Hundreds of tributes have been paid to café owner Ged McKnight, who has died suddenly at the age of 58.
People have paid tribute to “a gentleman” and have said how shocked they are by his death, in Lincoln County Hospital on Sunday. Ged was taken ill at the end of last week and spent the weekend in the hospital before he passed away.
He was well-known throughout town as the owner of Fellows café in Westgate, which he ran with his wife, Rosemary, for about 10 years.
The former RAF serviceman was also known for his fund-raising and support for the armed services. He had been involved in putting on events in the town, including the Christmas Market and St George family fun day, as a member of the Grantham Events Group committee.
This week, Rosemary, of Gonerby Hill Foot, said: “I have been overwhelmed with all the wonderful tributes people have made.”
Alastair Hawken, a friend of Ged’s for 15 years and owner of the now closed Panini, next door to Fellows, said: “Ged was passionate about Grantham. He put a lot of work into making things happen with the business community and the events group, which he championed for many years.”
Mr Hawken added: “His local patriotism was immense, but he did it all very quietly and did not do it for the applause. He was very much involved in the poppy appeal and planted poppies at the crematorium.
“His community involvement said it all about him. There was nothing that he would not do for people.
“He was very special – the very definition of a gentleman.”
Ged was instrumental in resurrecting the St George’s Day family fun day to coincide with the parade. He worked alongside Tim Radley, owner of Smart lettings in Grantham, on Grantham Events Group.
Mr Radley told the Journal: “He was very positive about Grantham. At the end of the day he was responsible for the resurrection of the St George’s Day Parade.
“His kind will be a sad loss to the smaller business community in Grantham.”
Last year Ged and Dean Ward, currently a local councillor and formerly of the RAF Regiment, supported a scheme to plant poppies in Grantham cemetery. Local schoolchildren scattered poppy seeds on the roundabout.
Ged also planted poppies next to the war memorial on St Peter’s Hill after they were accidentally removed.
He said at the time: “They are a symbol to the people who have given everything for this country. There’s nothing greater than someone who has given their own life for the defence of other people in this country.”
Ged was also a member of the Cranwell Gliding Club and occasionally would take aerial pictures for the Journal.
This week Ged’s friends, colleagues and customers paid tribute to him through the Journal.
Bex Mezzo said: “Such a lovely man - passionate about Grantham Events which is where I met him. RIP and sympathies to his family.”
Elvis Stooke said: “Such a loss to Grantham, a man who had great passion for Grantham and its business, such a lovely man who I got to know when I was at the King’s Arms. My thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.
Stacey Ross added: “He was a lovely man, very welcoming, not just to his cafe but feeding mothers somewhere nice and warm to sit either bottle or breastfeeding. And definitely the nicest cafe.”
Dee Gray said: “Such sad news. RIP. Fellows is a lovely welcoming cafe and my shopping trips have to include a lovely milky coffee.”
Graeme Tasker said: “RIP Mate. Truly a gent. Thoughts are with Rosemary and your family.”
Natalie Sonny Kaur commented; “Rip Ged. You were a lovely bloke and will be missed by many.”
Sam Storey said: “How awful. He was such a lovely gent, always had a chat when I went in. Rip Ged.”
Dawn Minckley: “What terrible news. He was such a kind man. Thoughts are with Rosemary and his loved ones.”
Laura Jayne Bowling said: “RIP Ged, My thoughts are with your family! Such sad news. Ged did so much for the community. Hope he’s gliding high.”