The stories that have defined 2010 in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 18:16 29 December 2010
Archant © 2010
It was a bitterly cold start to the new year as Norwich froze in sub-zero temperatures. More than 350 schools in Norfolk closed and commuters struggled to get to work as Norwich fell victim to Britain's worst weather in 30 years.
As life returned to normal after the big freeze, two Norfolk schools, Costessey High and Sprowston High, celebrated after they were listed among the top 200 schools for improving the number of students gaining five A*-C grades including English and maths at GCSE over the past four years.
There was outrage after hospital records containing highly confidential information about vulnerable patients at Norwich Community Hospital were found in the car park of the Aldi supermarket in Plumstead Road.
And former Norwich City Council housing officer Kristine Reeves pocketed a £41,000 pay out after she was sacked over the Greyhound Opening “homes for staff” scandal.
The Evening News’ Love Your Local campaign celebrated its first anniversary and called for more people to support their pubs. Meanwhile, a new newspaper-driven campaign End the Indignity was launched, calling for clinical treatment rooms at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to be improved after it was revealed that the rooms were no bigger than a cupboard.
Norwich was shortlisted to become the first ever UK City of Culture but despite a large-scale campaign, backed by the Evening News, MPs, council officials and artistic directors, the city lost out to Londonderry.
Flights across the UK were brought to a standstill for six days following a volcanic eruption in Iceland, wrecking travel plans and leaving thousands stranded, and rogue landlord Michael Billings was jailed after a woman suffered 80pc burns in a bedsit fire.
But there was joy as Norwich City won the League One title and promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.
Meanwhile, the city went to the polls for the most keenly contested general election in a generation, which saw the Lib Dems seize Norwich South from Labour’s Charles Clarke.
The new coalition government saw the city council’s plans for unitary status thrown out while the city basked in sunshine as families headed to the Royal Norfolk Show. The county mourned the death of radio legend Roy Waller. Tributes flooded in after the 69-year-old, who was known as the “voice of Carrow Road” for more than 25 years, lost his battle with a long illness. The commentary box at Carrow Road was later named after the radio presenter.
Meanwhile, the murder trial of John Moody over the deaths of Karen Brown, 39, and Ken Snell, 65, was held at Norwich Crown Court. A jury of seven women and five men took less than two hours to convict Moody, who denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Moody, the former owner of sandwich shop Baguette Express, was jailed for a minimum of 30 years.
Norwich City Council contractor Connaught collapsed just months after the company took over responsibility for the city’s bin collections, street cleaning and council house maintenance work.
Labour, however, strengthened its grip on City Hall by holding all six of its seats and winning a further one in the local election.
The new school year saw Costessey reopen as Ormiston Victory Academy Costessey and the Open Academy at Heartsease move into its new multi-million pound building.
Crowds of people turned out to cheer on the cyclists as the Tour of Britain came through Norwich for the first time.
At last, the city’s veterans were able to pay their respects as Norwich’s restored war memorial opened in time for Armistice Day, just weeks before Steve Morphew, city council leader, announced he was going to step down. Norfolk went into mourning again as another Norfolk legend, turkey tycoon Bernard Matthews, died aged 80.
Calls were made for the government to save Norfolk’s RAF Marham and the year has ended much the same as it started with below freezing temperatures, snow and icy conditions. Snow fell at the start of December, the earliest snowfall for 17 years, and temperatures plummeted to an all time low of minus 17 degrees.
What are you memories of 2010? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email firstname.lastname@example.org