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  1. Updates for Friday, 24 March 2017
  2. Comic Relief highlights from across the county
  3. Six months since Corrie Mckeague was last seen
  4. Ipswich man wins Great Pottery Thrown Down
  5. Town legend believes Blues will dodge the drop
  6. Felixstowe Pier rebuild continues

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Suffolk Live signing off

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

It's time for us to head home and book our seats in front of the TV for this evening's Comic Relief extravaganza .

Before we go, here's a reminder of some of the stories we've featured during the day, so scroll down to get more details:

  • A reflection on the six months since Corrie Mckeague was last seen
  • An update on the burst water main in Holbrook
  • The Ipswich winner of the Great Pottery Throw Down

We'll leave you with a round-up of how the county's done us proud, with Red Nose Day fund-raising events:

Red Nose Day 2017 in Suffolk: From a giant Mexican wave to McFly

Don't forget it's Mothers' Day and the clocks go forward on Sunday.

Weather: Chance of frost tonight, but sunshine tomorrow

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be a dry night with mainly clear skies and possibly a few fog patches. 

There could be a touch of frost in sheltered spots, with a low of 2C (36F).


After a chilly start, Saturday should be fine and dry with long spells of sunshine. 

There'll be a light to moderate north-easterly wind and inland temperatures could reach about 14C (57F).

There's more at BBC Weather .

Millions to be invested in mental health facilities

More than £10m is being invested in mental health facilities in Suffolk and Norfolk over the next two years.

HQ of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

It's part of a three year plan from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust , which involves more than £13m worth of work.

So far a third of a million has been spent on Mariner House in Ipswich, making it more accessible and user-friendly, and a new unit, costing more than £800,000, has opened for young people with acute mental health needs at Carlton Court in Lowestoft. 

Over the next two years other facilities will be upgraded, and there'll be improvements made to the trust's IT system. 

Some of money that's being used has come from the sale of the main part of the St Clement's Hospital site in east Ipswich.

Mexican wave gets the arms-up for these Comic Relief fundraisers

Pupils at Horringer Court School in Bury St Edmunds will have been really glad it's not been pouring with rain today.

Their self-imposed challenge  for Comic Relief  was a giant Mexican wave - you can see them lining up here in readiness  

Horringer Court pupils ready to perform a Mexican wave

Deputy headteacher Steve Palmer said: "Hopefully we're going to co-ordinate it really well so we get a signal to start, then the wave will go up one way, and down the other way."

McFly star visits school that's squeezed a year into a day for Comic Relief

McFly drummer Harry Judd called in to share in a challenge devised by pupils at St Gregory's Primary School in Sudbury for Red Nose Day.

They decided to cram their favourite bits of the year into one day - so they've been celebrating Easter, sports day and fitted in a Christmas lunch too.

Harry Judd with pupils from St Gregory's primary school

Harry, who was a prep school pupil at the private  Old Buckenham Hall  near Lavenham and Dame Bradbury's in Saffron Walden, embraced the festive theme and explained that the  website Pinterest  had a competition for him to come to a school and surprise everyone, and St Gregory's won: "We did a little bit of Let It Snow and I played along on the drums.

"It's a happy time and I'm happy to be here."

Speedway: Track changes will benefit riders and fans

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Excitement and great racing have been forecast by Ipswich Witches  director Chris Louis ahead of tomorrow's Championship season opener, against Sheffield Tigers, at Foxhall.

Chris Louis
Stephen Waller

"We've taken a little bit off, going into turns one and three, to give the lads that little bit more racing room which I hope will enable a little bit of dive-bombing as we call it," said Louis about the shape of the track.

"That's going to enable better racing, more excitement and we've also improved the banking so there should be more of the track usable that hasn't been for the last five or six years." 

To all you mums out there


With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, let Ironman athlete Jon Alexander tell you the story of his mum, Sue, and how she has always been his inspiration....

Ironman is now his mum's biggest fan

You can find out how to get into triathlon with our Get Inspired guide.

Rugby union: Bury target third successive win

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Bury St Edmunds rugby players can take a huge step towards securing their National League Two status tomorrow.

Bury St Edmunds rugby squad
Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club

The Wolf Pack head to struggling Barnstaple in good heart after back-to-back victories over Exmouth and Barnes.

Bury, who are also trying to win successive away games for the first time this season, are currently 11th in the table, 10 points above the bottom two.

Town's failure to replace Murphy has cost them - Wark

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich legend John Wark believes Town's season nosedived the day they sold striker Daryl Murphy and then failed to bring in an adequate replacement.

Daryl Murphy and Timm Klose
Getty Images

The 33-year-old (pictured), who joined Newcastle in August, scored a total of 37 goals as the Blues finished 6th and 7th in the last two seasons.

"Nevermind the goals he scored, it's his hold-up play that we've missed," said Wark. 

"We've got nobody who's been up front who can hold the ball and play players in, and we've missed that big time."

Ryman League: Needham Market host title rivals

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Third-placed Needham Market  (pictured) against second-placed Havant & Waterlooville is one of two huge games for Suffolk clubs in the Ryman Premier Division  tomorrow.

Needham Market team photo
Needham Market FC

The other is the six-pointer between AFC Sudbury , who are second from bottom, and Hendon who are just one place above them.

Lowestoft Town will be looking for an eighth successive victory at home to Folkestone Invicta while Leiston , who have won their last three, host Worthing.

Bury Town head to Romford in the North Division.

Courage of crash train driver recognised by award

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

The courage of train driver Stuart Connell on a Greater Anglia service between Cambridge and Norwich which hit a tractor has earned him the title of Abellio Employee of the Year. 

Both train and tractor drivers were seriously hurt at the level crossing after the vehicle was given insufficient time by a signaller to cross the line, a report found .

Crash train
Alex Young

The crash happened at Roudham, near Thetford, in Norfolk, last April. Investigators said the signaller might have had a lapse in concentration. 

At the awards ceremony, Greater Anglia managing director said: "Driver Stuart Connell is a professional through and through and understands his responsibility as a driver is to ensure the safety of his passengers. 

"His dedication to his role really shone through and he prides himself on doing his job to the best of his ability. 

"His professionalism and dedication to the role was further demonstrated when he returned to work at the earliest opportunity, despite his injuries preventing him from driving."

Crash train driver award for putting life on line to save passengers

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A train driver who put the safety of his passengers above his own after a collision with a tractor at a level crossing has been named Employee of the Year by rail operator Abellio

Stuart Connell was driving the Greater Anglia service from Cambridge to Norwich when the train  hit the tractor at Hockham Road near Thetford on Sunday, 10 April, 2016.

Stuart Connell
Abellio Group

Travelling at 87mph, Mr Connell (pictured) saw a tractor pull out on the level crossing ahead of him and he had seconds to act. 

Despite being in imminent danger himself, Stuart put the safety of his passengers and the tractor driver above his own, ducked down and pulled the emergency brake, before warning passengers. 

He was named Employee of the Year at the Abellio Achievement Awards 

Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles said: "Stuart demonstrated a unique ability to put others' safety before his own."

Front of crash train

Youngster dyes his hair red and raises £500

Children at Trimley St Martin primary school have been wearing red for Red Nose Day:

Children at Trimley St Martin primary school

Among the fund-raisers for Comic Relief is 10-year-old Blake Ainsley who, because of a life-limiting bone condition, has to travel regularly to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

He's dyed his blonde hair bright red, and has already managed to raise over £500.

Blake with his friends

Are these the whackiest socks in Suffolk?

BBC Suffolk's political correspondent gets in the Red Nose Day mood:

View more on twitter

HSE to work alongside police in Corrie investigation

Police say the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be working alongside officers searching through a landfill as part of the investigation into  Corrie Mckeague's disappearance .

Search of Milton landfill site
Paperpix UK

A team of officers from Suffolk and Norfolk police forces are continuing work at the site at Milton near Cambridge, and they've now been through more than 845 tonnes of material in the search.  

Det Supt Katie Elliott said: "Officers have been liaising with the HSE as part of the investigation into the circumstances around what happened to Corrie.  

"If there is a find on the site then the HSE will have a role to play in looking into the procedures that were in place and we have been speaking with them to ensure they are aware of our investigation to date.  

"Officers have completed thousands of hours of inquiries to find Corrie and, through the work that has been completed over the past few months, we have gathered a substantial amount of information which will inform both our own and any potential HSE investigation as we move forward."

Follow developments in the Corrie Mckeague case here .

Search team doubles in size since Corrie disappearance

The chairman of Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue  (Sulsar) has described as "amazing" news that a planned charity concert in Corrie Mckeague's name is to raise funds for the organisation.

Corrie's mum Nicola Urquhart announced the idea earlier this month.

Corrie Mckeague
Suffolk Police

Andy King, from Sulsar, said people in the county used not to know anything about what his organisation did: "Now we've got fund-raising events and concerts in aid of us, it's almost been overwhelming for the team.

"It's also meant a huge amount to us to have [our] efforts recognised - [it's] been tremendous and not something we've ever been used to.

"The effect it's had on the team, both in morale and numbers has just been incredible. 

"The team is over twice the size now that it was before Corrie went missing."

The FA People's Cup is back!


It's the semi-finals stage of the FA People's Cup this weekend and you'll be able to keep up with all the action on our live text pages from 10:00-18:00 on Saturday and Sunday. 

There'll be loads more cracking goals like these ones, analysed by the Football Focus team after the first round.

People's Cup goals analysed by the pros

Search and rescue team spend 6,000 hours looking for Corrie

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue  has spent more than 6,000 hours looking for RAF Honington gunner Corrie Mckeague, who disappeared six months ago , says its chairman.

Search team

Andy King continued: "Even while the public searches were being planned and then being undertaken, the team was still out looking at other areas based on information that came from the phone lines.

"Every potential place that Corrie could have been, where somebody suggested, has been searched."

The focus of the search for Mr Mckeague is now a landfill site in Cambridgeshire. 

Six months since Corrie Mckeague was last seen

It's six months since missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie Mckeague was captured on CCTV cameras in Bury St Edmunds for the final time in the early hours of Saturday, 24 September.

He'd been on a night out with friends on the Friday, and hasn't been seen since.

Corrie Mckeague
Suffolk Police

Police have been searching a landfill site at Milton near Cambridge for Mr Mckeague's body for nearly three weeks, after a re-examination of information from a refuse company led them to believe he could have been taken in a waste lorry to the site.

They say the search could take up to 10 weeks. So far they've sifted through about 800 tonnes of waste.

Ely North Junction: The long wait

There's been a long and high profile political campaign to improve the Ely North Junction. 

It lies on one of the main arteries of the eastern region. Trains from Norwich, King's Lynn, Peterborough, Ipswich and Cambridge all converge on the station along with freight services connecting Felixstowe to the Midlands.

View more on twitter

Campaigners say that if it were improved it would be possible to run longer and more frequent services.

But the promised work, which had been due to start this year, was indefinitely delayed after Network Rail realised it had over-committed on projects and run out of money. 

With its new budget not starting until 2019, no preparatory work could start until then.

The fact that the private sector has stumped up the cash for a feasibilty study shows how much this project means to the region's business community.

There is still no start date despite today's announcement and there won't be one for some time.

But you get a sense that things are at last slowly moving forwards.

Rail junction project finally moves forward

MPs, business leaders and rail operators were at Ely railway station this morning to celebrate a small, but potentially significant, step forward in the long campaign to improve the Ely North Junction. 

The main business organisations for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire (including the Greater Cambridge/Greater Peterborough LEP and the New Anglia LEP ) along with rail freight operators, have put up a total of £8.8m to fund a technical and feasibility study. 

Their hope is that the privately-funded initiative will speed up the project and make it more likely to go ahead when Network Rail draws up its new budget for 2019. 

MPs and business leaders at Ely

Red-nosed silly socks

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Really, on Red Nose Day , it's been proven that more or less anything goes. 

We all know that up and down the country, no end of silly (and some ridiculous) antics are under way in the name of raising cash for charity. And make no mistake, people take it very seriously.

And while some people shout about their tomfoolery and shenanigans, some are quieter, more reticent in their contributions to the cause.

For example, who would have guessed that the smiling face of the charming lady at the BBC Suffolk reception in St Matthew's Street had put on her own silly socks in the good name of Comic Relief? 

Here are the socks, which are, we have decided, red-nosed:

Receptionist's red socks

And let me introduce you to their owner, Helen, our good friend on reception whose smiling face is the first (and hopefully not last) you see when you walk in through our doors. Thank you for joining in, Helen.

Just for the record, she posed for this picture, simply to show the socks off. I can assure she works very hard, and doesn't ever sit with her feet up on the desk!

Receptionist with her red socks

She was joined by Mark Murphy and the breakfast team earlier...

View more on twitter

Ipswich Town: McLoughlin heads out on loan

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town striker Shane McLoughlin has joined National League side Bromley on a youth loan for the rest of the season.

Shane McLoughlin
Ipswich Town FC

The 20-year-old, who has been on the Blues bench for a couple of FA Cup ties, has been a regular for Town's Under-23s this season.

He's likely to make his Bromley debut against Chester tomorrow.

Darts: Taylor too tough for Wright

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Suffolk's Peter Wright has been knocked off the top of darts'  Premier League table.

Peter Wright
Getty Images

The UK Open champion, who's based in Mendham, lost 7-5 to Phil Taylor in Manchester last night.

World number one Michael van Gerwen now leads the way after seeing off James Wade, although he later lost to compatriot Raymond van Barneveld.

Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson were the round's other winners.

Bloomin' unusual use for a pothole

A Green Party councillor has taken an unusual step in an effort to draw attention to potholes in his area.

Daffodils planted in a pothole
Andrew Stringer

Andrew Stringer, leader of the party on Suffolk County Council, said: "I went out yesterday and planted some up with some daffodils and took pictures of them, then sent the pictures in [to the council]."

He's hoping his novel idea will lead to a swift filling-in of the pothole in Broad Road, Cotton near Stowmarket - but not while the flowers are still blooming we assume. 

Ed Sheeran does PR for James Blunt

James Blunt and Ed Sheeran
Getty Images

Ed Sheeran has also taken time today to plug the release of James Blunt 's new album and one particular track on it which he co-wrote. 

Happy Friday everyone. James Blunt's new album is out today, I co wrote this one with him and it's awesome, check out the album x

View more on twitter
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And if you want to check it out here's James Blunt performing it live at Youtube's studios. 

Warning: Third party content, may contain ads.

View more on youtube

Ipswich legend believes Town will dodge the drop

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Former Ipswich Town player John Wark is confident the Blues will avoid relegation from the Championship this season.

John Wark

Although he admits that, like fans, he's worried about the club's current predicament, he can't see them ending up in League One.

"I've looked at the fixtures of the other teams [down there] and for me Wigan and Rotherham have gone," said Wark.  

"I can't see Birmingham, Burton and Bristol getting enough points as they've got more difficult fixtures than us, so I can see one of them going down as well."

Listen to Wark's full analysis with me on BBC Radio Suffolk's Drivetime Show after 18:00 this evening. Thordis Fridriksson sits in as presenter for Stephen Foster.

In pictures: Work to resume on collapsed water main

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Work is due to resume in The Street in Holbrook, where a car has been removed from a hole created by a collapsed water main. Here was the scene yesterday morning:

Car in collapsed water main, Holbrook

The car has been removed by Anglia Water and this was the scene outside the GP surgery this morning, before any workers arrived:

The Street, Holbrook

Here's a close up of the work carried out so far:

The Street, Holbrook

Holbrook Academy is open again today, but work is being carried out at its entrance on Ipswich Road.

On the other side of the street, work continues building a new housing estate, with the entrance to the site a few yards behind the barriers across Ipswich Road.

Ipswich Road, Holbrook

Ed Sheeran turns journalist for Comic Relief

Ed Sheeran and Peaches
Cherry Seaborn

Ed Sheeran 's written an article for the BBC about his experiences of his first Comic Relief trip to Africa.

He visited a school in West Point, the largest and most dangerous slum in Liberia's capital, Monrovia - where he made friends with a girl called Peaches. 

The welcome from the kids was amazing, especially when they saw my tattoos; they went nuts and couldn't understand what they were. Some of the younger kids tried to wipe them off. Everyone wanted to know what we were doing and where we were from. They absolutely loved singing and clapping along to my songs and for a few hours it was easy to forget that these kids live in such awful conditions.

Read the full article here.

Work continues to rebuild the front of Felixstowe Pier
The redevelopment of the pier includes shops, a restaurant and a bowling alley.

Man charged following incident at swimming pool

Kate Arkell

BBC Radio Suffolk

A man has been charged with possessing a bladed article in a public place, and a public order offence, after an incident at Crown Pools in Ipswich yesterday morning.

The 52-year-old, who lives in the town, has been released on bail to appear in court next month.

As we reported yesterday , the pool was shut for about 45 minutes, but no-one was hurt.

Congratulations to the Great Pottery Throw Down winner

We'd like to say a big "well done" to Ipswich's Ryan Barrett, who was crowned winner of the second series of the Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC2 last night.

Ryan Barrett

Ryan, 31, is pictured clutching his trophy, and phoning his grandma to share the good news. She responded by saying: "Ooh lovely darling - you don't get any money or anything?"

Ryan said he first touched clay on a first date just under two years ago, instantly falling in love with it before buying a wheel and kiln online and moving them into his grandmother's shed.

School reopens today after water problems yesterday

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Holbrook Academy near Ipswich is open today after yesterday's closure due to lack of water supplies.

A water main collapsed under a car on The Street in Holbrook.

Repairs are due to resume today. The Street is still closed off outside the GP Surgery, while Ipswich Road, the main road through the village, is blocked off at the entrance to the secondary school, so it would be best to approach the Royal Hospital School or Stutton via the A137.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Pictures of the collapsed main on The Street to follow.

Suffolk darts player nose how to entertain

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Mendham's Peter Wright embraced the spirit of Comic Relief ahead of last night's Premier League game against Phil Taylor in Manchester.

Peter Wright
Getty Images

For those of you unaware of Wright's flamboyant style, the hair and trousers were nothing out of the ordinary.

Sadly for him Taylor had the last laugh though, as he won 7-5.

Weather: Cloudy at first, breezy with sunshine later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

This morning will be cloudy and breezy, but dry. The cloud will gradually break up during the afternoon, so it will become sunny and mild later with a high of 12C (54F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website .

Good morning - it's Red Nose Day

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live coverage on the day when we have a great excuse to do something a bit silly, as you can see from the socks some of my colleagues are wearing:

Comedy socks

We'll bring you news of some of the fund-raising events taking place across the county, but we'd love to hear what you're up to as well - you can reach us via the "Get involved" link at the top of this page.

We'll be back soon with the day's weather prospects.