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World record attempt for balancing books on heads

Practicing is underway in the world record book balancing challenge Credit: Gosport Discovery Centre

The call has gone out for volunteers to help in a world record attempt in Hampshire. Gosport's Discovery Centre is hoping to bring at least one thousand and one hundred people together on Saturday 15th August - to simultaneously balance a book on their heads and cover five metres either on foot, or for people with disabilities, in wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

The organisers say that would-be record breakers need to be in Walpole Park by 11.15am and bring a book of a minimum 23cm x 15cm (9in x 5.9in) and maximum 31cm x 23cm (12.2in x 9in). That's because the size of the book are very important to ensure the record is valid.

'We need 1,100 people to join us in this world record attempt if we are to succeed - so I'm really hoping that people will come from far and wide and make a day of it. Gosport's got a lot to offer for a day out, and taking part in a world record attempt is not something you get the chance to do every day.

'Practising here at the Discovery Centre, I am pleased to see so many young readers taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, for which this year's theme is Record Breakers. The challenge is proven to help young people keep up their reading skills during the long summer break. Now I just hope they can be persuaded to take on an extra challenge - book-balancing in Walpole Park!'

– Cllr Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council, Executive Member for Education
One would-be participant gets into the spirit of things with a pirate theme Credit: Gosport Discovery Centre

The current record for the most people balancing books on their heads is 998 - it was broken in Sydney, Australia in November 2012. For more information you can visit the Gosport Discovery Centre online.

Spate of suspicious incidents in Gosport

Police in Gosport are working to reassure the local community following reports on social media and in the community about a series of suspicious incidents.

Officers have received reports of five incidents in which children were approached by unknown adults across the borough in June so far.

In four cases no criminal offences were identified. One of those was about an incident in March; the latest was reported yesterday.

In one case, police are investigating reports of a child being grabbed by a man while playing by Exeter Court off Howe Road around 7.30pm, Tuesday, June 16.

“We take all reports of this nature very seriously and understand and appreciate people’s concerns. With the hot weather we’ve had it’s great to see so many people of all ages able to enjoy spending time outside. With that, I would always urge parents and other concerned adults to remain alert but not alarmed and keep a look out for your children and others’ as you would do normally. If you spot something that gives you cause for concern, please do contact the police either on 101 or 999 if it’s an emergency. Talk to your children as well about what they can do to keep themselves safe while out and about playing. It’s worth sharing this information with friends and family on your social media networks. The majority of calls we’ve received in Gosport this month are to reports of concerns about people acting suspiciously but they have not amounted to criminal offences and there is nothing to suggest a link between them. In one case, however, it has been reported to us that a man did attempt to grab a child who was playing with friends near Exeter Court. We have been investigating this incident, talking to the community about it and focusing patrols in the area to try and identify the suspect. If anyone has information about this incident, I would urge them to contact us.”

– Inspector Clare Jenkins


Man charged in connection with assault

Officers investigating an assault in Gosport have charged a man.

Stephen Craig Jones, 35, of Chantry Road, Gosport, has been charged with wounding / inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent and assaulting a person occasioning them actual bodily harm.

He is appearing at Portsmouth Magistrates Court today.

The 36-year-old victim was assaulted outside the church of St Thomas the Apostle on the junction of Elson Lane and Elson Road during the early hours of Sunday, March 29.

USS Theodore Roosevelt drops anchor

She's a floating fortress and at more than a thousand feet long is the size of a small town. The USS Theodore Roosevelt has arrived on the south coast and so have her five thousand strong crew.

Weighing in at more than 100 thousand tonnes and with 65 aircraft on board the USS Roosevelt is among the world's most powerful warships. Portsmouth is her first port of call in its latest round-the-globe deployment.

Nicknamed "the big stick", she's TOO BIG to fit in the harbour entrance so is at Stokes Bay. Portsmouth's bars and clubs are now ready for visits from the male and female crew. Richard Jones has been on board.

Hundreds gather to welcome giant aircraft carrier ship

Hundreds of people have lined the coast to view a giant US aircraft carrier arriving for a five-day visit.

The 100,000-tonne ship USS Theodore Roosevelt has anchored off Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire, as it is too big to sail into Portsmouth Harbour. The promenade was packed with visitors wanting to get a glance of the 1,092ft-long carrier which is affectionately known as the Big Stick.

The visit forms parts of an ongoing partnership between the Royal Navy and US

The ship, which is making its first port of call in its round-the-world deployment, is substantially larger than the Royal Navy's next generation of carriers which weigh in at 65,000 tonnes.

More than 5,000 sailors are set to swamp Portsmouth during the visit, giving a boost to local businesses.

The visit forms parts of an ongoing partnership between the Royal Navy and US on carrier operations until the first of the new carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, enters service in 2017.

Senior officers will call on Royal Navy top brass during the visit to discuss recent global operations and get an update on the UK's carrier programme.

"We warmly welcome the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group - a reflection of the close partnership between our nations and navies, and the value of credible seapower in support of our shared national interests. "Across the spectrum - from Type 45 destroyers providing area air defence for US carriers launching air strikes against ISIL, to generous US support as we regenerate our own carrier strike capability - our common bond has never been richer."

– Admiral Sir George Zambellas, The Royal Navy's First Sea Lord


Prime Minister pledges to safeguard defence jobs at Gosport, Portsmouth and at RAF Odiham

The Prime Minister is visiting Hampshire to confirm millions of pounds in defence investment securing more than 400 jobs.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed a £420 million contract with Boeing - which makes the Chinook helicopter - for 'in-service support'.

The contract will last for five years and will safeguard 450 jobs at Fleetlands in Gosport, with other technical support provided at RAF Odiham near Basingstoke and sites across the UK.

David Cameron is expected to tell defence workers based in Gosport, Portsmouth and RAF Odiham that their jobs are secure thanks to a deal to maintain the Chinook helicopter fleet and to prepare the naval dockyard for the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

One of the RAF's Chinooks based at RAF Odiham flying above the Hampshire countryside Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Chinook is the UK’s only military heavy lift helicopter and can transport up to 54 troops or 10 tonnes of supplies.

The RAF's fleet of Chinooks will total 60 in number by early 2017 and includes the new Mark 6 helicopters.

David Cameron will also announce the preferred bidders to occupy the Portsmouth ship hall facilities.

At the end of last month, it was announced by the MOD that three companies had been shortlisted.

In November 2013, it was announced 940 ship building jobs were to be lost by BAE at their Portsmouth yard.

It was feared at the time that the move would mean the end of shipbuilding in the city bringing to an end a centuries old local industry that built the Tudor warship the Mary Rose.

  1. Emma Wilkinson (@emmawilkITV)

18-year-old in same wheelchair for a decade

A teenager with cerebral palsy has launched her own online campaign against the amount of time disabled people in Hampshire are having to wait for replacement wheelchairs.

Ailsa Speak from Gosport is still having to use the same chair she was given a decade ago when she was a child.

She says it causes her pain and discomfort and without a new one her life will be restricted:

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