As residents welcome in the New Year today, we take a look back at some of the biggest news stories from the county which made the headlines in 2017:


Two Bucks communities were rocked by tragedy in January 2018. Much-loved aspiring bodybuilder Jordan Coupland, from High Wycombe, was killed in a New Year’s Day car crash on the A404 and Hyde Heath businessman Richard Cousins died in Sydney in a horrifying seaplane crash on New Year’s Eve.

In the same week, Storm Eleanor wreaked chaos across the county, with strong winds tearing down trees and damaging property.

Residents in High Wycombe were left disappointed after Costco pulled out of opening up a new warehouse in Cressex and the Bucks Free Press highlighted the plight of High Wycombe businessman, Jonathan Nash, who is holed up in a Qatar jail for issuing cheques that bounced.

A special report also revealed plans to revamp the centre of High Wycombe, including replacing an abandoned nightclub with shops and offices, regenerating the Desborough Road area and a new Aldi.


This month saw the Bucks Free Press call on drivers to “end the madness” and put down their mobile phones while behind the wheel after a killer driver was locked up for mowing down pedestrian Hilary Haines in Bourne End while he was distracted on his mobile phone.

February also saw former Sainsbury’s shop assistant, Iftikhar Ali from High Wycombe jailed for sharing Islamic State propaganda on a mobile app.

Major £24 million plans to overhaul Abbey Barn Lane to make way for 700 homes were revealed thanks to a cash boost from the government and sadly, the third body in less than three years was discovered in The Dyke at The Rye in High Wycombe.

Meanwhile, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People provided puppy love as a Valentine’s Day treat for stressed Bucks New University students and youngsters across the county enjoyed half-term trips and treats – all of which were documented within the pages of this newspaper.


March was a ground-breaking month for Bucks residents as it was confirmed that all five councils covering the county were to be axed and replaced with a unitary authority. Since that first announcement, the decision has dominated the headlines as this paper highlighted the twists and turns of the ongoing saga.

The Beast from the East also made headlines as the county ground to a halt after snow caused mayhem across the UK. It saw hundreds of schools shut, disrupted roads, transport and health services as temperatures plummeted to -5 degrees.

March also marked the 10th anniversary of High Wycombe’s Eden Shopping Centre and a special report looked back at how it changed the town forever.

In crime news, armed police swooped on Loudwater in connection with an ongoing investigation after a man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm. Meanwhile, 300 potential murder suspects were ruled out of the ongoing investigation into the brutal death of a nurse from Radnage in 1995.


It was a devastating month for the families of two women who were sadly killed in very different circumstances in High Wycombe.

Our front page from April 13 paid tribute to both Joanne Rand, who died after being soaked “head to toe” in acid after getting caught up in a nearby argument and young mother Sameha Mahmood who was crushed to death after her car rolled on top of her.

This month also saw the Bucks Free Press join forces with “Mr Pothole”, a campaigner who threatened to take Bucks County Council to court over the state of the county’s deteriorating roads.

And the annual St George’s Day Parade through High Wycombe made headlines as hundreds of children marched in the streets to mark the special occasion.

In other news, there was terror among High Wycombe parents after two men attempted to grab a toddler close to The Rye.

The reality of the Windrush scandal was highlighted when the son of a cancer survivor who came to Britain as part of the Windrush generation was faced with deportation. Mozi Haynes, from Hedgerley faced being deported after two failed applications to stay in the UK.


Wycombe Wanderers dominated the headlines in May as they celebrated a huge victory – promotion to League One after a six-year absence. This paper celebrated their achievements with a special 12-page supplement and souvenir poster.

This paper also questioned whether justice had been served after two men who were convicted of killing two people in separate incidents were jailed.

Meanwhile, a Bucks Free Press investigation revealed that drivers across Bucks were being overcharged hundreds of thousands of pounds by parking machines that do not give change. It was a dream come true for fans of the Royal family as the Bucks Free Press celebrated the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May with a souvenir supplement.


There were fears that there was “chaos around the corner” in High Wycombe and residents were outraged after Bucks County Council and Wycombe District Council highlighted plans to turn The Rye into a car park for roadwork machines as the next phase of the Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan got underway.

Fortunately, due to the concerns raised in this paper, the councils backtracked on the plans and The Rye was safe once again. It was a sad month for fans of Bucks celebrity Peter Stringfellow, who sadly passed away aged 77. But hundreds of residents were struck with festival fever as the popular FrogFest event returned to High Wycombe town centre once again.

June was also the month that developers revealed ambitious plans for the former reserve site, Gomm Valley. amid concerns from nearby residents.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to “beautiful soul”, Samantha Clarke, a High Wycombe resident who was stabbed to death in London, at her funeral in her hometown.


More than 100 firefighters tackled a devastating inferno in Little Marlow as the country was gripped by an ongoing heatwave which resulted in dozens of field fires.

The Bucks Free Press told how one brave Marlow firefighter abandoned his car, grabbed his kit and ran to the fire station so he could help battle the raging blaze alongside his colleagues on one of the hottest days of the year.

July also saw a Bucks Free Press investigation reveal how drivers who have been flouting road laws by using the controversial London Road bus lane had been getting away scot-free – with not one single fine issued since 2012.

President of the United States, Donald Trump, visited Bucks as part of his UK visit – to the dismay of campaigners, who turned out to protest against his visit. It was a big month for events too - Thousands of people flocked to Penn as PennFest returned and a sea of pink descended on The Rye for the annual Race for Life, while runners limbered up for the High Wycombe half marathon.


August was a month of highs and lows. A terrified 11-year-old was threatened by a moped gang wielding hammers as he innocently played football in High Wycombe.

The very same week, Bucks’ talented A-Level students celebrated receiving their exam results after a year of hard work.

The week after was the turn of our clever GCSE pupils as they picked up their own impressive sets of results.

Meanwhile, Wycombe District Council outraged residents in Bourne End by giving the green light to developers to go ahead with plans to build hundreds of homes on Slate Meadow.

A masked thug who covered Joanne Rand in acid in Frogmoor before she later died in hospital was jailed for 17 years by a judge.


September saw a “ruthless” gang of fake policemen jailed for causing misery for elderly residents in Bucks. Major plans to reopen the River Wye through the centre of High Wycombe took a step forward as mocked-up images showed how it could transform the town.

The popular Kop Hill Climb returned to Princes Risborough for another thrilling event as hundreds of cars and motorcycles roared their way up the infamous hill and it was graduation week for Bucks New University students in High Wycombe.

Developers also threatened to derail major A355 relief road plans in Beaconsfield in a row over affordable homes on the Wilton Park development.


There was devastation on the M40 this month after three people – two from High Wycombe – were killed when a car towing a caravan travelled the wrong way down the M40. An investigation was launched into Bucks’ 11-Plus exams after a technical blunder saw some pupils given more time for the tests.

Plans for a major new medical “super hub” in High Wycombe were revealed, costing £8.8 million and Bucks residents prepared to enjoy dozens of spectacular Bonfire Night events across the county. In other news, the restaurants with the worst hygiene ratings in Bucks were revealed by this paper and a brave little girl named Lyra Copete from High Wycombe saved her dying father’s life after leading paramedics to him while he was losing pints of blood.


This month saw the Bucks Free Press launch its campaign to get High Wycombe its own town council. We also paid tribute to our fallen war heroes with coverage of the various Remembrance Sunday services across the county. Meanwhile, the community was shocked by a horrifying Halloween acid attack in High Wycombe.

November also marked the start of the festive season and the annual Wycombe Homeless Connection big sleepout got underway to raise thousands for the charity.

A sexual predator ex-care assistant was also jailed for abusing a teenager in an ambulance and plans for a controversial new hard-line religious school were revealed – and subsequently slammed by humanist campaigners.


There was devastation for one family in Lane End just days before Christmas as a mother and her seven-year-old daughter lost their home – and everything inside – to a devastating fire in their flat. Community spirit was in full force though and dozens of kind-hearted residents rallied round to support them with donations, money and offers of dinner and a place to stay.

Elsewhere, families got into the festive spirit with dozens of fun events across the county – including the annual All Saints Church Christmas tree festival. The stunning display was not hampered by vandalism, which saw them launch a £7,000 fundraising appeal for help to fix a historic gate.

December also saw another royal visit as the Duke of Kent presented a Great Missenden business with a Queen’s award.