Anne Abbott (1931-2013)
Miss (Elizabeth) Anne Abbott, who lived for many years in Gladstone Terrace, Grantham, with her partner Alan Hubbard, was born at Eaton.
She attended Cairn Holt Kindergarten, in Melton Mowbray, and when the school closed at the outbreak of war, she went to the Grammar School a year early at the age of eight.
While at Melton Mowbray and later at Overstone School, Anne developed a real lasting love for music and particularly for singing and the piano.
Her first solo performance was in her village church at Branston at the age of 16.
On leaving school Anne continued her musical education with weekly lessons in Nottingham from Madame Lehaye for singing and Louden Merry for piano and then later in London by the famous pianist and teacher Prof Max Pirani.
Leyland White, a baritone who was a regular performer at the Proms in the late 1920s and early 30s also provided Anne with additional singing tuition.
A piano first arrived at the family home for her sisters Pat and Jean to practice on when Anne was only eight, but it didn’t take Anne long to monopolise it.
Her practice would start and finish with Drink to me Only with thine Eyes – Anne always taught he pupils to sing with their eyes.
In chance meeting while singing with the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra, Anne met a member of the newly formed Cambridge University Operatic Society who were looking for a soprano to take the lead role in Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Sir John in Love.
This subsequently led on to an invitation to perform in The Rakes Progress, at Cambridge, in December 1956, the first performance of this opera in England.
Vaughan-Williams was the President of the University Operatic Society and Anne was the fortunate recipient of a Vaughn-Williams bursary which allowed her to she gain additional tutoring with Paul Hamburger to perfect her German operatic singing and also with Melee for Italian and French singing.
She then progressed to a role at the Sadlers Wells in a Tale of Two Cities and found herself on the front cover of the magazine Opera in September 1957.
After that she played the role of Pamina in the Magic Flute at Birmingham, Mimi in La Boheme at the Royal Festival Hall and has even performed with Janet Baker in an oratorio at Nottingham. Other Cambridge performances include Rolf Liebemann’s School for Wives and Carl Orff’s Catulli Carmina in which Anne is described as “wide eyed and nimble witted” in her presentation.
Just before her 21st birthday Anne was given a grand piano by her father and thus began her teaching career which spans an incredible 60 years, starting at the age of 21 and continuing to teach right up to end of May this year.
It is as though Anne lived to teach, initially the piano and then later singing. Anne has always taught around the Grantham area and it is for her excellent and enthusiastic teaching that Anne will be most remembered and missed.
While teaching, Anne continued her singing career up to at least 1979.
Anne has sung on many occasions in the Grantham area most notably in Handel’s Messiah to celebrate the Quincentenary of the granting of the Town’s Charter in 1963 at St Wulfram’s Church, enjoyed by an audience of over 700.
It was very fitting that on the 50th year celebration of the Grantham Choral Society that one of Anne’s pupils, Nicola Pulford, sang the same role.
Anne was a member of the Grantham Music Club, and was one of the cornerstones of the Grantham Music Festival which also started in 1963.
She became a valued member of the organising committee finding adjudicators and choosing set pieces as well as being a great force in later years in keeping the festival going and introducing new committee members.
Anne never married or had children of her own, but she was loved by all her pupils, like an honorary “Mr Chips”.
Several of Anne’s pupils rose to national and even international status which gave her huge satisfaction, including the world-famous Wagnerian soprano Jane Eaglen and Grantham’s Nicola Pulford.
One of the greatest highlights in Anne’s life was watching a former pupil perform.
Eric James Adamson (1919-2007)
ERIC James Adamson was born at Liverpool and was educated at the Jesuit College of St Francis Xavier.
His first job was with the Admiralty in Altrincham, before being called-up for the Army.
He served throughout the Second World War, leaving with the rank of major.
He married Marion at All Saints Church, Driffield, in January, 1946 andreturned to the Admiralty in Glascoed and Bath. During this period they lived in Newport, Monmouth.
After transferring to Customs and Excise he worked in London and then moved to Hull, from where his work took him along the coast to Whitby and beyond.
In 1952 he took over the Customs and Excise station in the Grantham area, being solely responsible for a 30-mile radius of the town.
He worked from 8 St Peter’s Hill, but later was required to work from Nottingham, travelling daily from his Rectory Lane, Harlaxton, home until retirement in 1982.
Herbert Akroyd-Stuart (1864– 1927)
ALTHOUGH he never lived here, Herbert probably had the biggest effect on Grantham’s economy than anyone.
It was his invention, manufactured by local engineering company Richard Hornsby and Sons, which really put the town on the map.
Born in Halifax, Yorkshire, England ,he invented the hot bulb engine, or heavy oil engine – the fore-runner of the diesel engine.
Akroyd-Stuart lived in Australia in his early years. He was educated at Newbury Grammar School (now St. Bartholomew’s School) and Finsbury Technical College on Cowper Street. He was the son of Charles Stuart, founder of the Bletchley Iron and Tinplate Works, and joined his father in the business in 1887.
In 1885, he accidentally spilt paraffin oil into a pot of molten tin. The paraffin oil vaporised and caught fire when in contact with a paraffin lamp. This gave him an idea to pursue the possibility of using paraffin oil (very similar to modern-day diesel) for an engine, which unlike petrol would be difficult to be vaporised in a carburettor as its volatility is not sufficient to allow this.
His first prototype engines were built in 1886. In 1890, in collaboration with Charles Richard Binney, he filed Patent 7146 for Richard Hornsby and Sons of Grantham.
Akroyd-Stuart’s engines were built from 26 June 1891 by Richard Hornsby and Sons as the Hornsby Akroyd Patent Oil Engine under licence and were first sold commercially on 8 July 1892. It was the first internal combustion engine to use a pressurised fuel injection system.
Hot bulb engines were produced until the late 1920s, often being called “semi-diesels”, even though they were not as efficient as compression ignition engines.
They had the advantage of comparative simplicity, since they did not require the air compressor used by early Diesel engines; fuel was injected mechanically (solid injection) near the start of the compression stroke, at a much lower pressure than that of Diesel engines
Richard Hornsby and Sons built the world’s first oil-engined railway locomotive Lachesis for the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, England, in 1896. They also built the first compression-ignition powered automobile and the first tractor using this engine..
There is a plaque in Denmark Street, Bletchley, UK, commemorating the work of Herbert Akroyd Stuart
Diesel was, however, credited with the innovation, despite the adduced evidence to the contrary.
In 1900, Akroyd -Stuart moved to Australia and set up a company Sanders & Stuart with his brother Charles, latterly moving back to Yorkshire, England. He died of throat cancer and was buried in All Souls church in Boothtown, Halifax.
The University of Nottingham has hosted the Akroyd-Stuart Memorial Lecture on occasional years in his memory since 1928. One was presented by Sir Frank Whittle in 1946. Akroyd-Stuart had worked with Professor William Robinson in the late 19th century, who was professor of engineering from 1890 to 1924 at University College Nottingham.
Akroyd-Stuart also left money to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Royal Aeronautical Society and Institute of Marine Engineering, which provided for their respective bi-annual Akroyd-Stuart Prizes.
Keith Alexander (1958-2010)
KEITH Alexander was a Saint Lucian footballer and manager, born in Nottingham.
He was the manager of Lincoln City, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town, in a career that included international appearances for Saint Lucia.
Alexander played for a whole host of lower league football teams including two games for Grantham Town at the start of the 1983 season before moving on to King’s Lynn.
He was the first full-time black professional manager in the Football League, and is considered by many to be a pioneer of the modern game.
His funeral took place at Lincoln Cathedral, with thousands of people paying their respects.
Friends, family and football fans gave a round of applause as his coffin entered and left the building. In October 2010, he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Black List celebratory evening at Wembley, highlighting the influence of African Caribbean figures in British football.
Mike Alexander (1941- )
GRANTHAM Football Club has a long tradition of free-scoring centre forwards and one of the finest of them all was Mike Alexander.
Originally on the books of Football League side Scunthorpe United, then Brigg Town, followed by Gainsborough Trinity.
He was the first major signing made by legendary player-manager Terry Bly in the 1964-65 season and immediately began to repay Terry’s faith by scoring on his debut following a £300 transfer free.
Over the next four seasons, he hit no fewer than 126 goals in 142 appearances, including four in an FA Cup tie against highly-fancied Londoners Hendon, who were the FA Amateur Cup holders at the time!
By the end of that season Mike had amassed another 50 goals in only 48 appearances and his scoring rate continued in the next two seasons, even netting another 4 goals in one match, this time Matlock Town being the victims.
Mike went on to star for Terry Bly’s cup heroes in prestigious ties against the likes of Wimbledon and Oldham in 1967.
His achievements saw him voted Anglia TV personality of the Year in 1968 and it was a huge disappointment (but perhaps no surprise) for Gingerbreads fans when arch-rivals Boston United paid a then-record transfer fee of £2,000 to take him to Northern Premier League football that year.
From there he returned to Gainsborough Trinity, returning to London Road in the late 1970s in a reserve match.
Compiled with the help of Nick Pigott and Jon Barnes
William Walker Allen (1890-1956)
William Walker Allen, of Inner Street, enlisted in the Army as an 18-year old mysteriously he was discharged six months later as unfit for military service.
He gained employment at Richard Hornsby’s Spittlegate Ironworks.
Then in August 1914 he enlisted again, this time as a Special Reservist, leaving a wife and three young children behind.
The 8th Lincolns, of which he was a part, were thrown in at the deep end at the Battle of Loos, 25 September 1915.
They had never been in action before and were thoroughly beaten by a much more experienced foe. Of the 1,023 men who landed in France on 10th September, at the roll call was made on 29th September, just 530 answered the call.
This was a very dark day for the British Army, the Lincolnshire Regiment and most importantly their families.
But Bill Allen (to those that knew him) luckily survived to fight another day.
The next significant action he was involved in was the Battle of the Somme.
The 8th Lincolns were in the second wave of assaulting troops on the 1 July. The 8th Lincolns attached in the vicinity of Fricourt as part of the 21st Division.
They did well and reached and held their first line objectives.
However given the number of casualties the Lincolns took they were soon withdrawn from the line to refit and re-organise.
As the battle dragged on they found themselves again in the front line this time at Beaucourt which the Royal Naval Division had recently captured.
The Germans retaliated with a huge bombardment and Pte Allen was wounded in the neck by shrapnel and had to return home for surgery. Fortunately there wasn’t any lasting impediment.
Returning the front this time with the 7th Lincolns he saw action helping to beat off German counterattack following the Second Battle of the Scrape.
Shortly afterwards he was posted to the 2/5th Lincolns, a second line territorial unit. They took part in 3rd Ypres in the vicinity of Langemarck and achieved their objectives.
In the spring of 1918 the Germans launched Kaiserschlacht and the 2/5th Lincolns were caught in the teeth of the maelstrom.
The line was smashed by the ferocious onslaught. The Battalion lost 20 officers and approximately 500 men.
They moved to Flanders to refit, receive replacements and reorganise when the Battalion was hit again, as the Germans switched their point of attack. This time the 2/5th Lincolns were reduced a cadre of just 80 men.
It was at this point that Haig issued his famous backs to the wall call to arms: “…With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end. The safety of our homes and the freedom of mankind depend alike upon the conduct of each one of us at this critical moment.”
The Battalion, Brigade and Division to which he belonged were disbanded and the survivors transferred to other units.
The remnants of the 2/5th Lincolns were all posted to the 1st Lincolns. Following the Battalion of Amiens in August 1918 the British Army continued its advanced in what is known as the 100 days. During an attack Pte Allen was taken a Prison of War.
Thankfully he was returned safely home to his wife and daughters.
Some 22 years later he was to take up arms again as part of the Home Guard.
He died in 1956, and is buried in Grantham Cemetery.
Research by Nigel Atter
Retired railwayman became a publican
Henry Allen (1825-1911)
BORN at Peterborough, Henry Allen was superintendent of the loco at Grantham for 27 years.
He came to Grantham in 1858, only five years after the railway station opened in the town, and worked for the Great Northern Railway Co for more than 40 years.
When he retired in 1885, he lived at Harlaxton Wharf before becoming the licensee of the Gregory Arms until 1897 (when he was 72).
He moved to his daughter’s home, at Heaton Moor. Stockport, where he died.
He was buried at Harlaxton.
Mary Allen (1878-1964)
MARY Sophia Allen was a military-minded woman who was probably attracted to the Women Police Volunteers because it was the most regimented and militant of all the suffrage societies.
Born of a wealthy family in Cheltenham (her father was General Manager of the Great Western Railway), she was educated at Princess Helena College. When she took over the Hastings branch in 1912 she had already achieved national fame (or notoriety).
She introduced herself to local suffragettes by giving a talk describing her window smashing raids on Government buildings in London and Bristol, three terms of imprisonment, her hunger strike and force-feeding.
When war broke out in 1914, Mary co-founded with Margaret Damer Dawson the Women’s Police Volunteers and was Sub-Commandant under Dawson.
They moved to Grantham in 1915 to curb prostitution, making a big impact. Usually they prodded couples with umbrellas to make their point. They left the following year for London. She was made a member of the regular police force. She and Dawson lived together as a couple from 1913 until Dawson’s death in 1920.
She became Commandant when Dawson retired in 1919. When the war was over Scotland Yard tried to disband the Women’s Police Service but the moves were countered by Miss Allen.
In 1921 Mary Allen became commandant of the renamed Women’s Auxiliary Service. Her motto was ‘Set a woman to catch a woman’
In 1922 she moved to Cologne in Germany to train women police. She returned by 1926 organising women to help to break the 1926 General Strike, by keeping road transport services running.
After meeting Hitler in 1934 she became a fervent admirer and Nazi sympathiser, and took to wearing jack-boots.
Allen was also an active supporter of General Franco and his Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War and associated with Sir Oswald Moseley. She was also Chief Women’s Officer of the British Union of Fascists.
Her extreme right-wing views made her unpopular with some members of the Women’s Auxiliary Service and she was forced to leave the police service with the approach of the Second World War.
She became increasingly eccentric, and her apparent support for Hitler and Goering led to questions about whether she should be interned in 1940.
Beverly Allitt (1968- )
BEVERLY Gail Allitt, dubbed the Angel of Death by the national press, went on a killing spree at Grantham Hospital in the spring of 1991.
Allitt was born in Corby Glen. She went to the village primary school, Charles Read Secondary School and Grantham College becoming a pupil nurse in April 1988.
She secured a contract as an Enrolled Nurse at Grantham Hospital, just seven days before her first attack.
Her first victim was Liam Taylor. Less than two months old, he suffered a heart attack and died the following day.
Attacks on youngsters continued through March and April, and when police were called in at the end of April, four children on Ward 4 were dead and nine were very ill.
Claire Peck, 15 months, Becky Phillips, 9 weeks, and Timothy Hardwick, 11, had also died. Others had to live with the scars of her attacks.
Det Supt Stuart Clifton led the investigation, and Allitt was arrested as prime suspect and bailed by police in May.
In November she was hauled before Grantham magistrates, facing four murder charges, eight of attempted murder and eight of grievous bodily harm.
In May 1993 she was convicted and sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court.
Allitt, who was given 13 life sentences and was sent to Rampton Hospital, used insulin in her attacks.
Archibald Allport, (1861-1939)
BORN in America, Archibald John Allport arrived in the UK at Cheltenham as in infant, moving shortly afterwards with his family to Grantham.
His early career was as a headcutter (hairdresser) before starting his own business in Dudley Road, sub-postmaster and general storekeeper, the former position he held for 38 years, retiring at the age of 77.
He was a preacher in Grantham for 58 years, his first sermon being when he was only 17.
He was popular in the Grantham circuit and had preached most of the churches for miles around. He was the second oldest local preacher on the Finkin Street circuit plan when he died.
Mr Allport was member of the old Board of Guardians (workhouse) and a former temperance advocate.
OLIVER ANDERSON (1912-1996)
AS a young journalist, Snitterby-born Oliver Anderson caused a scandal in Grantham with the publication of his first novel in the autumn of 1937.
Rotten Borough, written under the pen-name Julian Pine when he was just 25, was removed from shelves within weeks after a series of writs from town dignitaries who thought they recognised themselves in its pages.
One of them is believed to have been grocer and local councillor Alfred Roberts, the father of future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The son of a Little Ponton vicar, Oliver attended King’s from 1924 to 1930 and then worked in journalism as assistant to the Grantham representative of the Nottingham Guardian.
He always denied any character in Rotten Borough was drawn from real life – even in 1989 when the book was reissued after 52 years.
The re-publication of the book also caused a stir – the Grantham represented in Rotten Borough was seen as being instrumental in the birth of Thatcherism.
The scandalous content of the book overshadowed the quality of writing, which Guardian critic Richard Boston said “anticipates Tom Sharpe by decades.”
After the scandal of Rotten Borough, the war interrupted Anderson’s literary career.
He was involved in the capture of El Alamein. His regiment Sussex Gunners (58” Field Reg. R.A.) returned home from Africa and later landed in Normandy on D-Day plus-2..
He returned to his Harlaxton home, where he had lived since 1933, after a brief time in Germany as part of the occupying force.
Writing under his own name, he produced several more comic novels, including Grit and Polish, Smiling Tigers, Ripe for the Plucking and Thorn in the Flesh.
His final book, Last Mirage, was written in the style of Somerset Maugham and sold well.
He died of heart failure at the age of 84. His body found in the garden of his Harlaxton home by a neighbour in October 1996.
Rev Canon Chris Andrews (B1947)
THE Rev Canon Chris Andrews was appointed Vicar of St Wulfram’s (Rector of Grantham) in 1996 until his retirement in 2013.
Born in pre-fab in Glen Parva, Leicester, he was the son of an aeronautical engineer who at the time was working with jet-engine developer Frank Whittle.
The early years were unsettled. The family moved variously to Farnborough, New Maldon, then three years at Woomera, Australia, before moving to Salisbury when his father moved to Boscombe Down.
Salisbury was Chris’s final school from where he went to Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge to read first English, then theology.
He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Michael Ramsey at Canterbury Cathedral.
His first post was at Croydon where he met Christine, whom he married before moving to Newcastle.
He recalled: “This was a great adventure. I had been to Australia but not the north of England.”
He spent three years at Gosforth, setting up a new church on a 10,000-home Kingston Park estate. While the church was being built, his home was the only place of worship.
From there he went to St Michael’s, Alnwick and finally Grantham.
He became an active member of Grantham Choral Society.
During his time in Grantham, apart from his pastoral duties, he worked on strengthening relations between Christians and Muslims and in community development in Egypt and the Middle East.
He retired to Bury St Edmunds in August 2013.
Noel Angel (1928-2007)
The Second World War brought extended family members together, with 10 living in a two-bedroomed house.
From 1941 to 1951 he was employed at Mowbray’s Brewery, but was asked to leave when 3,000 gallons of ale escaped into the River Witham.
From 1951 to 1960 he worked at Ransome and Marles,Springfield Road, followed by a year working at Coles Cranes, Dysart Road.
From 1961 to 1982 he worked at BMARC as a universal miller and was shop steward and works convener for 10 years. He then worked on a community programme until 1985 and latterly worked for B P.Holmes, Billingborough, as a universal miller.
Angling was Mr Angel’s first love. He also played youth football for various teams and later played in various pub teams at darts and cribbage and played table tennis and snooker for BMARC.
Montague didn’t find cricket taxing
Montague Appleby (1881 – 1954)
Montague William Appleby, was one the greatest all-rounders in the history of Grantham Cricket Club. As a bowler he was the taker of a record number of wickets.
Mr Appleby, of Harrowby Road, played regularly twice a week practiced assiduously on at least another two evenings, took his cold shower and then attended to the cleaning of his boots and pads. Meticulously groomed himself, he looked askance at anything shoddy, and as ground secretary he taught an inexperienced protege to prepare the best of wickets.
Season after season his name was found high in the averages, often with more than 100 wickets with a matching aggregate of runs.
The former King’s School pupil organised the Old Boys XI matches.
He was HM Collector of Taxes in the town.
Leo Arendzen, (1875 –1963)
CANON Leo Arendzen – known as the Painter Priest – was parish priest at St Mary’s, Grantham, for 39 years.
Born in Haarlem, Amsterdam, he was the son of a Dutch etcher
He is listed in the census of 1901, when he was 26, as an ‘artist’,
He studied fine art at the Slade School and practised mainly as a portrait painter.
Leo was a late ordination. Leo went on to study theology and, after some setbacks including the expulsion from a seminary for keeping chickens on the roof and other misdemeanors. Leo had been tending his chickens on the roof of the seminary (illicitly) when he heard someone approaching. In a panic that he would be discovered, he pushed the chickens off the roof and they fluttered down around a priest walking the grounds reciting his breviary.
He was ordained after being interviewed by the Pope, who apparently instructed him to get his hair cut.
He arrived in Grantham in 1914 as parish priest, after more than six years at Glossop.
He remained at St Mary’s for two world wars, finally saying farewell in 1953.
During that timer he painted portraits of Bishop Dunn and Bishop McNulty as well as the late Mgr. Charles Payne, a former Vicar General of the diocese, which hang in Bishop’s House, Nottingham.
Leo retired to London, where he had a small chapel in an upstairs room in which he would say mass daily. In the Latin service, there is a line near the beginning which appears again near the end
On occasion, in his later life, Leo would reach this point at the end of the mass and, confused, start all over again. This could be quite tiresome if you were in the congregation.
He was one of four priest brothers. Canon John Arendzen, of the Westminster diocese, Fr. W. A. Arendzen, of Porthcawl, and Fr. Alphonse Arendzen, of Willesden, London.
Leo left office in Grantham in 1953 due to ill health and died in London 10 years later
Isaac Asher (1847-1928)
ISAAC Asher was Great Gonerby’s village blacksmith for many years.
Born in Green Street, he was known to be an avid reader.
He served his apprenticeship under Mr Morley whose business was at Spring End, Pond Street.
Isaac left and worked at Richard Hornsby & Co for a spell at both Elmer Street and the Spittlegate Ironworks.
In a career change, he moved to Louth to become a porter at the workhouse, with his wife as a portress.
After a spell at Garthorpe, he moved to Rosedale working his smithy skills among miners and became a part-time preacher.
He returned to his native Great Gonerby and for the last 15 years had a smithy in High Street.
He worked for Grantham Gas Company during the Great War.
Percy Asher (1900-1966)
BORN in Rutland Street, the son of a railway porter, Percy attended St Anne’s and Boy’s Central schools.
He left school at the age of 14 and worked in Hornsby’s offices until 1926 when, after attending a number of WEA courses, he undertook a three-year degree course in economics at University College, Nottingham.
At the end of the course he took the London University Bachelor of Science (Economics) Degree examination which he passed with 1st Class Honours.
He also received the Gladstone Prize for being the student who came top of the list in the exam.
He was then awarded a bursary for three years to carry out research at Cambridge University after which he was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Economics.
Between 1934 and 1942 he held various academic posts including a year lecturing at University College, London in Economics, covering for Hugh Gaitskell the future leader of the Labour Party.
In 1938 he wrote a book on “National Self-Sufficiency” which sold over 10,000 copies.
After the Second World War he joined the Civil Service working for the Air Ministry, where he remained until he retired in 1965.
He died the following year.
Compiled by Malcolm Baxter
AGNES Audus moved to Grantham from Yorkshire with her husband Leonard in 1942 when he was appointed secretary and general manager of Grantham Co-operative Society.
They soon became well established in the town. When Agnes and Leonard became Mayor and Mayoress in 1954, Agnes was approached to form a fund raising committee for the Waif’s and Stray’s now known as the Children’s Society.
Agnes held this post for over 40 years and the local committee raised thousands of pounds for the charity.
During her life time she was instrumental in forming the Flower Club and Manthorpe Women’s Institute which was also a lifelong commitment for her.
Agnes volunteered with the WRVS delivering meals on wheels and before Sandon School was built she also helped with the children with special needs giving respite care for parents at a time when there was very little in the way of help.
She worked tirelessly for the various organisations she was involved with until a few months before her death.
She was a very charismatic character and had a way of getting things done in the town.
Leonard Audus (1908-2004)
YORKSHIREMAN Leonard Audus left school aged 12 for a job at the Co-op, an organisation he devoted his working life to.
He studied at night school and aged 20 passed the Certificate of Grocers with an outstanding mark, which won him a five week trip to Canada.
He was appointed manager of the Central branch in Skelmersdale, when he married his childhood sweetheart Agnes.
He moved to Grantham in 1942 as secretary and general manager of Grantham Co-operative Society, where he remained until retirement in 1971.
He won his first Grantham Borough Council election in 1945 and became an alderman six years later, which caused controversy which reverberated as far as Downing Street nearly half-a-century later.
His appointment meant Ald Alfred Roberts, a member for 27 years, failed to gain the support of fellow councillors for re-election to the aldermanic bench.
It had been expected to be a foregone conclusion.
It still rankled with his daughter, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and when it was mention on a TV interview, she was reduced to tears.
He was Mayor in 1955-56 and for many years was chairman of the Grantham Magistrates Bench.
In 1973 he received an OBE for his services to local government. He was the town’s last surviving alderman.
A block of flats on London Road is named after him.