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  1. Updates on Friday, 8 July 2016
  2. Eighteen migrants found in lorry in Harlow
  3. Region's main heart hospital told to stop some treatments
  4. Man charged over Stanford-le-Hope van driver shooting
  5. Southend player in "last chance saloon"
  6. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Nic Rigby

BBC News

That's it for this week from the team Essex Live team.

Today we've been covering a fire at a house in Waltham Abbey which left a family homeless and the experiences of Gina Denham, an Essex Police sergeant who transitioned as a female officer last year.

We also heard Colchester Hospital has apologised after a cancer patient waited four days for an x-ray after her thigh bone snapped while she was being treated there.  

We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday morning. Have a good weekend.

Dunmow Flitch trials set to take place this weekend

Jodie Smith

BBC News

This Saturday marks another big event in the Essex calendar - the Dunmow Flitch Trials.

Flitch procession

The event lasts from 10:00 until 21:45 and includes a procession, oath-taking ceremonies and a performance by a wind band. 

Held every four years in Great Dunmow, the custom dates back to the 14th Century and was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Five couples try to convince a judge and jury that they've been the happiest married couple for the past year, and if they succeed, they win a flitch of bacon (that's a side of bacon to you and me, which is half a pig cut lengthways).

About 25,000 expected at agricultural show

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Organisers are hoping it remains dry and sunny for the Tendring 100 Show, which has been running in north east Essex since 1899.

Tendring 100 Show 2016
David Lord

Johnnie Jiggens, show chairman, said: "With the current weather forecast we are expecting in about 25,000 people."

The show in Lawford near Manningtree is all set up as this drone photo from David Lord shows.

Weather: Tonight clear spells and patchy cloud... Tomorrow rain

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

Staying mainly dry through this evening with a mixture of clear spells and patchy cloud. 

Mainly light west to southwesterly winds with lows of 12-14C (mid-50sF).

Weather map

Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain spreading eastwards across the region through the morning, clearing in eastern areas around midday leaving most places dry and a little brighter.

Feeling humid with highs of 23-25C (mid-70sF).

For a more detailed forecast for where you are, visit BBC Weather.

Bragg set to pay tribute to A13 at Southend music festival

Nic Rigby

BBC News

We've been covering news that this weekend, singer and political activist Billy Bragg is doing a live performance at the Village Green Festival in Southend's Chalkwell Park.

Billy Bragg

He's expected to sing his tribute to the Essex road - A13 (Trunk Road to the Sea).

It starts with the lines "If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness,Take the A road, the OK road that's the best, Go motorin' on the A13".

Based on the song Route 66 the song also mentions Grays, Thurrock, Basildon, Pitsea, Thundersley, Hadleigh, Leigh-on-Sea and Southend.

Here's a 1985 live version from YouTube.

Essex Eagles set to take on Hampshire later

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

Essex have the option of naming an unchanged side for their T20 Blast trip to Hampshire tonight. 

The Eagles are just a point outside the top four of the South Group after winning their last three matches in the competition.

Listen to live BBC commentary here.

Southend manager says new signing Ranger will play 'for at least 45 minutes'

Southend United manager Phil Brown says he'll play former Newcastle striker Nile Ranger for at least 45 minutes in tomorrow's friendly at Great Wakering Rovers. 

Ranger has joined the Blues on a shortterm pre-season contract, with a view to a longer deal.

Phil Brown
Getty Images

Further details on Waltham Abbey house fire

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

We've contacted the fire service to ask for a bit more information about the kitchen fire in Waltham Abbey which has left a family homeless.

The press office told us there were no reports of any injuries.

The people involved were two adults in their 30s and two children under age of 10. 

Consultant who broke terminal cancer news 'unsympathetic'

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

The patient whose thigh bone snapped while she was at Colchester Hospital - but wasn't given an x-ray for four days - complained a consultant was "unsympathetic" when they first told her she had terminal cancer, believing she already knew about her prognosis.

The way the news was handled, the ombudsman found, was "not within recognised quality standards".  

The patient has since died. Her husband, who is from Colchester, lodged the complaint in 2015/2016.

Patient waited four days for snapped thigh bone x-ray

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Colchester Hospital has apologised after a cancer patient waited four days for an x-ray after her thigh bone snapped.

The patient was in a bed there when she and her husband heard a "loud crack".

Colchester Hospital

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has partially upheld the complaint finding the care had not been "in line" with good practice.

The hospital said the x-ray delay was "unacceptable" and the case had been used as an "opportunity" to improve.

Hit-and-run police looking for 2006 Ford Focus

Police have released more information about a car which failed to stop after hitting an Essex estate agent, leaving him needing both legs amputated.

The collision happened in Newmarket last Friday night. 

Shaun Whiter
David Lee

Officers now think a silver Ford Focus with a 2006 number plate was involved. 

Shaun Whiter, who was hit by the car, has had both legs amputated above the knee.

Fun with onion puns

Jodie Smith

BBC News

Seems like some of you are fans of a pun or two, especially when it comes to onions.

Graham Haddow was a very busy chap and sent a few in via email yesterday. They include: "What a pickle!" and a reference to "Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - The World is Just a Great Big Onion (I didn’t realise they were wrong - there are thousands of ‘em!!!!).  

Woman chopping onions
Central IT Alliance/Thinkstock

Over on the BBC Essex Facebook page, Paul Shassom went for: "And that's shallot - boom, boom".

Thanks all!

Your emails: Onion puns aplenty

Jodie Smith

BBC News

You might remember we encouraged you to send in your puns (or should that be punions?) yesterday after we told you how thousands of onions had been left in a Southend street when a lorry overturned earlier this week.

Spilled onions

Michael Budge quipped: "I'm on the verge of tears", while Ron Goodman joked: "What a heart rending story! Brings a tear to your eye doesn't it?"

Transgender police officer 'really looking forward' to Essex Pride

Gina Denham, an Essex Police sergeant who transitioned as a female officer last year, has been speaking about her experiences and her excitement at policing Essex Pride in Chelmsford tomorrow.

Gina Denham

Sgt Denham said Essex Police had been "completely amazing" with her transition, which was very different to negative reactions she had when she tried to come out as transgender in 1998.

"A lot of people think it's a phase - well it's been going on for 50 years, this phase," she said.

"My message to people is live your dream, follow your heart, and generally you'll be pleased about the way people treat you, certainly within Essex."

'The world has moved on'

Sgt Gina Denham, pictured here with her Special Recognition award from the British Association for Women in Policing for her contribution to gender equality, said Essex Police had been fantastic in handling her transition to female.

Gina Denham
Essex Police

"Nothing has been too difficult, they've been innovative," she said of the force.

"Colleagues have showed their true amazing respect for race and diversity. 

"I saw the world had moved on - it empowered me to come out in Essex Police."

Family of four homeless after kitchen fire

A family has been left homeless after a fire at their house in Waltham Abbey, which was believed to have started after a hob was accidentally turned on.

Mayfield, Waltham Abbey

Essex Fire and Rescue Service was called to Mayfield at 11:28, where an end-of-terrace house was on fire.

The fire was in the kitchen but the whole house, where a family of four lived, was filled with smoke.

The fire service said the Red Cross Victim Support unit went to help the family.

'His history is in the past' - Brown on Southend triallist

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

Southend boss Phil Brown talks about the one-month "test period" the club is giving to Nile Ranger:

This content only works in the UK.

The 24-year-old has a past which includes going absent from Blackpool and a fine for criminal damage.

Weather: Dry and bright this afternoon

BBC Weather

Drier and brighter this afternoon compared to the morning, with highs of 22C (72F).

We might see the odd shower but those will die out leaving a dry night with clear spells.

Friday weather

Check the latest forecast for your part of the county here.

Village Green festival performer Billy Bragg wants general election to be held

This weekend, singer and political activist Bill Bragg is doing a live performance at the Village Green Festival in Southend's Chalkwell Park.

He's been speaking to BBC Essex's Sadie Nine and told her he thinks a general election should be held following the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

Billy Bragg

I think that would at least clear the air. We're in a situation now where we're going to get a chance of [a new] prime minister without anybody getting a say."

Billy BraggSinger and political activist

'A little less testosterone might be a good thing in politics'

Jodie Smith

BBC News

As we found out yesterday, the next leader of the Conservative Party - and the next prime minister - will be a woman, after Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May got the most votes in the second ballot of Tory MPs.

Essex's Baroness Anne Jenkin thinks it's no bad thing a woman is set to run the country...

Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May

"I think there are quite a lot of people breathing a sigh of relief, frankly," she said.

"A little less testosterone might be a good thing in politics, particularly in a very troubled global situation and in a very challenging domestic one."

Ronald King trial set to resume on Monday

Jodie Smith

BBC News

All this week, we've been bringing you coverage of the trial of 87-year-old Ronald King who denies murdering his wife Rita, 81, at a care home in Walton-on-the-Naze at Christmas.

In case you were wondering about proceedings today - the court isn't sitting and the trial will resume on Monday.

Rita and Ron King
PA/East News Press Agency

Papworth Hospital 'disappointed with decision'

Papworth Hospital has released a statement regarding changes being ordered by NHS England.

It says: "We are disappointed with the decision as we believe that the congenital heart disease services provided at Papworth are of the highest clinical-quality and safety.

Exterior of Papworth Hospital

"However we understand and support NHS England's overall approach to consolidating specialist cardiac services throughout the country."

The hospital is one of five that have been told to stop providing some forms of complex care.  

Papworth heart treatment changes

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

The services affected at Papworth Hospital are those in its Level 2 centre which deals with congenital heart disease.

The hospital will not be allowed to treat adults with conditions they've had since birth.

The changes being ordered by NHS England would not affect other heart services at the Cambridgeshire hospital, which is one of the country's largest centres for heart and chest treatment.

We'll have more on this throughout the day.

Papworth told it must stop some types of complex heart disease treatments

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

The eastern region's main heart hospital - Papworth in Cambridgeshire - is one of five hospitals that have been told by NHS bosses to stop providing some forms of complex medical care

It includes procedures such as widening arteries and repairing holes in the heart.


NHS England has announced which trusts are not meeting standards and need to close some services.

Surgery will stop at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust in London.

Nile Ranger

Southend boss Phil Brown says Nile Ranger knows he is in the "last-chance saloon" during a "test period" with the club.

Read more

Eighteen migrants found in back of lorry in Harlow

Essex Police say they've found 18 migrants - including two children - inside a lorry in Harlow this morning.

London Road, Harlow

Officers were called after reports of the sound of banging coming from inside the vehicle in London Road just before 08:00. 

Sixteen men and two boys were held and will be processed by Border Force officials.

Problems on the Sudbury to Marks Tey line on the agenda for meeting

Cleah Hetherington

BBC Radio Suffolk

Problems on the Sudbury to Marks Tey railway line, which last year included 13 days without a service because of problems caused by leaves, are being discussed today at a meeting in the Suffolk town.

Abellio train

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, who's meeting with Network Rail, the Department of Transport and train provider Abellio Greater Anglia, said: "People's expectation of the service round here generally on Greater Anglia, whether from Sudbury or the mainline stations, is relatively poor.

"We still have these days of very bad experiences... there is an awful lot to do."

'Thoughts and prayers with Dallas Police'

Police in Essex have been reacting to the news coming in from Dallas this morning.

Five officers have been killed and six wounded by sniper fire during protests against the shooting of black men by police in the Texan city.

View more on twitter

Weather: Rain at first, clearing later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Starting cloudy with outbreaks of rain at first. Drier and brighter conditions will slowly spread east, with the afternoon seeing some warm sunny spells.

Highs today of 23C (73F).

If you'd like to see a detailed forecast for your part of Essex, have a look here.

Man charged over Stanford-le-Hope van driver shooting

Essex Police says a man's due to appear in court later charged over a shooting in Stanford-le-Hope earlier this year.

Shooting scene
Owen Ward

On 10 May, police were called to the junction of London Road and Stanford Road where a man driving a silver Ford Transit van had been shot.

The force said a 33-year-old man from Ilford has been charged with conspiracy to murder and was due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.

Welcome to today's live page for Essex

Jodie Smith

BBC News

Good morning and welcome to today's live page for Essex.

We start with news that a man has been charged in connection with a shooting earlier this year in Stanford-le-Hope, which left a van driver with "life-changing" injuries, police said.

More to follow on this and other stories.