Bromley 2017 - a news review of the year

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 January 2018

MAY: Prince Michael of Kent and Jean-Christophe Gallagher of Bombardier Business Aircraft, unveil the plaque to celebrate the inauguration of the London-Biggin Hill Service Centre.

MAY: Prince Michael of Kent and Jean-Christophe Gallagher of Bombardier Business Aircraft, unveil the plaque to celebrate the inauguration of the London-Biggin Hill Service Centre.


Looking back at the stories of the past 12 months.

JUNE: The bridge at Shortlands railway station was struck by a Tesco lorry. Picture: Jonathan CousinsJUNE: The bridge at Shortlands railway station was struck by a Tesco lorry. Picture: Jonathan Cousins


Cocaine worth 1.4m dollars is seized during an attempt to smuggle the drug into the UK at Biggin Hill. The plot was foiled when Border Force officers arrested a man at the airport.

Bromley woman Avril Hitman, who set up dance companyMagpie Dance for people with learning disabilities is awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s list in recognition of her work.

DECEMBER: Ric Piper walked 530 miles in memory of his daughter. Picture: Ric PiperDECEMBER: Ric Piper walked 530 miles in memory of his daughter. Picture: Ric Piper


There are plans to lease Normal Park Athletics Track to a local sports club which could secure its future and “greatly enhance” facilities for residents.

There is anger as school plans are rejected over safety fears. Dismayed residents react furiously after councillors refused planning permission for a new high school in Chislehurst, branding the meeting “farcical”.

Shy Sydenham woman Amanda Woods wants to be crowned Miss Galaxy and get to the finals in Orlando.

Ex-RAF pilot Ray Roberts takes to the skies again in a Spitfire at the age of 100. Ray did it to mark the centenary year of celebrations of the airport that played a pivotal role in the Battle of Britain.


The new £1 coin costs the council dear. Some £77,000 is needed to pay for the parking machines to be converted.

The panic over which secondary school children are going to end up was eased a little for parents after it was revealed a whopping 90 per cent got one of their top picks.

A robot suit allowed disabled Gheorghe Dunca, 42, to walk again.

Gheorghe, who was paralysed from the waist down when he fell nine metres while working as a labourer in 2011 took his first steps thanks to the high tech exo-skeleton suit


Prolific burglars George Morley, 19, Joseph Le, 20, and Dawine Martindale, 19, are jailed for raids on 14 properties across Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Swanley during the summer of 2016.

Plans for eight apartment blocks across Bromley town centre are unveiled which will creating 380 homes with bars and restaurants.

Thousands of police officers line the streets of London for the final journey of honest, kind and caring Pc Keith Palmer who was stabbed while trying to stop Dartford-born terrorist Khalid Masood at Westminster.

And a two-year crackdown on anti-social behaviour is under way with agencies combining in a bid to tackle the community blights of fly-tipping and graffiti.


The Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup gets a clean bill of health after inspectors said it had dramatically improved over the year and is now rated good.

Test star Yasir Afarat, 35, enrols as cricket coach at independent Eltham College.

Rail worries again as protesters gather outside two of the borough’s train stations drawing attention to the problems faced by disabled and elderly passengers.

Royalty jetted in for the unveiling of a major investor in the Biggin Hill expansion plans. It rolled out the red carpet for Prince Michael of Kent.

He opened a major new addition to the airport described as a world class aviation hub. Aviation giant Bombardier unveiled its new 52,000sqft hanger.


City executive Michael Collins, 66, of Downe, funded a lavish lifestyle of luxury travel and designer goods. Then he was jailed after being found guilty of stealing £6 million over 16 years.

An amateur historian tries putting a face to a Royal Marine from Bromley who died during a battle with Nazis during the Second World War.

The search is on for descendants of 33-year-old Richard Nunn who died liberating a French village. He was a lieutenant with the 46 Royal Marine Commandos.

Bickley Park public boys’ school is set to invest £900,000 on improvements to include new classrooms and sports hall revamp.

A notorious bridge is hit yet again as a Tesco lorry causes 12 hours of traffic chaos.

The truck’s top was peeled back like a sardine can after it became the second vehicle this year to get stuck after driving under a railway bridge near Shortlands train station.


A museum honouring the importance of Biggin Hill Airport during the Second World War gets £2million funding, but campaigners warn its design resembles a death camp.

The David Bowie bandstand in Beckenham could get grander as a mystery investor eyes the park site.

Police continue the hunt for the killer of popular non-league footballer Danny Pearce, 31, of Bromley, who was stabbed in altercation with two men on mopeds in Greenwich.

People who dump rubbish cost could landowners up to £100,000 to shift tonnes of waste on land in Bickley during a two-week stay by travellers.


More than a dozen men, including some from Bromley were sentenced for their role in a £25m cannabis farming operation described by police as being on an industrial scale.

A bid by Crystal Palace FC to upgrade the club’s Beckenham training facilities is ruled
offside by planners. The club may appeal.

Meanwhile, Cray Wanderers push ahead with fresh plans for 1,100-seat football stadium at Chislehurst, in spite of previous proposals being thrown out by London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Traders in Beckenham are livid over plans for a Tesco store at the site of the former Chinese Garage petrol station.


The students removed from courses by St Olave’s make a return.

Cancer survivor Mandy King, 60, takes to the catwalk to help inspire others for the Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show.

Chislehurst Common has been safeguarded for future generations after a deal is struck with the present owner, Russian princess June Lobanov-Rostovsky.


Dozens of people locally are laid off when airline Monarch collapsed - it left 110,000 passengers stranded abroad. It cost 1,858 people their jobs.

Locally, the job losses were in sales, IT and customer services.

There are worries about the aesthetics of a proposed
21-storey apartment block next to Bromley North train station. The block would provide 200 flats for rent.

Traffic worries are ignored as Bromley Council gives permission for Bullers Wood School for Boys to be built between Chislehurst and Bickley.


Unpleasant whiffs fill the air when a sewer pipe collapses in Bromley town centre. Market Square is closed for a while to allow workmen to make repairs.

A murder investigation starts when the body of a 24-year-old man is found at Knockholt station. It is thought he may have been chased on to the tracks.

Work starts to tear down a 27,000 tonne rubbish mountain in Cornwall Drive. Astonishingly
the cost is put at around £4.5million.


A rescue cat adopted by Beckenham resident Matt Taghioff amasses tens of thousands of Twitter followers because of her permanently petrified expression. Matt believes Zelda’s expression is because her previous home was too noisy for her.

Ric Piper, of Bickley raises more than £28,000 for charity by walking 530 miles across France and Spain in memory of his daughter Laura, who died of pneumonia after battling anorexia.

Bromley Council rejects plans for a 10-storey academy at the junction of Westmorelands Road and Masons Hill.

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