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Croydon in 2012: Headlines in January

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THIS is the first of our 12-part series looking back at the news stories that shaped Croydon in 2012. We'll be looking back at ten of the most popular articles for each month of the year, as well as looking at 2012 in pictures via our most popular photo galleries, and seeing which items attracted the most comments. The stories that follow are not necessarily listed in order of most-read.
  1. One of the most popular stories of the month was this one, about a new tram arriving from Germany under police escort. Desmond FitzGerald rushed out of his home on Franklin Way at about 9.20pm to take pictures. "With the police and the flashing lights it was quite dramatic," he told the Croydon Advertiser. "It's so iconic – it brings a whole new future to the service." Six months later, London Mayor Boris Johnson posed with a tram emblazoned 'Crystal Palace', but he was criticised in December after it emerged he'd failed to back the Tramlink extension despite it appearing in his manifesto.
  2. Thousands of people read an emotional tribute to Purley chef Kevin Boyle, whose body was found in Coulsdon. Kevin, who was 26, had been reported missing in October, and his friends and family had been searching for him ever since. The talented chef was described by his sister Naomi as a kind, generous and thoughtful man, who cared deeply for those around him. Kevin's mother Patti has been campaigning with a group of mothers affected by suicide, and described depression as a 'cancer' of the mind, body and spirit.
  3. A few days after the start of the New Year, it emerged Nestle was planning to leave the borough. Nestle, which was the town's biggest private employer, moved to Crawley and the Park Lane offices were bought by Legal & General, with 300 flats planned for the site. Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced it was closing in June, with the loss of 200 jobs, weeks after 150-year-old business Allders Allders went into administration. Concerns were raised over how the borough's economy would cope after losing major employers.
  4. Dougie Freedman's column before Crystal Palace took on Cardiff in the Carling Cup semi-final. The Welsh side went through on penalties after an own goal from Anthony Gardner. Steve Parish later said referee Howard Webb's decision to send off skipper Paddy McCarthy had cost Crystal Palace a place in the final.
  5. Also popular in January was a story about Croydon traveller Alexander Thompson, who wrote a book to 'end the big fat gypsy lies'. Mr Thompson, who had appeared in Channel 4 programme My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, said he wanted to challenge the stigma faced by members of his community.
  6. At the end of the month, Croydon missed the worst of the snow which hit much of the UK, experiencing only a light dusting.
  7. A man died after being hit by a train at Norbury station. The man was later named as 46-year-old Kamaljit Ryatt from Walthamstow. His death was not treated as suspicious. click here for details of how anyone in distress can contact the Samaritans.
  8. January was also the month when Croydon Council gave permission for a 55-storey skyscraper, Britain's tallest residential building, to be built in the borough. Construction on One Lansdowne Road, a £350million development with a 217-bedroom hotel, 397 flats, 13 floors of office space and a health club, is to begin early in 2013.
  9. The Croydon Advertiser also covered the story of Jenny Dampreh, who had to be taken to A&E after a routine bikini wax went horribly wrong. The 28-year-old mother of two said the experience had been more painful than childbirth.
  10. Finally, pictures of a Carshalton school were also popular. The structure of Stanley Park High, on Damson Way, was conceived by head teacher David Taylor after trips to America and Denmark for inspiration.

    Croydon in 2012: Headlines in January


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