Review of the Year: October

OCTOBER Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge with the violin belonging to Wallace Hartley.
OCTOBER Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge with the violin belonging to Wallace Hartley.

Here’s our highlights for October.

The world-famous violin played by Titanic Bandmaster Wallace Hartley returned to his hometown for the first time in more than 100 years.

It went on display for one day only at Dewsbury Town Hall on October 14.

Mr Hartley, who lived at West Park Street, was violinist and bandmaster on the doomed maiden voyage of the Titanic, which ended in disaster on April 14 1912.

He famously led the band as they ‘played on’ while the ship sank.

His German violin was an engagement gift from his fiancée Maria, and was on display along with his leather luggage case, initialled W. H. H. (Wallace Henry Hartley). Music sheets that were recovered at sea alongside his body were also be on display.

It was the last chance to see the collection before it was auctioned later that month by Henry Aldridge & Son, the world’s leading auctioneer of Titanic memorabilia.

The violin sold for a record £900,000 – making it the most expensive item from the ship to ever go on sale.

The inquest into the death a Dewsbury soldier and five others heard that the men were killed within minutes of setting off on what should have been a routine patrol.

Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, and five others were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated under their Warrior in Helmand Province on March 6, 2012.

The former Earlsheaton Technology College pupil was highly regarded by his colleagues with Army bosses describing him as ‘one of the best.’

The armoured vehicle was patrolling with another Warrior when it was blown up about 25 miles north of the capital of Helmand.

The force flipped it over and “flicked off” its turret and caused a fire which ignited ammunition.

The men inside are thought to have been either killed or knocked unconscious by the initial blast.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said significant improvements have been made to the Army’s Warrior vehicles following the deaths. He ruled the men had been unlawfully killed while serving their country.

Councillors voted to withdraw the council’s controversial plan to build thousands of new homes.

The submitted plan, which outlined 22,470 new homes and the release of 122 hectares of land for business use across Kirklees by 2028, included 500 homes and 35 hectares of business land in Chidswell.

It was submitted to secretary of state for Communities, MP Eric Pickles. in April, who appointed a planning inspector to examine the plans.

But independent planning inspector Roland Punshon raised a number of concerns, including use of green belt land, housing numbers and whether Kirklees had worked closely enough with neighbouring authorities.

He wrote to the council suggesting they withdraw the plans.

Council leader Mehboob Khan said the council had no option but withdraw the core strategy.

The council is now working on a replacement planning blueprint.