Review Of The Year (part four) - news that made the Chad headlines in 2021

It will go down in history as the year we got jabbed. When the world fought back against the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 6:30 am
From vaccines to variants, it was hard to get away from Covid-19 in 2021. But what were the news stories that made the Chad headlines?

When AstraZeneca and Pfizer became household names. When, sadly, so did Omicron.

The year was turbulent and tumultuous. How we smiled, cried, raged or despaired as 2021 brought us COP26, Tory sleaze, Royal Family splits, panic-buying at the petrol pumps, Squid Game, Dominic Cummings, Emma Raducanu, a new Bond movie, ‘It’s A Sin’, the demise of Donald Trump, the death of Prince Philip, racism in cricket and an England near-miss at the Euros.

Covid-19 still wouldn’t go away. And neither would Brexit.

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OCTOBER - there was sadness in Sutton as this shop, Jim Grice Ltd, closed its doors after 53 years in the town centre.

But what of 2021 in Mansfield and Ashfield? What kind of year was it for us?

In this four-part Review Of The Year, we take a look back at the news stories that made the Chad headlines, concluding with October to December.

OCTOBER

Mansfield Road in Clipstone, as well as the village pit’s giant headstocks, is used as a location for the filming of a new ITV thriller, ‘Without Sin’, starring Vicky McClure, of ‘Line Of Duty’ fame. An ITV spokesman said: “It is a brilliantly compelling story that deals with a mother’s grief at the loss of her daughter.”

NOVEMBER -- 21-year-old Lizzy Hallam, of Mansfield Woodhouse, who became a victim of drink spiking. She collapsed in a Mansfield nightclub and had to be rushed to hospital.

Sadness as a popular business, Jim Grice Ltd, that had been an integral part of Sutton’s town centre for 53 years, shut its doors. The owners of the Outram Street shop, which supplied and repaired domestic appliances and electrical household items, blamed a shortage of engineers for its closure. Helen Grice said: “It’s such a shame because we have put a lot of work into it.”

Women in the Mansfield area admitted they feared walking alone at night – after the high-profile murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, which were dominating the national news. Sarah Dyer said: “I haven’t felt safe in Mansfield for a while now. There are too many drug-users about.”

In sport, Mansfield Town were in the middle of a dire run of form, plunging them towards the bottom of the League Two table. After a 1-0 defeat at home to Barrow, manager Nigel Clough said: “It feels like the world is against us.”

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER - Kim Kirk, the leader of the coronavirus vaccination programme at King's Mill Hospital, is interviewed on TV by Lorraine Kelly after being singled out for praise as a 'jab hero' by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Teenage trick-or-treaters in Sutton won praise after their good deed for Halloween was caught on camera. Chad website readers were able to watch footage of the youngsters captured from the doorbell camera of resident Craig Litchfield. They realised a tub of sweets, left outside a house, was empty, so they filled it up with their own treats.

Excitement mounted when reports suggested that the old Maid Marian train line, linking Kirkby and Pye Bridge, could reopen and form one of two extensions to the existing Robin Hood Line. The other extension would serve Warsop, Ollerton and Edwinstowe. Mansfield’s MP Ben Bradley said: “if it’s true, it’s brilliant news.”

A shock spate of drink-spiking on nights out in Mansfield triggered alarm, particularly among young women. One victim, 21-year-old Lizzy Hallam, suddenly began vomiting and collapsed in the toilets at Rush nightclub before being taken to hospital. She said: “I could not stop being sick. I felt numb and couldn’t even stand.” Police urged everyone to be vigilant.

Meanwhile, Chad Sport ran a special feature on the fears of grassroots football clubs that their futures could be put at risk by a shortage of young volunteers. AFC Mansfield chairman Andy Saunders said: “A lot of the volunteers we have are aged 60 and over. In a few years’ time, some non-league clubs will fall by the wayside.”

DECEMBER

Clipstone couple Emma and Lee Wilson thanked the public for the support they had given since the tragic death of their 13-year-old daughter Evie in July. They set up The Lashes Foundation charity in her memory, and its first big event, a football match, raised £37,000. Emma said: “The support we have had is nothing short of incredible.”

Chad readers reacted unfavourably to the new Sky drama, ‘Landscapers’, starring Olivia Colman, which is based on the infamous ‘bodies in the garden’ murders of William and Patricia Wycherley in Forest Town in 1998. Many felt it glamorised the crimes and trivialised the police investigation. Steph Wright said: “It is ridiculous, cringeworthy and hard to follow at times.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson singled out Kim Kirk, operational lead at King’s Mill Hospital’s vaccination hub, when praising coronavirus ‘jab heroes’ at a press conference. Kim herself was then interviewed on the TV show, ‘Lorraine’. She said: “It was a huge surprise, but this is a massive team effort. To lead the team each day is an absolute privilege.”

A remarkable revival by Mansfield Town led to the club’s chief executive officer David Sharpe revealing that sacking manager Nigel Clough had never even been considered during their earlier poor run of form. Sharpe said: “When we appointed Nigel, we knew it would be a long-term plan. Things don’t happen overnight.”

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