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Grantham is a small market town in the heart of Lincolnshire, with its good history, nice quaint buildings and excellent facilities, you may be fooled in to seeing a place of warmth and beauty, however this guide will not only point out the attractions, and good points of the town, but it will also focus on the faults of which every town tries to hide.
I myself know the town quite well, as I have frequented more than 15 years of my life. I know its beautiful architecture, excellent education and glorious tourist attractions; however I am also privy to seeing the poverty, violence and general sizest attitudes of many people within the town.
The town itself is split in to good areas and bad areas, this has been done through the years by word of mouth, crime figures and generally peoples attitudes towards people and status. It is very much a town, whereby the more money or respect you have the better a person you are. Yes I know this type of attitude in the modern world is wrong, but that is the case when too many small minded people are living within a small populated area.
GOOD AND BAD AREAS
The two good areas of the town are that of Barrowby Gate and Manthorpe, whereas the poorest of areas are that of the Earlsfield Estate and Poets Corner. So what are the main differences between the good and bad areas?
It is very hard to gain a home in Grantham for under £100,000, the number of first time buyer properties are very low, so the only properties that seem to venture on to the market below that price are ex council houses in the poorer areas of town.
Crime happens everywhere, but it is evident just by walking through the different areas, to where it is more rife. The general appearance of each area have tell tail signs such as graffiti, broken and boarded windows, litter and gangs hanging around on street corners.
The best ofsted reports go to schools within the better areas and due to that more qualified teachers tend to work for those schools, than those in a more troublesome area.
You can not live in a better area, unless you have the money and resources to do so. People with higher incomes, have more resources to spend on home and garden improvements and generally keeping up with the general maintenance of their houses.
The good areas are located in purely residential areas, whereas the other estates are where high levels of industry are present. Each of the poor areas that I have given as examples are located on or next to trading and industrial estates, where businesses work 24/7.
The one thing that is surprising though is that the community is more closely knit within the bad areas than the good. For example on the Earlsfield Estate most people are related or know of each other, whereas in the so called better areas, people are lucky if they know more than their adjoining neighbours.
Recently a tragic event took place within the Earlsfield whereby a young boy was killed, hours later hundreds of flowers were laid nearby and the community comforted each other.
So what is being done to improve the poorer more neglected areas of the town? A LOT!
The people of the Earlsfield Estate are sick of being branded as the worst area of the town are trying everything in their power to improve the quality of living.
Not only that more and more leisure facilities are being set up within the Estate. At the moment the town’s leisure centre and football club are housed there, and within the next year or so a new leisure complex is due to be built.
Grantham still boasts two grammar schools within the town, whereby pupils are only allowed to attend after passing their 11+ qualification, which most primary school pupils sit each year.
One of the schools is where Lady Margaret Thatcher was educated, as she lived above a grocery store within the towns centre during her childhood. Well she had to come from somewhere didn’t she, and it’s not something anyone from the town brags about believe me.
The towns unemployed has fallen a lot over the past years, more and more people are deciding to work than remain on benefits.
The only problem with the job opportunities within the town is the variety of them, most of the vacancies posted are that of factory operatives and administrators, it is very rare that you see a managerial position arise within the area. Most companies promote from within and once people gain a successful job they tend to stay their until they retire.
Pay wise, you are normally looking at between £8-12K for most jobs that are advertised.
There is not a lot to do in Grantham other than go bowling or watch a movie. The bowling alley caters for all and is very reasonable in price, whereas the cinema The Paragon, is extremely small, old and crampt. Most people go out of town to larger cinemas.
There are two children’s adventure lands, which host a whole range of indoor obstacle courses, for around the £2 mark, but beware this places get crowded at weekends and holidays.
Belvoir Castle, Belton House and the birth place of Isaac Newton are the only things the town has to offer.
I myself often visit Belton House during the summer, as I am a member of the national trust. The house boasts beautiful surroundings and outdoor adventure course for children, a nature museum and of course the house itself.
Grantham has more pubs per square miles than any similar town I have ever been to. How do so many pubs exist in the same area and are able to keep a steady income, mainly due to the large army training base on the outskirts of town.
There are only two pubs Jaspers and 90 degrees. Jaspers has been running for some time now, and I have not been in there in over 5 years as I plainly refuse to. 90 degrees is the new baby in town, which is more tastefully decorated and a warmer atmosphere.
PLACES TO EAT
There are a host of fast food and sit down restaurants. I believe the only two things that they are lacking is a Pizza Hut and a Greek restaurant.
Take your pick, we have moderatly priced hotels, through to the more lavish affair.
My personal favourite is Angel & Royal , a beautiful old hotel lopcated in the centre of the town, which ghas gone through major refurbishment
You will be hard pushed to find much that is designer within the centre, but just on the outskirts we have Oldrids, which is a shop full of all last seasons designer labels at extremely low prices.
Grantham is a town like any other with its good and bad points, both which level each other out overall. It is not a place for first time buyers and certainly not a town for people looking for an amazingly paid career.
It is good for a weekend away or a stop off point, but please be warned that at the weekends the town centre is awash with drunken and scarily dressed people….I will probably be one of them