2005 is nearly over, and its been an eventful one.
There were some major events with a global impact – the earthquake in Pakistan and the floods in the US after hurricane Katrina – and some of more limited significance like West Ham getting promoted and Gang of Four releasing a new album.
Not a bad year for sport, with Liverpool providing an amazing win over Milan for the Champions League, England winning the Ashes, Lance Armstrong notching up his 7th Tour de France, London winning the 2012 Olympics bid, K2 leisure centre in Crawley opening its doors and Harry Redknapp returning to Portsmouth.
In music we have seen Pink Floyd, Cream and Gang of Four reforming for live shows, and of course Live 8. In the wake of last year’s success for Franz Ferdinand we saw a whole rash of similar bands like the Bravery and the Departure. The best of them were probably Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs but we have also seen some great music coming from overseas, especially Amadou & Mariam’s Dimanche a Bamako. 2005 was the year I actually noticed Green Day. But in spite of all that the best-selling music has probably been Amarillo and the crazy frog.
Major events of the year included the Michael Jackson trial, Labour winning its 3rd general election in a row with Crawley sneaking in with a 37 majority, the Tories taking 7 months to choose a new leader, riots across France and a bloody great fire in Hertfordshire. But the event which will have the most lasting impact is bound to be the suicide bombings in London in July, and the subsequent shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.
As usual there is a long list of notable deaths, including two ex-Prime Ministers and a Pope. We also saw the end of George Best, Ronnie Barker, Mo Mowlem, Robin Cook and Rosa Parks.
In business we saw the end of the road for Rover, and the continuing rise of Google with its expansion into all sorts of areas like Google Earth, Talk, Gmail and everything else.
So with all that, how will 2005 be remembered? As the year Doctor Who came back and everyone was wearing rubber bands on their wrists probably.
One thing worth noting is that this year was the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII. We have now had 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of every major event in the war, from the outbreak to the end, taking in the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk, Pearl Harbour and everything else. The extra poignancy to this year was that it is really the last one where any great numbers of people with first-hand experience will be around. There will be a handful of nonagenerians to see the 75th anniversary of war breaking out but thats it.