Here's what happened in September 2017:

THE city’s very own singing sensation Craig David got his Southampton residency at The Mayflower under way, writes Daniel Massingham. The Southampton star, who grew up on the Holyrood estate, had never stepped foot inside the doors of the city’s landmark building, but he put that right with four magnificent live dates. The star wowed a packed theatre with classics like 7 Days, Fill Me In and Walking Away plus songs from his latest release Following My Intuition. The dates, which replace a planned visit to the Ageas Bowl, followed his record-breaking summer residency with the TS5 Pool Party in Ibiza and a host of festivals all over Europe.

A 6FT tall bronze sculpture of a peacock made by a world renowned artist has been stolen from a country garden in Hampshire, sparking fears it will be melted down for scrap. Thieves took the statue, made by Geoffrey Dashwood and weighing more than 25 stone, from the back garden of a cottage in the New Forest without leaving any sign of disturbance. One of 12, the masterpiece is worth £45,000 and took months to create. Sculptor Mr Dashwood has pieces all around the world including some in The Royal Collection, which is owned by The Queen.

A SOUTHAMPTON secondary school rebuilt after a £16m project welcomed its first group of students. The new Bitterne Park Secondary School in Dimond Road welcomed 360 Year 7 students. Susan Trigger, who had been the headteacher at Bitterne Park School for the past 20 years, was now the executive headteacher while Graham Wilson, former deputy head teacher, was now the new head doing the day-to-day running of the school. The building features a theatre, an assembly hall and drama studios.

THE first look behind the scenes of Southampton’s new multi-million pound hotel was given. Those behind the £25 million hotel boasted it would bring five star luxury to Southampton’s premier marina when it opened the following month. The Southampton Harbour Hotel has a superyacht inspired design with 85 rooms costing from £185 a night. It also boasts a jetty style restaurant and cinema on the ground floor plus function rooms, events space, a luxury roof top bar, restaurant and club. The hotel was set to provide 120 jobs.

A GIANT Ferris wheel rolled into Southampton. The 115ft attraction, dubbed the “UK’s tallest mobile Ferris wheel”, was installed in the Bargate after arriving from the Great Dorset Steam Fair. The observation wheel offered a unique aerial view of the city with riders able to pick out Southampton’s sights from the attraction’s lofty peak, as well as a sneak glance at this year’s Boat Show. Operators Eventive Funtime were even hoping lucky riders would be able to see the Isle of Wight on a clear day. The Daily Echo teamed up with organisers to give away 25 family tickets for the popular attraction. It was such a success the wheel may now return in 2018 for a repeat run in Southampton.

FURIOUS motorists demanded to know why they were left stranded on a Hampshire mMotorway after it was closed for more than 11 hours. The M3 near Winchester was closed in both directions as police and bomb disposal experts examined a potential hazardous material that was found in the carriageway between junctions 9 and 11. It emerged it was a flammable material that had been thrown from a motorway bridge. The closure caused a day of chaos on Hampshire roads, especially around Winchester city centre. Steve Brine, Conservative MP for Winchester, demanded answers from Highways England, saying the incident was a “complete nightmare”.

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group’s controversial billboard got a mixed response from people across Southampton. The hard hitting message drivers all over the city got to see was “Welcome to Southampton – Roads so polluted they’ll leave you breathless”. Plastered on a giant billboard in Bevois Valley, the poster aimed to shame Southampton for its dangerously high pollution levels. It was put up on behalf of the clean air initiative #helpbritianbreathe but received mixed reviews with some accusing it of driving down Southampton.

MORE than 1,200 people took the opportunity to experience the height of fine dining in Southampton. Events in the Sky came to the city with restaurants and dessert parlours lining up to serve their menu on a portable kitchen and table that was attached to a crane and raised to 100 feet. With 22 guests on each sitting, more than 1,200 food lovers took part. Having sold out over the initial four days, two extra days were added for the event that offered breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon flights, as well as cocktail events and a flight for Sprinkles Gelato. Organisers said they were aiming to come back next year.