January -

Nightmare on Larkmead (3rd)

A primary school in Abingdon that was struck by lightning and suffered an arson attack within four days of one another finally reopened. In August 2017, the 800-pupil Larkmead Primary school saw widespread electrical damage after lightning struck the building and then its sports hall was set fire too. After six months in temporary classrooms, an extensive repair job was completed at the start of this year.

February -

Bucket list mum makes her mark (7th)

A terminally ill mum-of-two planted a tree for her husband and boys to remember her by, marking off another item on her bucket list. Dominique Hill was joined by more than 80 friends and relatives at Letcombe Brooke, near their family home in Grove, as she planted a weeping willow. When vandals snapped the first tree, she returned with friends and family to plant a second a month later.

March -

Not-so-grand opening for shopping centre (22nd)

'Shiny new Didcot' arrived in the shape of a large extension to the Orchard Centre. But only six of the 28 units were filled in time for the launch. More brands have since moved in but doubts remain about the ability of the town to compete in a tough retail climate.

April -

Mistake on the lake (11th)

The county council clashed with Thames Water over their project to build a reservoir, the size of Heathrow, to the south of Abingdon. The council said it did not trust the firm’s forecasted massive population growth and demanded to know how much water from the artificial lake would be sold to water companies elsewhere. County council director of planning Susan Halliwell warned of the ‘substantial impact’ the project would have ‘during construction and when in operation.’

May -

Marina plans labelled a 'Trojan horse'

Campaigners feared that plans to build a marina in Wallingford were merely a smokescreen for a huge gravel extraction pit. Councillors claimed the marina may never be built, and the town would be left with a flooded hole in the ground instead.

June -

‘No conclusion’ over boy’s sudden death (13th)

A 13-year-old from Wantage, described by his mum and dad as ‘sensitive’ and ‘happy’, who hung himself in his bedroom may have been trying to take a photograph, a coroner said. Conor Page was the third pupil at King Alfred School to take their own life in recent years.

July -

Town marches for hospital's future (18th)

Demonstrators took to the streets of Wantage to demand that their community hospital is reopened. Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which owns Wantage Community Hospital, closed the 12 in-patient beds in July 2016 on what it called a 'temporary' basis.

August -

Return of children’s centre (15th)

Campaigners celebrated the return of an Abingdon children’s service centre more than a year after it was axed in cuts. The group behind the revival, Abingdon Carousel, secured a lease which saw the centre reopen the following month.

September -

£3.45 million bid to save abbey (12th)

‘The most significant’ renovation in a generation was revealed at one of south Oxfordshire's most historic sites. The Friends of Abingdon Civic Society is applying for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to carry out repairs and save the Abingdon Abbey for future generations.

October -

The doctor will see you soon (3rd)

Plans for a long-awaited new healthcare centre were revealed for a rapidly growing estate. Amid fears about Didcot’s struggling health system planning permission was applied for the surgery in Great Western Park. It is for completion in 2022.

November -

Buns for Armistice (14th)

Thousands attended events across south Oxfordshire to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Abingdon celebrated in particularly unusual tradition by throwing buns down on the rain-soaked crowds below.

December -

Save our abbots (12th)

A football club searched for a Christmas miracle after it revealed it needed £20,000 to survive. Abingdon Town F.C. chairman, Joe Bailey, revealed it only has two months to survive unless it can find a substantial investment.