21/12/2011 East Midlands Today


21/12/2011

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This is East Midlands Today with Anne Davies and me, Dominic Heale.

:00:02.:00:05.

Our top story tonight: The anguish of a mother who lost

:00:05.:00:12.

all four of her children in a house fire.

:00:12.:00:16.

Rachel Henson has spoken of the moment she realised none of the

:00:17.:00:23.

youngsters had survived. A got to A&E. As that of the doctor, how

:00:24.:00:28.

many children are alive? He didn't speak, just shook his head.

:00:28.:00:32.

Also, the horrific attack behind a pub that left a young man burnt and

:00:32.:00:40.

badly scarred. I was on fire. I thought everything. I knew my eyes

:00:40.:00:49.

were open. I saw the flames. A bleak midwinter Beckham's as

:00:49.:00:55.

council's plan more cuts. Join me later for the latest in our

:00:55.:01:05.
:01:05.:01:12.

series on collections. Can you Welcome to Wednesday's programme

:01:12.:01:18.

live from the East Midlands. At this time last year, four children

:01:18.:01:22.

in Derbyshire were looking forward to Christmas. Weeks later, in

:01:22.:01:27.

January, they died in a fire at their home. Their mother managed to

:01:27.:01:30.

get out alive. Today a coroner recorded narrative verdicts on

:01:30.:01:36.

their deaths. He said a damp log had been put on an open fire. It

:01:36.:01:40.

had split on hot coals, and burning embers had escaped. There was no

:01:40.:01:44.

fire guard, and no working smoke alarms. He said either of these

:01:44.:01:47.

could have saved the children's lives. In a moment, we'll be

:01:47.:01:50.

hearing from the children's mother Rachel Henson about the night of

:01:50.:01:54.

the fire. But first Kylie Pentelow reports on what happened at the

:01:54.:02:03.

inquest in Derby today. 9-year-old Tommy Bowe, 6-year-old

:02:03.:02:13.

and the Show, and their brothers and sisters. They dead in January

:02:13.:02:19.

in a fire at 11pm. Their mother, Rachel Henson, got out alive. The

:02:19.:02:24.

court heard an open fire was put in the home around Christmas time.

:02:24.:02:27.

Rachel said she had been trying to get a fire guard and had not got

:02:27.:02:33.

around to it. A partner said it wasn't a priority. There was a

:02:33.:02:36.

battery operated smoke alarm that wasn't working in the house and

:02:36.:02:40.

some years before, Rachel had ripped out a hard-wired system

:02:40.:02:46.

installed. The censors were found in a box. I regret every day we

:02:46.:02:52.

didn't realise it was broken. Most people turn them off, most people

:02:52.:02:57.

don't use them, a lot of them don't have them in their house, and you

:02:57.:03:01.

think would they have made a difference? The coroner said if

:03:01.:03:05.

there had been a fire guard, the blaze would not have started and

:03:05.:03:09.

the children would have survived. If there had been working smoke

:03:09.:03:16.

alarms, they would have got time to get out alive. Rachel spoke outside

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the court. It was a very fair hearing. The coroner made some

:03:22.:03:28.

important points with the importance of fire guards and... It

:03:28.:03:34.

has been a distressing time. investigating officers said the

:03:34.:03:38.

blaze was extreme zero visibility. This is where his firefighters

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train. I went inside the smokehouse to see what those conditions are

:03:42.:03:50.

like. Visibility, deteriorating. And that is in seconds. If you woke

:03:50.:03:54.

up in this situation, even in your own home, you would know which way

:03:54.:04:01.

to get out of bed, let alone get somebody else out. There are 500

:04:01.:04:05.

accidental house fires every year in Derbyshire and only about half

:04:05.:04:09.

have working smoke alarms and the force says simply they save lives.

:04:09.:04:12.

Well, at the hearing today, there were more questions over how Rachel

:04:12.:04:16.

managed to get out of the house and the investigating fire officer was

:04:16.:04:18.

recalled to give evidence. Rachel has always maintained that she

:04:18.:04:22.

tried to help her son Tommy escape from a bedroom window, which she

:04:22.:04:27.

then fell out of. The inquest heard she'd drunk almost a bottle and a

:04:27.:04:31.

half of wine that evening. Earlier this year, Kylie Pentelow spoke to

:04:31.:04:39.

Rachel about that night and about losing her four children.

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Tommy was the eldest, he was nine. Just a mummy's boy, really. Then

:04:46.:04:54.

Felicia. She was beautiful. And then Apollonia. She was bossy and

:04:54.:05:02.

in charge. We were a happy family. It all changed on generally 24th.

:05:02.:05:11.

and Rachel and her four children went to bed. The next thing, I woke

:05:11.:05:16.

up and the house is full of black smoke so there you couldn't see the

:05:16.:05:21.

palm of your hand in front of you. I heard Tommy saying, "money, the

:05:22.:05:28.

house is full of something." I got into the other bedroom where

:05:28.:05:32.

Apollonia would have been asleep and I got the window open. I was

:05:33.:05:37.

standing behind Tommy and I picked it up like this, tried to push him

:05:37.:05:41.

out, but his arms and legs were going like this, and he was

:05:41.:05:47.

fighting to go through the window. I didn't have enough about me, I

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was confused, said, "if you don't go, you will die." the next thing

:05:55.:05:59.

she knew she was going through the air. I don't believe I jumped, she

:05:59.:06:03.

said, maybe I've Bell. The coroner said there was no forensic evidence

:06:03.:06:12.

the window had been opened and he was not able to say how she escaped.

:06:12.:06:18.

The doctor said how many children are alive? But he shook his head

:06:18.:06:25.

and I knew. In hospital is -- her partner arrived. She rolled into a

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ball. She had bruises everywhere. Horrible scratch down one-arm which

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she was staring at where Tommy was holding on to. Every time you get

:06:41.:06:47.

that smoky smell, that is all we think about. Four small coffins. A

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kiss for each. I summoned all my strength up and tried to compose

:06:54.:07:00.

myself. It was probably the worst day of my life. Rachel is a

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hairdresser and her business has helped her cope with the tragedy.

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My clients have come in with long hair because they have waited for

:07:08.:07:15.

me to come back. I have a new home with Clint. We have got friends.

:07:15.:07:20.

And I miss Apollonia's arms on my neck when I wake up in the morning.

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Rachael... Always around my legs, cuddling me. Felecia, I miss her,

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and doing girly things with her. I missed Tommy's support and his love.

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You're watching East Midlands Today. Still to come on the programme, the

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sport and weather. Plus, tea, cakes and TLC. We pop into a cafe in

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Derbyshire that's serving up advice and support for a town's local

:07:46.:07:56.
:07:56.:07:57.

Before that, a Leicester man has been speaking about the moment he

:07:57.:08:02.

was attacked with a flammable liquid whilst drinking in a pub.

:08:02.:08:05.

Russell Banks spent a month in hospital with severe burns and is

:08:05.:08:13.

now trying to come to terms with what happened. Geeta Pendse reports.

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All of a sudden, I was on fire. I felt everything. My eyes were open.

:08:21.:08:27.

I saw the flames. I could feel it in my mouth. It was a night that

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changed this 21-year-old's life. He had been out with friends at a pub

:08:32.:08:36.

in Leicester when someone threw a flammable liquid into the beer

:08:36.:08:40.

garden which fell on him and another friend. He spent the last

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two months in and out of hospital after severe burns to his arms,

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chest, is unfazed. I was scared, lonely, heartbroken. Absolutely

:08:50.:08:55.

heartbroken because if anybody knew me before, they knew I was a

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perfectionist and I loved to look after myself. I like to dress

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myself well, get my hair nice, and just to think for a split-second

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that was all taken away from me from one thing... I knew we are

:09:08.:09:13.

severe. This footage recorded minutes after the attack shows a

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man running away with his jacket on fire. So far, the police have

:09:17.:09:24.

arrested and bailed a man. It has changed my whole life. It has me --

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it has made me ashamed of my scars, it is not allowing me to go out. I

:09:29.:09:34.

hate it. The performing arts graduate, he says it was the

:09:34.:09:37.

support of those around him that has kept him going. When I first

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broke up, I felt lonely and I didn't want to be here any more.

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And then you realise all of the people that cared for you. It is a

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shame it takes this for you to realise how many people care for

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you. Speaking out about his experience, Russell Banks says he

:09:54.:10:02.

is determined to move forward and not let the attack behind him. --

:10:02.:10:05.

the attack do find him. An inquest has opened into the

:10:05.:10:08.

death of a pilot killed in a mid- air collision in Leicestershire on

:10:08.:10:11.

Sunday. 55-year-old Martin Hickin, from Coalville, was taking off from

:10:11.:10:13.

Leicester Airport when his plane collided with another light

:10:13.:10:20.

aircraft and crash landed in a field. Tom Brown reports.

:10:20.:10:24.

Martin Hickin, a man with 30 years of flying experience. He owned his

:10:24.:10:29.

own plane and regularly flew out of Leicester Airport but on Sunday

:10:29.:10:32.

afternoon, shortly after taking off, his plane crashed after colliding

:10:32.:10:36.

with another light aircraft. Paramedics were called but he was

:10:36.:10:40.

pronounced dead it seemed. The inquest into the death of Martin

:10:40.:10:44.

Hickin was opened and adjourned at the coroner's office in Leicester.

:10:44.:10:48.

His partner and five members of the family attended the Kirit and the

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55-year-old was described as being an experienced flyer but how his

:10:53.:10:58.

plane came to collide with another is still unclear. In a statement,

:10:58.:11:03.

his families spoke of their devastation. Martin was a wonderful,

:11:03.:11:06.

generous and warm individual who was dearly loved by all his family

:11:06.:11:11.

and friends and his death has left an enormous gap in our lives.

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Martin bereave -- Martin's bereaved family includes two or daughters.

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With the police and the air in that -- air Investigation Branch will

:11:20.:11:23.

try to find out what caused the crash at the inquest will continue

:11:23.:11:33.

next year. For now, his two daughter as -- his two daughters

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prepare for Christmas without him. The Derbyshire chocolate maker

:11:37.:11:40.

Thorntons has said that it may not make any profit this year. The

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Somercotes-based firm says it's seen a drop in sales and a rise in

:11:43.:11:46.

marketing costs. Last summer it announced it was planning to close

:11:46.:11:48.

at least a third of its 360 high street stores.

:11:48.:11:51.

East Midlands Ambulance Service says only 28% of emergency calls it

:11:51.:11:54.

receives are for life-threatening conditions. Inappropriate calls in

:11:54.:11:57.

recent months have included a request for help with changing the

:11:57.:12:03.

batteries in a TV remote control. A Derbyshire man was also given a

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suspended prison sentence for making repeated 999 calls without

:12:05.:12:15.
:12:15.:12:16.

good reason. This is East Midlands Today.

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Council leaders in the East Midlands are warning of further

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cuts to local services. Leicester City Council is one of the first

:12:21.:12:24.

authorities to announce where those cuts are likely to fall. Union

:12:24.:12:27.

leaders claim services for vulnerable children will be hit.

:12:27.:12:37.
:12:37.:12:43.

Here's our Political Editor John It is a pivot Christmas Carol, but

:12:43.:12:48.

there was a touch of the bleak midwinter about the city's finances.

:12:48.:12:52.

The headlines tell part of the story. As a result of the cuts, we

:12:52.:12:58.

are being forced to slash �70 million from our budget. We still

:12:58.:13:02.

have �40 million of that to find and that is requiring some

:13:02.:13:10.

difficult decisions. Job losses in children's services and has some

:13:10.:13:14.

0.2% rent increase. Just two measures towards an immediate --

:13:14.:13:19.

immediate cuts target of �40 million. Leicester City Council and

:13:19.:13:24.

the trade unions have been working on his -- on efficiency savings for

:13:24.:13:31.

many years and we think there is not a lot more that can be taken

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out. It is not efficiency savings but cuts to sit -- cuts. There's

:13:38.:13:43.

not much cash around here and Leicester is one of a few big

:13:43.:13:46.

council -1 of cuts and expect some other councils to sing from the

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same song sheet. So is Leicester's cash difficulties

:13:49.:13:56.

pretty typical? These are year-on-year cuts ordered

:13:56.:14:00.

by the coalition Government, and many of our councils are now

:14:00.:14:06.

running out of wriggle move. Take Leicestershire. It plans to offload

:14:06.:14:08.

all of its schools, secondary and primary, so they become academies,

:14:08.:14:17.

directly funded by Whitehall. That in itself means Leicestershire

:14:17.:14:19.

finding a further �16million in cuts, because the Government has

:14:19.:14:29.

taken the education funding away from County Hall. This is a further

:14:29.:14:35.

financial headache for someone like David Parsons, the Conservative

:14:35.:14:40.

leader in the East Midlands. I asked him what impact he thought

:14:40.:14:43.

the latest financial squeeze would have on local government.

:14:43.:14:49.

I think it will have less money. If I were to have a crystal ball. The

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stress points will be the services that are provided. Notably for

:14:54.:15:01.

vulnerable people, for children, roads, for instance. All of those

:15:01.:15:10.

services we will have to look at. Two things to watch out for - will

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some councils like Nottingham and Leicester ignore the Government

:15:12.:15:15.

line and increase council tax next May? And will the Treasury demand

:15:15.:15:24.

more spending cuts because the economy is faltering?

:15:24.:15:28.

Not great news, but, anyway, thank you.

:15:28.:15:31.

Bryony Balen, the Derbyshire student who's skiing to the South

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Pole, will celebrate her 21st birthday on the ice today. She's

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hoping to become the youngest Briton to complete the full 700-

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mile trek across Antarctica. She's managed to lay her hands on

:15:43.:15:49.

something for today's celebration but says the big party will have to

:15:49.:15:55.

wait until she's home. Will she had a tipple to celebrate?

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Could it be this? Later we meet the man that has got

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:16:11.:16:11.

A cafe has opened in time for Christmas. Doesn't sound a huge

:16:11.:16:15.

news story on the face of it, but this is one with a difference. Cafe

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Heroes at Heanor in Derbyshire is designed not only to serve the town,

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but also to act as a drop-in centre for ex-service people. James

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Roberson reports. Michael knows what it is like to be

:16:31.:16:37.

from Heanor and the military. He was a soldier, as were his father,

:16:37.:16:41.

grandfather and great-grandfather and became centres like Cafe Heroes

:16:41.:16:43.

specifically designed to help service people are needed in Heanor

:16:43.:16:48.

and elsewhere. They are going out there to give their lives for us.

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It is about time this country started making a contribution and

:16:54.:16:58.

helping towards them for. product has been set up by a

:16:58.:17:00.

Derbyshire based charity which helps people with social and

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personal difficulty is. There is more evidence that particularly

:17:05.:17:10.

young ex-servicemen are finding it hard to resettle into the community

:17:10.:17:14.

and may or may not have mental problems because of the traumas

:17:14.:17:22.

they experienced. What we need to do is refer the guys here... There

:17:22.:17:27.

are experts on hand not only from the Royal British Legion but from

:17:28.:17:32.

this ex RAF trauma counsellor. There is no particular group that

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is isolated from this. It can go across the board. It could be an

:17:36.:17:44.

event that happened years ago or yesterday. We can signpost to

:17:44.:17:49.

occupational therapy, or advice about money or house in or benefits.

:17:49.:17:54.

The charity helps at the Cafe will become popular with local people

:17:55.:18:02.

thus helping Heanor's regeneration as well as service people.

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Nothing like coffee and a cake! Time now for support.

:18:10.:18:14.

-- for sport. First Nottingham Forest key

:18:14.:18:17.

defender Wes Morgan has told us tonight he's in talks with Forest

:18:17.:18:20.

about a new contract. His current deal runs out in the summer and

:18:20.:18:23.

he's already being linked with other clubs. Wes is also out

:18:23.:18:26.

injured for six weeks but while giving out presents on a Children's

:18:26.:18:29.

Hospital Ward today he told me his problems are insignificant compared

:18:29.:18:35.

to others. So, you will feeling flustered?

:18:35.:18:42.

Absolutely. I am feeling festive. It is nice to see the children in

:18:42.:18:47.

hospital because they might be here for the end of Christmas. I am hit

:18:47.:18:54.

to cheer you up. Eight in his ear. Does this toucher doing this? --

:18:54.:19:01.

Aden is here. Of course. We love putting smiles on kids' faces.

:19:01.:19:07.

you need cheering up because you are out for six weeks. Yes. I had a

:19:07.:19:13.

scan and that. I could be out for up to six weeks. It is not the best

:19:13.:19:18.

time for me because I am missing a hectic period of football for.

:19:18.:19:22.

is your message for Forest fans this Christmas? Our performances

:19:22.:19:29.

have been good but we haven't found the right results. Cheer them up

:19:29.:19:32.

and tell them you're going to sign a new contract. It is still a long

:19:32.:19:37.

way to go before we signed it. would you like for Christmas? What

:19:37.:19:41.

is on your wish-list? Three points, please!

:19:41.:19:44.

Now onto Derby County and manager Nigel Clough was pleased to see

:19:44.:19:47.

Nathan Tyson play 65 minutes of a friendly against Burton Albion

:19:47.:19:52.

today. It means he will figure in some of the festive fixtures. Nigel

:19:52.:19:54.

himself has been giving his own special Christmas present today as

:19:54.:20:03.

Jeremy Nicholas reports. There are not many football

:20:03.:20:06.

managers as community-minded as Nigel Clough, supporting local jobs

:20:06.:20:11.

and making things better for the people of Derby. There was a

:20:11.:20:17.

hospital visit and today a bit more. A pint of blood. It is similar to a

:20:17.:20:21.

Saturday, looking out onto the pitch and feeling pain. Just 25,000

:20:21.:20:26.

people missing. He has done brilliantly. He was nervous

:20:26.:20:31.

beforehand but he is a good sport. He has given his donation and it

:20:31.:20:35.

will help save someone's wife. felt the needle going in, but it

:20:35.:20:45.
:20:45.:20:45.

was Pamela's. Times are tough. It has been one

:20:45.:20:54.

win in a Gwytherin gaze -- home games to come. What is more painful,

:20:54.:20:59.

watching Derby County or giving blood? Watching Derby County.

:20:59.:21:05.

Coming here to watch them is very painful, believe you me. Midfielder

:21:05.:21:08.

Jeff Hendrick limped off in the final minutes of the Ipswich game

:21:08.:21:12.

and today he has been ruled out of the festive fixtures with ankle

:21:12.:21:17.

ligament damage but there is better news about Nathan Tyson. He was on

:21:17.:21:25.

the pitch on Ipswich. He has been friendly, and he will play with

:21:25.:21:31.

Burton Albion. He looks strong. He is in with a shout. Nigel Clough is

:21:31.:21:36.

hoping for points but the blood and sweat of the next few games might

:21:36.:21:40.

be rewarded, like he was today with the biscuit.

:21:40.:21:44.

One more bit of football news. Leicester City manager Nigel

:21:44.:21:47.

Pearson says there is a future for striker Steve Howard at the club.

:21:47.:21:50.

Howard is 35 but Pearson says he will play a part this season

:21:50.:21:53.

because he is still a big threat in the Championship.

:21:53.:21:56.

And in rugby the fixtures for the Heineken Cup have been announced

:21:56.:22:00.

today. The Leicester Tigers will play against Ulster in a must-win

:22:00.:22:08.

European Cup game in Belfast on Friday, 13th January.

:22:08.:22:13.

That is all the sport when Nigel Clough was a very good sport.

:22:13.:22:22.

He has, he was. -- yes, he was.

:22:22.:22:25.

Now for a drop of the black stuff. And a certain brand of Irish stout

:22:25.:22:29.

which wasn't always as famous as it is today. Guinness really took off

:22:29.:22:32.

back in the 1930s and 40s because of its arty adverts, catchy slogans

:22:32.:22:34.

and striking, collectable merchandise. Well, in the last of

:22:34.:22:37.

our series about collectors, Jeremy Nicholas meets Steve Tedds who's

:22:37.:22:45.

not really interested in the stout but the stuff that help to sell it.

:22:45.:22:51.

He waits. That is what he does. First thing I do, get up, put the

:22:51.:23:00.

kettle on, and then straight on to eBay. Steve has been collecting in

:23:00.:23:01.

his memorabilia for five years and, my goodness, he has got below.

:23:01.:23:06.

There was a guy called John Gilroy, the most famous artist that worked

:23:06.:23:10.

for a company Benson's, an advertising company, and this guy

:23:10.:23:14.

used to go around London Zoo just to do paintings and drawings of

:23:14.:23:23.

animals and then make them into the animals you see behind here.

:23:23.:23:29.

You have got quite a few of these flying to cans. People ask me why I

:23:29.:23:35.

have got so many of the same ones. My wife Tommy the kids were not

:23:35.:23:38.

getting interest on their money. That wasn't the Bank. But these

:23:38.:23:43.

will make a better return when they reach 18.

:23:43.:23:47.

The slump comes from an off-licence in the 1960s and when you switch it

:23:47.:23:53.

on, that he'd from the lamp causes the shade to spin around. It is

:23:53.:24:00.

worth �800 today. This is a nice item I got from

:24:00.:24:03.

somebody that phoned me up out of the group. The nice thing is if you

:24:03.:24:08.

look on the back of the bottle, it gives the names of 70 odd people

:24:08.:24:12.

that were left at the Park Royal brewery before it closed. You will

:24:12.:24:16.

not see many of those around are. Steve has paid first for water drew

:24:16.:24:21.

it. The one that was the rare one had the gold guineas underneath and

:24:21.:24:27.

the harp on the top. He thought the red jug was great. But when it

:24:27.:24:32.

arrived, it was crack. Unfortunately, it was smashed.

:24:32.:24:36.

has locked up to comes and penguins, but which one does he like best?

:24:36.:24:42.

have no preference. You can go out today and see a poster with the to

:24:42.:24:47.

come on at. The penguins lost it when they started to do biscuits!

:24:47.:24:56.

These are from the last 10 years. A good place to stop, so you can, too,

:24:56.:24:59.

become a collector. To come. You see?

:24:59.:25:03.

It may not be a white Christmas but it certainly will be a colourful

:25:03.:25:06.

one across the East Midlands. Yes, it's the season of Christmas lights,

:25:06.:25:09.

when householders get to vie with each other to produce ever more

:25:09.:25:12.

elaborate displays of Santas, reindeer, and snowmen. We may be in

:25:12.:25:14.

the middle of an economic downturn, but that hasn't stopped people

:25:14.:25:22.

getting into the Christmas spirit. I think they look really nice and

:25:22.:25:26.

it is nice to see somebody is getting into the Christmas spirit.

:25:26.:25:31.

The train blew off last year and dented the car, so I type it up now.

:25:31.:25:37.

I started with a couple of lights. And one of my neighbours thought we

:25:37.:25:41.

were having a competition. He pulled up -- he brought out a few

:25:41.:25:44.

more, I brought out a few more, and there we are.

:25:44.:25:48.

They are lovely. Not a time for subtlety, is it?

:25:48.:25:58.
:25:58.:26:00.

It is not going to turn to win these are no trains frying tonight.

:26:00.:26:07.

-- it is not going to be two windy so no trains flying tonight.

:26:07.:26:12.

Thank you for sending this picture in, send them into the normal e-

:26:12.:26:16.

mail address. This area of low pressure, it is going to work

:26:16.:26:21.

towards us by the end of the week but ahead of that, mainly dry

:26:21.:26:25.

weather to come. Cloudy skies across the East Midland, but going

:26:25.:26:30.

through to the rest of that evening, we see the cloud breaking up. For

:26:30.:26:38.

now, we see just some drizzling spit sunspots, but most places dry.

:26:38.:26:44.

Around about eight overnight. The cloud will start to break up. We

:26:44.:26:48.

will see some mist and fog developing by the early hours of

:26:48.:26:52.

tomorrow morning, but a brighter start compared to this morning and

:26:52.:26:56.

a better chance of seeing some sunny spells through the day.

:26:56.:27:02.

Temperature-wise, on the mild side, 11 is your maximum. This time last

:27:02.:27:06.

year, we were struggling to get above zero. The rain has not

:27:06.:27:12.

arrived and by the time we get to Friday morning, a drizzly start and

:27:12.:27:17.

that rain turns persistent, heavy the remark of the date on Friday.

:27:17.:27:22.

Once it clears by late on, colder air feeding in soap by that time we

:27:22.:27:29.

get to Christmas Eve, it starts on a chilly note, so a little mild on

:27:29.:27:35.

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