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  1. Updates on Thursday 31 March 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Live updates for Cumbria have now finished for the day. I'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with news, sport, weather and travel updates.

You can contact us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.  

Weather: Cold and chilly tonight, with a bright start tomorrow

BBC Weather

Any showers will quickly fade this evening, leaving a dry and clear start to the night. Under the clear skies it will turn chilly, with perhaps a touch of frost in places, before cloud and strengthening winds spread in from the northwest later. Minimum temperature will be 2C (36F).

A bright but chilly start for some tomorrow, but the cloud and wind will continue to increase, with some strong breezes, as a band of rain spreads southeastwards throughout the day. Maximum temperature 8C (46F).

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather image

Cumbrians try to persuade the makers of Star Wars to film here again

BBC Cumbria

We've been asking Cumbrians to play movie location scout to convince the makers of Star Wars to come back to Cumbria.

A few seconds of footage shot in the Lake District features in the latest film The Force Awakens. 

See our Facebook page for the suggestions so far.

This is the one from Honister Slate Mine!

Slate mine
Honister Slate Mine

Cumbrian pays tribute to Ronnie Corbett

One of the nation's most popular comedians, Ronnie Corbett, has died at the age of 85.

The entertainer was best known for his partnership with Ronnie Barker. Their double act, The Two Ronnies, was one of the most successful of the 1970s and 1980s. 

Thom Lester lives on the outskirts of Carlisle. He worked with Ronnie Corbett in the mid 1990s when he was a stage manager in Hexham.

He says Corbett was very down to earth: "You arrive and totally unaware he's in the building. He's not got this big image and entourage that you're expecting. His wife was there and his daughter, just a family gathering while dad does a night's work."

Ronnie Corbett

Cumbrian mill to reopen this summer

Eskdale Mill in West Cumbria is reopening for the summer season despite doubts about its future last year.

After the retirement of  the previous tenant, the Eskdale Mill and Heritage Trust was uncertain as to how to keep the mill open.

But volunteers have come forward to help run the mill which is now under direct trust management.

Eskdale Mill Trust

Karl Bartlett, the volunteer co-ordinator, says: "We have been working busily rediscovering the charms of this important building that have been hidden over the past few years. 

"The mill's presentation has been based around the 1970s exhibition material and over time it has become tired and in need of refreshment.”

Volunteers will be giving guided tours and it's hoped that in the future they can also be trained in a range of rural skills. The first training event is a dry-stone wall training course next month. 

Your pictures: Another stunning shot of the low-lying mist in Cumbria

Thank you to Nigel who took this in the Coniston area this morning. This low-lying mist or cloud is created by a difference in air temperatures.

If you have any great photos to share then send them to us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.  

Fells and cloud
Nigel Thompson

Future of steel jobs in Cumbria still uncertain

The future of more than 250 jobs in Cumbria remains unclear following an emergency meeting of government ministers. 

David Cameron admitted there is no guarantee that the government will be able to save the British steel-making industry. He also said he doesn't believe that re-nationalisation is the answer. 

But the Labour MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed, says nationalisation should be considered.

He says: "It could be a temporary solution. Maybe a public-private partnership is the way forward in the future but I think all the options have to be on the table."    

Steel plant

Your pictures: Inversion over Grasmere

Martin Campbell has taken this stunning photo of an inversion in the Lake District today. 

The mist is formed by a total cloud inversion which happens when cold air is trapped and then topped by a layer of warmer air.

See more photos and video here.

Mist and mountains
Martin Campbell

Weather: Sunshine and showers this afternoon

BBC Weather

Sunshine and showers this afternoon, with light winds and highs of 10C (50F). 

It'll be chilly tonight, with a few fog patches too and temperatures just above freezing in rural areas. 

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather image

Urgent work needed on one of Cumbria's favourite fells

Money is needed for urgent repairs to paths on one of the Lake District's favourite fells. 

Joe Cornforth from the National Trust in the North Lakes, says: “Storm Desmond caused a landslide on Cat Bells, ripping straight through the well-known lower terrace path and making existing erosion scars on the summit path so much worse that they almost became unwalkable.

We carried out emergency repairs to keep the paths open for Christmas. However, we’ve got to make the paths and the fells a lot more resilient to extreme weather events.”

One of the first tasks will be to plant trees which will help to stabilise the ground.

The Trust has launched a campaign with the organisers of the Keswick Mountain Festival to raise £25,000 to fund the work.

Ian Marshall

Concerns over safety and job losses as new rail franchise starts in Cumbria

Unions say they're concerned about safety and the potential loss of jobs ahead of Arriva North taking over some rail services in Cumbria tomorrow. 

The firm will replace Northern Rail, which has run them since 2004, and is promising to invest £1bn in the North West.

This will include new trains, new services, better ticketing and longer station opening hours. 

Craig Johnston from the RMT claims some trains could end up with only a driver on board and that would compromise safety. 

"The government has said 'by 2020 we want you to make the provision so that 50 per cent of your services can get rid of safety-trained guards and conductors'."

US newspaper highlights British TV drama set in Cumbria

The New York Times has highlighted The A Word, a drama set in Lake District about a boy with autism.

In the article it says the series is one of the first to place the issue "front and center" of the narrative. It's being shown on American television in the summer.

See the whole article here.

And you can watch the series so far by clicking on the video below.

At Joe's birthday party, tensions rise when it's suggested he has communication problems.

Workington steel jobs could be protected says local business leader

More than 250 workers in Cumbria are waiting for news of their jobs, as the Prime Minister prepares to chair a meeting to discuss ways of saving the steel industry. 

David Cameron is holding the meeting in response to Tata Steel's decision to seek buyers for its loss-making UK operations. 

Tata employs 225 people in Workington, and 28 at Shap, near Penrith. 

Ivan Baldwin, the chairman of Britain's Energy Coast Business Cluster says the jobs here may have some protection as the Workington site is a design and manufacturing base, rather than a production site.

"So they very much had that diversity in mind many years ago, so as I understand it there will be no direct affect to that local business as a result of what's happening more widely in the UK."

Cumbrian artist to make history with trip to Everest

Cumbrian artist Derek Eland will make history when he becomes the first artist in residence at Everest Base Camp. 

The six-week engagement was prompted by the earthquake in Nepal almost a year ago which killed 8,000 people, including 19 people in an avalanche on Everest. 

He says he has no idea what to expect: "I've never been to Nepal, never been to Everest, never been to a base camp. I went to Glastonbury last year. It could be equally as mad!"  

His work will form an exhibition at the Rheged Centre near Penrith next spring, before going on tour around the UK.


Problems in steel industry 'nothing new'

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, is chairing an emergency meeting in Downing Street this morning to discuss the options for saving Britain's biggest steel-maker.

The Indian group, Tata Steel, says it is considering selling its entire UK business. 

Tata Steel employs 225 people in Workington and 28 at Shap near Penrith. 

Richard Byers is the author of "The History of Workington Iron and Steel". He says the problems facing the steel industry are not new and the loss of any remaining jobs would be a big blow.

If it goes we lose everything now. Everything's gone from Maryport down to Barrow. We just don't have any steel industry at all."

Steel works

Ospreys on camera in Cumbria

The antics of ospreys in Cumbria are now being shown on the internet. 

Webcams are capturing the daily activities of two birds that are now living in the nest at Bassenthwaite, and the one, or possibly two, that has arrived at a nest at Foulshaw Moss in south Cumbria. 

David Harpley, the conservation manager for the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, says: "They're big and they do quite a lot of stuff. They hunt for fish and last year they were teaching their young to catch fish off the pier in Arnside. And there is the rarity and unusualness factor as well."


Cumbrian man's dad captured on film during WW2

A man from Cumbria was astonished to discover his dad appears on archive film taken on board a naval ship around the time of Dunkirk during the Second World War. 

It shows crew members including Peter Brown's father enjoying some time off, and even clowning about on deck, during what was otherwise a dangerous operation.

Here's a link to the film, with Peter's dad appearing from seven minutes in. Film courtesy of The University of Manchester Library.

Man playing golf
University of Manchester Library.

Drive to the Arctic raises thousands for cancer charity

A group of women from Cumbria who took on the challenge of driving non-stop to the Arctic have raised £60,000 for cancer charities. 

The "Beijing Biddies" as they call themselves, after an earlier challenge, travelled to Norway in 95 hours.

The money they've raised will go to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer support. 

Cumbrian artist heading for Everest

A Cumbrian artist is about to become the first artist in residence at the Everest base camp. 

Derek Eland from Carlisle will fly to Nepal tomorrow. 

He'll spend six weeks documenting the experiences of the climbers. 

The final works will form an exhibition at the Rheged Centre near Penrith next spring, before touring the UK. 


Mixed feelings about new rail franchise in Cumbria

Rail unions are warning of job losses and a threat to passenger safety when a new company starts running services in parts of Cumbria. 

Arriva North has been awarded the Northern Rail Franchise.

But union officials say the company is planning to cut the number of trains that have a guard on board and that this will compromise passenger safety, and lead to job losses. 

They're holding a rally in Manchester today. 

But Tim Owen, chairman of the Cumbria Community Rail Partnership, says there could be a lot of benefits with the new franchise.

The new franchise is being let on a transformational basis with 281 new carriages being built and new services including more trains to Manchester airport on the Furness line and the Lakes line. So that's big news."


Future of steel jobs in Cumbria is still unclear

The Prime Minister is going to chair an emergency meeting in Downing Street this morning to discuss the options for saving Britain's biggest steel-maker.

The Indian group Tata Steel says it is considering selling its entire UK business. 

Tata Steel employs 225 people in Workington and 28 at Shap near Penrith.

The Labour leader of Allerdale Council, Alan Smith, says: "Even a whisper of job losses is devastating for the local economy in Allerdale. We've taken some big hits over the last two years where we've lost other firms."


Travel: Delays in Windermere this morning

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the A5074 Elleray Road southbound in Windermere between the A591 junction and the A592 junction.

The A684 in Longstone Fell is closed in both directions near the Dandara Garth junction because of roadworks.

And there are temporary traffic lights and roadworks on A595 in Red Dial near the B5304 junction.

See all the latest details here. 

Weather: Dry first thing with showers later

BBC Weather

Mostly dry this morning with a few sunny spells. 

There may be a few showers later and they'll be heavy and wintry across the fells. Winds will be light and temperatures could reach 10C (50F).  

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather image

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Good morning. It's rather murky in some places. I drove to to work in thick mist this morning. 

We'll be keeping you up to date with all the day's news, sport, weather and travel for Cumbria until 16:00.

You can contact us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.