REVIEW OF THE YEAR - August to December
PUBLISHED: 10:01 05 January 2014
It has been another eventful year in Great Dunmow and the surrounding villages. The Broadcast takes a look back at some of the events that made the headlines in 2013.
• Cheers could be heard far and wide when Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee threw out an application from Domino’s Pizza to move into Station Road. Residents were delighted with the result and warned the fast-food chain not to bother appealing the decision.
• Dunmow’s great and good came to celebrate the work of much-loved vicar, David Ainge and his wife Jay. The couple were presented with a Town Award and said they were delighted with the honour. It was also a goodbye for the pair as Mr Ainge retired from his post.
• Finchingfield celebrated the highly-anticipated re-opening of the Guildhall. The historic building underwent a £1.8million restoration project after being declared ‘At Risk’ by English Heritage – but it is now back to its former glory.
Over the same weekend, a flower festival was held in the church and the annual three-legged race took place.
• Everyone was in high spirits for the Dunmow Carnival. The Rec was filled with stalls, performers, rides and much more.
• The community also pulled together to help a 12-year-old boy who was robbed on his way home from the carnival.
• A business, which wished to remain anonymous, doubled the reward money to help capture the men who left the young lad with just his trousers and the goldfish he had won at the carnival.
• Bagpipes led the celebrations in Stebbing when the village convenience store was finally opened. People came out to watch the ribbon cutting before being welcomed inside. Peter Hall, chairman of the store committee, said: “We offer exactly what people want in a village shop – we just have to hope people keep coming in.”
• A grandmother who “looked after everybody” celebrated her 105th birthday in Dunmow. Mary Powell was surrounded by family and friends on her special day.
• The mother of a soldier who died while serving his country thanked the people of Dunmow for helping to keep his memory alive. Elaine Freeman, with the help of people from the town, helped her almost reach her £1,000 target to buy a bench and a tree at the National Memorial Arboretum in Stafford.
• New consulting rooms were opened at the Angel Lane Surgery to help meet the need as the town expands. It took six months for the new rooms to be built and Cllr Barrie Easter said: “With all the new houses going up the town is going to need this.”
• Business owners and councillors launched a town team in a bid to regenerate Dunmow’s high street.
• The Broadcast revealed plans to move Helena Romanes School – to make way for 100 extra homes on its current site. Headteacher Simon Knight promised that whatever was going to take place, he had what was best for Dunmow in mind.
• Following months of anticipation - and hard-work from volunteers – Dunmow’s new radio station, Switch Radio, finally went live.
• Brave dog Dottie managed to survive two days down a rabbit hole before being freed. The Yorkshire terrier was found by her mum while her owner, Claire Jackman, helped by her brother and dad, used a digger to get the mutt out.
• Don’s of Dunmow saved the day for a group of pensioners who lost their money and a trip to Blackpool. The coach company agreed to take them for a day out to see Rochester’s Christmas Market.
• It seems Dunmow really is the perfect Location, Location, Location, as the popular television show brought in potential buyers. Tom and Lisa Gregory spent a day filming in the town and had already visited to look at houses. We’ll find out soon if they decided to buy in Dunmow...
• Residents in Flitch Green took to social media to vent their anger after having no mobile phone signal for five weeks. A mast had been badly damaged in the storms and Vodafone had still not repaired it. The residents were also hit with another blow when thieves stole cable leaving them without telephone or internet connections.
• Shops and stalls lined Dunmow’s high street with a special Dickensian-themed annual Christmas shopping day. Even Father Christmas made an appearance on the day!
• Felsted Parish Council celebrated the 1,000th meeting with a specially-brewed beer for the occasion. Councillors old and new came together to mark the occasion and on the agenda for the evening was the launch of ‘A Plan For The Future’.
• Uttlesford was voted the second most desirable place to live in the country in the Halifax Quality of Life survey.