Peter Clawson’s column: Grantham in the spotlight

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.
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A welcome vision of Grantham through local and other people’s rose coloured glasses.

That was the impression I had of the culmination of six weeks’ research by Flickbook Theatre Company recently.

Flickbook Theatre produced a piece of theatre inspired by Grantham. Photo copyright: Phil Crow.

Flickbook Theatre produced a piece of theatre inspired by Grantham. Photo copyright: Phil Crow.

Flickbook delved into the town’s rich history and heritage, whilst speaking to the community about what it means to be a real Granthamian.

The Lincolnshire based group’s aim was to come up with discoveries of challenges faced together with the community spirit that keeps the town special.

In fairness their performance at the Guildhall Arts Centre revealed their own members’ amazingly entertaining talents, ably assisted by local groups including St Peter’s Hill Players, Grantham Canal Society, folk singers and others.

The main focus was on how women who had achieved great things, had helped to make Grantham what it is today.

We were treated to the life story of Edith Smith in words and music, as the country’s first female policewoman, her success in helping “fallen’ girls while First World War soldiers were camped in Belton Park prior to departure for the Front, and the rest of her remarkable life’s work and problems.

The former scullery maid who invented Shavex and went on to become millionaire business woman Mrs van der Elst received similar treatment.

The tough life of bargee women came under the Flickbook microscope with help from some fine acting, plus creative folk singing from the Grantham Canal Society.

The ensemble tried a little too hard to be fair to the late Maggie Thatcher in my opinion, presenting me with the impression of a mischievous angel rather than the controversial political figure she actually became.

Flickbook’s artistic director Tom Briggs said afterwards they were expected to give a good impression of places they visited, but acknowledged my view that you could have too much of a good thing.

All-in-all a good night out helped along with some scrumptious free cake and coffee.