Here's what happened in April 2017:

HAMPSHIRE police “lost” an unstable unexploded shell on a beach before it could be assessed by experts, writes Lev Lourie. Two shells, one unstable and potentially dangerous, were found at Hurst Spit near Milford-on-Sea by window cleaner Cain Gibson. After notifying police, officers cordoned off the scene while waiting for an army bomb disposal team to deal with them. In a bizarre twist, the shells went missing overnight, with police turning to the public for help locating them.

MORE than 50 firefighters, seven ambulances and dozens of police officers were called to the scene as fire ripped through one of Southampton’s tallest tower blocks. Emergency services were called to 19-storey Redbridge Towers where smoke and flames were billowing out of the 12th floor of the building. A 28-year-old woman was arrested by police in connection to the fire, on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life, while police continued investigations. Residents of the blaze-hit tower block demanded that authorities install sprinklers after the fire tore through a 12th-storey flat. The fire came just days after the seventh anniversary of the deaths of Alan Bannon and James Shears, who were killed battling a fire at Shirley Towers, which was then fitted with a sprinkler system.

A FUR coat which helped to keep a Hampshire woman warm in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster was unearthed 105 years later. Mabel Bennett, from Eling, near Totton, was a first-class stewardess on the liner. The then 33-year-old woman grabbed the garment from her room before climbing into a lifeboat as the ship gradually sank into the Atlantic. The coat was put up for auction, and was estimated to sell for about £80,000. It fetched £150,000 under the hammer.

CITY planners approved proposals for a giant wind turbine plant on the former Vosper Thornycroft site in Woolston, Southampton. The project, put forward by Oceanic Estates, will see British company Blade Dynamics move into the building – which could see up to 150 jobs created. The site has been extensively marketed since Vospers closed in 2003 – with three planning permissions for its redevelopment failing to materialise. Under the plans, a 118 metre-long, 26-metre wide and 13 metre-high plant would be built, with wind turbine blades manufactured on a 24-hour basis.

TENS of thousands of runners took to the streets of Southampton as a full marathon returned to the city after 33 years. In an event that saw more than £1 million injected into the economy, Olympians were joined at the starting line by city councillors and Saints legends as 25,000 spectators lined the streets. Waving on loved ones and colleagues, £500,000 was expected to be raised for charity through the marathon, half marathon and 10k. On a day when community spirit was high, the first marathon finisher in more than three decades was victorious in his first ever full-length event. David Coak, 30, son of former Southampton FC player Tim, finished in two hours and 39 minutes.

MEMBERS of Parliament across Hampshire threw their backing behind a request from Prime Minister Theresa May to hold a general election in June. The call from the Conservative Prime Minister came amid the background of the UK leaving the European Union. The county’s MPs largely praised the decision. Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh and Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, were just two to throw their weight behind the decision. Southampton and Itchen MP Royston Smith said he had mixed feelings about the snap election, but understood the decision in a bid to move the country forward.

A SURVEY showed that support was stronger than ever for a major cross-Solent tunnel link to the Isle of Wight. The survey, approved by transport campaign group Pro-Link, concluded that more than two-thirds said they were in favour of a £1.2 billion project. Five thousands people completed the survey over a six-week period with campaigners claiming the point was to see whether islanders and mainlanders were in favour of a road tunnel.