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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting Cumbria's news and current affairs for today and another week. Here's a reminder of some of today's main developments:

We will be back to do it again from 08:00 on Monday. If you've got a story or photo to share, you can email us, send a tweet to @BBC_Cumbria, or check out our Facebook page.

Have a very good weekend.

Cumbria's weather: Fine, clear and cool

BBC Weather

It will remain fine with sunshine this evening, giving way to some long clear spells overnight. There will be a gentle breeze and lowest temperatures from 4C to 7C (39F to 45F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are here.

Man who attacked partner jailed

A man who kicked his former partner so hard she suffered serious internal injuries and was left with terrifying nightmares has been jailed for three years.

Benjamin Davis Bland, 35, attacked Louise Murphy at his flat at Helm Close, Bowness-on-Windermere, in January, punching and stamping on her, attempting to strangle her and leaving her so badly bruised her daughter did not recognise her.

Bland admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage, in what Recorder Ciaran Rankin said "was an act of wanton, jealous bullying."

Miss Murphy told Carlisle Crown Court: "I honestly believed I was going to die."

Bland was ordered not to contact her again.

Top county gallery to get £7.1m facelift

Martin Lewes


The Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal is to get a £7.1m redevelopment including opening up a space two floors high to display ambitious exhibitions.

Abbot Hall Gallery
Lakeland Arts

Other work will improve the environmental and security equipment, protect the collections store from flooding and develop better facilities for visitors.

The gallery owns work by many top artists such as Lucien Freud and Barbara Hepworth and has hosted nationally important exhibitions in partnership with institutions such as the Tate.

Two charged after 'firearms' report at Penrith boxing

Two people have been charged with possession of a prohibited firearm after a junior boxing event at Penrith at the start of June.

Police were called at one point after reports of disorder involving firearms, but when they arrived those involved had dispersed and no weapons were seen.

The event had attracted teams from across the UK.

Today Lancashire Police said a man and a woman from Great Harwood had been charged, and detectives made a nationwide appeal for information about events at the Lonsdale Cricket Ground near Penrith between 1 June and 3 June.

Speedway's coming home, to Comets' relief

BBC Cumbria Sport

Workington Comets are at home to Glasgow in tomorrow night's Championship speedway.

As team boss Tony Jackson explains, it is significant because eight of the team's last nine matches have been away.

The fans forget where Workington's track is, the riders have got no home advantage, from a business point of view as well, to have eight away matches in a nine match spell is not great for the income either."

Tony Jackson

Robyn, 8, wins national praise for story

A young Kendal girl is among the winners of the 2018 Wicked Young Writer Awards, a national scheme held in association with the National Literacy Trust and with judges including former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and author Cressida Cowell.

Robyn Blunden receives award from Jonathan Douglas of Literacy Trust
Ellie Kurttz

The winner in the 8-10 category was eight-year-old Robyn Blunden from Kendal, for her story called The Snow Leopard (pictured receiving her award from Jonathan Douglas of the trust).

The story was described as "a magical fantasy story about an ancient guardian spirit watching over and protecting a village."

Ed Balls was among the judges.

I am really excited about winning this award. It is first year that I have entered it.”

Robyn Blunden

Work on derelict Plaza Hotel 'nears completion'

Work to remove part of the roof and some inner walls from the Central Plaza Hotel in Carlisle is now nearly complete, according to city council staff.

Plaza Hotel

But they say there is still a lot to be done improving the scaffolding and netting around the hotel and removing the hoardings erected to protect neighbouring properties on Victoria Viaduct.

The street has been closed since early May because of the risk that parts of the hotel, empty for years and now effectively ownerless, might fall without warning.

A council spokesman said: “Every effort is being made to ensure that the remaining works are completed as quickly as possible."

But no date's yet been set for the street to reopen.

Tourism boss joins call for Lakes marketing campaign

The chief executive of Cumbria Tourism says she's asked the transport minister Jo Johnson to back a marketing campaign to "restore confidence" in the Lake Line rail service when it is brought back into operation.

Gill Haigh
Cumbria Tourism

She says she was able to talk to Mr Johnson this week and would be at a meeting in Westmminster next month where MPs and the Northern Trains managing director David Brown would also be present.

Mr Johnson has already said he expects Nortern to pay for any marketing once normal services are resumed on the Lakes Line, which connects the West Coast Main Line at Oxenholme, and Windermere.

Cumbria teams keep up recruiting drives

BBC Cumbria Sport

New Barrow manager Ian Evatt says he expects to appoint his assistant next week after spending this week doing interviews.

Ian Evatt
Getty Images

At the other end of the county Carlisle's manager John Sheridan says he is still looking for five players, including two goalkeepers.

Sheridan says he may even sign a new player today.

Still no date for car ferry repairs after fire

There's still no date for when the Windermere car ferry will be back in full operation, following a fire in its engine room in May.

Windermere car ferry

The county council says it caused significant damage and it's still working with insurers and conducting safety investigations.

Windermere Lakes Cruises is providing a service to carry pedestrians and cyclists across the lake.

Bank fraud scheme leads to 13 arrests

Cumbria Police say they've made 13 arrests and stopped people being defrauded of more than £105,000 in the past year under a new scheme where bank staff can call in police if they suspect a customer is being scammed.

The system, called the Banking Protocol started in July last year, and since then bank and building society staff have made the call 48 times.

It means that police treat a call under the protocol as a priority, giving bank staff the confidence to act while a customer is in their branch.

'Odours' waste plant ordered to pay £60,000

The operators of a waste processing plant in Barrow, which was responsible for an unpleasant odour, have been ordered to pay £60,000 to a local environment charity.

Renewi waste plant in Barrow

Renewi Services UK runs an operation that dries and shreds rubbish to turn it into industrial fuel on the Sowerby Woods Business Park.

Now, after years of complaints about the smell, the Environment Agency has completed an enforcement undertaking, meaning that instead of facing prosecution, the company has had to take action to improve the filtering of emissions and make a donation and pay compensation to some of its neighbours.

Campaigners bid to save condemned swimming pool

People in Millom are building a campaign to renovate their existing swimming pool, which has been condemned as dangerous by surveyors, rather than have it demolished.

The pool was built by the community on the Millom School campus in the 1960s, partly because so many local people were drowning in the nearby lakes and sea.

But last year it was closed after surveyors found many defects and said it was too dangerous even to enter.

Campaigners fear it would never be replaced and they've called a public meeting for tomorrow morning to gather support.

Cumbria's weather: Turning out nice yet again

BBC Weather

Plenty of dry and sunny weather will continue into this afternoon with mostly light winds and only a little cloud.

Maximum temperatures will range from 17C to 20C (63 to 68F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are here.

Motorway drainage improved in £1.6m project

Highways England says it is spending £1.6m improving drainage on a two-mile stretch of the M6 between Kendal and Sedbergh.

The agency said the work, on both the hard shoulders and the central reservation, would involve a lane closure, but it wasn't expected to cause delays.

The project should be completed in in September.

Lakes Line trains firm 'hopes transport ministry will pay'

The railway company running trains on a Cumbrian line, while the usual operator has suspended the service, says it is hoping the government will foot the bill.

West Coast Trains service on Lakes Line
David Ingham

West Coast Railways began carrying passengers free on the Lakes Line on Monday after Northern replaced all its own trains with buses.

There are reports that West Coast will be paid by Transport for the North, which has declined to confirm the arrangement.

West Coast Railways has told BBC Radio Cumbria it's expecting to send its bill to the Department for Transport.

Travel: Another strike to disrupt trains

BBC News Travel

Trains run by Northern will be severely disrupted again tomorrow when members of the RMT union take industrial action in a long-running dispute over the role of guards.

Northern says it will run some services and some replacement buses, mostly between 07:00 and 19:00.

New by-pass will follow southern route around Carlisle

A Southern Link road for Carlisle is now a step closer with a decision made about the route it will take.

Map of Carlisle Southern route
Cumbria County Council

Cumbria Council Council says after extensive consultation the "green route" option has been chosen, linking the M6 Junction 42 to the A595 at Peter Lane (Newby West) via a route south of Durdar Village, and opening up development for a new suburb to be called St Cuthbert's Garden Village.

Officials say the route was the most popular with the thousands of people who took part in the consultation -it's easier to build and will have less impact on existing communities and the environment.

New council shake-up 'could include a county mayor'

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

Changes to the way Cumbria's local government works are being considered again, with one idea being an elected mayor.

Other ideas include replacing the existing six district councils and one county with the two levels having different responsibilities, with one or two unitary authorities looking after all public services.

Cumbria county council sitting

The Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie says Cumbria should keep its districts and be given a referendum vote on whether it wants a single leading politician to lead matters.

A report seen by BBC Radio Cumbria says developing proposals could cost between £100,000 and £500,000, and take between 16 months and four years to implement, but officials say there would be long-term savings.

Weather on the fells: Almost perfect

If you are lucky enough to be going out for a walk today, you can expect almost perfect weather on the fells:

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft (900m): About 13C.
  • Winds: North-westerly at 10-15 mph, up to 20mph on the summits in the afternoon before easing again later.
  • Cloud: Cloud bases in the afternoon will be around 4,000ft (1,220m) with some locally lower levels of around 2,500ft (800m) in the north.
  • Visibility: Good throughout the day.

Quite scary - trimaran sailor's verdict on Walney rescue

Martin Lewes


One of two sailors rescued from their sinking trimaran in rough seas off the Cumbrian coast has been describing how he struggled to make a Mayday call as the vessel tipped over.

Winchman being lowered on to boat
Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Gary Powell from Barrow and his shipmate were saved yesterday morning from the bow of the boat, the only part still above the water, by a wind farm support vessel from which they were then airlifted to safety on Walney Island.

Both men were safe and well and did not even need a hospital check-over.

Mr Powell said his main worry as the 25ft sailing vessel started to sink was explaining their location to the emergency services as the boat's radio aerial was being dipped in and out of the water.

I had to repeat the call maybe six or seven times before they had a position, so that was quite scary."

Gary Powell

Cumbria's weather: Dry and sunny after cool start

BBC Weather

Rather cool early on this morning but with plenty of dry and sunny weather and mostly light winds. Temperatures will head towards 19C (66F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are here.

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning. We'll be posting news, a regular weather forecast, travel information and the odd other nugget from around the county until about 18:00.

If you've got a story or photo to share, you can email us, send a tweet to @BBC_Cumbria, or check out our Facebook page.

George Glendon

Carlisle sign Fleetwood midfielder George Glendon on a one-year deal, while Tommy Wright is appointed assistant manager.

Read more

Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


We're now handing over to the software to post major breaking stories and travel reports overnight.

Here's a reminder of some of today's main developments:

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow.

If you've got a story or photo to share, you can email us, send a tweet to @BBC_Cumbria, or check out our Facebook page.

Have a very good evening.

Cumbria's weather: Clear and turning chilly

BBC Weather

Lengthening spells of sunshine this evening will give way to some long clear periods tonight.

The wind will ease and it will turn rather cool, with temperatures dropping to 2C to 5C (36 to 41F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Carlisle boss Sheridan takes on Wright as assistant

BBC Cumbria Sport

Carlisle United manager John Sheridan has appointed Tommy Wright, former Leeds and Leicester winger, as his assistant.

Tommy Wright at Brunton Park

Wright, 52, made more than 100 appearances for the Elland Road club, and also spent time at Oldham and Middlesbrough.

The Brunton Road club says Wright has worked with Sheridan as assistant at Oldham and Leicester city, and has recently been part of the managerial team at Barnsley.

Meanwhile, Sheridan says he's trying to make his third summer signing in the next 24 to 48 hours, to add to right-back Gary Miller and centre-half Macaulay Gillesphey, recruited already.

Carlisle main jailed for drug dealing plot

A debt-ridden Carlisle man who got involved in cocaine and heroin dealing has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Ashley Douglas
Cumbria Police

Ashley Douglas, 22, of no fixed abode, sent texts to potential drug customers using several sim cards earlier this year, but then used one to tell police he, his girlfriend and sister, had been threatened by people armed with axes and knives.

Police located Douglas in a hotel and found forensic evidence of drug-dealing.

He admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin and an offence of affray relating to to an incident in Carlisle in December.

Watch: Two rescued from sinking trimaran off Walney

Two men were rescued today after their trimaran started taking on water and then capsized off Walney Island.

View more on youtube

The alarm was raised when the two, who were wearing lifejackets, made a radio call just before 10:00, and the Barrow lifeboat, a Coastguard helicopter and the Walney coastguard rescue team were scrambled.

A wind farm support vessel reached the scene and took the two men, who by now were clinging to the bow of their sinking vessel.

The coastguard helicopter winched them aboard and took them to Walney airfield, where they were landed, safe and uninjured.

This incident happened so quickly that the casualties on the capsized vessel had only just managed to put out a Mayday broadcast and a 999 call."

Robert BowyerHM Coastguard Senior Maritime Operations Officer

Engineers deal with Windermere power cut

Electricity North West engineers say they've restored power to most of the 2,591 customers in Windermere who lost their electricity about 40 minutes ago, and should have the rest of those affected back on by about 17:30.

Amphibians in decline, garden survey suggests

A survey of Cumbria's wildlife suggests hedgehogs and red squirrels are doing quite well, but a steep decline in numbers of toads and frogs is continuing.

The information was gathered as part of the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch earlier this year.


Frogs were seen in up to three-quarters of the 1,700 gardens surveyed in Cumbria, while toads turned up in about one fifth, but both figures were well down on four years ago.

Red squirrels were regular visitors, reported in 40% of the gardens surveyed, and hedgehogs saw a small increase, seen by about 70% of respondents.

Police renew appeal for missing Carlisle man

Police have renewed their appeal for information about a man missing since Friday afternoon.

Brian Scott
Family picture

Brian Scott, 45, was seen in Wetherall at about 16:30 on 15 of June, and police now have CCTV footage showing he was in the Higginson Mill area of Denton Holme on Monday 18 June at about 06:40.

Mr Scott is said to be 5ft 11in tall and slim, and when last seen, was carrying a large black rucksack.

Merger school's head praised in first Ofsted report

A new west Cumbrian school has been rated as requiring improvement by regulators following its first full inspection last month.

The school was formed in 2015 following the merger of two schools - Southfield Technology College and Stainburn School, which were both in special measures, the lowest grading.

Workington Academy

The Ofsted report criticises Workington Academy for some pupils making less progress than they should by the time they reach their GCSEs.

But inspectors did praise the school's new headteacher Des Bird for his "clear vision" and for having a positive effect on the school's culture.

Vets warn about new threat to county's dogs

Vets at a practice in Appleby say they have treated a case of lungworm, a parasite in dogs which up to now has only been found in the south of England.

Lola, the dog that was treated
Paul Huntley

The problem was found after Lola, a five-month-old French bulldog, was taken to the Old Hall practice in the town with a bad cough.

Helen Gould from the practice said the parasite was carried by slugs or snails, and dogs tended to pick it up as they foraged through undergrowth.

The infestation can be fatal if not treated, but Helen Gould said Lola had made a full recovery.

Her case highlights that lungworm is in the area and that there is a need for local dog owners and holiday-makers to be aware of the dangers and ensure their pet is protected.”

Helen GouldAppleby vet

New water sports centre launches bid for more visitors

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

A dedicated new centre for watersports will open at Fell Foot on the shores of Windermere today.

Sport England has paid for the new centre, which includes sailing, rowing and canoeing, and is part of a £2m redevelopment of the National Trust estate..

It will give thousands of visitors a first taste of the activities, and be a permanent base for local clubs: It should also be more resilient to the flooding that has swamped the buildings there several time sin recent years..

Mike Fearnley from the South Windermere Sailing Club says the new facilities are a large improvement.

New building at Fell Foot

We want to bring people to Fell Foot, and now they're going to come and have a look at the facilities and quite frankly, they're probably better than anybody's now."

Mike Fearnley

Travel: A590 partly blocked by crash

BBC News Travel

The A590 has been partly blocked by a crash involving a car and a motorcycle at the Greenodd roundabout where the A5092 meets the A590.

St Bees says school now ready to reopen

The new management at St Bees School say it is on course to re-open in September.

The independent school, founded 400 years ago, closed in 2015 because of financial problems.

Its new board of trustees has formed a partnership with Shenzhen International, a Chinese company which runs a college near Hong Kong that offers UK educational qualifications.

Now trustees say some of the buildings have been refurbished, teachers have been appointed and the curriculum has been prepared in readiness for its new pupils.

St Bees