So, 2013 is on the wane and I am definitely looking forward to more good stuff in 2014. But this year has produced some fine moments for our town.
My top five (in traditional reverse order) are:
5. November - Food and Drink Festival: so many good and tasty things either produced or marketed by local businesses. Bringing everything together in Market Place and The Sun made it clear how much Hitchin has to offer.
4. October AND May - Fashion Shows: I'm sure there's something unusual in Hitchin's huge number of independent clothes shops offering a wide range of styles. The shows take a lot of organising but both were great insights into some great local retailers.
3. All year: cheating now. Too many businesses to count have won so many awards this year. Every time we hear about another, it brings a warm glow of pleasure that Hitchin encourages entrepreneurs and award-winners.
2. August - Anthony Hewson's Town Centre Survey: one member of our community asking everyone else what they think. The results were interesting and it's amazing that so many people - 622 - felt inspired to respond. Let's hope that 2014 sees some of the ideas worked on by organisations and the council.
and my favourite moment of 2013?
1. March - The Times placing Hitchin at Number 9 in the Best Places to Live list: presumably if you're reading this, you already know how great Hitchin is. This national acknowledgement made many of us smile knowingly. A great moment.
However, none of these moments would have been possible without a great deal of hard work by a lot of people in Hitchin. Not wishing to single anyone out, Town Centre Manager Keith Hoskins deserves a pat on the back next time you see him. He's the glue that holds many of these projects together and he undoubtedly drives much that is positive in Hitchin.
But if you live, work or shop in Hitchin, you are also part of the reason it's a great town. I take my hat off to every one who has contributed and worked hard in Hitchin in 2013. 2014 is set to be marvellous and I wish you all the very best!
To find out more about any of these stories, simply read one of the blog postings. And if you think I've missed something, do let me know.
Member since: 31st May 2012
Writer and sax player. Brought up in Hitchin and - apart from uni and some ensuing madness of life in London - I've always lived here.