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  1. Updates on Monday, 23 May 2016
  2. Four people believed to be from Northampton die in a crash in Oxfordshire
  3. Woman burned in Northamptonshire hot-air balloon crash
  4. Annual Rowell Fair takes place in Rothwell
  5. Missing teenage boy named by judge
  6. Formal bids for Tata Steel's operations in the UK to be submitted
  7. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Tuesday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Pete Cooper

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all from us today

We started the morning reporting on the Rowell Fair, and then the deadline for bidders for Tata Steel's UK business passed, and this afternoon we reported the sad news that four people believed to be from Northampton had died in a crash in Oxfordshire. 

Scroll back through the day to see how the news unfolded.

We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow with more news, weather, sport and travel for Northamptonshire.

See you then.

Weather: Dry tonight and tomorrow

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Any showers should die away through this evening to leave a largely dry night, with lows of about 6C (43F).


Tomorrow should be generally fine and dry with some sunshine, and temperatures up to 16C (61F).

More details on the BBC Weather website.

Monaco GP: Mercedes can't make any mistakes - Wolff

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Boss Toto Wolff says Brackley-based Mercedes must not make any errors at the Monaco Grand Prix, in the wake of his drivers crashing out of the last race in Spain.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided while disputing the lead on the first lap in Barcelona, leaving Red Bull and Ferrari to fight it out.

Spanish GP crash

Wolff said: "It's clear we are under attack from more than one angle.

"We cannot afford to drop the ball so we must remain united and strong, and hit back hard this weekend."

Cobblers' 'Vietnamese fan base' gets their hands on the League Two trophy

Northampton Town and mascot Clarence the Dragon have been taking the League Two trophy to some of the club's sponsors, including the University of Northampton...

View more on twitter

Northampton firm Opus Energy...

View more on twitter

And Moulton College...

View more on twitter

Arrests made and vehicles seized after foreign criminal crackdown

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Last week we brought you news about Northamptonshire Police cracking down on criminals from overseas operating in the county.

They have now given us more details of what they called Operation Trivium, which ran from Monday to Friday last week...

14 people were arrested in connection with a range of offences 12 foreign national vehicles were seized Eight safeguarding visits to car wash sites, Six safeguarding visits to suspected brothels.
Northamptonshire Police

Five arrested in Daventry pub raid

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

You may have seen in the local papers that 50 police officers raided a pub in Daventry town centre on Friday night.

Now Northamptonshire Police has released more details of the raid, including some pictures.

Daventry raid
Northamptonshire Police

Five people were arrested for various drugs offences and a quantity of Class A and B drugs were seized.

How Excalibur and Liberty will join forces

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

As the deadline for bids for Tata's UK steel business ticked by this lunchtime, more details have emerged about how two of the bidders plan to join forces.  

tata employment

It now emerges that there is a compromise position in which Excalibur will back the Liberty bid.

A combined bid is thought to be popular with the government which has offered hundreds of millions in debt financing and an offer to take a stake of up to 25% in the company that wins.

Tata employs 11,000 people in the UK, including nearly 600 in Corby.

Referrals to police over concerns about children trebles in the last three years

Elinor Cross

BBC Radio Northampton

Northamptonshire Police and other organisations are staging a Safeguarding Week highlighting the exploitation and abuse of children in the county...

Datapic- Northamptonshire Safeguarding Week

Safeguarding Week to raise awareness of child abuse to prevent 'horrific crimes'

Elinor Cross

BBC Radio Northampton

The NHS, the county council and the police are taking part in their first ever Safeguarding Week, to highlight the abuse and exploitation of children.

One of the groups involved is the RISE - Reducing Incidents of Sexual Exploitation - team at Northamptonshire Police.

The man that runs the team, Richard Tompkins, says a week like this is important.

We've got a raise awareness. We'd rather deal with something early, than we would when we've got some horrific criminal offences - Richard Tompkins

Tata bidders: Management buyout, steel specialists, equity firms and a US billionaire


Two companies have declared themselves as bidders for Tata Steel's UK business, including the plant at Corby, while there has been speculation about who the others are.

So who is reported to be interested?

Tata Steel

The best known is Liberty House, run by Sanjeev Gupta, which publicly says it has bid, as has Excalibur, the management and worker buyout team led by the senior Tata director, Stuart Wilkie.

Hebei Iron and Steel Group, China's largest iron and steel company, is reportedly interested, as is Indian steel company JSW Steel and US recycler Nucor.

Private equity firms and turnaround specialists Endless and Greybull Captain may also bid, as could Wilber Ross, a US billionaire Wall Street investor, who once formed International Steel Group.

Four people thought to be from Northampton killed in head-on Oxfordshire car crash

BBC News England

Two men and two women have been killed and a toddler injured in a head-on car crash in Oxfordshire.

The collision, involving two cars, happened on the Shrivenham Bypass, near Swindon, at about 23:15 on Sunday.

Watchfield Roundabout

Four people in a Citroen Saxo, aged in their 20s and thought to be from Northampton, were declared dead at the scene, police said.

The occupants of a Mercedes, including a three-year-old boy, were injured and taken to John Radcliffe Hospital, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

BreakingFour die in car crash last night

Four people, believed to be from the Northampton area, have died after a car crash near Swindon last night.

Northampton announces pre-season friendly against Wolves

Joe Townsend

BBC Radio Northampton sport

League Two champions Northampton Town will host Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in a pre-season friendly in July.

Northampton Town champions
Getty Images

The Cobblers will welcome Wolves to Sixfields on Tuesday, 26 July, at 19.30.

Treasury say EU exit would 'lead to Northamptonshire job losses' but Vote Leave dismiss claims

BBC Politics

The East Midlands' economy, including Northamptonshire, would be tipped into recession and unemployment could rise by 37,000 if the UK voted to leave the EU, new analysis from the Treasury shows.

It says about 200,000 jobs in the region are linked to the UK's exports to other EU countries.


But Vote Leave's Iain Duncan Smith said people would not believe the Treasury's "deeply biased view of the future".

And Brexit-supporting economist Patrick Minford said the study ignored all the "upsides" from leaving, including the money saved from not being a member of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy and Customs Union, and not having to abide by EU regulation.

Tata steel bidders willing to work together


Two of the bidders for Tata's UK steel plants are willing to work together, the BBC understands.

Tata steel

Liberty House and a management buyout team will submit separate bids for Tata UK, including the plant in Corby, when the deadline closes today.

However, they plan to state in the bid documents that they are willing to work in partnership on a takeover.

It comes after reports the management buyout group, Excalibur Steel, met for talks last week with Liberty.

Ostriches, camels and monkeys legally owned in Northamptonshire

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Wild animals including lions, tigers, crocodiles, rattlesnakes and zebras are being kept legally on private property across the UK, figures have revealed.

East Northamptonshire Council has issued licences for five camels, 15 ostriches and one capuchin monkey (below)...

A baby tufted capuchin monkey in Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil
BBC white-fronted lemur and seven ring-tailed lemurs (below)...

Ring-tailed lemur society is one of the most female dominant of any primate society

...and five crab-eating macaques (below). A what?!

crab-eating macaques

Rugby: Uncapped Harrison in England's squad to tour Australia

BBC Sport

Northampton Saints' flanker Teimana Harrison is one of four uncapped players who will be heading to Australia for England's three test tour next month.

Teimana Harrison
Getty Images

He will joined by Saints team-mates Courtney Lawes, Paul Hill and the England captain Dylan Hartley.

'Major gas leak' in Rothwell

It's been quite a morning in Rothwell. First there was the Rowell Fair and now disruption of another kind with a gas leak in the area.

There are road closures around the leak.

View more on twitter

Local papers: Charity campaigns and unsung heroes

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The Northampton Chronicle and Echo is reporting about "Glow Gold September", a childhood cancer awareness campaign to get iconic buildings throughout Northamptonshire lit up gold during September.

A Northampton man is set to cycle more than 100 miles to raise money for charity Anthony Nolan after a bone marrow transplant saved his life, according to the Northants Herald & Post.

Meanwhile, the Northamptonshire Telegraph is appealing for young unsung heroes to be nominated for an award.

Tata deadline for steel bidders, with seven in the running


Tata in India is expected to decide this week which bidders will go forward in the sale process for its UK steel operations.  

Corby steel

Today is the deadline for interested parties' bids and between one and three companies are expected to go forward to the next stage.

Tata is aiming for the end of June to complete the sale.

It has already confirmed seven bidders for the steel plants and businesses, involving more than 11,000 jobs, including 578 in Corby.

Northants fail to score any batting points once again away from Wantage Road

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Less than an hour into day two and Northants are all out for 176. 

It's the third straight away game with no batting points.


The county will now be hoping to restrict Gloucestershire in their reply, or this game could quickly get away from them.

You can join me for full commentary online or via the BBC Sport app.

The Rowell Fair: Rum and milk, reading the charter and music

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Now let's head back to Rothwell...

After the Rowell Fair proclamation ceremony the pub landlords then hand out drinks to everyone. The bailiff traditionally knocks back rum and milk and the halberdiers are given beers.

The bailiff and his entourage then proceed on horseback to all the pubs in the town stopping at each to read the charter, knock back the booze, engage in horseplay and so on. It can all take an hour.

Along the way they are accompanied by the Rowell Fair Society Band...

Rowell Fair Society Band

British eccentricity at its best!

Teenage boy missing from Northampton named by judge

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

A teenage boy who disappeared with his mother a year ago has been named by a High Court judge in an "exceptional" attempt to trace him.

Moses John (right), 14, vanished about a year ago from the family's home in Northampton.

It is believed his mother, Pauline Watson (left), 46, has links to several London boroughs.

Pauline Watson and Moses John
Northamptonshire Police

Northamptonshire County Council, which has responsibility for his welfare, said the judge, Mr Justice Michael Keehan, had agreed to disclose the identity of the boy because of the level of concern about his wellbeing.

Northants thankful to Crook after seven wickets fall in Bristol

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

A poor day for Northants with the bat yesterday...

Gloucestershire took wickets throughout the day, with Steven Crook's 43 not out from 68 balls being the main resistance, as Northants ended on 134-7 on a shortened day. 

Steven Crook
Getty Images

Away from home, Northants have been especially poor with the bat and it will take a great performance this morning to get a first away batting bonus point this season.

We have full commentary online or via the BBC Sport app.

Weather: Sunshine and showers

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

This afternoon scattered showers, possibly heavy, are expected to develop across the county, although there should still be sunny spells between these with a high of 18C (64F).

You can see my full forecast below...

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Rowell Fair first celebrated 812 years ago

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

The Rowell Fair is the celebration of the granting of the Rowell Charter, which was given to Rothwell by King John allowing the town to have a market on a Monday morning.

The fair was first officially held in 1204 and one of the many traditions is that the bailiff, who reads a proclamation at 06:00, is accompanied by a bodyguard of halberdiers (men armed with a halberd - a two-handed pole weapon). 

Here are this year's halberdiers...


Rowell Fair 'very strange, but lovely'

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

The Rowell Fair in Rothwell traditionally starts with a proclamation by the Chairman and Bailiff of the Rowell Fair Society on the stroke of 06:00 at the town's Holy Trinity church.

That man is Alan Mills...

Hearing people assemble outside my house before 5am is very strange, but it is a lovely day - Chairman and Bailiff of the Rowell Fair Society

Disco at 10am on Monday morning? Welcome to Rothwell!

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

I'm in Rothwell this morning where one of Northamptonshire's oldest traditions - the Rowell Fair proclamation - has been read.

The fair as been held in the town for more than 800 years.

And it is surely the only place on a Monday morning where you can go to a disco at 10:00...

Rowell fair disco

Power line 'did not come down' after hot-air balloon crash

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

A Western Power Distribution spokesman said it had a "33,000-volt circuits trip" after eyewitnesses watched a hot-air balloon strike power lines near Earls Barton yesterday.

A spokesman said engineers inspected the line and "completed minor repairs", adding "the line did not come down".

'Blue sparks' as hot-air balloon 'hits power cables'

Kris Holland

BBC Radio Northampton

I was at the scene yesterday where the hot-air balloon came down near a car-boot sale at Whites Nurseries in Earls Barton.

Those who saw it say they saw blue sparks as it hit power cables.

Air ambulance

I've been told that after this, the balloon was seen to catch fire and plummet about 100ft (30m) into a field.

Some eyewitnesses said the pilot and his passenger were throwing gas canisters out of the balloon's basket as it crashed.

Hot-air balloon 'burst into flames'

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is looking into the cause of yesterday's hot-air balloon crash in Earls Barton.

Hot-air balloon
Eddie White

One eyewitness, Ian, said: "We were at the car boot at Whites Nursery and a hot-air balloon came over and there was a lady and gentleman - they were waving at everyone.

"It suddenly disappeared over towards the trees and then burst into flames".

Woman burned in Northamptonshire hot-air balloon crash

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The major news yesterday was that a hot-air balloon crashed and burst into flames in a field in Earls Barton.

The passenger is recovering in hospital with burns.

The 64-year-old male pilot was not injured. An eyewitness filmed the moment the balloon came down...

We'll bring you any more updates on this story today as we get them.

Welcome to Local Live for Northamptonshire

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Good morning, it's Monday and the start of another week. If you're in Rothwell, your Monday morning would have started like this...

Rowell fair

It's the annual Rowell Fair, and we'll be bringing you a flavour of that this morning, plus all the news, sport, weather and travel you need.

If you want to get in touch then please email me, tweet us, or head to Facebook.