Review Of The Year (part three) - 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.

Wednesday, 29th 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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JULY - Mansfield Woodhouse millionaire Gareth Bull cheering on England at the final of the Euros against Italy at Wembley.

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, continuing with July to September.


Mansfield couple Abbie Long and David Clarke-Hippsley had their holiday to Menorca to celebrate her 40th birthday sabotaged by new passport rules. Abbie said: “We had to leave the airport with our bags. We were absolutely devastated.”

AUGUST - 16-year-old Mansfield dancer Tilly Epton, who was crowned under-18s' world champion at the Lyrical Dance Grand Prix.

As England reached the final of the Euros, tickets were like gold dust. But EuroMillions lottery millionaire Gareth Bull, a self-employed builder from Mansfield Woodhouse, auctioned off a spare one he had for the match against Italy, and raised £15,000 for charity. What’s more, he took the lucky winner, Kian Wright, 20, of Forest Town, with him in a private helicopter that flew from his garden to Wembley!

A vehicle smashed into the entrance of King’s Mill Hospital at Sutton in a frightening accident. Eyewitnesses Martin and Rachel Puddifer, who were visiting a relative in the hospital at the time, said: “We saw a commotion, and there was smashed glass everywhere.” Amazingly, no-one, including the driver, was injured.

In sport, veteran Mansfield boxer Steve Ward, 64, aimed to end his remarkable career by landing the World Legends Cruiserweight title against Romanian Adrian Parlogea. Ward, the oldest professional fighter in the world, said: “Apparently, the guy is called ‘The Bull’ and I’ve been told he’s coming for me. Well, tell him I’m the ‘Mansfield Matador’!” He duly knocked Parlogea out inside three rounds.


SEPTEMBER - Mansfield canoeist Charlotte Henshaw celebrates her gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Furious residents at Forest Town slammed developers Harron Homes for “a catalogue of errors” in the building of their new homes. One couple, Rachel and Matt Atkins, said a whole row of bricks was missing from their house. Others reported wonky windows and homes full of mould. Harron blamed the pandemic for the problems.

A flurry of interest was sparked among twitchers by the sighting of a bird, rarely seen in Nottinghamshire, on farmland near Wellow. The stone curlew, a striking crow-sized bird, had not been spotted in the county since 1891. Experts believed it must have overshot its nesting ground in Norfolk.

Sixteen-year-old Mansfield dancer Tilly Epton was crowned the under-18s’ world champion at the Lyrical Dance Grand Prix, staged online via Zoom. Tilly is a product of the Expressions Academy of Performing Arts (EPA) in the town. Mum Michelle said: “The pandemic has been really hard, but she stuck to her schedule and practised every day. This was a huge competition, and we are so proud of her.”

TV stardom was bestowed on non-league Mansfield football club, Sherwood Colliery, when their FA Cup, preliminary round match against Sheffield FC was chosen for live coverage by the BBC. Sheffield are the oldest football club in the world, but The Wood upset the applecart by beating them 2-1 to reach the first qualifying round for the first time in their history.


Panic-buying at the petrol pumps as fuel shortages were reported across the country, including in Mansfield and Ashfield. Drivers were caught in long queues for fuel, and many garages ran out in a crisis apparently caused by a shortage of HGV drivers. The Chad ran daily updates on which forecourts were open and had supplies.

A vision for the future was set out for Mansfield town centre. A 106-page document, produced by the district council, promised to transform the town into “a place to live and play”, complete with an indoor market and a garden square.

Sports clubs were devastated by a decision by the Manor Sport and Recreation Centre in Mansfield Woodhouse to stop hiring out outdoor pitches to the public. North Notts Hockey Club, which used the centre, warned it could go under because the nearest suitable alternative was as far away as Worksop.

Happier news in sport saw Mansfield’s Charlotte Henshaw win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Having switched from swimming to canoeing, the world champion won the KL2 kayak title, adding to silver and bronze medals she scooped in the pool at previous Paralympics.

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