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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK


Well, that's the end of another week here on the Local Live news feed for Northamptonshire.

The team won't be here this weekend, but we will be back on Monday morning bringing you more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00.

Have a good weekend.


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Well, that's the end of another busy week here on the Local Live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

The team won't be here this weekend, but we will be back on Monday morning bringing you more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00.

Whatever your doing this weekend, we all hope it's a good one.


Well, that's the end of another week here on the Local Live news feed for Cambridgeshire.

The team won't be here this weekend, but we will be back on Monday morning bringing you more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00.

Whatever your doing this weekend, we all hope it's a good one.

Watch: The banana piano

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A local charity is using music, including a banana piano, to engage adults with learning difficulties.

Electric Umbrella, based in Watford, works with people to encourage them to make music, work in groups and perform.

The banana piano is one of many musical instruments the charity uses - the "makey-makey" technology can turn anything conductive into an instrument, including people.

Charity uses a banana piano to help adults with learning difficulties

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire

Here's some of the other stories that are being reported in Northamptonshire today:

  • ITV News reports on a teenage carer from Northampton who has been presented with a special award from Prince William and Harry
  • Preparations to build a new deck above a Kettering General Hospital car park start this weekend and will see it shut on Saturday, reports the Northamptonshire Telegraph
  • Finally, the headteacher of a Northamptonshire primary school was treated to a surprise assembly, presents and cake after serving the 82-pupil school for 25 years, writes the Daventry Express

Police name Corby crash victim

A man who died after a car crashed with a lorry on the A43 in Corby has been named.

Stephen Patrick Doudie, 50, of Beanfield Avenue, was at the wheel of a Ford Focus that struck a Scania lorry near the Geddington Road junction on 11 May.

Police have appealed for any witnesses to the crash to come forward.

Corby Geddington Road junction on A43

Mazzarri prepares for 'emotional' goodbye at Watford

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Watford's outgoing manager Walter Mazzarri has thanked his players and the fans today as he prepares for his final match in charge of the club on Sunday.

The Italian was sacked on Wednesday but will lead the Hornets against Manchester City in two days' time.

"I would like to thank all the main characters of this season and these are the players and the fans," he said.

Walter Mazzarri
Getty Images

"I want to say I always gave everything I had here at Watford. I've been working 15 hours a day every day so I'm very tired.

"Sometimes, even though it doesn't look like it, I am a person who keeps a lot of things inside. I do tend to be emotional. Also, it will be my last game and the thought of it is something I didn't imagine so it will be very emotional."

Peter Shickle murder: A 'vicious and sustained attack'

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

At today's sentencing hearing for John Jamieson and Graham King for the murder of Peter Shickle, judge Richard Foster said: "There was a significant degree of premeditation to find Peter Shickle with the intention of inflicting really serious bodily harm in what was a revenge attack.

"The jury must have been satisfied that you entered his flat intending to inflict really serious bodily harm or death. You were both the aggressors throughout - this was not a case of excessive self defence."

John Jamieson
Hertforshire Police
John Jamieson

Luton Crown Court heard the pair went to Mr Shickle's flat planning revenge after he had been involved in an altercation with Jamieson's mother outside a pub in Stevenage a week earlier, on 28 October.

Graham King
Hertfordshire Police
Graham King

Insp Pushpa Guild from Hertfordshire Police said: "Jamieson and King carried out a vicious and sustained attack on Peter in his own home, which they had planned after hearing about the incident involving Jamieson's mother.

“They will now both serve long sentences in prison where they will have time to reflect on the consequences of their actions."

BreakingTwo men jailed for flat-screen TV murder

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Two men have been jailed for life for a revenge murder in which a large flat-screen TV was used as a weapon.

John Jamieson and Graham King have been sentenced at Luton Crown Court after being found guilty of murdering Peter Shickle (below) at his Stevenage flat on 6 November.

Jamieson, 36, of Wigram Way, Stevenage, has been given a minimum term of 19 years before he can apply for parole. Smith, 36, of Harrow Court, Stevenage, received a minimum term of 16 years.

Peter Shickle
Hertfordshire Police

Dementia worker to bring 'peace of mind' to families

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Today I've met Sue Greaves and her mother Margery King, who has dementia.

Sue feels the new Dementia Support Worker set up by Bedfordshire Police is a really "important role".

She told me it meant officers would now have a database on patients that could or have gone missing, saying "the quicker you can get them out there to look for them, that valuable time you can have to find them and bring them home safely".

Sue Greaves and Margery King

She thinks the idea will work like "insurance", saying "hopefully you never have to use it, but it's there if you need it".

The biggest thing she believes it will bring her and others is "peace of mind".

No sign of 'man in river'

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Police say they were unable to locate a man who reportedly jumped into a river near the A47 earlier.

The road was closed between Guyhirn and Rings End while a search was carried out.

It's now re-opened, but queues remain.

Pedalo challenge for Wellingborough man

A Wellingborough man and his brother-in-law are travelling from Birmingham to London on the Grand Union Canal... by pedalo.

"We're doing this in memory of my son Freddie," Luke Barker told BBC Radio Northampton.

Luke Barker (right) from Wellingborough, and his brother-in-law Russ Palmer are taking on the challenge for two charities with a common cause

"He was stillborn. We're raising money for two charities which really helped us - Sands UK and Children are Butterflies."

Both charities work to research and prevent stillbirths and neonatal deaths, as well as offering emotional and financial support for bereaved parents.

Luke and his brother-in-law have raised £1,700 of their £5,000 fundraising target and began their journey today. They aim to finish in London in 10 days' time.

The attempt follows on from other charitable challenges the pair have taken on for the same causes, including the Great North Run and cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End.

"We wanted to do our next challenge on a canal, and we didn't want to cycle it so we decided on a pedalo," said Mr Barker.

"It's a standard pedalo that you'd see on the beach - the cheapest one we could find on eBay!"

Jeremy Corbyn visits Peterborough

Ben Stevenson

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been in Peterborough this afternoon to gather support for his party ahead of next month's general election.

Jeremy Corbyn

He addressed the public at Peterborough United, where he set out his plans for if he wins, starting by saying that he would "revamp mental health care".

He also vowed to "protect winter fuel payments" and "triple-lock pensions" - something he said "no other party is promising".

On Conservative plans to introduce a means test for the winter fuel allowance, Mr Corbyn said it would cause "great hardship" and anxiety for millions of pensioners.

Jeremy Corbyn

The politician was also quick to criticise many more of the Conservative pledges that came out in their manifesto yesterday, describing the document as "extraordinary in its extraordinariness".

He claimed the Tories were "under funding schools", which was "holding individuals and the country back".

Afterwards the Labour leader met with supporters. He told the BBC he was confident Labour would win seats in the east of England.

First ever Dementia Support Worker starts job with police

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

In Bedfordshire almost 7,000 people are living with dementia and every year about 100 of them go missing.

So to deal with this, Bedfordshire Police has become the first force in the country to have a Dementia Support Worker.

Catherine Bishop (left) works for the Alzheimer's Society and is based at the force's headquarters in Kempston.

Catherine Bishop dementia support worker with Sue Greaves and Margery King

Her role is to improve the way the police respond when someone goes missing, and in many cases to stop it from happening in the first place.

She says it's an "innovative" idea.

Rail disruption: Services returning to normal

It was not a good morning to be a rail commuter in Corby, Kettering or Wellingborough...


A signalling fault between Harpenden and Luton saw East Midlands trains cancelled, with lines blocked.

The problem was fixed earlier this morning, but things have took a while to get back to normal.

Passengers were asked to find alternative routes, with tickets accepted on West Coast Mainline services, including at Northampton train station.

However, East Midlands services are now running to schedule.

View more on twitter

Delays on the Thameslink service, which uses the same line, are anticipated to continue until at least 16:00.

Rail disruption: Delays expected until 16:00

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

I'm at St Albans Station where things are slowly getting back to normal on East Midlands and Thameslink trains into London, but some problems remain.

After signalling problems first thing this morning a number of trains were cancelled and delayed.

Destination boards

The very latest is there will now be disruption until about 16:00.

Destination boards

Cobblers' defender McDonald signs for Coventry

Caroline Densley

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northampton Town defender Rod McDonald has joined Coventry City for an undisclosed fee.

Rod McDonald
Getty Images

The 25-year-old made 29 starts for the Cobblers in his two-year stay and was part of the side that won the League Two title in 2016.

"Rod has found first-team opportunities limited," said Northampton manager Justin Edinburgh.

"We were honest with Rod at the end of the season. We said that because he hadn't played as much first-team football as he would have liked he was available to move to another club.

"We are working hard to improve the squad over the summer and we believe it is in the best interests of all parties that Rod makes this move. We wish Rod every success in his future career."

A47 closed due to 'man in river'

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Cambridgeshire Police says the A47 is closed between Guyhirn and Rings End following reports a man jumped into the river.

A search is under way.

Officers are advising drivers to avoid the area.

Teenager hurt after being hit by car

A 14-year-old girl suffered leg injuries after being hit by a car in Bletchley on Wednesday.

Police said the girl was struck by a silver car that looked like a Renault Clio at about 15:35 near the junction of Clifford Avenue and Duncombe Street.

They say the female driver of the car did stop, but after checking on the teenager drove off.

Police now want to speak to her. She's described as an Asian woman, in her 30s and was wearing a hijab.

Water Eaton Road

Watford 'lacked ambition', says Mazzarri

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Walter Mazzarri has his final pre-match press conference today and it's set to be an awkward one.

The Italian was sacked on Wednesday and he's since spoken to Spanish media saying Watford lacked the ambition and mentality of some of his former clubs. How will he respond to some no-doubt uncomfortable questions today?

The search for his successor continues.

Hull boss Marco Silva is thought to be the number one choice.

Walter Mazzarri
Getty Images

Former Russia national manager Leonid Slutsky, ex Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri and former Italy manager Cesare Prandelli are also being mentioned.

Many Watford fans would also be happy to see the return of Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic, who led the Hornets to the Premier League two years ago.

Mural of local park at hospital to help dementia sufferers

Northampton General Hospital has unveiled a new 30m (98ft) long mural of Abington Park to help recall memories for dementia patients.

View more on instagram

It's based in the elderly care centre at the hospital and also features park benches and sounds recorded in the park.

"We felt it was something that would be familiar to our older people," said Jill Garett, dementia liaison nurse at the hospital.

"A lot of people that we have in hospital have dementia or memory problems. We found having something familiar, where they can sit with family or maybe a member of staff and actually look at that [could help] bring back those memories.

View more on instagram

"It's not just about talking about things. It's a visual thing, with sounds of church bells, birds singing and children. It's very therapeutic."

U's to host Canaries

Nick Fairbairn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

A47 closed

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Expect delays if you're heading on the A47. It's currently shut between Guyhirn and Rings End.

View more on twitter

We've got calls in to the emergency services and will update you when we know more.

Afternoon weather: Patchy rain

About 10 days ago we were reporting the UK had experienced its driest winter in more than 20 years.

There were even some concerns about a possible hosepipe ban...

Was it something we said?

Northamptonshire saw a real downpour on Wednesday - and after a fairly dry Thursday, the wet weather has returned.

This was the soggy scene at All Saints' Church in Northampton town centre earlier...

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The rain is expected to slow but there will still be some patchy drizzle this afternoon, although brighter spells are possible too.

However, heavy showers could develop for a time into the evening.

Highs of 13C, that's 55F.


BBC Weather has more where you live.

HMP Spring Hill absconder found

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A prisoner who absconded from HMP Spring Hill in Buckinghamshire more than a month ago has been found.

Thames Valley Police says Mark Merchant, 40, has been located.

He absconded from the open prison, close to Aylesbury, on 4 April.

Waiting for a parcel today?

...You might not get it.

Luckily no-one was hurt when this delivery van ended up in a ditch near Great Gransden, police say.

Officers can't guarantee you'll get your parcels today though. They don't do deliveries.

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A 'wail' of time had in Hitchin 44 years ago

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Three little birds have told me that 44 years ago today the legendary reggae superstar Bob Marley and The Wailers played at Hitchin Town Hall.

Hitchin Town Hall
Humphrey Bolton/Geograph

The band came to the the town as part their "Catch A Fire" tour in 1973 on 19 May.

Bob Marley
Getty Images

Dorrel Haynes, who was there, said: "It was a privilege that such an upcoming star came to Hitchin, it was so well attended too.

"We already knew all about The Wailers from Jamaica before he came here, so it was really exciting."

She added: "It was about the same time that Desmond Decker and Stevie Wonder also came to Hitchin to play - as it was quite a small town then, it really put Hitchin on the map."

Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One announces new series

BBC Business News

Entertainment One, the company that owns Peppa Pig, has announced it is working on a new series of the popular pre-school cartoon.

It expects 117 episodes to be aired around the world from the spring of 2019.

The new series of cartoons will be made by the format's original creators, Astley Baker Davies.

Entertainment One (eOne) has a majority stake in the animation studio and has helped make Peppa Pig a global brand.

It could mean more work for Harley Bird, from Tring, who was recently unveiled as the voice of Peppa.

Meet the voice of Peppa Pig

Local boxer turns professional, announces debut bout

A female boxer from Northampton has turned professional with boxing promoter and former world champion Barry McGuigan.

Chantelle Cameron got into the sport at a club in Far Cotton having also taken part in kickboxing and Thai boxing.

The 26-year-old enjoyed a successful career as an amateur, narrowly missing out on qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

She'll make her professional debut a week today in Cardiff against Poland's Kristina Polovikin - featuring on the same billing as flyweight champion Andrew Selby.

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Resident 'waiting weeks' for bin collection

A resident living in Great Shelford has told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire her black bin has not been emptied for about six weeks.

It comes as news that three months since new rubbish collection rounds were introduced across Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, pick-ups are still bring frequently missed.

The first three days of this week saw collections missed on 75 streets in total.

Black bins

The two councils combined bin services back in February to cut 20,000 miles and save £700,000 over three years. The changes in February saw bin days change for 130,000 households across the area.

But Robin - one of the residents affected by the change - says her blue bin is being collected, but her black bin isn't.

"The council say they're going to recollect but they never do," she said.

"The rubbish is just piling up outside the house. What else are we supposed to do?

"The blue bin has been collected like clockwork, so it's not like they can't find the house."

Mike Hill, who oversees the joint council collections, said "99.5% of bins are collected", but said there was "room for improvement".

"Operation problems like vehicle breakdowns and bad traffic are some of the reasons why bins may not be collected," he said.

Man treated after bungalow fire

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man has been taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after a fire at a bungalow in Stony Stratford this morning.

Bungalow fire
Bucks and MK fire

Up to 20 firefighters were called to the end of terrace home in Ousebank Way, which was left severely damaged.

Bungalow fire
Bucks and MK fire

The fire service says it "worked hard" to stop it spreading to the neighbouring property, but it did damage a section of the roof.

Bungalow fire
Bucks and MK fire

Crews from Great Holm, Bletchley, Newport Pagnell and Broughton attended.

Bungalow fire
Bucks and MK fire

Rockingham 'a beautiful place', says Badminton Horse Trials champion Nicholson

Caroline Densley

BBC Radio Northampton sport

One of the biggest events on the equestrian calendar in the UK starts today.

The Rockingham International Horse Trials are in their fifth year, having moved from their previous home of Brigstock.

British number one Oliver Townend and the Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall are among those competing at Rockingham Great Park.

And they're joined by newly-crowned Badminton Horse Trials champion Andrew Nicholson, from New Zealand.

"It's beautiful place here," Nicholson told me. "They do a very good job of running it."

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Nicholson was fortunate not to have been paralysed after a fall in 2015 that required eight hours of surgery on his neck.

He's in Rockingham with horses competing in the one star international eventing competition - the lowest level of international events in the sport - and two horses in the next level up.

"It's good to come to a place like this with young horses and give them more of an experience of an international competition rather than a national one," he said.

"For example, simple things like the dressage arenas have a lot of flowers and decorations around them which is what you get on the continent.

"It's good for learning and educating them for the big stuff in a few years' time."

Events at Rockingham take place until Sunday with 4,000 spectators expected over the weekend.

Charles Wells sale: 'Jobs will go'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The boss of the company taking over the Charles Wells brewery in Bedford says some job losses are likely, but it won't be "hundreds".

Charles Wells announced yesterday that it's selling its Bedford brewery and some of its brands to rival Marston's, but it will keep its chain of pubs and open another smaller brewery in the town.

Marston's managing director, Richard Westwood, said most brewery staff were safe, but there would be fewer jobs in either Bedford or at Marston's in areas that overlap - like sales, marketing, admin and finance.

Charles Wells brewery

He added that by about 22:30 last night the company spoken to about 330 members of staff.

He made it clear the company would "continue to invest in the brewery".

Just Eat and Hungryhouse merger faces competition probe

BBC Business News

Borehamwood-based Just Eat's £200m plan to take over rival food delivery service Hungryhouse faces a hurdle.

The proposed deal has been referred for an in-depth investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Both companies take online orders from customers and act as delivery middle men between them and restaurants.

However, the CMA is worried that the combination of the two companies could mean worse terms for the restaurants.

The probe will run until November this year.

Mobile phone with Just Eat app on

Rail disruption: Expected to continue into the afternoon

BBC News Travel

Although things are starting to get back to normal on East Midlands and Thameslink trains after the earlier signal problems, National Rail says disruption is now expected until 14:00.

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Rockingham International Horse Trials: Events begin today

The Rockingham International Horse Trials get under way today, with events taking place until 21 May.

It's one of the most important events of the year on the equestrian calendar. More than 4,000 spectators are due to attend, with hundreds of horses and riders from around the world taking part at Rockingham Great Park, near Corby.

The event features show jumping, dressage and a range of other events.

"We get all the top riders here," said Hillary Manners from the event.

Rockingham horse trial

"We have the British number one Oliver Townend, Zara Tindall is here. Everyone is here, it's a beautiful place, it's a fantastic cross country course. You can't beat it."

It's the fifth time that the event has been held at the venue, which was previously hosted at nearby Brigstock.

"We spend the whole year worrying about it," Andrew Norman from the Rockingham Castle Estate told BBC Radio Northampton's breakfast programme.

"How can we improve it, tweak it. We wonder if it will ever happen then it sort of miraculously appears out of the ground."

General election 2017: Put your concerns to the candidates

BBC Radio Northampton have been spending the last few days heading out to market places across Northamptonshire, asking people if they have questions or concerns they'd like to raise in the run-up to June's general election.

Despite the rain, the team are live from Brackley this morning. If you're out and about in the town, why not pop across for a natter.

Brackley market

You can fill out one of the election postcards with your question, which will then be answered by the BBC Reality Check team and candidates at debates.

If you'd like to get involved then pop down before 12:30. The team will then be on Rothwell Market Place on Monday morning from 09:30.

Luton Town: Birthday surprise for 84-year-old mascot

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

It was the "best evening of my life".

That's what birthday boy John Fry, 84, said last night after he was honoured with leading the club out that he'd supported for more than 50 years.

He was chosen to be the Luton Town mascot after his son, Matt, organised it as a surprise birthday present.

Luton Town Football club with John Fry Mascot
Pete Norton/Getty Images

He got a massive cheer from the crowd when he came on next to the captain, Scott Cuthbert.

He said he was "overawed" by the whole experience and had a "fantastic time".

We believe he's the oldest mascot the Hatters has ever had.

Scorer of fastest hat-trick Tommy Ross dies

BBC Sport

The scorer of the fastest hat-trick in football, Tommy Ross, has died, one of his former football clubs has said.

Ross, who spent a spell at Peterborough United, held the Guinness World Record for three goals scored in 90 seconds while he was playing for Scotland's Ross County against Nairn County in November 1964.

St Duthus FC/Twitter

His death has been announced by Tain club, St Duthus FC, which he managed. He was 70.

Inver-born Ross also played for English clubs including Wigan Athletic and York City.

St Duthus posted tributes to the hat-trick hero on social media.

The club tweeted: "Everyone at St Duthus Football Club wishes to extend their deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to Tommy's family and close friends at this difficult time."

Ross County has retweeted the tribute.

Wembley goes claret and white for 10th anniversary

If you know a Northampton Town fan, they might like this...

To mark 10 years since it reopened, Wembley Stadium has lit up its iconic arch in the colours of each of the 166 teams who have played there since 2007.

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The Cobblers have played once at 'new' Wembley - in the 2013 League Two play-off final - but it wasn't an occasion many fans will think too fondly of, as they saw their team lose 3-0 to Bradford City.