Grantham Journal Review of the Year: September

The Mallard at Grantham railway station. 439D
The Mallard at Grantham railway station. 439D
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World steam speed record locomotive Mallard proved it still has pulling power when an estimated 15,000 people turned out for a commemorative weekend in Grantham – the 126mph mark was reached by the engine at nearby Stoke Bank in July 1938.

Special track was installed at Grantham Railway Station for the big blue beauty, which was accompanied by a buffet car of the era and the engine which replaced it, a Deltic diesel.

There were numerous other events on, all under the title: Mallard: The Story of Speed Festival and footfall in the town centre was up 25 per cent on the previous week. Granthamian and railway enthusiast Steve Philpott, of Hougham, commented: “This is the best thing that has happened in the town for over 30 years.”

The roadworks in Springfield Road were not likely to be finished until the end of the month. A fibre optic cable had wrapped around a gas main, halting work and it took the National Grid three weeks to send engineers out to fix it.

Highways chief Councillor Richard Davies called the situation: “unacceptable” and said he would lobby MP Nick Boles and the government to force utility companies to respond to council requests much faster.

Danish furniture retailer JYSK (pronounced “yusk”) would take over the former Dreams furniture store in London Road and create 15 new jobs.

Mr Boles announced he would be opening up more channels of communication with his constituents, including a new Twitter account and fish and chips and a drink on a Friday night.

Concerns that local legal searches were taking too long and holding up the housing market recovery in Grantham were quickly dealt with by South Kesteven District Council after the Journal took up the issue.

Prince Harry awarded the Inspirational Child award to six-year-old Madison Kirk, who attends Huntingtower Primary School, at the Wellchild Awards in London. She later appeared on television programmes, including breakfast show Daybreak.

Eric Chappell of Barrowby, who wrote the hit television comedy Rising Damp, backed the protest against library cuts. He said: “My first literary influence was in my local library. Throughout my career I have used libraries to research my material. And I never take out a book, so when people say the numbers of books being taken out are down, their thinking is skewed.”

Former Consevative MP and television presenter Michael Portillo was in town to promote Grantham at tax-payers’ expense.

SKDC was producing a promotional video about Grantham and 1,000 24 page colour brochures at a total cost of £4,700. The video was designed to attract businesses by illustrating the town’s connectivity to London and high standard of living coupled with relatively low cost of housing.