Gallery: The year in pictures
PUBLISHED: 06:55 01 January 2015
IN MANY ways, 2014 was great year for Weston; a host of successful headline-grabbing events, a recovering economy, new developments on the horizon, increasing excellence in education, and dozens of individual people making remarkable and newsworthy contributions to our community.
Gallery: 2014 In Pictures
Carnival night proved a roaring success for both Weston and Burnham in November.
Weston Hospicecare celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of events throughout 2014 - including the popular Colour Run at Uphill beach.
Youngsters across the district - including this duo at Weston's Milton Park Primary School - celebrated World Book Day in March.
Grove Park bandstand reopened in September after a lengthy restoration process.
Soap stars Dean Gaffney and Gemma Bissix are the star attractions at Playhouse panto Peter Pan.
Weston Lions Club's real ale festival was its usual annual hit - and featured a £15,000 Go Kids Go! youth grant scheme, run in partnership with the Mercury.
There were stunts galore on the seafront in the summer, courtesy of the Pro Nationals bike weekend.
500 Royal Marines from 40 Commadno received the Freedom of Weston in a seafront ceremony in June.
Weston's sand sculpture festival was a hit throughout the summer - but will it return in 2015?
Popstars McBusted headlined one of three big-name concerts which made Weston beach a haven for music fans this summer.
Snowboarder Jenny Jones - fresh from bronze medal success at the Sochi Winter Olympics - enjoyed a hero's welcome when she returned to her former training base at Mendip Snowsport Centre in Churchill.
World War One centenary events were held across the district - James, Laila, Joseph, Ruby and Hannah are pictured proudly wearing their poppies at Worlebury St Paul's Primary School.
Fair weather ensured a bumper summer of events was enjoyed across North Somerset. Ladybirds Jess, Bella and Olivia enjoyed Wrington village fete.
A great selection of aircraft at the Weston Airshow 2014
Today, as we move into 2015 with renewed hope for a prosperous Weston, we are taking a look back over some of our favourite events, moments and photographs of the past 12 months.
Featured pictures include Weston’s ‘best ever’ air festival, the glittering carnival, Weston Hospicecare’s 25th anniversary celebrations, motorsport and music extravaganzas on the seafront, and the long awaited reopening of Grove Park bandstand.
It has certainly been a year of change in Weston, with a number of new developments under way ready or to begin, and several once-beloved community buildings facing reinvention in 2015.
Of course, 2014 has not been perfect. Tropicana, Birnbeck Pier and Dolphin Square sagas rumble on (how many times have we written that in our end-of-year round-up?) but there appears to be genuine optimism for at least two of them in the new year (and yes, we know we’re written that before, too).
Plans to redevelop the Winter Gardens have not been universally welcomed, but whether in favour or not, few would dispute that Weston College – surely the town’s biggest success story in recent years – will do its best to support a community in which it continues to invest so heavily.
What promises to be the most interesting election day in recent memory is looming in May, and with it will come the chance to shape Weston’s direction for the coming years.
The Mercury – which has itself seen significant change this year with the retirement in May of editor Judi Kisiel after 25 years at the helm – will continue to be at the heart of the town’s issues in 2015, but for now, let’s take a moment to reflect on our highlights from the past 12 months as we say a fond farewell to Weston’s 2014.
Happy new year to you all from everyone at the Mercury.