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  1. Updates for Friday, 11 November 2016
  2. Stevenage "new town" turns 70
  3. Trains services into London from Beds and Herts returning to normal
  4. 'World's oldest' poppy seller reflects on Armistice Day

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, at J11 for A505 Dunstable Road affecting J10 for M1.

M1 Bedfordshire - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M1 northbound at J11 A505 Dunstable Road, because of an accident involving two lorries. Congestion to J10, M1 (Luton Airport Spur Road).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Video: Historical graffiti uncovered

We've been following the story of researchers are studying a unique historical record left on the tower of King's Lynn Library. A series of engravings were made by soldiers from the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars and the Royal Bucks Hussars. Here's a video of the graffiti:

Soldiers behind World War One graffiti in King's Lynn traced
Luton Crown Court

A man who committed such "vile" child sex abuse other paedophiles called him "a monster" is jailed for 21 years.

Read more

Our live coverage through the day

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for regular updates from all the team here at Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks. 

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with more news, sport, travel and weather. 

Greg Rutherford and Natalie Lowe

Now for all your lovers of sequins, spray tan and slinky outfits, Milton Keynes' very own Greg Rutherford will be back on the dancefloor of Strictly Come Dancing at 18:55 on Saturday night. 

He's dancing the Paso Doble, so let's hope it's a case of "ole" and not "adios"!

Weather: Dry for most - turning cold

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Dry for much of tonight with clear spells across the region, but cloud will increase with outbreaks of rain arriving from the west later. 

Chilly initially with temperatures falling to 2C (36F), but turning milder later as the southerly winds strengthen.

Weather map for Saturday

Saturday will be rather cloudy and breezy with outbreaks of rain for much of the day, turning drier but quite misty from the west later. 

Feeling cold in the wind and rain, despite temperatures reaching 9C (48F).

Visit BBC Weather for more details.

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J6 for A355 Slough and J7 for A4 affecting J4B for M25.

M4 Berkshire - Queuing traffic and one lane closed on M4 westbound between J6, A355 (Slough) and J7, A4 (Slough West), because of an accident. Congestion to J4b M25.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

'Monster' jailed for 21 years for rape of young boy

A man convicted of child sex abuse has been jailed for 21 years at Luton Crown Court today.

Luton Crown Court

Paul Scott of Wickenfields, Ware, arranged for groups of men to visit a house in Bedfordshire to rape a young boy on many occasions, a jury was told. 

The 63-year-old had pleaded not guilty to seven charges involving the rape of a child under 13. He was found guilty of six of those offences following a trial in October. 

He also pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children and breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Scott had been jailed in 2011 to three years and nine months in prison for making, possessing and distributing images of child abuse.

During the latest sentencing, Judge Stuart Bridge said: "You were cold, callous and calculating. Some of the men involved finally told you it had to stop and called you a monster. They were absolutely right."

Man jailed for dropping phone parts and drugs into Bedford prison

A man who tried to drop mobile phone parts and drugs over the wall of Bedford prison has been jailed for 21 months.

Bedford Prison
Rich Tea/Geograph

Petscarr Banya, 40, Swallowfield, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to two charges of attempting to convey articles into prison at Luton Crown Court. 

The package contained thirteen tablets containing illegal drugs and a number of mobile phone batteries and charger cables for Blackberry phones. 

The case comes in the same week when there have been riots in the jail, which was filmed by prisoners with phones.

On sentencing, Judge Michael Kay QC said: "I don't up the sentence because of that, but it's an observation." 

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, between J7 for and J9 for A5 affecting J6A for M25.

M1 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M1 northbound between J7, / (Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead) and J9, A5 (Redbourn), because of an accident. Congestion to J6a M25.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

'Safety is paramount importance' after vehicle crashes into home

Matt Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Hertfordshire County Council says the "safety of Hertfordshire residents is of paramount importance" after a car ploughed into a Hemel home for a second time.

It's confirmed it's reviewing the circumstances and is awaiting the details from the police. 

Damage to home

A 23-year-old man, of no fixed address, has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking without owner's consent and has been bailed by police until 17 December.   

'Lucky' family not seriously hurt after car crashes into home

Matt Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

A family from Hemel Hempstead have told me they can't believe how lucky they've been to escape mainly unharmed after a car lost control and ploughed into their home.

Becky Tunstall was having a glass of wine when a vehicle came through her kitchen wall on Cattsdell, on the evening of 28 October.

Fire engines
Becky Tunstall

It's not the first time a car has hit the property. Back in 2002, a teenager died after the car she was travelling in went into the same spot.

Damage to home

It's led to renewed calls from residents for the introduction of traffic calming measures to stop other families going through the same ordeal.  

Damage to home

Crumbs this looks good!

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A year ago Waddesdon Manor asked the Biscuiteers to create the French Renaissance-style chateau in Buckinghamshire in gingerbread. 

Expert icers Serena and Lorena started off making technical drawings and planning the biscuit architecture.

Plans for making biscuit Waddesdon and icing bags

In September they started baking. 

Waddesdon Manor in real life and in biscuit form

They lovingly recreated the rich details of some of Waddesdon's most beautiful rooms, including its paintings, furniture and ceramics, each modelled and hand-iced in dazzling and meticulous detail.  

Waddesdon Manor in real life and in biscuit form

Travel: A10 blocked by Hoddesdon

The A10 in Hertfordshire is partially blocked and there's queuing traffic northbound before Hoddesdon, because of an accident.  

View more on twitter

Severe accident: A10 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC Travel

A10 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, between A1170 and A1170 affecting M25 J25.

A10 Hertfordshire - A10 in Turnford closed and long delays northbound between the A1170 junction and the A1170 junction, because of a serious accident involving two vehicles. Congestion to Waltham Cross.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Watch: 'Biscuit architects' creation

This is a creation that may even impress Paul Hollywood...

It's Waddesdon Manor made out of gingerbread. 

Watch it in its full, tasty glory below.

Gingerbread house of Waddesdon Manor unveiled

That takes the biscuit!

A gingerbread model of Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire has been unveiled by the National Trust, after "biscuit architects" took 500 hours to make it.

The 1.5m (5ft) long model used 240 eggs, 216kg (34 stone) of icing and 30kg (4.7 stone) of sugar.

The model even includes miniature porcelain plates, chandeliers, tables and chairs (guess which is the real one - amazing ay?)

Waddesdon Manor and Gingerbread Waddesdon Manor

Train delays into London should now be over

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

It's the news most commuters in and out of London have been waiting for since Tuesday. 

It now looks likes the overhead wires and signalling problems have now been fixed in Luton and trains will now be able to run normally.

View more on twitter

Lewis Hamilton fastest in Brazilian Grand Prix practice

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Austin

Brackley-based Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton got his critical Brazilian Grand Prix weekend off to the ideal start with fastest time in first practice.

To take the title fight to the final race, Hertfordshire's Hamilton must stop team-mate Nico Rosberg winning the race on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

Hamilton was 0.230 seconds quicker than the German, who was only third, the two separated by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Hamilton was 0.096secs quicker than the Dutchman, whose team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest.

Hamilton was faster on both the medium tyres that the Mercedes drivers ran early in the session - by 0.05secs - and on the softs later on.

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe accident, at J17 for A412 affecting J21 for M1.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise at J17, A412 (Maple Cross), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. Congestion to J21 M1.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Beagle 2 'did not crash-land' on the Martian surface

Pallab Ghosh

Science correspondent, BBC News

Dr Manish Patel, of the Milton Keynes-based Open University, was among the hundreds of UK scientists who worked on the Beagle 2 mission

He agrees with the new evidence that suggests Beagle 2 took lots of scientific data but was unable to send it back.

"If Beagle 2 went into surface operations mode, it could have continued for some time performing the initial pre-programmed operations, happily taking data and waiting for a response from the orbiters," he said.

"It turned out to be a very lonely time for the lander at the surface," he said.

Beagle 2

The British-built Beagle 2 spacecraft was due to land on the Martian surface on Christmas Day in 2003.

Disappointingly, no signal was received. The search for a response from Beagle 2 continued for several months but the spacecraft was never heard from again.

Beagle 2 'was so close to Mars success'

Pallab Ghosh

Science correspondent, BBC News

Scientists examining pictures from the failed British mission to Mars in 2003 say it came "excruciatingly close" to succeeding. 

They suggest the Beagle 2 spacecraft did not crash-land and may have collected data for several months. 

The mission was led by the late Prof Colin Pillinger, from the Milton Keynes-based Open University.

Colin Pillinger

Travel: Delays expected on trains through Broxbourne until 16:00

Urgent repairs to the track are taking place between Broxbourne and Roydon, while Network Rail inspects a problem. 

Trains between Broxbourne and Stansted Airport / Cambridge / Hertford East are expected to be delayed by up to 60 minutes. 

A shuttle train service is currently running between London Liverpool Street and Broxbourne, and between Bishop's Stortford and Cambridge.

Sevices are expected to get back to normal by 16:00.

View more on twitter

Lewis Hamilton has 'nothing to lose' as he aims to deny Nico Rosberg

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Austin

Stevenage's very own Lewis Hamilton says he has "nothing to lose" in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, as he attempts to stop Brackley-based Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg clinching the F1 title.

German Rosberg, who has a 19-point advantage, will seal the championship if he is victorious at Interlagos, where he has won the past two seasons.

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

The Hertfordshire champion has never won in Brazil but clinched his first title here in 2008.

"I have had lots of experiences here. It's tough to come here and win, that's the goal," said the world champion.

"I don't really know why I have not won here."

Stevenage at 70: 'A lot of people know a lot of people'

Jodie Halford

BBC News

On a grey day in Stevenage town centre, shoppers mill around and try to keep warm in the cold winds.

The town was the first to be designated a new town on 11 November 1946, with the intention it should have cultural and leisure facilities to create "a new type of citizen - a healthy, self-respecting, dignified person with a sense of beauty, culture and civic pride".

Naomi and Elaine Rowe

Mother and daughter Elaine and Naomi Rowe, who are out shopping in the town, believe it has achieved some of what the planners set out to do - but not everything.

"It's got a leisure centre and the Fair Valley park, so it's achieved that. The shops are going downhill, but that's the same everywhere. There are no big stores here," said Elaine.

"It's OK to come here shopping but I'd rather there were more make-up shops. A lot of my friends hang around in Stevenage over by the leisure park. A lot of people know a lot of people, kids hang around together," Naomi added.

Ben Harris

Premiership club Wasps move to cover their injury problems at prop by signing Ben Harris from Newcastle on loan.

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Stevenage at 70: 'Wonderful people live here'

Since 1971, Hilary Spiers has lived in Stevenage. 

She's brought her family up here and says it has a fantastic "community". 

She's the chair of the Stevenage Arts Guild says the town has "amazing things" like choirs and orchestras and is of course where Lewis Hamilton grew up.  

She says the "heart of the town lies with its people and I think that's all you can say about Stevenage, we have some wonderful people that live here".

Stevenage in 1981
John M/Geograph
Stevenage in 1981
John M/Geograph
Stevenage in 2005
Robin Hall/Geograph

Stevenage at 70: 'As a town it's not somewhere I would want to live'

Jodie Halford

BBC News

The original vision for Stevenage - which was designated Britain's first new town 70 years ago today - was that it should be a self-contained community with easy access to the countryside, sports and leisure facilities.

Some shoppers in the town centre weren't convinced it had achieved those aims.

Mick Smith

"It fulfilled its brief in the past but there are more and more new estates going up and the infrastructure is not there to support the amount of people coming into the area," said Mick Smith, who lives nearby.

"The town is beginning to suffer for it and you can see it every time you come here.

"We come here because it's got the shops, but as a town it's not somewhere I would want to live."

Library may bid for funding to record and display names of WW1 soldiers

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Over 100 years ago, when the Zeppelin threat loomed over Norfolk during World War One, soldiers were posted to King's Lynn to keep a watch for the raiders.

Among those regiments were the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars and the Bucks Royal Hussars. They moved on after the summer of 1916, to be replaced by the 3rd Battalion Norfolk Regiment and the Royal Defence Corps, and a Welsh regiment in 1917. 

To pass the time, many of the men scratched their names and service numbers in one of their look-outs - the tower of the newly-built King's Lynn library.

The red-brick King's Lynn library, showing the tower

Librarian Kevin Hitchcock, who's researched the stories behind some of the names, says the wall has suffered erosion over the years and the names need protecting.

In conjunction with the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Association, the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and the Buckinghamshire Military Museum, we're hoping to make a joint bid for lottery funding to record the names and recreate the wall to make it accessible for museums and libraries everywhere."

Kevin HitchcockLibrarian

Teenager left with skull fractures after Royston attack

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A teenager has been left with a fractured skull after an unprovoked attack in Royston

Hertfordshire police say two 16-year-old boys were assaulted at about 20:45 last Friday night on Fish Hill. 

One was hit several times on the head and body with what's thought to be baseball bat and he had to have surgery. 

Fish Hill Royston

Both boys were treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital but have now been released. Police want to speak to witnesses.

Travel: Train delays around Broxbourne

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Urgent repairs to the track are taking place between Roydon and Broxbourne.

Trains are unable to run from Stansted Airport and Cambridge towards Broxbourne. 

Network Rail engineers are expected on site this lunchtime to inspect the defective section of track.

Once the line reopens, a good service is expected to operate from 15:00.

View more on twitter

Disturbances at Bedford Prison means prison capacity has fallen

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Spare capacity in the prison system in England and Wales has fallen to below 1,000, following disturbances at Bedford Prison.

Ministry of Justice figures show the "usable operational capacity" has dropped by 135 places over the past week to 86,923. The prison population is 85,975, leaving just 948 spare places. 

Bedford prison

More stories of those who carved their names...

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Here are more results of the research by Kevin Hitchcock into the names carved onto the brickwork on the roof of King's Lynn library tower...

Cyril Tufrey was in the Machine Gun Regiment. He served in Egypt and Palestine, and was transferred to the western front.

The name of Tufrey scratched into brickwork
Kevin Hitchcock

Like Cyril Tufrey, Clarence Skinner was in the Royal Bucks Hussars. He travelled to King's Lynn to join up, and ended up in France in the Bucks and Berkshire Machine Gun Company.

The name of Skinner scratched into brickwork
Kevin Hitchcock

Wally at 'work' on Armistice Day

Stuart Ratcliffe

BBC Look East

Before people across Beds, Bucks and Herts fell silent to honour our war dead, Wally Randall was busy selling poppies in Leighton Buzzard. 

The 101-year-old is one of the oldest poppy sellers around.

Wally Randall

In pictures: Somme soldiers' rooftop scratchings

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

These photos record the names of some of the men who scratched their names on the roof of their King's Lynn library lookout post before going on to fight in the Battle of the Somme.

Members of Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars (QOOH) went "over the top" on 7 October 1916.

This first photo records Maurice Pratt, who was killed in action on the autumn day.

AE Lovegrove survived the Somme, to be discharged in 1917 after an epileptic fit in the trenches:

Stonework with the names of Pratt and Lovegrove
Kevin Hitchcock

Stanley Berry went over the top at the Somme on the 7 October - and was injured on that day:

Brickwork with the name of Berry
Kevin Hitchcock

 A Grant of the QOOH, who dated his graffito November 1915, was killed in action in 1918:

Brickwork with the name of Grant
Kevin Hitchcock

Stevenage at 70: The 'new town' falls silent

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

On the day 70 years ago Stevenage was designated a new town, it fell silent for two minutes today to mark Armistice Day.

View more on twitter
James Haskell

England must box clever to beat the bruising South Africans for the first time in 13 games, says injured flanker James Haskell.

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Severe congestion: M40 Buckinghamshire northbound

BBC Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire northbound severe congestion, between J1A for M25 and J2 for A355.

M40 Buckinghamshire - Queuing traffic on M40 northbound between J1a M25 and J2, A355 (Beaconsfield).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

The stories of the King's Lynn men who 'suffered terrible losses' in WW1

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

King's Lynn librarian Kevin Hitchcock is researching the stories behind the soldiers who scratched their initials into the brickwork of the King's Lynn library tower in 1916.

Soldiers from the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars (QOOH) and the Royal Bucks Hussar (RBH) were posted to the town to keep a watch for raiders.

They moved on in the summer of 1916, with many fighting in the Battle of the Somme.

Crenelated red brickwork at the top of the tower
Kevin Hitchcock

With the help of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, and a date-by-date diary written by one of the men stationed at King's Lynn, Kevin says they know the fates of many of the men.

He said: "They went over the top on 7 October 1916 and suffered terrible losses. Quite a few of the names on the tower were either killed or injured on that very date."

This is their only memorial. It's a wonderful record of those men. Some of them actually came to King's Lynn to join up and then found themselves on the frontline in France."

Kevin HitchcockKing's Lynn librarian

Three counties remembers war dead

Services to mark Armistice Day have been held across the Beds, Bucks and Herts. 

In Luton, school children gathered at the war memorial. 

Luton war memorial service
Luton Council

A crowd also gathered at the MK Rose for the two minutes' silence. 

Memorial service at MK Rose
MK Council

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue also remembered the fallen. 

Minutes silence
Beds Fire and Rescue

Armistice Day being reflected across the UK

People have been marking Armistice Day, with services being held across the UK.


This short video (below) tells you how the tradition of wearing poppies came about, and you can read more about today's ceremonies here.

How the poppy tradition began

We'll now resume our live news where you live.