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EDITORIAL: Sept 7th 2014

The Autumn has arrived - well not quite but if you’re counting months we are into the three months that might be designated Autumn. Well August wasn’t as bad as it sometimes is but the moment family from abroad came to stay at the beginning of the month, all those lovely hot days slipped away. As school reports used to say, “Could do better”. It was a bit of a half-hearted August. Usually in this month Rochford Life goes quiet as we have traditionally escaped from Rochford but this year with family staying, it’s been a different thing altogether. For Rochford itself, for those with long memories, this will go down as the summer when the bottom section of Ashingdon Road was shut off for five and a half weeks (the school holidays) for gas mains and road works so all the Ashingdon traffic had to flow through Rochford centre. What a sigh of relief when the new road all nicely marked out was reopened.  Southend may not have its own Air Show these days (a loss!) but there seem to have been quite a variety old planes around, presumably dropping in from the Clacton Air Show. The miserable airport kept their photo shoot to themselves when two Lancasters were lined up with the Vulcan on the tarmac but they were gracious enough to send us the end product picture which will remain there in our Misc.Pages.  Not out of spite but just simply because we’ve been rationalising our pages, we’ve reduced our airport pages covering the airport - past history starts looking a bit dated but there is still plenty there for those who are interested in the airport. Mentioning the miscellaneous pages just now reminds me that a group called East Saxons wrote in to tell us about their ten year anniversary celebrations at the Lawn recently. If you haven’t read it they are the local arm of the national TR Register club, supporting classic Triumph cars.

No, we haven’t forgotten the general news items that have occurred over this past month. I don’t know if it’s my imagination but the world seems to have got darker this year. ARENA 1: At the beginning of the month the headlines were “The west gets tough on Putin” but as we go into September the headings are now “Putin raises the stakes” and ‘incursions’ into the Ukraine look far more like an invasion. Back here in Wales NATO leaders have been trying not to look helpless. ARENA 2: At the beginning of the month there was much talk about the awful goings on in Gaza as Israel and Hamas continued to knock seven bells outs of each other. A month later after more than one cease fire, it doesn’t look much better. ARENA 3: At the beginning of the month the worries were about the plight of Iraq’s Christians, and then later in the month, the plight of the Yazidis in the mountains until finally the news has been gradually turning from providing aid support to those besieged by the Islamic State, to providing air support for those Iraqis under pressure from the fundamentalist (bombs) to actually thinking about ‘boots on the ground’ and the terrorist threat to this country from returning Islamic extremists, especially after (as at the time of writing) two Western journalists have been decapitated and another is being lined up, apparently by British born Islamists. Three nasty deteriorating scenarios which could go anywhere!
Other newsworthy items back on home soil this month have been the trial by BBC helicopter and police teams of Cliff Richard but that’s all gone very quiet as both bodies clearly went beyond the boundaries of civilised behaviour. The return to this country and complete recovery of an Ebola victim was a cause for lifting spirits in the midst of  the rest of the gloom Two dust-ups between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling over the pros and cons of an independent Scotland appears to have been a one-all result with figures getting closer. We’ll know the outcome by next month. To add further gloom a report suggesting some 1400 children suffered appalling abuse in Rotherham in the period 1997 to 2013 has shocked the nation. Meanwhile on a lighter note, celebrities seems to have lost their senses as a fad prevails for having a bucket of ice-cold water poured over their heads - ostensibly for charity. Questions are now being asked   a) how can the incredible sums raised, primarily in the States, for motor neurone disease actually be spent and b) has it deprived other charities. Nothing is ever simple. Oh yes, and Boris’s plan for an estuary airport has been turned down, and on a quiet news day the media got excited when a Conservative defected to UKIP and NF let it be known that he will stand for Parliament at the next election. Watch this space if you want to take your eyes off the nasty stuff happening elsewhere in the world!  

On Rochford Life this month we have welcomed  Bentley’s Dog Grooming  and also the Faith Store. We have been informed that the  Grey Goose is Reopening on 13th Sept. On the Airport front the airport has been voted joint best in the country for the second year running by Which. The subject of Flooding seems to be an ongoing issue which the Council are looking at. The Allotment Association held their Summer Show and as the Seasons slowly move on we have added a ‘Growing Stuff’ article Soggy, Scruffy & Sad!

As the time moves on the Rochford Art Trail gets nearer (18th to 27th Sept) and so we have added further pages of participating artists Lori Wiseman, Jackie Alves and Max Dolding while also providing Rochford Art Trail Map & Artists information. We also talked to the shopkeepers hosting these artists and you’ll see their comments in our article From the Shop Floor. Just to round the month off on a light note we have also included a new Music Quiz on our ‘recreational pages’. Enjoy.
Well there is the month. Have a good September.
Tony