02/04/2014 Midlands Today


02/04/2014

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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brightness between the clouds. The outlook is mixed. Thank you.

:00:00.:00:09.

Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: We'll be

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talking to a senior doctor from Public Health England on thd

:00:21.:00:25.

precautions people should bd taking. Multi`million pound makeover for the

:00:26.:00:29.

Metro as a new fleet of trals under go final testing.

:00:30.:00:40.

The new technology delivering a magnetic approach to hearing. It is

:00:41.:00:59.

amazing. The model team hophng their Red Arrows can make them model

:01:00.:01:07.

builders in the world. Good evening. Health chiefs are

:01:08.:01:11.

tonight issuing advice to p`tients with heart or lung problems as

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increased levels of air pollution hang over the West Midlands. Weather

:01:15.:01:17.

forecasters say levels are set to soar, as local and European

:01:18.:01:20.

emissions mix with dust frol the Sahara. Pollution experts s`y

:01:21.:01:24.

today's developments are a wake`up call for the Government. Liz Copper

:01:25.:01:31.

reports. Climatic conditions are measured

:01:32.:01:38.

here. Data is collected to help forecasters. We're monitoring the

:01:39.:01:46.

weather on an hourly basis. We do this for the Met Office or `ny

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environmental agencies that might be interested in monitoring pollution.

:01:50.:01:52.

This unusual set of conditions is being checked as the region braces

:01:53.:01:55.

itself for high levels of ahr pollution over the next few days.

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The scare at the moment, if there is a scare, is about tiny specks of

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dust that get into people's lungs and threaten asthma and people with

:02:07.:02:14.

chest problems. People are told not to do citizenious activity.

:02:15.:02:20.

`` strenuous activity. Although weather experts ard urging

:02:21.:02:23.

caution, we are also being encouraged to keep today's forecast

:02:24.:02:28.

in context and not to panic unduly. Today, is something of a wake`up

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call for us because we have an underlying air pollution problem in

:02:37.:02:41.

this country. It is not as dasy to sense with our eyes and nosds as it

:02:42.:02:46.

is today. At this station in Birmingh`m, the

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city's air pollution levels are checked. Environmental groups are

:02:51.:02:53.

concerned emissions can worsen the effects of smog and contribtte

:02:54.:02:58.

towards poor air quality. It is a massive problem in the UK and in

:02:59.:03:01.

Birmingham. Air pollution contributes to 29,000 premature

:03:02.:03:05.

deaths in the UK every year and probably to about 500 to 530

:03:06.:03:12.

premature deaths in Birmingham. The conditions meant planes could barely

:03:13.:03:16.

be seen this afternoon, but the outlook is set to improve.

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Meteorologists will be monitoring the situation on an hourly basis.

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High pollution levels are expected to ebb away by the weekend.

:03:25.:03:33.

Earlier I spoke to David Kirrage, from Public Health England, and

:03:34.:03:38.

began by asking him how concerned people should be feeling tonight.

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Well, I think it is a seriots situation in that it is unusual for

:03:42.:03:44.

us. We don't normally get s`nd from The Sahara, combining with winds

:03:45.:03:48.

coming from Europe and our normal levels of pollution. So these two

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days that predicted the levdls to be high is unusual and we should be

:03:55.:03:58.

aware of it and if necessarx, take appropriate actions. How cotld it

:03:59.:04:01.

affect people? Well, the majority of people won't be affected, wd don't

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think, by this. The people that could be affected are those with

:04:06.:04:10.

preexisting heart and lung conditions. People with asthma for

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example and what we are sayhng is that people with those condhtions

:04:15.:04:23.

should not exercise strenuotsly they shouldn't take on a lot of

:04:24.:04:26.

physical activity outside for the two days or when the levels remain

:04:27.:04:29.

high. Should they be seeking medical

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advice? Only if they get sylptoms. We would advice people for dxample

:04:36.:04:40.

who have asthma to take thehr asthma releaver medication with thdm in

:04:41.:04:45.

pocket and just today I had a call from a headteacher of a school

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saying could they run a cross`country race and our `dvice

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was this for children, yes, of course, but be aware of the children

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who might have asthma probldms to take their medication with them

:04:58.:05:01.

Going forward, do you see ahr pollution as becoming a gre`ter

:05:02.:05:05.

issue, a bigger problem? It is a difficult question. I might not be

:05:06.:05:11.

the right expert. I'm hopeftl with technology and electric transport,

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with greater use of public transport, even things dare I say

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like the congestion charges encouraging people to cycle, we

:05:21.:05:24.

should be heading for a sittation where certainly our cities will be

:05:25.:05:27.

getting cleaner over the next few years.

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Where is all this air pollution coming from? Nick, it is behng drawn

:05:34.:05:40.

up from the near Continent by the south easterly winds. It is a

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combination of the European pollutants mixing with ours and the

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Saharan dust cloud. The high pressure is causing stagnant

:05:50.:05:52.

conditions and the light winds. Is there going to be a change? I will

:05:53.:05:55.

be telling you later. Coming up later:

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The UK's first academy for traditional blacksmiths opens for

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business in Herefordshire. Passenger numbers on the Midland

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Metro tramline are set to rhse to over ?8 million after a new

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extension through Birminghal City Centre opens next year. A ndw fleet

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of hi`tech trams has also bden ordered at a cost of ?40 million.

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The new vehicles are being built in Spain and five of them have already

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been delivered. Our transport correspondent, Peter Plisner has

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been given exclusive access to the depot where they're currently being

:06:36.:06:36.

tested. Driver training on board ond of the

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new trams. They are different from the existing vehicles and this

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morning they were turning hdads at the station. It looks more

:06:54.:07:01.

comfortabler. It likes like the Virgin train. Very nice and modern.

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The new trams seem to give ` smoother ride and they are lore

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spacious. They are a third bigger, they are table to take 50 more

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passengers which hopefully leans less overcrowding. 20 trams are

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being built in Spain. Five have been delivered. Each one of thesd

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vehicles is costing ?2 millhon. It is a real wow factor. They look

:07:24.:07:27.

special. They look much mord comfortable than the previots trams.

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They are state`of`the`art. They are 21st century trams. They ard getting

:07:32.:07:37.

wow from the drivers. Handld well around corners and when we have been

:07:38.:07:42.

working around the depot, they nice, smooth tram. Like a car? It is the

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BMW of the car world! The Metro depot is being expanded to

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house the new fleet and it hs there that they are being thoroughly

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tested. The tram manufacturdr have a team of engineers here on shte and

:07:59.:08:04.

carrying outside commissionhng tests. The operator of the trams are

:08:05.:08:09.

carrying out system integration tests. The firs of the new trams

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enters service this summer, but passengers can get a look around one

:08:15.:08:20.

of them at Snow Hill Station this Saturday.

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Peter joins us now from Birlingham City centre where the tram lines are

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being installed. The new tr`ms look very good. Presumably they will be

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running on the tracks being built behind you? Construction work here

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is half`way through. So we `re talking about trams running through

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this street in the summer of next year. Those new trams will be

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running sooner because they will be replacing the existing fleet on the

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line between Wolverhampton `nd Birmingham. This summer. Those trams

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are only 15 years old and they have a bit of life left in them xet, but

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they will be stored for futtre use on other lines around the Wdst

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Midlands. Places like Manchester has ` network

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of trams, why have we only got one line in Birmingham? It comes down to

:09:08.:09:11.

money. Metro isn't cheap. This line is a mile long from Snow Hill to New

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Street Station and it is costing ?70 million. Manchester has been

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planning and building its tram network for the last 30 years. They

:09:23.:09:25.

have proved the concept and they have won a lot of Government money,

:09:26.:09:30.

but what the West Midlands needs to do is the same thing. When this line

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is open, we are expecting another 3.5 million people to use the trams

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every year and that may prove the concept. There are ex`tenses planned

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`` extensions planned down to the HS2 station and a loop around

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Wolverhampton town centre. Thank you.

:09:52.:09:55.

A worker at a care home in Tividale in the Black Country has bedn

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arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting an 85`year`old m`n. The

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25`year`old man worked at W`rrens Hall Nursing Centre which is

:10:07.:10:09.

privately run by BUPA and specialises in looking after people

:10:10.:10:11.

with Parkinson's Disease. Hd's been released on bail as police carry out

:10:12.:10:15.

further inquiries. A blind lan is recovering after fighting off

:10:16.:10:20.

muggers who held him at knife point. He was attacked on his way home on

:10:21.:10:24.

Friday night. It is thought the muggers watched him take money from

:10:25.:10:28.

a cashpoint before threatenhng him with a knife.

:10:29.:10:33.

As I was leaving the scene, I heard them shout, "Well, we know where you

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live." And that's really frhghtened me. I'm scared to go out on me own

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now. It knocked my confidence. Ofsted carried out inspections today

:10:43.:10:49.

at two schools which are part of the Park View Education Trust in

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Birmingham. Hospitals are among some of the

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first in the country to fit new magnetic implants to help p`tients

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with hearing loss. Traditional implants mean people have a at this

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timetain yum screw sticking out of their heads. Billy has lived in a

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muted world for years. Isol`ted in crowds. Unable to distinguish

:11:24.:11:27.

noises. Billy says he has experienced the world in mono rather

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than stereo until now. Everxthing is louder. Everything is more focussed

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and it is amazing. He lost his hearing in one ear when he was 7.

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Traditional hearing aids have not helped, but last month, he became

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one of the first people in the region to be fitted with a lagnetic

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implant that within minutes was making him smile as muffled sounds

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became clear. It is amazing. I can hear

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everything. I can tell wherd sound is coming from. I can hear smaller

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noises that I couldn't hear before like footsteps. I Vice`Preshdent, I

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am `` I haven't, I'm sure that will increase as time goes on. Bhlly had

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a fixture attached to his skull and topped with a magnet. Today, over

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the skin, the tiny box was `ttached. There is a lot of stigma attached to

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wearing a hearing aid. People don't have problem with wearing glasses, a

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lot of people have stigma attached wearing a hearing aid. We nded to

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educate the public in what hs available now for hearing and

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implant technology. This is what the traditional screw

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would look like implanted into the skull. You lose hair phosic`ls

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around it and it `` folliclds around it and it needs to be cleandd every

:12:43.:12:47.

day. If you look at Billy, where the magnet has been implanted, xou can't

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see anything. 1500 people a year could benefit from bone conduction

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implants and it is hoped thd magnetic versions will attr`ct

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people who are suffering in silence. A lottry grant paved the wax for a

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?4 million extension to a mtseum which features the West Midlands

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motoring heritage. It is a shed around the back, but it

:13:16.:13:28.

is full. Each with their own unique appeal. This is Harold Wilson's the

:13:29.:13:34.

Prime Minister in the mid`1870s personal car. If you see hil on the

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TV, you have been seeing hil driving in this fabulous Rover. There are

:13:39.:13:49.

unusual prototypes, come ond office. In the 1950s, they were looking to

:13:50.:13:54.

build a more comfortable Range Rover. Well, here is me livhng the

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dream in an MGB when British Leyland was experimenting with safety

:14:02.:14:06.

devices and this one comes complete with its own periscope. It draws

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150,000 visitors a year and the numbers are on the up. What you see

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in the mew teem today is `` museum today is two`thirds of what we could

:14:20.:14:23.

show to the public. We are keen to show case the rest of our collection

:14:24.:14:27.

and what we do behind the scenes to our visitors. A ?4 million dx`tense

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paid for by `` extension pahd for by a lottry grant and partly bx Jaguar

:14:34.:14:41.

land cover. That will `` Land Rover. That will include a workshop. I have

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been with the company for a long time and I watched it grow `nd this

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is another step now and we will have a purpose`built unit to work from.

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Pillars in it that you have got to go around. Good times. Building work

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will begin next month on a site next to the existing museum and ht is due

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to open in the summer of next year. The West Midlands boasts a proud

:15:05.:15:09.

motoring heritage. A heritage safeguarded for years to cole.

:15:10.:15:14.

Our top story: West Midlands is braced for higher

:15:15.:15:19.

levels of air pollution forcing doctors to issue health advhce.

:15:20.:15:26.

We will have the weather shortly. The growing popularity of h`ndball.

:15:27.:15:35.

Could one of the London Olylpics success stories make its wax to the

:15:36.:15:39.

Midlands. Two replicas which cost over ?20,000 to build.

:15:40.:15:48.

The UK's first academy for traditional blacksmiths opened. Old

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Field Forge is running a cotrse and year long apprenticeships. Out of

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the flames, the noise and the Ashes, things of beauty are born. Old Field

:16:09.:16:14.

Forge sells its iron works `ll over the world. They are now using their

:16:15.:16:19.

expertise to help people like Elliot. He is recovering from a

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serious head injury and comhng here is part of his therapy. It hs nice

:16:24.:16:27.

to come here and just not think about anything else. Just

:16:28.:16:30.

concentrate on the task at hand and be able to make stuff which is, look

:16:31.:16:37.

at the stuff, it is beautiftl. Nicky and Aaron Heath who run the forge

:16:38.:16:40.

have decided to set`up what is thought to be the first traditional

:16:41.:16:45.

blacksmith academy in the country. There is something special `bout

:16:46.:16:48.

being able to create somethhng with a hammer and anvil. There is little

:16:49.:16:52.

tools required just for the basic things and you can achieve so much.

:16:53.:16:58.

I'm excited. I hope up and running at the end of May. We are going

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through the city and guild information. There is not a lot

:17:02.:17:05.

going on here yet. They are in the process of setting up. This is where

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the black myth academy will be based and they are getting a lot of

:17:11.:17:14.

interest from charities including ex`forces and schools. They have

:17:15.:17:19.

been working with a brain injury charity, Headway. It offers the

:17:20.:17:23.

chance of getting a job at the end of it. Because it is highly skilled?

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It is highly skilled. Aaron and Nicky vesseled invested thehr own

:17:28.:17:33.

money and they are hoping companies will sponsor people on the course to

:17:34.:17:38.

help with funding. What are you making? I finished this S hook

:17:39.:17:48.

earlier. Elliot is hoping to be amongst the first apprenticds when

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the academy opens. The players clashed after the 3`3

:17:58.:18:03.

draw with Cardiff on Saturd`y leaving a player with facial

:18:04.:18:07.

injuries. Wolves remains six points later at the top of League 0 despite

:18:08.:18:16.

a goalless draw at Stevenagd last night. But they were grateftl to the

:18:17.:18:21.

goaler for keeping the scords level. Wolves almost snatched the points in

:18:22.:18:28.

the closing stages, but the shot was well saved.

:18:29.:18:44.

Port Vale levelled. Coventrx are sitting in 13th place in Le`gue 1.

:18:45.:18:51.

The closest either side camd to a goal was a header which rebounded

:18:52.:18:56.

off the crossbar. Handball was one of the surprise

:18:57.:19:01.

hits of the Olympics, attracting big crowds. Now the sport is hoping to

:19:02.:19:04.

drive up the number of people playing the game and our reporter is

:19:05.:19:08.

at one club in Coventry. It is trials night here at Coventry

:19:09.:19:20.

Handball Club. This club has only been formed for a year, but they

:19:21.:19:24.

have decided the time is right to find their own stars of the

:19:25.:19:27.

futurement `` future. It is lively, fun and

:19:28.:19:36.

best of all, it is simple to play. That's why Coventry Handball Club

:19:37.:19:42.

are hoping these players will be the future. Training sessions h`ve been

:19:43.:19:47.

put on at schools. They want to go one step further with their talent

:19:48.:19:52.

academy. To bring a new gendration of handball players into thd UK Our

:19:53.:19:58.

team is based on foreign pl`yers. We hope to start our academy so we can

:19:59.:20:07.

bring the next generation of handball players. It wasn't all good

:20:08.:20:16.

news, the sport lost its funding at the elite level. That's why

:20:17.:20:20.

rebuilding from the grass`roots up is so important and why enthusiasm

:20:21.:20:26.

for the next generation is critical. Everyone contributes becausd there

:20:27.:20:29.

is only five positions. Nobody is left out. It is a really endrgetic

:20:30.:20:35.

sport. It's good fun and it gets the whole team together. The cltb has to

:20:36.:20:41.

think of the present as well. Players from 34 different countries

:20:42.:20:44.

are representing Coventry and it is bringing them success on thd court.

:20:45.:20:49.

It is a really long and tough season for us. We have ups and downs, but

:20:50.:20:53.

the players enjoyed it. Thex loved it. They are over the moon.

:20:54.:21:05.

It is here in the city's schools that the real hard work is needed.

:21:06.:21:12.

I'm joined by the Chairman of Coventry Handball Club. This is a

:21:13.:21:15.

mix of your regulars and new recruits? These are all pretty much

:21:16.:21:21.

new recruits. We have a few of our lady players. They finished second

:21:22.:21:27.

in the League. We have got dight different nationalities represented.

:21:28.:21:30.

We are looking to fin the ndxt generation of British and English

:21:31.:21:33.

talent and that's why we ard running the trials today. You want the kids

:21:34.:21:38.

in Coventry to be playing h`ndball? 18 months ago, I didn't know

:21:39.:21:41.

anything about the sport, btt I have realised it is a mainstream sport

:21:42.:21:44.

that has yet to hit the mainstream. It has all the same skills `s

:21:45.:21:49.

basketball, rugby and footb`ll. You can see by tonight, it has started

:21:50.:21:54.

to hit the mainstream in Coventry. It is a simple sport to learn, isn't

:21:55.:21:59.

it? You are looking at combhning the physicality with rugby to the ball

:22:00.:22:03.

skills in basketball and sole of the basic mentality and team work you

:22:04.:22:06.

see in football and that's why the kids have pick it had up so quick.

:22:07.:22:14.

None of these kids have been playing more than five weeks. Some of them

:22:15.:22:18.

travelled 30 or 40 miles to be here tonight.? How much would it mean to

:22:19.:22:24.

you if you won the League? Our men are guaranteed promotion. They

:22:25.:22:30.

finished second in the Leagte which has four members of the Olylpic team

:22:31.:22:35.

in it. Thank you very much. It logical is a lively night tonight

:22:36.:22:40.

and hopefully this will be the Olympic legacy in action here in cap

:22:41.:22:43.

Coventry. A father and son team are hoping

:22:44.:22:48.

their model red arrow planes will win them a world title. Steve and

:22:49.:22:54.

Matthew Bishop have spent over ?20,000 building the two aircrafts.

:22:55.:23:02.

It is a majestic and awesomd sight, the Red Arrows in flight. T`ke a

:23:03.:23:05.

closer look. These are not the real deal. They are in fact, findly tuned

:23:06.:23:14.

model aircraft. This is thel on the ground. You can see they ard a

:23:15.:23:17.

quarter of the size of the real thing, but they can travel `t

:23:18.:23:21.

200mph, powered by a miniattre jet engine and look at this for

:23:22.:23:26.

attention to detail. There hs also a miniature RAF pilot.

:23:27.:23:31.

They were bought as a kit and assembled over the course of a year

:23:32.:23:37.

by Steve and Matt Bishop. They cost about ?11,000 each and after

:23:38.:23:41.

completion, there was the slall matter of learning how to fly in

:23:42.:23:46.

formation. Flying one aircr`ft is hard enough, but flying two is one

:23:47.:23:50.

of the most hardest things xou can do because you are not in the model

:23:51.:23:55.

and you can't see the third dimension? It is very trickx and

:23:56.:24:01.

takes many years to practisd on your own let alone as a duo. You have to

:24:02.:24:09.

split your eyes into two and fly two planes at the same time almost.

:24:10.:24:15.

Their miniature Red Arrows `re increasingly popular with ahr show

:24:16.:24:19.

bookings coming in from over the worldment they are stood in for

:24:20.:24:28.

their full sized heroes. Now, it is just an honour and privilegd to fly

:24:29.:24:32.

for the public. Later this xear they will take part in the world jet

:24:33.:24:42.

formation cup. This year, it is in Germany. As long as there is two or

:24:43.:24:47.

three. We used hawks becausd it replicates the real thing and it is

:24:48.:24:52.

British. With a busy year ahead they will have plenty of

:24:53.:24:56.

opportunities to hone the ilportant piloting skills.

:24:57.:25:00.

The aren't those fantastic. I want one! It is time for the weather and

:25:01.:25:09.

get the latest on the air pollution. It has been one of the main talking

:25:10.:25:15.

points today. It looks as though they will remain high. It is really

:25:16.:25:19.

the strength of the wind or the lack of and the direction of the win

:25:20.:25:23.

that's having the effect whhch is key to the problem. For that to

:25:24.:25:26.

change, the win direction mtst change and it looks as though that

:25:27.:25:31.

will happen by Friday. Just keeping an eye on the isobars. Of course,

:25:32.:25:43.

showers can help the situathon and we have had a few today, but not

:25:44.:25:46.

enough to make an impact, btt they have been confined to the north and

:25:47.:25:49.

west of the region and they will continue to be in these are`s. After

:25:50.:25:54.

that, they start to fade aw`y and we are looking at dry conditions and

:25:55.:25:58.

that cloud breaking out to give us patchy fog in places, but it will be

:25:59.:26:05.

a mild night of lows of 9 to 10 or 11 Celsius. It is a murky, listy

:26:06.:26:08.

start to the day tomorrow whth the fog lifting, but it will be dry

:26:09.:26:11.

initially and during the afternoon we have another band of showery rain

:26:12.:26:14.

starting to clip south`westdrn parts of the region and perhaps jtst

:26:15.:26:18.

gravitating into the north `s well, but it is going to stay dry and

:26:19.:26:25.

temperatures will rise to 14 for the south`west, but 13 Celsius hn the

:26:26.:26:30.

north. More afbreeze in that easterly direction. The showers

:26:31.:26:33.

becoming more widespread through the evening and tomorrow night, but it

:26:34.:26:37.

dies away in the process, some of the showers before they die away

:26:38.:26:41.

could pep up in that process, but they will die away during the early

:26:42.:26:46.

hours and in its wake, left with a lot of cloud and patchy fog and

:26:47.:26:51.

temperatures lowering to seven or eight Celsius.

:26:52.:26:57.

However, the winds will pick up and also change direction by Frhday So

:26:58.:27:02.

we are looking at Friday behng a brighter day. We see some

:27:03.:27:06.

improvement there and it is drier as well. Just the odd isolated shower

:27:07.:27:12.

and temperatures into the mhd`teens and they remain in the mid`teens.

:27:13.:27:15.

For Sunday which is the start of the crick season, it looks like a messle

:27:16.:27:19.

`` mess. That's all I didn't need!

:27:20.:27:25.

The headlines: A last minute appeal on beh`lf of

:27:26.:27:35.

the ma rishian A`level studdnt. Health chiefs on alert as ldvels of

:27:36.:27:39.

air pollution are expected to rise significantly. That was the Midlands

:27:40.:27:45.

Today. I will be back at 10pm. Have a good evening.

:27:46.:27:46.

Bye`bye.

:27:47.:27:48.

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