03/04/2012 North West Tonight


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Good evening. Welcome to North West Tonight with Annabel Tiffin and


Roger Johnson. Our top story.... Fighting to clear his name. Actor


Ricky Tomlinson steps up his challenge to a conviction from 40


years ago. I am 73 in September. We have a young man there who is 78.


Some of the lads involved in the Shrewsbury campaign are dead. We


would just like our names cleared before we all die. Mr Tomlinson


served two years for conspiracy after a builders' strike in 1972.


Also tonight... Holiday horror. How a woman died after Pontins bosses


ignored warnings over legionnaire's disease.


We are by the seaside. After 126 years of proud heritage,


Blackpool's historic trams get a facelift for the future.


The longest long-johns. Underwear belonging to one of Britain's


tallest men goes on sale. There is no place for them. THere is nothing


you can do with a giant's undergarments these days, I'm


afraid. # True love at first sight.


# True love at first sight... #. And McCartney plays The Cavern. Son


follows his father's groove almost They claim they were dedicated


union activists who were wrongly demonised by a frightened


government. Now members of the so- called Shrewsbury 24 believe they


may be closer to clearing their names. The actor, Ricky Tomlinson,


was among the men jailed for intimidation during the building


workers strike of 1972. He and the others insist they did nothing


wrong and can now prove it. Our Chief Reporter, Dave Guest, has the


story. Today he has one of the most


familiar faces on British TV. But 40 years ago, Ricky Tomlinson was


famous for a very different reason. He was branded a union bully and


trouble maker during the country's first national building workers'


strike. He was one of a group jailed for intimidation, unlawful


assemby and affray on a picket line in Shrewsbury. They were only


arrested months after their alleged wrong doing and all insisted they


had done nothing wrong. They've spent years trying to clear their


names. A lot of people have fond memories


40 years is a long time, isn't it?. I will tell you why we're bringing


this case. I am 73 in September. We have a young man there who is 78.


Some of the lads involved in the Shrewsbury campaign are dead. We


would just like our names cleared before we all die. They say they've


now seen documents under the Freedom of Information Act which


support their claim that their convictions were politically


motivated. Today they're asking for the case to be referred to the


court of appeal So the group left Liverpool this morning to head for


the Criminal Cases Review Commission in Birmingham. Who made


the decision to proceed? It must have been in higher Government.


men headed for Birmingham and the Criminal Cases Review permission.


The prove they have enough -- they say they have enough evidence to


take their case to the Court of Appeal and to have their original


convictions quashed. They say they have waited decades to clear their


name and to write a monumental miscarriage of justice. They will


have to wait some time yet before seeing whether they have succeeded.


It was supposed to be a relaxing break. But Karen Taylor's trip to


Pontins in 2009 led to her death. Today, a court heard camp bosses


were told to improve water maintenance at the Lytham St Anne's


site seven months before Mrs Taylor caught legionnaire's disease there.


The original company went into administration two years ago and


was bought by a hotel chain, which now runs five camps under the


Pontins name, but with new management. Naomi Cornwell has been


at Preston Crown Court for us. A short time ago, I put it to her


that the image of Pontin's portrayed in court today wasn't the


same camp that people have happy memories of.


You think of Pontins and think of their success. The big holiday


camps after the war. There was a huge site near Blackpool, one of


their most popular, because at that location by the sea -- because of


the location by the sea and close to Blackpool. Families went because


of cheap holidays, but being affected by cheaper holidays abroad


later. Pontins was open until a few years ago, when Alan Taylor decided


to visit in July 2009. -- when Karen Taylor. She fell ill a few


days after returning. She died in hospital one month later from


legionnaire's disease. Three months earlier, another holiday mecca from


Chesterfield had stayed in exactly the same room. It we shall leave


229. She fell ill with legionnaire's disease, too, but she


survived. A consultant microbiologist told the court that


tests indicated both women had the same strain of the disease and


showed that the woman could have got it from showers or the tap. The


bacteria is spread by what of the bar. Pontins put holiday makers and


staff at risk by failing to properly maintain the water system.


Who has the court heard from today? Today, we have heard from an expert


in water systems. His company was contracted to advise Pontins on how


to avoid the spread of legionnaire's disease. He told the


court that the company inspected the water systems in December 2008


and find the water tanks supplying that particular location was in bad


condition and was not fully complied with the by-laws,


containing a sludge that encouraged the growth of bacteria, then the


company recommended the replacement of the tank and that the entire


disinfection of the whole water system within three months. But we


were shown photos from eight months later which showed the same tank


infested with pigeons and covered in pigeon excrement. We also heard


from environmental health officers who said that they had warned that


the water was not of high enough temperatures to kill bacteria.


Pontins went into administration after this case began. So they have


not had a defence team in court. The judge has requested that and


not guilty plea be entered on their behalf and the case continues


tomorrow. And other news from around the


region. New CCTV footage of a man stealing


a woman's handbag just moments after she was killed in Manchester


city centre has been released by the police. 62-year-old Sarwari


Ashraf was hit by a lorry on Upper Brook Street in Longsight last week.


A 40-year-old man has been bailed on suspicion of causing death by


careless driving Police have seized the Isle of


Man's largest ever haul of cannabis. Officers searched a car at Douglas


Seaport at the weekend. Drugs worth over �100,000 were discovered. A


51-year-old woman from Merseyside has been charged.


The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Liverpool, Richard Kemp,


has opened his campaign declaring the city needs a new big idea. He


wants to make it the new European green capital, build a tram network


and ensure the voters have an input into the city's future. I want to


use the new powers that all councils have to make this a


partnership city. This is not a city that belongs to councillors or


politicians. It belongs to the 450,000 people that live here.


And to find out more from all the candidates bidding to become Mayor


of Liverpool, visit bbc.co.uk/liverpool.


Still to come on North West Tonight...


Saving lives for half a century. The mountain rescue service founded


in the wake of tragedy. And underwear under the hammer.


Long-johns belonging to one of Britain's tallest ever men goes up


It's cost �100 million and has been called one of the most important


developments in Blackpool's history. Today, the new look tramway which


runs between Blackpool and Fleetwood was officially launched.


The line will feature a fleet of new state-of-the-art trams. And


while they're faster and seen as more commuter friendly, it doesn't


mean the end of the road for the town's famous heritage trams.


For over 125 years, Blackpools trams and tramways have been every


bit as iconic as its famous tower and seafront. But one of the North


West's oldest institutions now has a new look. A tram like this will


cost �2.1 million. It's 32 metres long and capable of holding 225


passengers. Welcome to ultra-modern tram travel. In all, there are 16


new trams going into operation, based at a high tech depot. As well


as this, 11 kilometres of track have been replaced. You have to mix


old with new. The old trams are Blackpool, known for its old style


trams. But people get used to these, getting people places quicker and


will be more comfortable. better for the local economy. It


hoped the improved transport system will mean an increase in commuters


and tourists. We can generate more local trade from the North Down in


to Blackpool. If we can do that, we can take cars off the road. We have


more to this coming and, hopefully. We can include transport within


packages or people. And while there wasn't a heritage tram in sight


today, as their modern counterparts made their first passenger journey,


don't worry. They'll continue to be in service at weekends, bank


holidays and through the summer it is a good job they are keeping


their heritage trams. We are looking forward to riding in it for


the pastime. A new generation, or police moved running. Really


looking forward to going on it today. The trams are opening to the


public tomorrow. It is great to see something that


has a unanimous thumbs up. It is good we have kept the first once --


get the old ones. It was one of my first memories riding on one of the


trams. A new cancer research facility has


been launched in Liverpool. RedX Oncology has already had �5.9


million of backing from public money and will look into improving


the way cancer drugs work. And creating new jobs.


The new research labs will see 250 jobs created in the next five years.


It forms part of the �28 million pound bio campus to be built in


Liverpool and will see new cancer drugs available for patients in the


next two years. The key to defeating cancer involves so much


around developing new drugs. We can then target those parts of the


cancer that we know our driving it. The signs being carried out here


will help to make cancer drugs better or the patients, safer and


easier to use. Particularly within Oncology, we are creating novel


Oncology drugs to improve the patient experience. It will make


their be better, improve survival rates, which is critical where


style bible rates can still be improved considerably. -- where


survival rates. Liverpool has a long history of cancer research.


The work being done here at the new labs will help to build on this.


The campus creates an opportunity to bring the industry sector, the


university and all of its academics and the hospital, where we have all


the young patients. The benefits of this will mean you have hospitals


working with pharmaceutical companies and patients. It is all


to improve the way we treat and Onto sport and football now. Porto


have been fined �16,000 after their fans racially abused Manchester


City striker Mario Balotelli. City complained to UEFA after monkey


taunts were heard during the Europa League game in February.


Manchester United are five points clear of City at the top of the


Premier League after a 2-0 win at Blackburn Rovers last night. Both


goals came in the last ten minutes. Antonia Valencia broke the deadlock


with a spectacular strike. Then Ashley Young shot past Paul


Robinson. Rovers have dropped back into the relegation zone.


We go from soaring temperatures to forecasts of snow. It must mean the


cricket season is just around the corner! County Champions Lancashire


start the defence of their title next week in Liverpool. But as Andy


Johnson discovered, they could be playing in a renamed ground when


test match cricket returns to Manchester next year.


Say cheese and freeze. As always happens when our summer sport is


about to start, the weather is more suitable for football in February.


Forecasts of snow weren't going to take the shine off Lancashire's


first pre-season photo call as county champions since 1934.


key is not to be complacent. Very exciting at the start of something.


We work hard in the winter of them tried to defend our title.


Trafford is midway through development that will see the


ground stage test cricket again with the Ashes series next summer.


But by that time, puritans will probably have to get used to a new


name for the hallowed ground. The naming rights are currently under


negotiation. We do want to find meaning rights. It has to be done


properly, not to the past one making an offer. Many more old


Trafford is important, so that has to be there somewhere. -- They Mean


Old Trafford. In the meantime, the county champions will play half of


their four day games at Liverpool starting with the curtain raiser


against Sussex next week. You can tell it is cricket weather


when the photocall is done indoors. Onto Super League and St Helens


have appointed Nathan Brown as their new head coach from the start


of next season. Brown, who is currently the coach of league


leaders Huddersfield Giants, has agreed a three-year deal at


Langtree Park. Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham will remain in charge at


Saints for the rest of this season. The wife of a football coach who


suffered a stroke and can only communicate by moving his eyes is


hoping to have her husband home permanently soon. Gary Parkinson,


who scored the winner for Burnley in the 1994 play-off final at


Wembley, was Blackpool youth coach when he had the stroke. He now


suffers from locked-in syndrome. A fundraising evening to raise money


for Gary is being held at Bolton's Reebok Stadium on April 21st.


aim as Gary's wife is to get Gary home to be with the family. So this


is a massive fundraiser to raise the funds. That will adapt the home


so Gary can make that journey home and stay with us.


Good luck to them. A mountain rescue team, set up


after two young boys died on the Preston Fells, has just reached its


50th anniversary. William and Melvyn Smith died of hypothermia in


the Trough of Bowland after the weather suddenly turned. A huge


outcry followed and the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team was


established. It is still going strong.


One of the many training sessions scouring the bells over Preston.


These can suddenly become very treacherous. This dog is an expert


at finding those untroubled. I can tell by her body language changing


and she has bounced somebody. She comes to me, then takes me to the


injured person. The relief from that person seeing the Doctor with


the jacket, even before Agate there, is a huge sense of comfort. It was


half-a-century at war on like to beat back that tragedy happened.


Two did not come home. The weather turned nasty and William and Melvyn


Smith lost their lives, sparking the creation of the mountain rescue


team. It was a knock or accident that could have been so easily in


been positively. -- it was a terrible accident. The team have


carried out thousands of mountain rescues he has since those boys


died. There is now better technology and a bigger team. The


message remains the same, do not risk this area without being


prepared. They are doing fantastic work. This


gentleman is Fred Kempster. Auction houses are no stranger to selling


off the curious or intriguing. But when a pair of huge long-johns


measuring five feet in length was sent over for valuers to look at,


they were astounded. The underwear, found in Clitheroe, belonged to


Fred Kempster. He was known as the Blackburn Giant. As Abbie Jones


reports, they might help Fred secure a place in the history books.


They certainly put the long in long-johns. 5 foot from waist to


leg. And then there's the huge nightshirt. The man who wore them


was even taller. Fred Kempster was born in 1889. By the age of 19, he


was already 7 foot 11. So tall he could shake hands with someone in


an upstairs window. And light his cigarettes from gas lamps. One I


opened up the back that had them, I could not believe the size. He was


said to be over 8 foot. The area just phenomenal. -- they are.


feeling shared by John Jardine from Hurst Green. His great uncle was


Fred's drinking buddy and given the long-johns when he died. There is


no place for them. There is nothing you can do with a giant's


undergarments these days, I'm afraid. We cannot do anything with


them, we hope someone comes and displays them. Fred's life was as


incredible as his height. He toured Europe with circus troupes in


Germany under the name Teddy Bobs. He was taken prisoner there for two


years in 1914. The Germans struggled to feed him and his


health suffered. He died at the age of 29 from pneumonia. He is buried


in and nine feet coffin here. His gravestone is inscribed, the


British giant. But Fred's huge height wasn't accepted by everyone.


Something his underwear may now change. I contacted the Guinness


Book of Records to see that surely these prove he was the height


stated to be. They are interested in the story, so we will see that


he is reinstated. Whatever his height, Fred has enthralled


generations. And now his long-johns have seen that interest grow.


Maybe you could borrow them if rumours of the snow is anything.


Now since we ran this story at lunchtime today, Stuart Tyrer has


emailed us to tell us about an even taller man than Fred Kempster.


Apparently John Middleton, whose body is buried in the village of


Hale near Liverpool, was nine feet three inches tall when he died in


1623. Is that true? We do not know. Surely the North West's tallest man


ever. Let us know if you know anyone taller.


History will be made tonight when a famous musical name returns to an


iconic live music venue. Liverpool's Cavern Club might have


moved since The Beatles made it world famous. But a McCartney will


be back on stage there almost half a century on. James McCartney, the


son of Sir Paul, is playing The Cavern as part of a major


international tour. And a little earlier this afternoon, he popped


into the studio. We asked him how it feels to be following in his


father's footsteps. It is great. It is really exciting.


Looking at all of the history and memories. What other stories?


cannot really remember. I think the sets were quite short. That is one


story. How long is your set? Quite short, about 45 minutes. It is


going to be quite an exciting thing for people of Liverpool, because


they are going to love coming to see you as an individual, but court


-- but because it is an day back. My promoters organised it. -- but


because it fits amok at me back in How would you describe your music?


It is various genres. And your father co-produced your album? What


was it like working together? Really good fun. No conflicts. It


can be difficult, but ultimately, we have a great relationship, which


is getting better and better. People have looked to see whether


The Beatles would reform, which cannot happen now, but can you see


a situation where you and some of the other children get together?


do not know. I guess that is not something I can really talk about.


You have stayed out of the limelight until recently. Was that


important to do things on your own? The yes, it was on a while. When my


mother died, it was a difficult time. I kind of dropped out on a


bet. And important is it that your music is commercially successful?


It does matter. I used to be against all of that. But now, I


think it is cool to be commercial. Just as long as you are keeping


your credibility and it is about the music. Clearly, you are


commercial. The event is sold out tonight. All the best, we will


listen to you plea in a minute. We will hear him in just the second,


There is a little bit up everything. Low pressure, really cold air. But


Met Office is warning of snow through the night. Today, it did


not really happened, which first thing, but as the day went on and


the cold air became established, temperatures went down. This rain


at the moment seems to be mainly over parts of Cumbria and the other


side of the Pennines. A huge gap has developed, meaning a pleasant


afternoon. But it spreads over night. There could be some


centimetres of snow within the for gas. Elsewhere, rain coming and


growing throughout the night. -- within the forecast. If you get


breaks in the cloud weary you are, temperatures well all week,


particularly in rural areas. Ice could be a problem. This is like an


November forecasts. Tomorrow, there is a North-South divide. Quite a


bit of rain on the site, milling wheat only slowly. -- on the South.


Billing we only slowly. Good deal of sunshine. It is November.


That looks horrible. It is astonishing how the weather has


changed. I have been doing this a long time, you had better believe


it. One person I spoke to spoke about how her mother was in good


weather last week, then blows its bills stop We'll leave you tonight


with, as promised, a song from James McCartney that he performed


here in the studio a short time ago. # Maybe I'm an angel.


# A manifestation of them all. # Maybe I'm an angel.


# A manifestation of them all. # I have felt some hard times.


# In my life. # But I don't want to feel it any


more. # I don't know what you're thinking


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