A look back at the news of 2012: January - April

A look back at the news of 2012: May - August


Anglers rush to the River Frome at Wareham to try and snare a monster carp which has escaped from a fishery.

* The world of showbiz pays tribute to entertainment legend and long-time Bournemouth resident, Max Bygraves, who dies at his adopted home in Australia.

* Mudeford swimming teacher Ann McGrath swims the English Channel while Paralympic fever hits Dorset as West Moors sprinter Bethany Wood clinches silver in the 200 metres.

* Rapist Reuben Warren of Surrey Road, Bournemouth, is sentenced to eight years in prison after a jury finds he used ‘repeated violence’ against his victim, during an attack which took place on New Year’s Day in the car-park at Ferndown’s Tesco.

* Sue Webb celebrates her 50th year in the Brownie Guide movement surrounded by the members of her Ninth Bournemouth at Winton United Reformed Church.

* Police Officer Matthew Cherry breaks down at Winchester Crown Court after he is convicted of beating his ex-girlfriend in an attempt to destroy their unborn child. He is jailed for 10 years.

* Three new bells, each weighing 25kg, are hoisted into the West Tower at Wimborne Minster.

* After a year of achievement, Bournemouth’s Parks and Gardens team walk away from the England in Bloom Awards with six gold and three silver medals.

* At least a dozen boats break their moorings and are washed ashore in Swanage following another violent rain-storm.

* Perverted couple Daniel and Barbara Cruise of Luckham Road, Bournemouth, are jailed for child sex offences. Thousands of images of children are found. Daniel Cruise receives four years and four months, his wife is jailed for two years.

* Armed robbers smash their way through the Forum Jewellers store in Broadstone, before fleeing in a getaway car.

* The Guinness Book of Records names 91-year-old Candy Miller of Alderney Manor Social Club as the oldest living darts player.

* More than 100 people attend an open air memorial for gentlemen of the road, Cliff Cunningham, in his adopted town of Christchurch. Cliff enjoyed tending West Moors Cemetery and chatting to his many friends in the town.

* Tributes pour in for former Cherries boss John Bond, who dies aged 79. Fan and friend, Harry Redknapp, describes him as: “The man who brought so many good players to the club and built a fantastic team.”

* Residents of Southbourne are mystified as their local letterbox changes colour from red, to black to cream but the Post Office can’t help.


Traffic is stranded for nearly two hours after the Twin Sails bridge breaks down again.

* The Loch Ness monsters is spotted in Poole Park lake after prankers install a model of the famous Scottish creature.

* Mum of three Nicky Moore claims she was left to walk home in agony after being discharged from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital at 3am in her dressing gown. The hospital later apologises.

* Gales bring an 80-foot beech tree crashing down just inches from homes in Bournemouth’s Alumhurst Road, Alum Chine.

* Wimborne wins the Best Small Town category for the first time ever in Britain in Bloom.

* Poole Pirates captain Chris Holder wins the World Championship trophy in Torun; team chiefs prepare a triumphal homecoming for the local hero.

* After a TV programme reveals that former Bournemouth resident Jimmy Savile was a predatory paedophile, a nationwide police investigation is launched.

* Eric and Gladys Birr of Wimborne celebrate their Platinum Wedding anniversary. The secret to staying in love for 70 years is, says Gladys: “A Bailey’s in the morning and a sherry in the afternoon.”

* It’s revealed that 1,200 Dorset parents are appealing because their child didn’t get into the primary school of their choice.

* Amid rejoicing from the Dean Court faithful, former Cherries manager Eddie Howe announces his return to the club.

* Proud Verwooders turn out in force to welcome home their Paralympic champion Darren Kenny, who shows off his silver and bronze cycling medals.

* Emergency workers say it is a miracle no one was killed after a packed double-decker bus crashes, before flipping onto its side near Lytchett Minster. Panic-stricken Kingston Maurward College students had to break windows to flee the wreck.

* A combination of high tides and heavy wind and rain bring more floods to Dorset.

* Top Gear’s Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson pick up lunch at Christchurch’s Barrack Road One Stop before driving around in a Fiat Multipla car with a cat litter tray on the roof. Later, they blow up the vehicle in Poole.

* A week-long investigation reveals more than 200 drinks were spiked with drugs in a week in Bournemouth pubs and clubs.

* After a long fight the government closes down the Poole Remploy factory, putting 16 disabled and two able-bodied people out of work.

* The Echo takes a last look round the Imax cinema before the wrecking ball moves in.

* Six-year-old Daisy Rainbow of Muscliffe raises £1,000 to help children with dyspraxia, after giving up sweet things for a month.


EIGHTY-year-old Phyllis Day marks her 60 years as a guide-dog owner with canine pal and helper, William. “I wouldn’t be without him,” she says.

* Hundreds of screaming fans meet pop star Olly Murs after he promotes his new book in Bournemouth.

* A dead baleen whale is washed up on a beach east of Kimmeridge.

* Days of roadwork traffic chaos on the A35 Upton by-pass worsen as the Sandbanks ferry is taken out of service for a refit.

Later in the month, Bournemouth traffic comes to a five-hour standstill due to a series of road smashes on a single morning.

* The company behind Boscombe’s doomed surf reef, ASR, goes into liquidation.

* Cake Queen Mary Berry arrives in the New Forest to meet delighted fans as guest of honour at Oakhaven Hospice’s Women of Our Time luncheon.

* Former Royal Marine Commando Sid Cross of Poole is named as Britain’s oldest Poppy collector. At 100 he still collects at Tesco Fleetsbridge. On Remem-brance Sunday, thousands pour into churches and on to the streets to honour the fallen.

* Declan Lovelock of Southbourne has Pudsey Bear shaved into his hair to support Children In Need.

* Voting is slow in Dorset’s first Police Commissioner election, which is won by independent candidate Martyn Underhill.

* Proudly, and with full military honours, the family of Canford Heath Army Captain, Naima Mohamed, lay her to rest at Kinson Cemetery after she died of cancer.

* Poole auctioneer Neil Davey is fined £75,000 with a further £50,000 after being convicted of causing or permitting the destruction of a tree in his garden at Inverclyde Road.

* Big-hearted Brad Pitt, who is filming his new movie at Lulworth, helps fundraising mum Karley Gallagher to raise more than £700 from a whip-round for Southampton’s Neo-Natal unit which saved the life of her baby son, Zachary.

* Following an attack on a woman in a Poole house, police name local man Dean Goodwin, 32, as the person they want to interview and launch an extensive manhunt. He is later arrested and charged with a catalogue of serious offences.

* Diners at the Tickled Pig in Wimborne are tickled pink when Prime Minister David Cameron drops by. He also visits the Rohan shop and Gullivers bookshop.

* Conservative councillor Sally Carpenter throws Poole’s hung council into even more turmoil after defecting to the Poole People Party.

* Parkstone couple John and Muriel Pharoah say that watching sports together has helped them stay married for 70 years.


There is shock when it’s revealed that more than half a million pounds raised for the Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Jigsaw appeal has gone on management fees, fundraising costs and investment losses.

* Bournemouth athlete Judith Cooling tops off our glittering sporting year by winning eight medals for Britain in the sixth Annual Down’s Syndrome swimming world championships in Italy.

* A teacher at Christchurch Junior School commits a seasonal ho-ho-howler when he tells pupils that a certain bearded, sleigh-loving gentleman is ‘not real.’ Headteacher Simon Adorian apologises and in a call to the North Pole, Santa Claus confirms to the Daily Echo’s Katie Clark that he IS real and ‘everyone in the world’ knows it.

* A gunman robs Barclays Bank in Wallisdown in broad daylight. Three men are later arrested.

* Clarence and Dorothy Cattle of Parkstone celebrate their Platinum wedding. Their tip for 70 years of wedded bliss? “A sense of humour.”

* Motorsport race marshal Steve Tarrant of Poole, who nearly lost his life in a horrific trackside accident is presented with a Big Society Award by the Prime Minister.

* Five million TV viewers tune in to The One Show to witness the grand switch-on of the Christmas house lights in Poole’s Runton Road.

* Christchurch Am Dram group Regent Rep make it to the final of Sky Arts’ Nation’s Best Am Dram. Sadly the group lose out on the top prize.

* Jack Critchley of Hastings Road, Bournemouth, celebrates a special birthday. He is 12 on the 12th day of the 12th month of 2012.

* An inquest into the death of Red Arrow Jon Egging finds that the pilot probably ‘almost blacked out’ during a routine pre-landing manoeuvre and a verdict of accidental death is recorded.

* The county is again battered by floods and rain and among the casualties is a Porsche car submerged in a ford in Brockenhurst.

* John and Gwyneth Davis of Poole tell how they have been forced to live in their car with their dog, Jake, after losing their home following the collapse of a loan for a business deal. “It’s freezing in the car,” says John.

* Bournemouth’s controversial camera car is revealed to have made £100,000 in one year.

* Cherries striker Steve Fletcher shows he’s man enough to eat a mammoth 100 sprouts in 10 minutes to raise more than £1,000 for charity. “It was only the thought of the money that kept me going,” he groans.