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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 22 July 2016
  2. Woman's body found in Great Ouse
  3. Mother-of-three may have been trying to help someone in river
  4. Builder's nephew remembers visits to Roald Dahl's shed
  5. Seagulls 'whitewashing' cars in MK
  6. Alastair Cook draws level with Bradman

Live Reporting

By Katy Lewis and Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage throughout the day

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all the Local Live team here for Beds, Herts and Bucks. 

The main story we've covered today has been the recovery of a body of a 30-year-old mother who's believed to have drowned in the River Great Ouse after getting into trouble last night. 

Divers were out last night and sadly a body was discovered this morning. 

You can read all the updates by scrolling through the news feed. 

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

Weather: Dry with sunny intervals tomorrow

BBC Weather

After a sunny evening, we'll get a dry night across the region with a low of 15C (59F).

Weather
BBC

Tomorrow we'll see a dry start tomorrow, with some sunny periods and it'll still feel warm with a high of 26C (79F).

More details on the BBC Weather website.

Sainsbury's purchase of Milton Keynes-based Home Retail Group cleared

The £1.4bn takeover by Sainsbury's of the Milton Keynes-based Home Retail Group - which owns Argos - has been approved by UK competition authorities.

The deal was cleared without conditions.  

Home Retail sold the DIY chain Homebase to an Australian company earlier this year.

Home Retail Group, Milton Keynes
Google

Watch: Alistair Cook neck-and-neck with Test legend Bradman

Former Bedford School pupil and Essex captain Alastair Cook scored a century for England, as they made the most of winning the toss and batting on the opening day of the second Test against Pakistan.

He's now moved level with Australia's Donald Bradman on 29 Test centuries. 

River 'quickly drops off' and is only warm on the surface

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Police are warning people of the dangers of going into the water after a mother of three is thought to have drowned after getting into trouble in the River Great Ouse in Bedford. 

Ch Insp Nick Lyall said the water can look between "one and two feet deep, but quickly drops off to between eight and ten feet deep".

He said only the top two inches stay warm over the summer months and, although it may look appealing, it's just not safe.

He added accidents involving water are becoming "more and more frequent."

View more on twitter

Don't let children 'go down to the river swimming this summer' say police

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Bedfordshire Police have said the possible drowning of a mother of three in Bedford is a "tragic set of circumstances."

Ch Insp Nick Lyall said: "Three young children have tragically lost their mother." 

Path by the River Great Ouse
BBC

He said the authorities will work with the family to give them support over the coming weeks. 

He advised parents "not to let their children go down to the river swimming and to make sure you know where your kids are".

Hungarian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton crashes

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Hertfordshire's Lewis Hamilton crashed early in second practice as team-mate Nico Rosberg underlined Mercedes' pace at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton lost control at Turn 11 and slid into the barriers on his fourth lap. He limped back to the pits but could not run again, ending up fifth.

Rosberg was 0.595 seconds quicker than Milton Keynes-based Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in second.

Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes racing car
Getty Images

River 'deep,dark and dangerous' say police

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The search to find the missing mother started at about 20:30 last night and continued until about 22:30, but was halted because of the fading light. 

Ch Insp Nick Lyall said the water was "deep, dark and dangerous for the public and the officers and staff involved in the search."

He says they were "putting themselves in harm's way to try and help a member of the public, it's a difficult set of of circumstances for all involved."

Police along River Great Ouse
BBC

Mother of three 'never came out of the water' say police

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

I've been talking to Ch Insp Nick Lyall from Bedfordshire Police. 

He's confirmed the police got a call just after 20:00 last night, after a woman got into distress in the River Great Ouse in the Honey Hill area of Queens Park, Bedford.

CI Nick Lyall
BBC

They tried to find her last night, but she "never came out of the water."

They searched for two and a half hours until it was too dark to continue. 

Local people to take 'extra care' around water

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

I've just been speaking to Henna Azmat who comes to the Queen Park area of Bedford next to the River Great House with her children. 

She says she'll take extra care near the water as she now realises it's "dangerous" following the news that a mother of three is believed to have drowned in the water after getting into difficulty.

Henna Azmat and her children
BBC

It seems it's a popular area with families as three younger children were seen this morning playing by the water's edge and throwing bread to the ducks.   

Mother went into water to help her three children

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The police have told me that a 30-year-old woman died whilst on a family picnic with her three children when she went into the water to help someone. 

Flowers are now being left close to where she went into the River Great Ouse in Bedford.

The River Great Ouse
BBC

Roald Dahl: Six fantastic facts

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

As the film version of Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant opens in cinemas around the country today, why not check out these six fantastic facts about the Buckinghamshire author from CBBC's Newsround.

You'll see that the county is truly at the heart of his books as he wrote most of his books in his garden shed in Great Missenden.

His books were also inspired by the people and things around him - in fact, the foxes' home in Fantastic Mr Fox was based on a huge tree which grew outside his village home.

Roald Dahl's garden shed
PA

BFG's 'nephew' remembers Dahl visits

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Away from the death of a mother in the river in Bedford...

It's the start of the school holidays for many and right on cue, a new movie version of Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant opens in cinemas today.

Roald Dahl
Getty Images

Buckinghamshire author Roald Dahl, who lived in Great Missenden, based the character on builder Wally Brittin, who worked on his grandmother's house.

Wally's nephew Michael, who lives in nearby Holmer Green and visited Dahl as a child, said: "I met him on man, many occasions.. I went into the writing room.

"He was a very special man."

Missing woman's neighbour: River is 'very unpredictable'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A neighbour of the woman who is believed to have drowned in Bedford has been describing what the river is like in the area where she disappeared yesterday evening.

He said it was "murky" and while the shallow part of the Great Ouse is around knee- or shin-height, it has holes up to "20ft deep".

River Great Ouse
BBC

"I have lived here 20 years and I've never been in that river. It's very, very dangerous and very, very unpredictable," he said.

He added there were no warnings or signs telling people to be careful or not to swim.

Dead woman had been 'diving off islands in river'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A neighbour of the mother believed to have drowned in the river in Bedford has said the dead woman lived locally and had been diving in from small islands with her three children.

He said a relative knew the woman involved and had warned her not to go into the water with her children.

After the police arrived he saw the three children sitting by the river wrapped in towels.

River Great Ouse
BBC

Mother screamed 'I can't swim', says neighbour

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A woman who went missing after getting into difficulties in the Great Ouse in Bedford is believed to have been playing in the river with her children.

Bedfordshire Police have just confirmed they have found a body of a woman, but she is not being publicly identified yet.

Police on River Great Ouse
BBC

The mother-of-three, thought to be in her 30s, was last seen more than 14 hours ago when she was diving into a shallow part of the river.

One neighbour said his wife had heard screams of "I can't swim" before police and a helicopter arrived last night.

River Great Ouse search: Private ambulance arrives

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I was by the Star Rowing Club in the centre of Bedford when the private ambulance arrived. 

There were a few police around the scene, but most the activity was on the river which was cordoned off. 

Police cars and private ambulance
BBC

It arrived just after midday:

Private ambulance arrives
BBC

River Great Ouse search: Body found

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The body of a woman has been found in the River Great Ouse in Bedford following searches last night and this morning.

Search scene
BBC

Bedfordshire Police organised diving teams at a section of the river near Honey Hill after a woman in her 30s got into difficulties at about 20:00 on Thursday. 

It's believed the woman entered the water to help somebody in distress. 

The force said the body was found after assistance from the fire service and specialist dive teams from Norfolk Police.

Next-of-kin have been made aware and police are supporting the family, but the woman is not being publicly identified yet.

BreakingBody found in search of River Great Ouse

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The body of a woman has been found in the river in Bedford where a woman went missing yesterday, police have confirmed.

More to follow.

River Great Ouse search: Local media covering missing woman search

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

There's obviously a lot of interest in this story from other local media and I've seen some of them down at the search, including a photographer from Beds on Sunday which is also reporting the news that police believe the missing woman was trying to save "someone in distress".

ITV Anglia News has also been filming at the river. 

Camera crew
BBC

River Great Ouse search: Latest pictures

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

More pictures from the Star Rowing Club as a search for a missing woman in her 30s continues at the River Great Ouse in Bedford:

River Great Ouse search scene
BBC
River Great Ouse search scene
BBC
River Great Ouse search scene
BBC

River Great Ouse search: Diving unit set up at rowing club

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I'm now by the Star Rowing Club further along the river in Bedford where I have found the dive team.

The part of the road down to the river has been cordoned off and I can see several police cars, inlcuding a Scientific Services Unit van plus an Underwater Search and Recovery Diving Unit.

There are divers getting their kit out and a blue and white tent has been set up.

By the Star Rowing Club
BBC

Last night's river search

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service joined in the search for the missing woman last night, which lasted until about 23:00.

Fire service divers in Bedford
Beds Fire & Rescue Service
Beds fire service divers
Beds Fire & Rescue Service

River Great Ouse search: 'Not a swimming hotspot'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I've been talking to Jim this morning, whose house backs on to the green area behind Honey Hill Road known as Honey Hills.

He said it's not a spot where people usually play in the river. He said it used to be, but not anymore.

River Great Ouse
BBC

River Great Ouse search: Latest from the scene

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The cordon at the area near Honey Hill Road has now come down and police are leaving the scene.

Bedfordshire Police have told us that searches are continuing in the vicinity - we'll let you know when we hear anything else. 

Police leaving scene
BBC

River Great Ouse search: Police divers arrive

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Further up the River Great Ouse, a police dive team from Norfolk has arrived.

River search
South Beds News Agency
River search
South Beds News Agency
River search
South Beds News Agency
River search
South Beds News Agency
River search
South Beds News Agency

River Great Ouse search: Police widen cordon

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A few more police officers have arrived and widened the cordon, blocking off the footpath from Honey Hill Road down to the river.

View more on twitter

River Great Ouse search: Police divers due to resume search

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've now had a little more information from Bedfordshire Police about the search for a woman who got into difficulties in the Great Ouse on Thursday evening.A spokeswoman said the woman, aged in her 30s, was not found last night and searches by a specialist police dive team from a neighbouring force are due to take place today. 

Police believed the woman entered the water to help somebody in distress and got into difficulties herself.   

River Great Ouse scene
BBC
River Great Ouse scene
BBC

River Great Ouse search: At the scene

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

River Great Ouse search: 'Quiet and picturesque' scene

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The scene by the Great Ouse this morning is eerily quiet and, to be honest, there's not a lot of activity at the moment.

There are a couple of policemen patrolling the bank, but no activity in the water.

However, the part of the river where the woman is believed to have been remains cordoned off - it is picturesque and peaceful, a beautiful part of the waterway - and it is shallow at the moment.

River Great Ouse scene
BBC
River Great Ouse scene
BBC

Great Ouse search: Missing woman's neighbour 'shocked'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I've been talking a woman, who says she's a friend and neighbour of the woman police are searching for after she got into difficulties in the Great Ouse yesterday.

She was visibly upset and said she was "shocked" as she came to lay a flower at the scene.

Flower at River Great Ouse
BBC

Great Ouse search for missing woman: Pictures from the scene

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

River Great Ouse
BBC
Scene at River Great Ouse
BBC
Scene at River Great Ouse
BBC

Great Ouse search: At the scene

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

This is the scene by the Great Ouse in Bedford where, in an area just off Honey Hill Road, searches are continuing for a woman who got into difficulties in the river last night.

The are no further updates from police at the moment.

View more on twitter

Seagulls 'whitewashing' Bletchley cars

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Following a report in the MK Citizen about seagulls causing mayhem in a part of Milton Keynes by doing their business on people and cars, I've headed out to Bletchley to see for myself.

The birds have taken up residence on an industrial estate near Dawson Road and as you can see, cars are being "whitewashed".

Seagull mess on car
BBC

Today's weather: Still warm with showers

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Today is due to see a mixture of sunshine and thundery showers and it will continue to feel humid.

Maximum temperature: 24C (75F).

Great Ouse search: A view from the air

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The National Police Air Service has tweeted a picture of the area being covered in the search for a woman who got into difficulties in the Great Ouse in Bedford last night.

Emergency services have been searching an area off Honey Hill Road. 

View more on twitter

Searches continue for woman missing in Great Ouse

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Bedfordshire Police has told us searches of the River Great Ouse in Bedford are set to continue after a woman got into difficulties in the water yesterday evening.

River Great Ouse
Google

Officers started searching an area of the Great Ouse off Honey Hill Road just after 20:00.

A force spokesman has asked people to leave the searches to the emergency services who have specialist officers and not put themselves at risk.

Welcome to Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Thanks for joining us again for live news, sport, weather and travel for the three counties - we'll be here until 18:00.

Shortly we'll bring you an update on the search for a woman who got into difficulties in the Great Ouse yesterday evening.

Remember, if you'd like to get in touch, you can email us or send us a tweet.