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Archive for Olympics

Well Done That Man!

We’ve just spotted this in the Swindon Advertiser:

FORMER Rayleigh schoolboy Phil Bigwood played a leading role in the BBC’s highly-praised Olympic Games coverage.
The Rochford born 46-year-old is the broadcaster’s executive producer of TV sport.
And he was thrilled to be able to play a unique part in London 2012.
“It was just an absolutely fantastic thing to be a part of,” said Bigwood, who is also the producer of Match of the Day.
“When we go away to World Cups or European Championships we’re in trucks on a car park and you have no idea about what’s going on back home.
“But with these Olympics you realised how big it was and that everyone was talking about it.
“We could see the buzz it created just behind our studio alone and to be involved in something like that was just a once in a lifetime chance.
“The whole thing just blew me away to be honest and working there was just an absolute privilege.” Bigwood grew up in Hullbridge and attended Park School before also studying at Seevic College …….

If You Go Near The Thames…

 Royal_Danish_ship_Dannebrog_in_Vagur,_Faroe_Islands Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Royal Danish Yacht Dannebrog Photo: Erik Christensen, Porkeri Website

If you get close to the River Thames in the next couple of days, you might see some cruise ships and superyachts leaving after the Olympics.

As the Port of London Authority website explains:

More than 20 vessels including cruise ships, sailing ships and super yachts came specially to London in the two weeks running up to the Games. Now they all want to leave in the space of 72 hours. Vessel departures already planned, with more bookings expected, include:
_
Monday, 13 August: Sailing ship, Belem***
Cruise ships Caledonia Sky* and Deutschland*
Royal yacht, Dannebrog*
Super yacht, Deniki*
_
Tuesday, 14 August: Sailing ship, Stad Amsterdam*
Cruise ship, Braemar**
Super yachts, Seanna and Octopus*
_
Wednesday, 15 August: Cruise ship, Gemini**

Incidentally, the Dannebrog is the Royal Danish Yacht. The Octopus is the megayacht owned by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.

Got Tickets For Hadleigh?

The atmosphere at all the Olympic venues has been friendly and thrilling – Hadleigh should be no exception! Here’s some advice from the Essex Police website on how to have a trouble-free day:

Travel

There is no parking at the venue or in the surrounding areas so think about using the park and ride or travelling by train. The park and ride service will be running from New Holland tractor plant in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon and the recommended train station is Leigh on Sea. The park and ride is no longer running from Waterside Park on Canvey Island.

Clothing and footwear

There is a lot of walking to be done at Hadleigh Farm and there are lots of steep climbs, loose stones and gravel at the venue so sensible sturdy footwear is essential. Heeled shoes and flip-flops are not suitable. Be prepared for the possibility of wet or hot weather.

Security

LOCOG has provided every ticket holder with advice around what items can and can’t be taken into the venue so take the time to read it in advance. There are restrictions around taking liquids in to Hadleigh Farm so think about taking an empty water bottle which you can fill up once you are inside and have passed through security. No alcohol is allowed on site either.

Valuables

While we don’t anticipate theft, it can’t be ruled out so keep personal possessions like mobile phones and cameras safe. Keep an eye on your children too – don’t let them get lost in the crowd.
Essex Police

Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison said: “Hadleigh Farm is a great venue and we want everyone to enjoy their Olympic experience, but there is some advice we’d like people to follow.

“We’d like everyone to make sure they have plenty of time to reach the venue and to have planned their journey.

“Hadleigh Farm is quite a bumpy and hilly area.
There are lots of steep climbs, loose stones and gravel so the important thing is to wear decent sturdy footwear.

“Make sure you are ready to deal with the weather too. It’s a very exposed location and there’s very little cover if it is a hot day.
“I would also ask that everyone reads the information with their tickets to prevent any misunderstandings on the day. LOCOG has provided every ticket holder with advice about what kinds of items can and can’t be taken into the venue. There are particular issues with carrying liquids in so the best advice is to take an empty bottle and fill it up once you’ve passed through security.

“Make sure you plan well, have a great day and enjoy the Olympics in Essex.”

Some Good Places To Visit During The Olympics – 2

Rayleigh Mill

If you are coming to Hadleigh for the Olympics, you might fancy coming to Rayleigh for a meal. There are plenty of cafes and tea-rooms, and a good range of restaurants – whether you want Fish and Chips, Italian, Spanish, Chinese or Indian. Plus lots of pubs….

Battlesbridge

And if you want to go a bit further, and eat by the river, you can have a very good meal at Hullbridge or Battlesbridge.

If you’ve come from abroad, and are interested in science, then you could drive to Paglesham, where the remains of Darwin’s Beagle are somewhere in the river bed. There’s absolutely nothing of H.M.S. Beagle to actually see, but the pubs do good food and it’s a very tranquil place to walk.


And if you are more religious-minded, there are plenty of ancient village churches to see, including one at Paglesham. The view from the churchyard at Ashingdon is particularly fine.

“A Once In A Lifetime Moment”

The district council have just posted a video on Youtube:

Some Good Places To Visit During The Olympics – 1

If you are in London for the Olympics, and want to escape the city heat and the crowds for the day, can we suggest Battlesbridge? You can get a train from London Liverpool Street to Battlesbridge, you have to change at Wickford and it takes about 47 minutes. It’s then about 7 minutes to the centre of the village.

Battlesbridge is a basically a English riverside village that’s turned itself into a great centre for antiques, collectables, second-hand records and stuff like that. So if you are looking for presents to take home, and want something old and unique rather than touristy stuff, you might do well here. But even if you just want to get out of London and visit a real English country pub, you won’t do much better than the “Barge” or the “Hawk” (and the Barge has particularly good food).

A Morning To Remember

There are plenty of videos on YouTube of the torch coming to Rayleigh, here’s a couple….

More Memories Of The Day

It Didn’t Rain On Our Parade

The rain had just about stopped when the motorcade went past…. We’re sure our readers have some photos or videos worth seeing – please feel free to email them to cllrchrisblack@gmail.com, let us know if you want a photo credit, and we’ll stick them on here..

Torchbearer in London Road (by June Lumley)

Samsung

Coca-Cola

Flags at the Dutch Cottage

St Johns Ambulance got a cheer…..

“A Nice Boy,” says Elena Black “He smiled at my Union Jack Oven Glove”

Torchbearer on Crown Hill

“It’s the people who make a town special, though”

Chris Black has an article on the Guardian website today, on this special morning for Rayleigh. Here is the text, with some added links and photos:



” If you want to see the most charming council house in Britain, come and visit the Dutch Cottage in Rayleigh. It’s tiny, octagonal and thatched – and although it has tenants living there, the public can visit on Wednesday afternoons. An Olympic torchbearer will be running past it today.

I can’t help thinking that if this little cottage was in a more fashionable town – Tunbridge Wells or Lewes, or somewhere like that – it would be more famous. But Rayleigh, situated between Chelmsford and Southend, seldom gets into the headlines.
Our most spectacular death was the Rayleigh Bathchair Murder of 1943, when a downtrodden teenage son killed his father by concealing an anti-tank mine under his cushion. (I was told that the jury thought the father such a tyrant that they would have let the son off, had he not also put his father’s nurse in danger). Our most celebrated birth was in 1969, when the Hanson quintuplets were born to a Rayleigh family – the first surviving quins in the UK.

Oddly enough, a quirk of aristocratic history makes Rayleigh a familiar name to physicists. Back in the 1800s, a certain Lady Charlotte Strutt married into an Essex family, was raised to the peerage and – though she didn’t live here – chose our town’s name to acquire the pleasant-sounding title of Baroness Rayleigh. Her grandson, Lord Rayleigh, went on to become one of Britain’s greatest physicists, and thus Rayleigh must lend its name to more scientific terms than any other town or city in the world – a minor planet, a lunar crater and a Martian crater all bear our town’s name. Beat that, Tunbridge Wells.

Of all these terms, Rayleigh Scattering is my favourite: the scientific explanation of why the sky is blue – which I think makes our skies extra-interesting, even if there’s not been much evidence of the effect in recent weeks. And yet another scientific link to Rayleigh is the suggestion that the remains of Darwin’s legendary ship, HMS Beagle, lie on the river-bed just a few miles away in Paglesham.

It’s the people who make a town special, though. I remember chatting with one chap at a barbeque, who told me he was in training for his second marathon. How did he happen to do his first? Well, one of his mates in his amateur football team had just lost his wife to breast cancer, and had decided to raise funds by running in the New York marathon. So the widower’s team-mates entered the same race, trained for it, booked themselves on the same flight and into the same hotel – all without telling him. When the team turned up at Heathrow, he was touched, thinking they had come to see him off. Then he saw they all had luggage, and burst into tears.

It’s people like that who make me proud of this town, and I’m sure we’ll give the torchbearer a rousing welcome today. This is a place of quiet pleasures and excellent, bacon-topped pork pies. If Derbyshire has the Peak District, then perhaps the Olympic torch has now reached the picnic district.”

Rayleigh’s Rainy Olympic Day

.. or at least it’s started off rainy….

At 7:30 a.m. this morning the High Street was pretty empty of people, and without much bunting around…

…. though a few places had made an effort, for example….

By 7:40 there were chaps out erecting banners !

By 9:05 the first crowd was forming in the High Street:

and there were more flags on display:

Live Blogging The Torch

We’ll be active tomorrow morning covering the Torch… so feel free to send us any photos or comments ….

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
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“Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

When the Olympic Torch came to Rayleigh, Chris Black wrote about the town in the Guardian - read it here

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