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  1. Updates on Wednesday 12 April 2017
  2. Busiest travel day of Easter holidays
  3. Six new free schools for county
  4. Goring cigar case to be auctioned

Live Reporting

By Craig Lewis

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye for the week

That's all from the team providing regular updates of news, travel, sport and weather in Northamptonshire for this week.

Here's a recap of some of the stories we've been covering - scroll down for more:

  • Thieves blow up cash machine at Rushden petrol station
  • A rare cigar case that belonged to Nazi Hermann Goring is to be auctioned
  • Six new free schools are to be set up in the county.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday.

Have a great Easter.

New Mayor for Wellingborough announced

Craig Lewis

BBC News

The name of the Mayor of Wellingborough has been announced.

Councillor Paul Bell (pictured centre back at the opening of Glamis Hall in the town), who has served on the Borough Council of Wellingborough since 2003, takes up the annual role.

He will raise money for Links Day Centre for adults with learning disabilities and the Mencap Wellingborough Gateway Club during his year as mayor, which will begin on 23 May.

Paul Bell
Wellingborough Borough Council

Cash machine explosion 'started by gas canister'

An explosion at a cash machine is believed to have been started by a gas canister, police have said.

As we reported, thieves targeted the cash point at a petrol station at Crown Park, Northampton Road, Rushden, in the early hours of today.

Northants Police said a "significant" amount of damage was caused to the cash machine and it is not known how much cash was stolen.

An investigation is under way and the force is asking witnesses to come forward.

No-one was hurt in the incident.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, at J15A for A43.

M1 Northamptonshire - M1 lane closed on exit slip road to one and slow traffic northbound at J15a, A43 (Northampton Services), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Explosion targets cash machine in Rushden

Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident at a petrol station in Northampton Road, Rushden, earlier today.

Officers were called to Crown Park at about 03:45 following reports of an explosion targeting a cash machine.

Emergency services attended to make the area safe and no-one was hurt in the incident.

An investigation is under way.

Hermann Goring cigar case to be auctioned off

A rare silver cigar case that belonged to leading Nazi Hermann Goring is to be auctioned in Northamptonshire.

Whittlebury-based auctioneer JP Humbert will be putting the presentation case, emblazoned with the family coat of arms of both Goring and his wife Emmy, up for offer in May.

Hermann Goring cigar case
J P Humbert

It was presented to Goring on his 50th birthday in 1943 by Luftwaffe Field Marshall Erhard Milch, whose father was Jewish and who enjoyed Goring’s "protection".

Goring was the founder of the Gestapo and in charge of the German air force until the end of World War Two. While on trial in Nuremburg on charges including crimes against humanity, he committed suicide.

Jonathan Humbert said: "This is an historic museum piece that belonged to one of history’s most notorious individuals and was presented to him by Milch - who would never be able to reconcile his position within the Nazi party and his own Jewish ancestry.

Hermann Goring cigar case
J P Humbert

"We anticipate much interest from museums, institutions and private collectors.

"While we are always mindful of those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime, this cigar box serves as reminder of the excesses of the high-ranking individuals and those who sought to ingratiate themselves with them."

The box will be up for sale as part of an International Militaria auction on 25 May and is expected to bring in £800-1,200.

Hermann Goring cigar case
J P Humbert

Rory McLeod qualifies for World Snooker Championships

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Wellingborough's Rory McLeod has qualified for the World Snooker Championships, which starts at the Crucible in Sheffield on Saturday.

Rory McLeod
Getty Images

He came through he qualification last night, beating Hammad Miah 10-7, and will find out this morning who'll he face in the first round.

McLeod told me: "Whenever you get to the Crucible it is going to be a major experience for any snooker player.

"To get there after winning three [qualification] matches, I'm going to be buzzing."

For more on the World Championship, visit the BBC's snooker session.

Dylan Hartley says Saints European bid is his focus, not Lions

BBC Sport

Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley says he is concentrating on guiding his side to at least a European Champions Cup position in the Premiership.

Saints are seventh in the table, but level on points with sixth-placed Harlequins.

Dylan Hartley
Getty Images

The England captain says he won't let possible selection for the British & Irish Lions have an impact on that aim.

"It's an uncontrollable," he said. "The selectors have got a pretty difficult job.

"What I can control is what I do this weekend against Saracens, every other player is thinking that as well.

"[Representative rugby] is the bonus of playing well off the back of club rugby or for your international side. 

"It's not my job to worry about selection - it's my job to play well."

Hartley 'not building himself up' over possible Lions place

BBC Sport

England captain Dylan Hartley says it would be a "bonus" to be selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand this summer.

Dylan Hartley
Getty Images

Hartley, 31, led Eddie Jones' side to the Six Nations championship last month and will finish the Premiership season with his club side Northampton.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland names his touring party next week.

"I'm not building myself up for possibly what would be a setback in my eyes," Hartley said.

Deadline to register to vote looms

Today is the last day to register to vote in the local elections on 4 May.

Elections will take place for seats on Northamptonshire County Council, as well as for the by-election for the Long Buckby ward on Daventry District Council.

People can register to vote online at

Ballot box

New free schools: 'Quality teaching, not just classrooms, needed'

Willy Gilder

BBC Radio Northampton

The Northamptonshire chairman of the National Union of Teachers says he's concerned six new free schools in the county would be allowed to put unqualified teachers into classrooms to save money.

Teacher in class

Proponents say the new schools are needed to address excess demand, but Gordon White told me the quality of teaching, not just new classrooms, is key.

He said: "If there are downward pressures on funding the temptation is to use cheaper staff and even unqualified staff."

New free schools: 'Real demand on primary places'

Willy Gilder

BBC Radio Northampton

Julia Kedwards, the chief executive of Northampton Primary Academy Trust which will be running the new Harlestone Road free school, has been telling me what such schools are and why they are needed in Northamptonshire.

Free schools are controlled locally by multi-academy trusts or academy groups, as opposed to a local authority. Mrs Kedwards said this means "they have more autonomy, more control over how schools are run" and can share best-practice.

Free schools in England
Getty Images

She said such schools are needed in the county as there is "real demand" on primary school places.

"Of our seven primary schools, four have already expanded," she said. "That demand is expected to increase.

"We are at a critical point where we need to create capacity."

For more details on what free schools are see the BBC's article on 'What is the rationale behind free schools?'

New free schools: Where they will be situated

Willy Gilder

BBC Radio Northampton

I've got some more details on the six new free schools planned for Northamptonshire.


They consist of two new primaries in Northampton at Buckton Fields and in the Harlestone Road area. 

New homes are being constructed in both of these areas prompting the need for schools.

In Wellingborough, there will be a new secondary age special school, run by the Friars Multi-academy Trust and aiming to have spaces for 145 pupils.

There will also be three mainstream secondaries - at Sponne in Daventry, Houghton Gate in Northampton and the Corby Secondary Academy.

New free schools to be set up in Northamptonshire

Willy Gilder

BBC Radio Northampton

Six new free schools are to be set up in the county, consisting of two primaries, three secondaries and a secondary age special school.


Yesterday, the Department for Education gave the nod for 131 free schools nationally, including a new state boarding school.

All the schools in Northamptonshire are brand new and as yet don't have any premises.

Northants 'chubsters' putting mental health over physical fitness... and it's reaping rewards

The Daily Telegraph

Northamptonshire's cricketers started this season with an emphatic two-day win over Glamorgan - and the Daily Telegraph's Scyld Berry has been celebrating the success of the county's "larger than life" players.

Or 'chubsters' as coach David Ripley describes them...

Planning an Easter trip today? Watch out for the roadworks...

Daniel Wainwright

Data unit - English regions

Planning to beat the crowds and take to the roads and railways today ahead of the Easter break? If so, you may already be too late...

Today is the busiest day for the great getaway, with more than 20 million cars expected to be on the roads and more than 200 rail engineering works taking place over Easter.

Among the longest stretches of roadworks over Easter is the M1 at Crick, which is home to more than 15 miles of work.

Longest stretches of roadworks over Easter

Thursday's weather: Early sunshine before it clouds over

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

There'll be some sunshine, but make the most of it, as cloud will increase as we go through the afternoon. 

The cool north westerly wind may bring a little drizzle much later on, but mostly we've got a dry day ahead of us.

Top temperature: 12C (54F).

Watch my full regional forecast here:

Welcome back: Northamptonshire Live

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Good morning and welcome to another day of live updates from across Northamptonshire. We'll be here from now until 18:00 bringing you the very latest news, sport, weather and travel.

We'll have the latest weather for you soon, as well as some news about our potentially busy roads ahead of the Easter weekends.

BBC Weather Watchers/PaulaMaria
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