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  1. Updates on Friday, 18 August 2017
  2. Football match incident treated as hate crime
  3. Weather grounds balloons at town festival
  4. White to stay at Northants

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Severe congestion: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe congestion, between J15 for A45 and J14 for A509.

M1 Northamptonshire - Very slow traffic on M1 southbound between J15, A45 (Northampton) and J14, A509 (Milton Keynes). All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Severe accident: A14 Northamptonshire westbound

BBC News Travel

A14 Northamptonshire westbound severe accident, between J1 A5199 and M1.

A14 Northamptonshire - A14 blocked and queuing traffic westbound between J1, A5199 (Welford) in Cold Ashby and the M1 junction in Swinford, because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, at J18 for A5.

M1 Northamptonshire - M1 exit slip road closed northbound at J18, A5 (Rugby). In the roadworks area.

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

Our live coverage across the day

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of the team here at the Local Live news feed for Northamptonshire for this week.

We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday morning.

Keep your fingers crossed the weather conditions are favourable enough for some flying during the 28th Northampton Balloon Festival over the weekend.

Ballooons on the ground
Pure Leisure group

Weather: Thundery showers overnight

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

There will be further showers moving eastwards this evening and these could be heavy and thundery, but there’ll be some sunshine too.

A band of rain following in behind later tonight and this could produce some heavy and possibly thundery downpours, with the winds possibly gusting to 40mph for a time.

By morning it should be dry everywhere and temperatures, for many places, staying in double figures.

Weather map

Saturday is looking a blustery day of sunshine and a few scattered showers. There’ll be a moderate to fresh westerly wind and highs around 20C (68F).

Sunday should also be largely dry with some sunshine. Cloud is eventually expected to increase but, at the moment, rain isn’t expected to arrive in the west until early evening.

There's a more detailed forecast for where you are at BBC Weather.

Tips for a special parkrun weekend


It's a special weekend in parks around the country.

This Saturday, 19 August, those who take part in their local parkrun might find themselves jogging alongside some of the country's sporting stars.

It's all part of a campaign for National Lottery-funded athletes to give a bit back and say thank you.

Here's Team GB rowing legend Katherine Grainger with more information about parkrun.

'Complete performance' needed by Steelbacks

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northamptonshire Steelbacks captain Alex Wakely says they have to "put in a complete performance" tonight, if they're to qualify for the T20 quarter finals.

They face Durham at Wantage Road in their last North Group game and need to win, after the defeat at Yorkshire last night.

Wakely says: "We've just got to go out there and win the game, we can't worry about other results, we've just got to focus on our game."

Alex Wakely
Getty Images

Full commentary from Wantage Road gets under way on BBC Radio Northampton from 19:00, with all the build up from 18:00.

Balloon flights cancelled for tonights festival

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've had it confirmed there will be no balloon flights over Billing Aquadrome tonight for the 28th Northampton Balloon Festival.

Flights couldn't take place this morning because of the wrong weather conditions. A warning of heavy thundery showers means no balloons will go up this evening.

There's still a chance to hopefully see some flights over the weekend though as the event continues until Sunday.

View more on twitter

Weather grounds balloons at town festival

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

The 28th Northampton Balloon Festival has got under way in the town today.

More than 30 hot air balloons are expected to take to the skies today, tomorrow, and Sunday from the festival's Billing Aquadrome site, but only if the weather permits.

Sadly no balloons took to the skies this morning due to the conditions - last year not one got off the ground, again because of the weather.

Balloons on the ground
Northampton Balloon Festival

Wendy Rousell, one of the event organisers, says the uncertainty can make things difficult but told me "we ask people to sympathise with us a little bit as we really want to fly, but there are just times that we are unable to because of the weather".

Balloons are set to take off at about 18:00 tonight, so fingers crossed for then.

Balloons on the ground
Northampton Balloon Festival

Cricket: White to stay at Northants

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northamptonshire cricketer Graeme White as extended his contract with the club until the end of 2019.

The 30-year-old left arm spinner has been suffering with a shoulder injury, which has forced him to miss a large part of this season.

Head coach, David Ripley, says: "Graeme continues to improve, he is a real modern day cricketer who can bowl, bat and field and we are delighted he continues to see his future here."

Graeme White
Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Tonight the Steelbacks face Durham at Wantage Road in the final T20 North Group game.

They have to win to have a chance of qualifying for the last eight.

Travel: Man dies after accident on A605

Alex Harris

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A driver has died after an accident on the A605 just after midnight.

The road just west of Peterborough between Peterborough Services and Elton remains closed, while an investigation continues.

Police say two vehicles, a Ford Focus and a Scania lorry, collided just over a mile west of the Haddon services at about 00:37.

The driver of the Ford, a man from the Peterborough area, suffered fatal injuries.

The 36-year-old, lorry driver from Kettering wasn't injured.

Five people have now died on that stretch of the road in four separate collisions since May.

View more on twitter

Football match incident treated as hate crime

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The football unit at Northamptonshire Police says it's treating an alleged racist incident at a match earlier this week as a hate crime.

It happened on Tuesday night during the game between Kettering Town and Redditch at Latimer Park.

Kettering Town's Latimer Park

A Redditch player reported the incident to the referee but police are still trying to identify the offender.

PC James Condon, from Northamptonshire Police, said: "We are working closely on this with both the club and the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign.

"There is no place for behaviour such as this in a football ground and we are appealing for supporters to help us identify the individual behind this incident which we are treating as a hate crime."

Severe accident: M1 Buckinghamshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Buckinghamshire northbound severe accident, between J14 for A509 and J15 for A45.

M1 Buckinghamshire - An accident on M1 northbound between J14, A509 (Milton Keynes) in Broughton and J15, A45 (Northampton) in Northamptonshire.

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

Weather: Sunshine and showers

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Today we'll see a mix of sunny spells and showers, which could be heavy in places.

Feeling cooler than yesterday, with temperatures peaking at 21C (70F).

There's a full forecast for where you are on BBC Weather.

Good morning

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Hello and welcome to Friday's live updates for Northamptonshire.

We'll have the latest news, sport, weather and travel between now and 18:00.

First up, we'll have a full weather forecast shortly.


You can contact us at any time via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe accident, between J15 for A45 and J14 for A509.

M1 Northamptonshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M1 southbound between J15, A45 (Northampton) and J14, A509 (Milton Keynes), because of an accident involving a car.

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

Watch highlights of Adam Lyth's 161 as he breaks the domestic record in Twenty20 cricket as Yorkshire make 260-4 against Northants to amass the highest domestic T20 score.


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for the Local Live news stream for today - thanks for joining us.

Do not fear, we'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday morning.

So whatever you're doing tonight, we hope it's a good one.

The latest weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

It will staying mainly fine and dry this evening and tonight, with clear spells.

There's the small chance of an isolated shower in southern parts of the region.

Temperatures falling to 13C (55F).

Weather graphic for 05:00

Tomorrow will start dry with sunny spells, but it will turn cloudy with the risk of some scattered showers, heavy and thundery in places.

Temperatures reaching a high of 22C (72F).

Weather graphic for 16:00 showing showers over parts of the region

There's a more detailed forecast for where you are at BBC Weather.

Paralympian Robinson to take part in parkrun

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Swimmer Ellie Robinson is set to take part in Northampton's parkrun on the Racecourse.

The Rio Paralympic gold medallist and 2016 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year will be the tail-walker at Saturday's event.

It's part of a national drive involving Olympic and Paralympic competitors to encourage people to get involved in the event.

Ellie Robinson
Getty Images

She says: "Walking along at the back suits me! I think being at the back is quite nice because this will be the first time for a lot of other people as well.

"Maybe some of them won't be as confident at a parkrun as others, so being at the back will be nice because I never would have been at the front myself."

Steelworkers' pensions on the agenda in Corby

Craig Lewis

BBC News

The shadow work and pensions secretary has told me that a deal to protect jobs at Tata Steel in return for giving less generous pensions to staff is "unfortunate".

Debbie Abrahams has been in Corby hearing a range of concerns from people about pensions.

The deal should guarantee the pensions of about 130,000 Tata workers, including 500 in Corby, and stop the company becoming insolvent.

Debbie Abrahams

She said: "I think it's good that we now have an end to the uncertainty there has been, but there has been this trade-off between sustaining jobs for the future, but also unfortunately a reduced pension.

"We just need to recognise the implications that it may have for other workplace pension schemes as well."

Deborah James funeral: 40 Minis join cortege
The funeral procession for fundraiser Deborah James featured dozens of her favourite cars.

Strictly sparkles

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Although it's not back on our screens yet, it seems like preparations for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing are gathering a pace.

It will of course feature Finedon's very own Rev Richard Coles, who seems to have come rather well acquainted with some glitter today.

I can't wait to see the publicity shot of this!

View more on twitter

More than 40 Minis take part in funeral cortege

Kris Holland

BBC News

More than 40 Minis have driven through Northampton as part of the funeral procession of a local woman who died from cancer last month, aged 37.

Deborah James was a fundraiser for bowel cancer research, who blogged about her experience of living with the condition, and who campaigned for the rights of employees with cancer.

Deborah James
Deborah James family

She drove a Mini for many years and one of her final wishes was that a procession of the cars be part of the cortege on her final journey from St Luke's Church in Duston.

The 40 or so vehicles met at a car park outside Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium, with a police escort guiding the procession to the Towcester Road Cemetery in Northampton.


'Amazing' A-level results celebrated

The proportion of top A-level grades has risen this year, as teenagers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland find out their results.

A* and A grades were awarded to 26.3% of entries - up by 0.5 percentage points compared with last year.

At Northampton Academy they've been celebrating some "amazing" results.

Lydia will now study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, after getting straight As in Maths, Maths, Chemistry and Physics.

Northampton Academy

Shelley is also extremely happy after achieving A* in Maths and As in Further Maths and Physics.

Northampton Academy

From no hope to degree First - student 'laughs at her younger self'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A former A-level student who says she thought she'd "failed at everything" when she saw her results three years ago says she now she laughs at her younger self.

Rhiannon Fidler, who wanted to study english and creative writing at the University of Birmingham, didn't get the grades she needed.

Ms Fidler, from Northampton, said: "I was devastated. I woke up and hadn’t got my top choice. I just cried and cried. I was absolutely devastated. I thought I'd failed everything."

Rhiannon Fidler
Rhiannon Fidler

She says she rang Birmingham City University's clearing team and got on their course, which she'd previously dismissed as a choice.

Three years on and she's just graduated with a First.

The school of english is the most fun I've ever had. I’m not ready to leave and now studying for a Masters in creative writing. It was just perfect for me. It's amazing how far I've come. Now when I think about it, I just laugh at myself. I thought I'd failed everything but in fact it's the best thing that happened to me. I have no regrets.

Rhiannon FidlerBirmingham City University student

Mini procession to honour cancer campaigner

Andrew Radd

BBC Radio Northampton

Forty Minis will be driving through Northampton today as part of the funeral procession of a Duston woman who died from cancer.

Deborah James, a well-known fundraiser for bowel-cancer research and campaigner for the rights of employees with cancer, died in July and her Mini was her pride and joy.

The convoy will escort her body from St Luke's Church to Towcester Road Cemetery at about midday.

Mini cars
Getty Images

Brother Graham Blatchford will be leading the convey in Deborah's Mini and said a lot of people got in touch about the procession after word spread about her funeral.

"People who've just read her blog, and said she sounds like a wonderful woman, and don't really know her, have said they've got a Mini and I would like to turn up, so all sorts of people are turning up today," he said.

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe accident, at J18 for A5.

M1 Northamptonshire - M1 entry slip road partially blocked and busy but moving northbound at J18, A5 (Rugby), because of an accident.

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

Clearing starts at University of Northampton

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The University of Northampton says it's ready to talk to students who might not have achieved the A-Level grades they were hoping for.

The university says the clearing process is not complex and it has vacancies on a wide range of degree courses.

Ross Fanes, the admissions officer, said: "Results aren't everything. Although you might not of achieved what you were hoping, there are so many opportunities out there.

"There will be a bit of initial disappointment, but there are so many different options where they can go to study."

University of Northampton

Weather: Turning drier and brighter

BBC Weather

Any lingering rain will clear to the south-east, then it will be largely dry through the morning with some sunny spells.

Some showers will develop in the afternoon - a few of these could be heavy.

A top temperature of 23C (73F).

Visit here for more from BBC Weather.