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.
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 April to June.
Shoppers flocked to town centres in Mansfield, Sutton and Kirkby as lockdown measures were eased at last. There was a real buzz in the air after months of misery. Rachel Richards, owner of the Toffee Hut in Mansfield, summed up the mood by saying: “It’s been a hard slog, but we’re raring to go now.”
Good news too for 26-year-old entrepreneur Harry Squires. When he was furloughed from his job as a tradesman, he started selling his unwanted clothes online. It went so well that he set up his own business and opened a new vintage clothing shop on West Gate, Mansfield.
Meanwhile, a last-ditch bid was launched by mum Claire Hannah to save a Mansfield-based charity, Double Impact, that helps recovering drink and drug addicts. Claire, 36, a former addict herself, set out to raise £50,000 for the lifeline organisation.
Firefighters from five stations rushed to deal with a major blaze at Lane End Allotments near the King’s Mill Farm pub at Sutton. Residents’ homes were protected, leading to a host of messages of praise and thanks on Facebook.
The historic haberdashery shop, Sally Twinkle, in Mansfield town centre was saved from closure. After trading for 55 years, its future had been thrown into doubt when owner David Marriott announced his retirement. But a buyer was found at the last minute.
Tears and happy memories flowed among staff and customers as the closure of the iconic Debenhams store marked the end of a shopping era in Mansfield. The store, which opened 45 years ago, was once fondly regarded as “the Harrods of north Nottinghamshire”. Long-standing employee Julie Howe said: “The closure is devastating. It is unbelievable it has come to this.”
Happier news in sport because Selston swimmer Molly Renshaw was crowned European 200m breaststroke champion at the European Championships in Budapest. She clocked the best time of her life and broke the British record in racing to gold. She said: “I knew I had more in the tank. I just tried to be brave.”
It was announced that Mansfield's Rosemary Centre is set to be demolished and replaced with a new retail development, including a Lidl supermarket, as part of a significant facelift for that area of the town. Plans had already been given the green light for a hotel on the neighbouring former bus station site.
Also on the planning front, a scheme is unveiled for 850 properties, including homes, a hotel, a business park, shops, a care home and a petrol station, on 346 acres of land at Pleasley Hill Far, to the north of Mansfield.
An innovative £2 million unit, aimed at speeding up emergency care, was opened at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton. The unit will enable staff to see patients inside one day and so free up beds on wards for the more seriously ill.
Mansfield Town fans were excited by three summer signings, including former Republic Of Ireland international midfielder Stephen Quinn, who won an FA Cup finalist’s medal with Hull City in 2014. Quinn is joined by giant striker Oli Hawkins, formerly of Ipswich Town and Portsmouth, and young on-loan goalkeeper George Shelvey from Nottingham Forest.