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  1. Updates on Friday, 22 January, 2016

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Martin Lewes


    We've now finished updates on the news, weather and travel for the week. 

    But we'll be back again at 08:00 on Monday.

    If you've news or a picture you'd like to share with us, you can contact us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.

  2. Weather: Clear and chilly night

    After a few showers this evening it'll be a clear and chilly night. 

    There might be a patchy ground frost in a few locations before dawn, but in many places the temperatures won't fall below 7C (45F).

    Weather graphic

    You can find the latest forecast here.

  3. Fans queue for Carlisle cup tie tickets

    Martin Lewes


    For the second day running, queues have formed in Carlisle as United fans buy tickets for the cup tie against Everton on 31 January.

    Cup tie queue

    The tickets are being sold both at the ground and at the Cumberland Building Society in the city centre. The sales have been bedevilled by technical problems on phone lines.

  4. Flood 'resilience' grants could near £12m in South Lakes

    South Lakeland council says it could be handling grants worth £12m under a government scheme providing £5,000 towards the cost of protecting properties from future flooding.

    It's been announced this week that the money will be available to businesses as well as homes.

    South Lakeland was proportionately the worst hit area of the county. It's thought 2,205 homes and 350 businesses were flooded.

    A council spokesman said: “The administration of these grants is now a huge task for council officers to manage. 

    "We have experience of flood resilience grant applications and processed around 30 claims from  households following coastal flooding in 2013, but the potential numbers following the recent December flooding are on a completely different scale."

  5. How a wedding turned to horror as fireworks exploded

    The fatal fireworks explosion happened on 30 August, 2014, about 30 minutes after John Simpson, 61, married Nicole Rothwell, 44, and guests gathered for the reception at their home in the wealthy enclave of Eccleriggs, on the shores of Windermere. 

    Polly Connor

    Mr Simpson's main business was insurance, but he had a partnership in a the firm Stardust Fireworks with Andrew Coates.  

    Mr Coates and his assistant, Polly Connor (pictured above), were in a licensed fireworks store, preparing a suitably spectacular display.

    Without warning there was an explosion, then more explosions as the pyrotechnics in and around the store went off and a fierce fire developed.

    The explosions were heard up to three miles away, and a tower of black smoke spread upwards into the summer sky.

    At the Brockhole visitor centre next door, horrified tourists took their children to safety. 

    Fire crews called to the scene brought the blaze under control, but they found the bodies of the two technicians in the wreckage of the store.

    Burned out fireworks store

    Through the week the inquest at a Kendal hotel has tried to find out how two people, both described as safety-conscious workers, died in such appalling circumstances.

    Stewart Myatt, an expert from the Health and Safety Laboratory, described how a firework shell designed to explode high in the air had gone off on the ground and punched through into the store, exploding inside and in all probability, knocking the two people inside helplessly unconscious as the rest of the display ignited around them.

    But what caused that initial firework to go off, Mr Myatt could not say.

  6. Fireworks deaths were accidental, inquest jury rules

    Two people died in a blaze at a wedding caused by an "unexplained" explosion, an inquest jury has found. 

    Andrew Coates, 41, and Polly Connor, 46, were killed as they prepared a fireworks display at the luxury home of Mr Coates's business partner, John Simpson, near the shore of Windermere.  

    The display was to celebrate Mr Simpson's marriage to Nicole Rothwell.

    The inquest had heard that a pyrotechnic shell had set off outside the store in which the two technicians were working, punching through the wall and exploding inside, igniting the rest of the display.

    The deaths were ruled an accident - but the jury could not decide what set off the first explosion.

  7. Work starts on beauty spot facelift

    Work starts on Monday on a £300,000 project to tidy up a Lake District beauty spot.


    The promenade at Waterhead will be widened and resurfaced, with new seating, planting and other street furniture.

    The flowerbeds will also be given new dry stone wall surroundings.   

    The work could take up to 12 weeks, but it will start at the southern end where most businesses are located to minimise disruption as visitor numbers increase towards Easter.

  8. BreakingFireworks deaths were accident, inquest jury finds

    An explosion which killed two people who were preparing fireworks for a wedding was an accident, an inquest jury has ruled.

    The bodies of Andrew Coates, 41, and his assistant Polly Connor, 46, were found in the wreckage of a storage building after the fire near the shore of Lake Windermere in August 2014.  

    Fireworks deaths scene
  9. Murder trial told of 'I'd kill for you' love letter

    A man accused of murdering a Carlisle teenager wrote in a love letter that he was prepared to kill, a jury has heard. 

    Carlisle Crown Court heard 19-year-old George Thomson wrote the letter to Jordan Watson's girlfriend but never sent it. It was found in his bedroom after Jordan, 14, was found dead.

    In the letter Mr Thomson said the girl was the love of his life; he would kill for her, or walk around the world for her. 

    Mr Thomson, giving evidence in his defence, said he would do neither.

    Mr Thomson, Brahnn Finley, also 19, and 20-year-old Daniel Johnston, all from Carlisle, deny murder. The trial continues.

  10. Boss Curle grateful to Carlisle United staff

    BBC Sport

    Carlisle's return to Brunton Park after flood damage is thanks to their hard-working staff, says manager Keith Curle.

    Brunton Park

    Extensive damage to the playing surface, dressing rooms and offices was caused by December's Storm Desmond.

    Carlisle played home games away from Brunton Park while it was restored, in time for Saturday's visit of York.

    "There's a massive thank you from me as the head of football for the work they do," Curle told BBC Radio Cumbria.

    "The people behind the scenes that don't get the mentions are working in adverse conditions, completely out of their comfort zone.

  11. Man in court for theft of 'Mayoress's badge''

    A man's been charged with stealing a piece of civic jewellery called the Mayoress's Badge from a secure room in Carlisle's Civic Centre.

    Mayoress Broach

    The badge, valued at between £45,000 and £55,000, has been part of the mayoral regalia since the 1890s.  

    It's understood the badge has been broken into pieces, and police have not found it all.

    Gavin Fletcher, who was not an employee of the council,  is due to appear at Carlisle Magistrates Court on the 8 February.

  12. Jordan Watson accused 'stayed at home' night boy died

    One of the men accused of killing Carlisle teenager Jordan Watson has told the city's crown court that he didn't leave home the night the 14-year-old died.

    George Thomson is the first of three men to give evidence on the ninth day of the trial. 

    Asked if he had killed Jordan, the 19-year-old replied: "No". He also denied threatening the boy.

    Mr Thomson, Brahnn Finley, also 19, and 20-year-old Daniel Johnston, all from Carlisle, deny murder. The trial continues.

    Jordan Watson
  13. Windermere Fireworks inquest jury goes out

    An inquest jury that will decide how two people from Kendal came to die in a fire and fireworks explosions near Windermere has been sent out to consider its conclusions

    Andrew Coates, 41, and his assistant Polly Connor, 46, were setting up a fireworks display in August 2014.

    Coroner David Roberts told the jury there are possibilities but no probabilities about the initial cause of the first firework going off. 

    The fireworks explosion at Ecclerigg
  14. Councillors exercised over consultants cost on leisure contract

    Opposition councillors on Carlisle City Council have attacked the £850 daily fee being paid to consultants who are advising on a new leisure services contract.

    Carlisle Civic centre

    Conservative councillor Gareth Ellis says the rate is "jaw-dropping", adding there's been a lack of transparency because the figures weren't made available to a scrutiny panel.

    A council spokesman said the aim was to get a new contract that saved money and meant new investment in sports facilities.

  15. In focus: New Carlisle United signing Brandon Conley

    James Phillips

    BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

    So who is Carlisle United's new loan signing Brandon Conley?

    Well the 20-year-old has played twice for QPR's first-team and signed a two-year deal at Loftus Road in May, having been with the club since the age of nine.

    His full debut came as a substitute in last season's 5-1 Premier League defeat by Leicester City.

    "We like what we've seen from Brandon and we think we can work with him," Carlisle boss Keith Curle said. 

  16. United's studs test new turf for first time since floods

    Carlisle United's players have been training on the newly-laid pitch at Brunton Park for the first time. 

    At the start of last month the flood water was nearly up to the crossbars.

    View more on twitter
  17. Flood repairs helped brewery recover faster

    The company that owns the Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth says repairs done after flooding in 2009 helped the company recover faster after the renewed floods last month.

    Brewery vat

    The firm started brewing again today, more than a month after the December floods swept through the works.  

    The first beer in production (pictured above) is a brand called Cockerhoop.