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Over 200 people evacuated from marquee at Essex stately home following fire

Over 200 people had to be evacuated from a party at a stately home. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Over 200 people had to be evacuated from a party at a stately home in west Essex this afternoon.

A fire inside a marquee at the Parklands Quendon Hall near Saffron Walden meant that the party-goers had to leave the area just after noon.

One woman was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation. The blaze is now under control.

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Department for Transport: Disruption 'extremely disappointing'

Railway workers on the tracks outside King's Cross today. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Department for Transport has called today's rail disruption "extremely disappointing" and appeared to point the finger at Network Rail for failing to meet deadlines for engineering works.

A spokesman for the Government department said passengers will be "rightly annoyed" by the delays and cancellations to services including East Coast, First Hull Trains, Grand Central and Great Northern.

"This was essential work but passengers need to be able to plan and rely on Network Rail meeting its deadlines for having the network back in service.

"The department is in contact with Network Rail to understand what went wrong and if lessons can be learned for the future."

Thousands of rail passengers suffer disruption

The scene at Peterborough train station this morning Credit: ITV News Anglia

Thousands of rail passengers in our region faced disruption after one of the country's busiest train terminals ground to a halt.

East Coast trains which runs from King's Cross through Stevenage and Peterborough to Scotland cancelled dozens trains due to overrunning engineering works.

As King's Cross came to a standstill it led to a quieter scene at Peterborough this morning with a reduced to and from the station. Passengers were advised to delay travelling until Sunday or Monday.

Network Rail has apologised to customers for the delays.

Police appeal to find missing pensioner

John Witherley Credit: Suffolk Police

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 68-year-old man from Leiston in Suffolk.

John Witherley was last seen at his home address in Harling Way on Wednesday 24th December at around 9:30pm and has not been seen since.

John is described as being a white male, around 5’3” tall with grey hair and brown eyes. When he was last seen he was wearing a grey zip-up cardigan, blue jeans and green ‘croc’ shoes.

Anyone who has seen John or who has any information on where he may be is asked to contact Suffolk Police.

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Woman dies after hit and run crash

A pedestrian has died following a hit and run collision in Essex.

The woman, a 54-year-old from the Kirby Cross area near Clacton suffered serious injuries as a result of the collision that happened in Frinton Road at around 5.20pm yesterday evening (Friday December 26th.)

She was taken to Colchester Hospital for treatment but died at the hospital this morning.

It is believed she was in collision with a small red vehicle that failed to stop at the scene. Police are appealing for witnesses

Renewed appeal after Harlow assault

Detectives investigating an assault which took place at Harlow in Essex last month have renewed their appeal for information. It happened during the early hours of Sunday, November 16. A 25-year-old man from Epping was involved in an incident outside Bar 21 in Harlow town centre. There was a large disturbance outside the club at around 3.40am. It resulted in the victim having his jaw broken in three places.

"The victim had to plates in his jaw and has been off work for quite some time with his injuries. He has also go to go back into hospital in the New Year for further treatment. Somebody must have some information about the circumstances leading up to this incident or may have witnessed the assault.”

– PC Leo Fordham
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Passengers 'frustrated' by festive travel disruption

David Sidebottom, passenger director at the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said: "Investment in maintenance and improvement is necessary, and we passengers understand that.

"But overrunning works that disrupt already-limited festive travel are frustrating.

"Our research is clear: passengers want to be kept on the train wherever possible, they want to know before buying a ticket if part of the journey will be by bus, and they want plenty of staff on hand to signpost where to go and what to do.

"We will be looking to see that operators and Network Rail are doing all in their power to alert passengers, to help them make alternative arrangements and to make it easy for them to claim refunds or compensation."

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