Grantham Museum founder Henry Preston is honoured with blue plaque
A blue plaque has been unveiled in honour of the man who founded Grantham Museum.
The plaque, in honour of Henry Preston and found on the front of the Grantham Museum building, was unveiled by the Mayor of Grantham, Coun Mike Cook, on Thursday.
Coun Cook was joined by his wife Marjorie, the chairman of Grantham Civic Society, Courtney Finn, and the rector of St Wulfram’s Church, Fr Stuart Cradduck, who gave a blessing.
Before the unveiling, Mr Finn gave a speech to the group of onlookers who had gathered for the unveiling to tell them about the life of Mr Preston.
Mr Finn said: “Henry Preston was an amazing man. He taught technical evening classes as early as 1874 and founded the Grantham Scientific Society in 1890 and with it Grantham Museum. Its new building, opened by Henry, was completed in 1926 and of course it is still here today.”
Mr Preston was born in 1852 and lived and contributed to the town until the day he died at his home at 52, Cambridge Street in 1940.
Mr Finn added: “In its early days the museum relied on the efforts of Henry Preston and his friends, many of whom acted as voluntary workers for both museum, as the Museum Guild, and public library.
“Henry Preston started to work for the Grantham Waterworks Company as clerk in 1879. He rose to become engineer, secretary and finally as manager from 1881 until 1934 and as a consultant afterwards.
“He was a man of many interests who led the development of the town’s cultural facilities as well as being a geologist, archaeologist and coin collector. In fact, his coin collection was gifted to the Museum. He amassed many volumes of notebooks and photographs which he used to illustrate his lectures and many are kept in the public library.
“He made archaeological discoveries at Saltersford which were kept in the museum. He was a patron of the arts and lectured widely in many parts of the country.
“Grantham owes much to the life, work and vision of this remarkable man who combined the roles of engineer manager with his other interests and a life-long belief in the value of education.”