Boy Rescued at Leigh-on-Sea Beach

bell wharf beachAccording to The Enquirer, there was an incident at Bells Wharf, Leigh-on-Sea this afternoon when a 12 year old boy got into difficulty whilst swimming and had to be pulled to safety, before being given first aid by bystanders. Ambulance crews from Leigh-on-Sea and Rayleigh, who had been called to the scene took him to Southend Hospital to be checked over.

Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: “During the hot weather we are called out to a number of incidents across the county where people have required emergency medical attention after swimming in rivers, reservoirs, ponds, quarries, lakes and canals and seaside resorts. It may be very appealing to jump into the water to cool off on a warm summer’s day but people need to be aware of how dangerous it really is.

“Furthermore, the temperature of deep water is much colder than people would expect and, even on a hot summer’s day, rarely gets above freezing. This is cold enough to take your breath away, which is the body’s natural reaction and cannot be controlled, possibly leading to panic and drowning. Cold can also make your arms and legs numb which means you can’t control them to swim and can also lead to hypothermia – a serious reduction in body temperature – which can cause heart failure.

“Lives have already been lost this year across the UK and we don’t want to see anyone else hurt or injured so the message is simple; enjoy the summer, stay out of open water and stay safe!”

This is particularly relevant to people who paddle or swim in the Thames Estuary off Southend. The extent of the shoals and sandbanks which are revealed at low water can be very tempting but the tide returns in a very unusual fashion, which can leave them cut off and surrounded by deep water.

Olympic Test Cycling Event at Hadleigh Downs – 31 July 2011

olympic-cyclingIt’s going to be busy in Leigh-on-Sea on Sunday 31 July 2011 with two big events taking place – the Leigh-on-Sea Fishing Festival and the Olympic Test Cycling Event up the road at Hadleigh Downs.

Large numbers of people are expected to use Leigh c2c Station as a hub for both events – those for the fishing festival will be able to park in the Station car park and walk along the path by the side of the railway line whilst, whilst the 400-600 people expected to arrive by train for the Olympic cycling will be able to book a ticket which includes a free pass to use the park and ride buses from the Station to Hadleigh. These buses will wait on Belton Way East and pick up passengers in Belton Way West outside the short-stay car park. The taxi rank will remain open.

For the 5000 people who are expected to attend the Olympic event in Hadleigh, driving will be discouraged due to the lack of parking in that area and there will also be no parking along Marine Parade and Thames Drive. Belton Way West will be closed and Belton Way East will be one way only.

The schedule for the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International is:

0900 – 1000 Gates open to spectators for the final practice session
1100 – 1245 Women’s Event
1300 – 1315 Presentation Ceremony
1400 – 1545 Men’s Event
1600 – 1615 Presentation Ceremony

With thanks to the Leigh Times for the timings and parking restrictions.

Leigh-on-Sea Fishing Festival 31 July 2011

leigh-on-sea-fishing-festivalThe annual Leigh-on-Sea Fishing Festival will be held at Bell and Victoria Wharf in Old Leigh Town from 11am to 4pm

The event is organised by Leigh-on-Sea Town Council with the support of the local fishing and cockling industry and elebrates Leigh’s fishing industry and heritage. See different types of fishing boats, including hopefully, perennial favourite, Endeavour, Mary Amelia – a cockler built by Hayward’s of Southend in 1914, Girl Pat – shrimper built by Johnson & Jago of Leigh about 1930, Anton Scott – a trawler/netter built at Hayling Island about 1962.

Talk to the local fishermen to find out how fish gets from the sea to your table. Weather permitting, one boat is hoping to land its catch on Bell Wharf and give the opportunity to purchase freshly caught fish straight from the boat.

There will be a free cockle tasting and events demonstrating the connection of man, boat and sea. Stalls will also provide various shellfish, fresh native oysters and rock oysters.

Find out more about the Fishing Festival Programme

Picture of the fishing boats at Leigh-on-Sea courtesy of local potter and artist Richard Baxter

testing woodcrest placate – Voicepress It

voicepress-itHave been testing the Voicepress plugin. This is a nifty little device that allows you to speak your posts rather than typing.

My experiences with my Garmin GSP car navigation unit left me suspicious that the plugin would work with my high-pitched Estuary accent. That piece of electrical equipment often leaves me shouting with frustration when it fails to recognise my attempts to deliver telephone numbers into its memory or just puts in its own versions that bear no resemblance whatsoever to what I actually said. However, ever the optimist, I signed up to do some beta testing nonetheless…

Unfortunately, things did not start well when the most recent WordPress update in conjunction with TwentyTen theme has meant that I can only get the microphone to work in the header and I cannot upload images or schedule posts.

But I ploughed on regardless with the title box where it did work. Despite several attempts at saying ‘Testing WordPress Plugin’, the closest the device managed to get in interpretation was ‘testing woodcrest placate’. Even when I thought back to all the lessons in received pronounciation that I was taught by my Grandma and spake the words in my bestest BBC English, it was not having it.

Hopefully, the guys can iron out some of the problems as I will be happy to have another go.

Shorelines – the Southend-on-Sea Literary Festival

The sea-reach of the Thames is straight, and, once Sheerness is left behind, its banks seem very uninhabited, except for the cluster of houses which is Southend…

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad

It always gives me a thrill to see Southend on the television and it was Brenda Emanus in the local news section after the BBC News, who alerted me to this literary mention. A sort of double whammy of media relevance.

Shorelines is the World’s First Literary Festival of the Sea and is organised by Metal, the artistic charity based in Chalkwell Park, where the majority of the event takes place.

The event has been curated by acclaimed writer, poet and performer, Lemn Sissay and artist and writer, Rachel Lichtenstein to provoke discussion, re-awaken senses, excite the adventurous spirit and discover new and classic texts about the sea.

There will be art exhibitions, music and literature from Shakespeare to modern times with the sea as its theme.

With over 1000 entries from local primary school children to the poetry competition and contributions from internaitonally acclaimed writers, the festival is already exciting a lot of interest.

It runs over this weekend, starting today.