Welwyn Hatfield Times review of 2011 - October

PUBLISHED: 14:14 29 December 2011 | UPDATED: 14:17 29 December 2011

Relatives and friends gather at the unveiling of the memorial bench to Ralph Parkes-Pfeil

Relatives and friends gather at the unveiling of the memorial bench to Ralph Parkes-Pfeil

Archant

2011 was another action-packed year across Times Territory. Here, the Welwyn Hatfield Times looks back at some of the highlights of October.

* Hundreds of people put on their running shoes for the Willow Foundation 10K in October.

The event, in aid of the Old Hatfield-based charity set up by former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson and wife Megs, raised more than £4,000.

And it was a memorable day for first place male David Hobbs and female Laura Cowley.

* Sporting excellence also saw a former Potters Bar winger Nathan Smith get an international call-up with Jamaica – the country of his grandparents.

WGC golfer Tom Lewis also had a good year, following his amazing exploits in The Open, while still an amateur.

In October, not long after turning pro, the 20-year-old landed his first title – the Portugal Masters.

* Turning to the world of politics, October saw elections in Poland.

And, despite Warsaw being more than 1,000 miles from Hatfield, the town’s sizeable Polish community still had their say.

They cast their votes at Hatfield Fire Station in the General Election.

And also on matters European, MP Grant Shapps voted with the Government on an issue which saw the Prime Minister face an unprecedented rebellion, over calls for a referendum on EU membership.

* A war hero was honoured with a memorial bench in WGC town centre.

The unveiling of the seat, in memory of Battle of the Atlantic veteran Ralph Parkes-Pfeil, saw his widow Robin and other friends and family attend the ceremony in Howardsgate.

* Fine dining was once again on the menu as Brocket Hall restaurant Auberge du Lac retained its Michelin star, to the delight of proud executive chef Phil Thompson.

* The WHT was thrust to the top of the media agenda as our scoop about Arsenal striker Robin van Persie selling his £1.4m pad in Goffs Oak sparked rumours he was set to quit the Gunners.

The story was mentioned on Match of the Day 2, talkSPORT and by the Dutchman himself in his own programme notes, where he moved to reassure fans that while he was selling up, he was staying with the club.

* Jerk sauce entrepreneur Levi Roots breezed in to the University of Hertfordshire.

The guitar-twanging condiment king was on hand to advise students on starting their own businesses.

And the affable Mr Roots wasn’t the only star turn at the Hatfield-based uni.

Students got the chance to meet chart-topper Example, as BBC Radio 1 DJs Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe broadcast live from the Forum Hertfordshire.

* Visitors of a different kind were spotted in WGC as resident Stephen Clementson spoke of his repeated UFO and ghost sightings in the town.

* Come back later tomorrow for more in our review of the year.

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