THE proud father of a diver who helped rescue youngsters stranded in a flooded cave has hailed everyone involved as a hero.

Mr Acton, who moved from Wrabness to Thailand 12 years ago, was part of the supply team and went into the cave where the 12 boys and the assistant coach of their football team - nicknamed the

Wild Boars - had been trapped for 18 days.

Remarkably, everyone who had been missing was found and brought out of the cave safe and well over three days, despite freak weather flooding the cave and many of the boys not being able

to swim.

A POPULAR skating rink closed in the first week of the school holidays and cancelled a foam party, due to the heatwave.

Dovercourt Skating Rink announced the closure on its Facebook page, it said: “Due to the current heatwave and the Met Office advising people to stay indoors and the fact we are an outdoor venue, we have made the decision to close until Saturday.

The decision came after the Met Office issued a level three heatwave warning for parts of the UK, including the East of England.

The advice given was to stay out of the sun, especially during 11am to 3pm, drink plenty of water and keep your home as cool as possible.

STAFF at Clacton Hospital were in shock after plans to move two wards to Harwich were revealed.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said the news was heartbreaking and staff morale had plummeted.

They said: “Staff have to reapply for their own jobs to move to Harwich and there isn’t going to be enough work for all of them there because there will be a 15-bed reduction".

£18million plan would see two wards moved from Clacton Hospital to Harwich’s Fryatt Hospital


CANNABIS with an estimated street value of £80,000 was found growing in a disused church.

Police discovered 160 fully grown plants in the former church in Garland Road, Parkeston.

The room had been fitted with lights and a heating system.

An Essex Police spokesman said the find was significant.

He said: “Officers remained at the scene all night and dismantled the equipment and seized approximately 160 fully grown cannabis plants,

The find prevented £80,000 of unlawfully produced drugs from reaching the streets.

HUNDREDS of music revellers flocked to Wrabfest as it returned for a fourth year.

The Wrabness-based festival had a total of 2,500 visitors throughout the day on Saturday to enjoy music, food and drinks.

The successful annual festival - now in its fourth year - celebrates music, entertainment and community spirit.

The niche village festival is run by a score of volunteers from in and around the village for visitors to celebrate the best of the summer season.

HUNDREDS of people flocked to a summer seaside spectacle in Dovercourt for a weekend.

The Beside the Seaside Festival returned to the town for the second year running to give families a taste of traditional seaside entertainment.

The highlights of the event were live music from some of the brightest unsigned talent from across the region, beach sports and donkey rides.


THOUSANDS of petrolheads descended on Harwich for the adrenaline-fuelled return of an annual motorcycle run and fun day.

About 4,000 bikers took part in a 60-mile ride as part of the Harwich Motorcycle Run and Family Fun Day.

Riders kitted out in leather arrived into Harwich from around midday following the charity ride from Dunton in aid of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

A GROUP of volunteers saved the day when a sight-seeing pensioner lost her tour group while marking her 95th birthday.

Hundreds of visitors filled the streets of Harwich to look inside the town’s historic attractions for free as part of National Heritage Weekend.

But the Harwich Society team had to come to the rescue after the woman – known only as Enid – lost her coach trip.

Her group had stopped to use a public toilet near the pier when Enid came out to find it had driven off without her.

While helping Enid the team discovered it was her 95th birthday.

Determined to cheer her up they threw her a birthday party, complete with a cake.

A FIRST time mum-to-be who faced being deported at seven months pregnant has had the decision overturned by Home Office bosses.

Grace Smith, 34, and husband, 53, Dean were left devastated after being told by the Home Office she must return to China - despite being weeks away from her due date.

Grace, a Chinese national living in Manningtree, was awaiting deportation after having three visa applications rejected by the Government department.

But, after the community launched a campaign, which collected nearly 4,000 signatures, and Tendring Council wrote to the Government, Home Offices bosses decided to approve Grace’s visa on “compassionate” grounds.


VILLAGERS celebrated a court of appeal victory in a long-running legal battle against a quayside fence.

Campaigners have been fighting against a two-metre high metal fence along Mistley Quay since it was installed by port owners TW Logistics in September 2008.

Ten years later residents are still locked in battle to try and get the fence taken down.

THE home of legendary pilgrimship captain Christopher Jones is being opened as the “jewel in the crown” of Harwich’s tourist attractions for the voyage’s 400th anniversary.

Tendring Council has revealed it will lease the house in King’s Head Street, which has been restored to how it would have looked when Captain Jones lived there.

It will then be opened as a visitor attraction in the hope it will help draw in tourists, including Americans expected to travel to the UK especially for the anniversary year in 2020.

A YOUTH shelter was burnt and smashed just months after it was opened.

The perspex dome in Low Road, Dovercourt, was installed to give youngsters a place to congregate in and shelter from bad weather, with its see-through design intended to make it safe and prevent any potential criminal activity.

The facility cost £13,700 to install and was built in June.

But in late October, vandals smashed two holes in one plastic panel and burnt through another.


HAUNTED spirits were not dampened by the wet weather for this year’s Guy Carnival extravaganza.

Vampires, zombies and ghouls took to the streets of Harwich on Saturday night to be part of the town’s traditional carnival.

Crowds lined the route to watch the Harwich Rotary Club’s procession of floats, dance troops and famous Big Heads.

Wendy Taylor-Jones, who makes the Big Heads, said hundreds of people came to celebrate the carnival.

SIZZLING sausages and refreshing beers brought crowds to the coast for the fun-filled Harwich Sausage Festival.

Organised by Tendring Camra, about 200 people attended the event, which took place across the town’s Hanover Inn, New Bell Inn and Alma Inn.

There were 12 entries from butchers across Tendring, with Becky’s Butchers, in Great Bromley, winning the vote.

The highlight of the day for many however was the hotly-contested sausage flinging competition.

Richard Oxborrow, one of the organisers, said: “This year’s festival was fantastic."

A PARADE of flags was held to commemorate the centenary of the massive U-boat surrender in Harwich at the end of the First World War.

Music and art were brought together for the event to mark the 100th anniversary of the event.

A parade of flags, created by residents, representing each of the 168 U-Boats that surrendered off the coast of Harwich in 1918 was walked through the town and installed on a large willow U-Boat sculpture on Harwich beach.


CHILDREN lined a rail platform in a poignant recreation of the moment thousands of Jewish children fled the terror of the Nazi regime.

The week marked the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport.

The huge humanitarian rescue saw 10,000 children travel from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to the safety of Britain to save them from the Holocaust.

Children and teenagers had to travel without their parents and many never saw them again.

To commemorate the arrival of the first Kindertransport in Harwich on December 2, 1938 a group of schoolchildren took part in a dramatic re-enactment of the event.

MAJOR delays to a new £3million roundabout at an accident blackspot mean work won’t finish until next summer - six months later than expected.

Highways England confirmed the roundabout at the Hare Green junction on the A120 is now expected to be finished next summer.

Preliminary work started in October last year, which included clearing vegetation, and the first stage began in February this year, which saw drainage runs built and work to join the minor roads.

The turn-off to Harwich Road was closed and a number of overnight closures have taken place while building work was carried out.