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News Review 2000

It was a year in which a fatal train crash caused misery for thousands of commuters, when flooding forced dozens to evacuate their homes and a year of 'school run rage', musical toasters, international reunions, historical finds and Fluffy, the kitten who became a cat after 100 days on the run.

Power cuts plunge village into darkness

Brookmans Park Newsletter's look back at the year 2000 begins in January when the whole village was plunged into darkness following power cuts which affected 2,400 homes.

Village-wide search for missing schoolgirls

The same month two juniors from Brookmans Park went missing but after a search the girls were later found in Gobions Woods safe and well. The scare led to the introduction of tighter security measures being introduced at the school.

Bank announced closure plan

There was growing anger in February with the threat by Lloyds TSB to close its Bradmore Green branch. Thousands signed petitions calling for a rethink but the bank went ahead with its plan and within months the village bank had been closed.

Vet college plans expansion into green belt land

Things were heating up down Hawkshead Lane in February with opposition growing to the extension of the Vet College, mainly because of fears that it would lead to an increase in heavy traffic in the area.

Bridge damaged by traffic - twice in three months

Before the month ended the small humpback bridge at the end of the Hawkshead Lane had cracked after being hit by a number of vehicles. It took the best part of six weeks to repair the structure.

Musical toasters lead to transmitter fears

In March people living near the Brookmans Park transmitter began complaining about interference with music being heard coming from radiators, toasters and telephones. It wasn't surprising that there was opposition when it was announced in June that there were plans for more satellite dishes to be installed at the site. Later it was agreed by the North Mymms Green Belt Society that the dishes posed no threat to local residents.

School run rage hits village

A new type of road rage raised its head on March with some parents and teachers expressing fears about what was labelled 'school run rage'. There were calls for those dropping off their children to leave more time for their journeys.

Fly tipping leads to health fears

As the weather warmed up with the spring approaching there were concerns about the increasing amount of fly tipping going on in the area. This led to an action plan being drawn up by the local authority. In similar anti-social vein Brookmans Park station was under attack from vandals.

Historical treasure found in old cottage

In April, a local builder renovating a cottage in North Mymms, came across an old magazine about the history of the area hidden in the wall. He gave it to the site and the contents were published for all to benefit from.

Folly Arch cracks get bigger - action demanded by campaigners

Throughout the year there were growing concerns about the cracks appearing in Folly Arch. By June the North Mymms Green Belt Society was demanding action.

Site unites American families who share same name

The site's 'Have Your Say' section played a role in uniting two American families, living 1,000 miles apart, who met up in cyberspace thanks to the Brookmans Park Newsletter.

Bumper crowds and takings for Village Day 2000

In June the annual Brookmans Park Village Day recorded record crowds and record takings. Another bumper years for the school PTA's coffers and the result of months of hard work by dedicated volunteers.

Residents' Association folds due to lack of interest

In July, the North Mymms Local Residents' Association folded after many years service to the community. A sad decision taken because of a lack of interest and a declining turn out for meetings.

Local History Society announces record membership

At the same time the North Mymms Local History Society was reporting record membership, record attendances at its monthly meetings and increased demand for its publications.

Hawkshead Bridge damaged again

The same month Hawkshead Lane bridge was hit again only months after the builders had finished rebuilding the structure following earlier damage.

Top national web award for village site

The Brookmans Park Newsletter was in the news itself in July winning a prestigious national Web award against stiff competition. The previous year the site had been commended but 2000 saw it go one step further and lift a gong. Representatives from Gobions Woodland Trust and the North Mymms Local History Society travelled to London with the creator of the site to receive the award.

Youth Club has its ups and downs

The North Mymms Youth Club had its ups and downs during the year. In July it was announced that the teenage club was to re-open, but a month later further plans for the youth club were dashed.

Fluffy sleeps rough for 100 days

In August a family had an emotional re-union with Fluffy their cat who had been missing for more than three months but finally tracked down after an appeal on this site.

Go-ped warning from local police

During the long school holidays a new craze took hold in Brookmans Park with children as young as ten riding motorised Go-peds. This led to a warning from police to parents and guardians about the dangers they posed.

Head announces retirement plan

In October the headteacher of Brookmans Park Primary, Peter Evans, announced he was to retire in 2001. It followed yet another good year for Sats results at the school.

New cash point for village

And there was good news for those who had been short of cash since Lloyds TSB pulled out of the village in April. Mayur Patel of Brookmans Park News installed a cash machine in his shop to help those who found it too much to catch the bus to Potters Bar.

Four die in Hatfield derailment - commuter misery follows

But the biggest story of the year, and one that was to dominate the autumn and winter months and indeed is likely to be in the news throughout much of 2001 was the Hatfield train derailment. Apart from the tragedy of the loss of life it also meant commuter misery for thousands with trains cancelled for months.

Flooding forces dozens to evacuate their homes

Still in October and flooding in the area led to many in Warrengate Road having to abandon their homes to escape the rising waters of Mimmshall Brook. The same heavy rains also led to flooding of the Hatfield tunnel causing further commuter misery for those already facing disruption from the Hatfield crash.

Last orders before village pub face-lift

The bar at the Brookmans Park Hotel was given a face-lift in the form of a refit in time for Christmas and this site captured last orders in the old bar before the builders moved in.

Keep up with local news on the Brookmans Park Newsletter

That is just a quick glance at some of the stories hitting the headlines on the Brookmans Park Newsletter throughout 2000. The site will aim to keep as comprehensive a record of local news throughout 2001.

You can read all the stories from 2000 and those from 1999 and from 1998 archived on the site.

Happy New Year to all readers.

December 24, 2000

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