Review of the year: part one
The New Year got off to a successful start for the Journal as, thanks to a huge response from our readers, we raised £25,001 for our St Nicholas Hospice Community Nurse Appeal. The appeal started with a bang when we smashed our original target of £10,000 thanks to a donation of £6,774 from Burwell company Delta-T Devices. Other donations included £325 from Scaltback Middle School and £1,200 from resident Ted Slaney, who raised the money by selling home-grown produce. The money was used to fund a community nurse for the Newmarket area.
One of racing headquarters’ longest-serving stable lads retired after 47 years in the sport. Brian Groves, 65, from Red Lodge, who spent nearly 30 years working for Sir Michael Stoute, was presented with a silver salver to commemorate his time at Freemason Lodge. Starting out in 1964, he worked with some of the yard’s top horses from 1,000 Guineas heroine Russian Rhythm to Breeders’ Cup Turf scorer Pilsudski.
Campaigners celebrated as work finally began on a new pedestrian crossing in Newmarket. Preparatory work for the new crossing, in Exning Road, started following a year-long campaign backed by the Journal, supported by Suffolk County Councillor Lisa Chambers, and spearheaded by local residents Mick Smith and Ian Bedford. Mr Smith launched the campaign after witnessing a near-miss on the busy road.
Newmarket’s history, including the royal palace of King Charles II and the origins of the racing industry, was featured in Channel 4’s programme, Time Team. The film crew carried out a three-day archaeological excavation at the site of Newmarket’s Palace House Mansion and Palace House Stables, dating back to the 1660s. The purpose of the visit was to try and discover whether the stables were some of the first racing stables in the world.
Four years of campaigning ended in victory when it was announced that the Secretary of State had rejected Lord Derby’s appeal to build 1,200 new homes at Hatchfield Farm. The decision followed a four-week-long planing inquiry. Protesters included the Save Historic Newmarket Action Group, the Jockey Club, Tattersalls, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin and Darley racing and breeding organisations, the Newmarket Trainers Federation, Newmarket Town Council and Forest Heath District Council.
Newmarket residents lined up to protest against Network Rail’s plans to close a footpath over the town’s railway line. More than 600 people signed a petition and protested at the crossing, between Cricket Field Road and Granary Road.
The Palace House Project won a £4.2million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to transform the derelict racing stable into a state-of-the-art centre. The project plans included the restoration of the stables to create a new home for the town’s racing museum and a gallery in Palace House mansion for the collections of the British Sporting Art Trust. The Home of Horseracing Trust was set up in 2006 to raise funds for the project.
It was announced that famous names from Newmarket’s illustrious racing past and present would be immortalised in paving slabs and wall plaques as part of the Legends of the Turf project. The project was spearheaded by Newmarket Town Councillor Keith Bovill, who hoped the project would tie in with the Home of Horseracing initiative.
The Princess Royal visited Newmarket to officially open Rous Memorial Court, a £1.8 million project by Racing Homes, the housing arm of charity Racing Welfare, to create 16 affordable flats for racing and stud staff. She chatted to guests and residents outside the development, loctaed in the Grade II listed former Rous Memorial Hospital. Princess Anne unveiled a commemorative plaque before making a speech about the importance of affordable homes.
Homeowners in Newmarket ended up knee-deep in water after the town’s main drain overflowed and flooded their houses. Homes in Sassoon Close were flooded when water from The Watercourse spilled into their street. Elsewhere, large sections of the Yellow Brick Road and the car park outside Ian Trethowan House became submerged.
There was jubilation in and around Newmarket as people celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with street parties, picnics, concerts, tree plantings, film showings and flags flying. The weather may not have been kind during the four days packed with events, but the rain failed to dampen the spirits of those determined to make the once-in-a-lifetime celebration one to remember. Newmarket Town Council organised a music event and Cinema Under the Stars in The Severals. There were village celebrations in Lakenheath, Dullingham, Gazeley, Bottisham, Wood Ditton, Burwell, Isleham and Beck Row, and beacons were lit in Dullingham, Wood Ditton, Kirtling, Isleham and Beck Row.
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Weather for Newmarket
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North