05/08/2014 Midlands Today


05/08/2014

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ceramic pottery is to honour the war dead. It is an inspiring idea to

:00:18.:00:23.

demonstrate the loss of life and the scale of it. The poppies, one per

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each soldier who died during the First World War are being placed

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around the tower of London. Demonstrators on the roof of the

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Staffordshire FAQ tree which is claimed to be supplying Israeli

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forces. Grief of the family of a 29`year`old

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who died after a routine gallstone operation. It is killing me, I need

:00:48.:00:54.

answers. The protesters who won't give up despite the closure of

:00:55.:00:56.

Coventry's 50 metre pool looking certain. Some of these kids here

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today could be future Olympians if they are given the right

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opportunities and said facilities to do it in.

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It may be some but by the end of the week, things will be feeling

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autumnal. It is good for the garden. I will have all of the details

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later. Last night thousands turned

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off their lights to mark the start of the First World War `

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today an extraordinary tribute to All around the Tower of London 888,

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246 ceramic poppies will be placed, one for every British

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and Commonwealth soldier who died. The final poppy will be put

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in position on Armistice Day, Liz Copper reports now

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from the factory in Stoke on Trent They'll travel from this factory

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in Tunstall to the Tower of London. And then they'll be added to

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the cascading art work taking shape Opened by the Duke and Duchess

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of Cambridge and Prince Harry, eventually a sea of red ceramic

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poppies will encircle the Tower. They've all been made from this `

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Staffordshire clay. 300 tons have been supplied by this

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family`run firm in Stoke on Trent. It is a part of Stoke. It is at the

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heart of Staffordshire. Also, the number of people from North

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Staffordshire who gave up their lives during the war, it feels like

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a fitting tribute to their sacrifice.

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The poppies are being manufactured at Johnson Tiles.

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The expertise here has helped to perfect the design.

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Each poppy represents a life lost, so it is an emotional time.

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Eventually all the poppies will be sold to raise

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For the team of potters helping with this unique project, this is

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Think of what we are making them for. It is an inspiring idea to

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demonstrate the loss of life and the scale of it. Special, when you see

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them all behind me, thousands of them. It is quite emotional. Nice to

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know we are giving something back for all of the people who died

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during the war. Each of them represents someone.

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The kilns will be firing continuously until the Autumn, when

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the final poppy will be placed in the Tower's moat on Armistice Day.

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Already this ceramic spectacle has captured the nation's imagination

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and the spirit of the Great War commemorations.

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I'll be live at this former hospital in Warwickshire where volunteers are

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recreating the role it played treating those wounded in the

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Protestors have occupied the roof of a factory in Staffordshire,

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which they claim is involved in the supply of drone aircraft

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Phil McCann reports from Shenstone near Lichfield.

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This started early this morning? At five a.m., neighbours said they were

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woken up why police all over the road. The company name says it all,

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UAV engines make engines for drones which are the vehicle is thought to

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be responsible for most of the Israeli action in Gaza. The

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protesters say that is why they descended on a relatively small, it

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inoffensive looking industrial unit in rural Staffordshire. The factory

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has been closed all day as a result of our action. It is to raise

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awareness. What has the company had to say? Nothing. Polly Peck is heard

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doors have been chained shut. This isn't the first time action has

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taken place. There was similar action against Israel two years ago

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and back then there were demonstrations. Do we have any idea

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what the police are going to do? The protesters are convinced they will

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be pulled down by force. They have been negotiating all day from an

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aerial platform. The police said they will try to continue to

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persuade them to leave of their own free will.

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A 29`year`old mother of three has died 48 hours after what should have

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been a routine day case procedure. Tracey Bannister had a gallstone

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removed and was sent home. The family's been told that she died of

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blood poisoning but they want to know why. Here's our health

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In her mum and dad's house, in the room where she was born 29 years

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ago, a makeshift shrine is dedicated to Tracey Bannister's memory.

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I've got the three children. I feel like it's killing me. I need

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answers. The fun`loving mum had her gall

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bladder removed last year, but still She went into Walsall Manor

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hospital on 24th June. The hospital put a probe

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down her throat. A stent was replaced

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and a stone removed. Her children watched her become

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unwell and called an ambulance. She was unstable. When she was

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walking she would drop. Two nurses held her up and put her on the bed.

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They said she had severe septic and her organs had closed down.

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The family want to know whether the probe had caused a rupture and

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After the procedure, if they had kept her in, she would be here now.

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An investigation was begun on July 1st and the coroner is awaiting post

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The coroner urged the family to contact the patient service.

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Doctors say that septicaemia can set in extremely quickly.

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The family are still having a barbecue on August 16th,

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The Bishop of Gloucester, Right Rev Michael Perham, has been interviewed

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by police today on suspicion of indecently assaulting a woman

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Bishop Michael, attended a police station in Gloucestershire

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today to be interviewed about the allegations which date

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He announced on Saturday he was stepping down from

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The chairman of Staffordshire construction giant JCB fears

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sanctions against Russia could put British jobs at risk.

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Lord Bamford said it was "absurd" that the company which is a

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major exporter to Russia could be harmed by EU economic sanctions.

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Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said it wouldn't

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welcome measures restricting exports from its members.

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A man has been found guilty of strangling his ex`wife

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and hiding her body, which lay undiscovered for weeks.

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Daniel Spencer had denied murdering Jane Wiggett at her home

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Ms Wiggett's body was finally discovered inside her carefully

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Protestors in Coventry have vowed to keep

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on fighting to keep the region's only 50 metre swimming pool open.

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Within the last couple of hours councillors have voted to close the

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pool and press ahead with plans for a new ?37 million leisure centre.

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Campaigners say that having an Olympic sized pool is

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a vital sporting asset but the council argues it would

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cost millions to restore and wants to spend money improving

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For love of swimming ` these protestors angry their Olympic`sized

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pool, a staple of Coventry for 50 years, is under threat of closure.

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We've got a long tradition in this city of swimming being successful. I

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would love my family to be able to swim in the same pool as their

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mother trained in. Some of these kids here today could be future

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Commonwealth champions and future Olympians if they are given the

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right opportunity and facilities. The council wants to knock

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down this building on New Union Street and replace it with

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a new ?37 million leisure centre But Sharon Newport

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and her daughter say it would be inferior and they'd need to travel

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almost 40 miles to a 50`metre one. I would have to travel to Corby,

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assuming it would have capacity to allow us to go and train there. We

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keep mentioning the new pool in Birmingham, that is for Birmingham

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University and it is only six lanes so it won't he suitable for aquatic

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competition either. I want to try and swim in the Olympics when I am

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older. My aim is to get into the next Commonwealth Games.

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Protestors have been campaigning to keep Coventry Pool open

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since February and have handed in a petition with more than 11,000

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This afternoon there was a meeting to discuss its future.

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I've just come out of the meeting whether Cabinet approved the closure

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of the pool. The Cabinet said it is too expensive to maintain and needs

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to spend money on the appearance of the city and its facilities to

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attract private investment. The decision to close

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the pool still needs to be ratified In the meantime councillors have

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agreed to work with Coventry Swimming Club to explore

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the possibility of them taking over Pride of Stoke ` hundreds

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of thousands of ceramic poppies from the kilns of the Potteries to

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honour the war dead to be placed detailed weather forecast

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to come shortly. We are counting down to the new four

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all season and we are live in Walsall to welcome Aston Villa. The

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match programme says it is a friendly. We will see about that.

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And tickling the ivories in Stoke on Trent ` where free pianos placed

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across the city are tempting many to become more musical.

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With the children it has been testing at times but people have

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just decided to come in and have a go.

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Back to the commemoration of World War I now and destroyed

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millions of lives, it also offered a kind of liberation for many women.

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Emmie Chester was one, leaving her home in Shropshire for France.

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There she met the love of her life but it was

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a story with a poignant ending, as Bob Hockenhull's been finding out.

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But a love story ultimately thwarted by the conventions of the time.

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This was her big adventure. The big thing in her life and she must have

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had so many regrets about it. In 1917, Emmie Chester, then 24,

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signed up for the Women's Auxiliary A post based in the crypt of

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Rouen Cathedral in France. I don't think she had left

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Shropshire before then, she was totally modest person. It was unlike

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her to do anything so adventurous. While was there she met an

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Australian and he was an entertainer. He is a very engaging

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sort of chap. The true extent of the romance only

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came to light when 95`year`old Emmie Sue inherited a trunk full of Mac?s

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postcards and photographs. So why didn't her great aunt end

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up marrying her sweetheart? Completely out of the blue, she had

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a Telegraph from home which said come home, mother is ill. She

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applied for compassionate leave, she knocked on the door and her mother

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and said the door. I do her mother had made a rapid recovery or it was

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a device to claim her back into the family.

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Mac joined his comrades on a ship back to Australia,

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He sent a postcard saying "What I said stands more than ever

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Mac continued to write to for many years.

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The last correspondence was a New Year's Eve card in 1945.

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In it Mac was planning a trip to Blighty and would like to

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meet up with Emmie. Emmie didn't reply and never saw Mac again.

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In those days, personal life was your personal life. She made her

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choice and she lived with it. There was never any sign of any bitterness

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about what she had done. She clearly felt it was the right decision to

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make. Nearly 100 years after

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the great romance, Sue is now trying to trace Mac's family in Australia

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hoping to share the memories of her Staying with the Great War,

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volunteers in a Warwickshire town have used lottery money to recreate

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life in an Auxiliary Hospital. Henley in Arden Hospital was one

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of 3,000 run entirely by civilians. Sarah, the Henley in Arden Hospital

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was particularly well`run wasn't it? It was, very well run. 1576 injured

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soldiers came through the doors. Only two of them died. The reason

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for that was probably because of the matron. Sister Stephenson. She was

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Irish and was described being a room full of sympathy and cheeriness and

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public spirit of the injured men being cared for. She wasn't the only

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key figure. There was also a well`known GP. His name was Doctor

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Ernest Nelson, he was a local GP. Not only did he have a massive hand

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in creating this hospital, he created a unique piece which was an

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open`air ward which was sighted at the side of this hospital. This was

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the very first in this country? In actual fact, he wrote an article in

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the British Medical Journal date is August 19 to all medical people as

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to how to construct it and its benefits. They also have their own

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operating theatre on the side of the ward. The Great War was before

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anaesthetic so all they had was chloroform. This all belongs to your

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collection, John, where did you get it? Flea markets, military fares and

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donations from the public. Apart from the Germans, the constant

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battle was infection. We only lost two patients during the four years.

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A great record. When this hospital closed in 1919 it was one of the

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last in the country to close. Thank you.

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And last night the electricity company Western Power Distribution

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which supplies the region said there was a significant drop in demand

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That was when many homes and businesses switched

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off their lights to commemorate the start of the First World War.

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It was prompted by the remark of the foreign secretary

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of the time who said the lamps were going out all over Europe.

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Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures.

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We think we've managed to get them all onto our Facebook page.

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The new football league season is just four days away and that means

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Tonight, they're playing their final friendly against

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Ian Winter is live at the Banks' Stadium.

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Ian it's a friendly but both clubs could do with a win couldn't they?

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Villa want to win because they've lost their previous

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two friendlies and there's only ten days left to put things right

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before they kick`off in the Premier League, away to Stoke City.

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And Walsall would like to win because this is

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a dress rehearsal for Saturday's opening game in League One.

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I've been to watch their open training session.

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Watching... and waiting for Walsall to

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The home fans haven't been able to celebrate a league win

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And now they're looking for clues that new players will

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Last season, Tom Bradshaw felt the pain of relegation from

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It is a big game and it fills us with excitement. We want to

:19:50.:20:07.

challenge for the top six. If you were a Walsall supporter, would you

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be optimistic? There is a lot of players improving and if they come

:20:15.:20:17.

on again through this preseason, we're looking forward to another

:20:18.:20:18.

good season. Last season, Tom Bradshaw felt

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the pain of relegation from One of nine fresh faces

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at a prudently`run club that simply refuses to pay silly money to

:20:33.:20:37.

players with greedy agents. Sheffield United have created and

:20:38.:20:51.

recruited really well. We are looking forward to it.

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12 years ago, James O'Connor won the FA Youth Cup with Aston Villa.

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Tonight, he'll be hoping his new club Walsall can earn a

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morale`boosting victory before the serious stuff starts on Saturday.

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What about Aston Villa, will they be confident? It is difficult to call.

:21:08.:21:17.

They went out to the United States and they beat Dallas and Houston

:21:18.:21:21.

dynamo. Then they came back home and have lost two Chesterfield and

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Groningen. So mixed results. Only ten days to get things right. They

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are keen to get the future of their captain, Ron Vlaar sorted out.

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Having had such a good World Cup with the Netherlands. They also want

:21:39.:21:43.

the future of the club, Randy Lerner still has it up for sale and is

:21:44.:21:49.

still to find a buyer. They have new signings, Philippe Senderos, Kieran

:21:50.:21:55.

Richardson and Joe Cole. So the jury is out as far as Aston Villa is

:21:56.:22:00.

concerned. Some new signings West Bromwich today? They have signed

:22:01.:22:09.

their seventh and eighth players. They have Cristian Gamboa from Costa

:22:10.:22:14.

Rica and Jason Davidson from Australia. They are away to Port

:22:15.:22:19.

Vale who play Walsall in their opening league one match on

:22:20.:22:21.

Saturday. Interesting signs ahead. Life in one of our cities has

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suddenly become much more tuneful. 20 pianos have been set up

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in public spaces in Stoke on Trent It's all part of a project

:22:30.:22:33.

which began life in Birmingham and has gone around the world,

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as our arts reporter Satnam Rana Taking a

:22:37.:22:40.

musical break. Right across Stoke`on Trent people

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are tickling the ivories The city's bus station is just one

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of the 20 public spaces where the pianos have been chained up

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and opned up to the public. The idea is for people to take a

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stroll, spot a piano and take a tinkle. You don't have to be an

:23:15.:23:20.

expert, in fact you can be a bit of a novice like me.

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Although this young girl is giving me a run for my money over

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It is really good and it gives kids to play the piano because it is

:23:28.:23:54.

expensive. It gives people a chance to get involved in the arts. Because

:23:55.:23:58.

they are beautifully decorated, you can see what the art is like and if

:23:59.:24:03.

you want to see people playing on them, you can.

:24:04.:24:03.

Over at the University Hospital North Staffordshire a break from

:24:04.:24:08.

surgical instruments and a tuneful therapeutic break for patients.

:24:09.:24:21.

With the children it has been testing at times. But people have

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just come in and had a go, it has been nice.

:24:29.:24:30.

The pianos will stay in place until the end of this month

:24:31.:24:33.

before being donated to local charities and community groups.

:24:34.:24:35.

So if you fancy an impromptu performance, well play on!

:24:36.:24:38.

Earlier in the programme, Rebecca was promising good news for the

:24:39.:24:41.

Quite a bit of rain I am afraid. But the rain will be for the most part

:24:42.:24:56.

the overnight. But it will be there by the time you wake up tomorrow.

:24:57.:25:00.

The good news is it is an improving picture. Although it is a wet start,

:25:01.:25:06.

it does brighten up and tomorrow won't be a bad day. We will continue

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with a pattern of a good day and the bad day for the next few days. This

:25:11.:25:14.

is how we have been today. Showers working in from the south and the

:25:15.:25:18.

West. The West. A taster of what is to come tonight. The sun did come

:25:19.:25:24.

out at times. Those showers continuing through the next few

:25:25.:25:27.

hours. The area of frameworks from the south. We do a Met Office yellow

:25:28.:25:34.

weather warning with a couple of inches of rainfall within a couple

:25:35.:25:39.

of hours. It temperature is little bit so and and more humid night than

:25:40.:25:43.

we saw last night. The good news for that is tomorrow be milder. The rain

:25:44.:25:48.

works its way away, so not too bad tomorrow. The sun will come out at

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times. A few showers through the day, but sunshine and the odd shower

:25:53.:25:59.

and temperatures up to 23 Celsius. High pressure is building so it will

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kill off the showers as we had through tomorrow night. Tomorrow

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night will be cooler and fresh again, with clear spells developing.

:26:08.:26:10.

Temperatures only a couple of degrees lower than they will be

:26:11.:26:15.

tonight, but not a bad night. Is a good day. Plenty of sunshine to come

:26:16.:26:21.

to the day. Temperatures down a little bit but through the afternoon

:26:22.:26:25.

cloud will be spilling in and it will make the sunshine hazy. But I

:26:26.:26:31.

said we get a good day and then a bad day. Friday, we have a deep area

:26:32.:26:36.

of low pressure working its way up from the south. That is bringing

:26:37.:26:39.

heavy pulses of rain. Although Friday will start off OK, it does

:26:40.:26:44.

not look too great towards the end. Saturday is a day of sunshine and

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showers. The Foreign Office minister

:26:47.:26:57.

Baroness Warsi resigns over the conflict in Gaza ` saying she can no

:26:58.:27:03.

longer support the government. Pride of Stoke `

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hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies from the kilns of the

:27:06.:27:07.

Potteries to honour the war dead. with the latest

:27:08.:27:15.

on the roof top protest.

:27:16.:27:22.

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