< Go Back 2012!
2012 (MMXII) started on a Sunday, had 29 days in February and was probably considered, by many more than ever before, as the year of the Apocalypse. Fiercely disputed by scientists that we will be hit by a meteor, another planet or swallowed by a black hole or even over-run by Zombies, let’s see what really did happen in the 2012th year of the Common Era.
January kicked off with the Middle East taking centre stage.
Protests in Syria intensified and an 88-member Arab Parliament called for the immediate withdrawal of Arab League monitors as the Syrian government continued to crackdown on opponents. Only a few days later and a bomb exploded in Damascus killing 25 people and injuring dozens more. Within a week President Bashar al-Assad appeared in public for the first time since the uprising began thanking the crowd for supporting him. Meanwhile, at a pro-government rally in Homs a French journalist is killed.
On January 4th, the countries within the European Union agreed to impose an embargo on Iranian oil as a way to compel Iran to halt uranium enrichment and end its nuclear weapon efforts.
On the morning of January 11th, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was on his way to work when a bomber on a motorcycle killed him. Iran blamed the US and Israel, but the White House denied responsibility and condemned the attack.
In February, Greek demonstrators took to the streets of Athens and the government had to decide whether to agree to fierce austerity measures or quit from the euro. On the 21
st, after gruelling talks in Brussels, the Eurozone finance ministers reach an agreement on a second, €130-billion Greek bailout. The Greek finance minister said a 'nightmare scenario' had been avoided but Greek anti-austerity groups promised more protests and mass demonstrations.
2012 saw many entertainers take their final bow, with, February 11
thseeing the untimely death of Whitney Houston and February 29 th the last farewell of Monkee, Davy Jones.
After 244 years since its first publication, March 13
th saw the discontinuation of the printed edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.
It rained in April… and it rained… and it rained…
The Met Office confirmed that April 2012 was the wettest April in the UK for over 100 years, with some areas seeing three times their usual average.
May 2012 saw more attacks in Syria killing dozens of children and the third inauguration of President Putin in Russia brought about violent demonstrations with demonstrators battling with police near to the Kremlin.
More sad news in the field of entertainment with the deaths on May 17
thof American singer, Donna Summer and, just three days later, of Robin Gibb.
Chelsea fans’ dreams came true when, on 19
th May 2012; Drogba scored the winning penalty ensuring victory in Munich for the club in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
More rain in June, when torrential rain doused parts of the country leaving thousands without power. Transport and schools were also affected across Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and north-east England.
However the rain did not make any difference to London;
‘Congratulations, Ma’am!’ rang out across London when Her Majesty the Queen celebrated the most joyous occasion of the 60th anniversary of her accession to the Throne. She issued a statement which echoed the pledge she made when, as a young princess, she promised to dedicate her life to the service of her people.
Overshadowed only by the admittance to hospital of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (who had just turned 91), The Queen attended celebrations across the weekend including The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and the BBC Concert at Buckingham Palace.
In July, it was time for another anniversary. The Will Bureau celebrated 21 years in business and partied with drinks and canapés at The Hunterian Museum, London. It was a memorable night and thoroughly enjoyed by all our friends.
'Ladies and gentlemen, the runner up: Andy Murray.' Tears at Wimbledon as Britain’s own failed to hold the trophy; however, there was just a little more sport to come…
The 2012 Summer Olympics were held in London, and from the very start of the Opening Ceremony London was superb. It is unlikely that anyone who was in London 2012 will ever forget when the Olympic torch was here. And, who from around Britain could ever forget Bradley Wiggins, Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger, Gemma Gibbons or Mo Farah?
Oh, and Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott and Peter Wilson.
Or, Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes.
Or Victoria Pendleton…
Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh…
Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory…
Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland and Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford…
Dani King, Laura Trott, and Joanna Rowsell…
Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Peter Charles…
Alistair Brownlee, Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin…
Nicola Adams, Jade Jones, Luke Campbell and Ed McKeever…
Or Anthony Joshua!
And that is just the Gold Medallists. It was our greatest Olympic Games ever – no wonder we will never forget.
In August, Andrew Edwards passed the STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation; he was over the moon. Talking about the moon, we had the sad news on 25
th August that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, had died.
In September, according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people out of work fell by 49,000 to 2.51 million in the previous three months and the Hillsborough Independent Panel report concluded that 41 of the 96 fatalities might have been saved but for the ‘multiple failures’ by emergency services and the police.
The entertainment world once again was saddened by the death of the American singer, Andy Williams and then, shocked to the core, by the news announced at the very end of the month, in advance of the ITV Documentary aired on Wednesday 3
rd October, that Jimmy Savile, our much-cherished TV personality was, in fact, a child abuser.
We had more angst regarding children in October, when police began a search for a missing five-year-old girl, April Jones. On October 8
th they arrested a local man, Mark Bridger.
At the end of October, Hurricane Sandy, a Category 2 storm, killed at least 209 people in the Caribbean, Bahamas, United States and Canada. The entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine was affected with severe damage in New Jersey and New York, where, on October 29
th, streets were flooded and tunnels and subways were closed.
The estimated cost of the damage caused by Sandy in the US was over $63 billion.
Some good news for those across the pond, as we had seen in the previous month, the news broadcast was the U.S. unemployment rate had fallen to 7.8 per cent in September; the lowest unemployment in 44 months.
And a new major scientific breakthrough in DNA uncovered some crucial information. Scientists have found that gene switches – once thought upon as junk - actually play vital roles in how cells, organs, and tissues behave.
Further arrests under the now-named ‘Operation Yewtree’; an investigation into allegations of sex abuse surrounding Savile and others saw Gary Glitter and Freddie Starr in the news in November. While in another child sex abuse scandal, lawyers for a falsely-accused, Lord McAlpine said they had identified up to 10,000 allegedly defamatory tweets and planned to sue Twitter users and broadcasters for libel.
More sad news when, on 6 November, everybody’s favourite granddad, Clive Dunn, aka Corporal Jones, passed away. And even more on November 23rd, when Larry Hagman, aka J.R. Ewing died.
29 November 2012 Lord Justice Leveson's statement on the Leveson Inquiry (a judicial public inquiry into the practices, ethics culture and conduct of the British press and media after the News International phone hacking scandal of 2011) was published. Among other key points the report stressed the need for a new press standards body with a new code of conduct.
December began with the report of an imminent royal baby. Kate and William announced the happy news. A couple of days later and Kate was in hospital suffering from morning sickness. That wouldn’t have been too worrying except that, whilst Kate was a patient at the King Edward VII Hospital, London, two Australian DJs made a hoax call that allowed them to be transferred to a nurse who gave private details of Kate’s condition.
Traumatised by the faux pas, the nurse who transferred the call committed suicide. Ironically, Lord Leveson was in Australia at the time the news of nurse, Jacintha Saldanha’s death was given.
Friday 14th. The world was shocked as reports came in from Newtown,Connecticut. A gunman had killed 20 young children and six adults at SandyHook elementary school. President Obama said “Our hearts are broken today”. Many hope this will bring a change in the gun laws in the United States.
They said he was ‘slightly dotty’ and could have ‘walked straight out of an Edwardian novel’, but he was a firm favourite and had presented ‘The Sky at Night’ for over 50 years. On 9
th December 2012, Britain said goodbye to astronomer and presenter, Sir Patrick Moore. He died aged 89.
He did not believe that a stray planet would hit the world and cause its demise; and he would have known. Yet, here we are, at December 21
stand it is back to those Apocalypse theories. The end of the world is said to be due at 11:11am according to the ancient Mayan Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. The pre-Columbian civilisation predicted the completion of the ‘great cycle’ and some conclude that this heralds the end of time as we know it!
We may not reach the same conclusion, but what we can say about 2012 is that it was sensational with a capital ‘S’. Almost every month of the year had an event that could have been reported with a double exclamation mark.
All we can do now is to wish that the sensation continues – though only in a good way - over your Holiday Break and, in doing so, creates a sensational festive season for you and your family. However, next year, perhaps we’ll have less of the ‘sensation’ and more of the ‘prosperity’.
Thank you, 2012 – you were quite a year!