Then & Now: Master mason became mayor of Grantham in 1904
Ruth Crook of Grantham Civic Society tells the story of a former town mayor in the latest Then & Now column.
George H Linnell was born in Great Gonerby in late 1853. His parents were farmers and landlords of the Rutland Arms.
He trained as a master mason and also owned a coal yard on Manthorpe Road. In 1884 he transferred ownership of the coal yard to J L Linnell and in 1888 moved his monumental mason’s business to the corner of Castlegate and Park Road, where it remains to this day.
His regular adverts in the Grantham Journal stated that ‘Every description of monumental work executed in granite, marble, stone or slate. Designs and estimates free on application’.
In 1889 he oversaw the cleaning of St Wulfram’s walls and roof. Services were suspended between consecutive Sunday services whilst the work was carried out, because it had been eleven years since the previous clean and a significant amount of dust had accumulated.
Workmen were able to reach the roof with ladders, but ‘in order to reach the vaulted dome at the base of the tower, they had to remove the covering from the centre and lower a workman in a tub through the aperture in the belfry floor’.
Mr Linnell later became Mayor of Grantham in 1904.