Review of 2013: Huntingdonshire highlights from January to June

The Trash Pack toy that sold on Ebay by Lewis Eeles of alconbury The Trash Pack toy that sold on Ebay by Lewis Eeles of alconbury

Saturday, December 28, 2013
12:00 PM

The Hunts Post has compiled the highlights of the first part of 2013.

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January

Children risked their lives running on rooftops of shops in Huntingdon, causing thousands of pounds of damage to buildings. The youths were spotted on The Parsley Pot and pictures appeared on social networks of children standing on top of Commemoration Hall.


An unusual creature was spotted roaming the Warboys countryside. When Jan Heathcote moved to the village she had an unexpected visitor to her garden. It was her first experience of Wilf the Wallaby, who regularly plays with her cats. She told The Hunts Post: “It was two days after we moved. My partner came and got us up in the morning and said ‘You’d better come and see what’s in the garden’ – I thought he was drunk!” 


We launched a campaign to raise £5,000 to send Zane Smith to Chicago for life-changing brain scans. Zane, four at the time, has a rare brain condition in which blood vessels grow larger than normal and cluster to form small lesions. 
He needed to travel to America to have further scans to help control his condition.


February

Lucky Lewis Eeles struck gold when he sold an 83p toy dustbin for more than £1,000. The 10-year-old collector bought a Trash Pack – also known as Trashies – from Tesco for £10. Inside he found the ultra rare rubber toy that was one of just 250 in the world. 
He advertised it on eBay and the bidding reached almost £1,300.


February 1 marked the first anniversary of private company Circle Health’s taking over the management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
During the first year, the hospital was hit with a damning report into its colorectal department but also had improved A&E to be among the best performing in the country. Circle invested in the hospital to make improvements, and missed its financial target of saving £10million. Circle posted a £4.1m loss instead.


March

Few will still believe it, but pigeons perched on overhead power cables caused an explosion which sent the birds hurtling to their death in a giant fireball, setting fire to a ditch below.
Ron Laverick said the extraordinary event in Benwick Road, Ramsey Forty Foot, was reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds. 
Mr Laverick, of Benwick Road, Ramsey Forty Foot, said: “Sparks went everywhere, some pigeons were incinerated, others dropped into the ditch and the fire raged.”


Huntingdon was given an employment boost as bed manufacturers Myers was bought out of administration.
Forward Composites gave a further boost, rising from the ashes of Lola Composites, which had been placed in administration in May, 2012.


Huntingdonshire actor James Hamer-Morton auctioned 22 days of his life and found himself selling jewellery online and taking part in a scavenger hunt around London. Another request would have seen him riding around Dallas, America, in a cow-shaped car.
Mr Hamer-Morton, whose studio is in High Street, Alconbury Weston, did the project as a social experiment.


April

The Hunts Post reunited a wallet with its owner ... 35 years after it was lost.
Staff working on the redevelopment of One Leisure St Ives found the wallet by a lift shaft and got in touch with us to help find the owner Richard Lane.
We received a number of calls from members of the public locating Mr Lane’s mother in St Ives and she put us in touch with Mr Lane, now living in Evesham. “It’s amazing, absolutely amazing that the wallet’s been found,” said Mr Lane. “I thought that someone had stolen it. It looks like someone has taken about £10 to £15 out of it then chucked it into the lift shaft to hide it.”


Strong-willed St Neots residents halted the development of the new cinema after discovering the building was being constructed 88cm too close to their back gardens and was six inches too tall.
Margaret Cooke, of East Street, said: “It’s nearly a yard closer to homes than it should be. A neighbour was convinced it was too high and I kept thinking it was not right. Then we discovered it was closer than it should be and it has escalated from there.”
Developer Turnstone agreed to dismantle the frame and start again. The cinema is due to be open on February 14.


Armed robbers held a man at gunpoint as a Ramsey store was raided for the second time this year. Two men entered the Seven Days Convenience Store, in Field Road – one armed with a handgun and the other with pepper spray – on April 4. The robbers made off with about £1,100, alcohol and cigarettes.
The shop was also raided in January.


May

We launched an appeal to help The Woodlands Cancer Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital raise £800,000 for a much-needed extension.
The extension will provide an extra clinic room and additional space to give chemotherapy to patients.
Since opening in 1998, the unit has seen demand increase by 20 per cent.


The first step in giving Huntingdon a new makeover started in May. 
After six years of discussion, Huntingdonshire District Council, Church Manor Estates and Sainsbury’s agreed a £25million revamp of the town centre.


UKIP made inroads during the county council elections, taking five seats in Huntingdonshire, as the Conservatives lost overall control for the first time in 16 years. Cambridgeshire County Council leader Nick Clarke was amongst the Conservatives to lose a seat. 


June

Dozens of people were injured when a fairground ride collapsed in St Neots.About 25 people were on X-Scream in Riverside Park when it started to jolt and shake. The ride went off balance, span out of control and collapsed. 


The police control room was flooded with calls when the sound of an explosion was heard in Huntingdonshire.The noise was from a sonic boom, caused by a Eurofighter Typhoon from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Part Two next week.

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