THE NEW year got off to a freezing start as an Arctic blast swept across the region, bringing with it blizzards and plummeting temperatures.
With people attempting to make their way back to work after the holidays, roads were left impassable by snow and pavements were made lethal by sheet ice as the Pocklington and Market Weighton area were among two of the worst-hit in the region.
In some rural areas, people reported that temperatures in their vehicles dropped down to -10c. East Riding Council once again came under fire with people claiming gritting services have been inadequate.
In a letter to the Post, Mrs Beckett of Pocklington said: “Where is East Riding Council when you need them?
“I have not seen a single gritter, snowplough or anyone putting salt down. What are we paying our council tax for? If we were to refuse to pay up each year they would soon be shouting.”
MARKET Weighton soldier Ben Bainbridge was seriously injured on patrol in Afghanistan.
Private Bainbridge suffered severe flesh injuries and broken bones in an explosion in Helmand Province.
The 18-year-old was recovering in Birmingham where he was in intensive care for five days following the incident on 7 January.
He underwent a series of operations and was moved to a specialist rehabilitation centre for service men and women.
Private Bainbridge, a member of the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards), is a former Market Weighton School pupil and grew up in Holme-on-Spalding Moor.
He was on the second half of his first tour of duty when the incident happened.
Andrew Tripp, his stepfather, said at the time: “He was on a ventilator when he came back, he was quite seriously injured. He’s coming along well but he still has a way to go.”
After his time in intensive care, Pte Bainbridge was moved to a ward with other soldiers. He has had a series of operations on a broken leg and skin grafts.
Mr Tripp said: “At first we didn’t know if he was going to make it, but he’s progressing.
“There’s still some time to go but everything is heading in the right direction. They are doing a very, very good job at the hospital, they keep assessing things. The hospital staff are brilliant, everything revolves around getting the soldiers better, there’s no skimping, they are looking after them very well.”
He was later moved to Headley Court in Surrey for physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
A SUPERMARKET company was given the green light to build a multi-million pound store in Pocklington.
Discount firm Aldi had its application put before East Riding Council planners where the blueprint was approved.
The firm expressed its delight at the decision. A spokesman for the German-based company said: “Aldi is delighted the committee decided to approve this application.
“This significant investment offers considerable regeneration benefits by providing new jobs for local people, reusing a prominent vacant site, retaining and repairing the on-site listed building and enhancing the appearance of the adjoining conservation area.
“There has been considerable local support registered for this proposal from the community.
“Aldi would like to thank the hundreds of residents who took the time to send both Aldi and the council supportive comments and feedback about the scheme.”
Aldi has become one of the fastest growing supermarket chains in Britain with one store opening every week.
Selling its own brand products, which are often cheaper than the equivalent items in other supermarkets, it is suggested that thousands of shoppers have turned to discount food stores during the recent recession.
The Post exclusively reported in May last year that Aldi was looking to invest £4 million on a store on the old Northwolds Printers Ltd building on Robertson Close.
During the planning meeting, a second application was also approved to demolish the necessary buildings on the site, as well as the old Bond’s Garage site nearby.
POCKLINGTON breathed a sigh of relief this week after it was finally announced that parking charges were set to be shelved.
East Riding Council’s parking review panel, which went public with its controversial proposals this time last year, will recommend that the council scrap the idea for the near future at least.
It came after a campaign by the Post to keep parking free, which culminated in a protest march through the town in May last year when hundreds of people took to the streets to demonstrate.
The Post designed logos and posters and ran a petition form in the newspaper and on its website.
As well as parking remaining free in Pocklington, Stamford Bridge and other proposed towns and villages, East Riding Council’s parking panel are backing calls for reduced charges in areas of the region where pay and display already exists and even a free ‘first half-hour’ in others.
Chairman, Councillor Felicity Temple, said that the decisions were taken, in part, because of the recession and the public’s response.
The proposals caused huge controversy last year when East Riding Council announced they were looking to create a fair parking payment system across the region.
As part of the plans, Pocklington’s three long-stay car parks on West Green and Station Road could have seen pay and display introduced, as well as the long-stay area at Stamford Bridge.
The backlash across the whole county resulted in nearly 41,000 signatures attached to several protest petitions, including one set up by the Post.
Shopkeepers felt it would kill trade and send shoppers to retail parks where parking is predominantly free.
They felt those who would come to the town would then clog side streets and residential areas to avoid paying.
LITTLE Lia Grainger had an unusual welcome to the world – delivered by her father in a car parked alongside Wilberfoss Beck, instead of in the labour ward at York District Hospital.
Lia was born a week ago during the morning rush hour when her parents had to pull off the A1079, park at the side of the road, and deliver her.
Her father Neil Grainger acted as midwife as Michelle Codling, her mother, sat in the front seat of their car and Lia was born two minutes later.
Neil said: “It will definitely be something to tell her when she’s older. The start of her life was hectic – you can’t top that.”
The Pocklington couple had woken at about 7am when Michelle was having contractions.
Michelle rang the midwifery team but was reassured that as the contractions did not appear regular there was no need to rush to the hospital. So the family prepared for the trip to hospital, packing the car and getting Alannah, Lia’s five-year-old sister, ready for school.
Neil, 33, said: “We set off to go to York District at about 8.15am, Michelle’s waters broke while we were travelling down the A1079 and then I remember her shouting ‘it’s coming, it’s coming!’ So I had to turn into Wilberfoss and rang the ambulance.
“It just happened so fast and was over in a couple of minutes, it took two minutes from pulling over to her having the baby.
Neil, 33, said: “The overnight bag was in the car so I was getting towels to keep Michelle and the baby warm. Luckily the ambulance came about ten minutes after.”
Lia was born at 8.35am. She was born seven days before her due date and weighed 6lb 7oz. The family brought her back from hospital the same day. They said she was settling in well and appears unaffected by her speedy arrival.
A SEVEN-MILE stretch of the notorious A1079 was transformed into a 50mph zone.
Part of the route between Barmby Moor and Sutton Lane End was already a reduced speed area and the zone was increased.
The new stretch started on the outskirts of Wilberfoss, before the junction with the A1079 at the western end of the village, and continues east to the edge of Hayton, where traffic becomes restricted to 40mph through the village.
Signs for the new speed limit were already in place.
Two people were killed last year on the route, within what will now become the larger restricted zone.
On 25 November Audrey Prince, 83, was hit by a vehicle travelling on the A-road near Barmby Moor. She is believed to have been trying to cross the road to get to her home in the village after getting off a bus.
Nona Diane Clark, who was in her 70s and from Newton-upon-Derwent, was killed on the A1079 near Wilberfoss on 14 December.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council said the new zone was in response to government policy and they had been reviewing speed zones on all roads in their area for a number of years.
A BRAVE girl who was given just a 50/50 chance of surviving a deadly brain infection has made a miracle recovery.
Rachel Swales had been a normal, happy 12-year-old until she was struck down by life-threatening abscesses on her brain.
The Stamford Bridge youngster had two emergency operations to remove the affected areas, was put into a drug-induced coma for several days as her life hung in the balance and could then only blink and move her right arm after she awoke.
Doctors said she would be in hospital for at least six months and that progress would be slow and steady.
But the plucky Woldgate College pupil surprised everybody by leaving hospital after just seven weeks, having taken her first steps once she regained some strength in her legs.
In April, she was gearing up for a sponsored walk next week in which she attempted to tackle a mile between her home village and Gate Helmsley.
Rachel’s incredible story started before Christmas when she was struck by a common cold. This led onto sinusitis –inflammation of the sinuses that can cause intense cold symptoms such as a blocked nose, headaches and a sore throat.
In the majority of cases, the affects are not serious, but on very rare occasions the infection can spread to the bones of the face or the membranes lining the brain.
Rachel’s mother realised she had contracted sinusitis, but it was not until her health worsened that she realised it was far more serious than she first thought.
She fell unconscious and had an emergency operation to drain fluid from her brain. A second operation was performed days later to remove abscesses from the brain. She spent 12 days in intensive care, during which time her parents were told to “prepare for the worst”. However, she began to make progress.
FURTHER flood disasters could be averted in Pocklington in future – after more than 300 tonnes of gravel was removed from the town’s drainage system.
Workmen spent a month clearing culverts which were blamed for the huge flood disaster of June 2007 causing over £2million in damage.
An in-depth study by flood expert Peter Kite found that the tunnels were partially blocked, causing rain water to back up and spill overground.
The Environment Agency (EA) spent £75,000 on the work.
A spokesman for the EA said: “They are now into their fifth week and so far they have removed 215 tonnes of gravel, with another 100 expected.
“The work being done significantly increases the capacity of the water than can pass through the culverts. There is more research to be done into how much benefit it will have but we are confident it will reduce the risk of flooding.
Clearing firm Aquajet were contracted out for the job and have been working from various points in the town, gaining access to the culverts through manhole covers.
The main areas have included London Bridge, Betterton Court, outside Co-op on Market Street and St Peter’s Square.
A POCKLINGTON woman celebrated after winning more than £25,000 worth of prizes in a television phone-in competition.
Jessica Reed entered the competition on ITV’s This Morning and won a brand new Fiat 500, £25,000, an all-inclusive holiday for a family four to Sicily and her mortgage or rent paid for a year.
She said: “I never thought I would win, Iam really chuffed, it’s absolute madness.I thought surely the prizes are going to be split but they all came to me, I couldn’t believe it.”
Jessica said she had not yet decided what she was going to spend the money on - especially as she now does not need a new car or luxury holiday - but gave the mortgage payment to her family. Despite winning a car, she cannot drive but said she was now motivated to get her licence.
The 22-year-old said: “I’m going to be sensible with the money although I’ve got the travel bug after going travelling a few years ago so I would like to put some
“I’ve kept putting off getting my driving licence but at the start of the year I said I was going to learn this year - I’ve definitely got the incentive now!”
Jessica, who works at a travel agency in York, said she’s normally out of the house when daytime television is on so it was a fluke she had entered.
She was at home recuperating after an operation.
OVER 1,079 extra homes could be built in Pocklington over the next 15 years with potential sites outlined by East Riding Council.
No fewer than 14 sites are earmarked for possible development as part of the council’s Local Development Framework (LDF) to tackle what they see as “key planning issues” in the region.
This could include homes being built on the sports field between Francis Scaife and Pocklington Cricket Club, West Green and other areas on the outskirts of the town including Yapham Road, behind Broadmanor, and a huge site behind Woldgate College. There are also plans for the rugby club site, which could be relocated to the edge of town.
These new homes would be additional to 135 proposed homes in the town that already have planning permission.
Other towns and villages have also been pencilled in, with East Riding Council claiming Market Weighton needs 710 extra homes in the next 15 years. These include sites close to the town centre such as land east of Aspen Close, south of Market Place and the allotments gardens off Hawling Road.
A BICYCLE shop owner and his wife were millionaires for four days before realising they had hit the National Lottery jackpot.
Neil and Lesley Dexter, from Barmby Moor, won more than £3.6m in the draw last Wednesday.
Mr Dexter runs Wheelie’s on the A1079 at Wilberfoss and Mrs Dexter is a school administrator at Woldgate College.
Both said they would keep working.
So far they have splashed out on a new van and pick-up for the business and future spending plans include a new house, a holiday to Australia and a new horse box. They said the money would also mean they could help 23-year-old daughter, Samantha, and a son Gareth, 22.
Mr Dexter, 50, a regular lottery player bought six Lucky Dip tickets for the Wednesday draw at Wilberfoss village shop. But he failed to check the winning numbers until Saturday.
He had no idea of the family’s windfall until he got the tickets checked at a Pocklington newsagent.
Mr Dexter said the Danby’s staff member was grinning at him as the tickets ran through the lottery machine coming back as not winners – part of the banter they usually shared, but when he got to the fourth ticket his face changed.
Mr Dexter realised he had no idea what numbers he had matched so he went back into the newsagents and got the numbers printed out.
“I saw I’d obviously got four numbers, then I was ‘hang on a minute, that‘s five, and then I realised I had six – the van was rocking.”
A LANDLORD was told to remove benches from outside his pub because of health and safety issues, despite them being there for over 100 years.
Steve Vaughan from the Cross Keys in Pocklington was gobsmacked when he received a visit from an East Riding Council officer saying he would need to apply for a pavement licence, or remove the three wooden picnic tables from outside the front of his Market Street venue.
Because of the technical nature of the applications, and the costs involved, Mr Vaughan decided to rip the secured benches out. But he admits he is confused as to why the benches had only just become a problem.
He said: “I think the big issue is health and safety, but nobody has ever had an accident so why have they come to me now?
“There are other places around town who have tables and chairs, it would be interesting to know if they all have a licence. This is probably the widest part of the street as well.
“It’s annoying to an extent. It’s lost all the character from the front of the pub, the benches have always been there. I have looked into this and have found photos from the early 1900s and the benches were there then.
“Elderly people have been coming up to me and saying they remember them when they were young.
“It now just looks bare and it’s not as though they were ugly, I’m out there every morning sweeping up.”