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Giant fighter plane to be installed on hill top

A massive model of a Word War II fighter plane is being placed on the crest of a hill near Salisbury, to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Hawker Typhoon is four times the size of the original, boasts a wing span of 19m and is similar in size to a 60-seater passenger jet.

Nicknamed the 'Tiffy' of the South it has been built as part of a project involving the defence company QinetiQ and local schools and businesses.

The single-engine fighter plane will be "perched on the crest of the hill" in Broad Chalke as part of the Chalke Valley History Festival.

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Weather warning for thunderstorms updated - and avoids Glastonbury

The Met Office has updated its weather warning for thunderstorms across the West.

It now mostly avoids Somerset - which could be good to avoid a soaked ground at Glastonbury ahead of the festival - and Bath, Bristol and most of Gloucestershire. But the warning encompasses most of Wiltshire.

It is active from now until 10am on Tuesday.

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So what is the summer solstice?

BBC Weather's Stav Danaos looks at the science behind the phenomenon

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. This year in the Northern Hemisphere it falls on Friday 21st June.


  • While it is the day that has the most sunlight, Britain's weather typically does not become hotter until later in the summer.
  • Around the time of the summer solstice areas of Norway, Finland, Greenland, Alaska and other polar regions experience 'midnight sun'.
  • In the Arctic Circle the sun does not set at all. This is down to a latitude 23 degrees from the pole, matching the angle of Earth's tilt.
  • While June 21 is the summer solstice in Britain, for Australia and countries in the southern hemisphere this date marks the winter solstice.
  • The solstice falls between June 20 and June 22 and during a leap year it always falls on June 20.

South Western railway strike continues

It's day four of a strike by South Western Railway (SWR) staff over the role of train guards.

SWR is running a reduced service across the network.

The operator which runs services in London and Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, the Isle of Wight and Somerset, said the action was "unnecessary" and it was "cynical" of the union to target events such as Royal Ascot.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said staff had been left with no choice but to strike, and accused SWR of failing to guarantee guard roles.

The walkout is due to continue on Saturday.

Surbiton station during strike
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Stonehenge and Amesbury braced for Solstice crowds

Stonehenge solstice

Wiltshire's preparing for this year's Summer Solstice celebrations.

Thousands of people are expected at both Stonehenge and Avebury to watch the sunrise on the longest day.

Stonehenge will close early this afternoon at 3pm and re-open at 7pm to allow people free access to the stones, until 8am tomorrow morning.

People are being advised to plan their journeys and delays are expected on the A303.

Husband discovered to be WWII spy three years after he died
Audrey Phillips from Trowbridge found out about her husband's wartime activities in his paperwork following his death.

Drink spiking 'doubled in three years'

Alcoholic drinks
Getty Images

The number of reports of drinks being spiked in the west of England has more than doubled in the past three years.

Police in the region said there were 104 incidents reported in 2018 compared to 49 in 2015.

The figures from Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Police were revealed by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The majority were recorded in the Avon and Somerset area, where 85 incidents were reported last year - up from 41.

Police appeal after taxi driver stabbed

Wiltshire police logo
Wiltshire Police

A taxi driver was stabbed in what police are calling an unprovoked and "violent attack".

Wiltshire Police are looking for witnesses following the incident, which took place on 15 June in Dawlish Road in Swindon.

At around 5.30am the taxi driver picked up two men and one woman from a nightclub. As they approached Dawlish Road the passengers became abusive towards the driver.

Following an argument in the car, one of the men stabbed the driver before all three ran away towards Radstock Avenue.

Image of Dawlish Road in Swindon

The taxi driver suffered minor injuries and was released from hospital the same day.

Police officer Adrian Bray said: “This was an unprovoked attack on someone who was simply doing his job."

He added: "It could have been very different due to the violent nature of the attack."

Officers are continuing their investigations into the incident and have said they believe they know who the suspects are.

Wiltshire Police are looking for any witnesses who were in the Dawlish Road area of Swindon or who may have further information to contact them immediately on 101 quoting crime reference number 54190057409.

Orphaned baby wallaby hand-reared in rucksack
The four-month-old joey has to be fed every four hours and carried everywhere in a substitute pouch.
Family's struggle to get brain-damaged son home
Kale Turner, left with locked-in syndrome after emergency brain surgery, needs home adaptations.

Lioness photographed up 20-metre tree

Lion in a tree
Longleat Safari Park

A lion at Longleat Safari Park has been photographed in the branches of a 20-metre-tall tree.

Staff said the eight-year-old animal, named Kiana, had always been a "keen climber" but they had never before seen her so far from the ground.

She climbed the giant sycamore in her enclosure within the park, which is close to Warminster in Wiltshire and Frome in Somerset, and was photographed by keeper Caleb Hall.

Mr Hall said: “Many of our lionesses do go up trees here at Longleat, but there are a few particular individuals who seem to do it just for fun and Kiana is definitely one of those."

He said the behaviour was also seen in the wild by lions seeking "shade or a cooling breeze away from the heat of the ground or to avoid insects or animals threatening the lions".

Lion in a tree
Longleat Safari Park
Lion in a tree
Longleat Safari Park

New cinema planned for town after 40 years

Cinema seats

It's 40 years since Marlbrough had a working cinema - a cause of much irritation to generations of teenagers and film buffs.

But now four local businessmen are bringing the big screen back to the town - to be specific to the redundant United Reformed Chapel.

Work has started to assess the condition of the building and the go-ahead from planners is expected within two months.

The boutique picture house will seat up to 120 people with a bar and café. It will show a broad range of films and may even be licensed for weddings.

Queen's Birthday Honours 2019:awarded British Empire Medal
Joan Howarth has been helping to make a difference to the lives of those who are blind or in hospital.
Joe needs to find a new home, and fast.
The family want to find a property which meets Joe's needs close to Salisbury, following his brain injury.
Inside Britain’s top secret research laboratory
The BBC was given access inside Porton Down, where some of the world's deadliest viruses are researched.

New patient transport service begins

A new transport service has started for non-emergency patients in Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire.

E-zec will run the service for patients who cannot travel by other means due to a medical condition or mobility need.

Patients who want to make use of the service need to be assessed against national eligibility criteria.

E-zec delivers services across the UK and currently provides non-emergency patient transport services across Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Miniature house builders
Wiltshire couple Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers create some of the most expensive doll's houses made.

Important changes to how you get your TV programmes

Changes are being made to the way some channels are broadcast on Freeview on June 5.

You may need to retune your TV equipment to continue watching programmes when these take place in your area.

More details about what to do can be found by clicking here. Scroll down for full information.

You can also call the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288

Watch to find details of what to do to make sure you can keep watching programmes after June 5

Special schools to close

Three special schools in Wiltshire are to be closed and replaced by one "centre of excellence".

The decision to replace St Nicholas in Chippenham, Larkrise in Trowbridge and Rowdeford near Devizes with one on the Rowdeford site has been made by Wiltshire Council.

The plan still has to be signed off by the secretary of state.

There's been ongoing anger about the plans from parents with some protesting outside County Hall in Trowbridge today.

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Widow to return to Stonehenge with cardboard husband

Michelle Bourke and Paul
Michelle Bourke

An Australian woman who took a life-sized cardboard cutout of her dead husband to Stonhenge, says it's helped her come to terms with losing him.

Michelle Bourke lost Paul to cancer three years ago.

She said visiting the World Heritage Site had been special and plans to return with "cardboard Paul" in the autumn.

"I stepped off the bus and I just burst into tears, I was overcome with so much emotion," she said.

"Going to Stonehenge just changed my life, I had this amazing experience so we're coming back in September."

Special schools closure decision expected

A decision is expected in the next couple of hours on the future of Wiltshire's schools for children with special needs.

Wiltshire Council wants to replace St Nicholas in Chippenham, Larkrise in Trowbridge and Rowdeford near Devizes with one "centre of excellence" on the Rowdeford site.

A cabinet meeting to decide whether the schools will close is taking place in Trowbridge but there's been anger from parents - some of whom have been protesting outside County Hall.

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AWP strike action ballot closes today

AWP van

A three-week ballot over strike action at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership comes to a close today.

The group wants to restructure its organisation - reducing administrative posts and bringing in new job descriptions.

Unison says 55 jobs would go including some specialist roles.