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Memory Lane: Grantham Hospital celebrates 100 years in 1974

Grantham and Kesteven General Hospital’s centenary celebrations were officially opened at the Guildhall in 1974.

In front of a large audience of prominent local people, Mr David Thomas, chairman of the Lincolnshire Health Authority, outlined the history of the hospital since Lady Brownlow laid the first foundation in 1874.

After the hospital’s early construction, said Mr Thomas, it had only 15 beds.

Grantham and Kesteven General Hospital celebrated its centenary in October 1974.
Grantham and Kesteven General Hospital celebrated its centenary in October 1974.

In 1974, there were 250 beds in the hospital.

Referring to the hospital’s improvements, Mr Thomas said: “The fact these have taken place says much for the hospital management committee and the public of Grantham.”

50 years ago – John took silver in Paraplegic Games

A Grantham sportsman was selected to represent England at the Paraplegic Commonwealth Games in 1973. John Chilcott was paralysed from the waist down when he broke his back in a road crash near Grantham 13 years before.

He was selected to represent England in basketball.

Mr Chilcott, who played for the Stoke Mandeville Paraplegic Club, had represented Great Britain in basketball events since 1962.

In his first ever paraplegic Commonwealth games, he received a silver medal.

At that time, he took part in discus, club throwing shot put, javelin and basketball events. However, he decided to focus on basketball after that. The Commonwealth Paraplegic games were often referred to as the Paraplegic Empire Games and British Commonwealth Paraplegic Games.

10 years ago – Surviving Dambuster visits St Vincent’s

The last surviving British Dambuster made an emotional visit to Grantham in 2013 to visit St Vincent’s, home of Bomber Command during the Second World War raid.

Squadron Leader George ‘Johnny’ Johnson was invited to St Vincent’s by the home’s owner Graham Jeal and Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire.

It was the first time the 93-year-old has ever visited the building from which the 1943 raid was planned and coordinated, as well as the rest of his 50 missions.

He said: “It’s wonderful. It is the sort of thing that I suppose I had not really thought about until the idea was mentioned and then I thought ‘my god’ because I can visit a place where I have never been before and a place that was so important as far as I was concerned for those 50 missions.”

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