So that was 2015 – reviewing last March’s events in Lowestoft and Southwold
PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 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 third part, we look back at some of the stories making the headlines in The Journal last March.
Mixed fortunes for department store – Godfrey’s department store in Suffolk Road has seen both highs and lows this year. Store bosses found national fame after being featured on retail guru Mary Portas’ television programme following an appeal to her for help when the store lost £380,000 in a single year. After sending in her team of “secret shoppers”, Miss Portas’ remedy was to transform its furniture section to a home-lifestyle department to give the shop a more modern feel and improve its product range. But after a grand relaunch the store owners announced that they were planning to sell the building and then to rent it back to provide a lump sum of money to plough back into the business and to free the company from the maintenance responsibility of the building. A few months later they applied to go into administration and all 39 staff were informed as the store embarked on a grand clearance sale – before finally closing in September. Later two new companies Fireworks@Godfreys and Godfreys Kitchen and Bathrooms began trading.
Mystery appearance – Residents of Chestnut Crescent in Carlton Colville were left puzzled by the appearance of a door in the base of a tree in their street. But despite numerous inquiries they remained in the dark as to who was responsible for the creation as the mystery creator continues to remain away with the fairies. The door attracted lots of interest.
Comic Relief fun – Hundreds of people across Lowestoft donned red noses and had plenty of fun as the district went Comic Relief crazy. Schools, voluntary groups and local organisations embarked on zany antics during the charity’s Red Nose Day – helping to raise thousands of pounds to help good causes.
Lil’ Chris dies – Tributes were paid to talented musician and television personality Chris Hardman – Lil’ Chris – who died aged 24. The singer-songwriter, actor and TV star, was found dead at an address in Union Road in Lowestoft and a police spokesman said they were not treating it as suspicious. The former Kirkley High School – now East Point Academy – student found fame as a 15-year-old when he appeared in Channel 4’s Rock
School. He went on to sign a record deal with major label RCA and released his debut single Checkin’ It Out in September 2006.
New road opened – Lowestoft’s new £6.5million Northern Spine Road was officially opened by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, with the promise that it would help ease traffic congestion for residents of Bentley Drive. The new 1.1km stretch of road allows motorists to drive down the 40mph single-carriageway road built between the Millennium Way-Bentley Drive roundabout and the Blundeston Road A12 Corton Long Lane junction.
Child’s 999 call saves mother – Courageous four-year-old Megan Stratton’s quick-thinking actions were honoured after her mother collapsed with a seizure at their Lowestoft home. Megan had been given some top training of what to do in an emergency by her parents Charlotte and Trevor, as Mrs Stratton had suffered from seizures before. That tuition proved invaluable when Mrs Stratton suffered a seizure and collapsed – meaning it was down to
Megan to come to the rescue. She dialled 999 and told the police call handler what had happened and where they lived. Megan was able to reach a set of
keys to open the front door so medics and police could get in. Megan’s actions later won her the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Appreciation.
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