Review of the Year 2019: July
PUBLISHED: 17:01 28 December 2019
July saw a heady mix of sun, family fun and love on a well-known island.
The Letchworth Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with high-energy dancing in the streets, live music and a feast of family fun. The festival - a celebration of Letchworth life - hosted more than 100 individual events, including family spin classes, wine and beer tasting, exhibitions and live music over a fortnight.
Hitchin's Molly-Mae Hague and boyfriend Tommy Fury took second place in Love Island 2019's live final. The 20-year-old former Miss Teen Hertfordshire and Priory School student also gained the most Instagram followers of any contestant while still in the villa, as she reached two million.
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In Hitchin, North Hertfordshire Museum finally opened its doors almost nine years after the facility's plans were first approved. There had been a long-running dispute between North Herts District Council and Hitchin Town Hall Limited over the terms of purchase of part of the site, including the main entrance in Brand Street. The council finally agreed to purchase the land for £550,000.
Holwell's beloved scarecrow festival was a roaring success, despite concerns the event would be affected by roadworks. More than 300 people showed up for the event and raised £974 for Letchworth's Garden House Hospice Care. There was a fantastic range of scarecrows on offer - with Boris Johnson, Harry Potter, tributes to D-Day landings and even a Lewis Hamilton replica on display. Organiser Nigel Eaton said: "There was a fantastic buzz around the village."
Following the complete rebuild of The Highfield School in Letchworth, students and staff buried a time capsule in the grounds. "This initiative is a way of really cementing The Highfield School in history," said headteacher Ian Morris.
In Stevenage, a horror crash at a rally car meet left 18 people injured. Two cars crashed on Monkswood Way before leaving the road and ploughing into pedestrians lining the street. The weekly Cruise-Herts meets were supposed to be static events.
In Stevenage, Waitrose in the Old Town announced plans to permanently close in the autumn after 41 years of trading in the High Street, unable to make the shop commercially sustainable in the long-term.