Grantham Journal columnist Peter Clawson: Award time for pongs

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.
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Many local residents currently believe that Grantham no longer deserves its historic title of the most boring town in the world and I tend to agree with them.

However, there is another hypothetical competition our community would win outright, in my opinion, given the chance. The European Pong Contest! No! Don’t laugh! There is clear – or smelly — evidence, that in the world of obnoxious odours, Grantham could be a global leader.

Every so often, for instance, when the south wind blows, a generally agricultural stench sweeps across the town, leaving in its wake disgusted expressions, coughing and spluttering citizens.

Likewise but less often, the Sahara desert is blamed for polluted clouds which blanket our community, although my nose also detects more locally generated content.

All of which leads me to more Grantham-steamed up mystery pongs.

Such as the stinks which regularly assault shoppers on St Peter’s Hill with an inexplicable sewage-like aroma; the River Witham’s foul smells, together with daily rush-hour traffic air pollution.

Not to mention the unbearable manure smell around The Meadows and Wyndham Park on occasions, which prevents picnic parties dumping their waste all over the place.

Every cloud has a silver lining, they say, but the promised fragrance of not having lorries full of rotting meat driving through the town thanks to an eastwest bypass will probably not materialise in our lifetime.

I am also sure Journal readers will be all too aware of many more foul smells which pervade their locality; too many for me to mention here. But what about a suitable prize for a ‘most pongs’ victory in the European contest itself?

May I suggest a solid gold replica of an air-freshener to display in the Guildhall Arts Centre, plus several examples of the real thing placed strategically at key pong spots in and around the town?