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Looking back over 2013 in Ashfield

Kirkby Paralympic star Ollie Hynd, who was awarded a MBE in the New Year honours list.

Kirkby Paralympic star Ollie Hynd, who was awarded a MBE in the New Year honours list.

It’s been another eventful year across Ashfield - whether it’s been good news or bad - and Chad has been there every step of the way.

From local heroes recognised in the New Year honours list to kick off the year to the Christmas celebrations in December, there’s been plenty going on to shape the headlines.

Here we take a look at the selection of the stories that have been prominent in our newspaper and online coverage.

Don’t forget to email us with your favourite moments of 2013. Send your thoughts to newsdesk@chad.co.uk

January

Swimming star Ollie Hynd got his year off to the perfect start when he was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

He was one of 78 Team GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes to be singled out for their extraordinary efforts at the home games of London 2012.

The teenager picked up a gold, silver and bronze medal in the pool before returning home to Kirkby to receive a hero’s welcome.

Heavy snowfall caused major disruption across Ashfield with schools forced to close and many people unable to get to work.

It also caused major headaches for those involved in the sporting world, wiping out a host of fixtures, including the entire non-league, Sunday and youth football programmes over one weekend.

But for others it was a chance to get out and build snowmen or go sledging in one of the area’s local parks.

February

Police made two arrests in a murder inquiry following the death of a pensioner in Kirkby.

The victim, Colin Hall (76) was attacked at his home on Cornerpin Drive at around 9pm on a Sunday evening before collapsing and later dying in hospital.

The two suspects, aged 37 and 38, were arrested in Hucknall and taken to Mansfield Police Station for questioning.

Bosses at King’s Mill Hospital reassured the public they did not need to be afraid of receiving treatment there - despite an investigation over high mortality rates.

Executive medical director Dr Nabeel Ali and interim chief executive Eric Morton told the Chad that work was being done to improve problem areas.

Dr Ali said: “It’s important for everyone to know that we have excellent mortality figures when it comes to patients admitted routinely for surgery.”

March

An Ashfield housing chief praised a landmark decision to demolish the former baths site in Sutton to make way for the district’s first social housing for more than 30 years.

Ashfield District Council’s planning committee approved ambitious plans to demolish the buildings on Brook Street to make way for 22 apartments and three bungalows for the elderly.

“We know there is more demand for bungalows and hopefully this will free up family houses,” said coun Steve Carroll, responsible for regeneration, culture and housing.

A whopping £250,000 donation by an anonymous businessman helped the Chad’s life-changing MRI Scanner Appeal on behalf of King’s Mill Hospital reach a successful conclusion.

More than £440,000 had been raised in total since the ambitious appeal was launched in June 2012 and bosses at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust pledged to make up the £320,000 shortfall to purchase the machinery.

The Trust’s interim chief executive Chris Mellor said: “An MRI scanner is an essential piece of equipment for a hospital our size.”

April

A boozy Huthwaite man who stole a bus to pick up friends at Mansfield bus station was tracked by police after they followed his footsteps in the snow.

Officers found the single-decker bus - driven by 29-year-old Scott Paul William Dowdall - abandoned in the middle of Mill Lane with its alarm going off and hazards flashing at around 4.45am.

They then found a trail of footsteps left in the fresh snow running from the vehicle to an address on New Hucknall Waye around half a mile away, where Dowdall was found unconscious on a sofa.

The mum of a young Kirkby man who played a key role in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics said tribute after his sudden death at just 20.

Luke Morton, who moved to the capital to pursue a career in West End theatre collapsed on 15th February and he died in hospital a few days later.

Speaking from her home on Clumber Street, Suzanne Morton said: “He started his love of the arts at eight years old. He went to the Hucknall Operatic Society and played the Artful Dodger in Oliver.”

May

A furious Skegby man demanded an apology in period from the chief executive of King’s Mill Hospital after receiving a letter of condolence following his wife’s death - when she was alive and kicking.

Alan Shaw, of Mansfield Road, received the letter after writing to request his wife Rita’s medical records.

Eric Morton, chief executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I personally wrote to Mr Shaw top offer my sincere apologies, which was unfortunately entirely due to human error.”

A study revealed there had been a 40 per cent drop in crime rates across Ashfield - including the areas of Annesley, Selston, Underwood and Jacksdale, as well as parts of Newstead and Hucknall.

The success was on the back of a poster campaign by police warning criminals “We are watching you” and featured the eyes of the area’s top cop, inspector Nick Butler,

He said: “Shopkeepers say they are now using it and it’s also on petrol forecourts and sheds. People from various forces have contacted me about it.”

June

Hundreds of warehouse workers were facing possible redundancy at an Annesley-based business in the second wave of job losses within a year.

Prolog, sited at Sherwood Business Park, was in consultation with its 442 warehouse operatives but was hoping to lose staff through voluntary redundancies.

The news came just five months after an initial round of redundancies saw the warehouse management team reduced from 85 to 52 people.

Players at Mansfield Hosiery Mills Cricket Club fell silent at their Sutton ground to remember a cyclist killed in a road accident.

Ashya Vanner (39) was involved in a collision with a Seat Leon car on the town’s A38 and though taken to King’s Mill Hospital later died from her injuries.

Mrs Vanner was duties manager in the crime and justice department at Nottinghamshire Police and the club where husband Greg was a player held a minute’s silence as a means of offering their condolences.

July

West Nottinghamshire College announced ambitious plans to create a £5.8 million engineering training centre in Kirkby.

The college revealed their intentions to transform an empty industrial unit on Oddicroft Lane to help prepare students for employment and provide access to higher-level apprenticeships.

The cost would see the college put up £3.9 million, with the remaining £1.9 million coming from a Skills Funding Agency grant.

A senior teacher at Kirby’s Ashfield School resigned after being convicted of stealing clothes and shoes from Next.

Shamed Samerha Hadawi Cropley (46) - who was head of English - took the items from the store at Mansfield’s St Peter’s Rail Park on three separate occasions.

Cropley, who worked at the school for four years, was fined £1,800 by Mansfield magistrates for the offences.

August

Two men who fired a shotgun at a flat in Kirkby with a woman, her partner and two children inside were given hefty prison sentences.

Nathan Keetch and Kadeem Graham, both of Sneinton, were told they would serve six years after being convicted of being in possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

A gun was discharged through the front door into a flat on Glenside on the town’s Coxmoor Estate before the duo fled the scene in a black Lexus motor vehicle.

A Huthwaite shopkeeper described the moment he grappled with knife-wielding robbers who stabbed him after he refused to hand over money during an early-morning raid.

Gurdip Singh Johal, of Huthwaite News on Main Street, and wife Balbir Kaur Johal were targeted by masked thieves who demanded cash, but fought them off.

He said: “We’ve been here 16 years and never had any trouble. We were not scared at all, just angry.”

September

Kirkby tiny tot Finley Devonshire was finally allowed home after being born extremely prematurely and overcoming dozens of health complications.

Born on April 23, he weighed just 450 grams and was without the top layer of his ski. Both he and mum Gemma spent time in intensive care.

But after 18 weeks Finley was allowed home and delighted Gemma said: “Every time the doctor said something, he did completely the opposite and came thorough. He’s very determined.”

A coroner could not be sure that a Sutton man intended to take his own life after inhaling barbecue fumes.

Graham Mark Williams, who had a history of depression, died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in May.

But Nottinghamshire coroner Mairin Casey said that while satisfied Mr Williams had taken his own life, she could not be sure he had intended to kill himself.

October

The devastated family of a former Sutton woman who was stabbed to death in Italy said they would never give up in their fight for the truth about what happened to her.

Claire Martin died in a small village in Naples where she lived and heartbroken parents Ray and Pat felt she was murdered and did not commit suicide as was suggested.

“We feel the Italian authorities have lied to us on more than one occasion and we feel we are being fobbed off,” said Pat.

A young Huthwaite man went on trial accused of killing a four-and-a-half month old baby by shaking him to death.

A jury was told at Nottingham Crown Court that Scott Gladwin was left to look after the young baby and his toddler brother while their mother went to the shops.

Gladwin denied the charge of manslaughter but was accused of causing a catastrophic internal head injury by the prosecution.

November

The family of a Kirkby man who died after being hit by a train launched a petition calling for Network Rail to build a bridge across a Sutton rail crossing.

Phil Dawn (34) of Lindleys Lane was killed by a train while cycling across the King’s Mill Crossing, near King’s Mill Reservoir.

Phil’s dad John said: “I think it’s time Network Rail took responsibility for the public’s safety not the other way around.”

The possible axing of Ashfield’s showcase event, the Ashfield Festival, were revealed as part of council plans to try and balance its books.

The local authority launched a public consultation on 14 ideas put forward to save £1.1 million during the financial year 2014/15.

Stopping the Ashfield Festival was found to save £72,000 while other options included closing cafes in parks (£74,000), closing council cash offices (£93,000), cutting four Community Protection Officer posts (£111,000) and closing council-owned public toilets (£55,000).

December

A man was left with multiple stab wounds following a night of alleged violence in Huthwaite.

Connell Mercer (22) received hospital treatment following an alleged attack on Oakland Avenue in the early hours of the morning.

Brothers Daniel Edwards (20) and Adam Edwards (21), both of Chesterfield Road, Huthwaite, were charged with malicious wounding of one man and the assault, occasioning actual bodily harm, of a second man.

A Sutton manufacturing company set themselves on the road to success after securing a contract to produce the world’s smallest car.

The prestigious business deal meant that Grasshopper Golf Buggies, based on Mason Street, would be taking on new staff to produce the Peel 50 and Trident models.

The cars were originally manufactured in Peel on the Isle of Man in the 1960s and the Peel 50 was made famous by Jeremy Clarkson on the popular TV show Top Gear.

 

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