REVIEW OF THE YEAR - January to April
PUBLISHED: 15:13 03 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:13 03 January 2014
It has been another eventful year in Saffron Walden and the surrounding villages. The Reporter takes a look back at some of the events that made the headlines in 2013.
● Tributes poured in for “legendary” community champion Eggie Abrahams. The former district and parish councillor, who became the first Honorary Alderman of Uttlesford in recognition of almost 50 years’ service, died at his home, aged 89.
● Intrepid explorer Henry Evans returned to the UK after a two-week trek to the South Pole. The young graduate, from Clavering, was part of a historic, two-man expedition to honour the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition which claimed the life of explorer Captain Scott.
● The Axe pub in Saffron Walden got a reprieve after a micro-brewery shareholder stumped up the cash to buy the establishment as a freehold from Greene King. The pub was previously described as “unviable” by Greene King but local businessman Chris Stinger vowed to make it into “the successful pub it used to be”.
● A Saffron Walden author sold the rights of one of her novels to Hollywood film company MGM. Jojo Moyes was “thrilled” that her book Me Before You was to be adapted for the silver screen.
● Work began on a £330,000 transformation project to revitalise the sports pavilion at Herbert’s Farm in Saffron Walden. It followed five years of intense lobbying for funding.
● Saffron Walden Castle received £400,000 for extensive repairs in a bid to have it can be taken off English Heritage’s ‘monuments at risk’ register and transformed into a bustling hub for tourists and community activities.
● A charitable initiative was launched in memory of 11-year-old Ethan Linwood, who died in a car crash in October 2012.
The fund was set up by Ethan’s family with the vision to “raise the aspirations of children and young people, enabling them to realise their potential and have their achievements recognised”.
● New figures revealed how many children in the district were living in poverty – more than 1,500, according to the Campaign to Stop Child Poverty. The district though, did have the lowest percentage of children in poverty across Essex.
● Andrew Harrison, managing director of Manchester Airports Group, the new owners of Stansted Airport, told of the company’s aim to create more jobs at the Uttlesford hub, in an exclusive interview with the Reporter. He also said a second runway was not in the company’s immediate plans.
● The artwork of Littlebury artist Brian Sanders was to be splashed across billboards, buses, magazines and newspapers as part of a global advertising campaign to promote the new series of American TV phenomenon Mad Men.
● Essex police and crime commissioner Nick Alston made his first public appearance in Uttlesford. Mr Alston told the meeting – attended by 50 people – that the fight against crime will begin in schools and youth clubs to stop youngsters being “caught up in the criminal system”.
● Private Abbie Martin, a medic in the Royal Army Medical Corps based at Carver Barracks, was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service after putting the safety of her patients before her own while under attack in Afghanistan.
● Middle-age drinking and childhood obesity were two of the district-specific issues to be targeted by the newy-formed West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group. The group also said that Saffron Walden Community Hospital could play a bigger role in providing healthcare in Uttlesford.
● Christopher Holmes baked up a brilliant idea of how to quit his job – he handed in his resignation by writing it on a cake. The Boarder Agency worker at Stansted Airport had recently become a parent and decided now was the time to pursue a career he loved – his own cake business.
● A new headteacher joined Newport Free Grammar School. Gordon Farquar’s appointment marked “the start of a period of optimism and excitement” at the school.