The year began with the approved plans for fast food giant Mcdonalds and coffee chain Costa in Harwich.

With the planning permission granted by Tendring District Council, around 80 jobs were on offer to those in the area.

But many residents feared traffic chaos in the estate.

Both Mcdonalds and Costa were opened later in the year.

Plans were unveiled by new owners to turn the historic Henry VII fort into a tourist attraction.

The site itself dates back to 1534, when a fortification was built there during the reign of Henry VIII

Owner Barry Sharp said they wanted to create an attraction at the site and encourage visitors to the area for tourism and jobs.

A fire broke out on board a ship carrying 400 passengers in the North Sea on its way to Harwich.

When the smoked logged ship docked firefighters reported the blaze started on a refrigerator lorry on a lower deck which spread to several lorries.

Passengers were led off the vessel and no nobody was injured.


Work began on the first phase of a multi-million pound roundabout on an accident blackspot.

The new two-lane roundabout is being built on the A120 junction with Harwich Road.

Roads campaigners welcomed the work, which came after calls for action to make the danger spot safer.

The roundabout is due to be completely finished by the end of next summer.

Commuters were given brighter lights, a resurfaced platform and a new shelter from the elements as part of a £500,000 upgrade at Harwich Town railway station.

As part of an electrical upgrade for the station, the existing orange-coloured lighting was to be replaced by more energy efficient, white LED lights – that are brighter, which is hoped to improve levels of safety and security, but will consume far less energy.

A stoaway cat which ended up 30 miles away from home was reunited with her owners after nearly two months apart.

The owners flew to Paris to celebrate their Ruby Wedding anniversary.

On their return home they had a voicemail on their answer machine from a woman who said she had found the cat in her garden - but she was 30 miles away in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

The owners said: “We’ll never know how she end up so far away from home, but maybe she just thought it was a nice place to set up camp for a few months.”


Residents in Harwich and surrounding villages were left cut off after blustery winds caused impassable snow drifts across roads.

Schools were closed and Mayflower Medical Centre in Dovercourt was forced to limit its service to patients due to the heavy snowfall.

The community came together to help each other get through all of the snow crisis, while others enjoyed the late festive weather.

An early morning fire destroyed buildings filled with cars, boats and farm equipment, leaving the owners devastated.

A total of nine crews attended from Colchester, Manningtree, Clacton, Dovercourt, Frinton, Halstead and Holbrook.

Crews reported there were four buildings alight.

Support flooded in for fundraising to help two men rebuild their fledging business which went up in flames.

A  “underused” hospital is set to get a £3.4million cash injection and more services for patients.

The announcement for the Fryatt Hospital came alongside a £35million boost for Colchester Hospital’s accident and emergency department and £15million for Clacton to create a new super GP surgery at its hospital.

It came after years of campaigns for the hospital, purpose-built in 2005 for £12million, to offer more services.

Many rooms sat empty, including a controversial operating theatre that has never been used since it was built.

Affinity Water admitted that chlorine levels had been upped since February from 0.04 parts per million to 0.07ppm. Most of London has 0.7ppm – 900 per cent higher.


One of Britain’s oldest surviving purpose-built cinemas was preserved for years to come after scooping a huge £653,000 lottery grant.

In 2016 the Harwich Electric Palace Trust announced ambitious plans for a £750,000 restoration project.

The money was needed to fund major works at the 106-year old cinema.

It would be the first time the cinema has been redecorated since it was saved from demolition in 1972, restored and then reopened in 1981.

Hundreds of youngsters rolled up to the official launch of a state-of-the-art skate park.

The sun came out for the launch party of a new £220,000 skate park in Lower Marine Parade.

The new park was been built by Maverick Industries on the same site as the former skate park, next to Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles.

After more than a decade, skaters called for an upgrade saying the old facility was slippery and dangerous when wet.

More than 6,000 thrillseekers descended upon Tendring for a trailblazing motor rally.

The Corbeau Seats which took place, was the first rally to make use of a new legislation which allows closed road motorsport in England.

The event, organised by Chelmsford Motor Club, saw 106 competitors race around five special stages across the district, including Tendring Green to Stones Green, Bradfield, Lawford to Little Bromley, Great Bromley and Great Bentley.


All three doctors’ surgeries around Harwich have closed their doors to new patients.

Fronks Road Surgery and Mayflower Medical Centre were latest surgeries in the area to suspend the registration of patients.

After joining Harewood Surgery, in Great Oakley, which had already stopped taking in new patients.

The figures on the NHS website show Mayflower Medical Centre, in Main Road, had 17,752 patients and nine doctors, Fronks Road Surgery had 4,924

patients and three doctors and Harewood Surgery had 2,986 patients and two doctors.

The“youngest mayoress Harwich has ever had” and her father threw kitchels to crowds below as part of the town’s mayor-making ceremony.

Harwich’s new mayor Charlie Powell, has lived in the town for half a century and said he cannot think of a better place to call home.

The 69-year-old will be joined on his mayoral duties by his 18-year old daughter Kate Powell who he believes is the youngest mayoress Harwich has ever had.

Emergency services were able to use Manningtree fire station as a shared drop-in base.

Tendring Community Policing Team uses the station in The Quay as a drop in location side-by-side with firefighters stationed there.

This means the teams team’s 23 police constables, PCSOs and a special constable are be able to spend more time in the area and be more visible to residents.


Mindless vandals risked their own lives breaking into a construction site leaving a trail of destruction and causing a huge section of scaffolding to collapse.

The building site off Harwich Road, in Mistley, was targeted by yobs twice over the month of may.

A sales building, temporary and permanent structures, machinery and construction vehicles were all been damaged.

It resulted in extensive damage to sales buildings, temporary and permanent structures, machinery, and construction vehicles.

A man was arrested after a 12-hour stand off with emergency services on a supermarket roof was handed a suspended prison sentence for breaching a non-molestation order.

It is thought he was there for nearly 12 hours.

Police were called at 4.45pm with reports a man wanted by the police had been spotted in Harwich.

Officers attended to arrest the man, who was then found to be on the roof of Asda.

A  mermaid celebrating the culture of Harwich was created as a permanent piece of art for the town.

Artist Ann Schwegmann Fielding painstakingly fixed together small pieces of broken glass and pottery on an old boat as the centrepiece of visual art at this year’s Harwich Festival.

The mosaic showed Esturiana, the goddess of Harwich, creativity and the estuaries.

The old boat is adorned with items including broken plates, sea glass and glass tiles donated by local people.