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Liverpool Pals remembered where they left for war

The Liverpool Pals being inspected by Lord Kitchener in March 2015 Credit: PA

A memorial to the wartime Liverpool 'Pals' will be unveiled on Merseyside later. The Pals were ordinary men who left their jobs to bolster the professional army in the First World War. They'd been called to arms by Lord Kitchener's stirring posters proclaiming 'Your Country Needs You'. A plaque will be unveiled at Prescot Railway station where six thousand men left from on 30 April 1915 to fight in France, many didn't return.

The current Lord Derby will unveil the memorial Credit: PA

They were the first volunteers recruited by the then Lord Derby who said he wanted a regiment of 'pals'. The current Earl of Derby will unveil the plaque today.

By George! It could be a record...

St George's Day festival is being held in Lytham Credit: PA

Hundreds of Georges are being called upon to be part of a world record in Lytham today as part of celebrations of England's patron saint. Organisers are trying to gather 1,097 people named George as part of the St George's Day celebrations in Lytham. If you want to take part go to the green close to the famous Lytham Windmill between 8.30am and 1.30pm! Architect and TV presenter George Clarke is one of those who'll be there...just 1,096 others to go

TV's George Clarke will be at Lytham Green for the record attempt Credit: PA


Spotlight on Warrington South

In our continuing look at the region's key marginals Ann O'Connor goes to Warrington South where it's all to play for in a seat where the Conservatives have a slim majority

Here's the full list of candidates for the Warrington South seat in the General Election 2015

  • Bob Barr Liberal Democrat
  • Kevin Bennett TUSC
  • Nick Bent Labour
  • Stephanie Davies, Green
  • Mal Lingley UKIP
  • David Mowat Conservative

Anglers may use Rochdale Canal

Of all the things you might expect to see in a busy city centre, dozens of anglers fishing for pike and carp would perhaps seem the least likely.

But an agreement between a canals charity and the world's oldest angling club means it should happen on the Rochdale canal in Manchester.

Its once polluted waters are now clean enough to allow it to be restocked with fish. Adam McClean reports

New Alder Hey Hospital takes shape

One of the biggest children's hospitals in Europe is undergoing a complete transformation. A new Alder Hey is being built in Liverpool and it's nearing completion.

The hospital which will open its doors later this year will have have more operating space and better facilities for patients' families.

Victoria Grimes has been to check out its progress:


No prosecutions over Furness General Hospital deaths

No-one will face prosecution over the deaths of babies at the Furness Hospital maternity unit. That's despite a report last month saying the department had what it called a lethal mix of problems at the time the children died. A police investigation and an inquiry by the Health and Safety Executive have ended with no charges against any staff or managers. With more details here's our correspondent Ashley Derricott:

Bouncer convicted of killing man at club

The parents of a man from Merseyside say they've finally got justice for their son, more than five years after he was struck outside a nightclub, and three years after his death. At Liverpool Crown Court this afternoon, a bouncer was convicted of the manslaughter of 26 year old Scott Sheard. Stuart Humphreys had admitted pushing Mr Sheard claiming he'd been threatened. Our reporter Tim Scott was in court:

Special election profile - Chester

The City of Chester has played host to the Romans, the Vikings and the Normans - all of whom fought for and claimed the city as their own. Today, a very different fight is taking place. The Conservative Party won the seat from Labour at the 2010 General Election. Both parties have made winning this time a top priority. Our political reporter Daniel Hewitt has been to visit this key battleground constituency.

Full list of candidates for City of Chester Constituency Credit: GTV

Preston drug gang jailed

Police caught the gang as part of a special operation targeting heroin and crack dealing Credit: PA

Eleven members of a Preston based drugs gang have been sentenced to more than 82 years in jail for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. The gang used Avenham Park in Preston to stash drugs and firearms and deal drugs.

The ‘Avenham gang’ were charged following a highly effective covert police operation. They were responsible for supplying massive quantities of heroin and crack cocaine in the Preston area over a 14 month period. They used Avenham Park, where families visited and children played, as the business centre for their drugs operation, where they secreted a live and loaded firearm in bushes and set up and orchestrated drug deals. The members of the gang played specific roles within the conspiracy, with Malik being at the head. Although he was never too far away from the action, he orchestrated it that he was never directly involved in the drug deals. Evidence however showed that he controlled and directed the Avenham gang working closely with Ashley Keaney, Ruben Vitorino and Ashley Tunstall. The conviction and sentence of Malik sends out a clear message to those who think they are untouchable if they operate at arm’s length from the actual supply of drugs without getting their own hands dirty. This gang being taken out of operation has without a doubt made the streets of Preston a considerably safer place to live. The CPS will continue to work closely with police to bring to justice those who seek to make a living from organised crime and who hide behind the fear created in the local community to continue to conduct their illegal activities.

– Brett Gerrity, Senior Crown Prosecution Service

I am pleased with these significant sentences totalling almost 83 years imprisonment. Malik and his criminal associates were a blight on Preston, and especially the Avenham area and today’s sentences send a clear message that the police and community will not tolerate this drug dealing behaviour and associated violence. No-one is untouchable and we will continue to use all the criminal and civil legislation at our disposal to put individuals such as this gang behind bars. I would like to thank all those involved in this operation and those in the community without whose support these successful prosecutions would not have been possible.

– Det Chief Insp Ken Mclean, Lancashire Police
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