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NEWS ROUNDUP: Yorkshire Water reservoir warning


04/06/21 | Leeds local news | Yorkshire Water is urging visitors to its reservoirs not to be tempted to enter the water to cool off as the weather warms up.

The warning comes after several tragic water-related incidents across the UK in recent weeks and an increase in reports of people entering Yorkshire Water reservoirs.

Gaynor Craigie, head of land and property at Yorkshire Water, said: “As the weather warms up it is important visitors to our reservoirs are not tempted to get into the water to cool off. Sadly, we’ve seen recently the dangers water can pose and it is important visitors to our sites understand entering a reservoir can be dangerous.

“Low water temperatures can cause cold water shock that may lead to hyperventilation, increased blood pressure, breathing difficulties and ultimately death. Underwater machinery and the currents associated with their operation are also a potential hazard for people choosing to enter the water.

“We recently backed the National Fire Chiefs Council’s Be Water Aware campaign and would encourage those visiting our reservoirs to do so safely, which means not entering the water and putting themselves at risk.”

If visitors do see someone in the water who requires help, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service immediately – as crews are trained and equipped to deal with such incidents.



A director has overcome the struggles of lockdown and a cancelled global theatre tour by installing a pop-up stage - in the back garden of his family home.

Alexander Wright 46, was due to take his live show about an ancient Greek myth to China and the United States but saw his plans scuppered due to the pandemic.

Unphased, the creative director and writer set about turning the garden of his rural North Yorkshire family home, a converted mill, into a makeshift theatre.

The impressive 18th century property, near York, is now ready to host a summer season of outdoor live music and theatre shows - and it even has its own café.

Alexander says he cannot wait to run his show Ophelia, which he describes as an immersive live music storytelling show centred on the ancient Greek myth.

He added: “In some ways, it feels like a positive for us, an opportunity to create something good. The arts as an industry never stands still.

“This show has taken us around the world, it’s nice to bring it home to our own back garden.”

Alexander has erected his makeshift stage at Stillington Mill, which dates to the 1750s.

Having closed as a working mill in the 1960s, it was bought by his family in 2016 as a joint venture.

Alexander’s retired parents Maggi and Paul run a holiday cottage there while his sister Abbigail Ollive organises weddings and events.

Meanwhile, Alexander is generally gallivanting around the globe with his work as a writer and director.

He had been in Australia when lockdown hit and, having returned to the family home, set about building a theatre in the back garden.

Alexander began by launching a Saturday community cafe with his sister Abbigail.

She said: “The mill has been a really important part of the community for as long as it’s been around.

“While coffee and cake is great, the real opportunity is Alex.

“His creativity, what he brings to the party, takes it up a notch. It’s just incredible. They’ve built a theatre in the garden.”

Abigail added: “It’s lovely, to sit in the garden, with the birds overhead and the wild garlic growing all around.

“You can’t replace that feeling, of doing something together and live, and that tingle down the spine, with really talented performers.”

For Alexander, whose production of The Great Gatsby was London’s longest-running immersive theatre show, the community opportunity has proved a “beautiful symbiosis”.

He said: “At the beginning of 2020, we had an international tour booked for 18 months, we would probably be getting back around now. That feels strange.

“Often theatre and the arts is seen as the end product, something to be consumed.

“At a point where everybody has been so isolated for so long, it feels a theatre is most important in getting people together.”

The season began with Orpheus last Thursday, while there will be live music on June 5 from Tom Figgins.

On June 10 is the launch of Foraged and Forged, featuring local musicians and a guest artist for an evening of poetry and music and ideas.

June 12 will see a production of musical comedy Dumped.

(SWNS | Barnaby Kellaway)



These brilliant pictures show a pair of adult blue tits and their young which are nesting in a WWII spitfire and look like they are being shot out of a gun turret.

The adult birds were photographed nesting in the gun barrel of the Mark 9 Spitfire which is homed at the Eden Camp military museum in Malton, North Yorks.

Jonny Pye, an archivist at the former prisoner of war camp, said he looks forward to seeing the tits each year as it’s ‘quite a sight to behold’.

The yellow birds can be seen flying into the end of the aircraft’s 20mm cannon.

It is not known if the birds are the same each year - but Jonny said he feels like it is the same 'pal' returning to see him.

Jonny said: “It has happened every year for about six years now and it’s quite a sight to behold.

“It’s quite unusual to see tits nesting inside a Spitfire so it’s pretty amazing.

“We think it might even be the same bird each year.

“It looks quite cosy in there, they like to stay near the wing.”

(SWNS | Joe Pagnelli)

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