Farewell to Grantham couple who always put neighbours first

Barrie and Janet Cox, centre, surrounded by Manners Street residents and well-wishers.
Barrie and Janet Cox, centre, surrounded by Manners Street residents and well-wishers.
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A couple who have voiced residents’ concerns to the district and county council for 13 years, have stepped down from running the Grantham North Community Group.

Chairman Barrie Cox, 78, and his wife Janet, 75, announced their decision at last Thursday’s meeting in the Manners Street Community Centre, although only after putting the residents concerns first – as they always do – by addressing issues ranging from nearby car vandalism, illicit parking, and uneven footpaths.

After moving to Manners Street in 1994, where Janet was scheme manager, Barrie decided to join the residents’ group on retiring, and has ended up as chairman since 2002.

Barrie said: “My wife wanted me to do something useful, so I got involved with residents’ involvement. I was doing four groups at the time - Manners Street, Greyfriars, Witham Place and Riverside.

“If they’ve got problems which they can’t get sorted out by ringing the council, I’ve acted as a go-between working with Ken Linford, SKDC’s resident involvement officer.”

Ken, along with councillors Ray and Linda Wootten, Coun Jacky Smith, and former Coun Graham Wheat were at the meeting and presented the couple with gifts.

Coun Ray Wootten said: “Barrie and Janet have always dedicated themselves to the community, and I know that everyone will thank them for their hard work and support.”

Although no longer holding the formal meetings, the pair will continue to host fortnightly coffee mornings at Manners Street, organise coach trips and lunches for residents, and attend Grantham Art Club, with Barrie looking forward to spending more time painting. He also announced that £589 in administration funds for the group will be donated to St Barnabas Hospice.

The couple, who have been married for 55 years, were described as ‘wonderful’ by Annie Debank, 96, who has lived at Manners Street for over three decades.

Fellow resident Janet Goodley, 79, added: “They are the most helpful people. They organise four trips a year, and the coffee mornings to raise money.”

Barrie added: “You get a kick out of helping people.”