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  1. Thursday 12 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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Across the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


One story has dominated today in Cumbria -  the fire that destroyed an historic Barrow working men's club started the day, and the beginning of demolition work on what remained was in the news this afternoon.

For anyone on the road, the travel news was busy with the first widespread snow of the winter.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with whatever the weather's thrown at us over night, and the rest of the news, travel reports, and anything else that catches our fancy.

If you have a picture to share or some news you think we should know about, you can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.     

Have a very good evening.

Cumbria's weather: More wintry showers

BBC Weather

Further sleet and snow showers are expected tonight, with possibly a spell of more widespread rain, sleet and snow moving southwards after midnight, causing ice on untreated roads and pavements.  

There's a yellow warning for snow posted until just before midnight, and another for icy roads through until 11:00 tomorrow.  Minimum temperatures will be about -2C (28F)

Weather graphic

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

Five charged after long investigation into Cumbrian special school

Cumbria Police say five men have been charged in a long-running investigation into a school for young people with behavioural problems.

All the offences are said to have taken place at Underley Hall School, near Kirkby Lonsdale, which closed in 2012.

In 2014, police launched Operation Tweed after a former pupil made allegations.

Errol Mayer, 72, of New Road in Kirkby Lonsdale faces 18 charges of assault causing actual bodily harm and 10 of child cruelty.

Four other men - John Studley, 64, of Maryland Close, Silverdale, Lancashire; Frederick Taylor, 74, of Lower Park Royd Drive, Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale; James Farish, 57, of Oakwood, Kendal, and David Hadwin, 70, of Raygarth Road, Kirkby Lonsdale, each face one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.

They are due to appear at South Cumbria Magistrates Court on 15 February.

Severe accident: A595 Cumbria both ways

BBC Travel

A595 Cumbria both ways severe accident, between Hardgates Road and B5344.

A595 Cumbria - A595 in Calder Bridge blocked in both directions between the Hardgates Road junction and the B5344 junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Not seen those fields like this often, this winter...

Martin Lewes


Brief but heavy snow showers have been sweeping across parts of the county, but the sun's been breaking through in between.

That's when staff at the Blencathra Field Studies Centre do what the name implies, and study the fields between them and Blencathra.

View more on twitter

Police call for bar customers after Barrow fire

Police in Barrow say they're keen to talk to anyone who was in the Bar Continental last night at the time fire broke out in the former club next door.

Fire fighters rolling up hoses

Firefighters have now rolled their hoses and left the ruined building, known throughout the town as the House of Lords working men's club, although they are checking regularly for flare-ups.

The building had been disused for some time.

Charity spends £19,000 on hospital equipment

The Hospitals Equipment fund for Furness has given equipment worth £19,000 to the Furness General Hospital.

It includes kit ranging from hand-held pulse oximeters, which analyse the amount of oxygen in a patient's blood, to a monitor allowing anaesthetists to keep watch on a patient's brainwaves during surgery.

The donation was given on the day the Bay Hospitals charity announced it was opening a new office in Barrow.

Travel: More snow showers coming through

BBC Travel

Snow is reported on the A686 over Hartside between Penrith and Alston, the Kirkstone pass on the A592, and on the A595 around Bootle.  More is forecast for tonight.

View more on twitter

You can find the latest travel news here.

Blencathra appeal is told to give the money back to donors

The organisation set up to buy Blencathra, when the Earl of Lonsdale put the 2,848ft (868m) on the market, has begun the task of tracking down all the donors who gave them money, to hand it back.

Blencathra from air

The earl originally tried to sell the distinctive mountain to settle an inheritance tax bill, but eventually he found the money elsewhere and the land is no longer for sale.

The Charity Commission has now told the Friends of Blencathra that it must give the donations - a total of  £264,000 - back to those who sent it in.

The group has put an advertisement in the Westmorland Gazette.

Teenagers appear in court after robbery

Two teenagers have appeared before magistrates in Carlisle charged with robbing the village post office in Ravenglass yesterday.

One, who's 19 and from Ravenglass, was remanded in custody, and a 17-year-old was sent to local authority accommodation. Both were ordered to appear at Carlisle Crown Court on 13 February.

Part of fire-damaged building to come down this afternoon

Part of the Victorian building in Barrow that was ravaged by fire last night will be knocked down this afternoon, because it's dangerously unstable.

The former Working Men's Club and Institute dated back to 1870, and was listed for the interest of its brickwork and history.

Part of a Victorian building in Barrow which was gutted by fire is being demolished.

The Grade II listed building was erected to provide somewhere for 'responsible and sober' working men to spend their spare time, with the land being given by the Furness Railway Company and the £3,450 cost provided by Henry Schneider, who founded the steel industry on which Barrow was built.  

It's best known in the town by the nickname it gathered soon afterwards, the House of Lords.

Owners warned to smarten up Kirkby Stephen's best parts

A number of property owners in Kirkby Stephen are going to get a visit from council officials, after some locals said the state of some buildings was harming the appearance of the conservation area.

Kirkby Stephen on Market Day

Town councillors and Eden council planners have, a statement said this morning, identified a number of buildings that have become a concern.

The statement added: "If owners are not willing to bring their properties up to a condition and standard of the conservation area, planning officers will then have to consider serving legal notices to ensure the properties are no longer harming the historic town centre."

Travel: High roads hit by snow

BBC Travel

The A686 over Hartside, between Penrith and Alston, and the A592 Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District, are both affected by snow.

Hartside Pass
Cumbria county council

The Cumbria Highways webcams covering areas like Hartside (pictured) are here.

You can find the latest travel news here.

How cold is it where you are?

So we know it's cold but how does where you are compare to temperatures around the rest of the world.

Click here and you can put in your postcocde to compare the temperature here with more than 50 cities around the world, including some of the hottest and coldest inhabited places. 

Highland cattle at Brough

Watch: The inferno brings down the Lords

Martin Lewes


Here are  more pictures of Barrow's House of Lords in flames, this time thanks to the Huddlehub Facebook feed, which covered the blaze throughout the night.

Some its posts of the blaze, which has destroyed the former Working Men's Club, were shared thousands of times

Firefighters battled through the night as one of Barrow's historic pubs burned.

The building was listed for its historic interest and, built in 1870, was one of the first working men's clubs in the town.

It gathered the ironic nickname of the House of Lords, because it was built with the help of the titled landowners who founded much of the Furness iron and steel industry, and later its shipyard.

Although it was licensed, one local historian, Bryn Trescatheric, says it also had a library, and "was promoted as a place where responsible and sober working men could go."

Cumbria's weather: Blustery with more wintry showers

BBC Weather

It will be a blustery afternoon, with more wintry showers, falling as snow in places, with temperatures no higher than 3C (37F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are here.

Burned-out club 'could still collapse more'

The former House of Lords in Barrow, or the Working Men's Club and Institute, and then the Lords Tavern, as it was formally known, is still at risk of collapsing further after the fire that swept through the Victorian building last night.

People who had to leave their homes last night have been advised that if they return, they shouldn't go into back yards or the back street.

The burned out ruins in daylight

Cumbria's chief fire officer Paul Hancock said that Abbey Road between Dalkeith Street and Ramsden Square would remain closed for some time.

Mr Hancock said up to 70 firefighters from Cumbria and Lancashire fought the blaze, with at the height of the incident, 12 fire engines, an aerial ladder and a number of other vehicles on scene. No one was hurt.

Ross Hawkins: Copeland by-election goes nuclear

Whitehaven in Cumbria

The BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins gives his analysis of the Copeland by-election.

Whitehaven in Cumbria

Ross Hawkins: Copeland by-election goes nuclear

Ross Hawkins visits Copeland ahead of the by-election.

Read more

Lib Dems pick Cockermouth councillor for Copeland by-election

The Liberal Democrats have selected Rebecca Hanson as their candidate for the upcoming Copeland by-election. 

Rebecca Hanson
West Cumbria Liberal Democrats

The Cockermouth town councillor says the vote will be a chance for people to reject a so-called "hard" exit from the European Union and plans to move NHS services away from West Cumbria. 

The by-election will take place in the coming months, as a result of the Labour MP for Copeland Jamie Reed stepping down to work at the Sellafield nuclear plant.

Your pictures: Gritting the high roads

The plough is still lifted on this county council vehicle, showing the snow isn't yet deep enough to cause serious problems, as it spreads rocksalt on the icy 1,500ft high Kirkstone Pass.

Snowplough on Kirkstone Pass
Don Esslemont

You can find the latest travel news here, and if you've a winter wonderland picture, or one showing the problems it can cause, you can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.        

Teenagers due in court charged after Ravenglass robbery

Two teenagers will appear before magistrates in Carlisle this morning charged with robbery at the Ravenglass Post Office yesterday.

They are a 19-year-old from Ravenglass and a 17-year-old youth from the Seascale area who cannot be named because of his age.

Weather on the fells: Winter blasts in

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft: - 4C. 
  • Winds: Strong to gale force westerly, gusting severe gale at 60mph. 
  • Cloud: Variable cloud 2,000ft (600m), patches around 1,000ft (300m). 
  • Visibility: Good, falling poor in snow showers and in hill fog. 
  • Freezing level: Generally around 1,000ft (300m) or less.

The Lake District rangers who report on the conditions above 3,000ft found blizzards reduced visibility to zero at times.  They say anyone heading on to the high fells will need excellent navigational skills and a full set of equipment.

Watch: The raging flames that consumed part of Barrow's history

The fierce blaze which tore through the historic House of Lords pub in Barrow sent smoke and red-hot embers blowing across the town centre.

Stu Rogers kindly shared these pictures of the firefighting operation with us.

A fire has destroyed the historic House of Lords pub in Barrow.

Mystery over cause of House of Lords fire

Firefighters say finding out the cause of the fire which destroyed a landmark pub in Barrow last night will be hampered by the extent of the damage.

The smoking ruins
Stuart Dolan

Stuart Dolan from Cumbria Fire and Rescue said: "We'll have to speak to local people and take some witness statements, and understand from eye-witness accounts where the fire started, but due to the building collapse, it's going to hinder our progress."

Town shocked by burning of the House of Lords

The destruction of one of Barrow's historic working men's clubs, which for the past few years has been a pub called the House of Lords, has shocked the town.

Dozens expressed their shock on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

View more on twitter

Facebook posts by a local news feed, Huddlehub were shared thousands of times.

The fire rages

I hope no one's been hurt and everyone is safe x

Stacy Carter on Facebook

This is so sad, I used to work in the House of Lords, loved it

Donna Christie

Horrendous! That's a whole lot of my memories of when I first started going out up in flames. So sad

Louise Knagg

Travel: Major fire closes key Barrow street

BBC Travel

Abbey Road in Barrow is still closed this morning between Dalton Road and Duke Street following last night's fire.

Elsewhere, there's snow on higher roads such as the A592 Kirkstone Pass. There has also been an accident on the A5086, Gote Road, in Cockermouth.

You can find the latest travel news here.

Landmark Barrow pub destroyed in blaze

Fire crews have spent the night battling a blaze that destroyed one of the town's most historic buildings, the House of Lords, and the adjoining Continental Bar.

Barrow fire
Davy Trengove

About 50 firefighters from a wide area of Cumbria and North Lancashire were called to the blaze.

People living nearby had to leave their homes and go to a reception centre at the Forum entertainment complex.

The road's expected to remain closed for much of today, as damping down continues and fire investigators try to establish the cause.

The House of Lords name refers to one of the town's first working men's clubs, from its palatial comfort and the suggestion that the titled landowners who founded the town's industries used occasionally to drink there.

Good morning: This is BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


The main news in the south of the county this morning is the blaze that has destroyed one of the town's historic working men's clubs, always known locally as the House of Lords, overnight.

We'll be bringing you the latest on that and other news, travel reports and a weather forecast that could turn out to be important too.

If you have a picture to share - especially of the fire at the House of Lords -  or some news you think we should know about, you can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.