Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals could soon become one under plans to merge.
Essex Theme Park Cooks Up Chip Record
A Southend fun park has cooked up the world's biggest portion of chips.
Weighing in at 988lb (448kg), the huge box was filled by five staff from the Fish and Chip Shop at Adventure Island who battered the previous record.
It took them just three hours and 50 minutes to peel, cut, deep fry and package the spuds on their way to breaking the previous record of 812lb (368.5kg).
On Wednesday they carried on to reach the new target in four hours and 20 minutes.
Gregg Smith, 27, the head of catering for the park, had the idea for the record attempt.
He was joined in the feat by his old schoolfriend James Gibbs, 27, the group head of catering for a number of venues in Southend, including Adventure Island. Barry Campney, 67, Sean Handley, 22, and Mr Smith's brother Tim Rainbow, 18, completed the five-man team.
The clock started at 11am when the team started peeling locally sourced potatoes in a special wet room and cut them in a chipper. From there they ferried the raw chips to the four deep fat fryers and 14 frying baskets at the Fish and Chip Shop.
Once cooked, the chips were tipped into a giant replica of the restaurant's chip box - 54in (137cm) long, 46in (116cm) wide, 30in (75cm) high, and weighing 70.5lb (32kg). Guinness World Record rules dictated that the chips had to be edible and safe, so the huge container had to meet health and safety regulations.
After the record was broken, Mr Gibbs said: "It's absolutely fantastic. It's taken a long while, many months to plan it. It's wonderful. It's something that from when we were kids at school we used to dream about breaking a Guinness World Record.''
The former chips record was set by Alan Williams of Mr Chips at Hereford Racecourse in February 2004.
Two fairground workers have pleaded not guilty to charges they face over the death of a school girl on a bouncy castle in Essex.
An aircraft hangar has been damaged in a blaze at Southend Airport.
Residents and businesses are being encouraged to tell Essex County Council whether they can access superfast broadband.
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