From Ed Sheeran to Noah's Ark and the Copdock lorry crash - our review of your top reads of 2019
PUBLISHED: 12:05 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:05 31 December 2019
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Which stories made the headlines in Ipswich during 2019? Both happy and tragic events were in the news locally, ranging from top rock concerts to serious accidents and crime.
Ed Sheeran's four homecoming concerts in Chantry Park, Ipswich, were undoubtedly the feel good event of the year and attracted a huge amount of interest.
Our round-up of timings for the shows attracted 56,000 views, making it our most-read report of the year. A travel guide for people attending the shows over the August bank holiday weekend was also very popular, with 46,000 views.
When fellow-superstar Stormzy, joined Ed on stage on the Sunday, a story including video of the pair proved to be one of the most popular posts of the year on the Star's Facebook page, reaching more than 77,000 people and receiving more than 1,000 reactions and 1,000-plus comments, as well as nearly 500 shares.
The crowd went wild as Stormzy joined Ed for his penultimate song, The Shape of You, in front of 40,000 adoring fans, during the third of the four huge concerts.
Another happy story which received huge interest was the arrival of the replica Noah's Ark at Ipswich Waterfront in November. The 70m-long vessel, created by Dutch artist and TV producer Sir Aad Peters, caused a lot of excitement. A report on its arrival including video of the quirky ship received nearly 44,000 views.
Ipswich is the latest European destination to house the vessel, which has previously visited Norway, the Netherlands and Germany, and this is the first time it has docked in the UK.
Armed police swoop
Many Star readers follow our website and our Facebook page to keep track of crime stories, accidents and traffic issues.
When Norwich Road was cordoned off after armed police swooped on the area in November, making several arrests, the incident caused widespread concern both in Ipswich and further afield, with 46,000 readers visiting our website for updates.
In June, there was chaos at Copdock Interchange after a dramatic incident left a lorry hanging off a bridge over the A14, with footage appearing to show the lorry partially overhanging the carriageway below. The lorry driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
People across the area wanted to know more about the drama, and 43,000 people read the story on our website. Many of them were alerted to the story via our Facebook post, which reached 18,500 people and was shared by nearly 2,000 people, with around 600 reactions and comments.
A number of tragedies happened in the area over the year, including the death of John Stow after a fall on steps at the Cornhill in January.
Sadly, this was a story which struck a chord with many of our readers, with many thousands reading both the original report and follow-up articles. There was also a lot of continuing discussion on Facebook about what improvements should be made to the Cornhill in the wake of the tragedy.
Business openings and closures have also as usual attracted a lot of interest over the year, and our story about the sudden closure of Namco Funscape, the former SolarBowl, in January, was read by nearly 30,000 people.