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Young Lancashire story contest winner congratulated by Duchess of Cambridge

Credit: PA Images

A girl from Lancashire who won a national story contest was among young writers praised by the Duchess of Cornwall for their "brilliant" efforts.

10-year-old Amabel Smith from Chorley won gold in the older age category of the 500 Words competition with a futuristic tale about a society where people are not allowed to leave home and live their lives through computers.

The finalists were invited to a prize-giving ceremony staged at St James's Palace.

In Amabel's winning entry, a girl breaks convention and goes for a run, watched by a boy who has also defied the state by hacking into a government satellite, and he sees her on the streets.

The 10-year-old winner said:

'I got in the top 50 last year and I thought I might come third.'

"I really wanted to write a story where there are two people telling their own story from their own point of view.'

"The election was coming up and I thought what would happen if a government was elected and did something bad with the country - they might want more power.'

Credit: PA Images

The Duchess Camilla told the winners, who were gathered with their parents at the St James' Palace: 'Like climbing through the wardrobe into Narnia, stories open doors into different worlds. They stretch imagination and get our brains buzzing.'

'We fall in love with heroes and heroines and can't turn the pages fast enough to find out what happens. We meet impossible people, travel to remote places and make hundreds of new friends.'

Queen visits Lancaster: royal fans await her majesty's arrival

Ava and Poppy wait patiently for the Queen Credit: Victoria Grimes/Granada

Royal fans are gathering to welcome the Queen to Lancaster.

The Queen, who also holds the title of Duke of Lancaster, will arrive at Lancaster station by Royal Train before heading for Lancaster Castle for a ceremonial visit.

Young royal fans at Lancaster station waiting for Her Majesty to arrive Credit: Victoria Grimes/Granada

There she will be entertained by a performance of Shakespeare and meet invited guests.

Security is high for the Queen's visit Credit: Victoria Grimes/Granada

She will then have lunch at Myerscough College in Billsborrow.

Crowds are gathering at Lancaster station waiting to welcome the Queen Credit: Victoria Grimes

The visit marks 750 years since the creation of the Duchy of Lancaster inheritance.

Special memorial for Anne Kirkbride

Anne Kirkbride will be remembered at a memorial service tomorrow to be held at Manchester Cathedral.

The actress, who played Deirdre in the soap for more than 40 years, died in January aged 60.

Anne starred as Deirdre for 42 years. Credit: PA

The memorial service at 11.30am tomorrow morning will be attended by many of her Coronation Street co-stars, friends, family and members of the public.

Her long standing co-star, William Roache, has spoken to ITV about the woman who played his on screen wife for such a long time.

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Preston man banned from football for three years for Ian Evatt assault

Chesterfield captain Ian Evatt was confronted after Preston's Play-Off semi-final victory Credit: PA Images

An apprentice mechanic from Preston has been given a three-year football banning order after he assaulted Chesterfield captain Ian Evatt at the end of the League One play-off semi-final.

Matthew Edwards was said to have "got carried away" during a pitch invasion while celebrating his "beloved" Preston North End's victory over Chesterfield.

CCTV footage captured the 20-year-old weaving his way through fans and then forcefully grasping the shoulder of Chesterfield captain Ian Evatt from behind.

When Evatt turned round, a fellow supporter stepped in to drag away Edwards, who, magistrates heard, had wanted to "take the mick" out of the defender who used to play for Preston's arch-rivals Blackpool.

Edwards then appeared to shout abuse at Evatt, who had to be escorted from the Deepdale pitch for his own safety.

Edwards, of Southern Avenue, Preston, was also fined £135 and ordered to pay costs of £255 after he pleaded guilty at Preston Magistrates' Court to assault by beating.

Martine Connah, prosecuting, said Evatt, 33, was assaulted "by at least two people" and verbally abused "by many more" at the conclusion of the televised match on May 10.

Footage of the incident led to Edwards being identified by a police constable and then arrested the following day.

Edwards denied setting out to assault Evatt before he left his seat in the stand and denied intending to punch him.

Evatt reported to police that he had been "punched, kicked and spat on" and later said in a radio interview that he had been "terrified".

Lancashire Constabulary continue to investigate the incident, with several other people being sought.

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