Live updates

Big storm clean-up begins across the Thames Valley

Schools were forced to close and hundreds of homes were left without power after storms and flash floods hit the Thames Valley last night. Three weeks of rain fell in just one hour in Berkshire. In Hampshire a garage - and the car inside - were struck by lightning and turned into a fireball. Those affected by the storms have spent the day cleaning up, as Mel Bloor reports.

Advertisement

Former pupils bid farewell to old school

Former pupils of a Hampshire secondary have been back to their old school, saying goodbye before it closes its doors for the last time. Christine Alsford caught up with the former Bitterne Park pupils as they walked the familiar corridors for the first time in decades.

Interviewees: Nancy Kinnersley, former pupil, Bitterne Park School

Christopher Whitbread, Deputy Headteacher

Janice Cherry & Carole Armstrong, former pupils, Bitterne Park School

Historic house reopens as tourist attraction

It's a house steeped in four centuries of history and a property that features in two Charles Dickens novels. Eastgate House in Rochester has opened its doors to the public after a restoration project that has secured its future as a tourist attraction. As John Ryall reports, the work on the building has been painstaking and meticulous.

Interviewees: Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council, Con

Lisa Caleno, Heritage Officer, Medway Council

David Bean, Restoration manager

RMT union suspends drivers and guards strike action

Credit: PA

The RMT has announced it has suspended both drivers and guards strike action on Southern Rail after approach for direct talks from the Secretary of State.

The union's executive says it has today taken the following decisions:

That we note the letter of 18th July from Chris Grayling, inviting the General Secretary to meet subject to RMT suspending our planned action for both Drivers and Conductors.

We therefore suspend the industrial action called for Tuesday 1st August, and instruct the General Secretary to arrange the meeting and to place back before this NEC an update on the progress of the talks by Tuesday 1st August."

– Guards

That we note the letter of 18th July from Chris Grayling, inviting the General Secretary to meet subject to RMT suspending our planned action for both Drivers and Conductors.

We therefore suspend the industrial action called for Tuesday 1st August, Wednesday 2nd August, and Friday 4th August, and instruct the General Secretary to arrange the meeting and to place back before this NEC an update on the progress of the talks by Tuesday 1st August."

– Drivers

The RMT said it won't make any further comment at this stage while they arrange details for the talks and allow them space to take place.

Advertisement

Homeowner describes "horrendous" flood damage

Fire and Rescue crews from across Kent and East Sussex have been leading the clean up operation in response to last night's storms.

There were fifty seven flooding-related calls last night in East Sussex. Kent firefighters had more than sixty calls in the Tunbridge Wells area, where in the space of one hour flash floods hit homes and gardens.

Horses unharmed after £1.75m cocaine haul found in horsebox

Border Force officers in Dover have thwarted an attempt to smuggle £1.75m of cocaine into the UK hidden in a horse-box.

Last Thursday (13th July), officers stopped a Dutch registered horsebox carrying two horses. Following a search, they discovered 50 packages of cocaine - each weighing approximately 1kg - hidden in a specially hollowed out section within the horsebox’s dividing wall.

Credit: Home Officer

Cocaine seized at the border is usually of a very high purity, and will be cut before it is sold to users. If that is the case here we would expect this amount to make substantially more at street level.

– David Smith, Deputy Director, Border Force South East and Europe

Mari Van Gerwen, a 51-year-old Dutch man, has been charged in relation to the importation. He appeared at Folkestone Magistrates Court and was remanded in custody until 11th August 2017 when he will appear at Canterbury Crown Court.

The horses were checked by a vet and are currently being cared for at livery stables.

Load more updates Back to top