First published in In depth

York soldier Rifleman Andrew Searle spoke about how he nearly died four times after being blown up by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

The force of the blast blew off both his legs, and he also lost two fingers. Rifleman Searle, 19, from Woodthorpe, spent four and a half months in hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation centre in Surrey, where he was undergoing physiotherapy and being fitted for prosthetic legs. “I am working towards walking again,” he told The Press.

A touch of X factor glamour came to York, in the person of Rebecca Ferguson, who performed to a sell-out audience at The Barbican.

There was some true Yorkshire grit, too, in the form of great-grandfather and oarsman Dick Bradley, who spent his 80th birthday doing what he loved best – rowing on the River Ouse. Little Jamie Clark also displayed a bit of Yorkshire spirit: he was so keen to get on with life his mum Helen gave birth in a layby on the A19 while dad Edward was driving her to hospital.

York City legend Alf Patrick received an invitation to receive Maundy money from the Queen at York Minster; time was called on York’s controversial ftr buses, which were taken off the city’s streets after six years; the Splash palace in parliament Street was demolished; Wheldrake-based Easigrass Yorkshire pulled off a publicity coup by driving a car covered in artificial grass around York; and the city gained a new attraction when Chocolate: York’s Sweet Story opened in King’s Square.

There was tragedy in March, too, however. The body of 19-year-old Jordan Sullivan was found in the River Ouse: his grief-stricken mother Nicola Jobling threw roses into the river in his memory, and paid a moving tribute to her ‘darling boy’ and best friend.

Parts of East Yorkshire were declared a drought zone.

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