THE year started as this one is ending ­— with the Covid vaccine roll-out.

We look back at the highs and lows of the past year as we welcome in 2022.


The coronavirus vaccination programme in Bury continued ‘at speed’ at the start of 2021 with more than 3,000 already immunised.

A fourth vaccination site was being mooted in Ramsbottom after the first batches of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine, arrived in the borough.

The expansion of the programme came as cases of coronavirus increased and hospital admissions rose.


A new Metrolink station at Elton Reservoir became a step closer this month as £69m plans were announced which would also transform the road network in Radcliffe.

Government cash totalling £69.5m was given to Greater Manchester’s transport bosses to improve transport and road links ­

The cash injection was the second part of a Greater Manchester wide strategy to create a more integrated transport system led by the Metro Mayor Andy Burnham.


A terrifying trend emerged with children in Bury being targeted by dealers selling home-made ‘sweets’ laced with potentially lethal drugs.

Police officers working to target organised criminals in the borough, under Operation Pevek, confirmed they had seized products that look identical to popular sweets like Maltesers or Skittles but are infused with cannabis and sometimes hard drugs like ecstasy.


April brought us an inspiring story of yoga teacher, Casey Newton, who was involved in a life-changing bike crash that changed her life.

Casey fell from her mountain bike, and the damage done to her spinal cord created doubt as to whether she would ever walk again and she had to be airlifted to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital.

Never one to let life get her down, Casey made a remarkable recovery, despite struggling with the immense pain to her head and ribs, and spending most of her time alone.

Thousands were inspired by the Whitefield resident and over £60,000 was raised through GoFundMe to get Casey back to health again.


Steam fans were overjoyed when the East Lancashire Railway received a huge £100,000 Government lifeline.

The grants came as part of the Culture Recovery Fund, which helped the railway rebuild its finances after struggling over lockdown, due to a lack of footfall.

ELR Chairman Mike Kelly was thrilled to receive the funding, thanking the dogged determination of his staff and volunteers for helping the railway through its darkest hours.


Bury finally received extra support to help drive down the town’s alarming coronavirus infection rate.

The town, along with the whole of Greater Manchester, was categorised as an ‘enhanced response area’ by the Government because of the high infection rates and the fast spread of the Indian variant in the region.

Bury Council leader Eammon O’Brien said that surge vaccinations, along with a strong testing system and self-isolation support, is key to driving down infection rates.


Ambitious plans to transform Radcliffe Town Centre and create a new vibrant hub within Bury Market were revealed this month

Images released showed the radical transformation of Radcliffe’s existing 1960s precinct into a modern leisure, health and retail complex ­— and the development of a new ‘flexi -hall’ with Bury Market which will host pop-up stalls, live performances and community events.

The £40M Government’s Levelling Up Fund will support the developments and say Bury Council, ‘accelerate the transformative regeneration programme already being developed in Radcliffe and bolster Bury town centre’s economy.


Detectives launched a probe after a £1m cannabis farm was found in Bury town centre.

Police made the discovery when they responded to a call from a flooded property on Silver Street.

But when police carried out searches of the building they found five rooms and a loft being used for the production of around 1,000 cannabis plants.

The plants were then removed and the haul was said to have a street value of £1m. They were subsequently destroyed.


The ever-popular World Black Pudding Lobbing Championship was back in Ramsbottom was back.

After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, people were invited back to try their hand in the unique competition in a bid to be crowned champion.

Organiser Jim Cunliffe said at the time: “It is the just the tonic Ramsbottom needs after the last 18 months.”

Competitors hurl the local delicacy onto a 20ft-high plinth in a bid to dislodge a dozen Yorkshire puddings.

Participants have three attempts to knock down as many as possible with their underarm throws.


A collection of priceless pieces of art could be under ‘serious threat’ if more than £1m is not spent on the roof of Bury Art Museum.

Museum bosses were applying to Art’s Council England’s Museum Estate and Development (MEND) fund for support to enable the renovation of the gallery’s roof.

If successful, they would receive around £800,000 and an additional £201,000 of Bury Council’s capital reserve would be needed to meet the cost.

If the funding from MEND is not received, the council will recommend that the entire costs are met from the council’s capital budget.

Bury Art Museum opened in 1901 and was purpose-built to display the Wrigley Collection of Victorian art gifted to the people of Bury. A condition of the gift was that a gallery was built to house it.


The first Afghan family of refugees were resettled in Bury.

They said were ‘overwhelmed’ at the warm welcome they received

Bury Council made available an extra 10 homes in the borough to those fleeing Afghanistan as part of a national programme of resettlement, meaning between 30 and 40 refugees are to settle in the borough.

In addition to the Afghan crisis response, the authority supports the dispersal of around 40 families each year, through government agency Serco, who deal with asylum seekers and refugees.


Football fans were celebrating this month when £1m of government ‘levelling up’ funding was handed to Bury FC campaigners to help buy up Gigg Lane.

Announcing the award, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State said the collapse of The Shakers in 2019 was a “stain on English football”.

Bury FC Supporters Society, otherwise known as Forever Bury, with the Community Ownership Fund, had lodged a bid to secure the historic ground’s future.

And Mr Gove confirmed the supporters collective had been successful, as campaigners look to bring football back to Gigg Lane for the 2022-23 season.

Mr Gove said: “I pay enormous tribute to Bury’s supporters, who have shown incredible resolve in their fight to bring their beloved club back to life.

“By helping rescue the historic Gigg Lane stadium, we are helping to put power back into their hands and securing a cherished asset for the wider community.”