Although not much in evidence now, Grantham has a proud history in engineering and the town’s firms produced many high skilled, world-class engineers.
When the Isaac Newton Centre was being developed, it occurred to me that here was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the skills of our young engineers in celebration of Grantham’s most famous son. I therefore suggested to the Morrisons’ property service director and the then South Kesteven District Council CEO that we ask our apprentices to create an artefact connected with Newton to be on permanent display in the new centre.
This was agreed to and the BMARC training supervisors were delighted to project manage it. They decided to produce a large-scale model of Newton’s telescope. English Brothers kindly donated the hardwood needed to produce it and over a few weeks the engineering apprentices produced a beautiful replica of the telescope.
SKDC commissioned a hardwood display case from Grantham Patternmakers and the finished item was presented to SKDC to be kept as a permanent feature of the Isaac Newton Centre.
Sadly, the case was vandalised and a new one was made to replace it. I understand it was then moved to The George Centre and eventually transferred to the Museum Service.
I have asked numerous people if they know where it is now, including SKDC and the Museum Service. Nobody seems to know! I have to ask, do SKDC, Morrisons and the County Museum Service so undervalue our heritage and the endeavours of our young people that much, that they have allowed this wonderful piece of work to either have been lost or, worse, destroyed.
Perhaps someone can answer the question as to its whereabouts and maybe apologise to the couple of dozen people who made it as young trainees.
Better still, maybe it could be returned to its rightful place or at the very least into the Grantham Museum.