Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Sky's the limit at Clacton

The media's obsession with Essex continues. Sky News has been broadcasting live from Clacton-on-Sea today with Kay Burley live on Clacton beach, which is looking pretty glorious in the sunshine. She's also been doing live links from in front of the pier, complete with fish and chip shop. The reason Sky is there is that Clacton is Britain's most Eurosceptic town — though the Guardian recently claimed this was Romford. Anyway, Claction is represented by Ukip's Douglas Carswell, who defected from the Conservatives. 

Sky News has been interviewing residents of the German town which is twinned with Clacton (they want the UK to stay) and the locals in Clacton, and has even taken Douglas Carswell to Poland. Burley has also pondered how the huge wind farm in the sea off Clacton would fare without European subsidies. She's there all day so check it out on Sky News. And a nice day out for the news crew… let's hope they have a go on the slot machines and some chips before returning to London.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Signs of the crimes in Blackmore

The Daily Telegraph reports an outbreak of strange vandalism in Blackmore. All references to Blackmore on the village's signs have been erased with grey paint, and even the stocks on the village green have been daubed with paint. Why would someone want to erase all traces of Blackmore? Is it something to do with the Mountnessing People's Front, the People's Front of Ingatestone or someone looking back in Ongar? Or someone with a grudge against former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore? Mulder and Scully are set to investigate soon…

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Mersea oysters on Countryfile

Good to see Mersea Island featuring on last week's Countryfile. Plenty on the problems of keeping the native oysters going and some nice footage of Matt Baker going out looking for oysters with seventh-generation oyster fisherman Richard Haward and learning how efforts are being made to replenish the depleted native oysters; and also of Shauna Lowry on the banks of the River Colne with reintroduced water voles. Click on the link to view.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Jaywick versus Siberia

Jaywick as filmed in Benefits-by-the-Sea
There's been something of a twitter-storm over Russian TV using Jaywick to show there are worse places than Russia. Jaywick has made a unlikely appearance on Novosibirsk TV. Fed up with a BBC crew filming the dodgy parts of Sibera the Russians hit back by broadcasting pictures of Jaywick, officially the most deprived area in Britain. Lots of comments on BBC Essex's Facebook page, with some Essex residents saying "fair play it's a dump" and others wanting to send a rocket to Russia. Personally I think that Jaywick might be run down, but it's got a great beach, has lots of potential and could actually benefit from EU funding should we remain in Europe. Could a new Cold War be starting over the Tendring Peninsula?

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Essex Book Festival kicks off with Grayson Perry

Plenty going on at the Essex Book Festival which runs from March 1-31. Grayson Perry launches the festival at the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford on Monday, Feb 29, while Radio Essex is broadcasting live from the festival from 2.30pm on Tuesday March 1 in the lead-up to Vince Cable's event After the Storm. Highlights include Zoe Howe talking about her book Lee Brilleaux: Rock'n'Roll Gentleman, Lee Jackson's Dirty Old London session on Victorian London, Helen Dunmore's Exposure, Simon Callow's One Man Band, A N Wilson on Queen Victoria and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis on her novel The Butcher's Hook. Plus lots of writing classes and a Golden Age of Crime weekend in Southend. Click on the link for the full programme.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Honest estate agent found in Leigh-on-Sea!

Leigh-on-Sea has made national headlines through having an honest estate agent (and that's not an oxymoron). Credit to Rob Kahl of Scott & Stapleton for describing the flat he was selling in strikingly frank terms, writing: "Wipe your feet on the way out! Not for the faint hearted this first floor flat is being sold as seen, rubbish and all! Having recently just had to evict some charming (not) tenants the vendors of this property have had enough and can’t even face setting foot in what used to be their sweet and charming home. I can’t flower this one up or use my normal estate agent jargon to make this sound any better. The property is full of rubbish, there is mould on the walls and I think there may even be some fleas there to keep me company when I carry out the viewings." His honesty was rewarded, as the flat sold for £22,000 more than the asking price of £125,000. Essex - where even the estate agents tell it like it is.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Essex gets a GQ makeover from Andy Coulson

There's a big feature on Essex in the February issue of GQ. It's penned by Wickford-born Andy Coulson, former Cameron spin doctor, News of the World editor and latterly prisoner. Now he's done his time following the phone hacking scandal Andy has perhaps made it as an authentic Essex geezer. His piece looks at the Towie stereotypes and discusses the Tories in Essex, mentioning the large number of rising MPs such as Robert Halfon in Harlow, Priti Patel in Witham and Mark Francois in Rayleigh and Wickford (forget the poncy spelling says Andy). There's also a nice line on Ed Miliband's Labour Party trying to use a spoof Life on Mars poster saying "Don't let the Tories take us back to the 1970s". Coulson quips, "in Basildon they'd elect Gene Hunt as Mayor."