29/10/2013 Midlands Today


29/10/2013

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weekend. That's all from us. Now the news

:00:00.3:59:59

where you Hello and welcome to Midlands Today.

:00:00.:00:08.

The headlines tonight: New journey times revealed for the

:00:09.:00:11.

high`speed rail network, as the Government announces a revised

:00:12.:00:18.

business case. We could see an increase of around 50,000 jobs as a

:00:19.:00:22.

consequence of HS2. That is economic growth we cannot do without.

:00:23.:00:25.

But it's been revealed the new line won't generate as much money as

:00:26.:00:28.

first thought. Eight arrested in early`morning

:00:29.:00:31.

raids, as police investigate a suspected sham`marriage ring in

:00:32.:00:33.

Wolverhampton. Join the Bone Marrow Register ` a

:00:34.:00:36.

heartfelt plea from a leukaemia patient whose transplant failed.

:00:37.:00:44.

There is no reason why it happened to me. Maybe if I were to give it a

:00:45.:00:50.

reason it would be so why can spread the word now and get people to sign

:00:51.:00:54.

up and save somebody else's life in the future.

:00:55.:00:57.

And we'll tell you the tale of this 1,700`year`old coffin, a metal

:00:58.:01:01.

dectector and a grave`digger. And for those of you who need to be

:01:02.:01:05.

concerned, it's going to be colder than usual tonight, with the

:01:06.:01:09.

likelihood of some frost. All the details later.

:01:10.:01:17.

Good evening. New detail emerged today from the Government on

:01:18.:01:22.

estimated journey times for passengers using HS2 trains from

:01:23.:01:26.

stations around the Midlands. The information was released in a new

:01:27.:01:30.

business case for the proposed line. The first part of the high`speed

:01:31.:01:34.

rail link will cost more than ?21 billion to build, the line would run

:01:35.:01:38.

between London and Birmingham. The benefit to the West Midlands economy

:01:39.:01:42.

would be between ?1.5 and ?3 billion a year, according to a recent report

:01:43.:01:48.

by accountants KPMG. But it'll be another 13 years before the first

:01:49.:01:54.

trains run between the two cities. But with a brewing political row,

:01:55.:01:58.

will the project ever get going? In a moment, we'll hear from our

:01:59.:02:01.

political editor, but first, this report from our transport

:02:02.:02:04.

correspondent, Peter Plisner. Back in the driving seat on HS2?

:02:05.:02:07.

Well, that's where the Government wants to be. Today's publication of

:02:08.:02:11.

the new business case should move the high`speed rail debate up a

:02:12.:02:21.

gear. If you look at the moment where the first line runs from and

:02:22.:02:25.

develop and happening around King's Cross St Pancras, that is the result

:02:26.:02:28.

of Britain being connected to Europe with a high`speed rail `` railway.

:02:29.:02:35.

We've known for some time that journey times between London and

:02:36.:02:38.

Birmingham are expected to be cut from an hour and 21 minutes to just

:02:39.:02:41.

49 minutes. Now the Government has published figures for other parts of

:02:42.:02:45.

the region too. A journey from Stafford to London that currently

:02:46.:02:48.

takes an hour and a quarter is expected to be reduced to 53

:02:49.:02:51.

minutes. And it's estimated the trip from Cheltenham to Leeds would be

:02:52.:02:55.

reduced by almost an hour from two hours and 50 minutes to just one

:02:56.:03:00.

hour 55 mins. In addition to faster journey times, the case today also

:03:01.:03:05.

rests on the need for more capacity on the rail network. The West Coast

:03:06.:03:08.

Main Line to London is already incredibly busy but predictions are

:03:09.:03:12.

by mid`2020, it will be fuller. Today, opening a new logistic depot

:03:13.:03:15.

in Coventry, Network Rail was adament that HS2 was the only way of

:03:16.:03:18.

providing the capacity that's needed. If you try to cannibalise

:03:19.:03:27.

and keep rebuilding things that almost 200 years old, the original

:03:28.:03:31.

part, that would be a huge mistake. It is much better to leave that for

:03:32.:03:35.

more local commuter services and freight, and to build a brand`new

:03:36.:03:39.

long`distance line next to it. Those opposed to HS2 maintain that more

:03:40.:03:43.

can be done and they say that even today, the new business case is

:03:44.:03:48.

fundementally flawed. The Government and HS2 have got this thing wrong

:03:49.:03:51.

and it is disgraceful that they should apply voodoo economics to try

:03:52.:03:57.

to justify HS2 and purport that this nation needs a high`speed rail and

:03:58.:04:02.

that without it, the nation will suffer economically. Today there

:04:03.:04:05.

also was more political debate on HS2 following Labour's threat to

:04:06.:04:08.

withdraw support from the scheme. In Birmingham, the City Council's

:04:09.:04:11.

Labour Leader maintains that the party is still behind it. The Labour

:04:12.:04:21.

front bench are not saying that they are against HS2. In fact, I think

:04:22.:04:25.

the economic arguments for it are overwhelming. Overwelming or not,

:04:26.:04:28.

many are still sceptical about merits of HS2, and the publication

:04:29.:04:31.

of yet another new business case clearly hasn't changed their view.

:04:32.:04:37.

I'm joined now by our political editor, Patrick Burns. There have

:04:38.:04:41.

been a number of negative stories surrounding HS2 lately. Do you think

:04:42.:04:49.

today's announcement is about the Government taking control of the

:04:50.:04:53.

project? That is certainly what they are trying to do and we have heard

:04:54.:04:58.

there one of several strong statements from the Transport

:04:59.:05:01.

Secretary. That is what they are trying to do. And allied to a

:05:02.:05:08.

recognition that, yes, bringing down the business case lightly and

:05:09.:05:11.

accepting that speed is not the be all and end all of it. That is a

:05:12.:05:18.

recognition. The Government did over it the case on speed at the

:05:19.:05:21.

beginning and not so much the case on capacity, which is the real

:05:22.:05:26.

issue. That is why the opposition leaders are accusing ministers of

:05:27.:05:31.

delay and dither on this project. Ed Balls told us on this programme he

:05:32.:05:35.

would be keeping a close eye on the project costs. Do you think

:05:36.:05:40.

opposition to HS2 is growing within the Labour Party? A few days after

:05:41.:05:43.

Ed Balls said that to you, Ed Miliband said to me he was fully in

:05:44.:05:48.

support of high`speed rail. He understood why his Shadow Chancellor

:05:49.:05:52.

wanted to keep a close eye on the numbers. I think he was really

:05:53.:05:56.

saying, I am fiscally prudent, as well as striking a chord with the

:05:57.:06:02.

anti`HS2 campaigners. The voices raised again this amongst Labour

:06:03.:06:07.

have been Alistair Darling, John Prescott and Peter Mandelson, and

:06:08.:06:11.

none of them are directly involved in Labour's decision`making on

:06:12.:06:15.

this. Labour will soon come to the end of their re`examination of this

:06:16.:06:19.

project and the Parliamentary Marathon will begin. We will then

:06:20.:06:23.

see who stands where on this and we hope a bit of clarity on numbers

:06:24.:06:26.

will show the costs stack up. What about Sir Albert Bore's comments

:06:27.:06:32.

today ` how significant are they? Very significant. He has written to

:06:33.:06:37.

the Transport Secretary warning of open warfare is senior figures keep

:06:38.:06:40.

on speaking sceptically about this, so there is a calculation and this

:06:41.:06:44.

is what David Cameron was getting at when he said the whole project would

:06:45.:06:48.

fall if Labour pulled out their support. He is saying, you would

:06:49.:06:51.

have to blame your own party if this whole thing falls down.

:06:52.:06:58.

Coming up later in the programme, more than local pride at stake as

:06:59.:07:02.

Birmingham City and Stoke City go head`to`head in the League Cup.

:07:03.:07:06.

We'll be live at St Andrews. Eight people have been arrested in

:07:07.:07:09.

early`morning raids in Wolverhampton as part of an investigation into a

:07:10.:07:12.

suspected sham`marriage ring. The Government is trying to tighten up

:07:13.:07:15.

the rules on immigration applications, thousands of which

:07:16.:07:18.

they believe are based on fake`marriage or civil`partnership.

:07:19.:07:21.

Our special correspondent, Peter Wilson, has the story.

:07:22.:07:26.

As dawn broke, a specialist team of 60 police, immigration and National

:07:27.:07:29.

Crime Agency officers set out for addresses across Wolverhampton. They

:07:30.:07:37.

were targetting a suspected sham marriage ring involving Eastern

:07:38.:07:43.

European women and Asian men. An early arrest included one man

:07:44.:07:51.

suspected of being a fixer. The people we've arrested today are the

:07:52.:07:56.

Eastern European brides and grooms we suspect of enacting sham

:07:57.:08:01.

marriages to Pakistani nationals so they can stay in the UK. So, what is

:08:02.:08:06.

a sham marriage? Usually a ceremony involving a non`European national

:08:07.:08:08.

marrying someone from the European Economic Area. It enables people to

:08:09.:08:14.

stay in the UK and work and claim benefits. It's also big business.

:08:15.:08:18.

?10,000 is often paid to the organisers to fix a sham marriage.

:08:19.:08:23.

Between ?2,000 and ?3,000 is paid for a European Union bride or groom.

:08:24.:08:35.

Our previous experience of investigating this sort of

:08:36.:08:37.

criminality always shows there is an organised element behind this with

:08:38.:08:41.

an organised crime gang making thousands of pounds from arranging

:08:42.:08:44.

sham marriages to enable people who would ordinary sleet ordinarily not

:08:45.:08:49.

the allowed to stay in the UK to stay in the UK. `` ordinarily. The

:08:50.:08:53.

investigaters have been working closely with the local registrar.

:08:54.:08:57.

The West Midlands is second only to London for the highest number of

:08:58.:09:01.

sham marriages in the country. It is very difficult for us as registrars

:09:02.:09:09.

to take these marriages because they are making a mockery of the

:09:10.:09:15.

immigration laws and of the marriage act, and that is something we are

:09:16.:09:22.

very frustrated about. Two men from Wolverhampton went up to Scotland

:09:23.:09:26.

for a civil partnership ceremony just recently but they, too, have

:09:27.:09:30.

now been arrested and are now being questioned about sham marriages.

:09:31.:09:35.

A woman has appeared in court charged with the murder of a man in

:09:36.:09:39.

Wolverhampton. 53`year`old John Fletcher was found at a flat in the

:09:40.:09:43.

Market Square on Sunday afternoon. He'd been stabbed. 49`year`old

:09:44.:09:46.

Caroline Loweth, who is unemployed, has been remanded into custody and

:09:47.:09:49.

will appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court tomorrow.

:09:50.:09:53.

A prisoner serving two life sentences for the murder and kidnap

:09:54.:09:57.

of a teenage boy has escaped from a prison in Worcestershire.

:09:58.:10:00.

56`year`old Alan John Giles was in an open part of Hewell Prison near

:10:01.:10:03.

Redditch when he absconded yesterday. He'd been in jail since

:10:04.:10:08.

killing 16`year`old Quinton student Kevin Ricketts in 1995.

:10:09.:10:14.

A badger cull in Gloucestershire may not reach its target, even though

:10:15.:10:18.

it's been extended for another two months. A report by the Government

:10:19.:10:21.

agency Natural England suggests some badgers may have caused new

:10:22.:10:25.

outbreaks of TB in cattle, as they were escaping marksmen.

:10:26.:10:31.

After six years fighting leukaemia, 22`year`old Kathryn Cartwright from

:10:32.:10:33.

Sutton Coldfield has just months left to live. But she's hoping to

:10:34.:10:39.

leave a lasting legacy by appealing to everyone to consider donating

:10:40.:10:43.

bone marrow. Around 325,000 people are currently on the British Bone

:10:44.:10:49.

Marrow Register. To join, you have to be over the age of 18 and under

:10:50.:10:54.

49. Once on the register, the chances of being a suitable match

:10:55.:10:58.

for someone are about one in 100. Sadly, it's too late for Kathryn. No

:10:59.:11:02.

bone marrow will save her now, as she's suffering with complications

:11:03.:11:05.

from a liver transplant she had four years ago. She's been speaking to

:11:06.:11:10.

Sarah Falkland. Her days may be numbered but she

:11:11.:11:18.

hasn't lost her sense of humour. I've started the day on the front

:11:19.:11:23.

page of the Sunday Mercury. Next to a picture of a woman in a bikini.

:11:24.:11:28.

Because, clearly, our stories tie together! Kathryn Cartwright is

:11:29.:11:32.

blogging about what are likely to be the last weeks of her life. I'm not

:11:33.:11:37.

scared to die because they won't know. I will be gone. And it will be

:11:38.:11:44.

fine for me. I don't have to then... Go through what I've seen other

:11:45.:11:47.

families go through when their children have died. It doesn't scare

:11:48.:11:55.

me. It just makes me sad. Here in the middle, before she was

:11:56.:11:58.

diagnosed, Kathryn had always wanted to be a photographer. She never

:11:59.:12:02.

imagined her own life being told in pictures like this. There have been

:12:03.:12:05.

more operations than she can remember, pain that she can never

:12:06.:12:09.

forget. And now she's getting infections her body can't fight.

:12:10.:12:16.

They can keep treating them but eventually it will get to a stage

:12:17.:12:19.

where I go in with the temperature and they won't be able to get it to

:12:20.:12:23.

come back down, and that is when they will know I have only got a few

:12:24.:12:27.

weeks left. If the quality of her bone marrow transplants had been

:12:28.:12:30.

better, things may have turned out differently. And it's her dying wish

:12:31.:12:34.

that others will have more of a chance than she did. Bone marrow

:12:35.:12:40.

donation is so much easier than people think because they hear the

:12:41.:12:44.

word transplant and think it means surgery, and my hairdresser thought

:12:45.:12:51.

it meant it would take somebody saying, how long does it take to

:12:52.:12:55.

recover? About six months? And they said, it is about a day. `` and ice

:12:56.:13:02.

said. Bone marrow donation is so much easier than people think. Her

:13:03.:13:06.

bucket list is getting shorter. A virtual hug from Stephen Fry,

:13:07.:13:09.

instead of the real one she'd hoped for. A stranger has made her a

:13:10.:13:13.

glorious cake. What would make her most happy, though, would be if you

:13:14.:13:16.

signed up to the Bone Marrow Register.

:13:17.:13:18.

I'm joined now by Simon Bramhall, a transplant surgeon at the Queen

:13:19.:13:21.

Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. How difficult is it to find the

:13:22.:13:24.

right donor for bone marrow? Bone marrow donation is difficult. The

:13:25.:13:27.

process to go through to match donor and recipient is much more complex

:13:28.:13:32.

than it is with other transplants. For example, the liver transplant

:13:33.:13:38.

she had. So it is quite difficult. There is a perception that donating

:13:39.:13:43.

bone marrow is a painful process. Is that the case? I think it can be. I

:13:44.:13:48.

think doctors do their best to make sure it is relatively pain`free but

:13:49.:13:51.

it is very short lived and the patient recovers extremely quickly

:13:52.:14:01.

from it, and in fact, they are back to normal the next day and have a

:14:02.:14:04.

small plaster on, which is not the same as all transplant procedures,

:14:05.:14:08.

of course! We have had quite a lot of response on Twitter and the

:14:09.:14:12.

general consensus is that there is a lack of information, especially

:14:13.:14:15.

about bone marrow donation. They cite Germany as having one of the

:14:16.:14:20.

highest registers because children are made aware of it. How important

:14:21.:14:28.

is donation of organs? It is incredibly important. At least have

:14:29.:14:31.

the conversation with one of your loved ones and about what your

:14:32.:14:39.

wishes would be. Whether it be bone marrow or another organ, in the

:14:40.:14:43.

unfortunate circumstances that could happen where you were going to die.

:14:44.:14:48.

It is that conversation in the family home that will make all the

:14:49.:14:51.

difference. Would you support an opt`out rather than opt`in donor

:14:52.:14:59.

system? I think when you look at it superficially, the path that the

:15:00.:15:03.

Welsh are going down, in other words, the opt out half, would seem

:15:04.:15:08.

to be sensible. However, there are a lot of complexities that people

:15:09.:15:14.

don't realise. So, the legal aspect, the logistic aspects, because you

:15:15.:15:19.

would have to contact every single person in the country and ask their

:15:20.:15:22.

permission. You would have to have a very, very good database that is

:15:23.:15:26.

very secure and I am not sure that in the UK we are particularly good

:15:27.:15:31.

at keeping national databases particularly secure. So all those

:15:32.:15:35.

things are very complex. As it currently stands, the system we have

:15:36.:15:39.

in England and Scotland is probably the right one, although it would be

:15:40.:15:43.

very interesting to see over the course of the next five years what

:15:44.:15:47.

the effect of the change in law in Wales will be. Thank you very much

:15:48.:15:50.

indeed. Our top story tonight ` new journey

:15:51.:15:53.

times revealed for the high`speed rail network, as the Government

:15:54.:15:57.

announces a revised business case. Shefali's here with your detailed

:15:58.:16:00.

weather forecast in just a moment. Also ahead, the volunteers sprucing

:16:01.:16:03.

up Cannock Chase...ready for Christmas 2017.

:16:04.:16:11.

If you have a story you think we should be covering on Midlands

:16:12.:16:14.

Today, we'd like to hear from you. Please get in touch.

:16:15.:16:29.

Two metal`detector enthusiasts have unearthed an unusual find in

:16:30.:16:35.

Warwickshire. A rare Roman child's coffin, believed to be

:16:36.:16:37.

1,700`years`old, was discovered in a field near Atherstone. It's being

:16:38.:16:43.

called a significant archeological discovery and is now being studied

:16:44.:16:48.

by experts in Warwick. It was a particularly poignant find for one

:16:49.:16:50.

of the detectors who's a grave`digger, as Ben Sidwell

:16:51.:16:54.

reports. It may not look that exciting but

:16:55.:16:58.

this lead coffin is believed to be one of the earliest Christian

:16:59.:17:07.

burials anywhere in the Midlands. It is definitely archaeologically

:17:08.:17:08.

significant because it is unusual for the region and certainly from my

:17:09.:17:14.

experience, it is quite rare. The coffin is thought to contain the

:17:15.:17:17.

remains of a young child from a wealthy Roman family who lived in

:17:18.:17:20.

third`century Britain. Archaeologists in Warwick studying

:17:21.:17:23.

this rare find say it could answer many questions. There's a lot we can

:17:24.:17:30.

tell from the technology in the actual coughing construction. There

:17:31.:17:34.

is a lock that the pathology of the bones can tell us. `` a lot. And it

:17:35.:17:43.

also tells us something about the way people were behaving at that

:17:44.:17:47.

time. So what has this cemetery in Nottingham got to do with a coughing

:17:48.:17:52.

found on the Warwickshire border? Well, for one of the archaeologists

:17:53.:17:56.

it had more than a small connection to his Dave `` day job. Steve

:17:57.:18:02.

Waterall works as a grave`digger, although his passion is

:18:03.:18:06.

metal`detecting. But when he and a fellow enthusiast picked up a signal

:18:07.:18:09.

in a field near Atherstone, they had no idea they'd just come across the

:18:10.:18:13.

most significant find of their lives. What a surprise! We knew it

:18:14.:18:16.

was on a Roman site but, yeah, it was the pinnacle of the day. And as

:18:17.:18:21.

things have unfolded, this is far greater than we initially thought.

:18:22.:18:24.

In the village of Witherley, close to where the lead coffin was

:18:25.:18:27.

discovered, there's plenty of excitement, but also a hope it'll

:18:28.:18:34.

eventually be returned. I think the general feeling of people I have

:18:35.:18:37.

spoken to is that they would like it to be returned to the village.

:18:38.:18:41.

Obviously that is where the child lived. Otherwise they wouldn't have

:18:42.:18:44.

been buried here in the first place. Archaeologists say it'll be next

:18:45.:18:47.

week before the coffin is opened to find out what's inside. Only then

:18:48.:18:53.

will its future be decided. It's a big night for Birmingham City

:18:54.:18:57.

and Stoke City. They meet in the League Cup and Dan Pallett's live at

:18:58.:19:05.

St Andrew's right now. There's more than local pride at stake tonight,

:19:06.:19:10.

isn't there? You are right. Both could do with a win to their mood.

:19:11.:19:16.

Birmingham City, 20th in the Championship, against Stoke City,

:19:17.:19:22.

17th in the Premier League. Stoke haven't won since August in the

:19:23.:19:26.

league. Their problem is a lack of goals but Birmingham City's problem

:19:27.:19:29.

is even bigger, a lack of money. Here's Ian Winter.

:19:30.:19:35.

The Midlands storm that never happened yesterday will kick off at

:19:36.:19:38.

St Andrew's in less than an hour. So, wear thick gloves if you're

:19:39.:19:42.

planning on staying out late. Like the Birmingham goalkeeper, Colin

:19:43.:19:49.

Doyle. And if it all comes down to penalties, are you prepared? Yeah!

:19:50.:19:56.

It is the pressure on the goalkeeper to take that and naughty and you are

:19:57.:20:00.

not expected to save from 12 yards. They are expected to score. When

:20:01.:20:09.

they last met in the Premier League three years ago, Nikola Zigic scored

:20:10.:20:12.

the only goal for Birmingham. But earlier, Ricardo Fuller helped Stoke

:20:13.:20:16.

win the game 3`2. So tonight, who knows? Between them, Birmingham and

:20:17.:20:25.

Stoke have taken just 19 points from 22 games in the championship and the

:20:26.:20:29.

Premier League. No wonder both clubs fancy a good cup run to kick`start

:20:30.:20:34.

their season. We know it is going to be tough but we are looking forward

:20:35.:20:39.

to it. It is exciting to have a home tie between these Premier League

:20:40.:20:43.

teams. We know they will give everything they have got because

:20:44.:20:48.

their crowd is passionate. So it is not an easy fixture for us by any

:20:49.:20:51.

stretch of the imagination. Reporters and supporters alike could

:20:52.:20:55.

be in for a late night if all comes down to penalties. And if it does,

:20:56.:21:00.

don't nip off early to beat the traffic. Let's speak to someone with

:21:01.:21:08.

very happy memories of the League Cup. You reach the final in 2001.

:21:09.:21:15.

How these two clubs would dearly love to get that far. Yes. They

:21:16.:21:20.

might be able to capitalise later down the line on other teams by

:21:21.:21:25.

playing a weaker team, so it is a good opportunity for both of them.

:21:26.:21:31.

Stoke nearly got a good result at Old Trafford last week. That doesn't

:21:32.:21:37.

bode well for Birmingham? But Birmingham had a great result at

:21:38.:21:42.

Derby so it is setup for a terrific cup tie. Stoke favourites but so was

:21:43.:21:46.

Swansea City in the previous round and they lost 3`1. Well, it should

:21:47.:21:52.

be an electric atmosphere and you never know which way it might. The

:21:53.:21:57.

Blues won this competition three seasons ago. It is an opportunity

:21:58.:22:01.

for the clubs away from the top end to go a long way. Yes, it is a great

:22:02.:22:06.

opportunity to go into Europe, get good funding from this cup.

:22:07.:22:10.

Hopefully tonight we will see two goods teams and a great top `` cup

:22:11.:22:24.

tie and a great match. And tonight's game is live on both BBC WM and BBC

:22:25.:22:29.

Radio Stoke. It's a 7:45pm kick`off. And we're guaranteed a Midlands side

:22:30.:22:32.

in the quarterfinals. It might seem a bit early to be

:22:33.:22:36.

thinking about Christmas trees this year, but on Cannock Chase rangers

:22:37.:22:39.

are already preparing trees for Christmas 2017. Forestry managers

:22:40.:22:41.

have introduced the traditional pines as a possible source of future

:22:42.:22:45.

revenue. They're being tended by some of the hundreds of volunteers

:22:46.:22:48.

who work on the Chase, as Holly Lewis reports.

:22:49.:22:53.

It started off as a way of filling in gaps where trees had been felled,

:22:54.:22:56.

but now Staffordshire County Council hopes these Christmas trees on

:22:57.:22:59.

Cannock Chase might be sold at festive events in the future. We are

:23:00.:23:07.

always looking at commercial opportunities but what we have to

:23:08.:23:12.

remember is, Cannock Chase is a nature site, an area of natural

:23:13.:23:15.

beauty, and the last thing we want to do is spoil it with

:23:16.:23:18.

commercialism. 2,000 trees have been planted across the Chase and are

:23:19.:23:21.

being nurtured by volunteers. Over the past four years, more than 500

:23:22.:23:25.

people have regularly given up their time to help out, from school groups

:23:26.:23:31.

to pensioners in their nineties. 27`year`old Gavin Evans has been

:23:32.:23:34.

volunteering every week for the past four years since he saw an advert in

:23:35.:23:43.

the newspaper. My mother spotted it and I thought I would respond to it,

:23:44.:23:48.

and I thought, that is the sort of job I have always wanted to do.

:23:49.:23:52.

Outdoor work, meeting friends, using different tools. Growing Christmas

:23:53.:23:59.

trees is a labour`intensive business. These small trees were

:24:00.:24:04.

planted three to four years ago. But it will be even longer before they

:24:05.:24:07.

are ready to be taken indoors and decorated. Volunteers are essential

:24:08.:24:16.

to projects like this one. Without the volunteers, this would not be

:24:17.:24:20.

happening because the county council don't have the money for this sort

:24:21.:24:23.

of project. Christmas trees will be on sale at the visitors centre from

:24:24.:24:26.

the end of November. They're bought in every year from Warwickshire but

:24:27.:24:30.

rangers hope it won't be long before these trees will be lighting up the

:24:31.:24:33.

windows of local homes and businesses.

:24:34.:24:41.

It looked a lovely day out there but it was so windy where rivals, tiny

:24:42.:24:49.

`` I nearly got blown off my bike. `` where I was.

:24:50.:24:54.

We have a ridge of high pressure building from the south responsible

:24:55.:25:00.

for that and this is where the winds will be lighter, but those together

:25:01.:25:03.

with the clearest skies tonight and the drop in temperatures will be to

:25:04.:25:09.

a touch of Frost, more particularly in the countryside. So we will see

:25:10.:25:13.

this ridge of high pressure killing off any remaining showers, leaving

:25:14.:25:17.

us with a dry night and largely clear skies, which will lead to

:25:18.:25:22.

temperatures dropping as low as one degree in rural spots, and sheltered

:25:23.:25:28.

areas, which is where we will get the frost. For towns and cities,

:25:29.:25:36.

those of six to eight degrees. So, a crisp, autumnal start, and chilly

:25:37.:25:40.

but lots of sunshine to start with, with cloud thickening up from the

:25:41.:25:45.

West. This will introduce some rain towards the tail end of the day and

:25:46.:25:49.

two northern parts of the region. This could be quite heavy but for

:25:50.:25:53.

the vast majority, a dry day, just turning cloudier. It is during

:25:54.:26:04.

tomorrow evening and night that the and starts to cross the region

:26:05.:26:09.

towards the East, and as it does, it becomes patchy and lighter, but then

:26:10.:26:14.

again it ends up dry, clear and cold, so the potential for some

:26:15.:26:21.

frost in rural spots. On Thursday, we start dry and sunny once again

:26:22.:26:25.

but we have showers developing through the afternoon with rain for

:26:26.:26:29.

Friday. This is what I want to draw your attention to. It is Friday that

:26:30.:26:37.

opens up the door to this weather at the weekend. You will notice a

:26:38.:26:40.

couple of areas of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic, so

:26:41.:26:44.

quite an active scene for the weekend. These areas of low pressure

:26:45.:26:49.

are not going to be as fierce as the ones we had on Monday but they could

:26:50.:26:54.

be fairly intense, so, all in all, looking at some gusty wind over the

:26:55.:26:59.

weekend and heavy, blustery showers. But Friday itself, there will be

:27:00.:27:05.

heavy rain but I think it should clear by the evening and overnight

:27:06.:27:07.

as we head into the start of Saturday.

:27:08.:27:09.

Tonight's headlines from the BBC: Bosses from the big energy companies

:27:10.:27:13.

face MPs' questions about their profits.

:27:14.:27:16.

New journey times revealed for the high`speed rail network, as the

:27:17.:27:18.

Government announces a revised business case.

:27:19.:27:22.

That was Midlands Today. Before we go, a warning that rail services in

:27:23.:27:26.

and out of Birmingham Snow Hill are severely disrupted tonight following

:27:27.:27:29.

an incident at Small Heath, so the advice is to check with your train

:27:30.:27:33.

operator before travelling. I'll be back at 10pm, when we'll be live at

:27:34.:27:37.

St Andrew's with details of the Cup game between Birmingham City and

:27:38.:27:40.

Stoke. Have a great evening. Goodbye.

:27:41.:27:48.

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