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Funeral of Wiltshire man killed in Tunisia massacre

John Welch and his partner Eileen Swannack were both killed in the Tunisia beach shootings

The funeral of a man killed in the Tunisia beach shootings will be held in Wiltshire this lunchtime, 21 July.

John Welch from Corsham and his partner Eileen Swannack were among 30 Britons killed in last month's attack. The service will take place at Semington Crematorium near Trowbridge.

Permanent memorial to victims of Tunisia shootings

Eileen Swannack and John Welch were killed in the attack on a Tunisian hotel. Credit: ITV News

The families of a couple from Wiltshire who were killed in the Tunisia shootings are to be asked about the design and location of a new memorial to mark their deaths.

Eileen Swannack from Biddestone near Chippenham and her partner John Welch from Corsham were killed in the attack at the holiday resort of Sousse just over a week ago.

The Prime Minister announced a permanent memorial to all of the victims will be created.

David Cameron also announced that a special service would be held in the autumn dedicated to all those caught up in the attack on the Tunisian resort of Sousse which left 30 British holidaymakers dead.

Those who lost their lives in Tunisia last week were innocent victims of a brutal terrorist atrocity.

It is right that we mark and commemorate them and others murdered by terrorists overseas appropriately and support the loved ones they have left behind in every way we can.

– David Cameron, Prime Minister


Bridge re opens in Corsham

A footbridge over the railway line in Corsham has reopened to the public today.

The bridge between Cleeve and Pound Mead was removed as part of the electrification of the Cardiff to London line.

It has been made higher to make room for overhead cables that will power the lines underneath.

Passenger on train which was "struck by lightning" in Wiltshire describes ordeal

The train was stranded in several inches of water Credit: Robin Matthews

One of the ninety rail passengers stranded near Corsham for several hours last night, has described how the train was struck by lightning shortly before it came to a halt.

Robin Matthews, who lives just outside Cardiff, was on the 23.45 from Paddington. He says:

"After about 20-30 minutes outside of Swindon there were a few very large cracks of lightning and rumbling thunder. One particular lightning strike must have either hit the train or at least something very close because it was extremely loud and the window glass vibrated heavily. Shortly afterwards the train came to a complete stop. We were told that the train would be delayed due to adverse weather affecting the signalling. The rain was now coming down very hard and a number of passengers were commenting on the torrent of water outside. I went to take a look and grabbed a couple of photos using my phone."

"The train crew were really good and came through the train, regularly letting people know that we couldn’t move because of the water. Before long paramedics had made it onto the train to deal with anyone who had medical issues (there was a diabetic on board). Everyone was quite lighthearted but tensions were beginning to build when they announced that we would need to leave the train. People were worried about leaving luggage and a few ladies had evening wear on, and were concerned about wading up the track through the water. In the end, it was decided that they could ensure the safety of one carriage and the engine, so we were all moved into one of the carriages, and the rest of the train was de-coupled."

"The fire brigade had made some temporary steps to help us up the embankment. It was now very hot and sticky with 90 people crammed into one carriage, so patience was beginning to wear thin. The crew did their best to group people into destination groups of four, so we could be led up to waiting taxis and taken home.

All in all, I think the train crew and rescue chews did an excellent job."

90 passengers stranded on train overnight

90 stranded on train overnight Credit: ITV West Country

90 rail passengers were trapped over night after a train became submerged in 4ft-deep flash flood water.

The overnight service from London Paddington to Swansea got stuck near Corsham in Wiltshire at around midnight.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 1am but the 90 passengers remained stuck on board until 6am.

A fleet of taxis turned up at the site where the stranded commuters were eventually driven home.

Passenger Chris Williams took to Twitter to document the journey:

90 passengers evacuated from train

Train stuck in flood water in Corsham Credit: ITV West Country

A train traveling from London Paddington became stuck in floodwater at Pound Pill in Corsham in the early hours of this morning. 90 passengers were on the train, which came to a halt in a cutting where water was up to a metre deep in places.

All the passengers were rescued from the train by 0600 this morning.

The train is still blocking the track causing major disruption to rail services in the region.

Services to and from Bristol Temple Meads are unable to call at Chippenham. Trains are being diverted via an alternative route, adding around 45 minutes to journey times.

We are trying to arrange rail replacement trains and tickets will be accepted on local transport and other trains.

– First Great Western


Six month jail term for Wiltshire bomb-maker

A science fan from Somerset who made explosive devices after being inspired by the hit television show Brainiac has been jailed for six months.

Michael Thomas, 40, was part of a group of friends who made six pipe bombs before taking them to a remote quarry in Corsham, Wiltshire, to detonate.

One of the devices was blown up inside a microwave in a re-enactment of an experiment in the show, which has been presented by Richard Hammond and comedian Vic Reeves.

However, the group forgot to detonate one of the pipe bombs and it was unwittingly carried home in an Adidas sports bag by Thomas, who placed it in his shed following the outing in 2006.

Bristol Crown Court heard Thomas separated from his wife in 2010 and on August 17 last year, she decided to clear out his shed.

Police were called when the woman, who was not named in court proceedings, spotted a copper pipe and green cord poking out from the sports bag.

Eighty homes close to the shed, described as being in a "built-up area", were evacuated for five hours while an Army bomb disposal squad used a robotic device to examine the bag.

Bath stone quarry back in use after 50 years

A Victorian bath stone quarry which has been mothballed for half a century was reopened today. A new tunnel has been dug down to Park Lane quarry near Corsham in Wiltshire. This is the first new tunnel to be dug into a bath stone quarry in over a century.

The firm behind the mine says the million pound investment is worth it as there is such a demand for the stone. Our Wiltshire reporter Robert Murphy was granted unique access to the site.

Man admits scissor attack on teenager

A 19-year-old man has admitted assaulting a 16-year-old boy with a five-inch pair of scissors during an attempted robbery in Corsham. The victim and two friends were in Newlands Road last December when Leon Saunders punched the victim and threatened him with scissors, nicking his skin slightly.

At Swindon Crown Court today (26 March 2013) Saunders, of Newland Road, Corsham, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob. He was released on police bail to await sentencing on 26 April.

This was a frightening attack on a young lad who was waiting at a bus stop with two friends. He was left very shaken with nick marks on his cheek and a red mark where he had been punched by Saunders.

Thanks to fast work by our officers Saunders was located and arrested within minutes of the crime being committed.

– Detective Constable Kev Golledge, Wiltshire Police

Police search for 'ram raiders' after botched burglary

Police in Wiltshire are looking for two men who used a stolen van to smash their way into a Co-op store in Corsham. The men reversed the van several times into the front of the shop, causing extensive damage, before unsuccessfully trying to steal a cash machine from inside.

The burglary happened at about 11.15pm on Thursday 3 January 2013 in Macie Drive. It's thought local residents who heard and saw the break in may have disturbed the men.

The blue VW Transporter van, which had been stolen from the Chippenham area on Christmas Eve, was found abandoned near by.

Police believe the suspects may have used another vehicle to get away.

Officers want to hear from anyone who may have seen a white car being drive suspiciously in the Katherine Park area late on Thursday night. The two men were wearing dark clothing and hooded tops.

'Ram raid' at Co-op store in Corsham Credit: Wiltshire Police
Burglars tried to steal cash machine Credit: Wiltshire Police
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