Grantham man bids to revive River Witham raft race

Raft race on the River Witham in 1983.
Raft race on the River Witham in 1983.
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A Grantham man has called for support to get the once popular River Witham raft race going again.

Paul Bellamy contacted the Journal to see if there is any support in the town for the revival of the race, which he remembers going to see as a young boy.

The race would involve teams, usually in fancy dress, paddling their rafts down the River Witham from the bridge at St Catherine’s Road down to the White Bridge in Wyndham Park.

The races were organised by Grantham Lions and started in 1982, when 30 rafts took part. The following year 60 rafts took part and £1,000 was raised for charity.

Paul, 45, a qualified carpenter and joiner who works for BT, said: “When I was a kid we used to go down there every year. Lots of people would go and watch. It was lots of fun and I just thought it would be great to get it back. Grantham could do with a bit of a boost like that.”

Paul has contacted various clubs in the town to guage their interest. Former president of Grantham Rotary Club Mos Kalbassi said there may be interest in resurrecting the event. Mr Kalbassi said: “The idea of resurrecting the raft race is interesting and hopefully one or more of the clubs might follow up with you.”

Paul, a father-of-three, says he could get a team together and others had shown an interest on Facebook.

Would you like to see the raft race revived on the River Witham? Let us know what you think. Send an email to graham.newton@granthamjournal.co.uk