So that was 2015 – reviewing last July’s events in Lowestoft and Southwold
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 January 2016
Welcome to That Was The Year That Was, a review of an eventful 2015, as compiled by MICK HOWES and MARK BOGGIS. In the seventh part, we look back at some of the stories making the headlines in The Journal last July.
Support for our armed forces – Hundreds of people headed to the Royal Green to honour past, present and future members of Britain’s armed forces at the 10th annual Lowestoft Armed Forces Day Military Tattoo. Veterans, families and serving troops enjoyed viewing numerous activities, stands, demonstrations and displays culminating in a special parade and traditional Drumhead Service of remembrance. This was followed by a flying display by the Grace Spitfire and aerobatic displays by a Yak 52 and the Wildcats team.
Heroes honoured – At another First World War centenary ceremony, Waveney MP Peter Aldous laid a wreath and lit a candle at St Margaret’s Church, Lowestoft in remembrance of all who died for their country. The church is home to the town’s war memorial listing the names of 727 men who never returned home in the conflict. St Margaret’s also hosted a history exhibition.
Terrorist victim remembered – Lowestoft fell silent in memory of Tunisia terrorist attack victim, Stuart Cullen, 52, from Carlton Colville, who was one of those killed at the beach resort of Sousse. A nationwide minute’s silence was also marked at the opening of the new Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council Riverside office complex. Mr Cullen’s name was officially confirmed among the dead by the Foreign Office.
Threat of Southwold Hospital closure – Residents made clear during a public consultation they do not want to see Southwold hospital close without alternative provision put in place. It’s future hung in the balance after the Waveney and Great Yarmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, HealthEast, proposed closing the site, instead providing more “beds with care” in the community. But bosses at HealthEast announced in November its intention to close Southwold hospital permanently replacing the beds lost by developing out-of-hospital services and providing beds in care homes.
Pier reopened – One of Lowestoft’s most important visitor attractions, the South Pier, was reopened following a campaign by Waveney MP Peter Aldous and businessman Danny Steel – who teamed up with anglers and other firms to reopen it just in time for summer.
Access to the historic 1,320ft pier has been blocked off at the seaward end since 2013 after Waveney District Council said renewing its lease from owner Associated British Ports (ABP) could not be “justified financially”.
Community support for Art Festival – The sun shone on Southwold for eight days of exuberant music, theatre, dance and poetry as part of the town’s arts festival. The event brought local and national talent to the town and was described by it’s director as “quite simply outstanding.”
Threat to close Magistrates’ Court – Solicitors said that justice could be at risk after Lowestoft Magistrates Court was earmarked by the government for closure – but far from closing it, solicitors and Mr Aldous would like to see the court’s role extended. They believed it has an increasingly important role to play in the justice system.
Turtle Power – A friendly invasion of 20 giant turtles, each with their own unique design, attracted a lot of attention in and around the town centre throughout the summer. The Lowestoft Turtle Trail was organised by Lowestoft Vision to attract people into the town.
Tesco back down – “People power won the day” – that was the reaction of campaigners after supermarket giant Tesco finally backed down in its attempt to take over the Tramway Hotel.People in Pakefield fought tooth and nail against a proposal to convert the historic hotel into a Tesco Express during a three-year battle, as Tesco announced it was not proceeding with the plans.
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