Ten top headlines from Hailsham in 2018

A post-Christmas rush by Hailsham residents resulted in a large number of bags being refused for recycling and sent to landfill. Residents posted photographs online of a shameful overflow at the recycling plant at Tesco in North Street, despite many other nearby recycling points remaining empty. Click for story. 

February kicked-off with Emergency temporary repairs being carried out overnight to the High Street following a number of complaints from residents. The stones on the flat-topped road humps became loose and rising sand was splashing over the pavements and over shop windows. The road humps and road surface was newly laid following the multi-million pound renovation project.  During the overnight works, the cobbled humps were fixed temporarily. Click for story.

Residents of Hailsham pulled together in March to help a family in need. It was reported on Hailsham News online that a family who have a child with special needs were re-housed but it was not adequate for their child needs. So, a call was put out and a large number of trade professionals and local businesses spent months making the house good again by redecorating, clearing the gardens and making the garden suitable for the children. The family moved in and are now able to care for their daughter who needed a ventilator 24 hours a day to survive. Click for story.

In April, an urgent appeal went out to the residents of Hailsham after contractors left the Maurice Thornton playing fields in such a mess – planned football matches couldn’t go ahead. Piles of grass were left behind after the fields were cut which meant residents were left to clear up and continue to cut the remaining grass themselves. Volunteers came out in force resulting in the weekend games going ahead. Click for story.

A mid-summer evening in June turned into chaos as explosions were heard coming from the Diplocks industrial estate. What occurred after that was a massive inferno at Ripley’s scrap yard. Residents were warned to stay inside and away from the blaze as 6,000 tonnes of metal burnt throughout the night.  Eight fire engines attended along with two aerial ladder platforms and the Command Support team. Crews remained on scene for a few days whilst the scene was damped down. The business was back up and running in just a matter of days after the fire. Click for story.

Another huge blaze happened in July as scorching temperatures caused forest and field fires across the UK. Then a farm near to Drusillas Zoo became the next victim. Hundreds of visitors were evacuated from Drusillas Zoo Park as Fire crews from all over the county rushed to the scene.Nearby residents also left their homes and moved livestock from the area and smoke and flames put lives in risk. It took a few hours to get the blaze under the control which destroyed acres of farmland. Fortunately, no one was injured during the incident. Click for story.

In August, the national media descended on Hailsham after National Crime Officers swooped into a premises on Diplocks Way on a Saturday afternoon. It was soon revealed three men were arrested on suspicion of firearms offences during the raid on the small unit after two firearms were recovered at the scene. A press conference a few days after revealed officers discovered more than 30 handguns and a large amount of ammunition. The set-up was described as a ‘significant gun factory’ and the three men all appeared in court and were charged with firearms offences. Click for story.

There was tragic news in September as 73 year-old local man, David Gunson was killed during a hit and run incident on the Hailsham Bypass.  The man was left in a critical condition and sadly died a few days later. Two people were arrested by Police but later released pending further enquiries. Click for story.

To end the month of August, more than a hundred people attended the funeral of an unknown woman in Hailsham. The funeral at the Hailsham Cemetery, was organised by Rother and Wealden District Councils, and was held to mark the life of a woman who was found dead in July 2017 at Birling Gap, but was not identified. In the weeks which followed the discovery of her body, fingerprints checks, DNA and dental records were carried out, but the woman remained unidentified. Click for story.

In December, a major housing development was approved which would see an additional 238 homes built in the town. Wealden planners approved the application for the land off of Marshfoot Lane during a heated planning meeting. Councillors and the chair of the planning committee all expressed their concerns over the plans, but due to the local housing plan, they had no choice to approve it. Click to read.

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