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From campaigners' joy to football agony.. the highs and lows of the first half of 2014

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:18 01 January 2015

After three years of campaigning, Norwichs Silver Rooms were finally saved for the community.

After three years of campaigning, Norwichs Silver Rooms were finally saved for the community.

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Evening News reporter Kim Briscoe takes a look at the stories which hit our headlines and those which made us smile in the first half of 2014.

Pledges were made to focus on keeping Norwich safe at night after a police officer and a pub manager were injured in an incident near a nightclub in Prince of Wales Road.Pledges were made to focus on keeping Norwich safe at night after a police officer and a pub manager were injured in an incident near a nightclub in Prince of Wales Road.

January

The big story

Pledges were made to focus on keeping Norwich safe at night after a police officer and a pub manager were injured in an incident near a nightclub in Prince of Wales Road.

PC Lee Wilson suffered a broken tibia during the incident outside Beeline Taxis and Ossi’s takeaway shortly after 1am. A female sergeant also suffered slight head injuries, while Jason Payne, a shift manager at Queen of Iceni in Riverside, intervened and suffered a broken finger and fractured knuckle in the process.

The parents of Charlie Ryan paid a moving tribute to their beautiful brave boy, who died from cancer at six years old.The parents of Charlie Ryan paid a moving tribute to their beautiful brave boy, who died from cancer at six years old.

Click here to view the full story

The quirky tale

French football star and former Norwich City forward Marc Libbra fell victim to the British Bank Holiday when he tried to get from London to Norfolk to take his son on a birthday trip to Carrow Road.

The future of Norwichs walk-in centre was thrown into doubt after Castle Mall unveiled plans to turn the Timber Hill Health Centre site into a restaurant quarter.The future of Norwichs walk-in centre was thrown into doubt after Castle Mall unveiled plans to turn the Timber Hill Health Centre site into a restaurant quarter.

With no trains running from the capital in time for the match, chef and season ticket holder Adam Bateman stepped in to give the footballer, his son Lucas, 18, and best friend Sebastian Castelli, 17, a lift up to Norwich.

In sport

There was a near-miss for Norwich’s Bex Field who lost her Women’s Matchplay single crown in the final at The World Indoor Bowls Championship at Potters Resort in Hopton-on-Sea.

Byelaw powers were being considered by Norwich City Council, which would have banned skateboarders from much of the city centre, after damage was caused to the citys war memorial.Byelaw powers were being considered by Norwich City Council, which would have banned skateboarders from much of the city centre, after damage was caused to the citys war memorial.

Quote of the month

“If I was to give somebody advice, I’d say definitely tell somebody so they can help you, tell somebody you trust.”

Britain’s Got Talent sat Ronan Parke on dealing with bullying.

February

The big story

The parents of Charlie Ryan paid a moving tribute to their “beautiful brave boy”, who died from cancer at six years old.

The youngster captured hearts after an appeal in the Evening News, in conjunction with his parents, saw generous companies and individuals come forward to answer the call for Charlie’s Angels, and help to make his childhood wishes come true.

Thanks to them, Charlie enjoyed a flight in a helicopter, a rise in a luxury car and even ran out as a mascot for his beloved Norwich City.

Click here to view the full story

The quirky tale

Norfolk man Tony Balmforth was reunited with his grandfather’s war medals, after a sharp-eyed recycling centre worker spotted them at the county’s Strumpshaw centre.

Walter Westgate had been awarded the medals for his service in the Somme trenches in the First World War and as an air raid warden in Blofield in the Second World War, but they were saved from being lost forever by recycling worker Gary Downer.

In sport

It was becoming clear that Norwich were becoming embroiled in a relegation battle, but despite two losses on the road a point against Manchester City and three against Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road gave fans hope that there was still time to escape.

Meanwhile Clarke’s Snooker Club in Norwich hosted a visit by snooker legend Jimmy White.

Quote of the month

“I just think we don’t realise how lucky we are. I had the choice to shave my hair off and I didn’t have the cancer that comes with it.”

Teenager Amber Reeve who shaved her hair off on her 16th birthday for Macmillan Cancer Support.

March

The big story

After three years of campaigning, Norwich’s Silver Rooms were finally saved for the community.

The building had been empty since Norfolk County Council decided to stop providing day services for elderly people there. The Friends of the Silver Rooms finally won their battle after the council agreed the group could lease the building for a peppercorn rent for the next 25 years.

The quirky tale

Six-year-old Harley Edmonds had been saving to buy a hamster, but when he heard about a fire at the church hall of St Anne, Earlham, he donated some of his funds to help fix the church hall’s roof.

The youngster made a special card and taped £1 of his savings inside and after the Evening News helped to track him down, Jollyes pet store presented him with his very own hamster as a thank you.

In sport

The Canaries’ away day form looked poor as they suffered a 4-1 defeat against Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa after Wes Hoolahan had opened the scoring against the club who courted his services in the January transfer window. Norwich also lost 4-2 to Southampton at St Mary’s and 3-0 to Swansea on the road again.

Quote of the month

“To Willemina (excellent name! I must use it in a book!) JK Rowling” - the inscription written by the author at a book signing in 1998 in Willemina Hall’s Harry Potter book, before a character called Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank appeared in a Harry Potter book in 2000.

April

The big story

The future of Norwich’s walk-in centre was thrown into doubt after Castle Mall unveiled plans to turn the Timber Hill Health Centre site into a restaurant quarter.

Calls were made to ensure the walk-in centre would remain in the city centre, despite the fact the shopping centre wanted it to move out of its current leased home.

Click here to view the full story

The quirky tale

Freddy the tortoise returned to his Rackheath home – eight months after he went missing.

The 15-year-old pet went missing in August 2013, while his family were staying with friends in Wacton, near Long Stratton. But it was only after he came out of hibernation at a home across the road from where they had been staying, that he was finally reunited with his owners.

In sport

Things were starting to look dire for Norwich City’s shaky Premier League status and the club parted ways with manager Chris Hughton in early April, but the appointment of Neil Adams as caretaker manager failed to stop the rot and the Canaries they lost all four matches that month.

Quote of the month

“I am absolutely convinced after 12 or 13 years looking at this, the public sector is awash with money, we are just really intergalactically stupid with how we spend it. This is just yet another example of it.” South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon commenting on St Mary’s House, which has no wheelchair access but is the Norwich disability assessment centre for the Department for Work and Pensions.

May

The big story

Urgent talks were held to ensure the city’s drains can cope with more deluges after flash floods caused chaos. Some areas of the city saw more than 40mm of rain fall during the period, and some drainage systems were “overwhelmed”, leaving homeowners and businesses counting the cost.

Click here to view the full story

The quirky tale

Drinks brand Coca-Cola was left red-faced after its representatives first asked an independent bookseller to take down an “anti corporate” sign and then later apologised. Rory Hill, manager a the Book Hive in London Street, put up the sign after arriving at work to find several neighbouring stores were heavily adorned with branding for Coca-Cola, ahead of a get-together of senior staff in the city.

In sport

It had been looking likely for a while, but Norwich City were finally relegated from the Premier League in early May. Towards the end of the month Neil Adams was given the permanent role as manager.

There was better news for Norwich City Ladies, who lifted the League Cup.

Quote of the month

“I cannot thank them enough for saving his life and performing daily miracles. I cannot even bring myself to imagine where we would be today without them.” Mother Sarah Chow on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital which saved her son Alfie’s life when he was born 16 weeks early.

June

The big story

Byelaw powers were being considered by Norwich City Council, which would have banned skateboarders from much of the city centre, after damage was caused to the city’s war memorial.

Click here to view the full story

The quirky tale

A taste of Hollywood came to the University of East Anglia after the Sainsbury Centre was used as a location for filming some shots for the new Avengers movie.

Among the fans who bumped into star Robert Downey Jr, before his helicopter took off from near the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, was three-year-old Lewis Olsen.

In sport

Leroy Fer became the first Norwich City player to score at a World Cup.

Norwich Youth Bowling Club’s junior players returned from the NAYBC (National Association of Youth Bowling Clubs) Junior National in Coventry with five gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

A bitter row broke out between non-league sides Gorleston and Wroxham over playing poaching, after several Gorleston players followed their former manager to Wroxham.

Quote of the month

“It’s 70 years ago, but I am here today as I was before – a damn sight older, but the same man. I will pay my respects to the friends that I lost in the campaign and to those that didn’t come home.”

D-Day veteran David Woodrow reflects on his return to the beaches of Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the Longest Day.

Come back tomorrow for the second part of our review of the year.

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