Review of the year 2017: February

PUBLISHED: 13:15 24 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:15 24 December 2017

Tim Peake Barnwell School. Picture: Danny Loo.

Tim Peake Barnwell School. Picture: Danny Loo.

Archant

February launched with a bang as celebrated British astronaut Major Tim Peake splashed down in Stevenage to open a state-of-the-art education centre at Airbus Defence & Space.

High winds brought trees down as Storm Dorris lashed North Herts in February. Picture: Herts Police High winds brought trees down as Storm Dorris lashed North Herts in February. Picture: Herts Police

The centre means hundreds of school pupils will get the chance to visit a purpose-built activity centre overlooking the Mars Yard at the firm’s Gunnels Wood Road base – where it is building Mars rovers for missions to the Red Plant in 2019.

Major Peake was every inch the true British gent as he opened the centre, then took the time to explain the science activities to visiting children. It was even more auspicious as earlier the same day he had announced plans to return to space in the near future.

Trees came down, roads were closed and cars were hit by falling branches as the remnants of Storm Doris hit North Herts.

Rail services throughout Herts and Beds took the brunt of it. Services through North Herts had to be completely suspended after the February gales blew a section of warehouse roof onto electric power lines near Sandy.

Arline and Peter Sparrow's home got a makeover thanks to Give Back to Stevenage. Arline and Peter Sparrow's home got a makeover thanks to Give Back to Stevenage.

Trains had to be held at Hitchin and Peterborough but some were stranded on tracks between stations.

Many commuters were less than impressed with some tweeting and messaging the Comet in disgust. One disgruntled traveller told us: “What’s new? Anything affects the trains here. One snowflake falls on the line and yep the country comes to a standstill!”

A group of community volunteers from Stevenage called Give Back to Stevenage showed the Christmas spirit was alive and well right into the new year as they banded together to makeover the home of retired Stevenage couple Arline and Peter Sparrow, both of whom were suffering with significant health problems. A delighted Arline said afterwards: We 
were very very surprised there were so many people around to help us out. I still don’t understand what I’ve done to deserve this.”

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