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That was the year that was... 2012
1:00pm Tuesday 1st January 2013 in News
JODRELL Bank was again due to be the centre of attention on television as a popular TV series came back to the small screen.Stargazing Live returned to the Cheshire observatory with pop star turned celebrity physicist Brian Cox hosted the BBC astronomy show.
A KIND-HEARTED woman who dedicated more than 30 years to helping others was named on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.Margaret Timpson was awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to older people in Knutsford.
A FIRM of consultants told health bosses that the best place for a new medical centre was on the existing community hospital site.Durrow took four months to compile the report, which left many unsurprised but critical of the choice.
PLANS for one hour’s free parking to be introduced on Knutsford’s streets had yet to be implemented despite being approved 11 months previously.The scheme was eventually brought in in October.
RESIDENTS in Knutsford were told they would have to pay extra in their council tax bills after Knutsford Town Council revealed it was looking at taking on some of the town’s assets.
LOST golf balls turned into cash for charity thanks to the help of a generous golden retriever.Dillon, with owner David Stanhope, spent the last seven years plodding around Mere Golf and Country Club, finding over 6,000 golf balls and raising more than £3,000 for charity.
A COUPLE who tied the knot on St. Valentine’s Day have celebrated 70 years together.Bob, 96, and Anita, 95, Johnston, live at The Cedars in Holmes Chapel, and marked their platinum anniversary on Tuesday, February 14.
AT just 17, Will Smyth, of Freshfields in Knutsford, took it upon himself to make sure as many people as possible in the town pulled on his team’s colours.Will was officially the youngest chairman of a footballers’ supporters club in the country – after taking charge of the Knutsford branch of the Manchester City supporters club.
DAY care centre users in Knutsford celebrated after bosses completed a U-turn in their plans to close the Stanley Centre.However, nearby Bexton Court, the dementia centre, was closed for good by Cheshire East Council. The decision to close Bexton was later ‘called in’ by councillors but the vote was passed.
A FORMER policeman from Knutsford was jailed after punching a 73-year-old dementia patient in Toft Woods. John Ward was given a 45-week term after attacking Geoffrey Davenport.
KANE Gunter was named as Knutsford’s ‘Community Hero’ in a competition held by the Guardian and Equilibrium Asset Management.
THE route of the Olympic Torch through Knutsford was finally been revealed.Thousands of residents and visitors were expected to line the streets when the flame was carried through the town as excitement built for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A ROYAL Air Force Veteran was given the opportunity to sit in a Spitfire after being told he couldn’t for health and safety reasons by a Midlands museum.Eric Carter’s experience angered Michael Oliver, the founder of Oliver Valves, that he decided to invite the 91-year-old to Knutsford to try out his own replica model for size.
NATIONAL Grid announced it was to begin 12 months of work to replace the town’s old gas mains.Almost 40km of pipe was to be replaced.
TOWN centre residents voiced their concerns over plans which would see a Domino’s Pizza outlet open behind their homes.The pizza giant wanted to open the store on Silk Mill Street. A decision was due in the New Year.
FURIOUS residents contacted the Guardian over Tatton Park’s plans to build an adventure playground in the park.‘BeWILDerwood’ has a branch in Norfolk and its owners wanted to expand in the north.The planning application was due to go before the council in January.
A KNUTSFORD woman has been awarded one of the highest honours in the Catholic Church in recognition of her service to the town.Pope Benedict XVI has awarded the Benemerenti medal to Sheila McCallum, of Ash Court, King Edward Road.
KNUTSFORD’S Studio cinema has new owners.It was announced Curzon, a London-based firm, had taken the lease from Cheshire East Council.The company took over the operation in December.
HUNDREDS of Knutsfordians headed to the town’s civic centre to see what the town plan had in mind for King Street.An exhbition was held giving residents the chance to declare their preference to renovate the street.
CATHOLIC students in Knutsford were told they would lose their buses.Cheshire East Council decided to take away the £230,000 that funded faith school transport.
IT was a right royal celebration in Knutsford as townspeople made the most of a long weekend to salute the Diamond Jubilee.Scores of people decked their neighbourhoods with red, white and blue for street parties throughout the town and the surrounding area to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne.
THOUSANDS turned out in force to welcome the Olympic Torch to Knutsford on Thursday.Despite the rain, townspeople – plus many more from the surrounding local area – cheered and clapped as the eight torchbearers made their way through the town’s streets.
IT took 10 years but Mobberley and Knutsford residents were awarded a share of a pot of £1million as part of the runway two compensation package.Schools also benefited, and council tax bills for 2013/14 will also be lower as a result.
A KNUTSFORD businessman was awarded a OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.Michael Oliver, who owns Oliver Valves, was handed the gong for his services to the valves industry.
KNUTSFORD MP George Osborne slammed health bosses over how they had dealt with Tatton Ward and Bexton Court.
PRINCESS Street businesses told of their woe after learning the street was to be shut off for eight weeks as a result of the gas works affecting the town.
WETHERSPOONS denied it had clinced a deal to open up in the Old Town Hall.The unit remains vacant and its owners, Monckton Properties, told the Guardian it expects movement in January.
A RISING star who cut her teeth on Knutsford High School productions is now performing in front of more than 1,000 people every night.Charlotte Wakefield, 21, who grew up in Bexton Road, has bagged the top role in the West End musical Mamma Mia.
CHESHIRE East’s chief executive left the authority with a golden handshake of more than £93,000.She had been on sick leave since March 19.
A GOOSEBERRY grower has clinched the top award at the Goostrey show for the first time – after more than 60 years of trying.88-year-old Tom McCartney clinched the heaviest berry prize at the Goostrey Gooseberry show with a weight of 22 pennyweights and 16 grains.
POLICE launched a murder probe after Diana Lee was found dead at her Cranage home.David Ryan, 47, was charged with her murder and will appear at Chester Crown Court on January 7.
A KNUTSFORD florist has experienced the Olympics in her very own special way after revealing she was the person who created the bouquets for the winning athletes.Florist Marion Barker, of Goughs Lane, was invited to create the victory bouquets for the Olympic medal winners on the first day of the sailing events in Weymouth.
A BUS service connecting Knutsford and Macclesfield was changed from every hour to 90 minutes after the operator decided to hand back the council subsidy.
A BLUEPRINT for the future of Knutsford was released, which revealed plans for more than 1,000 homes.That estimate was quite high and has since been revised to 400, with the next stage of the consultation due to begin this month.
KNUTSFORD Town Plan recommended that a shared space scheme be implemented on King Street.The decision came after an exhibition was held in April.
KNUTSFORD ground to a standstill as the town welcomed the world’s top cyclists.The second stage of the Tour of Britain whizzed through the streets at 12.52pm and townsfolk glimpsed Tour De France champion Bradley Wiggins and world champion Mark Cavendish.
A KNUTSFORD heritage group criticised plans revealed by St John’s to remove four stained glass windows as part of a modernisation of the church.
KNUTSFORD’S fire station could lose some of its firefighters as a result of Cheshire Fire Services aims to reduce its budget by £5 million in four years.The consultation finished on December 17.
PARALYMPIAN Niki Birrell was honoured during a homecoming parade in Knutsford.The sailor, who won bronze in the Skud class, toured the town in a BMW convertible, before being made a freeman of the borough and have a road named after him – Niki Birrell Way.
THOUSANDS of homeowners and businesses were hit by a two-week phone blackout after two underground cables were damaged.
A CAT that went missing from home has turned up – seven months after she vanished.Jemima wandered off on a snowy day in February from Knutsford vet Ian Hopkins’ home, and the eight-year-old Birman no doubt used up all nine lives on a journey that ended up more than six miles away.
SPENDING a penny is to cost Knutsfordians almost £1million over the next 25 years after the town council struck a deal to take over two of the town’s toilet blocks.
TATTON Estates revealed their plans for the town, which included a sports ground near Parkgate Industrial Estate and a new school and medical centre.The council revealed in December that the Parkgate area of the town could not be developed in the ‘near future’ due to ‘access issues’.
A PUBLIC consultation was launched to permanently close Tatton Ward.The 14 week process will finish in February.
A MUM and her fearless friends were revealing all for their own version of a Calendar Girls production to raise money for the Prader Willi Syndrome Association.Kay Wilkinson launched the Jimmy Bluebelles calendar after being inspired by her two-year-old son, Jimmy, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called prader willi syndrome.
IT took a while, but a small piece of history was made when a homegrown Cheshire pineapple was plucked from the earth in the grounds of Tatton Park for the first time in 135 years.Clr George Walton, the Mayor of Cheshire East Council, re-enacted the moment when King Charles II was presented with the first pineapple grown on English soil by his gardener, John Rose, in 1675.
CHESHIRE East leader Michael Jones told residents at a public meeting that he would listen to them about the plans for the town’s future.He said everyone would be heard as the town voiced concerns over the Knutsford Town Strategy.
KNUTSFORD’S once popular Conservative Club closed its doors for good.The club told the Guardian that declining numbers and the recession had meant it couldn’t carry on.
ENGLAND goalkeeper Joe Hart had to restrain Southfields resident Matthew Stott from confronting Rio Ferdinand during the Manchester derby. Stott apologised for running on to the pitch. He will appear at Manchester Magistrates Court on January 4.
KNUTSFORD traders counted the cost of power cuts just days before Christmas. Around 35 King Street businesses were affected. An underground cable was at fault.