Ipswich has fought back after horror

A YEAR ago today Ipswich was plunged into one of the darkest periods of its long history as Tania Nichol disappeared after working in the red light area of the town.

A YEAR ago today Ipswich was plunged into one of the darkest periods of its long history as Tania Nichol disappeared after working in the red light area of the town.

Her disappearance started what turned into the biggest police investigation ever in Suffolk as five young women were found dead after working in the Ipswich sex trade.

Of course nothing will ever ease the hurt for the families of Tania, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell or Annette Nicholls.

But Ipswich and Suffolk can take heart from the reaction of the public to the killings - and the determination that something should be done to help girls who may be lured into the sex trade through their dependence on drugs.

A new prostitution strategy has been set up by the authorities and groups such as the Iceni Project have given the need to help sex workers an added emphasis.

The Somebody's Daughter appeal has seen money flowing in to help set up a centre that can help women in this dreadful situation.

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It is now benefiting from an extra £500 after Star reporter Josh Warwick completed yesterday's Dublin Marathon to raise funds for the charity.

And now a special concert will be held just before Christmas at the Ipswich Corn Exchange to raise more money for the appeal.

There are still dark times ahead as next year's trial will inevitably bring back memories of those dreadful days - but there is a determination throughout the town that something good will emerge from the horrors of the winter of 2006.

PENNY Abbott is a real inspiration - proving that you can bounce back from devastating blows to put your life back together.

Over the last two years Penny has been diagnosed with breast cancer, split from her husband, and suffered a devastating stroke that left her unable to walk.

But she has been determined not to give in to the succession of blows she has suffered, and through her own determination has now been nominated for a prestigious award.

Her sheer courage has forced her to go to the gym regularly and regain her fitness and she is now able to look forward positively to the rest of her life.

Penny is a real role model, and everyone will be wishing her all the best in tomorrow night's Fitness First New You awards ceremony in London.

FOR generations Marriage's Mill has been a landmark on the quayside at Felixstowe docks - but now the building is just history.

Just a few weeks after celebrating its centenary the site is being cleared to allow the continued expansion of the docks - it has gone as the port expands to fulfil the needs of the 21st century.

Often old buildings can be adapted or incorporated into new designs - such as those on the Ipswich Waterfront - but there are occasions when there is no alternative but to flatten them and start with a blank canvas.

Many will be sorry to see the end of Marriage's Mill - but the expansion of the port does bring great economic benefits to the whole area.

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