What a year it has been, 2013. A year of highs and lows.
The year that Nelson Mandela died. The year that Margaret Thatcher died.
The death of Mandela was mourned across the globe. Thatcher’s demise, however, attracted a much more mixed, and hostile reaction, not least here in Worksop.
Her policies decimated the coal industry here, so it was not surprising that many people around these parts were not sorry to see her shuffle off this mortal coil.
This was also the year that saw Worksop’s first Food Bank open. A very depressing sign of the times. The financial crisis may have started five years ago now, but its affects are still being felt by virtually every household, with many struggling to make ends meet.
Personally, the local event that stands out most in my mind from 2013 is the tragic death of Glen Kitchens in April. An innocent man whose life was needlessly cut short by a teenage thug in a mindless act of violence. It was an incident that shocked the whole town and I hope we never see its like again.
But it was not all bad news this year, there was also much to cheer about. In April, people power won out and EMAS scrapped a plan to close Worksop ambulance station, after 19,000 local people signed a petition.This is real democracy at work and shows what can be achieved when so many people feel so strongly about something.
Plans for Worksop’s new £3.2 million bus station continued to move along this year, and it’s positive to see continued investment in the town and its facilities.
Next year looks like being just as eventful, with a number of special anniversaries coming up.
Next year will mark 30 years since the beginning of the Miners’ Strike, and 20 years since Manton pit was closed. Thatcher’s legacy.
July 2014 will also see the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, probably the most horrific conflict in human history.
Finally, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support this year, and would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and prosperous 2014.