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  1. Updates on Wednesday, 20 July 2016
  2. More than 60 jobs under threat at Southend RBS
  3. Commuters express frustration as heat affects trains
  4. UK's 'first ever' black vanilla ice cream made in Essex
  5. Hospital heroes rescue duckling family
  6. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day: Time to 'paws' for the night

That's another Essex Live done and dusted - but before we go, we've found another archive picture in the vaults from this month.

Turn the clock back 82 years and three-year-old Bert Miller was clearly ahead of the trend - wearing a spotted onesie created to match his Dalmatian at the Ongar Cottage Hospital fete. 

Prizes were awarded for the best-matched pair... sadly the records don't say if he won, but if you know drop us a line.

This month 82 year ago, three year-old Bert Miller was dressed to match his Dalmatian
Getty Images

The team will be back tomorrow morning from 08:00 with another dose of live coverage from across the county.

Stay cool.

PS: Fill a hot water bottle with cold water, leave it in the freezer, wrap it in a towel and take it to bed - bliss! #lifehack

In the news on Essex Live today...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

As the sun continues to shine, here are the top stories we've covered today:

  • More than 60 jobs are under threat at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Southend as the firm moves hundreds of nationwide posts to India  
  • A man has been left with an injured ankle after he fell down a pothole in Stanway at lunchtime
  • Essex Police presented the US Secretary of State John Kerry a custodian helemt out of respect of the officers who died in attacks at Baton Rouge and Dallas as he departed Stansted yesterday

Watch: Trapped in a car in a fur coat

Every year pet dogs die after being left to "cook" in vehicles as their owners unwittingly leave them to perish in hot weather.The RSPCA says it attended three deaths by the start of July, long before the temperatures started to soar as they have over the last couple of days.

Many people still believe that a dog can be left in a car on a warm day if the windows are open, or they’re parked in the shade, but it’s still a very dangerous situation for the animal, the animal welfare charity says.

Sadie Nine, from BBC Essex, decided to see how long she could last inside a car while wearing a fur coat... but how long did she manage?    

What's it like to wear a fur coat in a boiling hot car?

What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day

More than 60 jobs under threat at Southend RBS

More than 60 jobs are under threat at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Southend as the firm moves hundreds of nationwide posts to India.

RBS Southend
Geograph/John Allan

The union Unite says it's the "ultimate betrayal" of a loyal work force as 66 posts in the Fraud and Chargeback department could be affected. 

In a statement, the bank said: "With RBS becoming a smaller, simpler bank, we've been restructuring our back office support so it's a better fit for our business. 

"Unfortunately, these changes will mean some job losses."

Weather: Dry this evening with the heat gradually cooling off

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Largely fine this evening with the hot conditions gradually cooling off, although an isolated thunderstorm cannot be ruled out. Minimum temperature: 16C (61F).

East of England

It will be a mostly dry day tomorrow with some warm sunshine and light winds, but feeling less hot and humid than recently. Highs of 25C (77F).

Get your local forecast from BBC Weather.

Eat Well for Less: What's making your food bill so big?

As the Thomas family from Chelmsford prepares for their five minutes of fame on Eat Well for Less? tonight, we want to know whether you are spending more than you need on food. 

Maybe you're impulse buying, splashing out on ready meals or buying food that's on promotion, only to end up throwing it away.

Find out what type of shopper you are and maybe knock a bit off your next bill too with the BBC's iWonder quiz

iWonder page

How do you keep animals cool in the heat...

... ice blocks and sprinklers of course.

View more on twitter

Places that are not as hot as Essex right now...

A bit too hot for you? You may feel a little cooler if you hop on a plane and jet off to some of these locations... they are all colder than Essex at the moment.

Hot countries around the world

Find out how the temperature where you live compares to cities around the world here.

John Kerry receives parting gift before taking off from Stansted

Before departing Stansted Airport last night following a whistle-stop visit to Britain, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, was handed a departing gift from local Essex Police officers.

John Kerry with Supt Glenn Maleary
Essex Police
John Kerry with Supt Glenn Maleary
Essex Police

Airport commander Supt Glenn Maleary presented Mr Kerry with a custodian helmet as a mark of respect following the deaths of a number of US police officers in attacks at Baton Rouge and Dallas.  

Store pizza v branded pizza... Would you spot the difference?

Now back to our Chelmsford family who are appearing on the BBC's Eat Well for Less? tonight...

Would you be able to spot a store's own pizza from one of those more expensive brand names? 

That was the task put in front of Mandy and the rest of the Thomas family.

Mandy and the children have pizza for dinner, but is it their usual brand?

You can catch Mandy and the Thomas family on BBC One from 20:00 tonight. 

Man hurt after falling down a pothole

We often hear about the damage potholes cause to vehicles, but it was a man who came of worse today after he fell down a pothole in Stanway. 

Tollgate West

It happened in Tollgate West at about 12:24. The East of England Ambulance Service says it treated the man, believed to be in his 40s, for an ankle injury.


Stunning sunset captured across Essex

BBC Weather

Thanks to everybody who uploaded pictures of last night's glorious sunset across Essex to our Weather Watchers' website.


Hospital security guards 'stop traffic' to rescue ducklings from manhole

Three Colchester Hospital security guards have been hailed heroes after rescuing a group of ducklings from a drain. 

Lee, Neville and Jason, stopped traffic to rescue the young family and reunite them with their mother yesterday afternoon. They were still dressed in their stab-proof vests - we guess things could have turned ugly (duckling).

Well done chaps! 

Colchester Hospital
Duckling rescue
Colchester Hospital
Colchester Hospital

Weather: Hot and humid with isolated thundery showers possible later

BBC Weather

Another hot and humid afternoon with long periods of sunshine, but some isolated thunderstorms may develop later.

Weather map

Maximum temperature: 30C (86F). You can find more on the local forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

'Reduced timetable' to run on Greater Anglia trains this evening

Railway platform

Greater Anglia will be running a "reduced timetable" due to the heat tonight. 

A number of services have already been cancelled

A reduced timetable will be in operation this evening in order to accommodate the speed restriction imposed by Network Rail. Some services have been cancelled and others altered to include additional stops, so customers are advised to check details before travelling and allow extra time for their journey. We would like to apologise to customers affected by these changes."

Greater Anglia spokeswoman

Boy, 15, released on bail in Vilson Meshi murder investigation

An update on a story we told you about yesterday...

A 15-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of the murder of a man in Pitsea has been released on bail. 

Vilson Meshi
Anthony Chooah

The body of  Vilson Meshi, 30, was found in a burned-out car back in February. 

The teenager was detained in London yesterday and has been bailed until the end of August.

If you're just joining us...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories we've covered on Essex Live so far today:

  • Some Essex train services have already been cancelled this evening as the hot weather causes disruption for a second day
  • A "yellow" weather warning for thundery showers has been issued for the county
  • A Chelmsford family are appearing on the BBC's Eat Well for Less? at 20:00 tonight

Let's play another game of #heatbingo!

'Yellow' weather warning issued for Essex

You couldn't make it up could you... 

After days of not a cloud insight, the Met Office has today issued a "yellow" weather warning for heavy thundery showers in Essex.

View more on twitter

We're trying to gather more information on train cancellations

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

We're waiting to hear back from Greater Anglia after their website says that 14 services so far this afternoon and evening have been cancelled due to "high temperatures". 

As soon as we know more details on these cancellations, and if there are likely to be any more, we'll let you know. 

One from the vaults: Arandora Star at Tilbury docks

When the temperatures soar a sea voyage might seem an attractive way to travel... sadly this story doesn't come with a happy ending.

This was the scene at Tilbury docks in July 1938 when the British liner Arandora Star was at the port.

Two years later she was sunk by a German U-boat off the west coast of Ireland while carrying 1,500 German and Italian people from Britain to internment camps in Canada. 

The British liner Arandora Star at Tilbury docks
Getty Images

High temperatures spark train cancellations for this evening

It may not even be lunchtime yet, but it looks like it could be another evening of misery for commuters travelling home tonight. 

Greater Anglia

Cancellations have already been put in place for some London Liverpool Street services via Colchester, Southend and Ipswich between 16:00 and 20:00 due to "high temperatures" causing minor delays to services to Norwich.

We'll hear a bit more from Abellio Greater Anglia shortly. In the meantime you can keep up-to-date with the service status here

Eat Well for Less: Masterchef's Greg Wallace drops in for Chelmsford lunch

Mandy, who is appearing on BBC One's Eat Well for Less tonight, told us she was "quite surprised how much filming there was". 

"They were here from 06:00 and left at 22:00 on some days - but it was good fun, really good experience for children." 

Here's some photos Mandy sent us of presenter and Master Chef legend Greg Wallace at her house in Chelmsford. 

Greg Wallace
Mandy Thomas
Greg Wallace
Mandy Thomas

Eat Well for Less: Branded or store's own? Chelmsford family take on BBC TV challenge

Are you a shrewd shopper or do you go wild in the aisles when it comes to your weekly groceries? 

Well, one Essex mum, who isn't shy about how much she spends on the family shop, is appearing on a BBC One programme tonight designed to help households realise that cheaper food can be easier, healthier and tastier.

Gregg and Chris are in Chelmsford, Essex to help the Thomas family

"I'm ridiculous when I shop and I buy so many snacks for the children. My husband says I spend ridiculous amounts of money - and I buy branded all the time", Mandy Thomas from Chelmsford told us. 

"He'll shop in the cheaper shops and I'll buy the best product - but we haven't' got the money for it, that's why we struggle".

We'll hear more from the Thomas family throughout the day - but what's your #lifehack for making your shop cheaper? Send them to us using #esxlive, Facebook or email.

Would you try the UK's 'first ever' black vanilla ice cream?

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Yesterday I spent the day down at Southend beach (I know, tough job but somebody has to do it etc). 

On my travels, I took a trip to a factory that makes Southend's most famous export, Rossi Ice Cream. 

There I was given a news scoop, as the company has created what it claims is "the first ever UK black vanilla ice cream". But would you try it? 

Black ice cream

Here's what you've been saying on our Facebook page: 

Barbara commented: "Yes do not care what colour as long as it taste ok."

Jeane wasn't impressed: "Noooooo !!!!! It looks gross."

Annette wrote: "If it is naturally black then ok, but if it is coloured just for the fun of it, then I don't see the point."

John joked: "Handy for summer funerals ..."

Commuters get hot under the collar over Greater Anglia heat delays

You didn't even have to be on a train yesterday to hear the wrath of commuters as their trains home from London were disrupted due to the heat. 


Thousands of angry travellers took to social media after services through Billericay were cancelled due to damage to the overhead electric wires.

Greater Anglia has apologised for the inconvenience - and thankfully, if you're heading into London for work, the service is running as normal today.

Another hot day for Essex

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

It's going to be another hot and humid day, with long periods of sunshine for us all. 

There is a chance of some isolated thundery showers that could develop through the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 31C (88F).

Get your local forecast via BBC Weather.

Welcome to another hot Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Morning - another scorcher of a day in store for you today but I won't be spending it at the beach, unlike yesterday.

Remember you can relive our live coverage from the seaside in Southend here

View from Southend Pier

In the meantime, standby for a look at stories happening across the county, and probably some more weather chat too. 

Feel free to share your heatwave related pictures with us using #esxlive, Facebook or email.