Review of the year 2018: August

Children enjoying the beach in Hitchin Market Place put on by Gatwards. Picture: DANNY LOO

Children enjoying the beach in Hitchin Market Place put on by Gatwards. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

August saw sun, sand and surf come to Hitchin as the Market Place was turned into a beach.

Letchworth Beach - Mason Moore, 2, enjoys playing on the beach.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Letchworth Beach - Mason Moore, 2, enjoys playing on the beach. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Put on by jewellery shop Gatwards – the UK’s oldest family jewellers – to mark the business passing to the eighth generation in the form of Charlotte Gatward, plenty of people turned out to enjoy the summer sunshine.

Hitchin BID manager Tom Hardy got involved in the fun, testing his skills on the surf machine.

Hitchin wasn’t the only town to get a beach, though, as the people of Letchworth enjoyed the sand in Broadway Gardens.

The event, organised by North Herts District Council, also saw a number of fairground rides for people to enjoy.

Nobel students received their A-level results this morning. Picture: Nobel

Nobel students received their A-level results this morning. Picture: Nobel - Credit: Archant


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“The turnout has been good despite the rain, and it’s great to have an event in the centre of town that brings people together to enjoy themselves,” said Councillor David Barnard, NHDC’s executive member for leisure.

Of course August also means exam results, and there were plenty of smiles across North Herts as students celebrated A-Level and GCSE success.

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In Stevenage, a girlfriend gave her boyfriend a literal kiss of life after he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

Georgia Groom, 20, was hailed as a “true hero” after performing CPR on Jack Norman, also 20, at their home in the early hours of the morning.

JHN's Eleanor Manning, Molly Noon, Sam Frith and Grace Meenan. Picture: John Henry Newman School

JHN's Eleanor Manning, Molly Noon, Sam Frith and Grace Meenan. Picture: John Henry Newman School - Credit: Archant

“Her actions saved my son’s life,” said Jack’s mum, Victoria.

“She showed courage and bravery, and her ability to remain calms shows a true hero.”

When Jack arrived at hospital, a doctor told Georgia that if she had left her boyfriend for 30 seconds longer he might have died.

“If she didn’t act as quickly as she did, I probably wouldn’t be here,” said Jack.

Georgia Groom and Jack Norman from Stevenage. Picture: Jack Norman

Georgia Groom and Jack Norman from Stevenage. Picture: Jack Norman - Credit: Archant

The month did, however, see the tragic death of Stevenage’s Conor Spraggs, who lost his life aged 23 in an Ibiza street brawl.

The former Thomas Alleyne student was killed in a fight by the seafront just hours before he was set to fly home.

Stevenage residents pulled together to help raise £13,000 to bring Conor’s body back to the UK and help pay for his funeral.

His friend Bradley Pearce set up the crowdfunding page and wrote: “Conor was a gentle soul with a heart of gold, who is going to be deeply missed by family and friends and anyone who knew him.”

Conor Spraggs, 23, from Stevenage. Picture: Facebook

Conor Spraggs, 23, from Stevenage. Picture: Facebook - Credit: Archant

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