Review of the Year - 2022

Review of the Year – 2022

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


And so, the end of another year has arrived, this year will always be remembered we fear for 3 major events that happened across the year, the first is probably the ‘special military operation’ of Russia in Ukraine, the death of Her Majesty the Queen and for being the year of 3 Prime Ministers.

The year began in the usual way with Big Ben chiming his bongs still shrouded in scaffolding, A fireworks display filled the sky above the River Thames, although due to the risk of the Omicron variant of Covid the event had been cancelled in terms of people on the streets to witness. Either side of the Midnight fireworks, the BBC broadcasted ‘The Big New Years & Years Party’ hosted by Olly Alexander, lead singer of the band, Years and Years.

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.

January

Some nights you’re breathing fireSome nights you’re carved in iceSome nights you’re like nothing I’ve everSeen before or will again

Meatloaf

On the 4th of January the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council  – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States—issued a rare joint statement. The statement read;

‘We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
We also affirm nuclear weapons – for as long as they continue to exist – should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war.
We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented.’

Together the 5 members affirmed that they believed that a nuclear war would result in ‘far reaching consequences’.

Sidney Poitier
1927 – 2022

The first death in our review, came on the 6th when Sidney Poitier KBE passed away at the age of 94. Sidney was a Bahamian-American actor, film director and diplomat. Some of his famous works include To Sir, With Love and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. In his later life Sidney Poitier was an ambassador to Japan and UNESCO for the Bahamas.

In an update to the COVID-19 pandemic numbers on the 7th cases worldwide exceeded 300 million.

There was a medical breakthrough in America on the 10th when doctors made the first successful transplant a genetically modified pig heart into a human in Baltimore, Maryland. Sadly, the patient died 2 months later, but hopefully for doctors not from rejection but heart failure.

Also, on the 10th we saw the death of Gary Waldhorn at the age of 78. Gary is probably most famous for his role as David Horton in

Gary Waldhorn
as David Horton

The Vicar of Dibley. He has in fact worked on many TV series and films over the years. Sadly, Gary is one of many cast members of Dibley who have passed away in the last few years.

In the sport world, tennis number 1 Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia following a high-profile legal case regarding his COVID-19 vaccination status. His deportment on the 16th meant that he was unable to take part in the 2022 Australian Open. Novak’s states that he is not an anti-vaxxer but defends the right for people to choose what goes in their body.

Meatloaf
1947 – 2022

A legend in the music world passed away, leaving his legacy of music and fans behind on the 20th. The artist was Meatloaf, born Marvin Lee Aday. Having recorded 12 studio albums and 39 singles he is famous around the world, for hits like, Bat Out of Hell, Dead Ringer for Love and I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Wont Do That).

Barry Cryer OBE a writer, comedian and actor passed away on the 25th at the age of 86. Through his career Barry wrote for some of the greatest comedians and performers of time for instance,

  • Jasper Carrott,
  • Tommy Cooper,
  • Bruce Forsythe,
  • the Two Ronnies, and
  • Morecambe and Wise.

Barry Cryer will be remembered for his work for years to come.

We return to the story of the last few years as the number of vaccinations that had been administered up to and including the 28th for Covid-19 exceeded 10 billion.

TV’s ‘favourite doctor’ passed away on the 29th at the age of 95. Or more accurately the actor who played him, Leonard Fenton. The doctor in question was Albert Square’s very own Dr. Legg. Although famous for his work as the dr, Leonard was also a director and a painter.

February

Ще не вмерла України і слава, і воля,
Ще нам, браття молодії, усміхнеться доля.
Згинуть наші воріженьки, як роса на сонці.
Запануєм і ми, браття, у своїй сторонці.

State Anthem of Ukraine

February was a very special month for Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II as she celebrated her 70th anniversary on the throne, and therefore her Platinum Jubilee, becoming the first monarch to do so. The Country would mark this historic event later in the year.

February was quite the sporty month, as 2 major sporting events took place. The first was the multi-sport event that is the Winter Olympics. They were held this year in Beijing from the 4th to the 20th of the month. Team GB finished in 19th place in the medal table collecting just the 2 medals:

Gold went to the Women’s Curlers, while

Silver went to the Men’s Curlers.

The team had been set a target of 3 to medals, and therefore this target was not met. There was another controversy for the team at the Games, as at the Opening Ceremony the Great British Flag was paraded upside down! We say, well done to all competitors that took part in the games.

Secondly, the African Cup of Nations in football came to an end having been held in Cameroon. The winning nation were Senegal.

It was on the 8th that Television presenter and author Bamber Gascoigne passed away at the age of 87 years old. Bamber was the original host of University Challenge. This is probably his most famous piece of work, although he has appeared on many other shows through his working career. Bamber has also written some 24 books covering history as well as quiz books. His works will ensure that his legacy lives on.

Sadly on the 25th, the world of Children’s books lost another author. Shirley Hughes died at the age of 94. Shirley wrote a whole series of books around her character ‘Alfie’ as well as 18 other books including Dogger. Many children will have read her books in the past with many more reading them in the future.

Sadly, the rest of our review of February, focusses on the big story of the year, as Russian President Vladimir Putin begins a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on the 24th. In the days leading up to this invasion, he had signed a decree declaring the Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic independent from Ukraine, this action had been internationally condemned and sanctions had been imposed on Russia.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued, on the 26th more sanctions were imposed on them from The European Union, United States, and their allies who committed to remove Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system. Not only these sanctions were imposed allies went further and imposed measures on the Russian Central Bank as well as restrictions on Russian Oligarchs and elites. The of these and other sanctions fuelled a financial crisis in Russia

Sadly, the sanctions didn’t have any effect on the decision makers in Russia, as Putin orders Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces to be on ‘special alert’ on the 27th, this is the highest level, and is in response to what he called ‘aggressive statements’ by NATO. The United States condemned this action.

Also, on the 27th, European nations announced a ban on Russian flights in their airspace, on the same day that a constitutional referendum in Belarus voted to revoke its non-nuclear status and allowed the country to host Russian forces permanently.

As the last day of the month arrived, and the first peace talks took place on the Belarus-Ukraine border, with no resolution. It was also the day that the invasion affected Russian Football clubs as FIFA and UEFA suspend them from their competitions.

Also, in an unprecedented move, Switzerland, Monaco, Singapore and South Korea imposed unilateral sanctions on Russia which included the introduction of export controls and asset freezes!

The Invasion of Ukraine continued throughout the year.

March

Look up, look down, look all around,
up in the air and on the ground,
come for a ride, come for a ride,
commmmme ouuuuut siiiide

Come Outside Lyrics

Continuing with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fallout continued into March as on the 1st World Athletics bans Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing at any of their events.

It was also on the 1st that an Emergency session of the UN passed a resolution deploring the Russian invasion and called for immediate Russian withdrawal from Ukraine soil. This did not happen, and the following day saw the big city in Ukraine seized by Russian forces. This city was Kherson.

Again Russia was condemned by world leaders following an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant which is the largest nuclear plant in Europe. The attack led to a fire at the site.

Shane Warne

While all the death and destruction were going on in Ukraine, the 4th of March saw the Cricketing World lose a legend of the game and our time, Shane Warne at the age of 52. Shane had a playing career that ran from 1991 until 2007, playing internationally for his beloved Australia. He also played club cricket for Victoria and Hampshire. He scored more than 3,000 runs in his career and had a highest score of 99. After his retirement, Warnie went into commentary of the game that he loved. He was a true legend of the game and will be sadly missed.

If losing a legend of Cricket wasn’t bad enough the following day on the 5th the world lost an entertainment legend in the form of Lynda Baron at the age of 82. Her name may not be immediately familiar to some, but she has played some truly iconic characters in her time. She is probably best known for her role as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel along side Ronnie Barker and David Jason

Lynda Baron

in Open All Hours. She also went on many adventures with her dog, Pippin in her spotty Aeroplane to educate children up and down the country in the Children’s TV series Come Outside. We think this has a rather useful theme tune for helping First Aiders remember to look for danger!

Following on from the success of the Winter Olympics in February, Beijing turned their attention to the Paralympians for the Winter Paralympic Games between the 4th and the 13th. This makes Beijing the first Host City to host both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games! Team GB ended the Games in 14th place on the medal table. Medals were won by:

Gold:

Neil Simpson and his guide Andrew Simpson,
Men’s Super G, Vision Impaired,
Alpine Skiing.

Silver:

Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Gary Smith,
Women’s Super G, Vision Impaired,
Alpine Skiing.

Bronze:

Millie Knight and her guide Brett Wild,
Women’s Downhill, Vision Impaired,
Alpine Skiing.

Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Gary Smith,
Women’s Super-Combined, Vision Impaired,
Alpine Skiing.

Neil Simpson and his guide Andrew Simpson,
Men’s Super-Combined, Vision Impaired,
Alpine Skiing.

Ollie Hill,
Men’s Banked Slalom SB-LL2,
Snowboarding.

The target number of medals for Team GB’s Paralympians was 5 to 9 medals and having brought home 6 medals this target was achieved!

During the Winter Paralympic Games, the number of Worldwide deaths from Covid-19 surpassed 6 million on the 7th.

Endurance at sea

On the 9th March the wreck of Endurance (three-masted barquentine in which Sir Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 27 men sailed for the Antarctic on the 1914–1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition) was discovered. The Expedition team, Endurance22 announced, in a press release, that they had successfully found the wreck in the Weddell Sea at a depth of 9,869 feet (3,008 m; 1,645 fathoms). The wreck was found about 4 miles (6.4 km; 3.5 nautical miles) south of original Captain Frank Worsley’s original calculated location.

It is back to the Russian invasion we go on the 16th as a Russian airstrike kills an estimated 600 civilians sheltering in the Mariupol Theatre in Mariupol. The Russians have been accused of intentionally targeting the theatre. This attack came a week after airstrikes on maternity hospitals in Mariupol, which killed at least 4 people and injured a further sixteen!

As we approach the end of our March review, we have 3 notable deaths to discuss. We start on the 23rd with the news of the death of Madeleine Albright at the age of 84. Madeleine had served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States of America. She served under President Bill Clinton. She was also the first woman to hold the post. By birth Madeleine was Czechoslovakian, moving to the States when she was 11 years old.

On the 25th Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins passed away at the age of 50. Taylor is best known in this role, however before joining the band he had been a touring drummer for Sass Jordan and Alanis Morrisette. During the time with the band, he recorded a total of 8 studio albums from 1999 until 2021, these albums will ensure that his legend will live on for all his fans.

Tom Parker originally auditioned for X Factor and didn’t make it past the first round, this didn’t deter him though as he auditioned a few years later for what became known as The Wanted. Along with his bandmates he had hits such as All Time Low, and Heart Vacancy. In October 2020 he was diagnosed with a brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). After some time of not performing the band went back out on tour in March 2022, 2 weeks after this tour ended, Tom passed away at the age of 33, leaving behind his wife and 2 children.

April

Anyone can fall in love
That’s the easy part you must keep it going
Anyone can fall in love
Over the years it has to keep growing
Sun and rain
Joy and pain
There’s highs – there’s lows
We’ve no way of knowing.

Eastenders Theme Tune Lyrics, Sung by Anita Dobson

Sad day for the East End of London on the 3rd as Eastenders legend and stalwart June Brown OBE died at the age of 95. June is best

June Brown as
Dorothy (Dot) Cotton

known for her role of chain smoking, God fearing Dorothy (Dot) Cotton/Branning. Dot spent many a year in the launderette, catching up with the gossip of the square! Eastenders isn’t the only soap that June had starred on during her long career, she had a 3 episode stint in Coronation Street, as well as starring in other notable TV works for example, The Sweeney, Minder and The Bill. June was a familiar face on all our TVs and surely will not be forgotten.

2 events took place on the 6th of April for us to take a look at. The first of these events is the discovery by palaeontologists of the first known dinosaur fossil linked to the very day of the Chicxulub impact. Palaeontologists discovered the leg fossil of a Thescelosaurus which was a small herbivore alongside a fragment of the seven-mile-wide space rock that killed it. Chicxulub impact created a crater near to Chicxulub, Mexico some 66 million years ago.

Also, on the 6th Children’s author David McKee died at the age of 87. David’s work includes Mr Benn, Not Now, Bernard and probably the most famous Elephant of all, Elmer the multi-coloured elephant. The 29 books featuring the elephant have been translated into more than 60 languages and have sold more than 10 million copies. These amazing pieces of work will keep David alive for many children for many years to come.

Due to the events occurring in Ukraine, global food prices began to increase on the 7th to the highest level since 1990 on the UN’s Food Price Index. Price rises saw commodities like wheat rising by nearly 20%.

Staying with The UN and the 7th as they voted 93–24 to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, with 58 countries abstaining from the vote.

Up in Liverpool, like so many years before the 9th saw this year’s Grand National take place. This year’s winner was Noble Yeats, who

Noble Yeats

won at 50-1, defeating the 15-2 Favourite Any Second Now by two and a quarter lengths with Delta Work (10-1) in third place and Santini (33-1) finishing fourth. Sam Waley-Cohen was the jockey on Noble Yeats and became the first amateur to succeed since Marcus Armytage won on Mr Frisk in 1990

On the 13th of the month the number of cases of Covid-19 exceeded 500 million worldwide.

As we said at the beginning of the year review the events in Ukraine by Russia have taken over the year, and on the 14th the next notable event occurred as Russia’s Flagship Moskva Became the largest warship to be sunk in action since World War II. As to why it sank has become a controversial discussion with Russia saying that it has sunk during stormy weather after a fire on board. Ukraine however claim that they struck it with Neptune anti-ship missiles.

Stating with the Ukraine invasion, on the 27th The European Union accused Russia of blackmail after gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria are halted by energy giant Gazprom. Gazprom are a Russian majority-owned company.

May

If I was an astronaut, I’d be floating in mid-airAnd a broken heart would just belong to someone else down thereI would be the centre of my lonely universeBut I’m only human, and I’m crashing down to earth

Amy Victoria Wadge/Max Wolfgang/Sam Robert Robinson

May began with another disease outbreak, this time it is Monkeypox, the first case was reported in London. This outbreak was caused by the West African clade (type). Outside of the endemic areas, the UK was the first country to record a case.

It was on the 8th when the entertainment world lost a legend in Dennis Waterman at the age of 74. Dennis Waterman was famous in his own right for many TV dramas and comedies that he had starred in, as well as a famous sketch in Little Britain where he is parodied for writing and singing the theme tune of which he had sung on at least 4 of the shows he starred in:

Dennis Waterman will always be remembered for his role in Minder where he starred as Terry McCann, Arthur Daly’s minder, as well as in later years New Tricks where he played cold case detective Gerry Standing. But he was also in some comedies that have been long forgotten by some for instance On the Up, one of the 4 that he sang the theme tune for!

Following massive protests in Sri Lanka against the Government, who had been accused of mis-managing the economy, the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on the 9th. 3 days later Sri Lanka had a new Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Each May, the Eurovision Song Contest takes place, this year it took place on the 14th in the home country of last years winners, Italy. This year the United Kingdom were represented by Sam Ryder with the song Spaceman, in early rounds of voting the song did well, and looked in contention to win. This is something that the UK have struggled to do in years. With all the votes counted the United Kingdom finished in second place, behind the winners representing Ukraine, Kalush Orchestra. Their song was called Stefania. It was later announced that Ukraine would be unable to host the 2023 contest and therefore the host country will the second placed country, United Kingdom.

You can listen to both 1st and 2nd place songs here:

On the 15th it was announced that English actress, scriptwriter, producer and director Kay Mellor had died at the age of 71. Ky was responsible for some big-name programmes during her career, including:

  • Children’s Ward (1989 – 2000),
  • Band of Gold (1999 – 1997),
  • Playing the Field (1998-2002),
  • Fat Friends (2000 -2005), and
  • The Syndicate (2012 – 2021).

This is just a short list of some the dramas that Kay was responsible for, and shows her diversity in audiences. Her legacy is her work, and it lives on.

We return, again, to the troubles occurring in Ukraine, when the siege of Mariupol ended in a Russian victory as the Ukrainian troops were evacuated on the 16th.

On the 20th May, The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting to discuss the spread of Monkeypox, by this stage the outbreak was in a dozen countries and had case numbers of 100.

We turn our attention to sport to end May, firstly with the UEFA Champions League Final. This year the final was held at the Stade de France in Paris, France. The game ended in a 1-nil win for Real Madrid against English club, Liverpool FC.

The game was however marred by the events that happened outside the stadium prior and after the match. Outside the Stade de France, stewarding chaos ensued, at the entrances to the stadium. Some fans have even stated how close it had felt to Hillsborough. In the chaos, French police used tear gas and pepper spray even though they were unprovoked. The troubles were quickly blamed on Liverpool fans, but weeks later it was acknowledged that they were not to blame. And if the chaos at the start of the game was not bad enough, after the final whistle there was more unrest, with large groups attacking, mugging, robbing and sexually assaulting supporters. These actions had been strategically planned by the groups.

Staying in the Sport World as we say goodbye to jockey Lester Piggott on the 29th at the age of 86. During his career Lester had collected a record 9 Epsom Derbies and had amassed some 4,493 race wins on the flat. He is highly regarded as one of the greatest flat racers of all time.

June

‘I declare before you all
that my whole life whether it be long or short
shall be devoted to your service.’

HM Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

June this year started in special style as the Nation, and the wider Commonwealth, celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, having had the end of May Bank Holiday moved to make a 4-day weekend from the 2nd until the 5th. On the 2nd the annual Trooping the Colour took place, followed by a Buckingham Palace balcony by Her Majesty and members of her family. Whilst on the balcony there was an RAF Flypast to mark the historic moment. In the evening up and down the nation, beacons were light in her majesty’s honour, with the special lady herself lighting one at Buckingham Palace from Windsor Castle with the help of her Grandson Prince William.

The Friday was a relaxed day, with a service of Thanks for Her Majesty held at St Paul’s Cathedral, and a reception at London’s Guildhall for the Royal Family, however Her Majesty was unable to attend having experienced discomfort the previous day.

In the Evening of the Saturday there was Platinum Party at the Palace held outside Buckingham Palace which was televised and watched by a peak audience of 13.3 million people, one of whom was Her Majesty who was watching on from Windsor. The Concert opened up with a short video of Her Majesty holding a tea audience with Paddington Bear inside the Palace. It was later revealed that none of her family knew of this, and you could see this in their faces as they were watching. The video once again showed the sense of humour of The Queen Elizabeth II. The Concert contained a stunning drone and light show, you can see it in the video below.

Her Majesty the Queen and Paddington Bear

Platinum Party Drone and Light Show

On the Sunday afternoon, the party continued firstly with The Big Jubilee Lunch, which saw thousands of people up and down the country hold street parties to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne. This was followed with a pageant on the streets of London outside the Palace made up of everyday people and famous people riding themed buses of the last 7 decades. At the end of all the celebrations, again the Royal Family made an appearance on the balcony of the Palace, and were once again joined by the lady herself, making just her 3rd appearance of her jubilee celebration weekend.

Returning to the Sport World as we take a look at the 4th which saw the Epsom Derby take place. The winner of this historic horse race was Desert Crown ridden by Richard Kingscote.

Alan Tracy voiced by Matt Zimmerman

The puppet world lost an iconic voice on the 9th when the voice of Alan Tracy died at the age of 87. That voice belonged to Matt Zimmerman. Matt voiced Alan Tracy during the original series of The Thunderbirds which consisted of 32 episodes as well as in the 2 films Thunderbirds Are Go! and Thunderbird 6. He also made an ‘appearance’ in the 2015 revival series, this time as Professor Harold in the episode Tunnels of Time. Matt has had other roles, but his time as Alan Tracy will be how he is will be remembered.

The Dragons Den lost one of their ‘Dragons’ on the 11th as Hilary Devey died aged 65. She made her fortune by launching Pall-ex a pallet freight network in 1996.

Back to the Sporting World for one of the big 3 races of the calendar, the 24 Heures du Le Mans (24 hours of Le Mans). After 380 laps of the track, the Number 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Car crossed the line as the winner, 2 minutes ahead of its sister car the Number 7. The winning car was piloted by:

  • Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland),
  • Brendon Hartley (New Zealand), and
  • Ryō Hirakawa (Japan).

For the 5th month in this year’s review we return to the events happening in Ukraine. On the 26th June the G7 leaders gathered in Germany for a summit in order to discuss the situation. The summit ended with a ban on imports of Russian gold, as the nations continue to implement sanctions on the country.

The month ended with a 3-day NATO summit held in Madrid, Spain. In addition to the NATO countries there were members of the European Union and the Indo-Pacific region. The aim of the summit was the search for a consensual defensive reinforcement following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sustained threats over the territorial integrity of other countries.

July

Three Lions on a shirt (it’s coming home, it’s coming)Jules Rimet still gleaming (football’s coming home, it’s coming home)Thirty years of hurt (it’s coming home, it’s coming)Never stopped me dreaming (football’s coming home)

David Baddiel/Frank Skinner/Ian Broudie

July was taken over by the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 which was held from the 6th until the 31st. The tournament was held in England, the hosts coming out of the tournament victorious, winning the nations first major football tournament since the infamous World Cup win for the men in 1966. It was the first trophy for the women’s team.

How did the women win the trophy?

Group Stage:

England 1 0 Denmark
Beth Mead (16’)

 

England 8 0 Norway
Georgia Stanway (12′) (pen.)
Lauren Hemp (15′)
Ellen White (29’), (41′)
Beth Mead (34′), (38′), (81′)
Alessia Russo (66′)
 

 

 

Northern Ireland 0 5 England
Fran Kirby (40′)
Beth Mead (44′)
Alessia Russo (48′), (53′)
Kelsie Burrows (76′) (o.g.)

Quarter-Final
(Result after Extra-time)

England 2 1 Spain
Ella Toone (84′)
Georgia Stanway (96′)
Esther González (54′)

Semi-Final

England 4 0 Sweden
Beth Mead (34′)
Lucy Bronze (48′)
Alessia Russo (68′)
Fran Kirby (76′)

Final

England 2 1 Germany
Ella Toone (62’)
Chloe Kelly (110’)
Lina Magull (79’)

Following the win, Manager Sarina Wiegman was in the post-match interview, which the players interrupted in celebratory style:

Congratulations to the Lionesses on their historic win!

So, what else happened in July?

The 4th saw a soap matriarch die at the age of 91. Mona Hammond OBE was born in British Jamaica with the name Mavis Chin. Over her career Mona has had many roles across TV, but she will probably be best remembered for her role as Blossom Jackson in Eastenders from 1994 to 1997, which she reprised the role for a brief stint in 2010.

Another entertainment occurred on the 6th, in the shape of James Caan at the age of 82. James came into a lot of people’s attention in 2003 when he played the role of Buddy The Elf’s ‘Naughty listed’ dad Walter Hobbs. James will be on most people’s TVs at Christmas in this role for many years to come. Other people will know James because of his role Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (II).

Over in Nara, Japan on the 8th former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was giving a public speech as he was assassinated. Abe was giving a speech for a Liberal Democratic Party candidate and was shot at close range from behind with a homemade firearm. He was transported to hospital by helicopter and later pronounced dead. The suspect was arrested at the scene and subsequently charged with murder.

In good news for astrologers on the 11th the first operational image from the James Webb Space Telescope was revealed to the public. The Telescope had launched on Christmas Day last year at 12:20 UTC. The telescope has 4 key operational goals:

  • to search for light from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the universe after the Big Bang
  • to study galaxy formation and evolution
  • to understand star formation and planet formation
  • to study planetary systems and the origins of life

The image revealed on the 11th was of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, which is thought to be 13 billion light years away.

On the 22nd David Moores passed away at the age of 76. David was Chairman of Liverpool FC from the 18th September 1991 until 6th February 2007, when upon the sale of the club he became Honorary Life President of the club. David’s history goes further than that, as his Uncle (Chairman of Everton FC) John Moores created catalogue store Littlewoods making the Moores family one of the richest in the UK. David’s Uncle has a University in Liverpool named after him. Sadly, David passed away a few weeks after the death of his second wife Marge.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, as the number of reported cases exceeds 17,000 in 75 countries on the 23rd.

We end the review of July with 2 sad deaths. The first happened on the25th as David Trimble later Baron Trimble died at 77. David Trimble is a well-known name in politics. He was a British politician who was the first First Minister of Northern Ireland (1998 to 2002), and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) (1995 to 2005). He was also Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Bann (1990 to 2005) and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Upper Bann (1998 to 2007).

Lastly for July, it was the 27th when Bernard Cribbins was taken from this mortal Earth at the age of 93. Bernard was an actor and singer with a career that spanned 7 decades. We are sure that he will be remembered for different things by different people. We have picked our favourites:

  • 3 Carry on Films
    • Carry On Jack (1963),
    • Carry On Spying (1964), and
    • Carry On Columbus (1992)
  • The Railway Children (1970),
  • The Wombles (1973 – 1975), and
  • Doctor Who.

We are sure that he will be fondly remembered, regardless of which body of work, individuals remember him for and his legend will live on through the vast array of work.

August

Guess mine is not the first heart brokenMy eyes are not the first to cryI’m not the first to knowThere’s just no getting over you
I know I’m just a fool who’s willingTo sit around and wait for youBut baby, can’t you see there’s nothing else for me to do?I’m hopelessly devoted to you
John Farrar

August began with the Commonwealth Games 3 days in. This version of the Games was held on home soil in Birmingham, and are officially known as the XXII Commonwealth Games. It was the 7th time the Games have been held in the United Kingdom. This version of the Games were the biggest ever with 72 Commonwealth Nations competing and over 1.3 million tickets sold. It was also the first Games to have more medal opportunities for women than men, and the most inclusive yet by incorporating the para competition at the same time.

The 72 Commonwealth nations taking part were:

Anguilla,
Antigua and Barbuda,
Australia,
Bahamas,
Bangladesh,
Barbados,
Belize,
Bermuda,
Botswana,
British Virgin Islands,
Brunei,
Cameroon,
Canada,
Cayman Islands,

Cook Islands,
Cyprus,
Dominica,
England, (Host)
Eswatini,
Falkland Islands,
Fiji,
The Gambia,
Ghana,
Gibraltar,
Grenada,
Guernsey,
Guyana,
India,
Isle of Man,

Jamaica,
Jersey,
Kenya,
Kiribati,
Lesotho,
Malawi,
Malaysia,
Maldives,
Malta,
Mauritius,
Montserrat,
Mozambique,
Namibia,
Nauru,
New Zealand,

Nigeria,
Niue,
Norfolk Island,
Northern Ireland,
Pakistan,
Papua New Guinea,
Rwanda,
Saint Helena,
Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Saint Lucia,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
Samoa,
Scotland,
Seychelles,

Sierra Leone,
Singapore,
Solomon Islands,
South Africa,
Sri Lanka,
Tanzania,
Tonga,
Trinidad and Tobago,
Turks and Caicos Islands,
Tuvalu,
Uganda,
Vanuatu,
Wales,
Zambia.

These nations took part in 20 disciplines which included 136 events for women and 134 events for men. In addition to these events there were 10 mixed gender events and 39 parasport events. The disciplines included:

  • Aquatics,
    • Diving,
    • Swimming,
  • Athletics,
  • Badminton,
  • 3×3 basketball,
  • Beach volleyball,
  • Boxing,
  • Cricket,
  • Cycling,
    • Mountain biking,
    • Road cycling,
    • Track cycling,
  • Gymnastics,
    • Artistic gymnastics,
    • Rhythmic gymnastics,
  • Field hockey,
  • Judo,
  • Lawn bowls,
  • Netball,
  • Powerlifting,
  • Rugby sevens,
  • Squash,
  • Table tennis,
  • Triathlon,
  • Weightlifting.

We want to say congratulations to all the athletes and para-athletes that took part in the Commonwealth Games this year, it certainly brought a lot of entertainment into our home, and below we celebrate the achievements of the Home Nations. We are certainly looking forward to more of the same in 4 years’ time!

Medal Tally by the Home Nations:

England:

Gold:
57

Silver:
66

Bronze:
53

Total:
176

Placed in Medal Table:
2nd

Scotland:

Gold:
13

Silver:
11

Bronze:
27

Total:
51

Placed in Medal Table:
6th

Wales:

Gold:
8

Silver:
6

Bronze:
14

Total:
28

Placed in Medal Table:
8th

Northern Ireland:

Gold:
7

Silver:
7

Bronze:
4

Total:
18

Placed in Medal Table:
11th

And so, now we have a look at other events that took place in August. It was this month that the US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi made a visit to Taiwan in a highly controversial move. Nancy Pelosi was the highest-ranking US official to make the visit since the 1990s. The Chinese responded to this visit with their largest ever military exercise around the Taiwan state.

We turn our August review attention to 3 famous people’s deaths as there were 3 in 4 days in August!

Olivia Newton-John as Sandy

The first of these occurred on the 8th when Dame Olivia Newton John died at the age of 73. Olivia Newton-John is probably best known for her role alongside John Travolta in Grease, in which she played Sandy. Olivia Newton-John was British-Australian and in her career she had 15 top ten singles, including 5 number 1s, complete with 2 number 1 albums. If she isn’t remembered for Grease it will be her music with singles like Xanadu, Hopelessly Devoted To You and Physical.

The day after the death of Olivia, the Children’s Book World lost another well-known

The Snowman written by Raymond Briggs

and well-loved author. Raymond Briggs died on the 9th at the age 88. Raymond was the author of The Snowman, The Snowman and the Dog and Father Christmas to name but 3. The Snowman is a Christmas favourite that is enjoyed by children and adults of all ages, which is even more remarkable, when you realise it actually has no words at all. He has won honours and awards for his works, and he will always be remembered.

The 3rd of the deaths that occurred withing 4 days was that on the 11th of Darius Danesh at the youthful age of 41. Darius became famous in the 2000s when he was a contestant on Popstars, and then a year later he was voted into the finals of Pop Idol. His first single and the one that he will probably be most famous for was Colourblind which was released in 2002 and achieved number 1 status, and it was this song that went to number 2 in the charts, 8 days after his death. Darius had 2 albums in his career and he starred in an episode of Hollyoaks as himself.

The news in August didn’t get any better as on the 12th Indian-born British-American novelist Salman Rushdie was about to give a public lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, United States when he was stabbed 10 times. The assailant continued to try to attack Salman even as he was being held back. Later in the year it was announced that Salman Rushdie had lost an eye and the use of one hand in the attack.

Josephine Tewson as Elizabeth, with Hyacinth

Josephine Tewson most famous for ‘living next door’ to super snob Hyacinth Bucket in her role as Elizabeth in Keeping Up Appearances died at the age of 91 on the 18th. She had been active in the TV and Film world since 1959 and pops up in a lot of programmes over that time. She will though always be remembered for being the nervous, tea spilling long suffering neighbour of Hyacinth.

We move towards the end of the month to the 28th when Pakistan declare a ‘climate catastrophe and appealed for international assistance as the death toll from their recent spate of flooding exceeded 1,000. The flood became the deadliest flood since 2017. International help was fast coming as several nations and the UN pledged millions of funding in aid.

The 8th and last leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 until the country’s dissolution in 1991, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev died aged 91 on the 30th. Gorbachev ideologically initially adhered to the Marxism-Leninism but over his presidency moved towards Social democracy by the early 1990s. In his resignation speech in the Kremlin, he said:

‘I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of
President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.’

He went on to express his regret at the breakup of the Soviet Union, and then cited what he saw as the achievements of his administration:

  • Political and religious freedom,
  • The end of totalitarianism,
  • The introduction of democracy and a market economy, and
  • An end to the arms race and Cold War.

Gorbachev was only 1 of 3 out of the 8 Soviet leaders not to die while in office, the other 2 were, Georgy Malenkov and Nikita Khrushchev.

The last event of the month came on the 31st as Bill Turnbull a journalist and radio and TV presenter died at the age 66 from prostate cancer. For 15 years this century Bill woke the country up to the news affecting the world on BBC Breakfast, his final show was in 2016.

September

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!

United Kingdom National Anthem

Unusually for our review of the year we start September in the middle of events and focus on it in full, before we explore other events in the month.

This month, the only place that we can start is with the sad news that came to us on the 8th, that Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II had died at Balmoral. The news of her death was announced at 18:30:

The BBC’s Announcement

The announcement commenced the start of 10 days of mourning for the country, and the wider Commonwealth.

It was later revealed that Her Majesty had died at 15:10 peacefully of ‘Old age’ as per her death certificate. She became the first Monarch to die in Scotland since King James V of Scotland in 1542.

Once the announcement of her death had been made, flags at Buckingham Palace, Number 10 and other buildings were lowered to half-mast. Crowds began to build around the Royal palaces as the nation came together to mourn her loss. Rainbows were spotted shortly after the announcement at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

The Queen was transported on the Sunday after her day from Scotland to London, following events to mark her passing had been held in Scotland including a Laying-in-state. On her journey South of the border and down to London, she was accompanied by her daughter, Princess Anne.

Once in London, again Her Majesty laid in State and queues of up to 25 hours built in order to walk past her coffin and to say their good byes from the people of the country and further afield. Her children held a vigil at both Laying in States, and her Grand-children held one at Westminster Hall. Princes Andrew and Harry were allowed to war their military uniforms for the Westminster vigils.

Her Majesty received a State funeral on the 19th of the month, with all the day’s events being televised, bar the interment ceremony that was only attended by her family.

State funeral day events:

10:44 – Her Majesty was taken from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey in a procession.
11:00 – The funeral ceremony commenced, attended by dignitaries from across the world, ending with the Last Post being played.
12:15 – The first procession began from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, where the coffin was placed into the state hearse.
13:30 – the hearse left London for Windsor.
15:00 – the hearse arrived in Windsor and the second procession began, incorporating the hearse.
16:00 – 800 guests were present as Her Majesty’s Committal Service took place.

The Order of service:

 

State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II - Westminster Abbey
Committal Service of Her Majesty The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II - Windsor Castle

It is thought that 4.1 billion people watched her Majesty’s funeral.

You can read more of the life of Her Majesty, in our article that we wrote about her following her death:

Her Majesty The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II

We now take a look at other events that took place in September, starting on the 1st of the month when The UN released a report which stated the Chinese government’s Xinjiang internment camps and treatment of Uyghurs may constitute crimes against humanity.

We return to one of the biggest news stories of the year, and that is the invasion of Ukraine, on the 2nd of the month The G7 group of nations;

  • Canada,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Italy,
  • Japan,
  • The United Kingdom, and
  • The United States,
  • The European Union (EU) additionally who are a ‘non-enumerated member’

Agreed to impose a price cap on Russian petroleum exports. This was again designed to ensure that Russia felt some pain due to their actions in Ukraine.

We promised you 3 big news stories, for the year of 2022, and it is here on September the 5th that the 3rd of those we promised you

Liz Truss meets Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II to become PM

began to come into fruition. On the start of what became a huge week for the UK and the world, it was announced that the Conservative Party, and therefore the UK would have a new leader. Liz Truss, took up her role as leader of the party on the 5th, and then travelled to Balmoral to see the Queen on the 6th, following now ex-PM’s Boris Johnson’s audience with the Queen. Liz Truss became the next Prime Minister. Liz Truss was Her Majesty’s fifteenth and last Prime Minister. The audiences of the old and new Prime Ministers took place just 2 days before Her Majesty passed away.

Also, on the 8th of September, although the news was over taken by the big news of the day, there was another death announced, and this was of actress Gwyneth Powell, most people will know her for her 11 series stint as Headteacher of TV’s Grange Hill, Mrs McClusky a role that she had for 169 episodes. Others will know her for her range of other acting credits, including Kitty Rayford in A Touch of Frost alongside Sir David Jason. She was acting and in shows right up until this year! Gwyneth died at the age of 76.

On September 21, as we return to the Russian exercise in Ukraine we saw a major counteroffensive by the Ukrainian army in the east of the country. This prompted Russian President Putin to announce a partial mobilisation of Russia and threatens nuclear retaliation in which he said was ‘not a bluff’.

Briefly we break away from the events that were taking place in Ukraine to have a look into Space, as on the 26th NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos in a first test of potential planetary defence. Dimorphos is a minor-planet moon of the near-Earth asteroid 65803 Didymos, with which it forms a binary system. Dimorphos has a diameter of 170 metres (560 ft), has been characterised as a low-density rubble pile and was discovered in 2003. The European Space Agency’s mission Hera is planned to arrive at the Didymos system in 2026 to further study the effects of the collision on the moon.

Back to Ukraine, by the 27th Russia had held referendum’s on annexation in areas controlled by them in Ukraine:

  • Luhansk,
  • Donetsk,
  • Zaporizhzhia, and
  • Kherson.

Following these referenda Russian occupation authorities in Ukraine claimed they showed an overwhelming support for the annexation by Russia of:

  • The Donetsk People’s Republic,
  • The Luhansk People’s Republic, and
  • Parts of Kherson Oblast, and
  • Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

It is fair to say however the voting has been  widely dismissed as a sham referendum.

It was on the 30th, that Russian President Putin formally annexed these areas into the Russian Federation by signing treaties to do so. The formal annexation is seen as a breach of international law by the global community.

October

Tale as old as timeTrue as it can beBarely even friendsThen somebody bendsUnexpectedly
Just a little changeSmall to say the leastBoth a little scaredNeither one preparedBeauty and the beast
Howard Ashman and Alan Menken

We start October with a distressing story for anyone that has been affected by crushes, particularly in football. The UK’s biggest ever football crowd crush occurred on the 15th April 1989, and is known as Hillsborough due the stadium where it occurred causing the death of 97 Liverpool FC fans. The crush on the 1st October occurred at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang Regency, East Java, Indonesia. The crush occurred at the end of the match with the result:

Arema 2–3 Persebaya

It was Persebaya‘s first ever win away at Arema. At the end of the match four spectators (according to witnesses chased by police)from stands 9 and 10 entered the field to take photos with Arema players. The police are said to have pulled off the supporters’ shirts and beat them; triggering other supporters to enter the field. Approximately 3,000 supporters of Arema, nicknamed Aremania, invaded the pitch. The first group of spectators who invaded the pitch came from stand 12. They scattered around the pitch looking for their team’s players and officials, demanding their explanation of the defeat. Security officials and police tried to divert more Aremania away from the pitch, but to no avail. Aremania proceeded to throw objects, damaged police vehicles and start fires in the stadium, which forced Persebaya‘s players to rush for cover inside locker rooms prior to police armoured personnel carriers for an hour before they could leave the stadium. After failed ‘preventive measures,’ the police began using tear gas to disperse the rioters on the pitch. FIFA prohibits the use of tear gas This affected Aremania invading the pitch and other people there, causing Aremania to run for the single exit point in order to avoid the tear gas. All gates were locked except gate 14, with most victims later found at gates 13 and 14, which resulted in a crowd crush and asphyxiation. The crush took the lives of 135 and injured a further 583.

Sticking with the sporting world, on the 2nd the delayed London Marathon took place. The event had again been postponed from April, due to the Covid pandemic to maximise the opportunity of a mass participation event. This year the elite events were won by:

Men:
Amos Kipruto (02:04:39),

Women:
Yalemzerf Yehualaw (02:17:26)

Wheelchair Men:
Marcel Hug (01:24:38)

Wheelchair Women:
Catherine Debrunner (01:38:24)

Well done to everyone who took part in the race both elite athletes and those running for their designated charities, of which there were other 40,000 people taking part.

On the 4th of the month, British-born Canadian author Peter Robinson dies at the of 72. He will be best known for his series of 28 books written around his character Inspector Alan Banks. His crime novels involving this character were set in Yorkshire, more accurately the fictional town of Eastvale. Whilst these are his most known works, he has written other novels away from Banks and has also written articles on writing too. Since 2010, some of the Banks novels have been adapted for television by ITV with Stephen Tompkinson in the lead role of DCI Banks, the show’s title. Through the word he has written, Peter will eternally live on.

Another Peter passed away on the 8th. Unlike Peter Robinson, Peter Tobin will not be remembered as fondly. Peter Tobin was a convicted serial killer and sex offender. He served a whole life order at HMP Edinburgh, not the first sentence of his life. In 1993 he served a 10-year sentence for rape, buggery and sexual assault on 2 girls, he was released in 2004. Tobin served life for the murder of 3 women:

  • Angelika Kluk (aged 23),
  • Vicky Hamilton (aged 15),
  • Dinah McNicol (aged 18).

It is believed that Tobin has killed many more than these 3 women, but this has never been proved, it is highly likely now that he has died that many of his crimes will go unsolved, and the families of those he killed will never know the truth of what happened to their loved ones.

And once again we return to the Ukraine where on the 8th an explosion occurred on the Crimean Bridge connecting Crimea and Russia, killing three and causing a partial collapse of the only road bridge between the Crimean Peninsula and the Russian mainland.

Following the explosion on the bridge on the 8th, on the 10th Russia undertook retaliatory missile strikes across Ukraine, these were the most widespread since the start of the invasion. There were notable attacks on the capital city Kyiv.

Angela Lansbury DBE

We have 2 more deaths to explore now that we are on the 11th, with the first death being that of Angela Lansbury DBE. Where do we start with the life and career of Dame Angela? Angela Lansbury was an Irish-British-American actress, she probably well known to someone of all ages because of the wide reaching works she has created during her vast career. Dame Angela will always be known for playing Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote. It was 1983 that she was offered this role as well as another, she was unable to accept both roles, interestingly her agent advised her to take the comedy role, Angela as we know chose the crime drama role. Before her Jessica Fletcher role, Dame Angela had leading roles om the stage in productions like Sweeney Todd and The King and I. She also starred in Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Alongside Murder, She Wrote, Angela moved into voice work, and was the voice of Mrs Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and voiced in Anastasia. Angela was made a Dame in April 2014. At the time of her death, she was one of the last of the stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood Cinema. Her accolades include:

  • 6 Tony Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award),
  • 6 Golden Globe Awards,
  • A Laurence Olivier Award, and
  • The Academy Honorary Award.

She was also nominated for:

  • 3 Academy Awards,
  • 18 Primetime Emmy Awards, and
  • A Grammy Award.

Through her large back catalogue of work, Dame Angela Lansbury will be long remembered and admired. She died at the age of 96.

The 14th saw Robbie Coltrane’s passing at the age of 72. Robbie is another one of those actors that are well known across the ages

Robbie Coltrane OBE

because the work he has done on the big and little screen. Robbie was awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours List of 2006. He will always be remembered most on the big screen by Harry Potter fans for his portrayal of Hagrid, if we look at his big screen performances before Hagrid we will see that he had starred in many a film. He was in Danny the Champion of the World playing Victor Hazell, Nuns on the Run he was a lead as Charlie McManus/Sister Inviolata, and he voiced Lord Dingwell in Disney’s Brave, to name but a few films he starred in of many. On the small screen he will always be fondly remembered for playing chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking Criminal Psychologist Dr Eddie ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald in ITV’s Cracker. But more widely than that he voiced The Gruffalo in BBC’s adaptation of the book of the same name as well as the sequel The Gruffalo’s Child. We are sure that young and old will fondly remember Robbie through the work he has left behind.

Over in China between the 16th and the 23rd The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held, during which Xi Jinping was re-elected as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party by the Central Committee. This commenced a rare third term as the paramount leader of China.

We return now to one of the big stories that we promised you, This being the Prime Minister situation in the UK.

On the 20th of October, Prime Minister Liz Truss, Announced her resignation as Conservative Party Leader and therefore Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her resignation came on the 45th day of her premiership. Her downfall was partly due to her dramatic Mini-budget which set the markets into turmoil. Liz Truss will be remembered for being the shortest-serving Prime Minister in History.

It was just 4 short days later that the Conservative Party had a new leader in post. It came after ex-Prime Minster Boris Johnson ruled himself out of the race and Penny Mourdant withdrew from the contest, it left just 1 man standing to be the next leader. This man was ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak. He was appointed leader in place of Liz Truss on the 24th.

On the 25th first Liz Truss left Number 10 and made her way to Buckingham Palace where she met King Charles III and officially handed in her resignation, which was accepted, and she duly advised the King to summon Rishi Sunak as her successor. This in turn ended Liz Truss’ 50 day tenure at the helm of British Politics. She left the Palace, and a short while later, Rishi Sunak, arrived at the Palace, and accepted His Majesty’s offer to make a Government in his name, thus becoming the 2nd Prime Minister of His Majesty’s Reign, and the UKs THIRD this year. Some even joked that a revolving door should be fitted to Number 10!

We end this month review on the 28th which saw Elon Musk complete his acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion!

Also, on the 28th Jerry Lee Lewis died at the age of 87. He will be eternally famous for his hit song Great Balls of Fire!

November

Baby, look at me and tell me what you seeYou ain’t seen the best of me yetGive me time, I’ll make you forget the restI got more in me and you can set it freeI can catch the moon in my handDon’t you know who I am?Remember my name

Michael Pitchford Dean /Tsoukala Alexandra Gore

Bill Treacher as Arthur Fowler

On the 5th another Eastenders legend passed away in the form of Bill Treacher at the age 92. Bill will always be remembered for his portrayal of Arthur Fowler in the square. A little known fact is that Bill was the first person cast for the TV show. Arthur wasn’t Bill’s only TV role as he starred before his Eastenders stint in Grange Hill, Minder, The Sweeney and Dad’s Army to name but a few. Once he left the Square he appeared very rarely, but did have a spell in The Bill, followed by Casualty for 1 episode.

Also, on the 5th Aaron Carter died at the youthful age of 34. He is the brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, and is an artist in his own right having recorded 6 studio albums:

  • Aaron Carter, (1997) (Released at age 9!)
  • Aaron’s Party (Come Get It), (2000)
  • Oh Aaron, (2001)
  • Another Earthquake! (2002)
  • Love, (2018)
  • (2022) (Released 2 days after his death).

Over in Sharm-el-Sheikh The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) focusing on climate change mitigation took place from the 6th to the 18th. This was the 27th time that the conference had been held. This year it took place under the presidency of Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry. More than 92 heads of state attended along with an estimated 35,000 representatives, or delegates, of 190 countries. The last time that it had been held in Africa was 2016. The conference aims to agree policies to limit global temperature rises and adapt to impacts associated with climate change. This conference led to the first loss and damage fund being created!

Whilst the Climate Change Conference was taking place over in Sharm-el-Sheikh, in the UK the Snooker Champion of Champions tournament was taking place in Bolton. The final was played out on the 6th with Judd Trump taking on Ronnie O Sullivan. The title this year went to Ronnie O’Sullivan the 4th time he has won this coveted trophy.

Onto the 7th we find the death of actor, director, producer and author Leslie Phillips at the age of 98. He will be best known for his ‘catchphrases’ ‘Ding-Dong’ and ‘Hello’. He appeared in 4 Carry On Movies, and provided the voice for the ‘Sorting Hat’ in the Harry Potter films among other roles in a career that spanned almost 80 years on screen.

Into the sporting world once again we go, and look towards Japan where the 2022 Formula 1 World Drivers Championship was decided on the 9th with the title going to Max Verstappen winning his 2nd title in as many years. The title was won in confusing style. The race wasn’t run to full length due to rain delays, as Max crossed the line, no one knew if full points would be awarded, they were, and add to that Charles LeClerc time penalty, it meant that with 4 races left to go the title belonged to Max Verstappen. His team went on to win the Constructors title at the United States Grand Prix in Austin later in the month.

Back in Ukraine, following the annexation of Kherson by Russia back in September, on the 11th of November Ukrainian forces recapture the city, the only regional capital that Russia had taken since the start of the war!

In the middle of the month, on the 15th, the world population hit 8billion people!

NASA returned to lunar exploration on the 16th with the launch of Artemis 1 in an uncrewed launch. Artemis 1 was the first integrated flight test of the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket. The main objective was to test the Orion spacecraft, especially its heat shield, in preparation for subsequent planned Artemis missions. These missions seek to re-establish a human presence on the Moon and demonstrate technologies and business approaches needed for future scientific studies, including exploration of Mars. The Orion spacecraft returned and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere with the protection of its heat shield, successfully splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on December 11. Future Artemis missions include:

  • Artemis 2 (2024) – A crewed lunar flyby,
  • Artemis 3 (2025) – A crewed lunar landing, 5 decades after Apollo 17, the last crewed lunar mission.

Football fans particular of Liverpool FC, Everton and Ipswich Town mourned the loss of David Johnson on the 23rd as he died aged 71.

David Johnson in a Liverpool FC Shirt

In his playing career he played for country, England 8 times and scored 3 goals. He won:

Texaco Cup:
1973 (Ipswich Town),

Football League First Division:
1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82 (All with Liverpool FC),
Football League First Division PFA Team of the Year: 1979–80

Football League Cup:
1980–81, 1981–82 (All with Liverpool FC),

FA Charity Shield:
1976, 1977 (shared), 1979, 1980(All with Liverpool FC),

European Cup:
1976–77, 1977–78, 1980–81 (All with Liverpool FC),

UEFA Super Cup:
1977 (Liverpool FC),

He was also inducted into the Ipswich Town Hall of Fame in 2016. David Johnson YNWA.

Irene Cara

2 more deaths to end the month with. Firstly, that of Irene Cara at the age of 63, who died in the 25th. Irene is most famous for Fame in which she played Coco Hernandez. She sung the title song, which went to number 1 in several countries. In 1983 she then wrote Flashdance…What a Feeling from the film Flashdance. She won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her performance of this song in 1984. Some people will even remember her for starring as Sparkle Williams in the 1976 musical film Sparkle.

Jing Zemin

Another world leader lost their life during the year, this time it was Jiang Zemin who died on the 30th at the age of 96. He was a Chinese politician and served as General Secretary of the Communist Party (CCP) and in turn President of China from 1993 to 2003, as well as Paramount Leader from 1989 until 2002. Zemin is one of only 4 Core Leaders of the third generation of Chinese leadership, these 4 are:

  • Mao Zedong,
  • Deng Xiaoping,
  • Jiang Zemin, and
  • Xi Jinping.

December

Success is no accident.
It is hard work,
perseverance,
learning,
studying,
sacrifice and most of all,
love of what you are doing or learning to do.

Pelé

December began with The G7 join Australia, and the EU in imposing a cap of $60 a barrel on Russian crude oil, designed to ‘prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression against Ukraine’ on the 2nd of the month.

On the 5th Kirstie Alley passed away at the age of 71. Kirstie is well known for roles on the big screen as well as the small screen, where her break-through role came in Cheers, where she played Rebecca Howe. This role earned her an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe. In 1997 she took on the role of Veronica in the sitcom Veronica Closet. On the big Screen her biggest role has got to have been Mollie Jensen in the Look Who’s Talking film trilogy. We also remember her starring in Madhouse. In 2018, she appeared in the 22nd series of Celebrity Big Brother, in which she finished 2nd.

Johnny Johnson – The last surviving ‘Dambuster’

Sadly, on the 7th Squadron Leader George Leonard Johnson MBE, DFM more commonly known as Johnny Johnson died at the age of 101. Johnny Johnson was a British Air Force Officer. He was the last surviving original member of No 617 Squadron RAF and of Operation Chastise better known as The Dambusters. Raid of 1943. He retired in 1962 with the rank of Squadron Leader. Johnny Johnson has a DFM, but what do these initials mean? DFM stands for Distinguished Flying Medal. This medal is awarded for ‘exceptional valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy’. We will forever owe Johnny Johnson and his comrades a huge debt of gratitude for what they did during their service to this country.

On the 9th the death of Ruth Madoc at the age of 79 was announced. Ruth had had a career on stage and screen that spanned 60 years. Although she has been on stage and screen for all those years it is her role as Gladys Pugh in Hi-de-Hi from 1980 until 1988 that she will be most remembered for. This is a role that she won BAFTA nomination for. She has cropped up in some of TVs most popular shows like Casualty, Benidorm, and Doctors. She also played Daffyd Thomas’s Mother in Little Britain in 2005. Ruth has also starred in 5 movies over her career, the most one was Fiddler on the Roof. Through her recorded work, she will continue to be remembered.

On the 17th over in the Republic of Ireland Leo Varadkar succeeded Micheál Martin as Taoiseach of Ireland, this succession was part of a rotation agreement made in 2020 following the Irish general election. Once the results of the election were in a coalition of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party was formed. The Coalition was born based on a rotation government. It meant that from September 2020, Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil  would be Taoiseach with Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael as his deputy (Tánaiste) until December 2022. The rotation would then take place to see these 2 men take on the opposite role. The rotation also meant that as of the 17th Leo Varadkar was in his second non-consecutive spell as the Taoiseach.

On the 18th we have 2 events to cover, the first is the death of Terry Hall aged 63. Terry was a musician who had been lead singer of

Terry Hall – The Specials

several bands over his career which include:

  • The Specials,
  • Fun Boy Three,
  • The Colourfield,
  • Terry, Blair & Anouchka, and
  • Vegas.

He will probably be best remembered for The Specials. Not only was a lead singer in bands, but he has also worked with big names in the music industry. Their most famous song was Ghost Town. The track spent 3 weeks at number 1 and spent 10 weeks in the Top 40.

The first winter FIFA World cup came to a dramatic end on the 18th as Argentina beat France in the final to win the trophy for the 3rd time. Argentina had taken a 2-nil lead, then in 90 seconds with just 10 minutes left to play Kylian Mbappe scored twice, once from the spot, to equalise, taking the final into extra time. 18 minutes into extra-time, Argentina once again took the lead, and we all thought that was it and the trophy would go to Argentina,. France had other ideas and pushed for another goal, earning a penalty for their efforts, with Mbappe once again stepping up to score, making this his hat-trick goal. He was the first player since Sir Geoff Hurst (1966) to score a hat-trick in the World Cup Final. The penalty ensured that with just 2 minutes to go, it was penalties. Argentina went on to win the shoot-out by 4 to 2. What about England and Wales, I hear you ask. Wales unfortunately didn’t get out of the group stage, and England were knocked in controversial style by France in the quarter-finals. The reason the World Cup was held this time of year was because the tournament had been awarded to Qatar to host, and it is too hot in the summer, so it was moved to the winter, this also meant domestic football stopped for 6 weeks to accommodate the tournament into the schedule. This pause in play also meant that Arsenal knew they would be top of the league at Christmas on the 12th of November. The importance of this is that the club top at Christmas has gone to win the league in the last 11 seasons, 8 have gone to win the title, is this a good omen for Arsenal? We will find out in May next year!

On the 19th at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), every country of the world, excluding the United States and the Holy See (the Jurisdiction of the Pope) agreed a landmark deal in order to protect a third of the planet for nature and 22 other targets intended to reduce biodiversity loss by 2030.

Beth Mead playing for England

This year the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year show was delayed until the 21st instead of the 18th in order to accommodate the FIFA World Cup final in the sporting diary. The big award of the evening went to Beth Mead for her contribution to the Lionesses win earlier in the year. Second place went to England Cricket’s Ben Stokes, with Curler Eve Muirhead in third. The other awards of the night went as follows:

Helen Rollason Award:
Rob Burrow

Coach of the Year:
Sarina Wiegman

Team of the Year:
England Women (Football)

Young Sports Personality of the Year:
Jessica Gadirova

Lifetime Achievement:
Usain Bolt

Unsung Hero:
Mike Alden

World Sport Star:
Lionel Messi

On Christmas Eve, actor, writer, and satirist John Bird died. John is most famous for his part in the TV show Bremner, Bird and Fortune but has appeared in many more shows spanning a period of 55 years.

3pm on Christmas Day as always the country came together to watch the monarch’s Christmas message. This year it was the King’s speech following the death of Her Majesty the Queen. In his first Christmas message, King Charles III paid tribute to his late mother in saying:

‘My mother’s belief in the power
of that light was an essential part of her faith in God,
but also her faith in people –
and it is one which I share with my whole heart.’

He also reflected on the cost-of-living crisis of the country. In a nod to his late mother, the broadcast was recorded at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle where Her Majesty’s coffin was last seen before it was lowered during her committal service. King Charles’ was the first ever televised King’s Christmas Message although not the first King’s Christmas message as that was by King George V in 1932.

Following the King’s Christmas Message the young audience came together to watch this year’s BBC Adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler ‘s book. This year Magic Light Productions adapted The Smeds and Smoos. A heart-warming story about 2 young aliens from warring families who fell in love and ran away leading their relatives to chase them through space. The adaptation received mixed reviews but was certainly a hit at Fox Towers.

On Christmas Eve and repeated on Christmas Day and beyond, the BBC showed their adaptation of the book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Charlie Mackesy originally wrote the book. The film is a story about friendship, courage and hope for viewers of all ages all wrapped up in a heart-warming, hand-drawn animation. Within the story are many positives that could be used to help raise positive mental health. At the time of publishing the film was available on the BBC iPlayer.

3 events occurred on the 29th. The first event on this date saw Benjamin Netanyahu sworn in as Prime Minister of Israel for a third time after his bloc won the election that took place in November. Netanyahu has previously held the office:

From 1996 to 1999,
From 2009 to 2021, and
From 2022.

Netanyahu is the longest-tenured prime minister in Israel’s history, having served for a total of over 15 years. He is also the first prime minister to be born in Israel after its Declaration of Independence. Not only is Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel he is also the Chairman of Likud – National Liberal Movement.

The second event of the 29th is the first of 2 deaths that we are exploring, and it is that of Dame Viviennne Westwood DBE RDI at the age of 81. RDI stands for Royal Designer for Industry. Dame Vivienne was an English fashion designer and businesswoman. She is largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream. The most notable wearer of Dame Vivienne’s designs was Princess Eugenie who wore 3 Westwood designs to the 2011 Wedding of Prince William and Catherine the now Prince and Princess of Wales.

It was also the 29th that the sporting world was saddened once again, this time with the death of Pelé. Brazilian football player Pelé

Pelé holding 3 FIFA World Cups

widely regarded as one of the greatest players of the game and described by FIFA as the greatest. Pelé is the joint-top goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games. He is at time of writing the only player to have won 3 FIFA World Cups. He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in 1940 and died at the age of 82. Pelé’s legend will last an eternity and he will never be forgotten.

We end our review of December with the last notable death of the year that occurred on New Years Eve. The death of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the age of 95. The Papacy of Benedict XVI started following the 2005 Papal Conclave convened on the death of his predecessor Pope John Paul II. He resigned from the post on the 28th of February 2013, becoming the first Pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415 and the first on their own initiative since Celestine V in 1294. The reason he gave for his resignation was due to a lack of strength of mind and body due to his advanced age. Upon his resignation he chose to be known as Pope Emeritus until his death on New Years Eve.

Covid Statistics

As of 5pm 30th December:

UK:

Cases: 24,135,080
Deaths: 213,249

Worldwide:

Cases: 659,470,275
Deaths: 6,687,007

And finally….

As 2022 draws to a close, we hope that you have enjoyed our review of the year.

We return to where we started at the beginning of this review by saying that for many this year will be remembered for the death of Her Majesty The Queen, the only monarch that until her death most of us had known, She was a true inspiration to many and will remain in the world’s thoughts for a long to come.

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

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