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Tree growers in bid for festive Downing Street glory

Christmas tree growers from across the ITV Meridian region are bidding for the chance to present the tree which will take pride of place at the official residence of the Prime Minister.

The winning tree in 2012 Credit: Press Association

Over 100 growers will take part in a national competition organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers' Association in Oxfordshire today.

The event will see the hopeful contenders - who span in age from 18 to 80 - coming together to showcase their trees to expert growers, and be judged by fellow members.

Each farmer, who will have spent around 10 years nurturing the tree to full 'competition' height, is able to enter categories including Best Nordman, Best Other Fir, Best Pine, Best Norway Spruce, Best Other Spruce, Best Container Grown, and Best Festive Wreath.

Finalists can submit only one tree into each category, and trees entered must be commercially cultivated and be 1.8 metres high from base to tip. Each will be judged for foliage, colour, shape and marketability.

Following the verdict from the prestigious competition day, the winning grower will supply Downing Street's 20 ft Christmas tree, while the winner of the wreath category will create a wreath to hang at the front door of Number 10.



Terrifying moment car crashes into lorry at 50mph and was shunted along M25 motorway for 100 yards

This is the terrifying moment a family hatchback crashes into a lorry at 50mph and is shunted along the carriageway for 100 yards.

A dashboard camera mounted in the truck captures the Honda Civic as it attempts to pull onto the M25 between two lorries.

Credit: Smart Witness

But the driver badly misjudged the space between them and the clips front wing of the rear lorry - causing it to flip sideways and parallel to the front grille.

Despite the perilous situation, the lorry driver remains composed and calmly brings his vehicle and the Honda safely to a standstill on the hard shoulder.

Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the dramatic collision which was recorded on the lorry's dashboard camera.

Credit: Smart Witness

Jury continues deliberations in murder trial

A jury is continuing its deliberations in the trial of an elderly dog breeder charged with murdering his partner and her daughter in Surrey.

John Lowe, 82, is accused of deliberately shooting 66-year-old Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy Lee, 40, with a legally-held shotgun he normally used for killing rats at his property near Farnham in February.

Farmer Lowe told the jury that Christine was shot accidentally in a struggle over the double-barrelled weapon when she tried to stop him going to put down some dogs, and that Lucy was accidentally shot twice a short time afterwards.

Lowe denies two counts of murder and one of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

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