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From yarn bombing saga to the Sandon goose drama – Outgoing Royston Crow reporter reflects on her time and pays tribute to welcoming community

PUBLISHED: 14:11 11 August 2016 | UPDATED: 14:29 11 August 2016

After almost two years as Royston Crow reporter, it’s time to say farewell to the wonderful community I have been proud to serve – as I head up north for the next chapter.

When I first came down to Herts, fresh from my journalism course in Glasgow, I must confess I knew very little about the area.

Growing up in Sheffield – the great ‘Steel City’ – I was more used to big northern industrial cities than rural southern towns.

But after meeting the kind and welcoming folk of Royston – the likes of No.3 Royston shop owner Laura Whitford through the famous yarn-bombing saga, the great Melbourn photographer Clive Porter – who rain or shine will take fabulous photos at community events – and Susan van de Ven, a South Cambs county councillor who works tirelessly to give a voice to the constituents she represents, I began to cherish the district and more importantly the people who inhabit it.

It’s been a privilege to cover some inspirational grass-roots campaigns such as the steely determination of parents and staff at special school Meldreth Manor – who refused to stand by silently and watch their beloved school shut down – as well as efforts by local people Lynsey Langdon and Nick White, who, out of a sense of duty to the community they live in, are still working hard every day to make both the A505 and Royston High Street safer for the people who use them.

It has also been an honour to work with the likes of Meldreth’s Steve Mallen – a father who channelled his grief following his teenage son’s suicide to set up a charity to support other young people with depression – and Julie Emmerson, who set up The Nicola Emmerson Trust to fund research into sudden cardiac death after her daughter died on a night out with friends.

It was saddening to report on the death of the former Crow editor and town councillor Les Baker earlier this year, but I know Laura Whitford will do a sterling job in his place.

I have experienced some truly unique events in and around Royston and district, joining a spooky paranormal investigation of the museum until 1am, taking part in my very own Bushtucker Trial at Shepreth Wildlife Park, and tackling the perilous A10 campaign cycle.

There are some stories that have created more questions than answers – why on earth was an ancient human jawbone found in a Royston bush? Why did someone heartlessly take the life of a goose away in Sandon? Who left the angry messages in chalk for the careless dog owners who failed to pick up their mess in Burns Road?

And I am sad I never got to see the Banyers Hotel finally open – but hope to visit one day when I return.

Thanks to the many town pubs who served the merry team during my leaving do, The Boar’s Head, The Chequers, Old Bull Inn, The Green Man, Jolly Postie, Ad Hoc and, of course, The Manor House.

As I move on to start a new life in Manchester, I will be passing the baton on to great reporter and friend Bianca Wild. Her email address is bianca.wild@archant.co.uk, if you have a story to share.

I look forward to keeping up to date with the latest news from the town and surrounding area, thank you.

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