For a more detailed look back on the stories that made the headlines in 2012 click here.

Falmouth Packet: hotel

The biggest story of 2012 was the inferno that engulfed the Falmouth Beach Hotel


Father John Harris, who was appointed to St Gluvias Church, Penryn, during the 1990s, retired as parish priest.

Johnny Vegas, one of the UK’s most recognisable comedians, was spotted enjoying a New Year break in Falmouth.

 Figures released by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service revealed that bankruptcy rates were higher in Cornwall than in any other region of England and Wales.

A horse was mutilated with a knife and left to die in a Stithians field in an attack that was labelled both “sick” and “barbaric”. The stallion had its genitalia cut off, an eye gouged out and its teeth removed.

 A draft plan which would see 4,000 homes built in the Falmouth and Penryn area over the next 20 years were slammed as “not right for the people of Falmouth” by the town’s councillors.

 Falmouth wildlife photographer Steve Ogden snapped a Speckled Wood butterfly in his garden – a full two months before the creatures normally emerge for the spring.

Falmouh Town Council agreed to write to English Heritage asking for two World War II pillboxes in Bickland Water Road to be listed as historic buildings.

Full scale replicas of parts of naval warships were being built at Falmouth Docks to help train sailors at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint.

For all January news click here


According to a report issued by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), there was a possibility that secret plans to create a nuclear warhead depot near Falmouth could be resurrected if Scotland voted to leave the UK.

Strange lights were spotted in the skies above Stithians, with a report of an unidentified flying object (UFO) being sighted over the village.

Constantine great grandmother Rose Pearce celebrated her 104th birthday with her favourite meal – fish and chips – at the Chain Locker pub in Falmouth. She was joined by family and friends.

Falmouth’s annual civic service and parade was held to coincide with the anniversary of the Queen’s accension to the throne.

Work started on a development of new affordable homes at the end of Castle View Park in Mawnan Smith.

Cutbacks at Falmouth Docks, which meant workers could lose up to 12 days pay a year, could have been avoided if dredging was allowed to take place, said yard bosses.

Experts were called in to oversee a new Falmouth housing development at Tremorvah Heights, Swanpool, after a mineshaft opened up in one of the gardens.


Controversial plans to erect industrial buildings on green fields off Bickland Water Road, Falmouth, were rejected for a second time by Cornwall Council.

Mylor residents had their say on plans for a new housing development earmarked for land off Bell’s Hill. The consultation event regarding 30 homes was held at the Tremayne Hall.

A £70,000 refurbishment of visitor facilities on Falmouth’s North Quay was completed a month ahead of time.

Falmouth celebrated the patron saint of Cornish tin miners with the town’s first ever St Piran’s Day parade.

The Cornwall councillor for Stithians, Neil Plummer, challenged the unitary authority to do more to protect public transport after parents were left in the dark over the cancellation of a school bus for Truro.

Falmouth and Penryn’s top cop, Inspector Mark Richards, claimed that cuts to his staff numbers may leave the force unable to deliver the level of service he would like to guarantee local residents.

Huge numbers of rats were being reported across Falmouth raising fears the rodent population was rising.


Professional thieves made off with thousands of pounds in cash after breaking into Thorntons chocolate shop and accessories store Claire’s in Market Street, Falmouth.

There was panic at the pumps across Falmouth and Penryn after fears of a strike by fuel tanker drivers left motorists scrambling to fill up their vehicles with petrol.

An out of control fire swept through a row of terraced houses in Constantine, gutting two homes and leaving three others badly damaged. The blaze started after a domestic oil tank ruptured spilling burning oil into the properties.

A lack of interest forced organisers of the Cornish Brass Band Championships, which were to be held at the University College Falmouth’s Tremough campus, in Penryn, to postpone the event.

Cornwall was declared an official drought area after two years of exceptionally low rainfall.

As Falmouth’s Pendennis Shipyard announced that 100 jobs could be created at the yard following the approval of its expansion plans, Falmouth and Penryn bakers WC Rowe revealed a raft of redundancies.



Thieving vandals ruined a brand new fence which formed part of a walkway linking Penryn College and the Tremough university campus.

A crime prevention scheme that links the police, Falmouth Town Council and shops across the town by radio was relaunched to help crackdown on shoplifting.

Some of the world’s greatest sailors were competing in the waters off Falmouth as Olympic fever built in the the district ahead of the Olympic torch’s arrival.

Geoffrey Evans was sworn in as the Mayor of Falmouth – for the tenth time.

Off-duty police officers from Penryn and Falmouth, and across Cornwall, joined thousands of officers from other forces at a protest march in London against job cuts.

Campaigners across Cornwall were celebrating after the government performed a shock U-turn on its proposal to introduce the so-call “pasty tax”.

More than 15,000 spectators lined the streets of Falmouth to watch torch bearers carry the Olympic flame, which had been brought to the UK by former England football captain David Beckham, through the town.


Whether royalist or republican, nobody could fail to miss the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations held across the Falmouth and Penryn district over the extended Bank Holiday weekend.

A 13-year-old girl was left injured and bleeding after being hit over the head with a bottle during an alleged attack by a gang of four young girls in Falmouth over the Diamond Jubilee Weekend.

On-the-spot fines and anti-seagull bin bag covers were just two of the measures being considered to tackle Falmouth’s and Penryn’s ever mounting litter problem.

The 42ft Falmouth passenger ferry Medina Mist was cast adrift by malicious vandals and left to float in the dead of night through the busy waters of the Penryn River, unmanned and uncontrolled.

A controversial application to build a 74-bedroom Premier Inn on Campbeltown Way car park, close to Falmouth’s waterfront and maritime museum, was resubmitted to planners, some seven months after the first application was withdrawn.

A cat that became trapped halfway down a quayside wall in the basin at Falmouth’s Custom House Quay was plucked to safety by local firefighters.


A teenager came dangerously close to being dragged under the propellors of a Falmouth pleasure boat after jumping from Falmouth’s Prince of Wales Pier.

Burglars who broke into Nick Ferris Skip Hire Ltd’s premises on the outskirts of Penryn caused a considerable amount of damage but only got away with an empty safe.

Prolonged spells of rain and fears of a landslide forced the managers of Falmouth’s Gyllyngdune Gardens to temporarily ban the public from the lowest parts of the seafront site.

Anger over the refusal of Cornwall Council to bring in an Article 4 rule to help control the level of multiple occupancy homes in Falmouth refused to fade with councillors saying the problem was blighting the town for a generation.

Plans for 41 new homes at a development known as College Farm at the southern boundary of Penryn won conditional support from town councillors.

Falmouth Sports Club, on Western Terrace, was given a grant of £49,000 from Sport England to help improve its facilities for future generations.

Team GB’s Paralympic sailing team were putting the final touches to their training sessions at Mylor.



Businesses and people living around Falmouth Wharves, off North Parade, Falmouth, launched a petition against proposals to build a 14-bedroom hotel and 44 flats, 20 light industrial/workshop units, gallery space and a restaurant/cafe next to the town’s last surviving deep water wharf.

Valuable gardening equipment was stolen during a raid on Falmouth Town Council’s compound in Kimberley Park.

The Packet exclusively revealed that one in ten Falmouth homes was used solely for student accommodation. A Freedom of Information request also showed a 653 per cent rise in the number of student houses in Penryn between 1999 and 2011.

Business leader Nigel Carpenter, the chairman of Falmouth BID, claimed that piles of rotting seaweed on Gyllyngvase and Castle beaches was threatening the town’s economy and putting jobs at risk.

Marie Hunter, headteacher of Penryn College, hit out at the 2012 GCSE English exam results, saying they were unfair and that the grades her students received were inconsistent.

An evening of humorous Jewish story telling was held at Falmouth’s Poly to celebrate Jewish Culture Open Day.



Airguns were being used illegally in central Falmouth to try to kill seagulls, according to the police

A bomb squad was scrambled to Permarin Road in Penryn after reports that an unexploded grenade was found in a garden. A man was arrested after the “grenade” was found to be a toy.

Queues stretched around Falmouth’s Events Square as hundreds of people from the Penryn, Falmouth and surrounding area took family heirlooms to the waterfront venue to be valued by experts from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow team.

The Governor of The Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, was guest of honour at the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly meeting held at the Tremough campus of University College Falmouth.

Dredging work started in Falmouth Harbour as a scientific trial got underway to test the effects of the work on the local environment.

Disgruntled county councillors signed a motion of no confidence in council leader Alec Robertson after the ruling cabinet approved plans to create a “strategic partnership with a private contractor.



TEN arrests were made by police during a drunken brawl involving some 150 people in Falmouth’s town centre. The fighting broke out after one man was refused entry to a nightclub.

Onlookers gasped in amazement when a World War II bomb was intentionally detonated at the mouth of the Helford River by a Royal Navy bomb disposal team. The bomb had been discovered by local diver Mark Milburn.

Cornwall Council leader Alec Robertson was removed from his post amid claims of “backstabbing” and much heated debate. A vote of no confidence saw the Conservative member for Helston ousted by secret ballot.

Days after the new leader of Cornwall Council, Jim  Currie, announced his cabinet, councillors voted to give themselves a 20 per cent rise in their basic allowances.

Firefighters from Falmouth, Redruth and Helston dealt with a blaze at the rear of the frozen yogurt store Skoosh in Market Strand, Falmouth.

Plans by local pasty manufacturer Rowe’s to build an industrial estate on land between Falmouth and Budock Water were given the go-ahead. Local taxpayers were left to pay legal costs after the original plan had been refused.


Detailed plans for a proposed new £16.5 million Stadium for Cornwall sports facility were revealed for the first time.

Claims that teachers’ over-marking of coursework was to blame for the summer’s GCSE grades row were dismissed as “wrong” by Penryn’s College’s headteacher Marie Hunter.

Falmouth’s King’s Head pub, on Church Corner, became the fourth pub or club in the town to cease trading in 2012.

After 22 years helping to keep the streets of Falmouth and Penryn free of crime, Detective Sergeant Dave O’Neill, who had been at the helm of Falmouth CID, retired from the force.

Julie Tucker and Rosemary Webber, both of Saracen Way, Penryn, were presented with the town’s Saracen Award

Bus passengers endured more disruption when the RMT union announced a second 24-hour walk out by drivers and engineers.

Tony Hogg, a former commanding officer at  RNAS Culdrose, was voted in as Devon and Cornwall’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.

A proposal to increase charges at council-owned car parks was rejected by Cornwall Council’s cabinet.



Plans to build 300 homes on land opposite Falmouth Town AFC’s Bickland Park ground were branded as “insanity” by Falmouth Town Council member Jenny Booth.

Falmouth’s A&P dockyard had its Ministry of  Defence contract, signed in 2008, extended by five years in a deal worth approximately £80 million.

The doors of Enys House, near Penryn, were opened to the public for the first time in 50 years when a fundraising concert was held there by Treverva Male Voice Choir.

Falmouth town councillor Jenny Booth, who chaired the council’s planning committee until May, resigned her seat after becoming disillusioned with a lack of progress in dealing with the town’s problems.

Ash dieback, a deadly tree fungus expected to kill 90 per cent of all British ash trees, was discovered in Cornwall for the first time.

Efforts to stop a major pollution incident after floodwater threatened to flow into the Carnon River and Fal Estuary from the abandoned Wheal Jane mine proved successful.

Plans to build a 74-bed Premier Inn hotel on Falmouth’s waterfront were refused by Cornwall Council planners.