Happy New Year to all Wrexham.com’ers, we hope you have a great 2016!
Below is a small selection of stories that have made Wrexham.com during 2015, with some lighter hearted than others. We would like to thank all our readers, all of those who follow us on various social media, and everyone who gets in touch when they spot something going on – without you all we would not exist! We have 45% more of you reading us than this time last year, and hope to do you proud in 2016.
On with the list…!
2015 got off with a dramatic start with a three storey building in Pen Y Bryn collapsing suddenly on Sunday 4th January. Locals in the area described the noise of the building as an ‘almighty bang’ (Report and pics here)
The former Wrexham Motoring Supplies Store was demolished a few days later – with many quickly demanding that more was done to improve the buildings and appearance in the Pen Y Bryn area.
After much uncertainty of the future of one of Wrexham’s largest leisure facility, in February 2015 it was unveiled that a £12 million replacement for Waterworld in the town centre was ‘no longer affordable‘. Later on it was announced that the facility has a ‘viable and affordable future’ and that the building was actually in a good state of repair!
Also this month we were given our first sneak peak of how Wrexham’s new town centre police station will look. In the very near future Wrexham’s iconic police tower will be demolished – with a new town centre station set to relocate to the former Oriel Gallery on Rhosddu Road. Of course the Oriel Wrecsam has moved to Chester Street and is looking to relocate to the People’s Market – but that’s a story for later in the year…
February was also the month of something delicious and tasty, with the launch of a countywide competition to find Wrexham’s Best Burger. Launched by the team at Destination Wrexham, the Wrexham Burger Challenge saw 13 eateries across the county compete to receive the title of Wrexham’s Best Burger.
The event, which aimed to highlight the fantastic choice of restaurants across Wrexham was eventually won by the Royal Oak in Bangor-on-Dee. Wrexham.com had the hard task of sampling the final three burgers, and it was wonderful!
March saw the launch of an initiative to help smarten up the town centre and help restore community pride in the area. The town centre clean-ups were launched back in March, with two taking place later on in the year. The scheme was launched alongside the Wrexham Street Festivals in a bid to attract more footfall into the town centre.
On March 20th hundreds (if not thousands!) across Wrexham took to the streets to (safely) witness the first solar eclipse in several years. The rare phenomenon saw the moon cover 90% of the sun, and for many in Wrexham it was the first time they’d witnessed such an incredible event.
We were sent some amazing photos from the day, which you can relive all over again here.
April was a memorable month for some as the earth moved overnight for many! Aside from the jokes, it prompted many to relive the 90’s quake and their day of terror.
After a Wembley horror show Wrexham football club was after a new manager, with Gary Mills appointed to lead the way back to the league. At the time of writing it looks an outside bet this season, but one we would place!
One of the odder and more quirky stories of the year – but last April many in the town centre were left wondering over the mystery of the man who had appeared on the ledge above Waterstones. Many thought the town was in for ‘Lads on Roof Part 2’ – however it was quickly revealed that the man was an art installation by local sculptor, Markrobla; and represented how anywhere is a seat/chair to a blind man
April also played host to two of Wrexham’s biggest annual events, with both the popular music festival Focus Wales and Wales Comic Con attracting thousands of people into the town centre.
Who could forget the General Election 2015! Leading the way as usual we were the first to have a live broadcast from the election night count at the Glyndwr University sports hall – you can see our on the night report here, which also includes various video bits and bobs to relive the fun!
Perhaps an even bigger competition than the General Election (!) one of our favourite stories of the year is easily Ice Cream Van wars. One hazy evening in May a road in Rhostyllen was temporarily blocked following a collision in the area. A few days later a separate incident involving an ice cream van also took place!
Car arson has bedevilled parts of town through the year, with a police car even being set alight. One of the worst attacks was in Hightown where several vehicles were hit in one go. We hope those responsible have a dire 2016, preferably behind bars.
June saw how local authorities in Wales could look in a few years time after a leaked map revealed that Wrexham could merge with Flintshire and Denbighshire – aka, rocking the retro Clwyd look. The future of local authorities in Wales remains uncertain, however we think the map on the top left gives a clear indication of the future of Wrexham….
2015 was, to be generous, a mixed bag for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which was placed into special measures in June. Last year there were conflicts over the future of the future of maternity and breast cancer services, criticism over some mental health services and the news that the health board will remain in special measures for three years.
Many thought the day would never come – but after months of roadworks, long delays, traffic problems, road closures and angry tweets, June saw the completion of the now infamous A483/A55 pinch point roadworks. Yes minor finishing touches took places a few months later, however 29th June saw the reopening and completion of the A483/A55.
Not exactly a serious news story, but June saw a cock and hen tied to a bus stop in Caia Park. It did happen – proof here!
We loved this story in July of a mystery person (soon found) who helped rescue a wedding in Llangollen! On July 12th a social media appeal to help trace the driver who helped a group of stranded bridesmaids get to a wedding ‘went viral’ – later leading to the very kind driver being found!
In a first for the town, this year Wrexham played host to a charity waterslide. Held in aid of Nightingale House Hospice, on July 12th hundreds gathered to slide down a 260ft Waterslide on Yorke Street. The event was a great success, with many hoping the event will become an annual feature for the town!
One Sunday in August we were looking at the rain radar and saw the usual blue daub heading our way. What came next was quite unexpected…!
August saw over 33 million records of people who had used the Ashley Madison website for secret affairs had identifying details leaked by hackers. Of those 1350 people on the Ashley Madison database were listed as being from the Wrexham area. You can read a breakdown of postcodes / villages here to be a nosey neighbour.
One of the biggest events to come to Wrexham was the Tour Of Britain, a stage finish as well, seeing some top cyclists belt up Yorke Street and finish in the town centre – an event so special speed bumps were removed! (More here)
We cover lots of collisions, crashes and oddly placed vehicles but this one took the prize. A car, where the driver apparently ran off from, forced this bus through some historic railings and was left Italian Job style hanging over the railway station car park! More pics here.
Was it a bird? No! Was it a plane? No! A caravan was sighted flying across the skies of Wrexham, as is normal for October. The same van was then seen on Channel 4 several times.
Despite months of opposition from local councillors, politicians and members of the public – October saw members of Wrexham’s Executive Board unanimously vote in favour of decommissioning Nant Silyn, Wrexham’s last council owned care home.
One of the odder stories covered was an early morning ‘fracas’ in the town centre McDonalds, which resulted in ‘400 people’ plus police being involved. The number was later scaled back once those involved presumably sobered up.
November also saw a very expensive super car crash on the A483 – which resulted in a man being cut free from a vehicle… Full story and pics can be found here.
In what has easily been one of the more controversial stories of the year, December saw the plans for the proposed conversion of the People’s Market into the new home of a town centre arts hub.
In what has become one of the ‘landmark’ events of the Wrexham calendar, in December thousands of visitors and shoppers alike flocked to the ever popular Victorian Market at St Giles. The town was full of festive cheer as people sipped on hot mulled wine, indulged in German hot dogs and took in the sights from the top of St Giles Tower.
With the ever increasing popularity of the event – maybe a two day event in 2016? Please?
December 2015 played host to a Christmas miracle! On Christmas Eve it was announced that car parking at Eagles Meadow had been slashed after the car park was taken over by new owners. The new car parking prices include a £1 to park for an hour and the two hour rate cut from £3.10 to £1.50.
The news has been welcomed by shoppers to the town, with people going from being spoilt for choice in finding a parking space there, to struggling to find a space due to the popularity of the new parking prices.
And our favourite story of the year….?
Easily our favourite story of the year (and possibly of all time) was the infamous Wrexham Sheep – which after being stolen and disappearing for a few months, appeared on top of Dinas Bran. Champion the Sheep and his adventourous ways kept many entertained when he was discovered in Llangollen, and as a result looks set to become an ambassador for the Year of Adventure in Wrexham.
Below is one final one, that sadly is not true. Yet.
The ‘proposed’ new roof of Eagles Meadow (first seen on Wrexham.com on April Fool’s Day!) – relive the fun here!
Happy New Year all!