Live updates

What's this? Children try out the first ever mobile phones

It may be hard to imagine now, but there was a time when there were no mobile phones. Thirty years ago this week, the first ever call from a huge transportable device was made in the UK, on the Vodafone network - now one of the region's largest employers. A few examples of the metal monster still exist, so we asked some schoolchildren what they made of them...

Advertisement

Timelapse video shows Heathrow radar being removed

The radar next to Terminal 1 is removed Credit: NATS

The Heathrow skyline changed forever when one of its most iconic features – the orange and white radar next to Terminal 1 – was removed. NATS installed the radar in the early 1980s. It then remained operational and untouched until 1999 when the antenna was replaced. The radar provided en route and airport radar services until it was finally decommissioned two years ago and replaced by the new radar station in Bovingdon.

Boxing Day bonus for ferry passengers

Condor 102 arrives in Poole today Credit: Condor Ferries

The latest addition to the Condor Ferries fleet – Condor 102 – will arrive in the UK today, completing her maiden voyage into her new base of Poole.

Escorted by a tug, Condor 102 will sail past the Sandbanks peninsula and alongside Brownsea Island, before berthing at Poole Port at approximately 1000.

Her arrival will conclude her 10,500 nautical mile journey from Cebu in the Philippines. The sleek new state-of-the-art 102m trimaran represents £50m of investment in the route to the Channel Islands.

The best vantage point will be from the Sandbanks peninsula, along Poole Harbour or from Baiter Park.

After sea trials, Condor 102 will come into service in late March, sailing from Poole to Guernsey and Jersey.

£200 million to make journeys easier for rail travellers

Work continues on the rail network over the festive period, with 11,000 staff working on track and signals. Among the key projects in the south are:

London Bridge - Over 1,000 staff are laying new track, signals and working on the station redevelopment that will ease capacity. It is part of the £6.5 billion Thameslink Project. It will lead to improvements to rail services from Sussex, Surrey and Kent to London. Work continues until January 5th.

Reading - A new flyover is being completed to ease congestion outside the station costing £45 million. It is one of the final phases of the £900 million station upgrade. The new flyover opens on January 4th.

South West Trains - Hundreds of staff are working on the lines into Waterloo to renew points. Work continues during weekends in January and February.

West Coast - At Watford major work is being carried out to improve services through Buckinghamshire to the north and Scotland.

“Making the railway better is what we aim to do every day and our investment programme this Christmas, the biggest yet, is fully focused on delivering a better service for passengers.

“Passenger numbers have doubled since 1997 and this Christmas investment programme forms a key part of the record £25 billion being invested in our railway over the next five years to meet growing demand and improve and expand our congested railway network.

“With an 11,000-strong army we will deliver a huge amount of work during a quieter time for train travel. New technology and working practices mean we can keep lines open while our people work safely alongside, causing much less disruption than would otherwise be the case.”

– Jim Syddall, Route Manager, Network Rail
Hundreds of Network Rail staff at London Bridge work to improve the lines from Kent, Sussex and Surrey to London. Credit: ITV Meridian/Mike Pearse
In the festive spirit on Christmas Dayy Credit: ITV Meridian/Mike Pearse

Rail workers tuck into some festive cheer: Chips rather than turkey

A record 11,000 rail engineers are working over the festive period to maintain and renew track and signals.

Network Rail staff are out at 3,000 locations with £200 million being spent.

Among the key projects in the south are:

London Bridge - Over 1,000 staff are laying new track, signals and working on the station redevelopment that will ease capacity. It is part of the £6.5 billion Thameslink Project.

It will lead to improvements to rail services from Sussex, Surrey and Kent to London. Work continues until January 5th.

Christmas Day dinner .... with chips Credit: ITV Meridian
Mayonnaise with chips on Christmas Day Credit: ITV Meridian

Advertisement

Hackers steal personal details of police and public

Sussex Police is investigating security breaches of its external website.

Three breaches 'have been identified within a contained area of the website and could possibly be linked'.

A full investigation is underway to identify the source of the breaches and their impact.

Those responsible have obtained email addresses of a number of officers and personal email addresses of some members of the public who have used the services of our website.

Communications staff have contacted around 270 people who may have been affected, in particular to give them security advice in relation to their passwords for our community messaging service.

Our website is entirely separate to those systems used to investigate crime. The activity has not impacted on any other force IT, web or telephony systems and operational response is unaffected. There has been no impact on our service to the public. Measures are being put in place to ensure that the security of the website is not compromised further.

Work is being carried out to ensure that all our IT systems remain resilient and secure and an investigation is underway to find those responsible.

– Amaraghosha Carter, Joint Head of IT for Surrey and Sussex

Twitter sensation, astronaut Chris Hadfield, tells Fred and Sangeeta about his new book

He became a global star - sharing stunning images of earth - from space. And, today, Chris Hadfield was in the region, launching his new book.

The astronaut took photos from the International Space Station - and put them on Twitter last year.

We caught up with Chris Hadfield and asked him what it was like looking down to Earth from space!

The Christmas present that could cause a tragedy

Radio controlled drones are the ultimate boy's toy and, despite costing anything from hundreds to thousands of pounds, shops are reporting huge sales this Christmas.

But a new report shows how disaster was narrowly avoided earlier this year when a drone flew within 20 feet of a passenger plane landing at Heathrow.

It's prompted fresh warnings of the dangers of using drones. But, as Emma Wilkinson reports many people say they're great fun - when used responsibly.

Load more updates