THIS year has seen lots of interesting, heartwarming and touching tales in Redditch.
Here are just a few from 2018:
IN JANUARY remarkable and inspirational Redditch-based soldier Major Sandy Hennis made history after completing a grueling three-month trek with the Antarctica Ice Maiden team.
The six Ice Maidens, all serving in the British Army or Army Reserve, were the first all-female team to use muscle power alone to ski coast-to-coast across Antarctica.
The team covered almost 1,700km, pulling sledges and battling temperatures of -50°C and wind speeds of more than 60mph during their journey.
They even spent Christmas Day on the ice, before crossing the finish line on Saturday (January 20).
IN FEBRUARY award-winning Redditch chippy The Golden Carp came oh so close to winning the top prize as the Best Chip Shop in England.
The Matchborough mecca for quality food was the pick of the Midlands at the awards ceremony but just missed out to overall winners Millers Fish and Chips of Haxby, York in the Seafood Awards.
However Golden Carp owner Theo Elinas said he was still happy with the fantastic achievement.
ALSO in February we did a story on a Redditch man who fulfilled his boyhood dream of joining the Army – at the ripe age of 46.
Ashley Stone succeeded against would-be recruits decades younger than himself as he became the oldest recruit to be accepted as a reservist into the local Redditch-based regiment – the Royal Signals.
To do it, he had to shed more than five stone in weight.
At the time he said: “It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but I did it and I’m just so proud.”
LATER on in the month a moving tribute was paid to a popular former employee at the Sainsbury’s store in Redditch.
More than 100 ex-colleages and customers gathered to give Vinnie Williams, who had worked for more than 20 years at the store retrieving trolleys, a great send off.
Vinnie passed away at the age of 77.
His final request wish for the funeral car to take him around the Redditch Sainsbury’s car park one last time.
IN MAY John Bonham, hailed as the greatest rock drummer there has ever been, was re-born in Mercian Square, Redditch.
On the dawn of his 70th birthday, a two and a half tonne cast bronze tribute to the Led Zeppelin drummer was placed in the heart of his home town.
The work of sculptor Mark Richards shows Bonham in full flow and hair a swirl as he beats out the rhythms which made the band famous.
A HEADLESS Cross resident was stunned in August after receiving a £800 council tax bill from Enfield Council (London) despite never living there.
Gary Moore also had letters from the bailiffs saying they would be attending his home if he was unable to cover the ‘debt’.
With the help of the Standard, Gary managed to get his bill waved and Enfield Council even issued him an apology.
IN OCTOBER a 23-year-old Redditch man said he was determined to live life to the full despite being told by doctors he has the same dementia gene that killed his mother.
Feckenham FC’s manager Jordan Adams, from Astwood Bank, decided to get checked out with his sister Kennedy, aged 25, following their mum’s early death from frontotemporal dementia in 2016.
Kennedy got the all clear earlier this year but Jordan wasn’t as lucky.
In a heart-warming twist, the Redditch community got together and managed to raise more than £10,000 for Jordan.