calling for a second access route to the proposed £1.5billion superport site at Shell Haven in the wake of the oil refinery blaze at nearby Coryton. Stephen Metcalfe, Tory candidate for the new South Basildon and East Thurrock seat,

  • Luke’s day out is a roaring success

    A BRAVE boy suffering from an aggressive brain tumour had a day's break from his battle to have a special wish granted. Luke Webb, eight, was taken to see the Lion King, in the West End, thanks to the efforts of Kids In Need, a charity which arranges

  • Restaurant with a touch of glass

    A NEW restaurant has opened its doors after a £350,000 renovation. The Greenhouse in Belfairs Woods, Leigh, is on the site of the former Portuguese restaurant and cafe at the entrance to the woods on Eastwood Road North. Mark Bueltemann, co-owner,

  • Robbers drag man to cashpoint

    ROBBERS dragged a man to a cashpoint and tried to force him to withdraw money. The victim, a man in his 50s, was walking along Timberlog Lane, Basildon, when he was attacked by the two thugs. They pushed him to the ground and rummaged through his pockets

  • Christmas comes early at hospital

    CHRISTMAS shopping started early at Southend Hospital with a bazaar. Hospital supporters Maureen Townley and Linda Ansell organised the sale in the hospital's Outpatients Department and raised more than £1,300 for the StrokeBusters Appeal. Maureen and

  • Church seeks young blood

    A NEW pastor has joined Eastwood Road Evangelical Church, in Rayleigh, and hopes to attract more dynamic young people to his congregation. Andrew Mumford, 34, has plans to transform the church after he moved down from Ipswich with his family. These

  • Antisocial behaviour down

    Antisocial behaviour is declining in the county, according to the latest police figures. Between April and August, incidents of antisocial behaviour dropped by 10.6 per cent to 43,752. The sanctioned detection rate rose to 32.8 per cent, up from 27.7

  • Bandstand move sparks security fears

    SECURITY could be stepped up in Priory Park when Southend's famous bandstand is moved in time for next year's summer season. The bandstand has been in storage since the cliffs landslip in 2002, but Southend's council cabinet yesterday agreed proposals

  • Bravery award for firefighter Steven

    A FIREFIGHTER has received a bravery award for saving a woman's life. Steven Bonsor, 31, of Colne Close, South Woodham Ferrers, was given a service commendation after his actions saved the life of a women who tried to set herself on fire. A fire crew

  • My life ended the day my son died

    THE devastated dad of the six-year-old boy crushed to death at Tilbury Docks has spoken of his heartbreak for the first time. Dock worker Peter Littmoden, 40, recalled how he took his son Harry Palmer to work with him, like many dads had done before

  • Clarke off as Shrimpers crash to defeat

    SOUTHEND United suffered a 4-1 defeat at promotion rivals Nottingham Forest tonight. During a miserable night for the Shrimpers top goalscorer Leon Clarke was also shown a red card midway through the second half for appearing to head-butt Luke Chambers

  • £25,000 reward for arrest of armed robbers

    A £25,000 reward has been offered for the arrest of armed robbers who threatened two securicor guards at gunpoint. The two guards were forced to hand over a six-figure sum as they tried to fill a cash machine, outside the Shell petrol garage on Prince

  • Blaze destroys caravan

    A DERELICT caravan has been destroyed after being torched by arsonists. The fire took place in Thorney Bay Road, Canvey, and two crews from Canvey fire station took half an hour to put out the blaze. Station commander Martin Pullen said the fire appeared