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Summary

  1. South Shropshire councillor quits Tories
  2. Flying Scotsman returns to the county
  3. Archaeologists "shocked" by "sacred" Neolithic finds
  4. Children's eye unit moves from Shrewsbury to Telford
  5. Updates on Friday 19 May

Live Reporting

By Alex Seftel

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

Keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.

Shifnal gardeners stumble upon 18th Century discovery

Paul Shuttleworth

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

An exciting find has been unearthed near Shifnal.

An 18th Century dipping pond has been discovered beneath one of the paths at Apley Walled Garden, just off the Telford to Bridgnorth road.

Well at Apley Walled Garden
BBC

Traditionally, walled gardens had dipping ponds so the gardeners could water. It's about five feet deep. When were putting in another pipe, we found the brickwork and were careful to avoid it so we could dig it out and see what was there."

Gavin HamiltonApley Walled Garden

Tory councillor leaves following Shropshire cabinet announcement

Tim Page

News Editor, BBC Shropshire

Shropshire Councillor Robert Tindall has quit the main Conservative group because he believes the leader Peter Nutting has ignored the south of the county in his recent cabinet announcement.

There are 10 members in the cabinet overall, and if you divide it up into the old district and borough councils, there are four members from Oswestry and two more from the old North Shropshire district.

Shirehall
BBC

Three more, including Councillor Nutting, represent seats in the Shrewsbury area, which leaves just one from South Shropshire and none from Bridgnorth.

The leadership's view is that this isn't so important and that the councillors have been chosen for their abilities, not where they live.

Telford Labour against 'backroom deals'

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

The Labour Party candidate for Telford, Kuldip Sahota, says the party isn't interested in doing "backroom deals" ahead of next month's general election.

The Greens' candidate, Luke Shirley said they offered not to stand to help Labour win the seat back from the Conservatives, who won with a majority of 730 in 2015.

Kuldip Sahota
BBC

Labour turned down the deal that involved the ruling party in Telford and Wrekin not standing in certain council wards in 2019.

For a full list of candidates standing in the seat, visit the BBC's constituency page.

Lucy Allan (Conservatives), Susan King (lib Dems), Kuldip Sahota (Labour) and Luke Shirley (Greens) have all been filming this week for BBC Sunday Politics in Telford.

BBC Election Panel: Your thoughts on transport

The BBC is running an election panel, asking voters for their thoughts ahead of 8 June.

We asked:

Labour has proposed the railways should be re-nationalised. What are your views? What other transport or infrastructure issues need tackling, in your view, if any?

Train
BBC

You said:

Beatrice Benson, Shrewsbury: "I believe franchising has improved the railways massively, and although prices for train journeys are at an all time high, I don't see the solution lying in re-nationalisation."

Rachel, Stoke: "I believe that they should be re-nationalised following the end of the franchise deal with private railway companies. This would allow the government to control the rising prices of rail tickets and may make the railway service more reliable. It would also allow the government to reap in the profit currently being made by private companies, such as Virgin."

Paul Cheshire, Shrewsbury: "Yes they should."

Watch your weekend weather forecast

BBC Weather

Showers slowly fading through this evening to leave agenerally dry night with clear spells - lows of 4C (39F).

Tomorrow will be a day of sunny spells and scattered showers.

Here's a full forecast looking ahead to what's instore this weekend...

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Four-thousand-year-old sacred site prompts questions

The discovery that a church in Shrewsbury stands on what is believed to be the "oldest continuously used sacred site in Britain" has prompted plenty of discussion on Facebook.

Dan Ryan: "This is cool. But slightly pedantic, if Stonehenge construction began ca.3000BCE then how is this an older 'religious' site? By any normal definition Stonehenge is 'religious' (ritual landscape and burials)."

Juliet Sargent: "And then someone put a chapel on top of it. No surprise there then! "

Brian Perkins: "Surely knowing the age of the piece of wood tells you almost nothing about when this place was built. For example it could be cleaned up and used in a place currently under construction."

Archaeologists
Sarah Hart

Burial mounds, evidence of cremations, a stone circle and "processional walkway" have all been found by successive digs at the site, as well as Roman artefacts.

The current 12th or early 13th Century church is built on top of an Anglo Saxon one, which in turn is built on a sacred prehistoric site.

The 4,000-year-old, 15 inch post was found sticking up into the Medieval church foundations.

Post
Sarah Hart

What makes this site different is the continuity of ritual practice in one form or another. It predates the Basilica of Rome."

Janey GreenOwner of Baskerville Archaeological Services

Your views: General Election 2017

Eric and Clare's Breakfast Show

We've been touring the county "car-share" style ahead of next month's general election, to get the views of some of you living in Shropshire's five constituencies.

Recurring themes have been the NHS and social care, affordable housing, and concerns about Brexit.

Eric and Clare
BBC

There was some apathy and disillusion with politics, but two 18-year-old first-time voters in Shrewsbury told us they thought voting should be made compulsory.

The cobbler in Wellington Market said he's worried about how corporation tax affects small businesses.

Eric and Clare
BBC

Shropshire high jumper competing for England this weekend

Bridgnorth high jumper Beth Partridge will be wearing an England vest at this Sunday's Loughborough International Athletics meeting.

Achieving a new lifetime best of 1.89m to share the British Indoor title earlier this year, means she has jumped a centimetre above the qualifying mark for next year's Commonwealth Games.

Beth Partridge
BBC

Another strong performance this weekend would help her chances of being picked by national selectors for the tournament on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Telford teenager Rio Mitcham is also competing this weekend in the 4x100m relay.

Funding for new 3G pitch near Telford ski centre is approved

Shropshire Star

Cabinet chiefs have approved funding towards a new artificial pitch in Telford.

Telford ski slope
Shropshire Star

'Special' Shrewsbury dig site full of rare finds

It might not look like much now, but the site of an archaeological dig off Oteley Road in Shrewsbury was once a large and "incredibly complex" sacred location, researchers say.

The current 10m-long structure dates back to the 12th or early 13th Century and was originally much bigger, until sections are believed to have collapsed in the 17th Century - for unknown reasons.

Archaeologist Janey Green
Sarah Hart

Archaeologist Janey Green says Christian use of the site probably dates back to the late 7th Century and was likely given to St Milburgha, the founder of Wenlock Priory, because of it's "special" status.

Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Anfglo Saxon remains have all been found on the site.

Burial mounds and slots for standing stones are among the finds over the years and it's beliieved the site first featured a stone circle and processional walkway.

Archaeologist
Sarah Hart

The current church appears to have incorporated and deliberately built over late Neolithic/early Bronze Age remains. It is well known Christians liked to build churches on pagan sites."

Janey GreenArchaeologist

Nurses needed to support veterans with dementia

More specialist nurses are being recruited to support veterans with dementia and their families.

Admiral nurses work on behalf of the Royal British Legion and in partnership with Dementia UK.

Nurses - generic image
Science Photo Library

There are currently 29 posts across the West Midlands.

The role is quite specific... folks with dementia usually lose their short-term memory first, so the times they spent in the forces years ago, can still be quite prominent in their thoughts."

Ben UptonAdmiral Nurse from Ludlow

Councillor quits Tories over lack of south Shropshire representation

Alex Seftel

BBC Local Live

An elected member of Shropshire Council has quit the ruling Conservative group in protest at what he considers to be a lack of representation for the south of the county.

Robert Tindall, who is the member for Brown Clee and Ditton Priors, is upset that the authority's new cabinet is dominated by councillors from north Shropshire and Shrewsbury.

Ditton Priors
Google

The new leader Peter Nutting says it's a countywide administration based on talent, not geography.

Councillor Tindall will continue as an "independent conservative".

Ex-Newcastle youth coach from Devon faces sex charges

BBC News England

Former Newcastle United youth coach George Ormond has been charged with 29 sex offences, police have said.

The 61-year-old, of Newton Abbot, Devon, is alleged to have committed the offences between 1973 and 1998.

He is due to appear before Newcastle Magistrates' Court on 9 June, Northumbria Police said.

The charges followed an investigation into "non-recent child sexual abuse in the sporting community", the force added.

Dog walker attacked by 'pit bull' type dog in Ketley

Shropshire Star

A dog walker and his pet were attacked by a "pit bull" type dog during an evening walk.

Police - generic image
Shropshire Star

New-look Shrewsbury Cathedral unveiled

Ryan Kennedy

Presenter, BBC Shropshire

Shrewsbury's Catholic Cathedral has officially reopened following months of building work.

There's a new-look entrance, along with a visitor centre and garden area, and the revamp has been blessed too.

Bishop Mark Davies and Canon Jonathan Mitchell at Shrewsbury Cathedral
BBC

Canon Jonathan Mitchell, seen here on the right alongside Bishop Mark Davies, is hoping it'll welcome more people to appreciate the beauty of the building.

Shrewsbury Cathedral
BBC

The Flying Scotsman snapped in Wem

The Flying Scotsman is working its way through the county at the moment, and has been spotted by @Jay_ClubRocker travelling through Wem on its way to Shrewsbury.

View more on twitter

Flying Scotsman returns

If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Flying Scotsman today.

The steam locomotive is passing through Shropshire and Herefordshire on its way to Cardiff.

Last year around 35,000 people were in and around Bridgnorth trying to spot it, with 15,000 lucky enough to get tickets to ride on it between the town and Kidderminster.

Drone captures Flying Scotsman crossing River Severn

Thomas Adams School looking into becoming an academy

Shropshire Star

Parents and staff at a Shropshire school are being consulted over a plan to become an academy.

Thomas Adams School in Wem
Shropshire Star

German plane cockpits open for Cosford visitors

Ian Perry

Reporter, BBC Radio Shropshire

The RAF Museum in Cosford is giving visitors the chance to get a close-up view of two iconic World War Two German fighter aircraft.

A Messerschmitt 109 and a Focke Wulf are the highlights of the museum's open cockpit evenings today and tomorrow.

Focke Wulf
BBC

This is the Focke Wulf, which was a tight squeeze to get into!

Flying Scotsman coming through the county later

The Flying Scotsman's passing through Shropshire and Herefordshire again today.

The historic train is travelling from north to south, passing through Whitchurch and then Shrewsbury at around 12:00 on its way to Hereford and then on to Cardiff.

@NorthShropCops managed to snap this photo as it passed through Whitchurch earlier.

Flying Scotsman
West Mercia Police

Thousands of people went to catch a glimpse during the steam train's extended stay in the counties last year - this time it's quite literally a flying visit.

Children's eye appointments moved to Telford

Children who need hospital eye appointments will have to travel to Telford from the end of the month until the autumn.

It's part of plans to increase capacity at the struggling ophthalmology department.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
SaTH

The service is moving to a new site at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital's Copthorne building.

Adults will be seen there from next month, but more building work's needed to accommodate child appointments.

£18m power lines to be buried to protect landscape

Shropshire Star

Part of an £18m power line to improve supplies for thousands of homes in Shropshire is set to run underground, officials have today revealed.

Pylons - generic image
Shropshire Star

Four thousand years of worship

A dig at a church in Shrewsbury has shocked archaeologists.

They were expecting a wooden post found at the Greek Orthodox Church on Oteley Road to be Anglo Saxon, but carbon dating revealed it was in fact 4,050 years old - making it a contemporary of some of the pyramids.

Archaeologist Janey Green, owner of Baskerville Archaeological Services, which carried out the dig, said the evidence suggested it was the oldest sacred site in continuous use in Britain.

Greek Orthodox Church on
BBC

"The only other site of a Christian church that is known to date back to the late Neolithic period is at Cranborne Chase, in Dorset, but it is a disused Norman church," Janey Green said.

"Most of these Neolithic sites have long since been abandoned, like Stonehenge. They are monuments, but this is a living monument. People are still worshipping here".

GP surgeries 'at risk' if paperwork isn't completed

Michele Paduano

Health correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

The smooth running of 16 GP practices and clinics across the West Midlands could be at risk if a medical company doesn't complete its paperwork by the weekend.

Integral Medical Holdings has until Sunday to get its accounts to Companies House or it will be wound up.

The firm is already five months overdue, but the company has assured thousands of patients the problem will be resolved in time.

Integral Medical Holdings surgeries in the West Midlands
BBC
  • Stoke Aldermoor Clinic, Coventry
  • Foleshill surgery, Coventry
  • Leicester Road Surgery, Bedworth
  • The Chaucer Surgery, Nuneaton
  • GP Led Health Centre Camphill, Nuneaton
  • Satis House Medical Practice, Water Orton
  • City UCC, Birmingham
  • Sandwell UCC, West Bromwich
  • Parsonage Street Walk in Centre, West Bromwich
  • Great Bridge Surgery, West Bromwich
  • Dudley UCC
  • Telford Surgery
  • Wrekin Surgery, Telford
  • Whitehall Medical Practise, Shrewsbury
  • Shropshire Walk in Centre
  • Kington Medical Practice, Herefordshire

Cathedral building work to be blessed

The Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury will be leading celebrations at the town's cathedral later, to mark the end of building work there.

Alterations have been taking place at the cathedral on Town Walls, with a new entrance, garden area and visitor centre created with the aim of making it more accessible.

The new porch will be blessed by Bishop Mark Davies, and the visitor centre is expected to open on Sunday.

Shrewsbury Cathedral
Google

Eddie Hall set for World's Strongest Man

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Britain's Eddie Hall is set to compete for the title of the World's Strongest man in Africa this weekend.

The 23-year-old worked at the Robert Wiseman Dairies site in Market Drayton from 2008 before dedicating his time to strongman events.

He finished third in last year's international competition but hopes to do better in Botswana this time round.

Eddie Hall
BBC

I've been preparing as usual. Lots and lots of heavy weights, lots of event training, tyre flips, pulling trucks and I think the difference this year is I'm just a lot lot stronger and heavier and obviously a lot more experienced."

Eddie HallStrongman

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Some dry weather around today, but also the possibility of heavy and thundery showers this afternoon with highs of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Welcome to BBC Local Live for Shropshire

Mark Elliott

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

Good morning from BBC Local Live in Shropshire.

We're in the BBC Shropshire newsroom to let you know the latest news, sport, travel and weather. You can get in touch by email, tweet or comment on our Facebook page.

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.

Greens say they offered not to field candidate in Telford

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

The Greens' candidate for Telford says the party offered not to stand to help Labour win the seat in next month's general election.

Luke Shirley says Labour turned down the deal, that involved the ruling party in Telford and Wrekin not standing in certain council wards in 2019.

Luke Shirley
BBC

I hope to put that to Labour shortly.

The Conservatives won a majority of 730 in Telford in 2015.

For a full list of candidates standing, take a look at the constituency page.

Watch: The West Midlands weather forecast for tonight and Friday

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Plus you can use the BBC Weather website to get the latest forecasts at any other time.

Shefali Oza

200 attend dementia conference in Shropshire

A conference has been held in Shropshire to look at ways of improving care for people living with dementia.

Around 200 people attended the "Changing Dementia Care" event at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital today.

Karen Breese (SaTH), Jayne Goodrick, Chris Roberts, and George Rook (SaTH)
SaTH

Delegates took part in a range of workshops as well as hearing presentations from keynote speakers including Chris Roberts and Jayne Goodrick, who featured in a BBC Panorama documentary about living with dementia.

Shrewsbury church dig finds 'still sinking in'

Archaeologists working at Shrewsbury's Greek Orthodox Church, say that in early medieval times, there was a church there twice its size.

Diggers found a 15 inch wooden post in the Sutton Farm area that's been shown to date back to 2033 BC.

Archaeological site, Shrewsbury
Sarah Hart
Archaeological finds
Sarah Hart

It means the Oteley Road site could be the earliest-known sacred centre in Britain that's still in use today.

It's still all sinking in... most sites like this are monuments in ruins like Stonehenge... it's been recognised and honoured by our ancestors from at least 2,000 years before Christ."

Janey GreenArchaeologist

National Lottery windfall for Ironbridge museums

The National Lottery's promising up to £1m for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, if it can raise a similar amount over the next four years.

The money would be put into an endowment scheme and used to preserve and protect the old furnace next to the Museum of Iron in Coalbrookdale.

Details of the scheme were announced at a lunch today celebrating the trust's 50th anniversary.

Old furnace
Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust

Award for £17.6m project to stabilise land in Jackfield

The Jackfield Stabilisation Project, to stop land falling into the River Severn, has cost millions of pounds, but engineers say it's an "oustanding solution" to a complex problem.

It's received an award courtesy of the Institution of Civil Engineering, being declared winner ahead of 25 other projects across the West Midlands, as well as schemes from New Zealand and Turkey.

Jackfield
Telford and Wrekin Council

By stabilising this hillside, which has been moving for hundreds of years, not only has the local community been protected, but also the works helped to protect Ironbridge Gorge, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, for future generations.”

Mark DownesInstitution of Civil Engineering judging panel

Your comments: GP charge proposals in Shropshire

Alex Seftel

BBC Local Live

An idea put forward by Shropshire's Local Medical Committee to reduce demand by asking people to pay to see GPs has drawn mixed views from readers on Facebook.

Laura Gregory says: "No. People don't go to the dentist because they can't afford it. It will be the same with the doctors."

Doctor - generic image
PA

Peter Wright argues: "If they don't turn up for an appointment without a reasonable excuse - yes."

Dawn Joyce wonders how the system could be made fair: "How would this work for children? What would be the impact if you had a condition which requires regular checks i.e. type 1 diabetes / heart condition?"