Demonstration against Tory-DUP Alliance – Westminster, London – 10 June 2017

A demonstration took place in London following news that the Conservative party would be calling on the Democratic Unionist Party to create the required majority in Parliament. Fears that the DUP would be given the chance to promote their extreme views brought out protesters from LGBT and women’s rights groups, with further demonstrators against racism and austerity adding to the numbers. After rallying on Parliament Square many of the protesters marched on Downing Street.

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The Color Run – Wembley Park, London – 11 June 2017

Labelled as ‘the happiest 5k on the planet’, The Color Run is an un-timed celebration of health and colour, with groups of friends and families running, walking, jogging, dancing and partying their way along the course at any pace, raising money for the NSPCC charity. At each kilometre the runners are sprayed in kaleidoscopic powder, plus one shower of foam. As the runners finish the course they gather round the Finish Festival Stage with ‘pumping’ music and more colour explosions. First held in 2012 in the US – hence the spelling – ‘The Color Run’ has since spread around the world. Runners are handed ponchos on leaving to help keep the powder from spreading to transport seats, and fellow passengers!

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Shuttleworth Fly Navy – Old Warden – 4 June 2017

One of the country’s favourite airshow venues held its second ‘Fly Navy’ event following the highly successful 2016 debut, but suffered from worsening weather and cancellation of the Sea Vixen (see Duxford). Still, the Old Warden atmosphere shone through the gloom and the renowned intimate flying distances made for a great day’s entertainment.

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Duxford Air Festival – Sunday 28 May 2017

The first airshow of the year at IWM Duxford offered a very varied and full flying programme spanning from Great War to present day military machinery, with much in between. Undoubted highlight was the Rafale of the Armee de l’air which outshone the RAF’s Typhoon, though the latter is still a powerful routine. There was a distinct lack of warbirds for a Duxford show, but that made for a more varied event. The Sea Vixen had displayed on the Saturday but suffered a wheels-up landing back at base after a hydraulic failure, and the MiG-15 was scrubbed at the end of the show.

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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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