A year of Sheffield spirit and big changes '“ the top news stories from 2018Â

The year of 2018 will be one remembered by all as a huge year not just nationally, but locally too.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 10:10 am
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 10:18 am
9 Jan 2018.....Ofo the worlds first dockless bike hire scheme expands into Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

January got off to a rolling start with the introduction of Ofo bikes to the city, which was the first launch in the North of the UK.

Unfortunately the notorious yellow bikes were taken away just as quick as they were set up, when Ofo withdrew its contract in June.

Mass protest and march in Sheffield against the City Council and Amey who are felling trees in the city

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It was the end of an era in February when the Royal Voluntary Service who had run Sheffield's hospital cafes for over 30 years lost their contract.

March was a snowy one this year which left many stuck in the sludge, including Sheffield mum Stacey Lee.

Stacey praised heroic strangers who pushed her ambulance through the snow as she went into labour.

The group took the vehicle to all the way to the Jessop Wing car park.

Sarah Nulty earlier this year. Picture: Chris Etchells

The tree trouble ran throughout the year but attracted heavy coverage in April when Jarvis Cocker returned to the City to protest against tree felling.

Hundreds descended into the city centre to campaign against trees ready for the chop, including the popular former Pulp front man.

He said:  'Chopping down trees at 4am is a little bit surreptitious, you're obviously not sure if what you're doing is right. '

Sheffield was recognised globally in May when the council dropped its traditional Lord Mayor persona and introduced us to a new face.

Magid Magid - Chris Saunders

Lord Mayor Magid Magid took up post with a bang when he decided to squat on top of the Town Hall staircase for his official portrait, and hasn't stopped there.

The Telegraph launched a petition in June to get better funding for Sheffield schools.

The campaign was started after it was reported Sheffield schools are the worst funded out of all  major cities in England.

The petition now has over 8,000 signatures.

Pictured are Sally and Brian Williams outside their cottege on Hollin House Lane,Loxley Valley,who are in dispute with Sheffield City Council over their flower beds after a neighbour complained........Pic Steve Ellis

June also saw hundreds gather to say a tearful farewell to a boxing legend Brandan Ingle.

The City had to say a sad goodbye to Tramlines festival director Sarah Nulty in July, who died following a short battle with cancer aged 36.

Colleague Alex Deadman broke the news on social media.

He wrote: ' Sarah dedicated her whole working career to the Sheffield music industry.

'Her tenacity, vision and unbreakable work ethic are the reasons that the festival can celebrate its tenth anniversary.'

In August, our sister newspaper The Star decided to stand against knife crime in the city.

Fair Fund Sheffield schools John Burkhill

Campaign '˜Drop the Knife' was launched in a bid to make the city's streets safer for all, which was well received across Sheffield.

It was also a big month as seven of Sheffield's postcodes were named in the top ten in Yorkshire.  S10 was listed as number one, with S7 and S8 in second and third respectively. S6, S20 and S11 also featured in the top ten.

The walk-in centre and minor injuries unit were secured for at least another two years in September.

Threats to close down the centre caused uproar among the public and a petition to save the services was signed by more than 20,000 people.

 The petition lead health officials to suggest  a rethink, which was accepted by the CCG. 

The UK's first  tram train service was launched in October to connect the city centre with Rotherham.

Passengers can ride from Sheffield Cathedral to Parkgate via Rotherham Station. 

In the same month a couple who were ordered to remove flowerbeds planted alongside their rural lane hit back.

Sally Williams, 69, and her husband Brian, 80, were told the floral displays near their home in Loxley '˜could be a danger to other road users'.

The couple contested the decision and came to an agreement with Coun Jack Scott to keep the flowers.

Coun Scott even took a potted plant as a peace offering.

Sheffield Council announced plans for a congestion charge in November that was set to affect buses, taxis, vans, coaches and lorries entering the city centre.

However just two weeks later the plans were dropped at Cabinet despite a ruling from the European Court of Justice that the UK must clean up its illegal levels of air pollution.

The first awards ceremony for the Shop Sheffield Awards ran in December.  

Each winner was chosen for offering something unique to their customers.

And last but not least, we discovered Sheffield's '˜Grumpiest Santa' this month.  Hugh Facey wants to raise £1 million for the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, which provides educational opportunities for autistic and excluded children in Sheffield.

And as a trustee of the charity, he decided to launch the appeal this Christmas with a song and video featuring him playing the role of a grumpy Santa.

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker speaks at the mass protest and march in Sheffield against the City Council and Amey who are felling trees in the city