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Crowds gather for Barnstaple Xmas lights switch on

Boyband The Overtones are headlining this year's event Credit: ITV News West Country

Crowds of people are gathering in The Square in Barnstaple this evening for the Christmas lights switch on.

Boy band The Overtones are headlining this year's event and will be switching on the lights just before 6pm. A fun fair is also being held on the Strand.

A fun fair is also being held to celebrate the lights being switched on Credit: ITV News West Country


Murder investigation in Barnstaple

Devon & Cornwall police launch murder investigation in Devon

A murder investigation has been launched in North Devon following the discovery of the body of a 59 year old woman.

Devon & Cornwall police were called to a house in Sunflower Road in Barnstaple at 2.20pm. The death was initially treated as unexplained, but following enquires a 38 year old local man was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The dead woman, who was found inside the property, is thought to be local.

Driver dies after A39 crash

A woman has died after a crash near Barnstaple.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the two-vehicle collision between a Ford Focus and an HGV on the A39 near Barnstaple.

The driver of the Ford Focus, a 49-year-old woman from Bideford, has now died as a result of her injuries.

Barnstaple shopfront covered in bras

The shopfront in Barnstaple has been covered in bras Credit: ITV News

A Barnstaple shopfront has been covered in bras to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Youings in Barnstaple High Street is taking part in a campaign called Sling It which is encouraging people to donate the clothing along with some money.

It's the idea of Heather Walters who is urging younger women to check themselves after she was diagnosed with cancer at just 34 years old.

Heather says: "It's making a statement and hopefully in a fun way as well, and it's trying to break down barriers so that people aren't embarrassed to be talking about their boobs."


Travellers lose battle to stay at Barnstaple's Rock Park

Travellers have lost their battle to stay in Rock Park in Barnstaple.

Police have escorted travellers to the county boundary to ensure there is no attempt to set up elsewhere in the town. Barnstaple Town Council yesterday obtained a ‘writ of possession’, which would have been enforced by the High Court Sheriff’s Office tomorrow. It is likely that the prompt action of agencies across the town curtailed the travellers’ stay significantly, as reports suggested they had intended to remain until Sunday.

I am relieved to tell you that the travellers left Rock Park last night, shortly after 6.00pm. They were escorted to the county boundary near Tiverton by Devon and Cornwall Police. The timing was in some ways fortunate as the High Sheriff’s Enforcement Officer was due to attend this morning at 9.00am to evict the group, forcibly if necessary. The cost of this action has been avoided. It may be that the travellers - whom I understand had said they would stay until Sunday and possibly then to relocate to another site in Barnstaple – were aware of this intended action and moved on voluntarily to avoid the spectacle of a forced eviction.

The park has this morning been cleared of litter and other items left by the travellers. The adjacent football pitch has been cleared of horse faeces and the grass cut. It is helpful that much of the clear-up has been carried out as part of the routine grounds maintenance activity at the park, as this helps to keep costs to a minimum. Some further work is required, including the assessment of damage to the trees, but the area of the park occupied by the travellers is now available for the public to use. I am very sorry for any inconvenience caused to visitors to the park during the encampment, although I do hope people will recognise that we acted as quickly as possible to restore the park to full use.

– Barnstaple Town Clerk

Barnstaple residents narrowly avoid flooding

Barnstaple residents narrowly avoid flooding Credit: ITV News West Country

Residents of Springfield Road in Bickington near Barnstaple have had water rushing under their houses overnight and narrowly avoided being flooded. Blocked drains combined with heavy rain saw their gardens flooded. The water level reached the porches of the properties but didn't get inside. It's the third time that it's happened in a year despite the drains being cleaned last month. They now want a permanent solution to be found.

Heavy rain caused drains to flood in Barnstaple Credit: ITV News West Country

Man versus train across Devon

Man has beaten train today in a race between Exeter and Barnstaple.

Graham Moir set off on his bike at the same time as the 8.42am train left St Davids Station.

Amazingly Graham won, completing the journey in 1 hour 27 minutes. That was four minutes faster to Barnstaple Square than fundraisers for the Children's Hospice South West, who were onboard the train.

Graham hopes his challenge will raise £2000 for the charity:

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