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Historic silk mill secures lottery funding

It's one of only four working silk mills in the country

A historic silk mill in Hampshire has secured £1.7 million lottery funding to carry out urgent repairs.

The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will see Whitchurch Silk Mill's bell tower, roof and wheelhouse restored.

The Grade II listed Georgian building is the only working silk mill in Britain which is open to the public, and only one of four working silk mills in the country.

Essential conservation to the winding, warping and weaving machinery will also be carried out so the mill can continue to produce silk.

'Wife's headache stopped me filling in tax return'

There are many bizarre excuses for not filling in tax returns Credit: ITV

The reasons below were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties for late returns. There are nearly two million people, registered for self assessment in the South East.

  • . My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
  • 2. A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
  • 3. My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
  • 4. My dog ate my tax return...and all of the reminders.
  • 5. I couldn't complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant.
  • 6. My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn't able to send it back.
  • 7. I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
  • 8. My husband told me the deadline was the 31st March.
  • 9. My internet connection failed.
  • 10. The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.

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Christmas shopping habits under the microscope

Are shopping habits over the festive season changing? Credit: Brian Lawless/ PA Wire

A survey carried out this month for the Drama television channel has found that around 76% of people under 40 admit to being unprepared for Christmas Day - and have to do some last minute shopping.

However 64% of the over 60s say they have already wrapped all their Christmas shopping. Three quarters of the age group say they start their Christmas shopping before December and even buy their Christmas gifts in the January sales - 11 months early.

The survey involved 3,000 people. ITV asked some shoppers about their Christmas shopping habits, and whether they would be shopping in person or online.

People using food banks should be treated with "dignity and respect," says Bishop

In the run up to Christmas, the Bishop of Oxford has been touring emergency food banks in the Thames Valley.

There are now more than twenty food banks in the region, including in Newbury, Reading, Bracknell, Banbury, and Aylesbury - with three centres in Oxford.

Our reporter Cary Johnston speaks to the Rt. Revd Steven Croft and discovers people don't have to be homeless to be in need of a food bank:

Shock closure of 100-year-old firm means 130 jobs gone

More than 130 staff face a grim Christmas after the shock closure of a 100-year-old laundry business with hundreds of clients across the South East.

Employees broke down in tears as they were told that White Knight Laundry Services, based in Eastbourne, was going into administration.

And shock turned to anger as employees learned that the owner of the business - who took over less than a year ago - had watched the announcement via CCTV from his London office. John Ryall reports.

The interviewees are: June Turner, a former employee; Darren Fuller, a former employee and Judith Blincow, Hotelier.

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Laundry firm in administration - 130 people lose jobs

The firm is based at Eastbourne in Sussex

More than 130 people have lost their jobs with the sudden closure of a 100-year-old laundry business based in Eastbourne.

White Knight Laundry Services which provided services for hotels and care homes across the south-east has gone into administration less than a year after coming under new ownership.

A former employee, June Turner, told us of her shock. Some people broke into tears when they found out about the closure, which comes just before Christmas.

The message on the firm's website confirming that it has gone into administration Credit: Company website

Hospital to receive share of £130 million cancer funding

University Hospital Southampton is one of 15 to receive funding

A Hampshire hospital trust is to receive a share of £130 million national cancer funding.

University Hospital Southampton is one of 15 trusts set to benefit enabling it to upgrade and replace radiotherapy equipment.

The announcement by NHS England will benefit cancer patients as around four in 10 are treated with radiotherapy.

A £200 million scheme to improve local cancer services over the next two years was also announced.

Rail fares on the up again next year - average 2.3% rise

Another kick in the teeth for passengers - that's how union leaders have described today's announcement that train fares will rise once again. From January the 2nd, prices will go up by an average of two point three percent.

On South West Trains, passengers will have to find an extra £120 to pay for an annual season ticket from Bournemouth to London.

While on Southern, an annual ticket for long-suffering commuters on the Brighton to London line will cost over £80 more in the New Year.

But the government also said today that thousands of Southern passengers are in line for compensation, as John Ryall explains.

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