2018 has been a cracking year for A Little Bit of Stone and also for our lovely town, here’s our review, and top 10 most read stories
We’ve published over 530 news articles on our website with our readers viewing almost 500,000 pages in the past 12 months.
Most articles are shared on our social media accounts with Facebook still being our largest audience with over 14,750 followers.
In 2018 we launched a new weekly “In Case You Missed It” email newletter which goes out at 8am every Saturday with a link to all of the stories published in the past week. If you’d like to sign up then there’s a box below this article!
We also launched a dedicated Facebook Group called “A Little Bit of Stone – Your Photos” as a place for followers to post and view local pictures from Stone and the neighbouring villages, we’re currently heading towards the 1,000 follower milestone! – Click to view or join
Instagram has also been a big area of growth for us in 2018 with higher levels of engagement than Twitter, despite the inability to provide links to posts.
The top 10 most read stories on the A Little Bit of Stone Website in 2018 were….
In August the council announced months worth of roundworks to this busy junction on the A34/A51. The work was necessary to upgrade the roundabout for the car transporters and HGV traffic accessing Stone Business Park.
In May we broke the news that Stone was to become “more bear” as the Uttoxeter based company was planning on bringing their brand to our town. Social media lit up with support from people who had visited Bear’s other establishments at Uttoxeter and Derby.
After several years of planning and development, the much talked about M&S opened to the public in July 2018.
The new store provided a number of local jobs and announced a partnership to provide “best before” produce to Stone Community Hub for their food bank offering.
Adam Dunn told us:
“All types of foster homes are needed, including those with children. Pet Welfare will support you throughout the whole process, and all dogs will be matched to your home and lifestyle. If long-term fostering isn’t for you, then emergency short-term fostering which could be anything from 24 to 48 hours would also help.”
At the end of May, Stone Town Council revealed that a new Post Office would be opening in the town in the Autumn. The town had been without a Post Office since January when the High Street Co-op had closed, so the return of the Post Office was very much welcomed.
In August we broke the official news that B&M had agreed terms to take over the former High Street Co-op that had closed in January.
Our social media accounts erupted with comments on the discount High Street retailer coming to the town with an overwhelming majority in favour of this modern day Woolworths bringing late night and Sunday shopping to Stone.
In February we revealed that the Darlaston Inn that stands in the middle of a roundabout on the A34 had closed for good.
The pub’s owners had sold the land and as of December 2018 the planning application to turn the site into a petrol station and drive-thru fast food restaurant is still in progress.
The spicy topic for August was that a new Mexican inspired restaurant was opening in Stone.
The intimate restaurant is situated on the corner of Lichfield Street and Church Steet, and our readers wasted no time in sharing the news far and wide!
Although called Clip ‘n Climb Stoke this new fun climbing centre opened on Stone Business Park in March 2018.
The centre contained climbing walls called such things as Astroball, Speed climb, Big Cheese and Treetrunk as well as brilliant drop slide.
Our most read story of 2018 was the news that the removal of an unsed bridge on the M6 between Junction 14 and 15 would lead to an “up to” 24-hour closure of the M6. The diversion route was via the A34 passing through Stone.
Thankfully the works in September were carried out mainly overnight and the motorway was re-opened after 12 hours on the Sunday morning.