Review of the Year 2017: March

Ben Galvin from Letchworth's Fearnhill School with England's Billy Vunipola the England vs Italy Six Nations rugby match. Picture: CBRE All Schools

Ben Galvin from Letchworth's Fearnhill School with England's Billy Vunipola the England vs Italy Six Nations rugby match. Picture: CBRE All Schools

CBRE All Schools

Bringing in the month with a cheer, Letchworth teenager Ben Galvin from Fearnhill School marched onto the rugby pitch at Twickenham before England’s Six Nations clash with Italy.

Keith Chapman from Stevenage was injured in the attack on Westminster bridge in March. Picture:  Radoslaw Sikorski/PA Wire Keith Chapman from Stevenage was injured in the attack on Westminster bridge in March. Picture: Radoslaw Sikorski/PA Wire

Ben, 13, was one of 100 students from across England to unveil their school’s new rugby kits in front of 82,000 fans.

Fearnhill headteacher Liz Ellis said the whole school was proud to see one of their own on the hallowed turf. The day ended well too with England running out 36-15 victors.

On a more sombre note, a Stevenage man was caught up in the awful terror attacks on Westminster Bridge in which a car drove into crowds.

Keith Chapman’s leg was smashed to bits after the attacker – Khalid Masood – mounted the pavement in a Hyundai vehicle. Mr Chapman only avoided a potentially life-threatening head injuries because he was wearing a rucksack on his back.

Wesley Tierney was handed a suspended jail term after falsely claiming to be a qualified pilot. Picture: Archant Wesley Tierney was handed a suspended jail term after falsely claiming to be a qualified pilot. Picture: Archant

Four victims and a police officer lost their lives in the attacks which were the first of a series of plots which cast a dark shadow over the UK and Europe in 2017.

It was a case of coming down to earth with a bump for one young con artist in March.

The fake pilot who flew without qualifications, narrowly avoided jail after being branded “cocksure and can-do” by a judge. Weslet Tierney, 25, from Linden Green, managed to get his hands on a fake flying qualification while he was a member of a gliding club.

He repeatedly flew planes from the Old Warden Aerodrome in Beds, as well as RAF Wittering and RAF Kirton.

Tiny Gulliford Tiny Gulliford

In the end the self-styled flying ace was left with egg on his face after the judge handed him an eight-month prison sentence, albeit suspended for 15 months.

Drinkers at a Stevenage pub enjoyed a final tipple with one of their fellow punters when his coffin was set up in the bar.

Tiny Gulliford had been a regular at the Pied Piper in Oaks Cross until he passed away in February.

His family though the only fitting way to send him off was with a pint and so they piled into the pub to sink a final pint with the 85-year-old.

Tiny Gulliford Tiny Gulliford

Tiny’s daughter Tina Newson said: “It was his final wish to go back to the pub. They all looked out for him and somehow he always found his way back there.”

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