05/08/2014 Midlands Today


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


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


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


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


Staffordshire FAQ tree which is claimed to be supplying Israeli


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


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


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


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


today could be future Olympians if they are given the right


opportunities and said facilities to do it in.


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


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


later. Last night thousands turned


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


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


246 ceramic poppies will be placed, one for every British


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


in position on Armistice Day, Liz Copper reports now


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


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


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


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


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


Staffordshire clay. 300 tons have been supplied by this


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


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


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


a fitting tribute to their sacrifice.


The poppies are being manufactured at Johnson Tiles.


The expertise here has helped to perfect the design.


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


Eventually all the poppies will be sold to raise


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


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


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


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


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


during the war. Each of them represents someone.


The kilns will be firing continuously until the Autumn, when


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


Already this ceramic spectacle has captured the nation's imagination


and the spirit of the Great War commemorations.


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


recreating the role it played treating those wounded in the


Protestors have occupied the roof of a factory in Staffordshire,


which they claim is involved in the supply of drone aircraft


Phil McCann reports from Shenstone near Lichfield.


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


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


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


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


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


inoffensive looking industrial unit in rural Staffordshire. The factory


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


persuade them to leave of their own free will.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


answers. The fun`loving mum had her gall


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


hospital on 24th June. The hospital put a probe


down her throat. A stent was replaced


and a stone removed. Her children watched her become


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


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


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


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


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


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


The coroner urged the family to contact the patient service.


Doctors say that septicaemia can set in extremely quickly.


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


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


by police today on suspicion of indecently assaulting a woman


Bishop Michael, attended a police station in Gloucestershire


today to be interviewed about the allegations which date


He announced on Saturday he was stepping down from


The chairman of Staffordshire construction giant JCB fears


sanctions against Russia could put British jobs at risk.


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


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


Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said it wouldn't


welcome measures restricting exports from its members.


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


and hiding her body, which lay undiscovered for weeks.


Daniel Spencer had denied murdering Jane Wiggett at her home


Ms Wiggett's body was finally discovered inside her carefully


Protestors in Coventry have vowed to keep


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


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


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


Campaigners say that having an Olympic sized pool is


a vital sporting asset but the council argues it would


cost millions to restore and wants to spend money improving


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


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


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


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


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


Commonwealth champions and future Olympians if they are given the


right opportunity and facilities. The council wants to knock


down this building on New Union Street and replace it with


a new ?37 million leisure centre But Sharon Newport


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Protestors have been campaigning to keep Coventry Pool open


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


This afternoon there was a meeting to discuss its future.


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


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


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


attract private investment. The decision to close


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


agreed to work with Coventry Swimming Club to explore


the possibility of them taking over Pride of Stoke ` hundreds


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


honour the war dead to be placed detailed weather forecast


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


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


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


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


across the city are tempting many to become more musical.


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


just decided to come in and have a go.


Back to the commemoration of World War I now and destroyed


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


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


There she met the love of her life but it was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sort of chap. The true extent of the romance only


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


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


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


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


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


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


a device to claim her back into the family.


Mac joined his comrades on a ship back to Australia,


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


Mac continued to write to for many years.


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


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


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


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


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


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


make. Nearly 100 years after


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


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


volunteers in a Warwickshire town have used lottery money to recreate


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


last in the country to close. Thank you.


And last night the electricity company Western Power Distribution


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


That was when many homes and businesses switched


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


It was prompted by the remark of the foreign secretary


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


Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures.


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


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


Tonight, they're playing their final friendly against


Ian Winter is live at the Banks' Stadium.


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


Villa want to win because they've lost their previous


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


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


And Walsall would like to win because this is


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


I've been to watch their open training session.


Watching... and waiting for Walsall to


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


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


Last season, Tom Bradshaw felt the pain of relegation from


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


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


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


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


good season. Last season, Tom Bradshaw felt


the pain of relegation from One of nine fresh faces


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


players with greedy agents. Sheffield United have created and


recruited really well. We are looking forward to it.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Vale who play Walsall in their opening league one match on


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


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


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


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


as our arts reporter Satnam Rana Taking a


musical break. Right across Stoke`on Trent people


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Over at the University Hospital North Staffordshire a break from


surgical instruments and a tuneful therapeutic break for patients.


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


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


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


before being donated to local charities and community groups.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


out at times. Those showers continuing through the next few


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Temperatures only a couple of degrees lower than they will be


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


showers. The Foreign Office minister


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


longer support the government. Pride of Stoke `


hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies from the kilns of the


Potteries to honour the war dead. with the latest


on the roof top protest.


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