Review of 2012
The quotes that made our headlines

By Chris Smith Wednesday 02 January 2013 Updated: 04/01 14:27

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Buy photos » AUGUST: Rachel Smith’s parents Vanessa and Steven Smith 32.012.030.cov.nc1

January 5

Conservative leader Kevin Foster on the referendum on an elected mayor for Coventry: “Leicester has already gone down that route and it looks likely that Birmingham will too so if Coventry does not follow we will be seen as a city that does not want to embrace change and one that is not looking to the future.” The city would later vote no.

February 2

Doug Squires, former Chamber of Commerce president and owner of city firm Squires Gear and Engineering, on figures which showed 4,400 manufacturing jobs had been lost in the city between 2005 and 2011: “I don’t see a return to the days of mass employment in engineering here with Peugeot, Triump and the Massey Fergusons of this world but I do see a more well planned, world class manufacturing world that will keep the West Midlands ahead of the game and still as a major source of employment.

February 23

PC Steve Jeffery on persistent thief Raymond Randle being banned from Willenhall for three years: “Randle has been a thorn in the side of residents in the Willenhall and Ermesford area for several years now, stealing from homes and vehicles.”

March 8

Michelle Johnson, 50, who spearheaded the campaign to stop some allotments on Abercorn Road near Hearsall Common benig concreted over to make way for a new electricity substation: “I’ll do whatever it takes to stop the expansion from happening. “I’m even prepared to camp out on the allotments, that’s how much this means to me.”

March 15

Debbie Niblett on fears Allesley Park could lose its Green Flag status as a result of dog poo: “Some of the areas are horrendous and you wouldn’t want children going there.”

April 5

The Enemy’s drummer Liam Watts on the band’s two summer gigs in the cathedral ruins: “It’s different and a massive thing for us. The cathedral is the city’s main landmark and we’re really excited about it.” They were later cancelled for health and safety reasons.

April 12

Former Sky Blues defender Graham Rodger looking back on winning the FA Cup in 1987: “I’ll always remember when we were all on the open top bus going around the city, there was a young fan who had ran after the bus for ages and he threw a scarf towards me which I managed to catch. The effort shown by that young fan just optimised how much winning the FA Cup meant to the people of Coventry.”

May 31

Richard Lee Primary School head teacher Nicola Harwood on news the school will finally be rebuilt: “I told the pupils by walking round the school classroom to classroom. There was a look of sheer joy on their faces and screams from some one them.”

June 7

Catherine Thacker, from Keresley, on her husband Corporal Michael Thacker, who was killed serving in Afghanastan: “He was an amazing husband and father who will always be remembered as a funny, loving and kind man. Everyone who met Mike instantly liked him and through time came to love him.”

June 26

A spokesman for Coventry City Council describing the surprise decision to cancel the Godiva Festival just hours before it was due to start: “We’re devastated we’ve had to make this decision – we’ve been working for months on this year’s festival, and have been working so hard over the past couple of weeks to put on the event despite the weather.”

July 26

The family of Emma Ewart from Courthouse Green following the conviction of taxi driver Mazhar Rashid of her murder: “It is very hard to understand how anyone could take advantage of such a beautiful, vulnerable and loving girl like Emma and treat her in such a callous way. Many people have been deeply affected by Mr Rashid’s actions and a bright light went out the day Emma’s life was taken.”

August 2The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s director of China trade liaison officer Mark Eaton on a trade trip to the Jinan in Eastern China which could lead to links between Coventry City and Shandong Luneng FC: “It’s been bubbling away for the last four or five years. It’s down to Coventry City, it would financially be a big opportunity. Returns would be massive for them.”

August 9

Steven Smith, dad of Team GB rhythmic gymnast and former Coundon Court pupil Rachel Smith, ahead of her appearance at the Olympics: “Rachel always about representing her country at an Olympics so we’re all absolutely chuffed to bits and we cannot wait.”

September 27

New City boss Mark Robins on the performance of his players after his first game in charge ended in a 2-1 at home at Carlisle: “We are miles away from where we need to be and miles away from where we want to be.”

October 18

Pete Chambers, founder of the 2-tone Village in Ball Hill after learning of plans to set a film about the music genre in Coventry: “It’s fantastic that still 30 years on people are willing to produce films about what was a hugely exciting era not just for 2-tone but for the city of Coventry too.”

November 8

Roger Maddison, Unite’s national officer for the automotive industry, on the uncertainly surrounding the future of LTI a week after it went into administration and axed over half of its 156-strong workforce in Coventry: “The black cab is world famous, it is part of Britain’s heritage, and we believe this company has a future.”

December 13

Sky Blue Trust spokesman Jan Mokrzycki on the Ricoh rent row between Coventry City and ACL: “The prospect of either party forcing the other into administration would show a failure by them to take the fans’ interests into consideration. Either prospect is unacceptable and unnecessary.”

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Buy photos» MAY: Richard Lee head teacher Nicola Harwood takes minister Nick Gibb on a tour of the run-down school. Picture by Jon Mullis 18.012.019.cov.jm7

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Buy photos» MARCH: Michelle Johnson organised the campaign to stop the new sub stations being built. 09.012.017.cov.jm2

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