Around 140,000 homes are without power as St Jude storm continues to batter parts of England and Wales.
According to specialists, St Jude storm could be one of the worst storms since 1987.
Rail services across much of southern Britain have been cancelled for the morning rush hour.
The M4 Second Severn crossing has reopened but the M48 Severn Bridge is still closed, while 130 flights have been cancelled at Heathrow airport.
The Met Office said a gust of 99mph was recorded at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight, at 05:00 GMT.
The Environment Agency has issued 17 flood warnings – all in south-west England, there are also 152 flood alerts across England and Wales.
According to specialists, St Jude storm could be one of the worst storms since 1987
Tracy Elsey, from UK Power Networks, said 40,000 households were without power in its south-east region from Brighton to Kent – and 100,000 in its east of England region, from Essex to the north Norfolk coast.
“The power lines are hit by trees coming down in the wind and branches touching overhead lines and any other debris whipped up by the wind overnight,” she said.
Robin Gisby, network operations managing director for Network Rail, said more than 40 railway line blockages caused by falling trees have been cleared, but more are expected to be found by special trains being used to clear tracks.
He said: “In four cases the train being sent through to inspect the line has hit a fallen tree and we have one train in Devon which is currently disabled following a collision with a fallen tree. We are also dealing with a landslip in the New Forest area.”
Robin Gisby added: “As the storm passes from west to east, we will be carrying out safety assessments as quickly as possible to clear routes and get trains running safely.
“We now expect to start services into Waterloo before 09.00 GMT. Routes from Sussex, Kent and Anglia will follow. Services elsewhere into London are running but at reduced capacity and speed.”
What is Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee? The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years since her accession in 1952. Royal Jubilees celebrate significant periods in monarchs’ reigns and national life. In 2012, The Queen will become only the second UK monarch to mark 60 years on the throne. Celebrations were previously held for Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Golden Jubilee in 2002.
When exactly is The Queen marking her Diamond Jubilee?
While Accession Day is on 6 February, celebrations will occur throughout 2012, with a special extended bank holiday central weekend in the United Kingdom on 2-5 June.
What events will take place over this bank holiday central weekend? On Saturday 2 June, The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby. On Sunday 3 June the Big Jubilee Lunch and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will take place. On Monday 4 June a concert will be held at Buckingham Palace and a network of beacons will be lit throughout the UK and the Commonwealth. On Tuesday 5 June a Service of Thanksgiving will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which will be followed by a formal carriage Procession.
Will there be events at other times during the year? There will be many other events held locally and on a national scale. For example, in May 2012 a Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be held, as part of the Windsor Horse Show, involving equine displays and other acts from around the world.
For more information and news on Jubilee events and activities, please visit www.direct.gov.uk/diamondjubilee or see national and local media as further details are announced.
I would like to organise an event in my local area. Whom do I contact? People should make contact with the appropriate organisations or representatives – for example, one of the organisations involved with the central weekend, Lord Lieutenancies and local authorities.
Will Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee be marked in other Realm countries? Her Majesty is Queen in 15 Commonwealth Realms in addition to the United Kingdom. The British Monarchy and UK Government websites will carry details only for those events and celebrations taking place in the United Kingdom. More details will be available elsewhere about activities taking place in Her Majesty’s other Realms.
B. Central Jubilee Weekend Events
Big Jubilee Lunch I would like to organise a street party or Big Jubilee Lunch. Who should I contact for more information? The Big Jubilee Lunch is being organised by the Big Lunch, which is part of the Eden Project. It will be held on Sunday 3 June 2012. For more information please see www.thebiglunch.com or contact [email protected]
Thames Pageant From where can I watch the Pageant? Details about where spectators can view the Pageant will be announced by the organisers in due course. Please see http://www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/ for more details.
Can I get tickets to be on a boat sailing in the flotilla? Further details about the Pageant will be announced on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant website in due course.
Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace When is the concert? The Queen is hosting a concert organised by the BBC at Buckingham Palace on Monday 4 June.
Can I apply for tickets? Details of how to apply for an invitation to the Concert will be announced in early 2012. Successful applicants, chosen by ballot, will be notified in writing.
Can I perform during the concert? The content of the concert will be decided by the BBC.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons Can I light a Beacon? Details of how to take part in Beacon lighting ceremonies are available on www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk
When will the Beacons be lit? The Queen will light the National Beacon on Monday 4 June. Further details about the lighting of Beacons will be announced by Diamond Jubilee Beacons Ltd.
Ceremonial Procession Will there be a ceremonial procession to or from the Service of Thanksgiving, and if so, from where can I watch it? There will be a formal carriage procession but details of the routes to and from the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral will be announced closer to the time and published on the Monarchy website.
C. Commemorative Articles
Can I produce Diamond Jubilee Souvenirs? The Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace produces definitive guidelines on the use of the Royal Arms, Royal Devices, Emblems and Titles and of photographs, portraits, engravings, effigies and busts of The Queen and Members of the Royal Family.
Where can I find the Official Diamond Jubilee Emblem? The Official Diamond Jubilee Emblem is based on an illustration by 10 year-old Katherine Dewar who won a BBC Blue Peter competition. It is available to download, free of charge from the Monarchy website and comes in a number of electronic formats; in English and in Welsh; and in colour, black and white and whiteout.
Where can I use the Emblem? The emblem is available for use for activities associated with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations including community and national events, publications, retail and merchandising.
Unofficial Publications As you would expect, the Royal Household takes seriously any reports of individuals or organisations using the Jubilee to raise money in an inappropriate or unauthorised manner. If you are invited to donate money to “official publications”, please write to The Queen’s Assistant Private Secretary, at Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA.
D. Use of The Queen’s title, name and emblems
Can I name something after The Queen or the Diamond Jubilee? As is customary in Jubilee years, the Deputy Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales have been given discretion to sanction the use of The Queen’s title and name. A blanket approval is in place for the use of “Diamond Jubilee” and “Jubilee” for community events and buildings (subject to the proviso that building works start or finish in 2012, and events take place in 2012). Permission need not be sought for the use of the titles “Diamond Jubilee” and “Jubilee” in these circumstances.
Applications to use “The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee”, “Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee” and “Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee” must be submitted in writing. Applications in respect of England, Northern Ireland or any of the Crown Dependencies – Parliament and Constitution Division of the Cabinet Office; applications in respect of Scotland or Wales where responsibility for the subject of the application remains with the UK Government – to the Scotland Office and Wales Office respectively.
Can I use an image of the Crown or The Queen’s Cypher (EIIR) for my Jubilee event/project? Applications to use an image of the Crown, The Queen’s Cypher (EIIR) or Her Majesty’s Coat of Arms must be submitted to the Constitutional and Policy team in the Parliament and Constitution Division of the Cabinet Office.
E. Invitations to Visit
Will The Queen or other Members of the Royal Family be visiting my local area in 2012? The Queen’s Programme and details of where other Members of the Royal Family will visit will be announced in 2012. Please continue to check the Monarchy website for updates.
I would like to invite The Queen to my Diamond Jubilee event. How do I do this? The Queen will be extraordinarily busy during her Diamond Jubilee and it will not be possible for her to accept all of the many invitations she will receive. However, if you wish to invite Her Majesty to an event please write to The Queen’s Diary Secretary at Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA.
I would like to compose a piece of music for The Queen for her Diamond Jubilee. Can I perform or dedicate it to Her Majesty? We have been overwhelmed by generous offers to compose or perform pieces of music in celebration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee next year and while there would of course be no objection to musical events of this nature taking place, it will not be possible to associate The Queen directly with these events.
How do I find out more information about Diamond Jubilee projects and events between now and next year? For those events listed above and taking place over the Jubilee central weekend, please see their individual websites for more details as they are announced. Alternatively, the Government DirectGov website will be updated with further news and announcements as they occur.
Gary Speed, the Welsh soccer team manager, was not depressed and had not argued with his wife before being found hanged at his home, says Hayden Evans, his agent and a close friend.
Gary Speed’s agent and best man Hayden Evans said of his friend was “happily married” and that his widow Louise is bewildered by his suspected suicide.
Hayden Evans said: “They were happily married and anyone who knows them will tell you that. This is why it is a mystery.
“We genuinely at the moment have no clue whatsoever what has caused it and I have been with the family all day.
“Everybody is asking the same question and no one has an answer. We are all in shock.”
When asked about the circumstances behind Gary Speed’s death and whether he had argued with Louise before killing himself, Hayden Evans added: “Louise is saying that’s not the case. She just doesn’t understand it.”
Gary Speed, the Welsh soccer team manager, was not depressed and had not argued with his wife before being found hanged at his home, says Hayden Evans, his agent and a close friend
When asked if Gary Speed had suffered bouts of depression, Hayden Evans told The Sun “none whatsoever”.
Hayden Evans said: “The one thing the family and me as one of his closest friends would totally refute is that. There was no indication of any problems and never has been.”
Gary Speed, 42, appeared happy as he left the BBC studios in Salford on Saturday afternoon after filming Football Focus. Louise Speed found him hanged in the garage of their £1.5 million ($2.3 million) mansion near Chester just after 7:00 a.m. on Sunday.
On Monday, as tributes to Gary Speed continued to pour in from across the sporting world, police were preparing for the delicate task of speaking to his wife, Louise, 40, and their two teenage sons.
As they struggled to come to terms with his death, Hayden Evans spoke of how they had been “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of sympathy over the past 24 hours.
“Gary’s family would sincerely like to thank all the people who have sent messages of condolence and tributes in what is a very difficult time,” said Hayden Evans.
“They have been overwhelmed by the support – it really has helped. You can imagine how Louise is feeling.”
A pile of tributes including flowers, footballs and soccer shirts was growing at the gates at the end of Gary Speed’s drive last night as a steady stream of fans came to pay their respects.
Yesterday officials at the Welsh Football Association promised to support the family and offer them a “shoulder to cry on” in the coming weeks.
Chief executive Jonathan Ford said: “I’ve no understanding of why it happened, I don’t know the answer and I don’t think we ever will.
“At the moment our thoughts aren’t with that – they are with Gary’s family.
“He was a family man, he loved his wife and children.
“We will do whatever we can to help Louise and the boys.”
Both Gary Speed’s sons are promising sportsmen, 14-year-old Ed is a talented footballer and his 13-year-old brother Tommy a keen boxer.
Cheshire Police confirmed that Gary Speed’s death was being treated as “non-suspicious”.
An inquest will be opened and adjourned today in Warrington.
The death of Welsh national manager Gary Speed left the football world baffled and devastated yesterday.
Gary Speed, 42, was found hanged by his wife, according to the Times, just after 7:00 a.m. GMT in the garage of their $2.3 million mansion. They have together two teenage sons.
Just few hours earlier, Gary Speed had appeared happy and optimistic on BBC1’s Football Focus programme.
The Welsh manager talked enthusiastically about his team’s improving fortunes and his hopes for success in World Cup qualifying matches next year.
Presenter Dan Walker, who spent four hours on and off camera with Gary Speed, said: “He was as bubbly as I’ve known him. He was talking about his kids, how they were really coming on, and talking about playing golf next week.
“Even small things like how he’d just got into Twitter. It’s awful to think someone who was so gifted and so well liked with the rest of his life to look forward to have been cruelly removed. He was in such a good mood about the show and said he’d love to come back before Christmas.”
Gary Speed, 42, was found hanged by his wife, Louise, 40, just after 7.00 a.m. GMT in the garage of their $2.3 million mansion
The suspected suicideof Gary Speed at the family home in Huntington, on the outskirts of Chester, was reported to police just after 7:00 a.m. Police said there were “no suspicious circumstances”.
Officers were waiting last night to interview Gary Speed’s widow, Louise, 40, who was a constant figure of support throughout his career.
A friend described Gary Speed as a “completely devoted dad” to sons Ed, 14, and Tommy, 13. Both are promising sportsmen. Ed is a footballer and Tommy a keen boxer.
Robbie Savage, who played alongside Gary Speed for Wales, said his former teammate had been ribbing him on Saturday about his appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Robbie Savage.
“He was my mate and he’s gone. I’ve got very close to Gary in the last few years – the guy is a trooper, he’s left two gorgeous kids behind and a beautiful wife. He had everything.
“I spoke to him yesterday and we were laughing and joking – he was saying make sure you don’t get a (mark of) two off Craig (Revel Horwood, the Strictly judge) tonight. That’s what Gary’s like – he always thinks about other people.
“As my captain when I was a young boy in the squad, he’d come to me and I could go to him with my problems.”
Gary Speed’s former Newcastle United teammate Shay Given, who attended a charity fundraising fashion event with him in May, was seen in floods of tears on television as a minute’s silence was held at Swansea City’s match against Given’s team Aston Villa.
Thousands of fans sang Welsh hymns and joined in the chant “there’s only one Gary Speed”.
At Anfield, Liverpool’s Welsh star Craig Bellamy asked not to play against Manchester City after hearing the news.
Gary Speed, who was awarded an MBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours, retired from playing only last year after winning 85 caps for his country.
He represented Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton Wanderers during his long career.
Both Gary Speed’s parents were from Chester but he was born in the Welsh border town of Mancot and was always proud to represent his country. His father Roger played football for Wrexham before returning to his trade as a joiner.
Gary Speed made his league debut for Leeds United in May 1989 and was a member of the team which went on to win the league title in 1992.
Despite having limited experience as a manager, Gary Speed’s impact on the Welsh national team had been dramatic.
He had a keen interest in sports psychology and after taking over from John Toshack a year ago was able to get the best out of young players such as Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.