A Game for Jayla – Dagenham & Redbridge FC – 21 May 2017

Following on from the girl’s contribution, the guys also took turns behind the mic – Sammy Leighton Clay and DJ Ironik pictured – and on the pitch. Celebrities from the world of TV and music were extremely competitive in their attempts to raise the winner’s trophy aloft, with the team led by Danny Wisker coming out triumphant. ‘Heavy D’ joined Danny to receive the trophy.

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A Game for Jayla – Dagenham & Redbridge FC – 21 May 2017

A charity football match and music festival organised by Blue Moon Footie Fest took place to raise funds for Jayla’s Wish, which supports 5 year old Jayla Agbonlahor who is suffering from an unknown debilitating brain disorder. Jayla is the niece of Aston Villa striker Gabriel who presented the winner’s trophy and player of the match medal. Celebrities from X-Factor, The Voice, Love Island, TOWIE, Ex on the Beach and others from the world of TV and modelling took part in men’s and women’s games. The following illustrates some of the women who contributed behind a mic or on the pitch. Model Danielle Mason (Big Fat Gypsy Wedding) was handed the match trophy as captain, whilst Biancca Lake (Big Brother) received the player of the match medal. Donations to Jayla’s Wish can be made here: https://www.gofundme.com/jaylaswish

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Rally to Save Southend ‘Blue Light’ A & E – Southend High Street – 20 May 2017

As part of cost cutting measures a proposal by the Conservative government is threatening to downgrade the A&E facilities at both Southend and Chelmsford hospitals, centralising the 999 service at Basildon hospital. Locals are worried that the additional distance will impact patient survivability for serious cases. Protesters marched up Southend High Street and gathered in Victoria Circus to listen to various speakers, including local candidates Ashley Dalton (Lab), Peter Gwizdala (Lib Dem) and Ron Woodley (Ind). The Conservative party sent a spokesman to read a prepared speech which wasn’t well received by the audience. As if to highlight the issue an ambulance had to be called to attend to one of the protestors who collapsed, the speed of arrival of which – from Southend hospital – didn’t go without mention!

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Anti Nicolas Maduro Demonstration – Belgrave Square, London – 13 May 2017

Protesters gathered under the statue of Simon Bolivar in Belgrave Square, Belgravia, demonstrating against the actions of ‘dictator’ Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and in memory of fellow protesters killed in that country.

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Abingdon Air & Country Show – Dalton Barracks – 14 May 2017

The airshow at the former RAF airfield suffered a number of pre-event cancellations and periods of bad weather – despite being moved a couple of weeks further into the year in an attempt to avoid those incidents from which it had previously suffered.  As always though, Neil Porter and his small team delivered a highly entertaining program of flying and ground activities, with revised regulations necessitating a complete re-design of the public access and viewing areas. One of the Twister team experienced an engine failure resulting in a heavy emergency landing and injuries to the pilot, reported to be relatively minor. The following images hopefully illustrate a little of what was on offer to the visiting public.

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Anti Bullfighting Protest – London – 13 May 2017

Held in solidarity with protesters in Madrid, a protest was held in London against bullfighting and all forms of cruelty against animals. The demonstration gathered in Marble Arch where two of its members splattered themselves in fake blood, before the group proceeded to march to the Spanish embassy in Belgrave Square. Speakers included Jordi Casamitjana from the League Against Cruel Sports.

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Soapbox Derby – Billericay, Essex – 1 May 2017

A section of London Road in Billericay with a slight gradient was closed off to traffic to allow for a soapbox derby, whereby home-made carts raced down the course powered purely by gravity and a push from the start ramp. The course included two jumps and a chicane. Local businesses and schools were among the teams taking part. The event was run by the Rotary Club of Billericay to raise funds for charity.

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