Restorations and clean-ups vowed for Grantham town centre

Witham Place sign. Photo by John Manterfield.
Witham Place sign. Photo by John Manterfield.

Historic gems falling into a state of disrepair will be tackled as a result of a recent town centre inspection.

Few are aware that members of the Grantham Civic Society, an organisation which exists to enhance and preserve the historic market town, carry out regular inspections with representatives from the district and county councils, and Grantham Business Club.

They pick up on poorly maintained historic features, overgrown weeds and ‘grot spots’ in a bid to ensure the town centre is kept shipshape.

Courtney Finn and John Manterfield hit the streets just before Christmas on behalf of the civic society, pointing out, in particular, work needed to restore one of Grantham’s oldest street signs and also the 1597-built Conduit in Market Place.

Courtney said: “A request was made to SKDC for the repainting of some of the historic cast iron street name signs that are part of Grantham’s heritage and of great graphic design. Pictured is one of Grantham’s oldest signs, dated 1855, at the corner of Witham Place and Bridge End Road, which is also in need of repainting.

“We saw that the inscription on the old Conduit had long since become impossible to read and requested that this be restored. It is a scheduled ancient monument and one of Grantham’s historic gems. The inscription is from Proverbs 5:16 and should say: ‘Let they fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets’ but a stone mason needs to repair the letters as well as replace the missing pinnacle on the corner closest to the Conduit Cafe. SKDC tells us that this is in hand.”

Also highlighted was the state of pavements and roads, in particular the junction of Swinegate and Church Street, surplus street furniture and concerns over parking restrictions in Castlegate and “confusing” signage and loading bays in Market Place and Wide Westgate. LCC area highways manager Mark Heaton assured new signage will be installed in the New Year.

Aware of the budget cuts facing local authorities, the civic society plans to put together a team of volunteers tasked with tidying up the town centre.

Courtney said: “Weeds sprouting amongst railings at junctions are a perennial problem that Lincolnshire highways find difficult to kill with the weak strength of the weed killer they are allowed to use. The Civic Society offered to organise town centre voluntary clean-up sessions similar to Rivercare, since we all acknowledge that council resources are much stretched these days.”

He added: “It was good to walk the town centre and for our councils to take notes, to listen to our concerns and to update us with their plans.”

** Tell us what issues you feel should be tackled in Grantham town centre. Write a letter or email: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk