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Former Appleby woman completes bi-plane flight to Australia

Tracey Curtis-Taylor arriving in Sydney Credit: ITV News

A woman, who grew up in Cumbria, has touched down in Australia after a 13,000 mile flight in a vintage bi-plane.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor was recreating the journey made by the British adventurer Amy Johnson, who became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1930.

She said she was "euphoric" at completing her "huge adventure"

Tracey, who spent most of her teenage years in Appleby, set off in a 1942 Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis aircraft from Farnborough, Hampshire, in October.

She flew across 23 countries, making 50 refuelling stops over the course of three months, and has now arrived at Sydney Airport.

She posted on Facebook: "Finished Sydney Airport! End of huge adventure, thank you everyone who supported me."

She said Johnson had been a great inspiration to her throughout the journey:

"You can't do this without a great sense of empathy and sympathy for what she went through, what she achieved is so brilliant.

"I just take my hat off to what she pushed herself to, right on the limits of endurance. She was on the verge of nervous exhaustion when she finished, it's an astonishing survival story, all done by a slip of a girl at the age of 26 with little flying experience.

"This generation needs to know what the pioneers achieved and how they resolved to break the records."

She recreated the essence of Johnson's era of flying with an open cockpit, stick and rudder flying with basic period instruments and a short range between landing points.

She said the highlights of her journey included flying over the Dead Sea, the deserts of Arabia, the mountains of Burma and the coastline of Thailand.


Appleby prepares for fourth flood

The town of Appleby is preparing to face its fourth flood this week. The town suffered again on Boxing Day but river levels did not rise high enough to flood properties, although it did flood the main road through the town in the Sands area.

Meanwhile, a group of 50 volunteers from the Masjid e Tauheedul Islam Mosque in Blackburn have been in the town helping to hand out curries to flood victims as well as moving furniture and helping to clean up flood hit properties.

The volunteers arrived despite the fact that parts of their own community in Lancashire have been hit by flooding today.

"We decided to come here last week.

"And that's why we kept our commitment. Meanwhile in Blackburn there's a flood but we are not allowed to go in the area because the water's too high at the moment so hopefully in a day or two when the water's a bit lower, we'll go there and do the same again in Blackburn, Preston, Ribble and Ribchester as well."

– Irfan Balapatel, Vounteer, Masjid e Tauheedul Islam Mosque


Crunch collection of flood damaged items in Appleby

Appleby was badly hit on 5 December. Credit: PA

People in Appleby are being asked to put their flood damaged waste out on the streets, ahead of a major clean up operation on Sunday.

Diggers will shift the items into skips from 8am in the morning, starting at the north side of the Sands and working in sections along the road.

Police will will stop vehicles and pedestrians while the work is in progress.

Once the Sands is complete Eden District Council's operation will move to the opposite side of the river to complete the clean up of other areas of Appleby.

Children learn to crack down on rural crime

Children are learning about rural crime. Credit: ITV Border

Schoolchildren are visiting a farm in Cumbria, to find out about the devastating effects of rural crime.

As part of the NFU's Country Watch Eden scheme, a farmer at Coupland Beck Farm in Appleby is explaining to the children and police how he defends against rural crime.

Rural crime cost Cumbria £590,000 in 2014.

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