Review of the year 2018: January

PUBLISHED: 10:02 27 December 2018

There was a strange smell coming from Tesco Extra in Stevenage town centre in January

There was a strange smell coming from Tesco Extra in Stevenage town centre in January

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January brought a mysterious stink coming from Stevenage’s Tesco Extra, and success on talent show The Voice for one of our own.

Sarah Lawrence was determined to tackle growing problem of obesity after shedding nearly six stone and transforming her own life. Picture: Michelle Edwards.Sarah Lawrence was determined to tackle growing problem of obesity after shedding nearly six stone and transforming her own life. Picture: Michelle Edwards.

A mysterious smell coming from the Stevenage Tesco Extra store had us all talking in January, with shoppers saying they were so repulsed that they had to leave the shop – one comparing the stench to that of a “dead body”.

After days of being unable to find the source of the smell, it was eventually revealed that there had been a blockage in underfloor drains at the shop, and it was soon fixed.

Following the festive period, we were inspired by Sarah Lawrence’s amazing Slimming World transformation, after she had battled with her weight and became depressed as a result.

Sarah from Stevenage had been attending the Poplars group for 18 months, and lost an impressive 5st 11lbs.

Sarah Lawrence was determined to tackle growing problem of obesity after shedding nearly six stone and transforming her own life. Picture: Michelle Edwards.Sarah Lawrence was determined to tackle growing problem of obesity after shedding nearly six stone and transforming her own life. Picture: Michelle Edwards.

Her success spurred her on to support others in their weight loss journeys, and she took over the Bragbury End group for the first time in January.

She told the Comet at the time: “It’s a privilege for me to be able to pass on the experience, insight and understanding that helped me, so I can give my members the support they need to get to target.

“Support is really the most important thing. It all starts with feeling that you’re not alone.”

A Stevenage star was born when teenage singer Tai Bantick appeared on ITV competition The Voice.

Stevenage teenager Tai became part of will.i.am's team on ITV's The Voice after her performance of Move On Up. Picture: ITV.Stevenage teenager Tai became part of will.i.am's team on ITV's The Voice after her performance of Move On Up. Picture: ITV.

The R&B singer songwriter impressed the judges during her first televised audition, especially Sir Tom Jones and Will.i.am, who both turned their chairs at the end of Tai’s performance.

Tai became part of Will.i.am’s team and made it to the live shows. She would later perform at the November Christmas lights switch-on in the town centre.

In Baldock, organisers of the popular festival Balstock revealed in January that the event would not be going ahead in 2018.

The news came along with the announcement that the 2017 festival raised a massive £12,300, beating its previous record by £5,000.

Stevenage teenager Tai became part of will.i.am's team on ITV's The Voice after her performance of Move On Up. Picture: ITV.Stevenage teenager Tai became part of will.i.am's team on ITV's The Voice after her performance of Move On Up. Picture: ITV.

The festival is a highlight of the year for Baldock residents, and all money raised goes to local charities.

Organisers this month have announced the festival’s return, which promises to be “Balstockier than ever”. Keep the diaries clear for September 13, 14 and 15, and keep your eyes peeled for further updates!

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