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Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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    Inside Out - West: Monday October 3, 2005

THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

Weston's Super...

Weston's beach
Super place for super stars - Weston rivals Cannes and Nice

As the daughter of Hollywood megastar Joan Collins, you'd expect Tara Newley to live somewhere pretty flash.

In fact, during her life 'home' has been Paris, London, New York, St Tropez and Beverley Hills.

But now she's fallen in love with a place which she thinks tops the lot… Weston Super Mare!

Tara moved to the Somerset seaside resort three years ago and now she never wants to leave.

"What better place to bring up our children – than with the seaside on the doorstep. Most people have to wait for a week or two in the summer to play on the beach. It’s a bit like being on holiday all year round," she enthuses.

Tara loves the place so much she has even named her son 'Weston'.

It was an idea she picked up from the Beckhams when they named their son Brooklyn.

Tara Newley
It's nicer much nicer in Weston according to Tara

And it's not just Tara who sings the praises of the much maligned town.

Tourism Officer Steve Harrison set his heart on living in Weston when he first visited as a child.

Now he promotes the resort in his own unique style, with a Weston tattoo on his arm.

But he drew the line when he got to the sixth letter, claiming it was so painful he couldn’t bring himself to add the "Super Mare".

Tara says, "people assume that a child of celebrity should live in London Paris or Los Angeles but why shouldn’t I live in Weston?!

"It’s annoying when people think you should live a certain lifestyle, or in a particular place, because of their expectations of celebrities. I think I've found a slice of heaven."

Send an e-postcard of Weston super Mare to a friend.

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Mobile speed cameras

Speed camera
Caught on camera but how accurate are the readings?

Sam Smith investigates if mobile speed cameras are as accurate as the police would have us believe.

Carrying out tests using an American model of the camera, she discovers worrying evidence that the cameras don't always get it right.

A recent report by the RAC shows that nearly two-thirds of all drivers admit breaking the speed limit on a 30mph roads.

It's not surprising then that the amount of speeding tickets we are all getting are on the increase.

But we discover that some of the equipment used by the police may not be as reliable as they like to think.

In the last year the numbers of mobile speed cameras hidden on motorcycle, police van and cars have risen by more than a third.

That means there are just under 3,500 mobile speed units in the country.

In 2003-4 speeding fines generated £112 million. Of that, £92 million was ploughed back into installing and operating the cameras.

A lot of this revenue is now created by the mobile cameras. It is predicted that by the end of the year they will be as many mobile speed cameras that they are fixed roadside cameras.

But are those mobile cameras as reliable as the police would like to think?

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Onion Johnnies

Onions
Do you know your onions?

Tessa Dunlop meets the 'Onion Johnnies' on their annual trip across the channel to Bristol.

'Onion Johnny' is the nickname given to the French farmers and labourers who sell onions door-to-door in England, Wales and Scotland.

Although they have declined dramatically in numbers since the 1950s, the Onion Johnny was once very common.

Dressed in his trademark striped shirt and beret, and riding a bicycle hung with onions, the Onion Johnny originally came from Roscoff area in Brittany.

Onion Johnnies found a more profitable market in England than at home, and brought their harvest across the English Channel in July to store in rented barns. In the winter they would return home.

The trade started in 1828 when the first trip was made by Henri Ollivier.

Today's Onion Johnnies make the trip by ferry, although in years gone by they travelled to England in small sail ships and steamers.

In an age of sophisticated supermarkets, Inside Out West asks if there is still a future for door to door onion selling.

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