Review of the Year 2016: November - The Great Stray Debate, sale of The Majestic and Felix's new wheelchair

Felix WIlliams.
Felix WIlliams.

Thanks to an incredible outpouring of generosity from readers, five-year-old Felix Williams, who has a progressive neurological condition, received the life-changing gift of a new wheelchair.

After featuring Felix’s story, which explained that a £3,000 chair would no longer be provided by the NHS, The Rainbow Fund donated the full amount, and almost £700 was raised on Felix’s gofundme page.

The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate was sold to a Newcastle-based leisure group, which has plans to invest in the hotel’s facilities to “bring the Victorian mansion’s iconic features to life”.

The Cairn Group bought the Majestic as part of its acquisition of five hotels across the UK.

Fears were raised over the re-emergence of Harrogate’s street drinking problem, with a growing reports of anti-social behaviour near Wesley Chapel leading to the launch of Operation Yeehaw.

We launched the Great Stray Debate to discuss proposals to relax rules over the use of The Stray by Harrogate Borough Council.

The debate continues to gain momentum, as readers, councillors, and bodies such as the Stray Defence Association all have their say.

Twelve families were evacuated from their homes in Ripon when a giant sinkhole appeared, with MP Julian Smith urging residents living near Magdalen’s Road to stay vigilant.

The district’s Christmas lights switch-ons brought festive cheer and smiles a plenty.

Ripon’s was hailed the most successful year yet, with a record turnout and the city’s very own Olympic gold medallist Jack Laugher pushing the button - a moment which left pupils at Greystone Community Primary School feeling inspired.

Knaresborough’s ‘Bright Friday’ switch-on, designed to be a positive alternative to Black Friday, boosted independent shops and businesses with its extended opening hours.

Starbeck’s switch-on was also a triumph this year, with the Rev Philip Carman of St Andrew’s Church turning on the lights, which are funded entirely by the Starbeck gala and lights committee.

Thousands attended the Harrogate Christmas market, and this year Virgin Trains laid on special services to the town especially for the occasion.