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Summary

  1. Repaired Marlow bridge reopens after overweight lorry caused damage in September
  2. The two day Hennessy meeting gets underway this afternoon
  3. Heathrow third runway 'to breach climate change laws'
  4. A lot more sunshine today than we have seen recently.
  5. There are calls for Reading's disused prison to become a permanent arts centre.

Live Reporting

By Sarah Lee and John Hudson

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Rob England

BBC News online

That's all for today from our local live service.

Join us again from 8:00 on Monday for all your latest news, sport, weather and travel updates.

You can keep in touch via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Have a great weekend! 

Are you heading to Reading Comic-Con 2016?

Rob England

BBC News online

Around 6,000 comics, movie and science fiction fans will gather in Reading this weekend for the town's first ever Comic-Con.

Actors from film and TV shows will be at the Rivermead Leisure Complex alongside memorabilia stalls and a retro gaming area.

Famous TV film and television props will be in attendance, such as a replica of the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones and Doctor Emmett Brown's time travelling DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Tune in to BBC South Today at 18:30 to find out more from our reporter, Ben Moore.

Rivermead Leisure Complex, the venue for Reading Comic-con 2016
Reading Comic-Con 2016
Organisers say the set up is well underway at the Rivermead Leisure Complex

Last Orders No Longer

At a time when local pubs are frequently closing, one public house is bucking the trend. The Ibex in the West Berkshire village of Chaddleworth reopens tonight after being shut for the last three years.

BBC Radio Berkshire's Sue Kinnear found out more about the opening night on her show earlier today.

Henderson hopes for Hennessy success

Adam Whitty

BBC Berkshire

Nicky Henderson is a man in need of good news.

The Lambourn-based trainer had a horrible afternoon at Cheltenham a fortnight ago, when he was forced to retire one horse, before another sadly had to be put down.

Nicky Henderson hopes he can recover from a tricky few weeks to win the Hennessy Gold Cup

But he is now hoping for a change of fortunes ahead of the prestigious Hennessy Gold Cup on Saturday.

He has three runners for the race on Sunday, including one of the favourites, Vyta du Roc.

There will be live coverage of the race across the afternoon on BBC Radio Berkshire.

Ho Ho Ho!

The Swinley Forest Santa Dash is taking place this Sunday.

All the money raised goes towards the Thames Valley Hospice, and their Chief Executive Debbie Raven told BBC Radio Berkshire's Chris Hollins how the money will make a difference. 

Severe accident: M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J16 for M40 and J15 for M4.

M25 Buckinghamshire - M25 blocked and stationary traffic anticlockwise between J16 M40 and J15 M4, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe accident, between J13 for A34 Chieveley and J12 for A4 affecting J14 for A338.

M4 Berkshire - Stationary traffic on M4 London-bound between J13, A34 (Chieveley) and J12, A4 (Theale), because of a rolling road-block and an accident involving multiple vehicles. Congestion to J14, A338 (Hungerford).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

WATCH: Carving of community man Ron Piggott takes shape

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

This video shows how a bust of the late Ron Piggott, who secured £94,000 of funds to save his church's dilapidated steeple, was intricately carved. 

Mr Piggott died aged 82 in October before getting a chance to see how the money he campaigned to raise was used to restore St Mary the Virgin in Datchet, near Windsor. 

To honour Mr Piggott, the church decided to pay tribute to him in the form of a stone sculpture.  

View more on youtube

Stone specialist Jem Hobbs said: "A clay maquette was made and then every detail has been hand carved in stone to create Ron’s likeness and capture his characteristics for years to come."

Travel: M25 delays

BBC Travel

There are currently long delays on the M25 clockwise between J10 and J16 at the M40.

Police dog and handler receive commendations for work during burglary

A Thames Valley Police dog and his handler have received commendations for their outstanding work during a burglary at a property Bicester. 

PC Mills and Cody, the police dog, received the commendations at a ceremony at the Force’s Training Centre in Sulhamstead, near Reading, on Thursday.

The commendations reflect their work during a response to a report of a burglary.

PD Cody
TVP

Upon arrival, PC Mills and Cody were confronted by a man who had armed himself with two metal bars. 

The man confronted PC Mills and, during a struggle to detain him, PC Mills was struck on the head with one of the metal bars. 

Cody took hold of the other metal bar, to prevent the offender from using it. 

PC Mills received a serious injury to his head but managed to detain the man until other officers arrived.   

Road remains shut after house damaged by lorry

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

Streatley Hill will remain closed at the junction with the A329 until 16:00 GMT on Monday, according to West Berkshire Council. 

The road was shut after a lorry became wedged between two buildings as the driver attempted a tight turn

A council spokesman said work to make the building which was hit safe is taking longer than first anticipated. 

He added that the road will have to be closed again in the New Year to complete the work. 

Lorry wedged between two buildings on Streatley Hill
Tim Schulz
The road was shut after a lorry became wedged between two buildings as the driver attempted a tight turn

Court upholds decision to close 'rat infested' food shop

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

A court has upheld a council decision to close a food shop infested with cockroaches and rats.

Hygiene inspectors visited Reading Quality Foods and Al-Muzammil Halal Meat to discover “10 to 15 rats running throughout the store”.

Photographs taken at the premises showed cockroaches crawling over food preparation areas, droppings sprawled across the floor and items on display which had been gnawed by rats.

A hole where rats lived in the shop
Reading Borough Council
Hygiene inspectors visited Reading Quality Foods and Al-Muzammil Halal Meat to discover “10 to 15 rats running throughout the store”

Areas outside the store were littered with waste and disused equipment encrusted with food, Reading Borough Council said. 

Reading Magistrates confirmed on 18 November that the authority had made the correct decision in issuing a closure notice to the Northumberland Avenue shop. 

Cockroaches crawling on scales
Reading Borough Council
Photographs taken at the premises showed cockroaches crawling over food preparation areas

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J10 for A329 and J11 for A33.

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M4 westbound between J10 A329(M) Wokingham and J11, A33 (Reading), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe disruption, between J7 for A4 and J6 for A355 Slough affecting J8 for .

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M4 London-bound between J7, A4 (Slough West) and J6, A355 (Slough), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to J8.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Latest Berkshire headlines

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

Reading deserve extra attention - Stam

Reading v Bristol City (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Adam Whitty

BBC Berkshire

I would be surprised if many Reading fans were expecting the club to be compared to Barcelona this season.

Well former Royals boss Martin Allen said as much on a television highlights programme on Saturday night, having just watched Jaap Stam's side coast to a 3-0 win over Burton, and climb to third in the table

Jaap Stam says it's a 'good thing' that Reading are being noticed outside of Berkshire

Quotes like these have become something of the norm in recent weeks, with Reading's form - and their style of play - beginning to turn heads in the national press, as well as at BBC Radio Berkshire.

According to Jaap Stam though, it is completely deserved.

"I think it's good that people are beginning to take notice because the players deserve it."

Appeal to locate stolen giant poppies

An appeal has been made for information about the theft of four giant poppies in Bracknell Forest.

The poppies were collected earlier this week to be stored away for the year, but of the 30 poppies which had been installed, four were missing with "clear evidence that they had been stolen".

Poppy
Bracknell Forest Council

The poppies which have been stolen had been placed in Raeburn Way, Sandhurst; on the 3M Roundabout; in Foresters Way ; and on the Bowland Drive/ New Forest Ride roundabout. 

Cllr Dorothy Hayes MBE, executive member for environmental services, said: “It is utterly shameful to steal items which are a simple memorial to those who gave their lives in armed conflicts. It is a crime against the Bracknell Forest community."

Stone carving to honour Datchet stalwart

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

A stone carving has been created in tribute to a community stalwart who secured £94,000 of funding to save his church’s dilapidated steeple.

Ron Piggott, former treasurer of St Mary the Virgin in Datchet, near Windsor, died in October aged 82 before the work had been completed.

Reverend Peter Wyard said Mr Piggott, who moved to the parish 40 years ago, successfully led a campaign to restore the building to its former glory.

Carving
BBC

The carving, completed by stone specialist Jem Hobbs from photographs supplied by Mr Piggott’s family, will be installed at the site in December. 

Mr Hobbs, of contractors Cliveden Conservation, said: “I felt honoured to create this carving of Ron Piggott to mark his incredible achievement".

Reading Prison: Call for permanent arts centre at jail

Sarah Lee

South Online

A Grade II-listed prison, once home to Oscar Wilde, should become a permanent arts centre, campaigners have said.

Reading Prison hosted a temporary exhibition inside the Victorian building, which included performances from Actor Ralph Fiennes and singer Patti Smith.

Reading Prison
Marcus J Leith

More than 50,000 people have visited the site since it opened in September.

Artangel, which organised the project, said the venue should remain as an arts venue for future use.

Black Friday: 'Busy time' for Reading parcel distribution centre

Analysts are predicting more than a billion pounds will be spent in today's Black Friday sales.

Most of the money will be spent online and not in the shops.

BBC Breakfast have been at a parcel distribution centre in Reading where they are gearing up for a busy few days.

BBC Breakfast have sent Ben Thompson to Reading

Mayor reopens Marlow Bridge

Bridgitte Tetteh

BBC Radio Berkshire reporter

Marlow Bridge reopened this morning two months after it was closed for essential repair work and safety checks. 

Bob Johnson, the town's mayor, was the first motorist to drive across the bridge since it was closed in September. 

The mayor reopens Marlow Bridge
BBC
The council closed the bridge to traffic after a 37-tonne lorry attempted to cross

He told us: "The major problem has been in local trade, there's no question about it, there's been some serious reductions in people coming into the town.

"Mainly not because they don't want to come here but because it's been difficult to get here."

The council closed the bridge to traffic after 37-tonne lorry attempted to cross, despite it having a three-tonne weight limit.

The lorry driver lost his job over the incident.

View more on facebook

Willkommen bei Windsor!

The two days Hennessy meeting gets underway this afternoon

Ady Williams

Sport presenter, BBC Radio Berkshire

And we're off! The Hennessy meeting at Newbury Racecourse gets underway this afternoon. 

The feature tomorrow, the 60th running of The Hennessy Gold Cup see's 20 horses go to post, including three trained here in Berkshire. 

All the build up throughout today and off course I'll be live from the Racecourse tomorrow for Saturday Sport.

View more on twitter

Latest travel headlines

Matt Vaughan

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

  • Streatley Hill is closed in both directions due to structural inspection and repairs between A329 (Streatley) and Bell Lane / Reading Road (Aldworth)
  • Heavy traffic on A4 Bath Road in both directions near B3026 Lake End Road / Lent Rise Road
  • Delays on A404 in both directions around A308 Marlow Road / Marlow Road (Bisham Roundabout)
  • Heavy traffic on A4155 Henley Road in both directions around B3345 Lower Henley Road
  • Queueing traffic on A308(M) Southbound at M4 J8/9 / A404(M) Maidenhead

Mary Berry delighted over Marlow bridge reopening

Businesses in Marlow hope trade will return to normal when the town bridge reopens this morning. 

The bridge has been closed since September after a 37 tonne lorry got stuck on it when the driver ignored a three tonne weight limit. 

Around a thousand people gathered last night to celebrate - among them Mary Berry who was there to switch on the Christmas lights!

The Thames bridge in Marlow reopens to excitement from TV star and resident Mary Berry.

Heathrow third runway 'to breach climate change laws'

Roger Harrabin

BBC environment analyst

Plans to expand Heathrow Airport are set to breach the government’s climate change laws, advisers have warned.

The Committee on Climate Change says the business plan for Heathrow projects a 15% increase in aviation emissions by 2050.

If that increase is allowed, members say, ministers will have to squeeze even deeper emissions cuts from other sectors of the economy.

The government said it was determined to keep to its climate change targets.

Heathrow sign
PA

When the going gets soft

Ady Williams

Sport presenter, BBC Radio Berkshire

Newbury Racecourse opens its doors later for day one of the bet365 festival, which tomorrow sees a very special day of racing with the 60th Hennessy Gold Cup. 

View more on twitter

Weather: Breezy with sunshine

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

We will see a lot more sunshine today than we have seen recently - and for most of us it will be the best day of the week.

There is a clear sky this morning so it will be a bit chilly, but a beautiful day is upon us.

Bee
BBC

Travel: Streatley Hill closed, heavy traffic on M25, delays on A404

Matt Vaughan

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

  • Streatley Hill in both directions closed due to structural inspection and repairs between A329 (Streatley) and Bell Lane / Reading Road (Aldworth).
  • Fairlawn Road in Tadley partially blocked due to accident
  • Heavy traffic on M25 anticlockwise around J12 M3
  • Heavy traffic on A4 Bath Road in Maidenhead in both directions near B3026 Lake End Road / Lent Rise Road. 
  • Delays on A404 in both directions around A308 Marlow Road / Marlow Road (Bisham Roundabout). 

Berkshire's morning headlines

Sarah Lee

South Online

  • There are calls for Reading's disused prison to become a permanent arts centre. Since September more than thirty thousand people have visited a temporary exhibition inside the listed Victorian building
  • Experts have warned that plans to expand Heathrow airport will breach the government's own regulations on emissions. The Committee on Climate Change - an independent body - says the proposals for a third runway predicts there will be a 15% increase in aviation emissions by 2050
  • A convicted terrorist from Reading is due in court today charged with a new terror offence. 26 year old Mohammed Rehman is accused of possessing a document likely to be used in an act of terrorism

A fine day with sunny spells

Sarah Lee

South Online

Good morning! After a cold start it will be a fine day with sunny spells

We'll be bringing you the latest news, weather, travel and sport from Berkshire on our local live service.

Keep in touch with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.