Golden days for former Grantham Mayors

Mike and Avril Williams. 245D
Mike and Avril Williams. 245D
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Two former Mayors of Grantham will celebrate their golden wedding next week whilst on a cruise in the Mediterranean.

Mike and Avril Williams met as teenagers in Barnsley and have been together ever since.

Mike served in the air force and was posted in Cyprus during the outbreak of civil war.

Upon leaving the RAF, he took a job at a newsagents in Hartlepool but was non too keen for the town and instead moved south to Grantham where he and Avril took over a newsagents in New Beacon Road. Mike recalls: “Our flat was straight over the chip shop and the smell used to come in through the airing cupboard so everything smelt of fish and chips!”

Mike returned to being an electrician before he and Avril took over the Joiner’s Arms - now the Nobody Inn. Avril recalls: “We were only there two years but we loved it.”

Mike ended his career as an electrician before recently retiring. In the past few weeks he has graduated with a degree in history from the open university. He said: “It took me 24 years to get it! I started in 1988 and did two years before taking a break because of work. Then I decided to pick it up again.

“I thought it might be a record but apparently someone took 27 years.”

Avril worked in a bank in Barnsley and in Grantham worked for 20 years in the maternity unit at the hospital.

But they are best known as past Mayors of Grantham. Mike said: “It was a joy, especially going to the schools and seeing the kids.”

Avril said: “That was the best part of it really, going round the schools.”