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Missing vulture is still at large in Somerset

Have you seen Arthur? Credit: Ben Potter

A vulture which was swept off course during a display at the Royal Bath and West Show is still missing.

Owner Ben Potter, of Birds of Prey Displays - based in Yorkshire - says the carrion-eating bird is not dangerous but warns the public not to approach him as they may spook him.

To let Ben know if you see Arthur, call him on 07849846053.


Fancy living in a converted prison? Plans revealed for historic Shepton Mallet site

Parts of a historic former prison in Somerset are to be turned into flats.

Shepton Mallet prison closed and the last of the inmates were moved out in 2013 when this historic building was sold off by the Ministry of Justice.

The developer which bought it has now applied for planning permission to convert the old cell blocks into rows of apartments - 146 homes in total.

Credit: Artist impression

We'll be knocking a number of cells together to make someone's apartment. In terms of the window, we'd be looking to lower the sills to get a lot more natural light into the room.

– Richard Winsborough, Head of Planning
How's this for a bedroom? Between five and six cells will be merged into one flat. Credit: ITV News

Shepton Mallet Prison has a long and varied history. It was the country's oldest working prison when it closed, dating back to 1610, and several of the buildings are Grade Two listed.

The Magna Carta and the Doomsday Book are said to have been stored there for safekeeping in the Second World War, the Kray twins spent time locked up in the cells, and there's even an execution chamber where American soldiers were hanged for murder when it was a US military prison in the 1940s.

Secure accommodation: a view inside the jail Credit: ITV News West Country

There has been some concern in the town that heritage could be lost.

The developers are promising to set aside a handful of cells as a visitor attraction with museum space and a cafe.

Watch the full report from our reporter Bob Cruwys on development plans for the former prison.

Hope for Shepton cider mill as hundreds offered jobs

There's hope that some of the 127 workers due to be made redundant at the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill will be offered jobs by the Brothers cider firm.

The factory first started production in 1953. Credit: ITV News

C and C, the Irish owners of the mill, are closing the plant but today announced Brothers has bought a new bottling factory.

The sale includes the land and the buildings housing the bottling line which are located on Kilver Street across the road from the principal buildings of the Cidery. The Krones bottling line has capacity to produce 1.5 million bottles a day.

It says it's struggling to keep up with demand for its flavoured ciders and is expanding operations in Shepton but it'll be at least three months before it will have enough equipment to begin operations on the Kilver Street site.

Last batch of cider made at mill

Shepton Mallet cider mill makes last batch Credit: ITV News

Production of iconic Somerset cider brands ceased production this week at the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill.

The Dublin-based C&C Group which owns the mill has now stopped the production of the Somerset ciders Addlestones, Blackthorn, Natch and Olde English. Production will now be at Clonmel in the Irish Republic.

The cider mill is due to close in the summer when production ceases and the pulped fruit is transported to Ireland – the first 40 redundancies have already been announced.


Is this Bob the weather man's smallest fan?

9-month-old Eliza claps when she see's Bob on the TV. Credit: Wendy Newton

Meet Eliza. At 9 months old she's one of our youngest Westcountry viewers, but she's particularly a big fan of our weather presenter, Bob Crampton.

Eliza's mum Wendy sent in the photo of her daughter who "loves seeing Bob doing the weather in the evenings" and claps every time he comes on.

But Eliza from Shepton Mallet also happens to get "very grumpy" if Bob happens to not be doing the weather that day.

Wendy says it makes her smile every time.

Are there any other little fans out there? Get in touch

Unions criticise closing cider factory

Union representatives say workers at a Somerset cider factory have been treated disgracefully after they found out they would be losing their jobs when they read it in a newspaper.

The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill will stop drink production in April, leaving just a skeleton staff to run the apple pulping operation. Production at the Mill, which makes brands such as Blackthorn and Olde English, is being switched to Ireland.

The factory has been producing cider since 1770, and it's closure will mean the loss of up to 120 jobs.

"It is disgraceful and Dickensian that this dedicated and loyal workforce should hear of the closure through the media.

There has been more than 240 years of cider production at Shepton Mallet at a workplace that is synonymous with historic cider production in the south west - and now this is coming to an end.

This is a grievous blow to the workforce, their families, the town and the Somerset economy."

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