Grantham Journal column: Community spirit warmed my heart

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.
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There are those who questioned my motives, and indeed sanity, in staging a free night out for Grantham folk at the Guildhall theatre.

But all it proved was that they had completely missed the point.

Just for the record, it wasn’t an exercise in self-aggrandisement and certainly not for money. After all, I had to sacrifice my treasured collection of antique toys for the privilege of trying to make people happy.

The real aim was to thank my friends, and even some enemies, for enhancing my life and to discover if they still believed in the principles we were brought up to keep.

Whether it was Ann Breen, the Irish star of the show, whose unique talent for bringing out the ‘Best of Friends’ in us, or an audience of genuine British folk who made the occasion such a success, I can’t say.

Probably a lot of both and it warmed my heart to realise that, despite all the terrible things going on in the world, here in our little corner of rusticity, care and community spirit still survives.

I’m so grateful to the dedicated employees, volunteers and, of course, the extremely responsive audience for what they did.

Everyone made it clear that from all points of view it was totally worthwhile.

It gives us hope for the future of our great country and for the place I am proud to call my hometown.

Britain, and Grantham in particular, still possess the qualities they displayed when we stood alone in the past and will do again.

If it takes events like the Ann Breen show to bring them out, so be it.

I was brought up to believe encouragement is always better than oppression. Give us Brits a chance and, as always, we shall surprise all the doubters once again by defying the odds and heralding a new independent era of success.