Review of the year 2013

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JANUARY

Flooding in various points across the Dispatch district was causing concern for residents after heavy rain in December.

Nabbs Lane in Hucknall and Moor Road on the Bestwood Village boundary with Bulwell was under a ‘lake’ of water.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Coun Mick Murphy said: “I have never known Nabbs Lane to flood like this before but the amount of rain we have had lately is quite exceptional.”

Moor Road remained closed for 11 days which created a major inconvenience for motorists and residents.

Bulwell’s St Mary’s School suffered an electrical fire in the store cupboard which forced the school to remain closed after the Christmas holidays.

Despite the fire being limited to the cupboard, extensive smoke damage elsewhere in the school forced headteacher Daniel Farthing to keep pupils away while the clean-up operation was carried out.

“It has been very shocking and upsetting for staff who have had to come back from the break and been forced to face this,” said Mr Farthing.

FEBRUARY

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer abstained from voting on the controversial issue of equal marriage for homosexual couples because he was unable to represent the views of his divided constituency.

The 225-vote infavour majority, which was greeted in Parliament with rare applause in the public gallery.

Conservative MP Mr Spencer, who represents Hucknall, said: “It is my role to represent the views of my constituency and that becomes very challenging when their views are directly opposed to each other. I’ve been subjected to some repulsive and abusive letters and e-mails prior to the vote and made a decision to abstain.”

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, decided not to reinstate the disbanded mounted section. After a review, he decided to uphold the decision.

“We had to look at all resources to allow us to deliver a service that makes the very best use of our limited resources and our focus remains on enhancing our local policing services,” said Mr Tipping.

MARCH

The community of Bulwell came together for a clean-up operation along the River Leen.

Despite freezing temperatures, an enthusiastic group of volunteers braved the elements for the morning activity.

Pollution and litter are the biggest problems facing the area with wildlife affected as well as the area’s aesthetics.

“It was a great morning and in just a few hours we managed to make a big impression,” said Simon Jenkins, park ranger for Nottingham City Council.

Nottinghamshire County Council decide to put Broomhill Farm in Hucknall under the hammer.

It was hoped that the land, which forms 12.5 acres of farmland off Nottingham Road, would be sold to developers to be transformed into a housing estate.

“The county council has owned the land at Broomhill Farm since the 1950s and is keen to bring forward development at the site, in line with the uses approved in Ashfield District Council’s Local Plan,” said Coun Reg Adair, chairman of the finance and property committee at Nottinghamshire County Council.

APRIL

Hucknall’s annual Good Friday Procession was a big draw with around 300 people taking part in the Silent Walk of Witness.

The walk followed a Churches Together service at St Mary Magdalene Church led by Rev Kathryn Herrod.

“The Walk of Witness is a good way for people to take time out and the majority of people are silent,” said Rev Herrod. “There was people of all ages from those in pushchairs to great grandparents taking part.”

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died sparking a mixed response from across the coalfield communities.

Baroness Thatcher died at the age of 87 after a stroke. She divided communities and families with her policies during the bitter year-long miners’ strike in the mid 1980s.

“Whatever people may have thought of her, Mrs Thatcher was a very important Prime Minister who came into power when the country was in turmoil and turned it around,” said Sherwood Conservative MP Mark Spencer.

MAY

The county council elections brought about a complete change in Hucknall with Labour councillors taking all three seats up for grabs.

Conservatives, Mick Murphy and Kevin Rostance together with UKIP’s Rev Tom Irvine lost their seats to John Wilmott, Alice Grice and John Wilkinson.

The Labour Party regained control of the whole council from the Conservatives following the closely-fought election that went right down to the wire.

It was only with the announcement of the last ward that a Labour majority of one was won, with the party winning 34 seats of the 67 up for grabs.

Hucknall traders formed the new I Love Hucknall town team to promote the businesses in the town centre and breathe new life into the region.

The group adopted the logo of a red heart in a bid to reinvigorate Hucknall as a place to visit and shop and give a big boost to local business.

JUNE

Record numbers attended the annual Hucknall air show with around 2,000 people watching a range of classic aircraft take to the skies.

There was also a large selection of vintage cars and motorcycles on display to entertain the crowds.

“As well as the classic Spitfires and Hurricanes, there were also two acrobatic displays and more vintage cars and bikes than ever before,” said organiser, Nigel Perkins.

Newstead businessman John Bancroft was celebrating after being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The founder and managing director of Badgemaster was recognised with an MBE for his services to business in Nottinghamshire.

JULY

A 44 year-old Hucknall woman died from her injuries after she was found with stab wounds at her Hazelwood Drive home.

Her partner, Geoffrey Hemming (52) appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court charged with her murder.

The incident shocked the community with neighbours describing the events as ‘disturbing’.

Freak storms brought chaos and misery to many residents and businesses across the Dispatch district echoing for many the storms of 2007.

A month’s worth of rain fell in less than an hour flooding many homes, business premises and roads in what many people described as a ‘living hell’.

Thoresby Dale was particularly badly affected with the road being transformed into a lake and many homes hit by flood waters.

AUGUST

The community came out in force to support a road safety initiative in memory of two Hucknall schoolboys.

A village fair was held at Papplewick’s Griffin’s Head to boost funds further for the Put Things Right Campaign - set up after the deaths of Harrison Carlin and Jeff Townley.

The charity has spearheaded a cycle-safety campaign across the district to raise awareness and distribute safety equipment to young cyclists.

An intrepid Hucknall adventurer completed his mountain a month challenge in the UK for Breast Cancer Care.

Graham Dearden took on each mountain from Mam Tor to Ben Nevis dressed in pink to raise awareness of the charity and boost funds in memory of friend and colleague, Becky Prokopiuk, who lost her battle with the disease, aged just 32.

SEPTEMBER

A Bulwell recycling plant was hit by fire with Nottinghamshire Police treating the blaze as arson.

Go4Greener offered a £2,000 reward to catch the culprit after the fire caused about £20,000 worth of damage.

A gang of three men who posed as customers before demanding money from an industrial unit worker, were jailed for a total of 15 years.

The men were foiled when another worker alerted neighbouring business owners whose quick actions led to the assailants being caught.

October

Courageous Bulwell soldier Nathan Vittles was honoured for his bravery in helping to save his commanding officer as they came under fire in Afghanistan.

The 25 year-old father of three, was Mentioned in Dispatches, the oldest form of gallantry within the UK armed forces.

Veteran reporter Denis Robinson celebrated 60 years service with the Dispatch.

Dignitaries, colleagues and friends shared their memories and marked the occasion with tributes to our very own legend.

From Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping to Hucknall Heritage Society’s Maureen Newton, Denis’ milestone was recognised.

NOVEMBER

Hucknall’s Paris Lees is the first out transgender panellist to appear on BBC1 political programme, Question Time.

The former Holgate pupil has several awards and accolades for her campaigning work including topping the Pink List for the most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender figures in the UK.

Folk from across the Dispatch district did their bit for the national Children in Need appeal.

Young and the not so young took part in a variety of events and activities to raise money for the worthwhile cause from dressing in their pyjamas for school to holding a quiz night.

DECEMBER

A Bulwell business tried to pick up the pieces after fire ripped through its workshop sparking a huge emergency response due to fears of an explosion.

It was feared that pressurised canisters at the Coventry Road based Midland Shelving Ltd could explode but this was avoided by the quick response by firefighters.

Hucknall’s town centre regeneration plans was given the green light by councillors despite concerns raised by councillors and residents.

The £12m plan, which includes an inner relief road and pedestrianisation of part of High Street, was passed by the Nottinghamshire County Council planning committee after being mooted for over six decades.