As south Bucks residents ring in the New Year, Bucks Free Press photographer Anita Ross Marshall takes a look back at her top pictures of 2018.

January – Children’s centre protest

The proposed closures of Bucks’ 35-strong network of children’s centres dominated headlines in the Bucks Free Press this year.

Parents against the planned closures brought their youngsters with them to a demonstration outside All Saints Church in High Wycombe on January 6 to make their feelings heard.

The situation has yet to be resolved - and the debate about whether to replace the “vital” hubs with 14 family centres will continue on into 2019.

February – Beast from the East hits

The Beast from the East hit south Bucks in February – causing traffic mayhem, school closures and treacherous conditions.

Police warned people to avoid driving and not “risk lives” as residents woke up to find gardens and roads completely covered in a blanket of snow.

The conditions were so bad that drivers ended up stranded on the M40 and were forced to abandon their cars and trains were cancelled.

March – Spring has finally sprung

Once the Beast from the East made its retreat, the joys of spring started to appear.

Popular family favourite, Odds Farm Park in Wooburn Common, celebrated its 25th anniversary. Every year it attracts crowds of thousands of families and has welcomed more than four million visitors through its doors since it opened. 

They celebrated the milestone with a variety of activities including traditional party games.

April – A patriotic display in town

Anita snapped this photograph while out covering the annual St George’s Day parade in High Wycombe town centre.

Two police offices and a young boy pause to watch the patriotic display as it passes by. Crowds lined town centre roads as scouts and their leaders marched in the streets holding their flags aloft.

The parade then reached All Saints Church, where a ceremony was held.

May – The hottest Bank Holiday

After a harsh winter, the snow was replaced by sunshine and residents basked in the glorious heat on one of the hottest Bank Holidays ever on May 7 - before returning to work the next day.

While families enjoyed the annual spectacle of the May Fayre on The Rye, this pup and his human brother decided to cool down in the sweltering temperatures by taking a dip in the water of The Dyke. The hot weather continued through summer.

June – Smiles all around at derby

There were laughs aplenty as the annual donkey derby galloped back to Beaconsfield on June 23.

Brave “jockettes” took centre stage as bareback donkey races got underway at St Mary and All Saints School as part of their annual fundraiser for good causes. In previous years, the event has raised £6,000.

Aside from the star attraction, there was fun to be had with rides, a tug-of-war, seaside fairground and penalty shootout.

July – Family fun and footie fever

Sweltering summer temperatures provided the perfect backdrop for hundreds of community events.

Our photographer was in the right place at the right time to capture this man getting a sponge to the face at the Hamilton Academy summer fete on July 7.

Not only were there many family events to choose from, the summer also saw football fever grip the nation as England made its way to the World Cup semi-finals.

August – Fun at the county show

The Bucks County Show on August 30 provided the perfect opportunity for a cow selfie.

Thousands of people flocked to Weedon Park in Aylesbury for the 151st annual Bucks County Show – one of the largest agricultural events in the country.

The show once again featured 60 cattle classes and more than 30 sheep classes, where some of the best livestock in the country could be seen and admired by festival-goers.

September – Climbing Kop Hill

These two motorcycle riders were spotted sharing a few words of wisdom before taking on the iconic Kop Hill in Princes Risborough on September 14.

Commemorative runs up the steep hill celebrated motoring through the ages – from the early 1900s to modern day exotics.

And there were plenty of famous faces enjoying the festivities – including former Spandau Ballet singer, Tony Hadley, and Bucks supercar enthusiast, Jay Kay.

October – Ghosts and ghouls

Children enjoyed spooktacular half-term activities across south Bucks in the lead up to Halloween.

There was plenty of fun to be had, with kids enjoying pumpkin carving and spellbinding Halloween shows at some of the biggest tourist attractions in Bucks, which opened their doors to excited youngsters who were keen to don their scariest disguises.

This picture was taken at the Hell Fire Caves in West Wycombe.

November – A time to remember

Marlow vicar Reverend Dave Bull takes a moment for reflection during the poignant Remembrance Sunday celebration at The Causeway in the town.

Every year, the occasion draws in thousands of people as they pay their respects – but this year was extra special as it marked the centenary of the end of World War One.

A record number of people visited the town’s war memorial and fell silent to remember our brave fallen war heroes.

December – festive fun to end year

The festive celebrations were ramping up ahead of the big day with families enjoying dozens of Christmas events this month.

It has been a busy – and often tumultuous year – but all that has been put aside as we enjoy festive cheer, joy and goodwill.

This photo was taken at the Missenden Abbey Christmas fair on December 9. This little one will be able to look back on the time they met Santa in years to come.