REVIEW OF THE YEAR: October 2017
We take a look back through The News archives over what has been another exciting year
Portsmouth’s very own Oktoberfest was hailed a ‘great success’, with more than 10,000 people clanking steins at the festival.
The Bavarian-style beer festival saw people get into the spirit of the event by dressing up in traditional lederhosen. The tent covered the Guildhall and was specially designed for Oktoberfest. Andy Marsh, one of the co-organisers, said: ‘People absolutely loved it. It didn’t take long for people to get into the spirit of it all across the weekend.
‘This is our second year and the council seems really happy with it as well.’
Kyle Needs, 22, said: ‘Portsmouth people like to have fun and it is so nice to do something a bit different at the weekend.’
A veteran navy bomb disposal officer revealed he was a prisoner in his own as he was too frightened to leave it.
Able Seaman Davy Jay served in Northern Ireland and the first Gulf War during his eight-year career in the Senior Service. Leaving the navy in 1995, Mr Jay was traumatised with flashbacks and was eventually diagnosed with PTSD.
Speaking to The News, he said: ‘I was having flashbacks and suicidal thoughts. Letters were piling up on the door but I couldn’t handle any responsibility. With the help of Help for Heroes, Mr Jay received the support he so desperately needed and was finally able to spend his first day out with his wife in 16 years, in October.
An investigation revealed that more than £11m had been spent on agency doctors and nurses in Portsmouth this year.
A Freedom of Information request by The News showed that the cost had almost doubled in the past five years, with £1.1m being spent in March alone.
A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘Within Portsmouth specific action has been taken to target our hard-to-recruit positions and those posts with high agency spend. The NHS has worked for some time, both locally and nationally, to reduce agency costs.’
Portsmouth South Labour MP Stephen Morgan said: ‘The last thing our cash-strapped hospitals need is to be forced to spend millions on agency staff. It is heart-breaking that our brilliant NHS staff feel so undervalued.’
More than 20,000 people ran through the streets of Portsmouth for the annual Great South Run.
Just 24 hours before, Storm Brian caused havoc with gusts of up to 80mph. Despite the conditions, people were still willing to run the race, although the events on the Saturday had to be cancelled.
While some set their sights on a new personal best time, others donned charity vests and fancy dress costumes as they raised cash for good causes. David Hart, the race’s communications director, said: ‘This event started life with 2,000 people in 1990 and now it’s the world’s leading 10-miler. It’s fantastic to see.’
The funeral of a 101-year-old D-Day veteran triggered the message that heroes like him should never be forgotten.
Bobby Tallack served in France, aged 29, and was hailed as a hero there when he received the nation’s top medal for valour.
His daughter, Tricia Calin, told The News of her father’s ‘heart of gold’. She said: ‘His loss is massive to us. He was just an amazing man.’
‘I don’t want people to forget about what my dad did during the war. He is a hero.’