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Dame Fanny Waterman to step down from piano competition role

Dame Fanny Waterman Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

One of the country's most acclaimed music festival organisers is to step down from the competition she founded more than fifty years ago.

Dame Fanny Waterman is retiring from her role as chairman and artistic director of the Leeds International Piano Competition after next year's event. It comes as she approaches her 95th birthday. She said today she looks back with great pride at the international eminence the Competition has achieved.


Fines after miner killed at museum

Michael Buckingham

Yorkshire’s National Coal Mining Museum Trust and two companies have been ordered to pay a total of £590,000 in fines and costs after a worker was crushed and killed at the museum in 2011.

58-year-old Michael Buckingham from Grimethorpe near Barnsley died after he became trapped between a tunnel construction machine and a dumper loader that he was operating.

The fatal incident happened 138 metres below ground at the museum’s site at Caphouse colliery in Wakefield.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Mr Buckingham, an experienced miner and electrician, was part of a team working on the second phase of a £2.7 million improvement project. This involved constructing 140 metres of new tunnels to revitalise the visitors’ tour and increase the number of exhibition galleries.

Mr Buckingham sustained fatal crush injuries when he became trapped between the tunnel construction machine and the forward-tipping dumper - a mineral carrying machine - that he had been operating. Health and Safety inspectors found the dumper was unsafe.

The dumper truck

Police investigate suspicious reports of a man approaching a schoolboy

Police are investigating two instances of a man allegedly approaching a schoolboy in Birstall.

Yesterday a 10-year-old boy was approached by an unknown man who said he knew him. It happened at around 8:10am in Field Head Lane. The boy was not physically harmed, but he told a teacher about it when he arrived at school.

The same man is alleged to have approached the man after school on Tuesday 2 December and blocked his path. Again, the boy was not harmed but was concerned by the man's behaviour.

The man is described as being of skinny build and having a blue/green dragon tattoo on his left hand.

These incidents have understandably caused some concern for the boy involved and his family and we are working closely with them and the wider school community to offer advice and support. We would stress that no attempt has been made to harm or abduct the boy in either of these incidents but the child has found the man's behaviour worrying and it is important that we establish what has happened.

A key part of this is speaking to the man involved. We would urge him to get in contact with the police to explain his behaviour which he may not have realised the impact of.

– Detective Inspector Stephanie Wiseman, of Kirklees Safeguarding Unit


  1. National

Court sanctions compensation scheme for Savile victims

A compensation scheme set up for women who say they were sexually abused by television personality Jimmy Savile has been sanctioned by the Court of Appeal.

Three appeal judges gave their verdict today after a charity which is the major beneficiary of Savile's estate raised concerns about the scheme.

Lawyers representing the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust said the scheme - agreed between the estate executor, the NatWest bank, and lawyers representing alleged victims - did not assess the "validity" of claimants and lacked a "process of evaluation".

But today the Court of Appeal agreed with a High Court ruling that said the compensation scheme could go ahead.

Liz Dux, a lawyer at law firm Slater & Gordon which represents victims, said: "Today's ruling will bring great relief to Savile's many victims who have been living with the uncertainty of not knowing whether they would be blocked in their claims."

Christmas post deadline looms

Today is one of the busiest days for sorting office staff Credit: Press Association

We are being urged to get cards and presents posted by the 20th December in order to arrive by Christmas. Millions of items of festive mail are expected to be handled by staff at the Sheffield Mail Centre today as Royal Mail predicts today is one of their busiest days.

Family hears how Gemma Simpson was killed 14 years ago

The family of a woman who had been missing from her home in Leeds for 14 years have today heard in detail for the first time how she was in fact killed and then dismembered by one of her friends.

Since the year 2000, the loved ones of Gemma Simpson have been desperate for news of her. Today they wept in court as they were told she'd been bludgeoned and then stabbed to death before being dumped in a shallow grave - all those years ago.

Her killer - a man - who heard voices in his head and who'd been discharged from psychiatric hospital just weeks before the attack. Jon Hill's report begins with the words of Gemma's mum Linda when she spoke to the ITV programme Missing two years after her daughter vanished.

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