So that was 2015 – reviewing last June’s events in Lowestoft and Southwold

Launch of Discover Lowestoft, an online campaign to promote business in Lowestoft.
Picture: James

Launch of Discover Lowestoft, an online campaign to promote business in Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Welcome to That Was The Year That Was, a review of an eventful 2015, as compiled by MICK HOWES and MARK BOGGIS. In the sixth part, we look back at some of the stories making the headlines in The Journal last June.

A team of North Suffolk drivers taking part in Monte Carlo or Bust the ultimate European Banger Rall

A team of North Suffolk drivers taking part in Monte Carlo or Bust the ultimate European Banger Rally adventure.Grant Bartlett, Adam Fogg, Wayne Butler and Bob Janney.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

New branding for town – An online campaign was launched to promote business in the town and branded 'Discover Lowestoft'. Aimed at encouraging people to use the town's best and brightest firms, the project included traditional forms of promotion including a logo illustrating the Lowestoft skyline, with the sun rising above the town, and a days out leaflet. A new website was also created.

River taxi launched – A team from the International Boatbuilding Training School (IBTC), based in Oulton Broad, launched Lowestoft's first ever water taxi service using a 1954 Glaswegian workboat.

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Benefitting from a grant from the government's Coastal Communities Fund to renovate the vessel, a service began which offered hourly journeys from Bridge Road, Oulton Broad to Royal Plain, near the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club.

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Staff move into new offices – The first of 450 staff from Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council moved into their new three-storey premises in Riverside, Lowestoft. Employees from the two authorities share the building as part of a wider £13.6million accommodation programme.

The new building houses children and young people's services, planning, building, IT and legal teams. There was also a public café, conference room which holds the council chamber meetings, breakout spaces, a shared hot-desking section and rooftop terrace.

Special challenge – Beat the Street, a challenge for which participants were given cards that they swiped on to a number of 'beat boxes' installed at various points across the town, took Lowestoft by storm. The cards recorded the distance they have covered over the month, which was then added to a team of the individuals choice.

In an attempt to support education and good causes in the town, each team represented a Lowestoft school or charity – with the winning team winning up to £1,000.

The initiative was organised by Lowestoft Rising, in partnership with Suffolk County Council's Public Health and HealthEast, the clinical commissioning group for Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Families learn about farming – Warm sunshine greeted visitors to the Somerleyton Estate near Lowestoft, which opened its gates for Open Farm Sunday – held for the first time this year. Attractions included rare breed cattle and sheep, and working demonstrations of modern and vintage machinery, with a Victorian horse-drawn plough built in 1850 followed by the latest hi-tech machinery. It was part of a region wide initiative to show people how their food was produced.

Homeless fire victims helped – After a family of four children and a small menagerie of animals were left homeless by a fierce fire that ripped through their house and nearby caravan in Windsor Road, Reydon, The Journal – together with family friend Nicky Thorpe – launched a fund-raising campaign to help them get back on their feet. The blaze left their home uninhabitable, completely destroying the roof and leaving the rest of the property severely damaged.

Drivers in Monte Carlo or Bust Challenge – After leaving from the Ship Inn pub in Pakefield, a team of four local men had a nightmare start when their decorated £300 banger broke down before they had even left the UK. But with a replacement vehicle they managed to travel by ferry to France and then onto Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy and finally Monte Carlo as they took part in a variety of Top Gear-style challenges.

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