Song of the Sea book launch – Leigh-on-Sea, Essex – 25 April 2015

Fisherman Colin Dolby from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, was lost at sea in 2008 when his trawler ‘Louisa’ capsized in a freak storm off of the Shoeburyness coast. The Dolby family had been fishing in the Thames for over 300 years, a tradition which came to an end with Colin’s passing. His widow, Jane, soon began a campaign to improve safety for trawlermen, and in 2012 set up ‘The Fishwives Choir’ to raise funds for the Fishermen’s Mission charity. Mrs Dolby said she had received “the most incredible support” from the charity following the disappearance of her husband, whose body was not recovered until eight months after the sinking. “They stayed central to our lives for the whole time. They supported us spiritually and financially,” she said. “Because Colin’s body was missing I couldn’t get a death certificate to prove he was dead, so I couldn’t claim any benefits and had no income. “The Fishermen’s Mission provided us with money and food. They helped us to survive.” The members of the choir are all related to fishing families or are involved themselves and their charity single – When The Boat Comes In/ Eternal Father – was released in the spring of 2012, and they continue to tour up and down the country.

Jane has published her story in a book titled ‘Song of the Sea’ which was launched today at The Fishermen’s Chapel in Leigh-on-Sea, and is available through Orion Publishing: ‘Song of the Sea’


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Service for planting of Ceramic Poppies at Stow Maries WWI Aerodrome – 19 April 2015

Ten ceramic poppies from the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ art installation were ‘planted’ during a service of remembrance at Stow Maries Aerodrome, in memory of the airmen of 37 (Home Defence) Squadron who died whilst serving the squadron during World War One. The art installation of 888,246 poppies surrounded the Tower of London during 2014 commemorating one hundred years since the start of WWI, after which they were posted out to individuals and groups. The poppies were purchased using donations by the ‘Friends of Stow Maries Aerodrome’.

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Southend Shakedown – Bank Holiday Monday 6 April 2015

Whilst the rest of the UK enjoyed hot sunny weather a bank of heavy cloud covered the east coast, creating pretty grim conditions for the ‘Shakedown’. Seen as the first chance for many bikers to get out after the winter, groups gather at locations such as the Ace Cafe in London before heading for Southend seafront. The event attracts bikes and bikers of all shapes and sizes, as the following illustrates:

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International Pillow Fight Day – Trafalgar Square – London – 4 April 2015

A pillow fight in Trafalgar Square is an annual event organised by Focal Local, a group aiming to promote positive social action in the community through encouraging total strangers to interact with each other by participating in such events. Thousands of members of the public brought their own pillows with which to hit each other after the ‘kick-off’ whistle was blown at 13:00. The ‘fighting’ carried on all afternoon with new people continuing to join the fray as others flagged.

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