Crow review of the year: April-June

Lyla Zafira Stokes, with mum, Corin and dad, Paul

Lyla Zafira Stokes, with mum, Corin and dad, Paul - Credit: Archant

Part two of our look back at 2013


The site of Royston Hospital was registered as an asset of community interest.

Campaigners from the Royston Hospital Action Group (RHAG) and the Friends of Royston Hospital got the hospital recognised under the localism act, meaning community groups would have to be informed if an offer to buy the land, off London Road, was made.

“Our vision is to ensure the hospital’s ongoing role as a public asset devoted to providing sustainable health care in the best way possible for the community in and around Royston,” said RHAG chairman Chris Cowsley.

The hospital site had been under threat of closure, with plans afoot to turn it into a privately run care home so that health services could be transferred to Royston Health Centre, in Melbourn Street.

Also in the news:

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- Plans for a new convenience store on the site of Royston’s old cattle market were approved on appeal despite local opposition.

- Royston’s first ever cash mob took place, with Ladds sweetshop the lucky beneficiaries. This saw a group of people descend on the shop, pledging to spend £5 as a show of support for local shops.


A baby girl was given an unusual middle name after being born in a moving car on the way to hospital.

Lyla May Zafira Stokes was born in her family’s Vauxhall Zafira as parents Paul and Corin Stokes rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge from their home in Royston.

Mrs Stokes, who delivered the baby herself in the back of the car, said: “We were driving through Harston and my husband kept going because he thought we still had some time left.

“It was a bit of a shock when I leaned forward holding a baby.

“I wasn’t really scared, it just happened and adrenaline took over.”

She added: “We’d already decided on May as the middle name, but my husband wanted to add Zafira after what happened. It will certainly be a good story to tell her when she’s older.”

Also in the news:

- Owners of one of Royston’s biggest empty shops, the old Peacocks store in the High Street, applied for change-of-use to allow the building to become a restaurant.

- Vandals targeted allotments in Royston. Windows were smashed in buildings at the plots, on Green Street.


A new cemetery for Royston moved a step closer after Royston Town Council purchased the land where it will be built.

The council confirmed it had purchased the land, at Wicker Hall in the town, having already received planning permission for the cemetery from North Herts District Council.

Cllr Bob Smith, Royston’s Mayor, said: “A significant hurdle has now been cleared, and we can now move on to the next stage, which is getting a designer to draw up detailed plans for the cemetery.

“We carried out extensive public consultation last year, and more than 80 per cent of people were in favour of us providing this facility, so we do believe it is something the town wants.”

The cemetery is likely to cost over £100,000.

Also in the news:

- A sonic boom, caused by a military jet breaking the sound barrier, puzzled Crow country residents and broke windows in homes around Royston

- Fears were raised about the state of the cobbles in Royston High Street, with reports of people tripping and falling on the dangerous stones