I visited Grantham on a short tour of the East Midlands in late June this year and was pleased to see such a bustling little town.
Compared to my own home town, where shops come and go within a few months, dozens of high street premises lie empty and large prominent buildings have become derelict eyesores at the hands of uncaring private owners living elsewhere, I was surprised to read a recent letter to this publication (Grantham Journal Facebook, July 8, 2017) where the author stated they were ashamed to say they lived in Grantham.
On my visit, almost every shop was occupied by larger, as well as independent, retailers.
Your publicly owned spaces were maintained reasonably well.
Traffic flowed easily and everyone I encountered was extremely friendly. To see the Tollemache Inn almost full to capacity on a Tuesday night was an unusual sight for someone whose local pubs struggle to attract such large numbers of customers.
My own town of Crieff, in Scotland, is a holiday town which has seen a decline since the arrival of cheap package holidays. Independent shops have struggled to compete with internet retail but the more innovative businesses survive.
We do have something in common with Grantham and that is an internationally-known local. Ours is Ewan McGregor. Yours is Margaret Thatcher.
I’m currently trying to encourage my town to promote our Hollywood link to grow more interest for visitors.
I did notice Grantham hasn’t taken this approach, but perhaps am not too surprised!
Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland