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Full steam ahead for beer festival

CROWDS turned out in force to raise a pint at this year’s Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Beer and Music Festival.

The event, which runs across three sites at Keighley, Ingrow and Oxenhope, began on Thursday and organisers say the festival welcomed around 2,500 to 3,000 people across the four days.

Discerning ale drinkers had around 150 beers from across the country to choose from and there was also a selection of cider and wine on the menu for visitors who enjoy those as their tipple of choice.

As in previous years, special beers were brewed for the event from the Kirkstall, Ossett and Timothy Taylor breweries.

And in a fresh addition for 2017, artisan gin was available at Oxenhope station and there was a ‘Cocktail & Gin Shack’ at the new Ingrow site.

Visitors also took in live bands and music at both Exhibition Hall at Oxenhope and in the marquee at Ingrow.

Sarah Howsen, from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, said: “It has been busy again – we thought with the weather it might have been quiet but the first two days were just as busy as last year.

“Everyone seems to have had a really good time.

“There’s regulars that come every year and it’s nice that they do come back year on year to support it.

“Even in the bouncing rain, the trains were packed and everyone was enjoying themselves.”

She added that the mix of beer and music, along with the unique railway location was a pull for the crowds.

Saturday was the main day for live music and Sunday was a family friendly day, with activities for younger visitors to enjoy.

At Ingrow, magician Tall Paul kept people entertained as the festival got underway on its fourth and final day.

Youngsters could also enjoy face painting and balloon modelling.

Money raised at the festival will be put back into the railway, which famously appeared in the 1970 film The Railway Children.

It also hosted the world-famous steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman earlier in the year.

With the festive season just around the corner, upcoming events include the railway’s Santa Specials, which run on weekends from November 25 up until Christmas Eve.

A carol service train will also run on December 16. Visit kwvr.co.uk for more.

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Lewis Hamilton on pole for United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the United States Grand Prix and will have title rival Sebastian Vettel alongside him on the front row.

Hamilton beat Vettel by 0.239 seconds as the German rescued his day with a superb final lap.

Vettel was fourth after the first runs in final qualifying, over 0.7secs off the pace, but improved at the death.

Hamilton, who took his 11th pole in 17 races, will clinch the title if he wins the race with Vettel lower than fifth.

Sunday’s race is live on radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website at 20:00 BST.

Hamilton can take the title if he wins and Vettel finishes sixth or below, or he is second and Vettel finishes 10th or below

Hamilton in control

It was Hamilton’s 11th pole position in 17 races so far this season and it continues a weekend of domination for the 32-year-old at one of his favourite circuits.

Hamilton topped all three practice sessions and all three parts of qualifying to stamp his total authority on the weekend.

Hamilton said he “loved this track” but said qualifying was difficult because of a gusting strong wind in hot and humid conditions.

“It is going to be a great race,” he said. It is going to be a tough one. Looking after the tyres in these conditions is going to be tough but I am the best prepared I can be.”

American fans make clear what they want on Sunday – Hamilton won the title in Austin in 2015, where Nico Rosberg famously threw his cap at him

Hamilton said it was “highly unlikely” that he would win the title on Sunday.

“Sebastian did a great job to get back up there. Unless he makes a silly mistake – which is very unlikely; he’s a four-time world champion – it is going to continue to the next race.

“This is such a fantastic circuit, just the layout and the way the wind comes really makes it challenging. You are constantly dancing with the wind.”

A great recovery from Vettel

Ferrari have had a difficult weekend, starting with a spin for Vettel on Friday, a car problem which led to a chassis change, but recovered well on Saturday.

Vettel said: “I was very happy in the end. I was lacking a bit the rhythm, especially the transition from the first to second sector. Got it right in the end, but it was very tricky with the wind.”

His front row starts sets up a potentially fascinating battle between the two in the race, when Ferrari are usually more competitive than in qualifying.

Vettel and Hamilton were tied on two US GP poles each – Hamilton now extends his record to three

The heat is also giving Mercedes concerns. The hotter it is, the more problems they have managing tyre temperatures, which could be a significant issue for them in the race, although it is expected to be a few degrees cooler on Sunday than the 30C temperatures in south Texas on Saturday.

Bottas again struggled to match Hamilton, as he has since the season re-started after the summer break in late August and Ricciardo could be a factor in the race, qualifying only 0.469secs off the pace.

Raikkonen exactly matched the Australian’s team but as he posted it second was classified behind.

Verstappen was just under 0.1secs off his team-mate and will start from the back because of a 15-place penalty for excessive engine usage.

Sainz’s steller debut

There was an impressive performance from Carlos Sainz on his first outing for the Renault team following his transfer from Toro Rosso to replace Jolyon Palmer.

The Spaniard took eighth place, pipped by Force India‘s Esteban Ocon but ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and the second Force India of Sergio Perez.

Sainz was on the pace of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg all weekend and was 0.2secs quicker than the German in first qualifying, although Hulkenberg did only one run because he is one of the other drivers with a major grid penalty.

Nico Hulkenberg: So what does make the Hulk angry?

New Zealander Brendon Hartley qualified 18th on his Formula 1 debut for Toro Rosso, saying he had lost a lot of time locking front wheels at Turn 12 and 15.

He was 0.8secs slower than team-mate Daniil Kvyat in first qualifying but said he was optimistic of a strong race, which he will start from the back because of a 25-place engine penalty.

“It has been a steep learning curve,” said Hartley, who is expected to be retained for the rest of the season when Frenchman Pierre Gasly returns for the next race in Mexico.

“I was happy with final practice but I didn’t really get it together in qualifying. There is a lot to learn with these tyres and peak performance, the long-run pace I feel confident I can do a good job tomorrow. Bit of work to do on short runs. Pretty happy with how the weekend has gone so far.”

Another one bites the dust: Haas’ Romain Grosjean ended up on the gravel track during final practice
Midnight cowboy Daniel Ricciardo
Hamilton has worn a yellow, red and white helmet so far this weekend…what colour will he chose next?
Bevo the Texas Longhorns mascot was having fun in the Red Bull garage

WW2 re-enactors hurt in English Heritage ‘unexpected’ explosion, report finds

Explosions at Audley End HouseImage copyright Jonny Worden
Image caption A visitor was filming the demonstration at about the time the accident happened

An explosion at a stately home that left two World War Two re-enactors with leg injuries was caused when a device “unexpectedly discharged”, an investigation has concluded.

The accident happened at Audley End House, Essex, on 28 August.

English Heritage said the two men taken to hospital were “recovering well”.

Its report said the “final pyrotechnic unexpectedly discharged, outside of the planned sequence”, but it was still investigating why that happened.

A spokesman for the charity, which manages the Jacobean mansion and its gardens, said. “The display was managed by a specialist contractor who has provided displays of this nature for English Heritage for the past seven years and has an exemplary safety record.

“English Heritage is commissioning an independent specialist to try to ascertain why the pyrotechnic unexpectedly discharged.

“However, the investigation has concluded that no members of the public were at risk at any time.”

Brexit: Talk of deadlock is exaggerated, says Donald Tusk

Donald Tusk at the summitImage copyright AFP

Reports of deadlock over Brexit negotiations may have been exaggerated, European Council President Donald Tusk has said after a Brussels summit.

Progress was “not sufficient” to begin trade talks with the UK now but that “doesn’t mean there is no progress at all”, he said.

EU leaders will discuss the issue internally, paving the way for talks with the UK, possibly in December.

Theresa May said there was “some way to go” but she was “optimistic”.

Speaking at the end of a two-day summit, Mr Tusk told reporters: “My impression is that the reports of the deadlock between the EU and the UK have been exaggerated.”

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, described the talks as deadlocked earlier this month.

Mr Tusk said he was not at odds with Mr Barnier, but his own role was to be a “positive motivator for the next five or six weeks”.

He said he felt there was “goodwill” on both sides “and this is why I, maybe, in my rhetoric, I’m, maybe, a little bit more optimistic than Michel Barnier, but we are also in a different role“.

‘Not halfway there’

The so-called divorce bill remains a major sticking point in talks with the EU.

French President Emmanuel Macron said there was still much work to be done on the financial commitment before trade talks can begin, adding: “We are not halfway there.”

Theresa May declined to say in a press conference after the summit what the UK would be prepared to pay, saying the “final settlement” would come as part of a “final agreement” with the EU.

The UK prime minister did not name any figures but refused to deny that she had told other EU leaders the UK could pay many more billions of pounds than the £20bn she had indicated in her Florence speech last month.

“I have said that … we will honour the commitments that we have made during our membership,” she said. But those commitments were being analysed “line by line” she said, adding: “British taxpayer wouldn’t expect its government to do anything else.”

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Analysis

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Media captionThree key points about how the Brexit talks are going

By Laura Kuenssberg, BBC political editor

There are whispers that Theresa May has privately reassured the other leaders that she is willing to put a lot more than the implicit 20 billion euros (£17.8bn) on the table as we leave.

Number 10 doesn’t deny this, Mrs May didn’t deny it when we asked her in the press conference today, nor did she reject the idea that the bill could be as high as 60 billion euros.

If she has actually given those private reassurances though, there’s not much evidence the other EU leaders believe her or think it’s enough.

But if she is to make that case more forcefully she has big political problems at home.

Read Laura’s blog

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She said the two sides were within “touching distance” of a deal on other issues – particularly on citizens‘ rights.

“I am ambitious and positive for Britain’s future and for these negotiations but I know we still have some way to go,” she said.

The UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019, following last year‘s referendum result.

It had hoped to move onto phase two of negotiations – covering future trade arrangements – after this week‘s summit.

But EU leaders took just 90 seconds to officially conclude that not enough progress has been made on the issues of citizens‘ rights, the UK’s financial obligation and the border in Northern Ireland, but “internal preparations” would begin for phase two.

The prime minister made a personal appeal to her 27 EU counterparts at a working dinner on Thursday night, telling them that “we must work together to get to an outcome that we can stand behind and defend to our people“.

BBC Europe editor Katya Adler said all EU leaders knew Mrs May was in a politically difficult situation and did not want her to go home empty-handed, so had promised they would start talking about trade and transition deals among themselves, as early as Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there were “encouraging” signs of progress in Brexit negotiations and the process was progressing “step by step”.

And European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he hoped it would be possible to reach a “fair deal” with Britain.

“Our working assumption is not the ‘no-deal’ scenario. I hate the ‘no-deal’ scenario. I don’t know what that means,” he said.

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Salmon set to leap back into River Aire after grant

A GRANT worth £800,000 will allow Aire Rivers Trust to reintroduce Atlantic Salmon into the waterway.

The Environment Agency (EA) and Aire Rivers Trust have teamed up to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to continue their £1.6 million Developing The Natural Aire (DNAire) project.

This project will build ‘fish passes’ on four weirs, at Saltaire, Armley, Kirstall and New Lay, which is the last major barrier to fish movement between the North Sea and Gargrave in the Yorkshire Dales.

The River Aire was previously home to salmon but industrial pollution and weirs left much of the stretch of water lifeless.

DNAire will use the grant to fill in the missing gap between Leeds and Gargrave, which will result in the return of salmon and allow coarse fish, including dace and barbel, to move freely up and down the river to find the best places to feed, spawn and shelter.

The project has secured the funds, which it will receive once it has worked out the project’s development, before submitting the final bid to release the cash in spring 2019.

The Trust and EA will be taking on a couple of people to work out the detail of the project over the next 18 months and hope to start actual delivery, subject to stage two approval by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), in autumn 2019.

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Kevin Sunderland, Aire Rivers Trust trustee, said: “Support for DNAire by the HLF recognises the value of the heritage of the River Aire and what a wonderful space it is for people and wildlife.

“It’s been our long held ambition to allow the passage of coarse fish and enable the return of migratory fish to one of Yorkshire’s great rivers.

“Salmon back in the Aire will benefit people and communities along the river and help them to see the river as something worth caring for.”

Geoff Roberts, Aire Rivers Trust chairman, said the funding announcement was fantastic.

Camila Batmanghelidjh: Kids Company founder defends charity’s conduct

Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh has staunchly defended the work of her defunct charity, which looked after vulnerable children in London, Bristol and Liverpool.

Over 12 years it received £43m in public funding, with the final £3m handed over a few days before the charity went bust in 2015.

She told the BBC‘s Victoria Derbyshire programme she felt “deep sorrow” for the closure of the organisation but denied her team was to blame for its collapse.

Army stunt bikes to be auctioned off

rider leaps through ring of fireImage copyright PA
Image caption The White Helmets riders’ daredevil stunts have drawn large crowds since 1927

The recently disbanded British Army’s motorcycle display team’s bikes are being sold at auction in Sherborne.

The Triumph T140 bikes have been specially customised for stunts with no rear suspension and a modified throttle.

The team made a final farewell parade through its hometown of Blandford Forum, Dorset on 27 September.

Six of the bikes go under the hammer at Charterhouse Auctioneers estimated at £5,000-£8,000 each on 16 November.

Each bike is being auctioned with a presentation file charting some of its history.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Hundreds of people lined the streets of Blandford Forum to watch the display team’s final parade

The team’s remaining 20 bikes have been donated to museums and sponsors, or returned to motorbike manufacturer LF Harris.

The unit, which was formed of volunteers from the Royal Signals in 1927, was created to showcase the skills used to carry messages in combat.

It was disbanded as a result of the modernisation of the Royal Signals.

Image copyright Charterhouse Auctioneers
Image caption The six bikes are expected to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000 each

Woman in ‘special tribute’ to her sister

A SHIPLEY woman has reached her target of raising more than £5,500 to pay for a day of care at Bradford’s Marie Curie hospice in memory of her sister who would have celebrated her birthday today.

Louise Bennett has organised a number of fundraisers and will take part in a nine-day trekking challenge to Costa Rica next month.

What’s more, she has managed to raise the money in just seven months. Mrs Bennett’s fundraising challenge is in memory of her sister Rachel Carrack who, aged 35, died in the hospice in February this year having spent just six precious hours there.

“I decided to sign up to take on the Costa Rica trek to support Marie Curie and the Bradford Hospice after experiencing the wonderful care they provide,” said Mrs Bennett.

“Rachel’s final hours were precious to us, made more comfortable by the dedicated staff in the hospice.

“With support from family and friends, colleagues and members of the public, we have managed to raise a sufficient amount to ‘Pay for a Day’ in Bradford.

“Rachel would be honoured, and we will all be raising a glass to her for her birthday.”

The November trip will see 24 Marie Curie supporters take on an epic trek adventure, discovering the volcanoes of Costa Rica.

Having started fundraising for her trek, Louise decided to sign up to the Pay For A Day Appeal and has been aiming to raise enough to cover a full day of the running costs at the charity’s Bradford hospice, which comes in at £5,562.

Having raised such a phenomenal amount, Louise decided to sponsor the hospice on October 19, which would have been Rachel’s birthday.

Liz Howlett, fundraising manager for Marie Curie in Yorkshire, said: “The most massive thanks to Louise, her family and everyone who has supported her in her fundraising. It is an incredible achievement to have raised so much in support of the hospice and we are honoured that she has chosen to sponsor the 19th of October in memory of her sister Rachel, this is such a special tribute.

“At the hospice we work hard to provide the best possible care for people from the surrounding communities. We strive to pay particular attention to treating each patient as an individual, tailoring the care that we provide to their specific needs and to those of their families, in comfortable surroundings. We are so fortunate to have wonderful support such as this to help us achieve these goals – heartfelt thanks from us all to Louise and everyone who has supported her with her efforts. We wish her the most fantastic time in Costa Rica in November and can’t wait to hear all about it when she comes back.”

If you are interested in finding out about the Bradford hospice’s Pay For A Day Appeal, hosting your own event, taking part in a fundraising activity or volunteering for the charity then please contact Liz Howlett on 01274 386190 or email liz.howlett@mariecurie.org.uk

Hundreds of families block organ donation

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Media captionRachel wants to be an organ donor

Organs from 505 registered donors could not be made available for transplant in the last five years because of objections from relatives.

BBC 5 live found that almost a third of families blocked organ donation because they felt the process took “too long”.

The law states that consent lies with the deceased, but in practice, relatives’ wishes are always respected.

The NHS wants to reduce the number of “overrides” by encouraging prospective donors to talk to their relatives.

In England, NHS figures showed that 457 people died last year whilst waiting for an organ transplant.

Rachel, 17, from Stoke-on-Trent, wants to be an organ donor, but is concerned that her family do not support her wishes.

She told 5 live: “I wasn’t aware when I signed up that your family had to be supportive of your decision. It seems like, well, what’s the point of signing up if it could be overruled anyway?

“It does worry me because, if I died now, my mum does make the main decision. I hope I can trust her to make the right one.”

When somebody dies who is on the Organ Donation Register, specialist nurses from NHS Blood and Transplant work with their family.

If relatives object, nurses will encourage them to accept their loved one’s decision, and make it clear that they do not have the legal right to override it.

However, in practice, if a family still refuses, the donation does not go ahead.

‘A shock’

Ben Cole, a specialist nurse for organ donation working in the Midlands, said it was “frustrating” when families say no.

“We understand that families are approached about donation at a very difficult time, and it can come as a shock to find out their relative had made the decision to donate.

“I had one family whose son had joined the Organ Donor Register, but they found it hard to believe because he’d never spoken about it.

“Another family said their dad would have ticked any box, and so weren’t convinced he’d signed up intentionally.

“The relationship we build with a family at this time is so important, particularly as they can provide vital information about their relative before donation.

“If they are strongly opposed to donation, we would not want to upset them further.”

Other reasons relatives gave for refusing consent include that they thought “the patient had suffered enough”, they “didn’t want surgery to the body“, or the family were divided over the decision.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Although the number of blocked transplants is declining, a number of families each year feel unable to support their relative’s decision to be a donor.

“As a result hundreds of opportunities for potentially life saving transplants are being missed every year.”

Image copyright Jess Harris

There are currently 6,406 people on the transplant waiting list across the UK.

Jess Harris, 29, from London, needs a pancreas and a kidney. She thinks it’s a “crazy system” that gives families the final say.

“Why isn’t it like your will? Why don’t they have to honour your wishes?” she told 5 live.

“I don’t know why anyone would be against donating organs – one person can save up to eight lives and you’re not going to need them when you’re dead.”

But Dr Rebecca Brown, a research fellow in practical ethics at the University of Oxford, supports families having the final say.

She says: “There’s an implication that these families are selfish or unreasonable, but I don’t think that’s the case.

“Losing a loved one, in sudden circumstances, is very traumatic and forcing them to go along with organ donation when it is something to which they feel strongly opposed, would be very distressing.

“This is a relatively small number of families and going against their wishes would be frankly awful for them and would create all sorts of problems.”

In 2016/17 the total number of deceased donors was 1,413. In the same year, families blocked the donations of 91 people who had signed the register.

In December 2015, Wales adopted an opt-out system of organ donation, but families can still have the final say over their loved one’s donation. Last year, nine people in Wales who had signed up to the organ donation register were blocked from donating their organs.

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to introduce presumed consent for organ donation in England and a consultation will be held before the end of the year.

MP backs calls for trade deals scrutiny following exit from EU

BRADFORD West MP Naz Shah has today joined 98 MPs who have signed Early Day Motion 128 which calls on the Government to ensure parliamentary scrutiny on trade deals.

Global Justice Bradford campaign group says trade deals have profound effects across the full range of domestic policy such as health, environment, jobs, inequality and the environment.

Until now these deals have been the responsibility of the EU, but unless the law changes once Britain leaves Europe, trade deals will not be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. As the law stands MPs will only be aware of these deals at the final stage when it will be too late to debate or change them.

Speaking after signing Ms Shah said: “I want to take back control on behalf of the many, not the few, and ensure my Bradford West constituents’ rights are properly safeguarded. That means trade deals must be scrutinised by parliament.”

Jane Howson from Global Justice Bradford said: “We are delighted that Naz Shah has signed EDM 128 calling for trade deals to be open and accountable. It’s excellent that Keighley’s MP has also signed this. We hope that the other Bradford MPs will add their names too.”