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100 boats already signed up for Bedford River Festival

Bedford River Festival, 2014 Credit: ITV News Anglia

Organisers of this summer's Bedford River Festival say they've already had more than 100 boats sign up.

The event takes place in July every two years. The last time it was held in 2014 around 250 thousand people went along over the two days.

One of the boats on parade in 2014 Credit: ITV News Anglia

Events on the river include competitions for the best decorated narrow boats and cruisers, an illuminated boat parade and the ever popular Dragon boat races on Saturday, and raft racing on Sunday.

In addition, 2016 marks 850 years since the signing of the Royal Charter by King Henry II.

The charter granted new rights and powers to the people of Bedford and the River Festival will host a twelfth century village on honour of this special anniversary.

This year the festival is on 16th and 17th July.

"The River Festival is a fantastic event that that is powered by Bedford Borough's community spirit. There is always a vast array of attractions for people of all ages to enjoy, and I am looking forward to seeing this year's programme develop as the event approaches."

– The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson

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HGV gets caught in shop front trying to reverse down street

Firefighters were called to assist a large Heavy Goods Vehicle that had got stuck in a shop front in Queen Street in Bedford.

The large HGV had been attempting to reverse back down the street on Friday 15 April when it became caught in the metal roller shutter of a corner shop.

A Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: "The HGV had severely damaged the frontage of the shop causing a serious risk to the public."

No one was hurt and the area was made safe.

Woman rescued from blazing bungalow

A woman has been rescued from a bungalow fire in Wootton near Bedford. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Firefighters have rescued a woman from a bungalow in Wootton near Bedford.

They were called to Potters Cross in the village in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A man had escaped through a window but the woman was trapped in a bedroom.

Fire fighters in breathing apparatus forced their way into the smoke-filled house and freed the woman. Both she and the man were taken to hospital .

The home suffered 20% fire damage and 60% smoke damage.

Blaze tackled by over 30 firefighters destroys roof

Firefighters fought the fire wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the fumes. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Investigations are continuing into what caused a fire in Bedford town centre last night.

Three people had to be rescued from the roof of a burning building on Harpur Street.

Over thirty officers and firefighters were involved in the incident including full-time crews from Kempston and Bedford and on-call Firefighters from Kepston and Ampthill.

One man was taken to hospital after breathing in smoke.

The fire left 50% of the roof destroyed by fire but most of the rest of the building was unaffected. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

The prompt actions by the first crews on the scene help save the lives of the three people trapped on the roof and save the rest of the building from the fire. Our fighting of the fire was hampered by the high winds and made more difficult by the fact it was on the third floor of the building. I’d like to congratulate all the Firefighters for doing such an excellent job to save lives and protect property this evening.

– Ian McLaren, Borough Command North

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Three people rescued from roof of burning building in Bedford

Firefighters tackle the fire in Bedford. Credit: Abdul Kahhar

Three people have been rescued from the roof of a burning building in Bedford.

Four fire engines were sent to Harpur Street at around 17:30.

A man in his 30s has been taken to hospital after breathing in smoke.

Bedford Hospital says 'plans are in place' for Junior Dr strike

Bedford Hospital says plans are in place to keep patients safe during the junior doctors' strike.

The hospital has over 100 junior doctors working across its south and north wings.

Bosses say that whilst many hospital services will be unaffected, some non-urgent planned operations and appointments may have to be cancelled in order to ensure urgent care services are delivered safely.

“We have tried and tested plans from the last strike in place to make sure that safe patient care is provided. For example, during the previous strike actions, pharmacists accompanied doctors on their wards to help ensure smooth and efficient discharge of patients continued. The Trust would also like to remind local residents about using A&E services wisely."

– Karen Ward, Bedford Hospital Chief Operating Officer
  • All patients who have planned operations during the strike will be phoned by the hospital to inform whether or not it will go ahead.
  • Patients with diagnostic and outpatients appointments will only be contacted if their appointment needs to be cancelled.
  • If patients are unsure contact the number on their appointment letter.

Four arrests as armed police seize gun and ammunition

Four men were arrested after armed police stopped a vehicle on Roff Avenue in Bedford. Credit: Google Maps / Street View

Four men have been arrested by armed police officers after they seized a firearm and ammunition from a vehicle that was stopped in Roff Avenue, Bedford.

The incident happened on Friday 1 April 2016.

Nazish Shehzad, 30, was charged for the possession of a shortened shotgun. He was remanded in custody after appearing at Luton Magistrates’ Court.

A 60-year-old man from Bedford and a 16-year-old boy from Loughton in Essex were arrested on suspicion of possessing of a firearm. They were both bailed.

A man from Bedford was released with no further action.

Bedford man warned he faces 'substantial jail sentence' after terror offences conviction

Naseer Mirza Taj Credit: Bedfordshire police

A taxi driver who planned to abandon his heavily pregnant wife and young son to marry a jihadi bride in Syria is facing years in jail for terror offences.

Naseer Taj, 26, was "caught red-handed" in late December 2014 as he finalised his preparations to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State and achieve martyrdom.

Following a trial in February, he was found guilty of preparation of terrorists acts and having copies of the al Qaida magazine Inspire. He was also convicted of possessing a false driving licence.

Taj faces a "substantial" prison sentence when he appears before Judge Stephen Kramer at the Old Bailey.

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