Saturday 23 July 2011

Reporting on the Bombardier Rally

Today I've been covering the Bombardier march and rally in Derby. I reported live from the Bass Recreation Ground where the five to six thousand protesters gathered (photo 1), on the march through the city (photo 2) and at the rally on Cathedral Green (photo 3). I also recorded some interviews for Monday's breakfast show including one with Derby South MP Margaret Beckett. I took photos on my iPhone and emailed them on location to BBC News online. My pictures were used on the BBC article which featured on the home page of the BBC News England website.

It was quite amazing to see so many thousands of people marching through the heart of Derby with their colourful placards and banners against the government's decision to give a £1.4 billion contract to German firm Siemens rather than Derby-based Bombardier. I hadn't expected there to be as many as five to six thousand, and among them, so many Derbyshire people with no connection to Bombardier.

Below is a 60 second recording I made on my phone using the Audioboo app during the march. I let the recording breathe so you can hear plenty of the atmosphere.

Bombardier Rally (mp3)

Wednesday 13 July 2011

This Blog Will Save You Money!

I'd like to share with you some of my favourite money saving websites. I've always been keen on spending money wisely and these sites have helped me do that.


1. First and foremost, is an excellent website for finding out the cheapest way of buying just about anything. The website is run by Martin Lewis, who happened to do the same Broadcast Journalism postgraduate course at Cardiff University as me. It gives you an excellent overview of the ways to save money in the different areas we spend money on from travel to banking, and food shopping to mobile phones. It's well worth subscribing to the weekly email.

2. Use the 'shopping' tab at the top of the Google webpage to quickly do a price comparison of the item you're interested in buying.

3. Before going to eat out check for money off vouchers for restaurants in your post code. If you have an iPhone you can download the free app and just show the voucher on your phone rather than having to print it.

4. Thanks to a friend's tip, I've recently started using the cashback websites and Before purchasing an item that you've decided you want to buy, go to either of the websites above first and you will be directed though them to buy the item if the company is listed e.g. HMV, Tesco, Orange. If the company is listed , buy it via the cashback site and you'll get a percentage of the cost, normally around 5%, back in your bank account, although it can take a good few weeks for the money to arrive. Sometimes they do offers for example I recently got £120 cashback for signing up to and iPhone 4 on Vodafone.

5. If you are buying new electronic goods such as radios, TVs, laptops etc it's worth investing some time in finding the best product. Public libraries have the latest Which? magazines. It reviews products and recommends the best ones. Just ask behind the counter for the latest editions and find the item you want in the index. You have to pay for Which? subscription, hence going to the library to access the resource for free.

6. is an excellent website for finding out reviews of hotels and hostels when searching for holiday accommodation. Customers leave their feedback on the website and you can then book the accommodation on the website or try to find it cheaper on the likes of, or

7. Don't book your train tickets on as there is a £1 charge on each transaction. Go to which doesn't add this charge. If you're 25 or under, buy a 16-25 railcard for £28 to save a third on most journeys for a year. And buy it the day before you're 26 as I did recently to make it last as long as possible!

8. And perhaps my favourite tip...when you're booking single train tickets (and two singles can often be cheaper than a return, especially when booking well in advance) scroll down to see if the first class ticket is cheaper. I went to London from Derby recently and it was cheaper in first class. Don't ask me why!

Please leave a comment below if you have any other ideas on how to save money.


I've thought of a ninth way I save money! You can get John Lewis and Waitrose vouchers by using the John Lewis Partnership card (credit card). You get more points when you use the card to pay for goods in Waitrose and John Lewis. I've had the Partnership card for more than a year now and have earned £60 in vouchers - with more than a little help from Emily! Just make sure you pay off the credit card bill on time.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

A Day In The Life

BBC Radio Derby has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the event, a video of a day in the life of the radio station has been made. It gives you an insight into what my colleagues and I get up to at work...