Blog Page 264

Rail replacement details announced for Christmas 2015.

This is a train.

The London to Southend Railway has announced more details of planned engineering works over the Christmas and New Year period of 2015 – 2016.

Dec 24th – Dec 26th: Southend Victoria – Prittlewell CLOSED

The line will be closed for polishing between Southend Victoria and Prittlewell, which means that all services will be temporarily diverted through The Range and Matalan before passengers can alight and depart at a temporary station inside of The Railway public house.

Dec 27th – Dec 31st: Southend Airport – Rochford CLOSED

The line will be closed for essential sleeper sniffing work between Southend Airport and Rochford. As a result of this disruption, passengers on Easyjet and Flybe services into London Southend Airport are requested to jump out of the plane around 15 seconds before landing in order to use connecting rail services. In the event that the flight path takes your flight over Leigh On Sea instead, a temporary mattress will be installed on the roof of Sports Direct (an executive mattress will be in place on top of Harvey’s).

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Enormous and unrealistic building project announced for somewhere in Southend.

Will Disneyland soon have competition from Southend?

After almost ten minutes of talks with the council’s planning department, it has been decided than a futuristic, massive, expensive and economically-ridiculous project will soon be built somewhere within the borough of Southend ONSEAA.

Although the exact details (such as the project type and location) are currently a closely-guarded secret, Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that the plans involve bulldozing the entire area of Southchurch and constructing a ‘leisure resort’ that will rival Basildon’s Festival Leisure Park, the upcoming Fossett’s Farm development and even Disneyland Paris.

Having concluded that the borough’s transport infrastructure will easily be able to handle an extra 2,500,000 vehicles per week, we have seen official paperwork that confirms the following features for the resort:

  • A 67 screen cinema, with each screen having between 200-17,000 places.
  • A 320-lane bowling alley, with a 5% discount for anyone whose home was destroyed in order to build the resort.
  • 58 restaurants, of which 57 will be nationally recognised chains, and one outlet will be allocated to a destroyed local business.
  • 12 nightclubs, of which 12 will be closed after three months when a bit of trouble kicks off.
  • 12 more nationally recognised chain restaurants, which will take the place of the 12 nightclubs after three months.

Although there is some concern behind closed doors that the initial outlay of £400,000,000,000 to prepare the land for development will be difficult to finance, council leaders are said to be confident that the first new business will be able to move in by January 2097.

What do you think? We asked a few fictitious local residents for their opinion!

Bernie Bernard, 43, <insert town>:

This would be fantastic news for the town! I am sick and tired of having to visit central Southend for a cheeky Nando’s.

Katherine Oranjeboom, 14, Chalkwell:

Young people have nothing to do in this town at the moment, so the bowling alley would be an amazing thing to have. I don’t like bowling by The Kursaal as there are so many boy racers around there.

At the time of going to press, Southend News Network can also EXCLUSIVELY reveal that there is a backup plan in place if the initial funds cannot be secured for this development. According to leaked official papers, a scaled-down version of the plans will involve stealing Festival Leisure Park from Basildon when the security guard locks up for the night.


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Southend bus boss confirms the true location of Sorry Not In Service.

The true location of Sorry Not In Service has been confirmed.

After many years of speculation, the real location of Sorry Not In Service has been confirmed by the head of local bus services in Southend.

Charles Ringbell, CEO of Southend Buses, was secretly recorded by a Southend News Network undercover reporter during a chance meeting in The Blue Boar pub in Victoria Avenue. During this conversation, he let slip that Sorry Not In Service is a small village that lies around five miles due east of Shoebury East Beach.

This shock development comes as no surprise to Thorpe Bay resident Eileen Over, 68. ‘I have sometimes spent three days waiting for a bus to Shoeburyness, only for multiple buses to come speeding past that are heading for Sorry Not In Service. There can’t be too many people living there, as every service always seems to be empty.’

Local bus users can be reassured by this news. It has previously been thought previously in the past that buses displayed Sorry Not In Service in order to avoid carrying rain-soaked passengers who had spent a significant chunk of their lifetime waiting for a bus.

In a separate development, Southend News Network can also EXCLUSIVELY reveal that putting a hand out clearly to make a bus stop hasn’t been a recognised signal for waiting passengers since 1984. During our secret conversation with Mr Ringbell, he confirmed that drivers will now only stop for those who are dressed entirely in fluorescent pink, and also that drivers reserve the right to drive straight past if they can see schoolchildren who look ‘a bit rowdy.’

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Leigh supermarket announces brand new Parent & Toddler & Land Rover parking area.

Land Rover owners are about to find it much easier to park at a Leigh supermarket.

Users of a local supermarket in Leigh On Sea were celebrating today after the announcement that a new Parent & Toddler & Land Rover parking area will be operational by January 2016.

Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that the Freshbuys supermarket in Leigh Road has received a number of requests from Land Rover drivers who have found it near impossible to park within 20m of the entrance due to the amount of inconsiderate parents that are ‘hogging’ the closest spaces.

Tabitha Crosby Duval-Duval, 34, of The Ridgeway was delighted with the news. She said, ‘This is going to make a huge difference to my daily life. It took me almost 25 seconds to walk from my car to the front door of Freshbuys last week because a mother was taking so long to fit a car seat while keeping her toddler quiet and trying to soothe a screaming newborn. If she can park right by the entrance, why can’t I? It already takes me 45 seconds to climb back into my car, not including the time it takes me to polish the ‘Overfinch’ lettering.’

Roger La Bamba, manager of the supermarket, confirmed that the pilot scheme will be running for three months. He added, ‘In the event that it is successful, we will look to remove the Parent & Toddler spaces altogether by next summer. Market statistics show that childless Land Rover owners spend up to £40 per week on artisan mineral water alone, and so this is definitely a market that we want to encourage with convenient parking spaces.’

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Accident reported on A127.


An accident has been reported reported on the A127 somewhere. Drivers are advised to keep returning to this page for live developments that could affect your rush hour journey home this evening.


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POLICE APPEAL. Can you identify this thief from CCTV footage that is 26 years old?

Could you help solve this terrible crime?

Take a good look at this image that has been taken from CCTV footage from 1989?

On 24th September 1989, a man burst into a corner shop on Sutton Street and demanded that the cashier hand over everything in the till and a Curly Wurly. The Southend News Network has managed to uncover footage of this shocking event for the first time – can you identify the crook?

Our criminology expert has confirmed that the footage shows a male betweeen 15-85 years old, and there is also a possibilty that he was clean shaven at the time.

Local officer PC Michael Mystic thinks that this footage will lead to the thief being apprehended. ‘Given the amount of time that has passed, we know that the incident will still be fresh in the minds of everyone who saw it.’

Have you been affected by that fateful night in 1989? Would you be willing to speak to a Southend News Network journalist? Contact us now – your views could appear in an upcoming 32-page pullout about the theft in the printed edition of Southend News.

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SENIOR NURSE: Essex mums should consult FACEBOOK GROUPS for help before GP


A senior nursing consultant in Essex has advised that mums and mums-to-be should consult informal Facebook groups if they need any urgent advice about their young children or their pregnancy – this can often be far quicker than getting a considered opinion from a qualified health professional.

Andrew Gabble, head of the Younger Years Health Consultation Consortium in Essex, said, ‘While contacting your GP may be the first idea that springs to mind if you have a concern about your young child’s health or your pregnancy, you should also remember that more than 29 million mothers, mothers-to-be, and women who happen to know mothers currently belong to Facebook groups that provide helpful advice – whether or not you actually ask for it. Whatever your concern may be, there will always be someone who has been through exactly the same thing with their own kids, along with other people who have probably read about it in Take A Break or something.’

He added, ‘Even if you already have kids of your own, the laws of social media dictate that anyone with one child more will have total and absolute intellectual superiority over any opinions that you may have already – regardless of the level of grammar and spelling on display. Also, you can share photos if you wish to give further information about your child’s condition, and as an added bonus other group members can use this image to make other observations about your general ability as both a mother and a general human being.’

Shelly Del Monte, a mother of 13 from Westcliff, is one of the most active members on the ‘Babies and mothering advice in SOUthend for Mummees’ Facebook group. She said, ‘Young mummies shouldn’t worry about other people on Facebook thinking things about them when they post things about their kids’ health things – we have more than 1000 posts a day and we are all really chatty. Unfortunately we can’t have any daddies posting on there as we all use our kids as our profile pics and they could download them – I can’t put my kids in danger.’

Christmas set to be SCRAPPED in Southend due to budget cuts

Trouble ahead for Southend's Santas? (terrible artist's impression).

Southend News Network has seen official documents confirming that Christmas will be cancelled in Southend Town Centre in 2016 – this decision has been taken after the success of a pilot scheme to remove the Southend Airshow from the annual calendar of events.

We were able to speak with a council insider regarding the plans, and he is adamant that the right decision has been made.

He said, ‘Christmas brings thousands and thousands of people into Southend Town Centre in November and December every year, and the costs of keeping them all under control and stopping them from jumping into the sea have continued to escalate out of control annually. Tough decisions have to be made about the best way to spend our limited budget, and we felt that removing the festive season will actually bring a wide variety of benefits to our local businesses.’

‘We are aware that this retail period generates hundreds of thousands of pounds for Southend businesses – however we would urge our loyal traders to see the bigger picture, whatever that is. Southend is a year-round shopping destination anyway, and a few sparkling lights and jolly songs will hardly be missed.’

Bertie Sludge, chairman of the Southend Seafront Trader Consortium, is delighted with the news. ‘Every festive season brings nothing but misery and low revenue for us, and scrapping Christmas is excellent news for all concerned. Everyone seems to just use the High Street and nowhere else, and perhaps we will now see more people attracted to the seafront instead – December is the perfect time to sample an ice cream, go for a paddle, and run half-naked through the fountains.’

A number of residents have reacted to the news with a mixture of shock and horror. Here are some of the views that we have taken from our Facebook page, along with one that has been made up.

Jessica Wallop, 31, Stambridge

Christmas has traditionally been organised by the council in Southend for a number of years now, and I will be sorry to see it go. However, austerity is all about giving the country a solid foundation for the future, and I am sure that a number of smaller shopping events that are linked to a religious festival will be organised – these will be just as good!

Candy Flipnugget, 15, Westcliff

I am well upset about what the council have done. Christmas was always super busy, and it was well possible to swag some wicked ear hoops from New Look – no one saw nothing innit.

Carmella Fudge, 42, Medium Wakering

Perhaps the answer would be to move Christmas. December is always such a busy time of year with nativity plays, carol services and grotto visits – it is nearly impossible to fit Christmas in as well. If the council were able to shift it to May, it would be so much more popular in the warmer weather, and they could even have little stalls along the seafront and some aerial displays to draw in the crowds.

We contacted the North Pole for their reaction to the news, and a spokesperson confirmed that they were looking into some alternative locations for Christmas. Unofficially, it is thought that Clacton will be the preferred choice.

What do you think of the news? Let us know on our Facebook page at *All comments left on our Facebook page become property of Southend News Network, and we reserve the right to pass them off as our own thoughts and opinions.



UNEXPLODED ITEM washed up on Southend seafront: LIVE UPDATES

This may look like Johnny 5, but it is in fact a bomb disposal robot.

Army and police personnel have been called to Southend seafront to deal with an unexploded item that washed up close to the Pebbles One café.

Emergency services were alerted just after 7am this morning when a pale yellow case appeared on the beach, and a robotic inspection unit carried out a full investigation while a one-mile square area was closed to the public.

At 7.35am, the item was declared safe, and a military spokesperson announced that it was a medium lamb doner kebab with onion, chilli and extra burger sauce.

He added, ‘This kind of false alarm is becoming more and more common, as every night brings thousands of revellers to the area. After consuming a huge amount of alcohol, these meals are purchased as a matter of course, and the natural reaction when discovering the sheer horror that lies inside is to hurl it into the sea with as much force as possible.’

After the Rumbaba landmine that was discovered in Thundersley in 2013, security officials have confirmed that all washed up items from local takeaways will continue to be treated as potentially lethal.