Review of the year 2018: November

PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 January 2019

Stevenage's Remembrance Sunday service in the Old Town. Picture: Gary Wilkins

Stevenage's Remembrance Sunday service in the Old Town. Picture: Gary Wilkins

Gary Wilkins

North Herts fell silent in November to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Stevenage's Remembrance Sunday service in the Old Town. Picture: Gary WilkinsStevenage's Remembrance Sunday service in the Old Town. Picture: Gary Wilkins

886,000 British soldiers lost their lives during the conflict, and people gathered in town’s and villages across the country to pay tribute and remember them on Remembrance Sunday.

In Stevenage, it was estimated by organisers the Royal British Legion that around 3,000 people lined the route from Primett Road to the war memorial on the Bowling Green, which would make it the largest turnout since 1921 – the year the red poppy was launched.

People also descended on our town centres throughout the month as Christmas lights were switched on in the run up to the festive season.

It was a good month for former Stevenage resident Deke Duncan who, after spending 44 years as a DJ broadcasting to just his wife, was given the opportunity to host a one-hour special on BBC Three Counties.

Father Christmas arriving. Picture: Gary WalkerFather Christmas arriving. Picture: Gary Walker

Deke started playing songs from his shed in Gonville Crescent in 1974 on his station Radio 77, but could only play them to his other half because he did not hold a music licence.

Now living in Stockport in Greater Manchester, he was tracked down by Three Counties after an old BBC Nationwide report resurfaced.

“I’m seriously flattered by all this fuss. How to get famous? Do something really cool, place on a low light and then stir for 44 years,” he said.

Hitchin Come Dancing saw well-known people from the town get their groove on to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

DJ Deke Duncan has been able to realise his lifetime ambition of broadcasting to Stevenage.DJ Deke Duncan has been able to realise his lifetime ambition of broadcasting to Stevenage.

Award-winning author Zoë Folbigg and dance partner Jason Wood were winners on the night, with the likes of singer Alex Francis and The Priory School headteacher Geraint Edwards taking part too.

And that wasn’t the only charity dancing competition in November, with Garden House Hospice Care hosting its own Strictly-inspired night.

Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson took home the trophy after 10s all round from a judging panel which included the Comet’s editor Nick Gill.

In another first elsewhere, the people of Baldock donned their lederhosen and drank beer while raising £2,000 for local causes at the town’s inaugural Oktoberfest.

Hitchin author Zoe Folbigg and Jason Wood performed a quickstep . Picture: Courtesy of Zoe FolbiggHitchin author Zoe Folbigg and Jason Wood performed a quickstep . Picture: Courtesy of Zoe Folbigg

The event was a huge success, with organisers the Independent Baldock Beer Festival Charitable Trust hoping to run it again in 2019.

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