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  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West of England on Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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A final look at the weather as we say goodnight

Watch: Ian Fergusson says to expect cloud, some brightness and a threat of rain tomorrow

That's all for today from BBC Local Live here in the West of England.

We're back at 7am tomorrow with more live news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Campaigner to help town become dementia friendly

Yeovil is aiming to be a 'dementia friendly' town

A number of locations in Somerset have begun efforts to earn 'dementia friendly' status - with Yeovil the latest town to go for it.

Campaigner Terry Eccott, diagnosed with stage one vascular dementia four years ago, says making a town "dementia friendly" is about raising awareness of the little things that can make a big difference.

For example, if someone with advanced dementia sees a black mat on the floor they might think it's a hole, if they see a blue carpet they might think it's water. Their perception of depth is different.

Terry Eccott

Event rider appeals for help to keep Olympic horse

Watch: Jonty Evans wants to keep his horse, Art

A Gloucestershire event rider is appealing to the public to help him keep his Olympic horse.

Jonty Evans, from Cheltenham, took ninth place in Rio last year but Art's owner says after interest from abroad the horse will be sold unless £500,000 can be raised locally to buy him.

Jonty has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to keep Art, who he calls his partner and best friend.

Jane Austen centre gets fiver worth £50,000

Watch: It's the 200th anniversary since the novelist's death

A museum dedicated to Jane Austen has been presented with a £5 note featuring a tiny 5mm portrait of the author worth £50,000.

Micro-artist Graham Short engraved five notes and put four in circulation sparking a hunt for the valuable notes.

Man seriously assaulted in Cheltenham

College Road/Bath Parade, Cheltenham

A man has been taken by air ambulance to hospital following a serious assault in Cheltenham.

The man, aged in his 40s, was found with serious neck and head injuries in Sandford Park by a member of the public.

Police are appealing for anyone who was in Sandford Park between 4pm and 6pm to get in touch.

Click here to visit the force's website.

Athlete takes gold in World Para-athletics Championships

Sophie Kamlish
Getty Images

Bath's Sophie Kamlish is celebrating after winning gold at the World Para-athletics Championships in London last night.

The 22-year-old, who trains at the University of Bath, won the T44 100m final after setting a new world record in the heats.

The T44 is the race for athletes with a single amputation below the knee.

It was Britain's 11th gold of the games.

Holiday traffic: Beat the summer getaway gridlock


Motorists are being warned of heavy traffic on the M5 as around nine million vehicles take to the roads over the weekend ahead of a summer getaway.

The RAC predicts there'll be 36.5 million "leisure" journeys in the first fortnight of the school holidays.

It said drivers would experience "customary chaos" and warned of traffic hotspots including the M5 Almondsbury Interchange and from Bristol to Taunton.

The busiest period is likely to be Saturday between 11am and 4pm.

Click here to read more.

Jamie Mines: 'You learn to adapt so quickly'

Watch: Jamie says it was "so frustrating" at first

A scaffolder from Swindon who had his limbs amputated after a massive electric shock at work says he's rebuilding his life and hopes to learn to walk again.

The accident happened in December and more than £100,000 was raised to help Jamie Mines with his rehabilitation.

Jamie says it's "amazing" what he can do now.

Cricket: Mustard out after 'brilliant' Bell-Drummond catch

Gloucestershire's Phil Mustard is out after a "brilliant" diving catch by Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond in their T20 Blast match at The Spitfire Ground.

Show in a pickle over stolen Cheddar

A prize-winning Cheddar

Police are hunting a thief who stole thousands of pounds worth of prize-winning cheese from an agricultural show.

Eleven blocks of Cheddar, each weighing about 20kg, were taken from the Yeovil Show at the weekend.

A £500 reward has been offered by one cheesemaker for the safe return of his two winning cheeses.

Show organisers said the most valuable cheese stolen was mysteriously returned to the site on Tuesday.

Click here to read more.

A day on the Cotswold Way: A 'real eye opener'

David Bailey

BBC News

Well that's it for my short taster of what it's like walking the Cotswold Way.

Staff I've just spoken to at a pub in Winchcombe, where walkers stay, say they're normally all checked in by 5.30pm at the latest.

Plenty of time for them to down a couple of local beers and get a hearty meal.

Then it'll be up early again tomorrow for their next leg of the Cotswold Way.


Today has been an eye opener for me.

When I became one of the first people to walk the full 102 mile length of the route after it had been made an official National Trail, I never thought I'd be retracing part of the route a decade later.

I'm surprised about how much I remember about specific parts of the route - the steep climb up to Dover' s Hill for example.

But also I realise there are lots of it that I'd forgotten. Were there really that many steps up to the top of Broadway Tower a decade ago?

One thing that hasn't changed is the beautiful English countryside. I'd recommend a hike along the Cotswold Way to anyone who appreciates getting away from it all and experiencing nature at its finest.

Cotswold Way: 'Just wonderful' according to US couple

David Bailey

BBC News

Bob and Connie Greenlee, from the US state of Oregon, have been walking the Cotswold Way for the last two days.

Supping a well deserved beer at the White Hart in Winchcombe, they said it had been "wonderful".

Watch: Bob and Connie Greenlee speak highly of the "beautiful scenary"

And Karen Charlton, who works at the pub, notices different groups of walkers who stay at the inn have different demands:

Watch: Karen Charlton says walkers from overseas "like to try the local ales"

'Sickie' police officer caught celebrating win on camera

Watch: Footage courtesy of Racing UK

On one of the occasions PC Jonathan Adams called in sick, he was seen celebrating a racing win on television.

A television clip of PC Adams jumping around and celebrating, originally shown on Channel 4 Racing, was shown to the panel during the misconduct hearing.

Click here to read more.

Cotswold Way: Ultramarathon runners, 5k runners and amazing views

Ira Rainey

Bristol author and ultramarathon runner

Cotswold Way sign
Ira Rainey

Ultramarathon runner and Fat Man to Green Man author Ira Rainey has run the Cotswold Way before. Here, he shares his memories of the route.

Following the path down through to Wotton-under-Edge and on to Hawksbury Upton is a great section. The views from Wotton Hill are amazing and Hawkesbury Upton is a nice little village, where they hold a family charity 5K run each summer, running on some of the Cotswold Way itself.

I’ve run it with my kids a couple of times and it’s great to see so many families out on the trail. I’ve also run the last section from Lansdown down into Bath many times, as it’s close to my house.

Taking a short detour off the path to climb Kelston Roundhill is a great way to spend half an hour or so sitting beneath the iconic copse of trees. On a clear day the view looking out over Saltford, Keynsham and far beyond is breath-taking.

Views on the Cotswold Way
Ira Rainey

Working in Bath I also sometimes run-commute on the Cotswold Way down from Lansdown into Weston and into the centre of Bath. It’s a great way to wake yourself up in the morning and beats sitting in traffic. On a bad weather day you can even occasionally have the path to yourself for most of the way.

The beauty of a path like the Cotswold Way is that it takes you to places you would never normally get to see. Not only is the countryside the trail passes through really is some of the best the West Country has to offer, but you also get to pass through the grounds of places like Dodington Park that were designed by Capability Brown in the 1760s.

PC sacking needed 'to maintain public confidence'

Gloucestershire Police

Following a two-day misconduct hearing, allegations against PC Jonathan Adams have been found proven and he has been sacked by Gloucestershire Police.

The rookie officer pulled three "sickies" to go and watch horse racing.

It is important that police officers are honest and that public confidence should be upheld. In the circumstances we conclude that dismissal without notice is appropriate in order to maintain public confidence in the force. We are forced to conclude that PC Adams was not suffering the degree of sickness that he claimed he was. We accept that Barton Street was a difficult and high pressured working environment and accept there were issues of a high turnover of supervisory staff and PC Adams was facing a high work load. We accept these three areas had a detrimental impact to his health.

Alex LockChairman of the misconduct panel

Click here to read more.

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe disruption, at J26 for A38.

M5 Somerset - M5 lane closed on entry slip road southbound at J26, A38 (Wellington), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Breaking'Sickie' police officer sacked

PC Jonathan Adams who pulled three "sickies" to watch horse racing has been sacked by Gloucestershire Constabulary.

More to follow...

Thunderstorms and downpours on the way

Triple 'sickie' PC faces losing his job

PC Jonathan Adams
Gloucestershire Live / SWNS

A rookie police officer is facing the sack after pulling three "sickies" to go and watch horse racing.

A disciplinary hearing panel found allegations of gross misconduct against PC Jonathan Adams to be proven.

He pulled three "sickies" to go to Royal Ascot and twice to Nottingham Racecourse during a nine-month period, the hearing was told.

The panel has now retired to consider the punishment, which could include dismissal without notice.

A day on the Cotswold Way: Climbing a Gothic folly

David Bailey

BBC News

Broadway Tower

Another landmark near the northern end of the Cotswold Way is Broadway Tower.

The 18th Century folly was designed by the famous landscape designer Capability Brown.

Broadway Tower

From the top of the tower, the views of the Vale of Evesham are spectacular.

Although, it's pretty windy up here today.

Hunt for man caught on CCTV in Stroud after cat shot

Severe disruption: M5 Somerset northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset northbound severe disruption, between J24 for A38 and J23 for A39.

M5 Somerset - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J24, A38 (Bridgwater South) and J23, A39 (Bridgwater North), because of a broken down lorry and recovery work. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Cotswold Way: View from Dover's Hill

David Bailey

BBC News

View from Dover's Hill near Chipping Campden

Dover's Hill near Chipping Campden is the first major viewpoint on the route - or last, depending on which way you're walking.

It's also home to the famous Cotswold Olimpicks.

Gary Porter and Christy Hendrix.

Gary Porter and Christy Hendrix, who live locally, say they often come up to Dover's Hill for a walk, some fresh air and to admire the views.Gary says: "We feel lucky to live here."

School's maths results declared void

SATs tests for primary

Primary school children have had their maths SATs results declared invalid after an investigation by a testing agency.

Parents were told there were concerns over how St Stephen's Junior School near Bristol administered the test.

School bosses claimed the incident would not have a "negative impact".

Click here if you'd like to read more.

Reflections from the Cotswold Way

David Bailey

BBC News

David Bailey
Ten years ago (left) and today (right) in Chipping Campden

What struck me about the Cotswold Way was that you never have to walk far to see the next noteworthy site along the way - whether it be ancient long barrows, hill forts, Victorian follies, man-made towers, historic churches, or simply the wonderful views from the Cotswold escarpment.

And I was so lucky with the weather ten years ago.

It didn't rain at all during my hike, which was incredibly lucky - the following week the heavens opened and Gloucestershire saw some of the worst flooding in living memory.

David Bailey
It took a week for me to walk the entire trail in July 2007 - finishing at Bath Abbey

Cotswold mockumentary gets second series

A second series of the BBC Three mockumentary This Country has been commissioned.

It's written by Gloucestershire siblings Daisy May and Charlie Cooper, who also play on-screen cousins Kerry and Lee Kurtan Mucklowe.

Filmed in Northleach, the first series won critical acclaim for its portrayal of modern rural Britain.

Comedy characters Kerry and Kurtan

Chris Sussman, BBC head of comedy, described it as one his favourite new comedies in recent years.

Filming will begin in the Autumn, and air on BBC Three next year.

A day on the Cotswold Way: Souvenir t-shirt anyone?

David Bailey

BBC News

Chipping Campden

I'm at the start/end of the Cotswold Way - the northern end of Chipping Campden.

I've just met Richard Fermor and Jane Glennie at the town's tourist information centre which is right opposite the trail's start.

Richard says since the Cotswold Way became an official national trail he's definitely seen an increase in the number of people walking it, especially people from overseas.

Richard Fermor and Jane Glennie

He says they have people coming in asking for maps and guides to assist them with planning their walk.

And people who finish the walk here, often pop in to buy a souvenir t-shirt.

A Cotswold Way t-shift on sale

Jane Austen Centre given £50k fiver

An enlarged picture of the engraving on a £5 note
Ferguson Media

A museum dedicated to Jane Austen has been presented with a £5 note, featuring a tiny 5mm portrait of the author, worth £50,000.

Micro-artist Graham Short engraved five notes and put four in circulation sparking a hunt for the valuable notes.

The first was spent by Mr Short in a cafe in Wales in 2016 and found soon after. Each is now worth about £50,000.

The fifth was given to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath which intends to put it on display.

Enjoy part of the Cotswold Way, in timelapse form

This is a stretch of the path between Wotton and North Nibley:

Watch: A timelapse stretch of the walk between Wotton and North Nibley

Cricket: Heather Knight salutes England's teamwork

Heather Knight on a bike ride

England are in action in the Women's World Cup, with just South Africa standing between them and a place in Sunday's final at Lord's.

The match started at 10.30am and is being played in Bristol. Click here for live coverage.

Captain Heather Knight has written a blog for the BBC, which includes mention of a "recovery bike ride" with Lauren Winfield which finished in a tussle with a very steep incline to the top of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Click here to read more from Heather.

A personal view from the trail

David Bailey

BBC News

David Bailey
I walked the Cotswold Way - starting in Chipping Campden, exactly a decade ago

With Matt having finished his morning stint, and Daniel looking for his car many miles away, we turn to our third reporter of the day who has already walked the route.

David Bailey will be joining us soon from Chipping Campden where he will trace the route south for a second time.

I'm back walking a section of the Cotswold Way today, exactly 10 years after I spent a week trekking along the whole route.

In July 2007 I must have been among the first people to complete the route after it was made an official national trail in the May of that year.

And even though it's now a decade ago, I still fondly remember the seven days I spent - walking about 15 miles each day, and camping each night.

Bristol Council motion to debate voting at 16

At 16, you can do a lot of things. You're able to pay income tax, become a company director or even get married - with parental permission.

But you're not able to vote until you turn 18. A motion at Bristol City Council tonight will call for the voting age to be reduced for the next set of local elections.

The Green Party are behind the motion, but even if it is passed it is unlikely that 16-year-olds will be given the right to vote as it would require a change in the law nationally.

Voting forms

Gorgeous Gloucestershire views from the Tyndale Monument

Tyndale Monument
Tyndale Monument
Views of Gloucestershire
Tyndale Monument

Well I made it to the top. The views are stunning and up there there is a very welcome breeze! It's quiet and peaceful and you feel at one with the landscape. Today's journey along the Cotswold Way to reach The Tyndale Monument is one I won't forget in a hurry. It has been an archetypal hazy English summer's day, the countryside has been inspiring and the many people (and dogs!) I've met on my travels have been warm and friendly and eager to talk of their great love of this most beautiful corner of England.

Daniel Garrett

Reaching the Tyndale Monument

Daniel has finally reached the Tyndale Monument, and the views from the base are spectacular. From here you can see all the way back to the Severn Bridge.

Tyndale Monument
Tyndale Monument
Tyndale Monument

Well after a character-building steep climb, I've made it to my destination - the Tyndale Monument high on a hill overlooking North Nibley. The views are breathtaking and I can even see as far the Severn Bridge in the distance. The monument was built in 1866 in honour of William Tyndale, a bible translator. It is 111ft high and I'm about to brave the spiral staircase to the top - all 121 steps!

Daniel Garrett

Marathon man Matt reaches his finish line

We're not quite sure how he did it, but our first walker Matt has rambled all the way from Bath Abbey to just short of the M4. We predict sore legs tomorrow.

Crown pub

Sitting by the side of the thundering A46 it's obvious to me what's been the most precious thing about the last seven hours: the silence. Just me, the wind and the birds surfing the thermals rising up out of the West. No cars, few people and the most incredible views, one after another. I've lived in this area my whole life and never been to most of the places on this route. What a joy to be able to explore Britain like this - and oh look, the pub's open as well. Cheers.

Matthew Ford

Well, he's probably deserved a drink after walking solidly since 6am.

The North Nibley village shopkeeper who meets Cotswold Way walkers

Cheryl's shop is halfway along the Cotswold Way, a vital stopping-off point for ramblers.

A vital refreshment stop before the steep climb to the Tyndale Monument

It's getting pretty warm outside now. Thankfully our man Daniel has found a much-needed rest stop in North Nibley.

Village shop

Finding Cheryl's village shop on North Nibley after two solid hours of walking up hill and down dale on a hot summer's day - not even knowing if I was heading in the right direction - was like finding an oasis in the desert! After vital ablutions and an ice cold soft drink, I heard some of Cheryl's stories of meeting Cotswold Way walkers from all across the world. Now I was ready to continue on my journey up to the famous Tyndale Monument.

Daniel Garrett
Monument sign

Californian ramblers enjoying Gloucestershire

Michael and Theresa are visiting from California to walk the Cotswold Way. They're off to Bath today, and said all the locals "are so nice”.


How well do you know Jane Austen?

Jane Austen
  • Born on 16 December 1775 in the Hampshire village of Steventon, where her father was the local clergyman
  • Began writing as a teenager and published Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility based on her observations of middle and upper-class Regency England
  • Lived in Bath from 1801 before moving to Southampton and then the Hampshire village of Chawton after her father died
  • Her books were published anonymously during her lifetime
  • Died in Winchester in 1817 at the age of 41 and was buried in the cathedral
  • Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published posthumously and a final novel was left incomplete

Cold Ashton view is amazing

Matt's made it to Cold Ashton in an amazing-paced walk towards the M4 motorway. He was in the centre of Bath at 6am!

But, we're sure he's glad he's got as far as he has for the view.

Cold Ashton view of the Cotswold Way