The Chester Chronicle website has gone from strength to strength in 2015 attracting almost 4m unique users this year. Readers have clicked on stories, pictures, videos and links on the site almost 22m times to help them with their journey home, spot their son or daughter in a school show or receive confirmation that Chester is a good place to live.
We have brought you the good news and the bad news, live blogs as motorways close, election results, football matches and galleries of pictures from events like the Chester Marathon, Mark Cavendish’s Rise Above Sportive and the annual Watch parades.
Cheshire has its celebrity residents and you are keen to keep up with the latest sporting triumphs of Chester-based Louise Minchin, moneysupermarket.com millionaire Simon Nixon’s latest house move or the manor house once occupied by Frodsham’s Gary Barlow.
Here is a selection of the top stories you have enjoyed this year:
Anyone who lives in Chester will recognise the large ‘whale’ of the skies when the Airbus Beluga takes off from Hawarden airport, to deliver wings and aircraft parts around the world. In January this year we offered you the chance to take a peek inside the Beluga, our most successful gallery ever.
Love it or hate it, Chester Races attracts income to the city as racegoers enjoy a flutter at our historic racecourse. Ladies dress up for the annual Ladies Day in May and celebrity spotters can guarantee the sight of at least one premier league footballer (or their wives or girlfriends) in the crowds.
But you weren’t happy when racecourse chiefs brought in new rules banning racegoers taking alcohol on the open course in June.
We all like to be reassured that the police are doing their job and when Cheshire’s largest ever drugs operation resulted in almost 40 defendants being sent to jail in March, you were keen to see who they were.
House for sale
We all have our dream house and what better than to look around something ever so slightly out of your price bracket in case your numbers come up on the lottery. A gallery of pictures from a £1.65m house on the market in February on Sandown Terrace overlooking the River Dee caught your eye - perhaps because it belonged to former moneysupermarket.com supremo Simon Nixon.
Thankfully no one was hurt when a tanker overturned and spilled its load onto the M56 near Frodsham in October. The motorway remained closed throughout the day and was not reopened until the earlier hours of the following morning. We kept you up to date with a live blog during the incident.
Closer to home, you appreciated warnings that Chester was likely to be gridlocked at the end of January as thousands were expected to turn our for a Traveller funeral in Blacon. We kept you up to date with the news as it happened.
No one likes to be caught out and many of you are keen to share stories of reported scammers in order to keep friends and family on alert. In September this year we alerted you to scam artists targeting motorists on the M56 by concocting sob stories in exchange for cash and valuables.
On the run
A marriage proposal at the finishing line of the Chester Half Marathon in May was just one of the highlights of the popular annual event which begins at Chester Racecourse and ends at the town hall. We took pictures, you took pictures, we tweeted, you tweeted and finally Rachel Mitchell of Kingsway did say: “Yes!”
Keeping up with BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin is a tough enough job but you are all keen to know how she gets on with her favourite hobby - triathlon. She took part in the Chester triathlon in June and qualified to represent GB at the world championships in Chicago in September.
Pride in Chester
The 2015 Pride event in October celebrated equality, diversity and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture in the city and even if you were unable to attend, you were keen to look at the pictures and video online.
There is nothing more exciting than the opening of a much awaited project and we offered you the chance to preview Chester Zoo’s £40m Islands project and Cheshire Farm Ice Cream’s £4m development, both of which opened in July.
We all love a celebration but the RSPCA’s advice NOT to light up yours with a ‘deadly’ Chinese lantern has been heeded by many of you. Following news that a prize cow, belonging to a Mickle Trafford farmer, had tragically died after suffocating on one of the lantern’s frames in 2010, you have shared this information to warn others of the dangers.
On Red alert
Liverpool FC’s pre-season friendly against Chester FC in July created a real buzz. Our preview of the match, which saw Blues boss Steve Burr look forward to facing the mighty Reds’ stars of tomorrow’, was our most-read sports story of the year. And there was a happy ending too as the Blues ran out 4-0 winners over a youthful Liverpool team.
Mark Dowling, one of The Chronicle’s resident Chester FC supporters, is never short of an opinion or two about his beloved Blues. In October, Mark’s piece about ‘bubble match’ restrictions put on derby matches really struck a chord with football fans on both sides of the border.