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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

That's it for today.

Our main story today has been the huge fire that's destroyed the Regent Superbowl and indoor market in the heart of Great Yarmouth's tourist area. More than 100 firefighters attended the scene, and nearby properties were evacuated.

In other news, the BBC has learned that the governor of Wayland Prison needed hospital treatment after he was attacked by an inmate.

And in sport, ahead of the opening game of the season against Blackburn, Norwich City boss Alex Neil says he wants two new strikers.

Have a good weekend. We'll be back with our regular updates at 08:00 on Monday.

Our live coverage across the day

We're signing off for today, but our regular updates will resume on Monday morning from 08:00.

Today we've brought you stories about:

Before we go, we'd like to say good luck the the Tractor Boys, and also to our athletes as they take to the stage at Olympic Games. Have a good weekend.

Our live coverage across the week

That's all from us at Essex Live for this week.

We'll be back with regular live updates on Monday from 08:00, but any major stories for the county will be available here until midnight.

Have a good weekend.


How might Rio's weather influence the Olympics?

A final look at our top stories from Essex

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories we've covered on Essex Live today:

  • One of two horses that escaped on to the M25 earlier today has been shot dead by firearms officers
  • A 17-year-old boy who threw acid over a group of friends at Ockendon railway station has been jailed for eight years
  • Three people have been charged in connection with the murder of a man in Harwich who died from serious head injuries after being assaulted with a metal object
  • Thirteen Essex athletes are preparing to represent Great Britain in the Rio Olympics which officially start this evening

Destroyed bowling alley 'was UK's oldest'

The company that runs Regent Superbowl, destroyed by today's fire in Great Yarmouth, has issued the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that we have to announce Regent Superbowl has been caught up in a fire, along Regent Road, Great Yarmouth in the early hours of Friday 5 August. This has caused substantial damage to our premises but no one was hurt.

"Regent Superbowl was the oldest running bowling alley in the UK, a significant part of tenpin bowling history has been lost.

"This is a very sad time for our business, as well as the Great Yarmouth community but we shall endeavour to do our best to work our way through this as a team. We want to thank the fire service for all their hard work today along with the rest of the emergency services."

Police release CCTV of Ockendon acid attack

Following the sentencing today of Alexander Bassey, 17, for an acid attack at Ockendon railway station, British Transport Police released CCTV of the incident.

Three of the victims received permanent scarring, with one left with potentially life-changing eye injuries.

Senior investigating officer Det Sgt Gail McKemmie said: "This was a vicious and cowardly attack carried out without a single ounce of care."

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Great Yarmouth road closures

Some roads in Great Yarmouth remain closed, following the fire in Regent Road earlier today. Motorists are advised to find alternative routes.

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Trident car owners celebrate 50th anniversary of 'Ipswich's own sports car'

Owners of Trident cars, manufactured in Ipswich in the 1960s and 70s, are getting together this weekend to celebrate the brand's 50th anniversary.

Martin Rhodes with Trident car

Martin Rhodes has had his Trident for about 25 years, and while he doesn't want to admit how much he's spent on it over the years, he did say that the house he bought in Ipswich in the 80s "was probably considerably less than I've actually spent on this motor car".

Celebrations are taking place at the Swan in Westerfield on Saturday morning, and the Helmingham Hall Classic Car Show on Sunday.

Teenager jailed for eight years over Ockendon railway acid attack

A 17-year-old boy who threw acid over a group of friends at Ockendon railway station, leaving some with permanent scarring, has been jailed for eight years.


Alexander Bassey attacked his five victims in an unprovoked assault while they waited on the platform during the early hours of 22 May.

Bassey, of Maplestead Road, Barking, was sentenced today at Basildon Crown Court for eight years in jail after admitting three charges of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and two charges of attempted GBH at an earlier hearing. 

Great Yarmouth fire: Your thoughts

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Many of you have been posting comments on our Facebook page about the huge blaze that has hit the heart of Great Yarmouth's tourist area. Here's a selection:

  • Carole Moore: "So sad, such a part of the town, over 50yrs, well done to all the brave firefighters"
  • Lisa Jane Troccoli: "So sad right in holiday season in a great place too :((((xx"
  • Michael Buckle: "Dreadful for the town at this time of year, any chance relocating some of the businesses into the ground floor of the old M&S store in the market place, providing they have any stock stored elsewhere, could be like a temporary indoor market, least get the owners a chance to earn income"

And Daniel Blumsum contacted us to say he was "absolutely devastated for the traders who have worked extremely hard to get where they are".

I really hope we can bounce back from this as a community. A few hours of devastation - but for some, a life-changing event.

Daniel Blumsum

Weather: A dry end to the day

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

A few evening showers, but generally a fine end to the day with some further spells of sunshine. Tonight will be dry, with light winds.

Temperatures will fall to 13C (55F).

Weather chart for Saturday 05:00
BBC Weather

Some long spells of sunshine on Saturday, although it may turn hazy at times. Light west to south-westerly winds, but an onshore wind could develop around parts of the coast.

Maximum temperature: 24C (75F).

BBC Weather has more details.

Plane arrives for testing at Woodbridge

If you're interested in planes, you'll be glad to know that this turboprop Airbus A400M, which is being trialled here in the county, has arrived.

A400M aircraft
Phil Ham

Engineers have built a temporary airstrip alongside the main runway at Woodbridge, so that the plane's take-off and landing capabilities can be tested on natural surfaces.

There'll be trials taking place this month, with another week in September, and also some night flying.

For the technically-minded of you, it has a 140ft (43m) wingspan, and can carry 116 troops.

Thanks to Phil Ham for this picture.

Great Yarmouth fire: How national media are reporting it

Here's a look at how some of the national newspapers are reporting on the major fire that destroyed an indoor market and bowling alley in Great Yarmouth: 

  • The Daily Mail: Dozens of firefighters battle a huge blaze as a bowling alley burns to the ground in Great Yarmouth.
  • Daily Express: Inferno engulfs bowling alley in seaside town
  • Daily Star: Inferno horror as huge blaze rips through market and bowling alley

Getting in the mood at Rio

As we've mentioned, Bawdsey-based Katy Sealy, who chose to represent the nation of her father's birth, is one of three athletes representing Belize at the Olympics.

Here she is in Rio...

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Great Yarmouth fire: Investigation under way

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

An investigation is now under way into the blaze at the Regent Superbowl and indoor market, and emergency crews are scaling back their presence. 

Civic leaders are stressing the the town remains open for business at the height of the tourist season. Council leader Graham Plant says visitors will still find plenty of other attractions and amenities to enjoy along the rest of Regent Road, the seafront and in the wider area.

Fire crews looking at flames over and behind the roofs of houses
Rob Sanderson

Fire crews from Norfolk and Suffolk attended the blaze, with up to 21 appliances at the scene. No-one was injured in the incident and the fire was contained. 

Nelson Road Central, St Nicholas Road and Trafalgar Road remain closed but King Street and Dene Side are now open.     

The council hopes to open a small passageway, providing access through Regent Road, by late tomorrow.

How scary should a scarecrow be?

A Kesgrave plant nursery has taken the unusual step of asking followers on its Facebook page if its scarecrows are too scary.

Ruth Goudy from Kiln Farm Nursery said somebody rang up and said they were really offended by the scarecrows, so she and her husband Paul explained that they were made by cubs from the local pack.

She added: "We just wanted to check that we weren't intimidating anyone and that children weren't having nightmares.

"Everyone that's replied has said 'They're great - we love them.'"

What do you think? Send us an email, or post a message on our Facebook page.

Kiln Farm Nursery
Kiln Farm Nursery

Sealy aims to 'enjoy and run a personal best in Rio'

The Suffolk village of Bawdsey is probably one of the last places you would look for one of Central America's star athletes.

Located just north of Felixstowe, it is, however, home to Katy Sealy, one of just three athletes who will represent Belize at the Olympics.

Katy Sealy
Getty Images

Since the 25-year-old chose to represent the nation of her father's birth, she has become Central American heptathlon champion three times as well as breaking the region's record points total.  

She'll compete in the 100m hurdles in Rio, and don't rule out her clocking up a personal best on the biggest stage of all.

Harry Martin will head for Rotterdam after Rio

Twenty-three-year-old Harry Martin is another former Ipswich schoolboy with aspirations of winning a medal at the Rio Olympics.

Harry Martin

He was the youngest member of the GB Hockey squad at Delhi's Commonwealth Games in 2010 and London 2012. 

For the last few years, the midfielder has been studying economics in addition to travelling the world with his teammates.

However, with his degree now complete, Martin will head to Rotterdam next month to compete in the Dutch League, seen as the strongest in world hockey. 

From reserve in London to top of the world in Rio

George Pinner is one of two former Ipswich schoolboys who now find themselves in Rio as mainstays in the Great Britain Olympic hockey team.

George Pinner

The 29-year-old was a reserve at London 2012 but has established himself as one of the very best goalkeepers in the world ahead of tomorrow's opening match with Belgium. 

"These two weeks are huge," Pinner told us. "We know this side is good enough to win a medal and I have real confidence that we can do that."

Athletes with Suffolk links to cheer on at Olympics

We mentioned earlier that we'd remind you of the Suffolk athletes you can cheer on at the Olympic Games.

We'll start with swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn, whose first race is on Sunday in the heats of the 100m backstroke. 

Chris Walker-Hebborn
Getty Images

Formerly of Bury St Edmunds, the 26-year-old is an outstanding natural talent, who rose to prominence with four gold medals at the European Junior Championships in 2008.

After a disappointing Olympic bow at London 2012, he returned to form in 2014 with double gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Walker-Hebborn also won four medals at the European Championships in Berlin (including three golds) in 2014 and was part of the team that won relay gold at the Euros this year.

He tends to get a tattoo every time he wins a race so his body is covered...

Great Yarmouth fire scene from the air

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Many thanks to Mike Page for sending us this aerial photograph.

In it, you can see the extent of the damage caused by the devastating fire that tore at the heart of Great Yarmouth's tourist area.

Aerial view showing damaged building, fire appliances in streets, smoke, and houses
Mike Page

The blaze broke out shortly before dawn. More than 100 firefighters fought the flames.

The borough council says the town is "open for business as usual... and needs everyone's support at the height of the tourist season".

Suffolk groundsman shortlisted for national award

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Bryan Symonds of Bacton United '89 (pictured centre) has been placed in the top six groundsmen in the National Step 7 & Below Award category.

Bryan Symonds
Suffolk FA

The 73-year-old, who was named Suffolk Groundsman of the Year in February, has been invited to St George’s Park to attend the Groundsman of the Year Awards Day on 16 August.

He said: “It's fantastic to be shortlisted nationally after being second in Suffolk two years ago, not even finishing in the top three last year, to coming first this year."

Attack on governor the latest violent incident at Wayland Prison

The attack on Wayland Prison governor Paul Cawkwell is the latest in a series of violent incidents at the jail.

In May, about 20 inmates were involved in a food fight, and in a separate incident in June two inmates attempted to grab keys from officers. Another inmate was jailed in June for an assault on two guards.   

A high shot looking down at sign for HMP Wayland

In its last annual report, Wayland Prison's Independent Monitoring Board said it was concerned about staffing at the prison, citing "staff shortages of up to 22%".  

The board is due to publish its latest report soon, and vice-chairman Roger Marston said a "huge amount had been done in terms of recruitment... we have a full complement of staff".

He said that, although not huge, there had been an increase in violence at the jail this year.

Prison governor's attacker moved to another jail

Paul Moseley

BBC Radio Norfolk

An inmate who attacked the governor of Wayland Prison has been transferred to another jail.

Paul Cawkwell was talking to a prisoner in the canteen last Wednesday when he was assaulted. Mr Cawkwell, who has held a number of senior positions in the Prison Service, has received hospital treatment for his injuries.

Aerial view of Wayland Prison

Alex Hewson, policy officer from the Prison Reform Trust, says violence towards staff is a growing problem in our prisons.   

Over the last five years we've seen people in prison - that's prisoners and staff - less safe, and with higher levels of assaults, higher levels of self-harm and deaths as well... it's a deeply troubling time."

Alex HewsonPrison Reform Trust

Prison governor attacked by inmate

Paul Moseley

BBC Radio Norfolk

A prison governor has been badly injured after being attacked by an inmate.

Paul Cawkwell was assaulted in the canteen at Wayland Prison, near Watton, last week.

Paul Cawkwell in Norwich city centre, in brown coat, white shirt and checked tie

A source close to the prison has told the BBC Mr Cawkwell has been treated in hospital for his injuries. Norfolk Police is investigating.

The Ministry of Justice says it's pushing for the strongest possible punishment for his attacker.

Ipswich Town need greater strength in depth - Wark

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town legend John Wark thinks Mick McCarthy's squad is still a couple of players short of being serious play-off contenders.

John Wark

Ahead of tomorrow's Championship opener against Barnsley he's tipping the Blues to finish somewhere between sixth and 10th in the table.

Wark told BBC Suffolk: "I think, as a bare 11, we're as good anybody, with the players coming back who were injured last season. But we need some more players to get where we want to be."

Stars lose after throwing away lead

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

King's Lynn Stars were beaten 52-38 by Swindon in speedway's Elite League last night.

They were leading 16-8 after winning the first four heats of the night but then only went on to win one of the remaining 11 races.

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The defeat leaves The Stars 12 points adrift of the play-off places. 

Hopes dashed that Thorpe-le-Soken hole will be filled in today

A large hole which appeared in Thorpe-le-Soken a couple of days ago will not be filled in until next week, a local councillor has said.

Thorpe-le-Soken hole
Daniel Land

It was hoped the hole, which has grown from 1m square to 2m square and 8ft (2.4m) deep, would be fixed by the end of the day.

Local parish councillor Daniel Land said he believed the hole was created because of a sewer problem as a similar incident happened a couple of years ago.

Police report good response to hit-and-run appeal

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Police investigating the attempted murder of a man in North Walsham have been encouraged by the public's response since they released footage of the hit-and-run incident.

Det Ch Insp Stu Armes says they've had a number of calls, including some offering names of those potentially involved, and they'll now be following up those lines of inquiry. 

Blurred cctv image of the dark car showing driver's arm
Norfolk Police

The motivation remains unclear, but it's believed to be an isolated incident. Police are still searching for the whereabouts of a dark-coloured car, believed to be a blue Peugeot 307, involved in the hit-and-run.   

I am appealing for anyone who may know who was driving the vehicle to contact us... it's believed up to three other people could have been in the car at the time... you may have significant information about this incident and have one chance to come forward and tell us what happened or potentially face criminal action."

Det Ch Insp Stu ArmesNorfolk Police

Mick McCarthy: 'Magpies could win the league by Christmas'

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says his team will be competitive this season, but accepts that challenging for automatic promotion will be extremely difficult.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez
Getty Images

Newcastle United are heavy favourites with the majority of bookmakers to win the Championship, and the Blues boss agrees they are the team to beat. 

"I don't know how well Rafa Benitez (pictured) knows the division, but he's certainly been buying the best players," McCarthy said. 

"Having sold 40,000 season tickets, it's going to be exciting up there either way. They could either win the league by Christmas or the players might not gel."

Police shoot dead escaped M25 horse

One of two horses that escaped on to the M25 earlier today has been shot dead by firearms officers, police say. 

M25 queues
Chris Fryer

Both animals had been herded off the motorway, however one became loose again while officers attempted to locate the owners. 

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "For the safety of motorists and to prevent further suffering to the horse, trained firearms officers shot the animal."

The road was reopened by 14:15.

Great Yarmouth fire: Phone numbers to help those affected

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

A number of commercial businesses on Regent Road have been destroyed by the fire, including Regent Superbowl and the indoor market.

A number of homes in the area have also been evacuated for safety reasons. If anyone is still affected, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is advising them to go to Greyfriars House on Greyfriars Way where community housing staff are available to assist - or telephone 01493 846140. Residents living close by should keep their doors and windows closed.

Any businesses that are affected can call the council on 01483 846431 or email

Aerial ladder and fire crews at scene of fire

M25 horses cleared but expect 'very long delays'

Horses cause almost two hours of delays on M25

There are currently delays of nearly two hours on the M25 anti-clockwise after two horses escaped on to the link road at J30 for the A13, according to Highways England. 


The junction has been closed for most the morning and it's expected that tailbacks will reach as far back as J4 in Kent.

Renewed appeal for information following Parkway collision

A man in his 30s from Mildenhall, and a young girl, believed to be five years old and from Newmarket, are described as being in a "critical but stable" condition at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, following a collision involving a car and a lorry on Parkway in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

Parkway collision

The pair had to be freed from the BMW car after the crash, which happened just before 13:00.

Police say they've spoken to some witnesses, but are still keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the vehicles prior to the crash, or the collision itself.

Great Yarmouth fire: Traders 'devastated'

Alex Dunlop

BBC Look East

I've been to Regent Road, the heart of the seaside resort - normally it would be chockablock with tourists and summer visitors heading to the seafront, but not today.

The fire at the Regent Superbowl took hold just before dawn, and at its height more than 100 firefighters were on the scene, drawing water from the nearby River Yare.

Emergency crews outside the devastated building

There were 30 shops inside the building, and traders tell me they're absolutely devastated. Those that had businesses on the ground floor have lost everything. They can only watch as fire crews continue to damp down. 

The clear-up will take days but the impact of this fire will be felt for much longer. 

Fire appliances in the street, with area cordoned off

Ipswich Town: Hammill will be 'a real threat' says McCarthy

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Mick McCarthy's hoping one of his former players doesn't come back to haunt him when Ipswich Town host Barnsley tomorrow.

Adam Hammill
Getty Images

McCarthy bought Barnsley winger Adam Hammill, 28, during his time at Wolves.

"He was a really exciting talent when I signed him" said McCarthy. "I thought he'd be a great signing for us, but it didn't work out.

"He's matured and he's settled again at Barnsley and he's a real threat. I think he's fulfilling his potential now."

Ipswich Town: Barnsley 'worry' McCarthy

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

After winning twice at Wembley last season, once to secure promotion, Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy thinks Barnsley will give his side a severe test at Portman Road tomorrow.

Barnsley FC
Getty Images

"They do worry me slightly, coming here, because they're a team that wants to be in the Championship after being down in League One for a couple of seasons," he said.

"They're happy to be here, they're desperate to be here, and they'll be wanting to upset us so it's going to be a really tough game, no doubt."

Ward eager to make an impact at Ipswich

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy was beaming when asked what he likes about recent signing Grant Ward ahead of tomorrow's match with Barnsley.

Grant Ward

"I like everything I liked about him previously, and I like him even more now that I've seen him in training," answered the boss. 

However, McCarthy would not be drawn on what the versatile midfielder's best position was, and was also coy as to whether Ward would be in the starting line-up this weekend. 

"He's not had as many games in pre season as the other lads so we'll have to wait and see. There's no doubting, though, that he's keen and eager to play," he said.