That was the year when...

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We’re not ones for making a grand entrance here at The Lighter Side of Life.

So we slipped quietly into the pages of the Gainsborough Standard in May with a feature about ghostly goings-on at the White Hart Hotel in the town centre.

Psychic medium Stuart Dawson had held an event there when glasses shattered and mobile phones stopped working.

In June we were introduced to some local delicacies courtesy of Scotton WI’s new recipe book, which contained such gems as chocolate potato cake and Scunthorpe pie.

The book was produced to celebrate the group’s 75th anniversary.

WI secretary Jean Renton explained that potato was added “because the starch in it helps to keep the cake moist”.

Upton’s Ian Loxley showed us how to appreciate clouds when he told us about his favourite pastime cloud spotting.

He is photo editor for the Cloud Appreciation Society and said his fascination began in childhood. “Clouds are the first thing you see when you’re looking up from your pram,” he said.

We marked the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion, and in July put out an appeal to find more members for Retford Male Voice Choir.

In July we met 18-year-old Sophie Benson, of Richardson Rise, who has been accepted at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and sisters Lizzie and Sara Jordan who are making a name for themselves in the world of cupcakes.

Their business Bishy Bakes, run from Lizzie’s Juniper Way kitchen, is a local success story.

In August we talked to volunteers helping separated families to stay in touch with their children at Gainsborough Child Contact Centre, and discovered the talents of the women running Gainsborough’s Country Market in the Quaker Meeting House on Market Street.

September began with a chat to hypnotherapist Debbie Dobney-Cobb who is helping people to think themselves thin with the Hypo-Band treatment. “It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about changing your habits,” she said.

Gainsborough Aegir Cycling Club celebrated its 75th anniversary while Gainsborough Rotary Club notched up half a century.

Also celebrating a 50th birthday was Hillcrest Community Infant and Nursery School.

Baby signing came to Morton Village Hall in October when Kelly Hamilton started her Tiny Talk class and young cooks at Scotter Primary School produced a cook book to raise money for the Macmillan cancer charity.

Sixteen-year-old body builder Adam Marshall showed off his first competition trophy in November and and told us how he had lived on a diet of chicken and rice before the Yorkshire Open Show.

And in December we met the workforce of ChristmasTimeUK who get to celebrate the festive season all year round. “We do our photo shoots in July so we were decorating Christmas trees and getting covered in glitter in the middle of summer,” said director Wendy Clarkson.

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to talk to so many interesting people and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you in 2012. Happy New Year!