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  1. Commemorations held to mark 100th anniversary of Battle of the Somme
  2. Death of elderly woman hit by lorry "could have been prevented"
  3. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Monday at 08:00
  4. Updates for Friday, 1 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for this week from the team here at Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks. 

We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday morning. 

So far today we've brought you news on how "ghosts" of WWI soldiers have been in Milton Keynes and how a Eurotunnel passenger from the town got delayed for several hours when the train she was on broke down. 

You can read all the stories by scrolling through the page. 

But before we go... the soundchecks are well under way for tonights AmpRocks concert set right in the middle of Ampthill Great Park. 

Soundcheck at AmpRocks

Thousands are expected at the sell-out event tonight which is part of the Ampthill Festival taking place all weekend. 

The Fratellis are the headline act. 

Ewe silly thing

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A sheep had a bit of baaad luck yesterday afternoon as instead of walking through a large open gap in a field, she got her head caught in a fence.  

Passers-by spotted her looking at bit "sheepish" in the meadow in Old Church Lane, Thundridge, near Ware and called the RSPCA. 

Help was on hand from RSPCA inspector Kate Wright, who said: "When I arrived she was bleating in distress and really panicking. There were sharp wires in the fence and I have no doubt she would have hurt herself had she been left in that panicked state for much longer."

sheep stuck in fence

“She wasn’t the smartest in the flock. There’s no fence most of the way along the field. She only had to walk around it!" 

She then snipped the wires to release the dim-witted sheep who went charging off to rejoin her flock. 

Weather: Mainly dry with clear spells

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It'll become mainly dry through this evening and night with clear spells, although an isolated light shower is possible. 

A cool night with a westerly breeze persisting. 

Minimum temperature: 9C (48F). 

Weather Map

Tomorrow a few showers will develop during the morning, these heavy in places with risk of lightning later.

Sunnier periods are expected between showers, and it'll stay breezy. 

Maximum temperature: 19C (66F). 

Man thanks 'amazing' staff for saving partner and child

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

Speaking about the staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Kevin Smees said: "I can't stop thinking how great these people are... they really know their stuff, so I feel I just want to give something back."

"What they did over there was absolutely amazing."

John Radcliffe hospital

"I thought 'If I could get £500...' I'm amazed, really. I'm very shocked and stunned and very appreciative of everything that people have done."

He describes Lexi, his baby, as a "very good little girl" and added: "From what was a bad situation... to where Nicola is today, it's an absolute miracle. That's the only way I can describe it."

Mother recovering after collapsing with a brain tumour whilst heavily pregnant

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

Nicola Landsown, pictured here with partner Kevin Smees, collapsed with a bleed on the brain, two days before she was due to have an induced labour.

After their daughter Lexi was born, Ms Lansdown spent two days in a neurological ward before being placed in an induced coma for four weeks.

Nicola and Kevin
Kevin Smees

She can now say up to 100 words, has some feeling in her right side and is due to start rehabilitation in a week.  

Aylesbury man hands £3,000 to hospital after they saved his family

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

A Buckinghamshire man is set to hand over a £3,000 cheque to a hospital to thank staff for saving the lives of his partner and their newborn daughter.

Nicola Lansdown collapsed at home in Aylesbury with a brain tumour while heavily pregnant in May.

Nicola and Lexi
Kevin Smees

Doctors at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford performed an emergency Caesarean, and Ms Lansdown was put in an induced coma.

Afterwards her partner Kevin Smees, 38, began fundraising. "I can't thank them enough," he said.

"I owe them everything."

It's 'time to work' says Deeney after signing new deal

Troy Deeney is delighted to have committed his future to Watford. 

View more on twitter

Deeney signs new deal at Watford

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Watford captain Troy Deeney has signed a new five-year contract at the club.

The striker has been the subject of transfer bids from Premier League champions Leicester recently but he's now committed his future to the Hornets.

Troy Deeney
Getty Images

"This club really means business and I want to be part of this," Deeney says.

Scott Duxbury, the Hornets' chief executive, says: "Making big decisions is part of the accountability that comes with running a football club, and I'm aware of that."

Train evacuation 'had to be done carefully'

Hundreds of passengers were stranded inside the Channel Tunnel last night after a train from Calais to Folkestone broke down, including Aggie Animuscka from Milton Keynes. 

John Keefe from Eurotunnel says safety is paramount.

train breaks down in Channel Tunnel

Who is your MP supporting in the leadership race?

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

So just who is your local Conservative MP supporting in the Tory leadership race? 

They have five options and here's the breakdown for you. 

Front-runner Theresa May has support from Mike Penning, Sir Oliver Heald, Richard Harrington, Mark Prisk and Mark Lancaster. 

On Team Stephen Crabb is Andrew Selous. 

Theresa May at leadership announcement meeting
Getty Images

Steven Baker and Peter Lilley want to see Andrea Leadsom as the next prime minister, while Ian Stewart is behind Liam Fox. 

So far none of our MPs is for Michael Gove. 

There are still a few whose intentions we don't yet know, and they are Richard Fuller, Nadine Dorries, Anne Main, Stephen McPartland, Charles Walker, Cheryl Gillan, Alistair Burt, David Gauke, Oliver Dowden, Dominic Grieve, David Lidington and Grant Shapps. 

As John Bercow is the Speaker of the Commons, he's not saying who he's going for. 

Watch: MK passenger 'stuck' for six hours

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

I've been talking to Aggie Animuscka from Milton Keynes.

She had an eventful night last night as she got stuck for several hours on the Eurotunnel when a "technical incident" forced it to stop just 15 minutes into the journey .

View more on twitter

Better 'contingency plans' needed in Channel Tunnel, says passenger

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Aggie Animuscka from Milton Keynes was stuck along with hundreds of other passengers for more than six hours when a train she was on broke down in the Channel Tunnel last night. 

She praised staff on the ground as she always felt "safe" but felt better "contingency plans" were needed. 

She says conditions were "hot" but that passengers were looked after and given food and water. 

Passengers stuck in channel tunnel
Aggie Animuscka
Stranded passengers in Eurotunnel
Aggie Animuscka

Bus and lorry crash in Totternhoe

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

There's been a crash between a bus and a lorry in the Bedfordshire village of Totternhoe.  

It happened at about 13:20 on Dunstable Road, near the cricket pavilion. 

There were only minor injuries. 

The road has now reopened. 

Damage to bus
BCH Road Policing
Road accident
Neil Bradford

'Technical incident' caused train delays on Eurotunnel last night

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Eurotunnel has confirmed that a "technical incident" occurred on a train in the Channel Tunnel last night meaning over 400 passengers had to be evacuated. 

As the train could not be repaired, passengers had to be transferred to a rescue train. 

Passengers stuck in Channel Tunnel
Aggie Animuscka

Aggie Animuscka, from Milton Keynes, who was onboard said people "cheered" when at last the emergency train started moving. 

After a six-hour delay passengers arrived back in Folkestone at about 22:00. 

Passengers stuck in Eurotunnel
Aggie Animuscka

Olivia de Havilland turns 100: The Hertfordshire link

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Hollywood icon Olivia de Havilland, the last surviving principal cast member of Gone with the Wind, was born on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, so that means she turns 100 today. "What’s that got to do with the three counties?" you may ask.

Olivia de Havilland in front of statue of Sir Geoffrey de Havilland
University of Hertfordshire

Well, her cousin was Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, the British aviation pioneer, whose de Havilland Aircraft Company moved to Hatfield aerodrome in the 1930s and has been synonymous with the town ever since.

She caused a bit of a stir when she turned up to the unveiling of a statue commemorating him at the University of Hertfordshire in 1997.

Her friend Brian Emsley of Welwyn Garden City, who worked at the university and invited her, said: "Although Prince Philip was to unveil the statue, the crowds and the media turned out to see and to applaud a woman still beautiful in her 80s."

Buckinghamshire prisoner on the run for three years back in jail

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

A man who escaped from a prison in Buckinghamshire three years ago has been caught and sent back to Britain. 

Paul Moss, 66, ran off from Springhill Jail in Grendon Underwood, where he'd been serving a 17-year sentence for drugs offences. 

Springhill Jail
Andy Gryce/Geograph

It's believed he had been living in Spain. He was arrested under a European arrest warrant and has been sent back to jail.

Response to fundraising efforts for war veteran 'amazing'

Jodie Smith

BBC News

"Amazing," was the response from Paul Winspear, editor of the Herts and Essex Observer, after hundreds of people responded to the fundraising page for Cyril Banks

He said: "We had a lot of comments on our Facebook page about what happened to Cyril and people were asking how they could help him, so we set a page up. We hit the £9,000 target within about six hours."

Cyril Banks
Annie Riley

Mr Banks said he had even been offered £40 by a young man who overheard him telling a friend what had happened.

He said he would give any money over the £9,000 he had lost to charities he supported.

"If I can help other people out of this and give back what they've given to me, I would feel I am repaying their generosity," he said.

Friend 'appalled' at fraudsters who conned war veteran

Jodie Smith

BBC News

So far, £12,787 has been raised by 493 people since the "Refund Cyril's Life Savings" page was created yesterday afternoon.

Hertfordshire Police said an investigation into Mr Banks' case was ongoing.

Mr Banks' friend Annie Riley said she had been "appalled" by the people who had persuaded him to withdraw £9,000 from his bank account.

Fundraising page

"I don't know how they sleep at night," she said. "Cyril's such an amazing and giving man, he's always collecting for charity.

"At least by talking about what happened to him, we might have stopped someone else from falling victim to the scammers."

'Overwhelming' response to campaign to refund veteran

Jodie Smith

BBC News

An online fundraising campaign to help a World War Two veteran from Bishop's Stortford, who was defrauded out of his life savings, has raised more than £12,000 in less than 24 hours.

Cyril Banks, 91, had £9,000 stolen from him by fraudsters who pretended to be from the Metropolitan Police, officers said.

Cyril Banks

The Herts and Essex Observer set up a fundraising page after Mr Banks was interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio.

Watch: 'Ghost' soldiers on the march in Milton Keynes

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A number of "ghost" soldiers have been spotted around Milton Keynes, marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The men arrived via the railway station and walked to the theatre district, the shopping centre and back to the station.

Battle of the Somme: Tom Adlam VC's audio diaries

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Tom Adlam VC of the Bedfordshire Regiment fought in the Battle of the Somme.

He recorded audio diaries of his personal memories in the 1970s with the Imperial War Museum.

View more on youtube

Battle of the Somme: Ted Ambrose's time capsule

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Just days after arriving at the Somme, 18-year-old Pte Ted Ambrose from Hertfordshire was seriously wounded and died.His belongings were sent home to his mother, who couldn't bear to look at them, so they weren't opened until 96 years later.

In this film, historian Dan Hill explains...  

View more on youtube

'Ghosts' of Somme soldiers come to Milton Keynes

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Some rather haunting figures have been spotted in the theatre district of Milton Keynes this morning. 

They're representing the ghosts of soldiers from World War One to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Soldiers outside MK Gallery
MK Gallery

This picture was taken outside MK Gallery 

Bucks LEP 'disapointed' with delays to airport expansion plans

The decision to delay airport expansion in south-eastern England until "at least October" has been described as "disappointing" by the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). 

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the news yesterday following the Brexit vote. 

Andrew M Smith, chairman of the LEP, says the development is of "paramount importance" to Buckinghamshire businesses. 

An aircraft flies over residential houses
Getty Images

Whilst we appreciate that these are exceptional political times, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP are disappointed in the announcement that there has been a further delay in the decision on airport expansion in the South East and will be pressing for a swift decision upon the appointment of the new prime minister.

Andrew M. SmithChairman of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP

Watch: MK woman's pictures of Channel Tunnel train breakdown

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Last night was not a good night for Aggie Animuscka from Milton Keynes. 

She was stranded in the Channel Tunnel after the train from Calais to Folkestone she was on broke down. 

More than 400 passengers had to be evacuated and then walk down the tunnel to a rescue train. 

View more on twitter

Easyjet: 'We're not moving'

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

Easyjet has re-confirmed its commitment to Luton after speculation that it was planning to move its headquarters away from the town. 

It says it has begun negotiations to get an AOC (air operator certificate) so it can continue operating without a hitch when Britain leaves the European Union.

Easyjet plane
Getty Images

Easyjet has now started a formal process to acquire an AOC. We have no plans to move from Luton – our home for 20 years.


MK passenger gets stranded on Channel Tunnel

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Five hundred passengers were stranded inside the Channel Tunnel after a train from Calais to Folkestone broke down last night. 

They had to be transferred to a rescue train.

Aggie Animuscka from Milton Keynes was one of them and spoke to the BBC from the stranded train. 

Police seek witnesses after delivery lorry death

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Hertfordshire Police has said it is still investigating the death of a 78-year-old woman after a collision with a delivery lorry at the exit of the Tesco Express in Jersey Farm, St Albans.

A spokeswoman said police were keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time, witnessed the collision or saw the victim prior to the incident and are "especially interested in making contact with a member of the public who was in a vehicle close to the collision" as they could have "vital information".

Belgium Under-21 International comes to Watford

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

So Belgium Under-21 international Christian Kabasele has just completed a permanent transfer to Vicarage Road, the second summer signing for the club. 

It's a five-year deal, thought to be worth £6m, for the Racing Genk defender who's currently in France as part of Belgium’s Euro 2016 squad. 

Christian Kabasele
Getty Images

The 25-year-old played 81 times for Genk, scoring seven goals, after signing for the Belgian Pro League side in 2014.   Born in Zaire, Kabasele started his career with Belgian outfits Eupen and Mechelen before spending a year in Bulgaria with Ludogorets Razgrad. 

Kabasele signs for Watford

It's official... Belgian defender Christian Kabasele has signed for Watford. 

View more on twitter

New players set to come to Watford

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

It's been an interesting morning at Watford. 

Belgian defender Christian Kabasele has joined from Racing Genk player in a £6m move.

Christian Kabasele
Getty Images

It's thought the club are close to announcing the signing of Nigerian striker Isaac Success for a fee thought to be in the region of £12.5m from Granada. 

And there are also reports that the Hornets have turned down a £35m bid from Chinese club Shanghai SIPG for striker Odion Ighalo.

Nationwide search started to find concrete blocks for Bedfordshire

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Central Bedfordshire Council has started a new appeal to find concrete blocks. 

It comes after they've been placed around Dunstable to stop travellers parking in places they shouldn't. 

Councillor Richard Stay says it's costing "taxpayers a lot of money" and it's a "far from an "ideal situation".

Concrete blocks

He claims the problem has been caused by about 25 travellers who keep on playing a "cat and mouse" game with the authorities and moving around the area

Concrete blocks

Shortage of concrete blocks in Bedfordshire

Measures brought in by Central Bedfordshire Council to prevent travellers from camping illegally have led to a shortage of concrete blocks. 

Several locations around Dunstable and off Junction 10 of the M1 in Luton have been blocked off.  

Councillors say they have so many areas to control they have run out. 

Concrete blocks

Delivery lorry death: 'Visibility non-existent'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

St Albans residents who live near the Tesco Express on Jersey Farm, where an elderly woman died after she was hit by a delivery lorry, have said they raised concerns with the store numerous times about the dangers large lorries were posing.

The store, in a residential area, is serviced by HGVs and residents argue there is not enough room for large lorries to carry deliveries safely to the store. They say that often surrounding roads are being blocked with lorries struggling to get into or turn around in the service yard.  

Karen Murphy said: "Visibility is non-existent... I have lived here for over 20 years and lorries delivering to their store have knocked my boundary wall over nine separate times."

Tesco has told us a full investigation is under way.

Delivery lorry death 'could have been prevented'

Ollie Bayliss

BBC Three Counties Radio

Residents in St Albans say the death of an elderly woman in a collision with a delivery lorry could have been prevented.

Twyford Road

The 78-year-old, who has not been named, was killed on Monday morning after the collision at the exit of the Tesco Express service yard in Twyford Road, Jersey Farm. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Residents say they had warned the store numerous times about the dangers of large delivery lorries on the narrow residential streets.

Tesco said it was working closely with police and was carrying out a full investigation.

Battle of the Somme: Today's 'legacy'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of World War One and its first known as the worst day in British military history.

For five months, the British and French armies engaged the Germans on a 15-mile front in the Somme in northern France.

Military historian Dan Hill, from the Herts at War team, said: "While it is a tragic loss of life, particularly on the 1 July, when you look at the bigger picture, the legacy are the very members of the UK today; those people whose grandfathers came home and had children, the reason why we're here."

Battle of the Somme: Live page of national commemorations

If you'd like to read more about the Battle of the Somme commemorations going on across the UK today, the BBC is running a special live page reflecting events.

You can find it here.

Screenshot of Battle of the Somme live page

The Battle of the Somme - how it unfolded


  • Began on 1 July 1916 and was fought along a 15-mile front near the River Somme in northern France
  • 19,240 British soldiers died on the first day - the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army
  • The British captured just three square miles of territory on the first day
  • At the end of hostilities, five months later, the British had advanced just seven miles and failed to break the German defence
  • In total, there were more than a million dead and wounded on all sides, including 420,000 British, about 200,000 from France and an estimated 465,000 from Germany
The Battle of the Somme
Getty Images

Battle of the Somme: Local events mark 100th anniversary

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

Commemorations are being held across the UK and France today to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Last night, the Queen laid flowers at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, at the beginning of an overnight vigil.

The Queen lays flowers at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey

In Aylesbury there will be a service of remembrance focused on local soldier Captain Lionel William Crouch, who died during the battle and it will include his last letter home.

At Bletsoe in north Bedfordshire, there will be a candlelit vigil around the war memorial with readings and music. This afternoon there will also be a wreath laying at the war memorial at Tring in Hertfordshire, followed by a special service.

Today's weather: Becoming brighter

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A year ago today was one of the hottest days of the year - that won't be the case today.

Any early rain will clear to leave a mostly dry and bright day - but still with the chance of a shower.

Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).