Oh what a great year that was . . .

Happy again: Allan Wilson and Kipper. Photo: SG040112-114NG
Happy again: Allan Wilson and Kipper. Photo: SG040112-114NG
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A review of the first six months of 2012.


Overjoyed toddler Grace Knighton (3) started the New Year on a new trike bought by the Lincolshire Free Press Children’s Fund.

It meant the cerebral palsy sufferer, from Whaplode Drove, could enjoy rides alongside her twin, Megan.

Their mum, Helen, said: “Grace loves her trike. Thank you so much.”

Relieved dog owner Allan Wilson was reunited with his best friend, three-year-old Kipper, within a few hours of an appeal going out in The Lincolnshire Free Press.

Allan, of Chestnut Avenue, Spalding, feared his beloved pet had been stolen for a Christmas gift after he disappeared from outside The Ivy Wall, in Westlode Street.

Someone had spotted Kipper tied by his lead to a lamppost and he was cared for by an animal shelter until our story appeared.

We revealed talks were under way to re-develop Spalding’s Sir Halley Stewart Field by building shops on the site.

Michael Moran, who looks after the British investments of retail specialists Corbo, hinted at a major retail development that could include a new supermarket and big name chains.

Tulips chairman Chris Toynton confirmed the club was “in dialogue” with the developers.


Police investigating an 11-hour armed siege at Sutton St James confirmed a police officer had been shot and a bullet found in his mouth.

The officer was treated and discharged from Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital the same day.

The stand-off at a house in Chapelgate ended when Barry Horspool (61) was found dead in an upstairs room.

Pancake fans raised more than £170 for Bourne Abbey Church.

Organiser Judy Smith worked her way through 48 eggs and two large bags of flour to cook for all-comers.

A pancake race was part of the fun and William Ravens (7) was the winner.

Courageous Christine Seymour (60) relived the hell of a frenzied attack by her housemate Andrzej Chranowski who tore a deep wound in her chest and threatened to rip out her heart.

As her assailant was jailed for 18 years, Christine recalled the one thought going through her mind at the time of the attack was: “I don’t want to die.”

She said: “I have lived in Spalding all of my life and before this happened I wasn’t afraid of anything.”


Spalding traders were pushing for a drinking byelaw to ban alcohol from Spalding town centre.

The move was supported by local police and Sgt Stuart Brotherton said he would back any action that would eradicate street drinking.

He said: “In the meantime, we must continue working on the DPPO (designated public place order), consider signage and consider those who are not aware in our community that anti-social drinking is not permitted in that red line area.”

There was an outcry after a Spalding student attacked a bus inspector who was suffering from leukaemia.

Edward Cabot (67) was punched in the face outside the Sir John Gleed School boys’ campus.

Police gave a teenager an “official” telling off, but incensed Norfolk Green bus company bosses were considering a private prosecution.

Spalding’s £6.5 million Red Lion Quarter was expected to be fully transferred to Boston College within a matter of weeks.

With the transfer came a promise from South Holland District Council that the building would no longer be a burden on the taxpayer.

Council deputy leader Nick Worth said: “We will have a lot of young and older people coming into the town centre – we will have our own college here.”

A warts and all report the same month laid bare a catalogue of mistakes made by the council over the planning and running if Red Lion Quarter.


A four-year-old boy and his friends were hailed as heroes after raising the alarm when a fire could have sparked tragedy.

Conner White dashed to get help after he and his friends Cornell Williams (6), Mckenzie Williams (8) and Taylor Nelson (8) noticed smoke coming from an outhouse.

Their quick-thinking actions meant the fire was stopped from spreading into Conner’s home in Delgate Avenue, Weston.

Spalding’s Victoria Street car park was unveiled as a possible future green space if Holland Market and the Sir Halley Stewart Field are re-developed with shops.

Coun Gary Porter said: “I will be calling for the council to give its backing to further exploration of the idea of turning the car park into a formal urban public park.

“I have always said that if the Holland Market development goes ahead it needs to work for all of the people of South Holland.”

We revealed drivers had coughed up more than £214,000 in ten months after being caught by the A151 road safety camera at Whaplode.

That made it the county’s second top earning camera with 3,577 speeding drivers “snapped” between June 30 2011 and April 10, 2012.

Road safety officials pointed out that the new 30mph speed limit, together with traffic calming, had cut the number of crashes in the village from nine to a little over two a year.

Almost all cash earned by cameras goes to the Government through fixed penalty or court fines.


A retired Whaplode couple had their worst fears confirmed when they returned from holiday and found out their home had been burgled.

The couple, of Churchgate, feared they were a target for burglars after finding footprints in their flowerbeds just four days before going away.

Their suspicions were reported to the police but family members were still waiting for them when they got back to break the bad news.

This year’s Spalding Flower Parade missed the torrential rain that threatened to put a dampener on the event as a magnificent array of floats lined town centre streets.

A crowd estimated to be between 35,000 to 40,000 strong were able to sit or stand in sunshine as they enjoyed the 54th edition of the parade which was headed by 2012 Flower Queen Amy Harrison.

Children in fancy dress, bands, vintage cyclists from Long Sutton and District Veteran Cycle Club and even a giant red lobster added colour to the town’s annual day out.

Multi-million pound plans for a new energy-efficient development at Long Sutton Butterfly and Wildlife Park were unveiled, the biggest of a number of green projects planned for the area.

The park would be replaced by 87 eco-homes, with solar panels fitted to each roof, 14 10 kilowatt microturbines, allotments and an orchard from the existing park.

Dr Jerry Harrall, the architect who drew up the plans, said: “It’s now to,e to recognise that we need inward investment into our district and market towns from business owners and entrepreneurs.”


Protesters against a wind farm in West Pinchbeck welcomed a landmark High Court ruling which put preserving the countryside above the Government’s “green” targets.

Mrs Justice Lang made the comments after rejecting planning permission for a wind farm near Great Yarmouth, on the edge of the Norfolk Broads.

Sue Blake, spokeswoman for Stop West Pinchbeck Wind Farm Action Group, said the judge ruled that “villagers’ rights to preserve their landscape was more important than the Government’s renewable energy targets.”

The owners of one of Spalding worst eyesores were contemplating the possibility of having to sell the site unless they cleaned up their act.

South Holland District Council wrote to the owners of the former Bull and Monkie pub in Churchgate ordering them to secure after lying derelict for a number of years.

Plans by British Virgin Islands-based company Crispen Holdings to convert the site into a care home for sufferers of Alzheimer’s Disease had to be shelved because of the economic downturn, leading to the former pub falling into even worse disrepair.

A security guard had a lucky escape after a tornado tore through Long Sutton, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The solar park guard was in his caravan on the neighbouring Butterfly and Wildlife Park when the freak wind blew it over before it ended up slamming against a fence.

The guard was taken to Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, with suspected internal injuries caused by items falling on him inside the caravan, including a fridge.