Plaque to Charles Dickens unveiled in Grantham

A plaque to Charles Dickens was unveiled in The George Centre. 577C
A plaque to Charles Dickens was unveiled in The George Centre. 577C

THE link between one of our greatest literary giants and Grantham was celebrated with the unveiling of a new blue plaque on Friday.

The Grantham Civic Society plaque to Charles Dickens was unveiled in the George Shopping Centre by town historian Malcolm Knapp, who funded the plaque.

Dickens stayed at the old George Hotel during his research for his novel “Nicholas Nickleby”. The author stayed the night at the hotel before heading on to Yorkshire to investigate boarding schools which charged large fees for poor education and ill-treatment of children.

Courtney Finn of Grantham Civic Society said: “He told his wife that the George was one of the best inns in England, and so it was when Nicholas undertakes the same journey the coach pulls in here at the George and it is again described as one of the best inns in England.”

Many of the characters Dickens met on his journey to Yorkshire are reproduced in the book but whether any of them are based on people he met during his stay in Grantham, we will probably never know.

Mr Finn said: “We probably don’t appreciate the celebrity of Charles Dickens as an author these days.

“Only J. K. Rowling comes close to the fame, wealth and celebrity Dickens achieved.”

The next Grantham blue plaque will be unveiled to Sir Isaac Newton during the Gravity Fields Festival.

The unveiling will be held at 3pm on Saturday, September 22. Prof Sir Martin Rees, Master of Trinity College Cambridge will unveil the plaque.