Review of the Year: September

SEPTEMBER Mushy and Mr Burton from Educating Yorkshire reduced the nation to tears in the final episode.
SEPTEMBER Mushy and Mr Burton from Educating Yorkshire reduced the nation to tears in the final episode.

Here’s our highlights for September.

Life behind the doors of a Dewsbury school was beamed into the homes of millions of people – and several of Thornhill Community Academy’s staff and pupils became stars.

64 fixed cameras were placed in the school in January and by September, 2,000 hours of footage had been condensed into eight hour long episodes for Educating Yorkshire on Channel 4.

The tears, tantrums, laughs and loves of teachers and pupils provided wonderful entertainment and the show was a huge hit on Twitter as people took the shows stars to their hearts.

Before the series started, head teacher Jonny Mitchell said he hoped the series would show the school and Dewsbury in a positive light – and his wish was certainly fulfilled.

The series highlight came when stammer sufferer and Savile Town lad Musharaf Asghar overcame his speech impediment to deliver a tear-inducing speech to the school – thanks to the help of his charismatic English teacher Mr Burton.

Police said they were investigating allegations of sexual abuse at a former junior seminary in Mirfield.

Men who attended St Peter’s junior seminary at Roe Head first broke their silence through anonymous posts online, but began working together to seek justice. The Verona Fathers, which ran the seminary, were facing three civil claims.

They all involved alleged abuse by some priests who taught at the school in the 1960s and 1970s.

One man told the Reporter: “I have spent all my life trying to come to terms with this. I need some form of closure and some sort of justice.”

A London-based solicitors said they were representing eight former pupils seeking compensation and a further six witnesses who were supporting their case.

Police said they were looking at whether criminal charges could be brought. A spokeswoman for the Catholic Church Insurance Association said the Verona Fathers would co-operate with any investigation.

Bulldozers were expected to demolish an historic former community centre after campaigners were told there was no cash to save it.

Members of Save Walker Welfare (Again) met councillors in a last ditch attempt to save the much-loved Walker Welfare Centre in Edge Lane.

But they left the meeting empty-handed after the councils stuck to their guns, saying the dilapidated building was a danger to the public.

The 200-year-old Walker Welfare Centre in Thornhill had laid empty since 2006, and Kirklees Council announced its intention to demolish the building in July.

This caused outrage, with residents saying another piece of Thornhill’s history was being destroyed.

Demolition work began in early October, but campaigners vowed to remain positive by forming a new group – The Walker Community Trust – to build a new community centre for the village in its place.