Review of 2014: England's big features

Features of 2014 Image copyright Various

The Kegworth air disaster, lost football grounds and the maze of tunnels beneath London. These were just some examples of the in-depth journalism produced by BBC News England during 2014.

The first Zeppelin attacks of WW1, the rise of the parking vigilante and the discovery that pagans had been commonplace in medieval churches were also featured.

Take a look at some of the articles you may have missed:

Image copyright PA/BBC
Image caption The plane crashed just yards from the runway of East Midlands Airport

Kegworth air disaster: Plane crash survivors' stories

"Your brain says: 'What? It can't be. It can't be.' Then you think: 'I'm about to die."

In January, survivors of the Kegworth air disaster told their harrowing tales of the day a Boeing 737 crashed into the M1 in 1989.

Forty-seven people were killed but a remarkable number of passengers survived.

For many, a long recovery followed, with some still suffering from the effects today.

Image copyright Emma Lynch/BBC
Image caption Application of a concrete layer during the Crossrail tunnel construction under Finsbury Circus, London

What lies beneath London?

A rare glance into the pitch black labyrinth of unseen tunnels below England's capital revealed deep-level air raid shelters and the city's railway of the future.

A trip with the air ambulance service also provided telling insights into the team's daily life-and-death pressures, as well as some stunning images of London's skyline.

Image copyright Jeff Arris
Image caption The South Portico of Witley Court, eight columns wide and two columns deep

What happened to England's abandoned mansions?

From a hall used as a military headquarters during World War Two to a stately home used as a girls' school, England's impressive empty mansions have colourful pasts.

Despite many looking lonely and rundown now, with mysterious goings-on, a plasterer bludgeoned to death and devastating fires causing havoc in years gone-by, every mansion has a memorable tale.

Image copyright Matt Cardy/getty images
Image caption A burning barrel is soaked in tar and carried through the crowds at the annual Ottery St Mary Tar Barrel festival on 5 November

Halloween: England's strange and ancient winter rituals

England has many quirky and barmy traditions including men carrying flaming barrels of tar through a crowded street, apple wassailing and traditional plays involving sword fights.

Across the country, traditions to ward off evil spirits are as big and popular as ever.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Medieval Graffiti Project
Image caption Sundials (left) and windmills (right) are commonly found inscriptions

Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England's churches

Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses and ships offer a tantalising glimpse into life in the Middle Ages.

The inscriptions have been found in churches in East Anglia and some have been linked to pagan beliefs, still surviving after centuries of Christianity.

Image copyright PA/BBC
Image caption Arsenal's Highbury Stadium closed in 2006. Robert Nichols decided to live in a house built on the site of Middlesbrough's Ayresome Park, while Ian Dodds revisited Stoke City's The Victoria Ground

What happened to England's lost football grounds?

Many former football grounds may be gone but they are certainly not forgotten by die-hard fans.

From Chelsea fans living in a stand at London rivals Arsenal's former Highbury ground to meeting Sir Alex Ferguson at Oxford United, this feature was full of colourful stories and fans' memories.

The public response was so great a follow-up - or second leg, if you will - was quickly delivered.

Image copyright Stuart
Image caption Some parking has left roads users so angry they are taking out their frustrations online

The rise of the parking vigilantes

A succession of websites, blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have sprung up seeking to expose the worst parking examples across the country.

Those behind the campaigns started them after getting fed-up of "horrific, dangerous, selfish and illegal parking".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The airships killed more than 500 people and injured more than a thousand

World War One: How the German Zeppelin wrought terror

The airships killed more than 500 people and injured more than a thousand in the east of the country during World War One.

Doris Cobban, 102, from Bedfordshire, said she remembered seeing a Zeppelin over London which looked "like a huge cigar".

Image copyright Alderney Bayeux Tapestry
Image caption The original tapestry (top left) alongside the new ending (bottom) which has been embroidered in Alderney

Bayeux Tapestry: The islanders who finished the final scenes

Since the tapestry was "rediscovered", the original final scenes of arguably the most famous piece of embroidery in history have been missing.

That was until a team of Alderney stitchers worked tirelessly for 12 months to finish the final scenes which have since been displayed next to the original tapestry in Normandy.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The Clifton Suspension Bridge is Bristol's dominant landmark

Why does Bristol never build anything?

Despite Bristol being deemed "one of the best cities to live in Britain" and European Green Capital 2015, one thing it has failed to deliver are major buildings.

Rival city Cardiff has a string of projects under its belt, but for Bristol, two stadiums and a concert venue have failed to get past the planning phase. Why?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tour de France riders on the Plympton bypass in 1974

Tour de France: The disastrous 1974 Plymouth stage

The competition's first visit to the UK was fraught with problems.

One rider arriving in England claimed they "were treated like illegal immigrants" by custom officials and had lengthy delays when they tried to leave the country.

The insipid route of the stage was also unpopular with riders, one of whom pointed out the A38 Plympton bypass was hardly the Champs Elysees.

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