What a year 2004 was.
There were many highlights for the people in Hartlepool with the football team riding high in the division.
And Hartlepool was encouragingly going down in another league – the one for the biggest crimespots in the area.
For Tessa Dollin, the year was a big success. The retired school site manager got rave reviews after appearing on X Factor. She got a double page spread in a national newspaper, headlined at sellout gigs and became well recognised.
And to round off the year, she was planning her second album with proceeds going to national children’s charity Childline. She said at the time: “They even played my first CD in my hairdressers.”
Tess wasn’t the only one making the Hartlepool Mail headlines. Businessman Rob Jones hoped for big things with his new hygiene product which kills off germs at the squirt of a spray. He was hoping to make it big from a unit at the Brougham Enterprise Centre in Hartlepool.
The brilliant Hartlepool Trampoline Club was being sponsored for hours to raise money for charity.
And the Heugh Gun Battery Memorial Society got its first artefact donated to its planned museum.
The society was given a solid silver Lords and Commoners Cup, which was won by Sergeant CI Smyth of the Durham Royal Garrison Artillery Hartlepool detachment in 1888.
Sgt Smyth was originally awarded the trophy for coming second in a competition at Shoeburyness, a shooting range in the south of England.
And another Hartlepool organisation to enjoy good news was the then named Hartlepool and District Hospice, which received a cash donation.
The money would help to continue the charity’s Helpline Appeal for another six months, said the then chief executive Tony Collins.
The helpline was being used by more than 40 people a month at the time, ranging from carers to family members who had the task of caring for people at home.
There was good news on the crime front as well as Hartlepool lost its tag as the shoplifting capital of Teesside that December.
A concerted crackdown to target shoplifters – called the Crimenet scheme – worked really well and saw the names of persistent offenders circulated to all shops so that the culprits could be banned from them all.
Television highlights as the year came to an end, included Jools’s Hootenanny on BBC2, Mastermind Celebrity Special on BBC1, An Audience With Kylie Minogue on ITV, and a Sex And The City Farewell on Channel 4.
What are your memories of the year?
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