23/01/2017 Spotlight


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23/01/2017

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.


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Tonight: The drivers penalised for minor parking mistakes.

:00:00.:00:10.

What more do they want for heavens sake? Apart from us to pay them 100

:00:11.:00:19.

quid. We are pensioners, where are we supposed to get that from?

:00:20.:00:21.

car park and the private parking firm inundated with complaints.

:00:22.:00:25.

Also tonight: Facing the final curtain -

:00:26.:00:27.

uncertainty over the future of two theatres in North Devon.

:00:28.:00:29.

The Trust running them has gone into administration.

:00:30.:00:34.

Without a doubt we will find out and we will get justice for Josh.

:00:35.:00:45.

of Josh Clayton continues with calls for a fresh investigation into his

:00:46.:00:49.

And conning people of out thousands - a warning that scam mail has

:00:50.:00:54.

It's a frustration many of us have been faced with -

:00:55.:01:15.

minor parking mistakes leading to large financial penalties.

:01:16.:01:19.

But now there are calls for changes to the way private parking firms

:01:20.:01:22.

are operating as motorists across the region say

:01:23.:01:25.

Kevin Foster, the MP for Torbay, says he's been inundated

:01:26.:01:29.

with complaints about one car park in particular.

:01:30.:01:32.

Crossways in Paignton is run by Premier Parking Solutions

:01:33.:01:36.

Our south Devon reporter John Ayres has more.

:01:37.:01:42.

So let's see what all the fuss is about.

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It's run by Premier Parking Solutions, better known as PPS,

:01:52.:01:55.

As you go in your number plate is recorded on camera and you have

:01:56.:02:03.

Cherry and Donald Smith paid 80p for an hour.

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But Cherry had added an extra digit by mistake

:02:07.:02:08.

On appeal, the adjudicator said he was satisfied no payment

:02:09.:02:14.

was made for the vehicle with their registration.

:02:15.:02:18.

We very carefully paid the right money, we were back within 50

:02:19.:02:21.

minutes, what more do they want, for heavens sake?

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Apart from us to pay them 100 quid, thank you very much.

:02:27.:02:29.

We are pensioners, where am I supposed to get that

:02:30.:02:32.

Turmoil really, because we had just got back from a very pleasant

:02:33.:02:42.

weekend to then come back confronted with this.

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You're probably thinking make a small mistake,

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Because this sign with about 400 words is the terms and conditions

:02:47.:02:55.

and it covers every mistake you could make while you

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Basically, if you make a mistake, you have agreed

:02:59.:03:02.

?60 if you pay up quickly without any fuss.

:03:03.:03:07.

The local MP has been inundated with complaints.

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Very minor infractions are resulting in large invoices being set that

:03:12.:03:15.

actually do frighten people when they arrive.

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For me it may just be on the side of the line legally,

:03:20.:03:22.

but I think morally there are some real questions to be

:03:23.:03:24.

Having problems with the machine, she attempted to put her

:03:25.:03:29.

The final time she got it wrong and overpaid.

:03:30.:03:34.

The threat of court action grew, the charges and fees rose to ?231.

:03:35.:03:41.

After she appeared on BBC Radio Devon, the case was dropped.

:03:42.:03:45.

It was a roller-coaster, it was awful and, to be honest,

:03:46.:03:50.

it's the stress and it wasn't about the money in the end.

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It was the principle and came to the point

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Even if I lose, I don't care, I'm going to fight this to the very end,

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PPS told the BBC that it complies with all approved parking service

:04:01.:04:05.

standards and has been working with trading standards

:04:06.:04:09.

The company has made changes to the use of technology,

:04:10.:04:15.

the processes for issuing tickets and the appeals process

:04:16.:04:17.

to ensure genuine mistakes are recognised as such.

:04:18.:04:21.

Since we contacted PPS, the company has dropped the ?100

:04:22.:04:24.

charge against the Smiths, although just days before,

:04:25.:04:27.

they had issued a letter threatening court action.

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We have a lawyer representing car park operators. There you heard the

:04:40.:04:49.

frustration of some of our callers. Do you feel some firms can be

:04:50.:04:56.

heavy-handed? Parking is such an emotive area. Unfortunately anybody

:04:57.:05:00.

who receives a ticket often feels they are hard done too. What we try

:05:01.:05:05.

to do is get a balance between the rights of land owners and motorists.

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People parking on their land our customers but you talk about these

:05:12.:05:17.

big signs with 400 words. Are we entering into a contract here? We

:05:18.:05:22.

are just customers parking on Private land. Mistakes can be made.

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They can be made and we have implemented internal appeal systems.

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They incentivise operators sporting genuine errors and dealing with them

:05:38.:05:41.

appropriately and I'm glad to say that in a scenario of PPS, hopefully

:05:42.:05:47.

moving forward those matters will be dealt with a much more lenient knee.

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Surely somebody would not purposely put in a wrong registration number.

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These really are genuine mistakes. They do appear to be genuine. The

:06:02.:06:06.

difficulty is the technology in place does not recognise there is

:06:07.:06:11.

genuine mistakes and unfortunately the technology is needed to manage

:06:12.:06:14.

that car park efficiently and effectively, to keep the cost of

:06:15.:06:19.

parking for the ordinary users who are happy to put their registration

:06:20.:06:24.

number incorrectly as low as possible. For these companies, is it

:06:25.:06:29.

all about making money? Absolutely not. Wherever there is a charge

:06:30.:06:35.

issued, something has gone wrong. Sometimes it is with the operator,

:06:36.:06:40.

sometimes it is with the motorists. We make sure the operators do things

:06:41.:06:44.

properly and we remind motorists that they should do the things that

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are required of them when parking on somebody else's land. Thank you.

:06:49.:06:53.

The North Devon Theatres Trust, which runs the Landmark

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in Ilfracombe and the Queen's Theatre Barnstaple, has gone

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A notice outside the theatres says anyone who has bought tickets

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for future shows should contact their banks or credit card

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A statement from the trust blames a 20% fall in attendance

:07:07.:07:12.

All-day people have been walking up to the theatre but instead of

:07:13.:07:27.

looking at these posters and deciding what tickets to buy, they

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have then met by this which says the trust has gone into administration.

:07:33.:07:39.

The locks here have been changed, the box office is shut and people

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said they are shocked and saddened by what has happened. It is a

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wonderful asset for the town, used by all sorts of different groups.

:07:48.:07:53.

You have the jobs, my only son works here in marketing so she will be

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affected. It is used as a meeting place, the cafe, the Pavilion room

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is used for community activities and it will be sad to lose all that.

:08:06.:08:10.

Those behind the theatre say this is all about bottoms on seats.

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Attendances in the last 12 months have gone down 20%, 8% down for the

:08:15.:08:21.

pantomime. All future performances have been cancelled but it also

:08:22.:08:25.

means uncertainty for local productions. The North Devon lack

:08:26.:08:29.

gang show was due to be on in February. We have been doing it for

:08:30.:08:38.

38 years in the theatre. It has given thousands of youngsters the

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opportunity to perform on stage, develop their confidence and skills

:08:45.:08:47.

and suddenly we are left in a vacuum. It is unclear what is going

:08:48.:08:54.

to happen to the jobs here. Dozens of people work at both theatres and

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people who have bought tickets have been told to contact their bank and

:09:00.:09:01.

see if they can get a refund. It can lead to vulnerable

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people being conned out of their life-savings

:09:06.:09:07.

and there are warnings today the issue of scam mail is reaching

:09:08.:09:09.

epidemic proportions. Here in the south west,

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more than 5,000 people in the region have been identified

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as potential victims. But figures obtained by the BBC show

:09:15.:09:15.

there have only been around 400 follow-up visits

:09:16.:09:18.

from Trading Standards amid claims there's not enough

:09:19.:09:22.

staff to meet demand. I think you would be horrified

:09:23.:09:24.

at how quickly we can gather Unwelcome post which should be

:09:25.:09:34.

chucked straight in the bin, but the number of people apparently

:09:35.:09:38.

being conned is alarming those trying to deal

:09:39.:09:40.

with the consequences. It must be in epidemic

:09:41.:09:44.

proportions across the UK Once someone responds

:09:45.:09:48.

to a bit of scam mail, they end up on what is called

:09:49.:09:52.

a suckers list, used by scam operators to

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target potential victims. Here in the south-west,

:09:55.:09:58.

Trading Standards teams have been passed the names of more than 5,000

:09:59.:10:00.

people on the list, because it is then things

:10:01.:10:04.

can really go wrong. The highlighted ones

:10:05.:10:07.

are the selling ones, Carol's 81-year-old mother

:10:08.:10:09.

was being bombarded with scam mail She ended up with 45 direct

:10:10.:10:14.

debits and went through 18 It was only a few, maybe 10,000

:10:15.:10:19.

at the most that she lost, but I have heard of others who have

:10:20.:10:27.

lost tens of thousands of pounds The idea is for Trading Standards

:10:28.:10:31.

teams to visit those flagged up as vulnerable to be conned out

:10:32.:10:37.

of cash, but BBC figures show there have only been about 400

:10:38.:10:41.

visits across Cornwall, We prioritise our victims

:10:42.:10:44.

and we try to make sure we are seeing our priority victims,

:10:45.:10:49.

80% cash, maybe those who are prolific and sending cash

:10:50.:10:53.

to a number of scams, so that we can target our limited

:10:54.:10:57.

resources to be most efficient. In Cornwall, a small team

:10:58.:11:00.

of volunteers make the calls. We have been trying to get in to see

:11:01.:11:05.

a gentleman for about 18 months. Just since Christmas we have managed

:11:06.:11:10.

to cross the threshold of his door and start talking to him about does

:11:11.:11:13.

he really understand what it is that They are targeting people

:11:14.:11:17.

who are gullible basically because of their age

:11:18.:11:22.

or illness or whatever. What I'd like to do with them

:11:23.:11:27.

is probably unprintable. The message is don't be

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ashamed and get help. A woman who killed a motorcyclist

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in north Devon while driving under the influence of drugs has escaped

:11:40.:11:42.

jail at Exeter crown court. Laura Ward, from Fleet in Hampshire,

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had diazepam, cannabis and amphetamines in her system

:11:48.:11:50.

when she collided with 20-year-old Aiden Platt

:11:51.:11:53.

in Barnstaple in August 2015. Exeter Mathematics School has been

:11:54.:11:57.

put forward by the Prime Minister to act as a model for opening maths

:11:58.:12:03.

schools across the country. The school, which is only one of two

:12:04.:12:06.

sixth forms in the country to specialise in maths and physics,

:12:07.:12:10.

is featured in Theresa May's The Devon Wildlife Trust has been

:12:11.:12:14.

nominated in the Wildlife Success of the Year category of the BBC

:12:15.:12:20.

Countryfile Magazine Awards The animals, which are living

:12:21.:12:23.

on the River Otter, are thought to be the first wild population

:12:24.:12:28.

in England for 400 years. A mother from Somerset calling

:12:29.:12:36.

for a fresh investigation into the death of her son

:12:37.:12:39.

on the Isles of Scilly has had a private meeting

:12:40.:12:41.

with a senior police officer. Tracey Clayton says she's convinced

:12:42.:12:44.

someone else was responsible for the death of her son Josh

:12:45.:12:47.

on Tresco 16 months ago. Last week, a coroner ordered Devon

:12:48.:12:51.

and Cornwall Police to investigate Mrs Clayton has been

:12:52.:12:55.

speaking exclusively Before I take my last breath, we

:12:56.:13:12.

will know what happened to my boy. Without a doubt, we will find out

:13:13.:13:16.

and we will get justice for Josh. When police on the Isles of Scilly

:13:17.:13:22.

found the body of Josh Clayton, they put it down to accidental death. The

:13:23.:13:28.

bar manager vanished after attending a private party on Tresco. His body

:13:29.:13:34.

was discovered ten days later. Last week, an inquest into his death was

:13:35.:13:39.

halted when evidence emerged. This man, Leroy Thomas, told the hearing

:13:40.:13:44.

he witnessed Josh arguing with a group of men. The coroner said the

:13:45.:13:49.

police needed to reinvestigate. Which has given some hope to Josh

:13:50.:13:54.

Clayton's family who remain convinced someone else was

:13:55.:13:58.

responsible for his death. I have had a meeting with Devon and

:13:59.:14:03.

Cornwall police, a senior police officer, who has assured me he will

:14:04.:14:11.

review and hopefully look for any gaps that happened throughout the

:14:12.:14:14.

investigation. It definitely was not an accident. I have thought it from

:14:15.:14:21.

day one, I still believe it now. The police force have issued a statement

:14:22.:14:26.

saying we were only made aware of the new evidence at the inquest and

:14:27.:14:31.

are carrying out further enquiries. It is not clear how long they will

:14:32.:14:35.

take all what they will uncover given the matter of time since Josh

:14:36.:14:39.

Clayton died. His mother who until now has said she wanted a new force

:14:40.:14:44.

to investigate says she will give Devon and Cornwall a week to

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convince heard they are serious about uncovering the truth.

:14:50.:14:53.

A 300-year-old Dartmoor Bridge has been struck by motorists more

:14:54.:14:56.

Devon County Council says the cost of repairing the ancient structure

:14:57.:15:00.

but they now have a plan to cut the cost.

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Today, CCTV cameras at the bridge have been turned on and motorists

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who hit the bridge will be charged for repairs.

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You might expect to be watched by cameras here. But what about here?

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From today, Big Brother is watching this bridge. Built in the era of the

:15:28.:15:31.

horse and cart, it now has to cope with much more. The area north of

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Ashburton is popular with canoeists and walkers as well as being a busy

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route for locals. But despite warning signs, some drivers are

:15:42.:15:46.

taking risks. Risks which are damaging the bridge and taking time

:15:47.:15:51.

and money to repair. Over 20 years it has been repeatedly damaged many

:15:52.:15:55.

times in a year and recently that seems to have got worse, say we are

:15:56.:16:01.

introducing the CCTV as a final resource. New home bridge is one of

:16:02.:16:08.

nearly 3005 Hundred Rd bridges in Devon. The county council has a

:16:09.:16:13.

budget of ?100,000 to fix accident damage on all of them. Last year

:16:14.:16:18.

they went over that budget in South Devon alone. We cannot afford to

:16:19.:16:22.

keep spending out money like we are doing at the present time. It will

:16:23.:16:27.

cost around ?9,000 to pretend that we think we can recover that money

:16:28.:16:34.

over the course of one year. How do local people feel about CCTV cameras

:16:35.:16:42.

being used here? Horrified. This is creeping urbanisation, it does not

:16:43.:16:46.

belong on Dartmoor but the more I thought about it and the amount of

:16:47.:16:50.

damage, putting up signs does not deter people send the charging them

:16:51.:16:55.

well. Anyone caught on camera who fills to stop will be contacted by

:16:56.:16:59.

the council which will reclaim costs for repairs from the driver or their

:17:00.:17:02.

insurer. It's time for the sport

:17:03.:17:08.

now and Natalie's here After last week's glamour of the FA

:17:09.:17:10.

Cup, Plymouth Argyle got back to League business with a 2-1 win

:17:11.:17:14.

away at Cheltenham. The victory means they're

:17:15.:17:16.

still second in Division 2. The Pilgrims took the lead in

:17:17.:17:19.

the 26th minute when Sonny Bradley After Cheltenham had equalised,

:17:20.:17:22.

fans had to wait until stoppage time It's the second time this

:17:23.:17:28.

season the centreback has It was the meeting of the two

:17:29.:17:32.

in-form teams of the division and Exeter came out on top,

:17:33.:17:39.

beating Colchester 3-0. Reuben Reid, David Wheeler

:17:40.:17:41.

and Liam McAlinden scored the goals giving the Grecians' playoff hopes

:17:42.:17:45.

a big boost. It's 999 for Exeter -

:17:46.:17:47.

they're now ninth in the league, have extended their unbeaten run

:17:48.:17:51.

to nine and ended Colchester's Yeovil could have had it

:17:52.:17:55.

all, but had to settle Francois Zoko put them ahead -

:17:56.:18:01.

Blackpool drew level and then Darren Ward put the Glovers back

:18:02.:18:05.

in the lead. It looked like they would hold on,

:18:06.:18:08.

but they were denied in the fifth The Exeter Chiefs are out

:18:09.:18:11.

of Europe after losing They reached the quarterfinals stage

:18:12.:18:20.

last year, but this term lost four of their six pool games,

:18:21.:18:26.

making for an early exit. Their French hosts scored seven

:18:27.:18:30.

tries while the Chiefs replied Rob Baxter said he was very

:18:31.:18:33.

disappointed with the manner of their departure

:18:34.:18:37.

from a competition. He feels sure the Chiefs

:18:38.:18:39.

could win at some stage. Now, it's time to meet the Wrinklies

:18:40.:18:41.

- that's not what I've called them - They've got an average age of 80

:18:42.:18:50.

and their oldest player is 94 - incidentally her baby brother is 92

:18:51.:18:55.

and he plays too. They meet in Ottery St Mary once

:18:56.:18:59.

a week for a spot of table tennis. It keeps them fit and in some cases

:19:00.:19:02.

has changed their lives. Andy Birkett doesn't quite fit

:19:03.:19:06.

into their age bracket, but he's Speed, reactions, agility - things

:19:07.:19:08.

we are told diminish with age. While that may be true,

:19:09.:19:20.

this group of senior sportsmen and women are proof that sometimes

:19:21.:19:23.

guile, finesse and, of course, If I do the housework,

:19:24.:19:26.

I'm allowed out in the afternoon. What is it about coming

:19:27.:19:35.

here and playing table tennis It is the highlight of most

:19:36.:19:37.

people's week, you know. We just look forward to it,

:19:38.:19:45.

have a wonderful time. The standard has been

:19:46.:19:50.

going up all the time. Try telling that to Frank that it's

:19:51.:19:54.

just about keeping fit. The man with the most fearsome

:19:55.:20:01.

serve in the whole of... As well as the fun side

:20:02.:20:03.

to all of this, there Over the last few years, John has

:20:04.:20:08.

offered a number of strokes, For some time now he doesn't know

:20:09.:20:14.

who I am and will ask at least several times a day,

:20:15.:20:21.

I don't know you, who are you? When he's away from here,

:20:22.:20:24.

he can't walk properly up the road, People with dementia tend to get

:20:25.:20:28.

worse like this because they have Physically here, he's

:20:29.:20:37.

different as well. He has never fallen

:20:38.:20:40.

playing table tennis here. And then there is Diana and her

:20:41.:20:46.

92-year-old baby brother David. I'm told the last time these two

:20:47.:20:50.

played a singles match What do you get out of coming

:20:51.:20:53.

here and playing table tennis? I love the company, but I also love

:20:54.:21:00.

table tennis and, you know, I think you have to think about it,

:21:01.:21:07.

and you have to move about a bit, It's better than a rocking

:21:08.:21:11.

chair and a tartan rug. I couldn't leave here

:21:12.:21:17.

without testing whether youth I've never been so relieved

:21:18.:21:20.

to lose at something She beat him fair and square! Diana

:21:21.:21:44.

showed him. Some great volleys. Really brilliant.

:21:45.:21:46.

Now, weather is a topic we all like to discuss -

:21:47.:21:49.

too hot, too cold - we're never happy!

:21:50.:21:51.

And the Met Office says last year was the warmest year on record.

:21:52.:21:54.

But does it still snow like it used to?

:21:55.:21:57.

Jemma Woodman has been taking a look back at the great

:21:58.:22:00.

Is anywhere more beautiful than Dartmoor in the snow?

:22:01.:22:10.

And a light dusting at least is pretty much guaranteed

:22:11.:22:14.

But if you think you remember a time when you only have to walk

:22:15.:22:20.

out your front door to be knee-deep in drifts, then you're

:22:21.:22:23.

The older you are, the more likely you are to say,

:22:24.:22:27.

But is that true or just faded memories wrapped up in nostalgia?

:22:28.:22:35.

Time to dip into the archives to find out.

:22:36.:22:39.

In 1963, the south-west bore the brunt of a series

:22:40.:22:43.

There were large-scale rescue operations.

:22:44.:22:49.

The chief one was the relief of Whittendown.

:22:50.:22:53.

But in 2010, the same thing happened again.

:22:54.:22:56.

This time it was milk tankers getting stuck on the roads

:22:57.:22:59.

in what proved to be the coldest winter in 30 years.

:23:00.:23:04.

Actually the footage shows that 2010 doesn't compare

:23:05.:23:08.

to 1963 for cold or snow, but there's one winter that does

:23:09.:23:13.

For that we have to go way back in the archives before

:23:14.:23:21.

many of you were born and regional TV didn't exist.

:23:22.:23:24.

Mike at the southwest film and television archive has dug

:23:25.:23:27.

I have had a good look in the database and in the paper records.

:23:28.:23:34.

There is very little of 1947, but I think I have

:23:35.:23:37.

Hope Cove looking more like Antarctica than

:23:38.:23:48.

The lifeboat brings in food supplies to marooned villagers.

:23:49.:23:58.

In 1947, January 22, the snow started to fall and fell

:23:59.:24:03.

every day somewhere in the UK for over 70 days.

:24:04.:24:05.

And if you want to know why it doesn't snow like it use to,

:24:06.:24:15.

find out the answer on Inside Out South West

:24:16.:24:17.

Now with the forecast of blizzards on the way... No chance. I don't

:24:18.:24:36.

think we will see any snow but what we saw on the beach at Dawlish this

:24:37.:24:41.

morning, you might be forgiven for thinking there was snow but it is

:24:42.:24:49.

actually frost. Also a beautiful South Devon coast with a view out

:24:50.:24:55.

across to Bow Island. It looks like the fine, clear skies will lead to

:24:56.:24:59.

another sharp frost overnight tonight. Dry and bright for most of

:25:00.:25:06.

this week. Frost and fog but also becoming quite windy later on. You

:25:07.:25:11.

will notice not a great deal of rain in that forecast. First thing

:25:12.:25:16.

tomorrow, it is the freezing fog that could be a problem. Both later

:25:17.:25:21.

on tonight and first thing tomorrow, particularly across parts of Dorset,

:25:22.:25:26.

Somerset and the east of Devon. There is quite a nice line of cloud

:25:27.:25:32.

out to the west which has rain on it but it does not get much closer. We

:25:33.:25:37.

have high pressure in charge. By the middle of Wednesday it is starting

:25:38.:25:42.

to weaken and by Thursday it will get a bit closer. A really cold

:25:43.:25:48.

feeling day on Thursday with Southeast winds and low

:25:49.:25:53.

temperatures. That was the satellite picture from earlier today. Not only

:25:54.:25:58.

in land was it fine but also along the coast. This is Watergate Bay

:25:59.:26:04.

where it was a beautiful day. A bit of haze in the air, quite a bit of

:26:05.:26:09.

pollution around today but not so bad tomorrow by something for our

:26:10.:26:13.

selfless and walkers along the coastline, some lovely weather. See

:26:14.:26:17.

temperatures around nine or 10 degrees. Let's follow the forecast

:26:18.:26:22.

through the night to calm because with all this clear sky, the

:26:23.:26:27.

temperatures are falling and we will see some mist and fog developing

:26:28.:26:32.

later in the night. Further west, I would not say it is frost free but

:26:33.:26:37.

temperatures are slightly higher. I don't think anywhere will escape a

:26:38.:26:40.

touch of frost at some point through the night with the lowest

:26:41.:26:48.

temperatures, -5 possible. Much of the day tomorrow is fine and dry.

:26:49.:26:56.

More cloud from time to time. A slightly higher temperature between

:26:57.:27:04.

nine and 11 degrees. For the Isles of Scilly, staying dry with sunny

:27:05.:27:05.

spells. Have a good evening. Just before we go, a look ahead

:27:06.:27:12.

to tomorrow's Spotlight. We're investigating why people

:27:13.:27:14.

are commuting further and further. We'd like to hear about

:27:15.:27:17.

your journey to work - You can get in touch

:27:18.:27:19.

via Facebook, Twitter and email. If you would like to join me on BBC

:27:20.:27:35.

radio Devon, I am on between one and 4pm. But from all of us here, good

:27:36.:27:37.

night. To break someone physically... Agh!

:27:38.:27:52.

..is not a problem. Nectar of the gods, I'm telling you.

:27:53.:27:56.

Thank you, Colonel. He's definitely battling

:27:57.:28:08.

some demons. If they have a fear of water,

:28:09.:28:10.

God help them. Tom Jones, obviously.

:28:11.:28:13.

Winston Churchill.

:28:14.:28:35.