THE brand new year kicked off with a chilly start across the county.

More than 60 people took on the year’s Allonby New Year’s Day Dook.

Dressed as superheroes, Morph, Santa and more, the event - now in its third year - attracted a record number of dippers as well as scores of family and friends who watched from the warmth of the shoreline.

Over in north Cumbria, the shock news dropped that John Sheridan had resigned as Carlisle United manager in a sensational fashion.

The Blues announced the shock departure of the 54-year-old on January 4.

TV stardom beckoned for one Cumbrian farmer, who made it onto the primetime hit show, SAS: Who Dares Wins. Hannah Jackson - also known as the Red Shepherdess because of her hair colour - took part in a set of hair-raising selection challenges, set by former soldier and TV presenter Ant Middleton in sub-zero temperatures in the Andes in central Chile.

Of the 25 who signed up to take part for the 11-day event, Hannah made it all the way through the series to the final, narrowly missing out on the first place prize.

Millions tuned in every Sunday night for each instalment of the six-part fourth series.

The county was rocked on January 18 by news of a firearms-related incident at Hardendale Quarry in Shap.

Police advised residents to stay away from the area for several hours while negotiators from the force were on the scene.

Sadly, it was later confirmed that a 63-year-old man was fatally injured after a shotgun, in his possession, was discharged.

A school in Barrow thanked local people for coming together to help it raise money after flooding caused damage worth £5,000.

Ramsden Infant and Nursery School was forced to close for a week in November last year after sewage spewed out from a nearby blocked drain.

Carpets, games, books and furniture were all damaged as a result – but the nursery has since been inundated with donations and fundraising offers from parents and friends in the community.

A teenage girl who became homeless when she was 16 was voted as Carlisle Key’s Young Person of the Year.

Two years ago, when life became tough, Jodie Robinson, 18, was housed in supported accommodation.

Carlisle Key, which works with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, said Jodie was ready to move on and added she was playing an active role in the community.

Every year the charity awards one young person with the Young Person of the Year Award.

The family of a man who built up one of the most successful haulage firms in Cumbria paid tribute to his life after his death at the age of 88.

Robert Armstrong, who headed Longtown-based Wm Armstrong Ltd for almost five decades, died on January 11 at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

All those who knew him paid their respects at his funeral at Arthuret Church, near Longtown, on January 18.

It was a case of ‘everything must go’ at one county pub, as it cleared their contents and put them under the hammer ahead of a demolition.

Robert and Sylvia Cowan auctioned off the fixtures, fittings and furnishings of The Golden Fleece Inn at Ruleholme, near Brampton.

The couple demolished their existing building to make way for a state-of-the-art replacement, comprising a bar, restaurant, micro-brewery, 23 bedrooms and associated facilities.

The removal of the building marked the end of one era for Robert and Sylvia but the start of a new one.

They took over the popular inn and restaurant in 2011 and worked with partners on plans for the new development which, granted planning permission, was expected to take a year to bring to fruition.

A holiday park company revealed details about the opening of their new venture in the Lake District - bringing a jobs boost to the county.

Leisure Resorts, the developer behind the aptly-named Ullswater Heights - due to its proximity to England’s second largest lake and a short drive from Penrith - announced that the park at Newbiggin would be scheduled to open in July.

Work to transform the site began back in 2017, with owners anticipating that it would open in time for the peak of the popular summer season.

The developer also announced that 40 jobs would be created as a result of the new scheme.

Months after she sparked major controversy during an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, Carlisle’s Roxanne Pallett briefly resurfaced on TV screens across the country, featuring on Channel 4’s Celebrity Coach Trip.

The programme was filmed prior to Roxanne’s stint in the Big Brother house.

By royal appointment, batches of creamy Kendamil infant formula were sent to Kensington Palace for Prince Louis, the baby son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Kendal-based makers, Nutricare, also revealed they were supplying Kendamil Kids Creamy Oat Porridge to the royal breakfast table.

The closure of the Castle Dairy restaurant, run by apprentice chefs from Kendal College, was announced, due to a lack of customers.

Friends, relatives and civic dignitaries gathered to honour a former Mayor of Workington and community stalwart at his funeral.

John Bechelli served on the town council for 20 years and was mayor in 2002/3. He was a committee member of Senhouse Street Working Men’s Club for more than 50 years and served as chairman and secretary.

He died on January 5 aged 90. Mourners gathered at Our Lady & St Michael’s Church at Banklands to remember him.

Hundreds of families across Barrow woke up to no water on January 12 due to a major leak which hit the supply.

Residents reported water issues and investigations found there was a significant leak close to Furness College.

Residents living on Walney reported that water was barely trickling out of their taps.

Multi-million-pound flood defence plans for the River Kent came in for heavy criticism from Kendal Civic Society, whose members said they would “seriously and permanently harm” the “heart” of Kendal. Kendal Flood Action Group said it was “thoroughly in favour” of the project.

Customers were stunned as three banks announced they were shutting up shop: Santander in Ulverston and Windermere, and Barclays in Grange-over-Sands.

An ambitious plan to transform Kendal Town Hall and nearby offices was unveiled by South Lakeland District Council, which said the £4.9 million works would put the council “at the heart of the high street”.

Princess Anne visited West Cumbria to promote British-made products.

The Princess Royal spoke to Cumbrian leaders as she was given a tour of New Balance Flimby’s factory floor.

Princess Anne’s visit came about because she was “keen” to see how manufacturing happens in one of the UK’s biggest companies.

After flying-in by helicopter, the princess royal greeted the ranks of officials and forces including members of the Air Training Corps.

Princess Anne was shown high-tech methods of production in which neoprene was targeted by lasers to mark-out symmetrical lines.

Mr Saunders said it took four people when he joined but has since become a streamlined process, taking just one person to operate the equipment.

A restaurant which had been in Workington for over 20 years was put up for sale for a total of £1.75 million.

Separate plans were also revealed nearby for a 25,295-square feet commercial development including mixed retail, food and hot food takeaway.

Sohrab Padidar-Nazar, owner of Caspian Flame Grill, put the business up for sale because he wanted to retire.

The restaurant and take-away, on Derwent Drive, had been at the site since 1998, but started as a take-away in the town in 1983.

As January drew to a bitterly cold end, much of Cumbria was blanketed in snow during a cold snap that shut many rural schools and closed the high Lake District passes at Wrynose, Hardknott and Kirkstone.

Heavy snowfall also caused widespread disruption on roads and motorways in the region, with several weather warnings issued by the Met Office.