Review of the Year - 2021

Review of the Year – 2021

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


And so, the end of another year has arrived, this year has been fully of optimism, disappointment and more Covid talk than I think anybody had hoped at the end of the last year.

The year began in the usual way with Big Ben chiming his bongs still shrouded in scaffolding, and then the usual New Year celebration fireworks were replaced by a fireworks, light and drone show designed for the TV as London was in Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions at the turn of the year. The display was heavily criticised for the BLM fist that was made from the lasers. Different it was, but still fireworks to welcome in the new year! Of course, the ‘event’ in London followed those that had already occurred in the time zones to the east, for example at L’Arc de Triomphe, France and before that in Marina Bay, Dubai and even earlier at the Sydney Opera House. With many more Covid secure celebrations to occur later in the western time zones namely Times Square.

Here in the UK many television sets tuned into the BBC’s The Big New Year’s In a show hosted by Paddy McGuiness and Maya Jama. This entertainment show was designed to entertain the nation while they were all stuck indoors under restrictions for Covid. The evening was then taken over by Alicia Keys Rocks New Years Eve, in which Alicia Keys sang some of her hits and brought in the New Year with the usual musical theme.

January

I do solemnly swear that I will support
and defend the Constitution of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I take this obligation freely,
without any mental reservation or
purpose of evasion;
and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office
 on which I am about to enter:
So help me God.

The US Inauguration Oath

The first famous death of the year came on the 3rd with the death of Gerry and The Pacemakers front man, Gerry Marsden. Gerry was best known for Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey and his version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s You’ll Never Walk Alone. Which became the anthem to Liverpool FC, and Celtic amongst others.

The 4th saw the first AstraZeneca vaccine given to 82-year-old Brian Pinker from Oxford.

Also on the 4th, Boris Johnson made a TV announcement, which brought in another Lockdown in England until March 31st! when this was debated in the House of Commons it was approved by 524 votes to 16.

On the 6th there was a joint session of the 117th United States Congress, which was the final step in confirming that Joe Biden had won the US Presidential election over the incumbent President Donald J Trump. During the debate on Arizona’s votes rioters in support of Donald Trump attacked the Capitol building. In regards, to what the rioters wanted, they failed, the vote was not overturned, and Joe Biden was confirmed as the President-Elect. However, what the rioters did cause was the death of 5 people, with 5 people hospitalised and numerous people injured.

On the same day in the UK, formal examinations were cancelled for all school age children at the end of the school year because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Her Majesty, The Queen and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh received their Covid vaccine on the 9th of January.

Continuing with the Covid-19 theme, and the 15th saw the number of people who had died globally from Covid passed the 2 million mark!

President Joe Biden at his inauguration

Over in America, the 20th saw the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden. President Biden became the oldest President at the age of 78 years and 61 days, which is older than Ronald Reagan was when he left the office of President! President Biden became the first President from Delaware, and only the second Catholic President following in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy. He is the 15th former Vice-President to become President. Prior to the New President being sworn in, Vice-President Kamala Harris was sworn in, having resigned her seat in the Senate as constitution requires. Kamala Harris became the first woman to hold a nationally elected office, the first African-American and the first Asian-American Vice-President.

The 23rd of the month saw the death of American Television and Radio broadcaster Larry King. During his career Larry had held over 50,000 interviews and had won 2 Peabody’s, an Emmy and 10 Cable ACE awards.

The 26th saw the worldwide cases of Covid-19 hit 100 million.

February

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark

Rogers and Hammerstein

Captain Sir Tom Moore

February started with the sad news of the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Captain Tom had come the nations attention during the previous spring when he had pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden to raise money for NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his birthday, the 30th of April. By the morning of his birthday, Captain Tom had raised over £30 million, the overall total is expected to have been £39 million with tax rebates etc.  Not only did Captain Tom raise money for a very good cause, through his long life he had served his country in India and the Burma campaign during World War II. He was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in person on the 17th of July last year and died in hospital at the age of 100 on the 2nd of February.

Over in America, Super Bowl LV took place on the 7th, and it was won by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 31 – 9 over the Kansas City Chiefs.

On the 18th excitement at NASA built as they received confirmation that their latest mission had successfully landed on the Martian surface in a crater called Jezero. On the spaceship was a Martian rover Perseverance and a helicopter Ingenuity. The mission is to explore the Martian surface for signs of historical life. The craft had taken 203 days to reach Mars after its launch from the Earth. By the end of the year Perseverance will have spent 316 days on the surface of Mars.

Johnny Briggs

Following his Inauguration, one of the first things President Biden did was sign an executive order to re-join the Paris Agreement, doing a U-turn of policy for the US Government after the previous President, Donald Trump had pulled the country out of the agreement. The official re-joining of the country took place on the 19th of February.

In the middle of February, 2 milestones occurred with Covid-19. The first, on the 22nd, being that the United States became the first country to pass 500,000 deaths from the virus, meanwhile just 3 days later the world death toll hit 2.5 million.

We end our review of February, as we began and that is with the death of a famous person. On the 28th the death of Johnny Briggs hit the news. Johnny will be fondly remembered by many for his time on the ITV Soap Coronation Street, where he played the lovable rogue and factory owner Mike Baldwin. He did however take on a plethora of roles, including several in the Carry On series of films and also played the Open Truck Driver in Bless This House. Johnny Passed away at the age of 85.

March

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalm 23

Ian St. John

The 1st of March saw the death of footballer, pundit, and presenter Ian St. John at the age of 82 years old, he was the first of the TV duo Saint and Greavsie to die this year. During his career Ian St. John played as a striker for Motherwell, Liverpool, and Coventry amongst others, before going on to manage Motherwell and Portsmouth. He played 21 times for his country and scored 9 goals. Besides his footballing career, St. John spent his Saturday afternoons on the televisions of people up and down the country, presenting Saint and Greavsie between 1985 and 1992.

On the 6th The Pope became the first Pope to meet the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, Iraq. Together the pair released a joint statement against religious extremism.

Trevor Peacock as Jim Trott

It was with sadness that the world had to say goodbye to another resident of Dibley on the 8th of March as we heard the news of the death of Trevor Peacock. Trevor played the role of Jim Trott in The Vicar of Dibley. Jim is famous for answering simple questions with the repetition of the word ‘no’. However, it is important to note that Trevor was also a screenwriter and song writer during his career. He passed away at the age of 89.

Murray Walker commentating

March also saw the death of the much loved, and still referred to as, The Voice of Formula 1 Murray Walker. Murray had been around speed and racing his entire life, whether it be truck racing, bikes, or cars. Murray was famous for his unique style, always standing while commentating. He was famous amongst his peers for meticulously researching facts on the tracks, and the drivers and then updating and researching ahead of the next event. He had one of those voices that was instantly recognisable. During his commentaries he would often gaffes which became to be known as murrayisms! For example:

‘The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical.’ and
‘That’s history. I say history because it happened in the past.’

Murray will always be remembered for his line in Suzuka, in 1996 as Damon Hill crossed the line to win the World Championship, Murray stated, ‘And I have to stop, as I have a lump in my throat’. RIP Murray at the age of 97.

On the 25th of March the number of vaccines that had be administered against Covid-19 exceeded 500 million.

The following day, saw the crowning of this year’s 6 Nations Rugby champions, and this year it went to the team in red, Wales. Congratulations to Wales.

April

But when you touch me like this
And you hold me like that
I just have to admit
That it’s all coming back to me

Jim Steinman

HRH Prince Philip

The first event that we start our review of April 2021 with is the sad news of the death of the longest Royal Consort in British History, HRH The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. We wrote an article back in April on the life and times of Prince Philip, you can read it:

https://thetrainingfox.co.uk/hrh-the-prince-philip-duke-of-edinburgh/

We thank Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for his service to our country and the commonwealth.

This year’s Grand National winner at Aintree was Minella Times rode by Rachael Blackmore, becoming the first horse to be ridden by a female jockey to win the race. The horse one the race by 6 and a half lengths and had odds of 11/1 to win.

 

As you will have figured, Covid-19 ran through this year just like it did last year, unfortunately 3 million deaths worldwide mark was crossed on the 17th of April.

The football world hit the headlines on the 18th, complete with fans disgust and anger at their own clubs, especially in England.

ESL Logo

The plan for the European Super League was announced. The plan was for 20 European clubs to form a league to rival the UEFA Champions League. It was planned for 20 clubs to take part, although only 12 clubs were initially announced as being involved, as follows:

English Clubs:

  • Arsenal,
  • Chelsea,
  • Liverpool F.C.,
  • Manchester City,
  • Manchester United,
  • Tottenham Hotspur,

Italian Clubs:

  • AC Milan,
  • Inter Milan,
  • Juventus,

Spanish Clubs,

  • Atletico Madrid,
  • C. Barcelona.
  • Real Madrid,

The plan for the league was panned and highly criticised by fans, other clubs, and broadcasters, as well as from World and European Governing bodies, FIFA, and UEFA. The opposition to the planned league was about elitism and the lack of competitiveness withing the competition. The 6 English clubs were the first to pull out of the plans on the 20th of April and owners of the clubs have had to make public apologises to their fans over the actions and their plans to join this league.

We have 2 events to look back over on the 19th, the first is the flight to take place from another planet. As you will remember back in February NASA landed their Mars mission on Mars. On the 19th the first flight of the Ingenuity helicopter took place from the surface of the moon. The flight lasted for 39.1 seconds and included taking a picture of the rover.

We also mark the passing of Jim Steinman, an American musician, composer, and lyricist, at the age of 73 on the 19th. At first Jim’s name may not seem familiar, however you will have heard many of the songs that he wrote the lyrics for including:

  • Total Eclipse of the Heart,
  • I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),
  • It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.

We have to say congratulations to the England Women’s Rugby team who won the Women’s 6 Nations on the 25th of the month! Congratulation’s ladies!

Michael Collins

This month has a bit of a space theme, as we mark the passing of Astronaut Michael Collins on the 28th. Michael was part of the crew that first landed man on the moon in 1969. However, unlike Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Collins never stepped on the lunar surface, instead he stayed aboard Columbia and orbited the Moon. After the mission Michael Collins has said that he always felt fully part of the mission, saying in his autobiography, ‘this venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two’ Michael Collins was on his own in Columbia, with no radio communication for 48 minutes every orbit on the far side of the moon. In Columbia he orbited the Moon 30 times! Michael Collins died at the age of 90.

On the 29th of April the Worldwide Covid-19 cases hit the 150 million mark

May

In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.
One Sunday morning the warm sun came up
and POP,
out of the egg came a tiny, very hungry caterpillar.

Eric Carle

May 2021 had a sporty feel about. On the 3rd Mark Selby became the World Snooker champion at The Crucible for a 4th time, becoming one of only 5 players who have won the famous trophy 4 times or more.

Women’s UEFA Champions League Trophy

In Gothenburg on the 16th the UEFA Women’s Champions League final took place between English club, Chelsea Women and their Spanish counter-part Barcelona Women. The match was won by the Spanish side by 4 goals to nil.

In Rotterdam the annual European music fest that is the Eurovision Song Contest took place, with UK being represented by James Newman, with the song Embers. James was due to represent the UK in the 2020 contest, but Covid intervened and cancelled that particular event. This year’s final table does not make good reading for James nor the UK as they finished with a grand total of nil points. The UK became the first country to end with nil points since the voting procedures changed in 2016. This year’s final 3 were:

  1. Italy – Måneskin – Zitti E Buoni,
  2. France – Barbara Pravi – Violá
  3. Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears – Tout L’Univers

You can view the winning song here.

Eric Carle with his ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ book

On the 23rd there were 2 deaths of note, the first for us to consider is that of American author, designer, and illustrator of children’s books Eric Carle. Eric is probably most famous for having written, The Very Hungry Caterpillar in 1969. The book has since been translated into 66 languages and has sold 50 million copies. During his career Eric illustrated more than 70 books, most of which he wrote as well. Eric died at the age of 91.

UEFA Champions League Trophy

Former racing driver, lawyer, and president of the FIA Max Mosley also died on the 23rd of May. Max was 81. There is a lot that we could say of Max of his career, however we just want to make note of the events of 1994. On the 1st of May 1994, Ayrton Senna died, with Roland Ratzenberger having died the previous day at Imola during a race weekend. Max Mosley did not attend the funeral of Ayrton Senna but did attend Roland Ratzenberger’s. When he was asked why he had not attended the funeral of the Brazilian World Champion he simply replied ‘I went to his funeral because everyone went to Senna’s. I thought it was important that somebody went to his.’ Max Mosley gets our respected for making sure that someone remembered and marked Roland Ratzenberger’s passing from the motor racing community.

On the 29th the UEFA Men’s Champions League Final took place at the Estádio do Drãgo in Porto. The Final was due to take place in Istanbul, but due to the Covid Pandemic the decision was made to move the final. There was some discussion around whether it should be held in England as both finalists were English clubs – Chelsea and Manchester City. The final was won by Chelsea with a score line of 1 nil.

The day after the Champions League final saw the Indy 500 take place which won by Hélio Castroneves.

June

Spaceman
I always wanted you to go into space, man (intergalactic Christ)
Spaceman
I always wanted you to go into space, man (intergalactic Christ)

Jas Mann

Jupiter

June began with the birth of the 8th in line to the British throne, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, on the 4th. She is the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

On the 7th of June this year, history was made as NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew closer Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede than any other craft had in over 20 years. Just a day later, Juno made its 34th flypast of the Gas Giant planet, Jupiter itself, sending back some truly awe-inspiring images. You can view the video NASA has complied here.

June was definitely history making month, as on the 17th 3 Astronauts aboard China’s first manned mission in nearly 5 years docked with the Chinese Tiangong Space Station. Tiangong means Heavenly Place. Whilst the Chinese Space Station is not fully complete the first 3 astronauts docked after a 7-hour flight having blasted off from the Gobi Desert. The first 3 astronauts were:

  • Nie Haisheng, 56,
  • Liu Boming 54, and
  • Tang Hongbo, 45

The trio were due to stay up in space for 3 months.

On the 20th of the month Brazil became the 2nd country to hit 500,000 deaths from covid-19, and on the 29th 3 billion vaccines had been given worldwide in the fight against Covid-19.

July

The road is long
With a many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where

B.Russell/B. Scott

On the 5th of July 18-year-old Emma Raducanu had made it into the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. She was the youngest British woman to make the last 16 in the Open era. At the start of Wimbledon, she was ranked at 338 in the world, and by getting through to the 2nd week of Wimbledon guaranteed herself a spot in the top 200. Sadly, for Emma Raducanu she was forced to retire in the second set of her round of 16 match against Ajla Tomljanović due to breathing difficulties. She later went on to say that the experience had caught up with her. John McEnroe was highly criticised for his criticism of Emma retiring from her match.

On the 8th the worldwide tally of Covid-19 deaths surpassed the 4 million mark.

Since the 11th of June the UEFA Euro Championships had been taking place. This tournament should have been held last year but were postponed due to the pandemic. Great Britain were well represented in the tournament with England, Scotland and Wales all competing. Scotland sadly for them got knocked out in the group stage with the other 2 British sides progressing. Next to fall was Wales in the Round of 16 with a defeat to Denmark, the score 4 nil. England had a brilliant run all the way through to the finals, where they faced Italy. The final went all the way to penalties. Italy took the trophy home beating England 3-2 from the penalty spot.

The UEFA European Championships will also be remembered for a match between Denmark and Finland on the 13th of June. During this match Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch. His Danish colleagues need the recognition for realising he was in trouble and raising this with the match officials. The Country’s Captain, Simon Kjær deserves credit on several fronts. He initially started CPR on his teammate while the medics arrived from the dugout. He also ensured that his teammates made a human wall around their stricken teammate. Lastly, Simon went to check on and talk with Christian’s concerned partner who was on the side-lines.  Television in the UK got criticised though for showing footage, instead of returning the coverage to the BBC Studio, like other country’s coverage did do.

It is important to mention that they have been 3 further medical emergencies at football stadia in the English this year, all3 have been handled with respect by the match officials who have stopped the game so that the spectators in question can receive the medical attention that they need.

Andy ‘The Viking’ Fordham

It was the 15th of the month when the news of the death of Dart player Andy Fordham reached us, Andy was 59. Andy Fordham’s Dart name was ‘The Viking’. During his career Andy has won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship and the 1999 Winmau World Masters.

On the eve of the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee met in Tokyo and awarded the XXXV Olympiad to Brisbane. The XXXV Olympiad will be held in 2032 and will be known as Brisbane 2032.

The Hillsborough ’97’ Emblem

On the 29th of July the inquest of Andrew Devine was heard at Liverpool’s Coroner Court. Andrew had died at the age of 55. Andrew had suffered severe and irreversible brain damage at the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster. The coroner ruled that Andrew was unlawfully killed and therefore became the 97th victim. On the 15th of April 1989, a crush in the central pens of the Lepping’s Lane end of the Hillsborough Stadium took place during the FA Cup Semi-Final. The crush took the life of 95 men, women and children who died immediately or shortly after the event. It was in 1993 that the 96th victim, Tony Bland died from his injuries. The 96 families had spent 27 years fighting for justice for their loved ones and the survivors of the disaster. It was 2016 before the second inquests returned a verdict of unlawful killing. Liverpool Football Club have said following the death of Andrew that they will be changing the ‘96’ on the back of their shirts to ‘97’ although this would not be able to take place until the start of the 2022-23 season. Andrew’s name will be added to the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield. RIP Andrew.

August

O Ancient immortal Spirit, pure father
Of beauty, of greatness and of truth,
Descend, reveal yourself and flash like lightning here,
within the glory of your own earth and sky.

Kostis Palamás

Overlapping the months of July and August saw the 2020 Olympics take place. The Olympics were due to take place last year, but with the world in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, they were postponed to 2021. Leading up to the multi-sport event there were doubts that they would go ahead.  This was the 4th time that Japan had hosted the Olympics:

  • Tokyo 1964 (Summer Games),
  • Sapporo 1972 (Winter Games), and
  • Nagano 1998 (Winter Games).

Tokyo was the first Asian host city to host the games twice.  The final medal table finished as follows:

  • United States – 113 (39, 41, 33)
  • China – 88 (38, 32, 18)
  • Japan – 58 (27, 14, 17)
  • Great Britain and NI – 65 (22, 21, 22).
Tsimanouskaya at the 2019 Summer Universiade

There was controversy at the Olympics, which involved Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya who had qualified to represent her country in the women’s 100 and 200m events. On July the 30th she accused officials from the Belarus Olympic Association of forcing her to compete in the 4 x 400m relay without her permission. She was taken to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport against her will on the 1st of August, she refused to board a flight back to Belarus. Eventually, she was given police protection and a humanitarian visa by Poland on the 4th of August

August was either death of famous people of sport, and with that we now explore 3 notable deaths that occurred in August.

On the 12th Television personality, Actress and dancer Una Stubbs passed away. Una will probably be best remembered for her role as Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge between 1979 and 1981. She has also played Miss Bat in The Worst Witch. Most recently she had co-hosted The Big Painting Challenge and played Gert Mills in Call the Midwife. Una will live on through the repeats of her work. She died at the age of 84.

On the 16th 54-year-old comedian Sean Lock passed away. Sean will always be remembered for his performance on 8 out of 10 Cats including the Countdown version. Sean has appeared on the television in many other shows and live performances. His comedy will ensure that his light continues to shine.

The Large Family

We turn the literary world for the 3rd notable death of August. It occurred on the 18th when the news of the death of Children author and illustrator Jill Murphy reached us. Jill has written 2 familiar series of books, The Worst Witch and The Large Family. We are sure that you will all have your own favourite book from Jill Murphy, and it is through these that she will be remembered.

Over the 21st and 22nd saw the annual 24 hour of Le Mans Race take place. This year the previously unlucky in the race car number 7 won ahead of its sister number 8 car. The 8 car had won on the last 3 occasions. The Number 7 Toyota Gr 010 hybrid car this year was piloted by:

  • Mike Conway,
  • Kamui Kobayashi, and
  • José María López.

The car completed 371 laps of the Le Mans circuit, 2 laps ahead of the Number 7 car.

September

Stick a pony in me pocket
I’ll fetch the suitcase from the van
‘Cos if you want the best ones
But you don’t ask questions
Then brother, I’m your man

John Sullivan

As with the Olympics in July and August, the Paralympics straddle 2 months; August and September. The 2020 Paralympic Games were held in Tokyo. The 2020 Games were the second of three consecutive Paralympics to be held in East Asia, following:

  • 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and preceding
  • 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

Just like the Olympics before them, the Paralympics were held behind closed doors. The games featured 539 medal events. The Final Medal table looked as follows:

  • China – 207 (96, 60, 51)
  • Great Britain and NI – 124 (41, 38, 45)
  • United States – 104 (37, 36, 31).

Great Britain finished second in the medal time for the 9th time.

Although we are celebrating happy times for the Great Britain Olympians and Paralympians, it was with sadness that we heard of the death of Sarah Harding at the age of 39, on the 5th. Sarah will always be best known for her part of the quintet Girls Aloud. Sarah however wasn’t just a singer she was also an actress and a model, starring in many shows on TV either as herself or in character.

On the 7th El Salvador became the first country to acknowledge and accept the digital currency Bitcoin as an official currency. Just one month after this date more El Salvadorians had more Bitcoin wallets than traditional bank accounts!

Now we return the amazing story of that year that is Emma Raducanu. As you recall she was forced to withdraw from her last 16 match at Wimbledon earlier in the year. On the 12th of the month Emma Raducanu found herself in the US Open final. She had reached the final by winning all her matches in straight sets. By the time she got to the semi-final, she had risen 100 places in the World rankings and had replaced Joanna Konta to become British Number 1. She was also the first qualifier to reach the semi-final. Emma went on to beat Leylah Fernandez in the final to win her first Grand Slam and become the first female qualifier to win a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era and the first British female winner since Virginia Wade. Emma Raducanu’s ranking has risen sharply over the year and by the end of the year she was ranked 19th in the world.

With tensions still around the Korean Peninsula, it was on the 14th that North Korea demonstrated 2 short-range ballistic missiles that landed just outside Japan’s territorial waters, this was followed just a few hours later as South Korea demonstrated its first submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Jimmy Greaves

We end the review of September with 3 deaths, 2 of which occurred on the same day. On the 19th the news came that Ian St. John’s television partner Jimmy Greaves had sadly passed away at the age of 81. Greaves was the second of Saint and Greavsie, which we mentioned earlier. Jimmy Greaves was an England striker and played his club football at Chelsea, Ac Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Jimmy Greaves was a part of the World Cup squad of 1966. Sadly, he was injured in the quarterfinals of the tournament, although he was fit for the final, Sir Alf Ramsey decided not to change a winning side and therefore, as he was not of the 11 players on the pitch at the final whistle, he did not receive a medal. Following a Football Association led campaign to persuade FIFA to award medals to all squad members, Jimmy Greaves finally collected his winners medal from Gordon Brown at Number 10 on the 10th of June 2009.

John Challis as Boycie

Also, on the 19th the news of the death of actor John Challis at the age of 79. John’s best known for playing the role of Terence Aubrey Boyce (Boycie) in on of Britain’s favourite sitcoms of all-time, Only Fools and Horses. John was born as a local lad, being born just up the road in Bristol. As Boycie, John Challis became famous for his famous laugh that he used as the character, as well as his relationship with Marlene. Although Only Fools and Horses is his most famous work, He has starred in many other TV series and stage shows. John will be sadly missed, and his legacy will life on through his TV work and repeats that are shown over Christmas.

‘Sir’ Roger Hunt

The last of the 3 famous people deaths we take a look at in our review of September, saw Roger Hunt die on the 27th at the age of 83. Roger Hunt was a key member of the 1966 England World Cup winning team, playing in all 6 games, and scored 3 goals. During his professional club career, Roger played for Liverpool and later Bolton Wanderers. He played 76 times and scored 24 times for the latter. During his long 11-year spell with Liverpool he played 404 games and scored 244 times. He is also famous for scoring the first ever goal to be shown on BBC’s Match of the Day in August 1964. Fans of Liverpool F.C. refer to Roger Hunt as ‘Sir’ and is regarded as one of their greatest players of all time.

October

Solum audax
Solum fortis
Solum magnus
The Nations League

UEFA Nations League Anthem

October saw the postponed annual London Marathon take place on the 3rd. This year it had been postponed from April to maximise the chances of mass participation in the 41st running of the event. The professional runners’ races were won by:

Men:

Sisay Lemma, Ethiopia timed at 2:04:01

Women:

Joyciline Jepkosgei, Kenya timed at 2:17:43.

Congratulations to all that took part.

On the 5th saw the launch of the Soyuz-MS-19 mission. This mission is of note as the crew consisted of:

  • Anton Shkaplerov, Russian commander,
  • Klim Shipenko, Russian film director, and
  • Yulia Peresild, Russian actress.

The mission was partly to enable a movie, Vyzov to be filmed in space. Shipenko and Peresild were due to spend 12 days aboard the International Space Station. It was also a notable launch as it was the first Soyuz mission to be launched with only Russian Cosmonauts and travellers aboard since the year 2000. The ship had to be upgraded to allow for single person piloting at launch!

On the 6th the World Health Organization recommended widespread use of the RTS, S/AS01 (RTS, S) vaccine for children in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas that have moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.

October also saw the finals of the delayed UEFA Nations League which was won by France. The tournament was due to have taken place in June of this year but was postponed until October due to the UEFA European Championships.

Sir David Amess MP

Terror returned to the streets of the UK once again in October, this time it resulted in the death of MP Sir David Amess on the 15th. Sir David was MP for Southend West. On the 15th of October Sir David MP was holding a Constituency surgery when he was stabbed multiple times. His attacker was charged with murder and preparing terrorist acts on the 21st of October. One of Sir David’s campaigns was to get Southend-On-Sea City Status. It was announced after his death it would be granted City status in his honour.

On the 16th NASA launched The Lucy spacecraft. Lucy is a space probe that will spend 12 years travelling through space to visit and fly past 8 different asteroids. It is planned that the probe will visit the main belt asteroid as well as 7 Jupiter trojans that share Jupiter’s orbit path around the sun.

November

 

Sir Frank Williams was one of the kindest people
I had the pleasure of meeting in this sport.
What he achieved is something truly special.
Until his last days I know he remained a racer and a fighter at heart.
His legacy will live on forever.

Sir Lewis Hamilton

November began with the news that Covid had claimed the lives of over 5 million people worldwide.

Lionel Blair

The 4th of the month saw the demise of Canadian-born British Actor, tap-dancer, choreographer, and presenter Lionel Blair at the age of 92. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s he made numerous appearances on the television as a dancer and entertainer. He was a team captain on the Television show Give us a Clue and also presented Name That Tune. The entertainment world has lost a true legend of the genre.

Another member of the 1966 England World Cup winning squad died on the 12th, namely Ron Flowers. Ron was a midfielder, and although his last England cap came before the finals he was still named in the squad, this makes him the oldest and earliest capped member of the squad. Ron Flowers narrowly missed out on the opportunity to play in the final. Jack Charlton was due to play in the final, but had caught a cold, Ron was approached by then manager Sir Alf Ramsey, and was informed that should Charlton not recover in time to play then he would start the game. Sadly, for Ron, Charlton recovered enough to take his place in the team. Ron made 49 appearances for his country and scored 10 goals adding those to his club career where across all teams he played for he made 529 appearances and scored 37.

As the month crossed over into November the 2021 ICC ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup was held over in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The final took place on the 14th and was won by Australia.

November the 16th saw Russia draw international condemnation after they launched an anti-satellite weapon test. The test weapon blew up one of Russia’s own satellites and created a cloud of space debris. This space debris threatened the crew on the International Space Station, who had to shelter in capsules. The United States called this a dangerous and irresponsible missile test. Aboard the ISS at the time were 4 Americans, a German and 2 Russians. The test was played down by the Russian Space Agency who confirmed on their twitter account that the debris was clear of the ISS’ orbit and the station was in the green zone.

This month saw the UK become the 4th country to hit 10 million cases of Covid on the 24th following in the footsteps of the US, India, and Brazil.

On the 26th The World Health Organization convened an emergency meeting in Geneva. The meeting had been convened following the first identification of a highly mutated variant of Covid-19 by scientists in South Africa. The variant seemed to be more infectious that the Delta variant. Since this date the word Omicron was on everyone’s lips, as the new variant was named.

Sir Frank Williams

It was the 28th of the month when the Motorsport world was hit by the sad news of the death of Sir Frank Williams. Sir Frank died at the age of 79. He was the founder and Team Principal of Williams Racing from its formation in 1977 until the sale of the team to Dorilton Capital in 2020. During that time the team won 9 Constructors Championships and 7 Drivers Championships. It was also in one of the Williams cars that Ayrton Senna was driving on that fateful day in May 1994 that took his life. From 1995 until 2012, every Williams chassis carried a tribute Senna Logo on the front wing supports or surrounding area. Sir Frank Williams had been a tetraplegic and wheelchair bound since a car accident in 1986. Sir Frank Williams was a legend of motorsport and will truly never be forgotten.

On their 55th anniversary of independence 30th Barbados became a Republic after 396 years under the reign of the British Monarchy. The country will remain a member of the Commonwealth.

Also, on the 30th the news of the death of footballer Ray Kennedy reached us. Ray played as a forward for Arsenal and then as a left-sided midfielder for Liverpool F.C. During his career Ray Kennedy won everything going in the English game. In 498 club appearances he scored 109 goals. He was capped by England 17 times and scored 3. Ray died at the age of 70.

December

Superworm is super-long,
Superworm is super –strong.
Watch him wiggle!
See him squirm!
Hip, hip, hooray for SUPERWORM!

Julia Donaldson

December began with the news that the US would diplomatically boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics that will be held in Beijing. The decision has been made because of China’s Human Rights record. The decision has been heavily criticised by China. The US has stated that their athletes can attend the games and will have the full support of the US Government.

Staying with the Americans, who became the first country to pass the 50 million cases of Covid-19 mark.

It was the 12th of the month when the 5th country to surpass the 10 million cases of Covid-19 was Russia.

2021 Formula 1 World Champion, Max Verstappen

Also, on the evening of the 12th, the new Formula 1 World Champion was decided in the final race of the season, going into the race, both defending Champion Lewis Hamilton and his challenger Max Verstappen were equal on points, with a slight advantage for Max who had the most wins in the season. The championship went down to the last lap of the race when some would controversially Max overtook Lewis and won the race and the championship. It was controversial, as 5 laps from the end of the race Nicholas Latifi crashed into a barrier bringing out the safety car, Max pitted for fresh tyres, while Lewis stayed out keeping track position. In the snake behind the safety car, Max was in second place behind Lewis and lapped cars. On the penultimate lap of the race, the Race Director Michael Masi decide to let some of the lap cars (those between the title protagonists) pass the safety car and thus out of Max’s way, this meant that he was then right behind Lewis, as the racing went green as the drivers started the final lap. Obviously, with fresher tyres, it was only a matter of time before Max overtook Lewis and won the race. The controversy of all of this is that the racing code states ALL lapped cars should be released passed the safety car not as happened some. Mercedes protested at the end of the race, which was unsuccessful, they were then going to take it to the Court of Arbitration but revoked their protest on the Wednesday following the race. This meant that the following night, Max would be crowned World Champion for 2021 with the presentation of the trophy.

The end of November and throughout December there was a lot of talk about further restrictions coming into force to try to control the spread of Omicron. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales introduced new restrictions whilst England under the stewardship of Prime Minister Boris Johnson re-introduced the wearing of face masks and the working from home directive. It was thought that as Christmas Day approached, he would introduce more restrictions, this never happened, likewise in the run up to New Year, however he made an announcement saying that there would be no new restrictions until the new year.

As we end the year, there is an investigation going on within Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary into ‘alleged’ Parties that were held across several departments of Government during last year’s lockdowns, and whether any rules have been broken. Some of these parties were said to be held at Number 10. These stories have weakened the support for the Prime Minister from within his own party and that of the opposition as well as the wider population, who led their lives according to the restrictions and didn’t party. If these parties are found to have taken place, and rules were broken then there will be calls for the Prime Minister to go. Already, there are saying that as he has denied this parties at the despatch box of the House of Commons, that should it be found that he has lied to the House, then he absolutely has to go. We will see in the New Year how this story plays out.

Sports Personality of the Year Trophy

In happier news, on the 19th of the December the BBC held their annual celebration of the year’s sport, BBC Sports Personality of the Year. This year, with the Olympics, the Paralympics, Euro 2020 and all the usual sport to look over, it really was an action-packed show. This year the Young Sports Personality of the Year went to 13-year-old Sky Brown following her escapades in the Women’s Park Skateboarding Olympic event where she won Bronze. In the public vote for this years Sports Personality of the Year the winner was US Open winner Emma Raducanu, followed in 2nd place by Tom Daly and 3rd place went to Adam Peaty. All 3 deserving winners of a trophy.

On the 23rd, we were pleased to have been with our Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats up in Leeds, as they competed for the NIHL Autumn Cup. Having successfully earned a 3-2 win at home on Friday 17th December, all the boys had to do was draw or win away at Elland Road to bring the trophy home. We were in the crowd as the team completed a 4-5 win over the Leeds Knights to give an aggregate score of 6 goals to Leeds and 8 to the Wildcats, meaning we brought the trophy home. This was our first trophy as sponsors of the Wildcats!

This brings us nicely to Christmas Day, where we have 2 events to look at. Firstly, we will take our annual look at the animation of the day, this year was Superworm based on the book by Julia Donaldson and illustrations of Axel Scheffler. As with the previous adaptations of these books for the television, the story book was closely followed to enable the story flow and for children who are familiar with the book to enjoy and follow along. As always this was a faultless piece of TV to be enjoyed along with the Christmas dinner, unusually shown this year prior to Her Majesty the Queen’s Christmas Message.

We stay with The Queen as early on Christmas Day, at around 8:30am, an armed intruder to Windsor Castle, where this year Her Majesty was celebrating Christmas, was arrested. The man was 19-years-old from Southampton and was thought to be carrying a crossbow with the intention of assassinating The Queen. The Police have not confirmed what the weapon was. The breach in security is said to have come to light as CCTV operators spotted the intruder. It has been confirmed that the intruder did not access any of the buildings on the site. He has been arrested on suspicion of breach or trespass of a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon and has since been sectioned. 

The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu

We end our review of December on the 26th with the sad news of the death of Desmond Tutu. Desmond Tutu was a South African Anglican Bishop and theologian. He died at the age of 90. The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu was best known for his work as an anti-Apartheid and human Rights activist. During his career he held the position of:

  • Bishop of Johannesburg, (1985 to 1986) and
  • Archbishop of Cape Town (1986 to 1996).

For both of these roles he was the 1st black African to hold the position. Desmond Tutu has received many awards for his work, including the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as having compiled several books of sermons and speeches. In Desmond Tutu the world has lost a very great man.

Covid Statistics

As of 30th December:

UK:

Cases: 12,700,000
Deaths: 148,000

Worldwide:

Cases: 287,000,000
Deaths: 5,430,000

And finally….

As 2021  draws to a close, we hope that you have enjoyed our review of the year.

We are sure you will agree 2021 wasn’t quite the year that we had hoped, but was probably as expected particularly with the Covid-19 and we hope that we can all have a better and happier 2022. 

In the meantime….

We would like to wish
All our customers, suppliers, family and friends,
A VERY Happy New Year!

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