I was reading the Journal’s Facebook page today and was particularly interested in your link to Mrs June Tilley’s letter regarding her sadness at living in Grantham.
Her view and approach were well measured and written with 65 years of experience in mind.
What disappointed me was that, at the time of writing, the 13 comments written beneath this link were negative, derogatory and unconstructive.
I am currently studying Journalism at Sheffield University and make frequent trips back to Grantham at weekends and will return for the summer months.
This isolation from Grantham has, in fact, strengthened my affinity with the town.
One of the Facebook commentator’s worries about ‘the younger generation’ and ‘young people’ moving away or becoming disillusioned with the ‘state’ of affairs. As a young person I can categorically say I am still proud and happy to come back to the town I call home.
Another mentioned that Grantham will soon become a ‘ghost town’: if this is the case, why are the Journal letters pages constantly full of people complaining about the amount of traffic in the town? Surely the two contradict each other?
Others jump on the ‘Grantham has no shops/economy’ bandwagon. Yes Woolworth’s went bust and M&S left, but this was because of declining sales.
It amazes me that these people moan about having no shops, yet when they were there they were so tragically under-used that M&S (and previously Burton) were forced to close.
Are these people expecting a branch of Harrods to spring up overnight?
One commentator stated she does her shopping in Melton yet bemoans the council for the town having no economy. How can Grantham’s economy rise if she tells everyone to shop in Melton Mowbray?
Another issue raised was that maybe a young person should be elected to the council and their views could be listened to. Yet many insisted on speaking for ‘the young people’ and misinterpreting quite a few in the process.
Exactly the thing they are criticising the council for doing.
I cannot speak for every young person, but I am sick of hearing the immortal words ‘back in the good old days’.
As an aspiring journalist, all I seem to be told is: ‘it’s not what it used to be’ and people harken back to ‘a golden age’ which cannot be compared to.
This negativity is rather shameful when applied to anything in life. If this was the case, surely there’d never be any progression in the world? The ‘older’ generation would just live in the past!
Instead of being negative I propose the complainers of Grantham look at what Grantham still has to offer.
Three large chain supermarkets with adequate parking (something few towns have the privilege of), well-kept parks, stately homes, a weekly market, an excellent leisure centre (have you seen Bingham and Newark’s leisure centres?) amongst many more.
We also have many excellent primary schools and a choice of many different secondary schools; all offering fantastically rated state education.
We should also be thankful we have our own hospital, as some towns don’t have one at all, and rely on the nearest city or district hospital in times of need.
Similarly, Grantham now has a state of the art Police station, something that seemed bizarrely unwelcome by many Granthamians at the time.
You only have to flick through a few Journal pages or view the ‘Our thanks’ section (which was still running last time I read the Journal) to see that there are still a majority of responsible and valuable citizens living in Grantham.
Whilst I accept that Grantham has its faults, I am bewildered by the amount of people who seem to want to squeeze the life out of it by trying to dirty its reputation with their letters of complaint on a weekly basis.
Easy things are easy to do, and simply directing the blame at the council without considering the restrictions placed upon them is very easy.
We have to take some of the blame ourselves and recognise not just the bad, but the good Grantham has to offer. Only then does it seem the town can progress forward as a whole.