People from Lincolnshire, England, are known as Yellowbellies, although no two stories as to the origin of the term are the same, so nowadays it's just used as a term of endearment. In the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, three of the members of the Women's hockey team which took a bronze medal hailed from Lincolnshire. They are Crista Cullen and Hannah Macleod from Boston, and Georgie Twigg from Lincoln. The GB team for the London Paralympics included five participants from Lincolnshire:
- Hollie Arnold (javelin) from Holton-le-Clay,
- Jamie Carter (wheelchair sprint) from Binbrook,
- Kieran Tscherniawsky (seated discus) from Heckington,
- Rob Welbourn from Market Deeping, who won a bronze medal in the men's S10 400m freestyle,
- Sophie Wells of Lincoln, who won two individual silver medals in the para-dressage on her horse Pinocchio. Her scores helped the GB equestrian team claim an overall gold medal, which meant a gold-painted postbox honour for the city of Lincoln and special individual first class stamps for each member of the equestrian team.
John Alderton was born in Gainsborough on 27 November, 1940, but was raised in Kingston-upon-Hull in Yorkshire. John graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1961 and married actress Pauline Collins in 1969. They have three children together. John won a Jacob's Award in 1975 for the BBC television comedy series My Wife Next Door, which ran for 13 episodes, although he's probably best remembered as the affable teacher Bernard Hedges in the television series and subsequent film Please Sir! and its spin-off The Fenn Street Gang. His distinctive voice led to him being chosen for narration and character voices in children's animation shows such as Fireman Sam and Little Misses and Mr Men. John played the part of Annie's husband John in the 2003 smash-hit comedy film Calendar Girls, based on true events. John's character had leukaemia and it was his death which prompted the fundraising for a memorial which led to the creation of the infamous calendar. John retired in 2010.
To the north of Scotland it will be a very great eclipse; but nowhere total on account of the apparent diameter of the Sun. The spectators will be entertained with a beautiful annulus, or ring of light encompassing the opaque body of the Moon on every side. This eclipse begins with the rising sun in the back settlements of Carolina and Virginia, from whence it traverses Hudson's Bay, north-easterly towards the coast of Greenland, Iceland and Lapland, and the northern coast of Great Tartary where this phenomenon will end and quit the Earth with the setting sun.
– Henry Andrews talking about the solar annulus eclipse in 1792 which he predicted.
Henry Andrews (1744 - 1820) was born in the village of Frieston, near Grantham. He was an accomplished mathematician and astronomer, and became an advisor to the Astronomer Royal of his time, the Rev Dr Nevil Maskelyne. For over 40 years he worked as 'Compiler of the tables detailing the movement of the planets' for Old Moore's Almanac - and that was just in his spare time. His day jobs were Calculator to the Board of Longitude, Churchwarden and Overseer to the Poor. He also ran a shop which sold books and scientific instruments.
Anne Askew (1521 - 46) of South Kelsey was accused of heresy, tortured on the rack in the Tower of London and burned to death at the stake. She is mentioned in the Book of Martyrs by John Foxe (see below).
Aswarby-born George Bass (1771 - 1803) was an explorer and ship's surgeon who sailed on the Reliance to the east coast of Australia. He mapped the body of water separating Australia from the island of Tasmania, later named the Bass Strait in his honour.
Mathematician George Boole (1815 - 64) was Dean of Science at Queen's College, Cork. Regarded as his most important work: An Investigation Into the Laws of Thought, on Which are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities, was the paper which details the relationship between algebra and logic (published in 1854). Much of today's computer technology is based on this study. In 1857 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the Teaching Window in Lincoln Cathedral is dedicated to his memory.
Joe Brown MBE
'Chirpy Cockney' (his description in The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums) Joe Brown was actually born in the village of Swarby, near Sleaford, on 13 May, 1941. Although he began in the music business as a skiffle artist, when that genre dipped in popularity he switched to rock and roll. An accomplished musician as well as singer, Brown learned to play multiple instruments including the banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and the ukulele. His UK Top 10 hits in 1962 were 'A Picture Of You' and 'It Only Took A Minute', with 'That's What Love Will Do' peaking at number 3 in 1963. Brown's best friend was George Harrison; the pair collaborated on Harrison's post-Beatle albums Gone Troppo (1982) and the posthumous release Brainwashed. Brown appeared at the tribute Concert for George in 2002, where he sang three songs including the very moving 'I'll See You In My Dreams'. Brown is much-respected among his peers and well loved by the wider general public, his 50th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London was a sell-out. In 2009 he was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in recognition of his five decades in the music industry.
Stamford-born David George Brownlow Cecil, 6th Marquess of Exeter, previously David (Lord) Burghley (1905 - 1981), won the 400m hurdles at the 1928 Summer Olympic Games in Amsterdam. Burghley inspired the character of Lord Andrew Lindsay in the film Chariots of Fire but it was Burghley who raced around the Great Court at Trinity College in the time it took the college clock to chime 12 times2, and he refused to endorse the film. Chariots of Fire was produced by Dodi3 Al-Fayed (1955 - 1997) who was the boyfriend of Diana, Princess of Wales, and died in the same car crash in Paris.
Geoff Capes was born in 1949 in Holbeach. The former coalman and policeman took up the sport of shot put, winning two Commonwealth Games gold medals in 1974 and 78. He won Britain's Strongest Man in 1979, held the title of Europe's Strongest Man in 1980, 1982 and 1984, and was World's Strongest Man in 1983 and 85. Although he represented Great Britain in the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games, Capes was not among the medal winners. He had thrown a new Commonwealth and British shot put record in 1980, which would have been an Olympic record as well if he could have repeated it at the Olympic Games. As it was, the 1980 gold medal winner's throw claimed a new Olympic record, but it was still less than Capes' Commonwealth record of 21.68m (71' 3½"), which remained a national record until 2003. Capes enjoys breeding and showing budgerigars, eventually becoming president of the British Budgerigar Society in 2008. He also serves as a Justice of the Peace in Lincolnshire.
The first Lord Burghley was born at a house in Bourne town centre in 1520, which is now the Burghley Arms public house. Today there is a plaque on the wall commemorating this event. Cecil served Queen Elizabeth I for 40 years, during which time he was an architect, diplomat, politician and administrator. He died in 1598.
Ray Clemence MBE
Skegness-born Ray Clemence was a goalkeeper for Scunthorpe United when he was scouted by Liverpool and signed by their legendary manager Bill Shankly in 1967. After 14 years with Liverpool, he transferred to Tottenham Hotspur where he remained until he retired in 1988. During his footballing playing career Clemence kept goal for his country's team 61 times between 1972 – 84, and he was awarded an MBE for his service to Association Football in 1981. Clemence was the England team's Goalkeeping Coach from 1996 until 2007 when Fabio Capello became England manager, but Capello's successor Roy Hodgson brought Clemence back as Senior Goalkeeping Coach in 2012.
Kevin and Joanne Clifton
Kevin is a professional dancer born in Waltham in 1982. He takes part in the popular BBC dance show Strictly Come Dancing where he is known as 'Kevin from Grimsby'. His sister Joanne Clifton, born in Waltham in 1983, has also featured as a professional dancer in the show, but left following winning it in 2016 when partnered with Ore Oduba.
Alderman Ada Croft Baker
Ada was born into one of Grimsby's founding fishing families, the Grants. She married trawler owner Henry Croft Baker and as well as having five children to raise, she was a suffragette and eventually became the first female magistrate in Lincolnshire. From being elected to the County Council in 1919, she served continually until her death in 1962. After her husband died in 1928, Ada bought The Mount, a very large house in Mill Road, Cleethorpes, and donated it to the town in his memory, with the proviso that it be used as a Maternity Home. Ada turned down an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1961, a fact that was only made public by the Cabinet Office in January 2012. The Croft Baker Maternity Home closed in September 1984, despite a heated campaign to save it. It is now only a memory in the minds of those who were born there, or gave birth there (in some cases, both4). The property was developed and some walls of the original building survive. What stands there now are several ground floor accommodations and first-floor flats, surrounded by landscaped gardens, collectively called 'The Mount'. North East Lincolnshire Council has three Council Wards within the area of Cleethorpes, one of which is Croft Baker Ward, named in honour of Ada.
Sir Thomas Boor Crosby
Sir Thomas Boor Crosby (1830 – 1916), born in Gosberton, was a doctor and Lord Mayor of London in 1911. When the Titanic sank in 1912, Crosby set up the Titanic Trust which raised funds for the survivors and relatives of the casualties.
The author of the best-selling Inspector Morse novels, Colin Dexter was born in Stamford in 1930.
Gorgeous Della became Miss UK in 1982 at the age of 20, and bought a fashion shop called Hobo in her home town of Grimsby with her winnings. When she later came third in the Miss World contest, Della became a national celebrity. She caught the eye of Manchester United goalkeeper Gary Bailey, but in order to go out with him she had to dump her childhood sweetheart Craig Draper. The lure of being a WAG didn't last and Della was soon back to her roots. She married Craig and the couple had two lovely daughters. In 2012, Della aged 50 but not looking a day over 35, starred in the TV documentary Wonderland – I Was Once A Beauty Queen.
Victor Emery (1933 - 2002) was a physicist from Boston whose work paved the way for others to win a Nobel Prize. He was an expert on superconductors and he created the Emery Model. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.
Born in Grimsby in 1927, Brenda was the youngest of three siblings. Her older brother and sister were speed swimmers who were going to swim the English Channel but tragedy struck when the brother was killed in WWII. Brenda subsequently became her sister's swimming partner, and ended up setting her own Channel swim record of 12 hours 42 minutes. In 1956 she won the 29-mile (47km) River Nile Swim, breaking the previous record. That same year she swam the 32-mile (51km) Lake Ontario from Niagara to Toronto, smashing the previous record by over two hours. Brenda was the only the third person ever known to complete that swim. When she retired from swimming competitively, Brenda became a swimming teacher in her home town of Grimsby. Her biography, Blonde In Deep Water, was published in 2015. In June 2018, at the grand old age of 90, Brenda was a guest on a special edition of Antiques Roadshow, proudly displaying her swimming awards, medals and photographs.
Matthew Flinders (1774 - 1814) was inspired to become an explorer after reading the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. He was good friends with George Bass (see above); they met when they both sailed to Australia on the Reliance. Flinders was to first man to circumnavigate Australia (1802 - 03), it was he who suggested the name and it was adopted in 1824. He completed a book on his travels A Voyage to Terra Australis just before his death aged just 39 years. Flinders Island is named after him.
Dr Michael Foale CBE
The market town of Louth boasts a son who was born on Earth but made his career in outer space. Dr Michael Foale CBE5 (born 1957) was the first British person to perform an EVA6. He has commanded the International Space Station and once held the record for most time spent in space for a US citizen (Dr Foale has dual UK/USA nationality). Dr Foale retired from NASA in 2013 to concentrate on the development of electric aircraft.
John Foxe (1516 - 1587) - Author and Reformist. His 16th-Century Book of Martyrs (its full title was Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, touching Matters of the Church) was, after The Bible, the second most widely-read book in the English language when it was produced.
Sir John Franklin
Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin (1786 – 1847) was born in Spilsby and educated in Louth. He rose to the top of his profession in the British Royal Navy and became Governor of Tasmania for a while. Franklin led an Arctic expedition to map the Northwest Passage in 1845, but the ill-fated voyage was beset by multiple problems and Franklin's death was logged in June 1847.
Freddie Coo was born in Grimsby in 1909, to a single mother. Although poorer than a church mouse, his mother worked her fingers to the bone in order to give her son an education. When he was old enough to go to work himself, he decided making a living in a fish factory was not for him. Discovering he had a natural talent for making people laugh, Freddie took a stage name and found work in a music hall, usually playing a falling-down drunk. He even had his own catchphrase 'Good evening occifer,' which he would say to someone offstage and would have the audience in stitches. Freddie became a familiar face when he appeared on television, guest starring in shows such as The Arthur Haynes Show and Meet The Wife. He suffered a heart attack and died in 1968, and there his story might have ended, were it not for a bizarre tradition which developed in Germany. In 1963 Freddie had recorded Dinner for One, a sketch he had been performing on stage since 1945, for German television. Since the early 1970s Der 90. Geburtstag (The 90th Birthday, alternative title for Dinner for One), the 18-minute, black-and-white comedy sketch has become a New Year's Eve institution for European television viewers. Dinner for One featured in the Guinness Book of Records from 1988 to 1995 as the most frequently repeated TV programme, when the category was discontinued.
Lady Eleanor Glanville
Lady Eleanor Glanville (1654 - 1709) was an entomologist who specialised in butterflies. Some of her collection are still on display at the Natural History Museum. The Glanville Fritillary butterly is named after her, a rare honour indeed.
Nora Hardwick was born in Lincolnshire in 1905. She spent her working life as postmistress of Ancaster, and was a member of the parish council for 35 years. She has enjoyed being a philanthropist and charity worker. When she was 102, the plucky Lincolnshire lass volunteered to pose naked for a charity calendar. Nora appeared as Miss November: 'It was very tastefully done. I had a pink tulle scarf to hide the bits and pieces'. The story went global and Nora was invited to appear on TV programmes including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the USA. Speaking in 2012, she says the secret to a long, happy life is to put others first. And enjoy the odd glass of whisky.
Sir Thomas Little Heath
Sir Thomas Little Heath (1861 - 1940) was born in Barnetby-le-Wold. He was an author and historian, translating ancient Greek mathematic and astonomy books into English. His translated works included: On the Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon; History of Greek Mathematics and Apollonius of Perga. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, president of the Mathematical Association and a Fellow of the British Academy.
King Henry IV
King Henry IV was born at Bolingbroke Castle in 1366.
Hereward the Wake
Hereward the Wake, 11th-Century leader, anti-Norman dissident, freedom-fighter, hero and eventual outlaw, was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire. Stories about him were very similar to later legends about Robin Hood.
Born in Cleethorpes on 29 September, 1946, Patricia initially trained to be a teacher before joining drama school at the age of 22. She made her name as Phyllida Trant (later Phyllida Erskine-Brown) in Rumpole of the Bailey, a recurring role which lasted 14 years. She played the title role in the 1983 TV series Jemima Shore Investigates but it is probably her part in the 1986 drama/horror mini-series The Life and Loves of a She-Devil which was the most memorable. Patricia made headlines when she had her first child at the age of 42, followed by a second son when she was 45. The acting offers kept coming and she played the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Margaret Thatcher, in a 2002 TV movie about the Falkland Islands. Invited to play the part of Miranda's mother Penny, which she loves performing, in the TV smash hit show Miranda, has introduced the ever-youthful Patricia to a whole new generation of fans.
To be able to make people laugh is like finding a bar of 24-carat gold at the end of the rainbow.
– Patricia Hodge in 2012
Benjamin Huntsman was born into a Quaker family in Epworth, in the year 1704. He started his own business as a clockmaker, and conducted experiments with steel in order to create better clock springs. Huntsman succeeded in manufacturing crucible steel, but he neglected to patent it and the idea was stolen. The cutlery that was made from his steel process was much harder than had been produced before.
Anne Hutchinson (1591 - 1643), from Alford, a 17th-Century pioneer of women's rights, became an influential and popular figure in America by assisting women with childbirth and greatly reducing infant mortality rates. She has a statue situated outside the New State House in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jean Ingelow (1820 - 97), poet and novelist, was born in Boston.
Tony Jacklin OBE
Tony Jacklin OBE, golfer, was born on 7 July, 1944, in Scunthorpe. Jacklin became a national hero in 1970, when he was the first British player to win the US Open for over 70 years. In 1985 he captained the team that brought the Ryder Cup back to Europe for the first time in 28 years. Two years later he led the Europeans to a historic victory, beating the Americans on their own turf.
Elizabeth Jennings CBE
Elizabeth Jennings (1926 – 2001) of Boston was a prolific poet who won awards for her first two books. She was honoured with a CBE in 1992. Although affected by mental illness, Elizabeth continued to write poetry up till her death, aged just 75 years. Elizabeth Jennings: The Collected Poems was published in 2012.
Dame Madge Kendal
Arguably the finest actress Grimsby has produced, Madge Kendal performed Shakespearean roles, including that of the tragic Ophelia, as well as comedies and important parts such as Galatea in Pygmalion and Galatea which also starred her husband WH Kendal. Together they successfully toured America. After being widowed in 1917 Kendal worked tirelessly for theatrical charities. She was honoured in 1926 by King George V, becoming a DBE, however this was upgraded to GBE (Dame Grand Cross) a year later. There is a Dame Kendal Grove in Grimsby, which was named after her.
Peter John King
Peter John King was born in Boston in 1956. He is a poet, philosopher and author of One Hundred Philosophers: The Life and Work of the World's Greatest Thinkers.
Percy Roycroft Lowe
Ornithologist Percy Roycroft Lowe (1870 - 1948) was born in Stamford. He was Curator of Birds at the Natural History Museum.
Sir Halford John Mackinder
Halford Mackinder (1861 – 1947) of Gainsborough was a prolific author, specialising in geography.
Sir Neville Marriner
Neville Marriner was born in Lincoln in 1924. Always drawn to a musical career, he studied at the Royal College of Music in London. He taught students to play the violin while learning to become a conductor. In 1959 he founded the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, which became the first orchestra to be honoured with the Queen's Award for Export Achievement. He conducted the music for the soundtrack of the 1984 film Amadeus, which won eight Oscars, four BAFTAs and no fewer than 29 other awards. For his services to music he was made a CBE in 1979, and knighted in 1985. He has also been honoured by the French Ministry of Culture.
William Marwood (1820 - 83) was a discontented cobbler working in his hometown of Horncastle when he decided upon a change of career. He conducted a hanging at Lincoln Jail in 1872. As it went without a hitch, Marwood was appointed official hangman, a post he held until his death. During this time he perfected a new and kinder way to kill convicted criminals – the long drop, a technique which snaps the neck causing instant death. Over the course of his second career Marwood notched up 176 executions.
Robert Mason Mills
This Bourne entrepreneur, born in 1819, realised the market potential of the fresh water supply that was freely available beneath the town and was soon extracting it from underground springs and selling it world-wide. His aerated water business became part of the town's prosperity during the 19th Century, giving employment to many and earning his business a Royal Warrant for supplying Queen Victoria's son Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught, who bought it for its supposed medicinal and health giving qualities. Mills died in 1904, having reached his mid-eighties, which was an excellent lifespan for the time, adding to the reputation of his special water.
Boston United FC's most famous supporter is John Motson (born 1945), 'Mottie', the 'voice of football', is the BBC's senior football commentator on Match of the Day.
Sir Isaac Newton
The genius Sir Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727) was born in Woolsthorpe, near Grantham. Newton was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and alchemist. He was elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics7 in 1669. He invented a reflecting telescope which bears his name, the Newtonian telescope, and due to not wanting to be disturbed by his cat while working in his dark room, the cat flap. Newton's laws of motion and gravity provided a basis for predicting the motion of celestial bodies. He held the post of President of the Royal Society from 1703 until his death. Some researchers now believe that Newton displayed autistic traits comparable to Asperger's Syndrome.
Born in Grimsby, Allan's first claim to fame was arriving in the world on the exact 100th anniversary of the Krakatoa Eruption, the loudest worldwide event in modern history. In 2011 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Allan put together a team of amateur athletes to attempt to break the world record for longest consecutive badminton playing. It was to be a serious attempt; a representative from the Guiness Book Of Records was invited and the special timing equipment ordered. There were an estimated nine million people aware of the event thanks to local radio station promotion, social media and advertising, and there were website hits from as far away as Thailand and Australia. With all the good publicity, over £6,000 was raised for the charity NSPCC. Allan's team smashed the previous record by an hour, creating a new world record of 29 hours.
Actor, radio host and television personality Nicholas Parsons OBE hails from Grantham. He will be best-remembered for chairing the BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute and presenting the weekly TV quiz show Sale of the Century, although he did guest star in Doctor Who in 1989.
Although born in Long Sutton in 1884, the young Alfred's parents emigrated to America and he was raised there. Gifted with a fine operatic voice, he performed many roles and quickly became a favourite. He loved working in Austria so much that he turned down a contract offer from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Italian composer Puccini described Piccaver as his 'ideal Rodolfo'. Leaving Vienna in 1937 due to the worsening political situation, Piccaver found work, both singing and teaching, in London. The 'Great English Tenor', as he has been lauded, returned to his beloved Austria in 1955. When he died there in 1958, he was honoured with a state funeral.
Frank Pick (1878 - 1941), the man who helped build the London Underground public transport system, was born in Spalding.
Dame Joan Plowright
This multi-talented Golden Globe-winning actress was born in Brigg in 1929. Her second marriage, to Sir Laurence Olivier, lasted 28 years until his death in 1989. The Scunthorpe Civic Theatre, built in 1958, was renamed the Plowright Theatre in honour of the local girl who had gone to school in the town. Her CBE honour of 1970 was upgraded to DBE8 in the New Year Honours List 2004.
Horncastle-born Samuel Roberts (1827 - 1913) was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and Treasurer and later President of the London Mathematical Society.
Fellowship BAFTA-winning actress, comedienne and national treasure Jennifer Saunders was born in Sleaford in 1958. Co-writer of French and Saunders with Dawn French, Saunders is also responsible for bringing us Absolutely Fabulous starring herself and the divine Joanna Lumley.
Charlotte Angas Scott
Charlotte Angas Scott (1858 - 1931) was born in Lincoln during a period in time when women were not allowed to win awards and qualifications. In 1885 she became a true pioneer when she was the first British woman to be awarded a doctoral degree (in mathematics).
Captain John Smith
Talented snooker player Sean Storey was born in Immingham, an industrial town on the Humber Bank, in 1971. He turned professional in 1991, and holds the record for being the only competitor to score two maximum breaks (of 147) during the same tournament. This phenomenal feat occurred in Mexborough in April 1997, in the South Yorkshire Times Invitation tournament quarter final against Steve Judd, and again in the semi-final, when his opponent was Karl Burrows.
Holbeach near Boston, in Lincolnshire, was the birthplace of antiquarian William Stukeley (1687 - 1765), who was later ordained and became the Reverend Dr William Stukeley. He was the first person to recognise the alignment of Stonehenge on the solstices. He also suggested that Robin Hood was the historical Robert of Loxley.
Bernie Taupin, who was born and raised in Lincolnshire, wrote a song called 'Grimsby' that was featured on Sir Elton John's 1974 album Caribou. Taupin has been Elton John's main writing partner on and off for many years (a partnership often considered to be almost as important as Lennon/McCartney) and which has produced some of the most well-known songs in British pop music history.
Not only did Haydn Taylor (1897 - 1962) swim the English Channel, he was also the first person to successfully swim across the River Humber.
The versatile Temperton, born in Cleethorpes in 1947, is a keyboard player, music producer and songwriter. He wrote 'Thriller' and 'Rock With You' for Michael Jackson; 'Boogie Nights' and 'Always and Forever' for Heatwave, and 'Lovelines' and 'If We Try' for Karen Carpenter. Temperton died in 2016.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 92), born in Somersby near Horncastle, is still regarded as one of the greatest British poets. He moved to Farringford House on the Isle of Wight, near to where Tennyson Down and the Tennyson Heritage Coast have been named after him. He was Poet Laureate to Queen Victoria (who stated that she found great comfort in his poetry after the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert), from 1850 until his death, and he is interred in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey. There is a Tennyson Research Centre at Lincoln Central Library and a statue of the Poet Laureate at Lincoln Cathedral. The photo to the right shows the Tennyson memorial on the Isle of Wight, where there is also a Tennyson Trail.
The Rt Hon Dame Margaret Thatcher
Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire - aka Margaret Thatcher, ex-Conservative MP and the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born in Grantham in 1925. She is also the only Prime Minister of the 20th Century to have served three consecutive terms. Margaret Thatcher died on 8 April, 2013.
Director and actor Eric Thompson (1929 - 82) was born in Sleaford. He wrote the English scripts for and voiced The Magic Roundabout from the French series Le Manège Enchanté, which endeared him to a whole generation of British children (and their parents). He also fathered the Oscar/BAFTA award-winning Shakespearean actress Emma Thompson.
Dame Sybil Thorndyke
Gainsborough girl Sybil grew up hoping to become a classical pianist but it wasn't meant to be; nerve problems in her hands forced a change of career path. Choosing acting created arguably one of the finest theatrical actresses of her generation. Parts she played, including Shakespearean roles, would feature on any budding actresses' wishlist: Queen Victoria, Lady Macbeth, Portia (of The Merchant of Venice), WWI martyr Edith Cavell, and Joan of Arc in George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan. Sybil was created Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by King George V in 1931. This was compounded by the award of Companion of Honour to Queen Elizabeth II in 1970. Sybil's marriage to Sir Lewis Casson lasted over 60 years, until he died aged 93. Sybil also lived to the age of 93, passing away seven years after her husband in 1976. Her ashes were interred in Westminster Abbey.
Dr Chad Varah CH CBE
The founder of The Samaritans has his own Guide Entry.
Grimsby-born Nicholas Volley was the son of an artist and he inherited his father's talent. Inspired by Cézanne, Manet, Rubens and Van Gogh, Nicholas stuck to traditional art rather than adapting to modern trends. John Cleese was a fan. As technology advanced, Nicholas felt everyday life was becoming impersonal with emails taking the place of intimate handwritten letters and he never owned a mobile phone. It was as if he had been born into the wrong century. Seemingly as tortured in his own life as historic artistic souls, Nicholas took his own life in April 2006, aged 55 years.
Rev John Wesley
John Wesley, a son of the rector of Epworth, was born in 1703. He studied theology himself and eventually became the founder of the Methodist movement. Wesley travelled the world to preach his teachings and became a vocal opponent of slavery. It is thought there are now over 300,000 Methodists in the UK, with the worldwide figure estimated at around 70 million. There are churches, statues and monuments dedicated to John Wesley all over the globe, as far apart as America and Australia. Wesley was listed at number 50 in the BBC's 2002 list of the 100 Greatest Britons. His younger brother Charles Wesley has his own Guide Entry.
Harold Allan Wilson
Born in Horncastle in 1885, Harold Wilson ran for Hallamshire Harriers in Sheffield and was entered into the 1908 Olympic Games in London after he became the first athlete to run an under four minute 1,500 metres (his time was 3m:59.8s). In the Olympic 1,500 metres final he was narrowly beaten by Melvin Sheppard of the USA, so Wilson won the silver medal. Wilson was also on the Men's 3-mile team, and they won the gold medal. He turned professional the following year and travelled to South Africa, the USA and Canada. Diminutive Wilson, who was only 5'4" (1.6m) tall and weighed just 8st 3lbs (52.1kg), enlisted at the start of WWI and was tragically killed in France in 1916, aged just 31 years.
The son of a local solicitor, born in 1825, Charles Worth lived at Wake House in North Street, Bourne, which nowadays is a community centre. He left Bourne when still a young man to seek his fortune in Paris, where he became a world-renowned designer of women's fashion and the founder of haute couture. His reputation was such that the French government awarded him the Legion of Honour and when he died in 1895, 2,000 people, including the President of France, attended his funeral.
Lilian Wyles was born in 1885, the only daughter of Bourne brewer Joseph Wyles. She was a major influence in the acceptance of women into the police force. After a spell of duty on the streets of London with the new female patrols to assist young girls at risk, she was promoted to the rank of Inspector in 1922, becoming the first female officer of the Metropolitan Police's CID department. She died aged 90 in 1975.
Born Patrick Carl Cheeseman in Cleethorpes in 1926, the budding Shakespearean actor grew up and attended school in neighbouring Grimsby. Taking the stage name Wymark, he quickly became renowned for statesman-like roles; in fact he played as and voiced Sir Winston Churchill in two different aspects of Churchill's life. The enigmatic Wymark kept in touch with his roots with frequent visits to the Lincolnshire coast throughout his illustrious career. He attended the Royal Naval Association (Cleethorpes Branch) 11th Annual Dinner & Dance, at the Royal Hotel, Grimsby, on 17 April, 1965, the same year that he won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. In 1968 Wymark walked over the newly-opened Cleethorpe Road flyover. He described it as 'an eyesore on the face of the town', an honest comment which caused upset at the time. The flyover is still used by thousands of people a day to enter or leave Grimsby and Cleethorpes, and the council now decorates each side and the middle length with flower boxes. Wymark seemed destined to become one of the acting giants but a heart attack in Australia in 1970, when he was aged just 44, robbed the world of further performances. His daughter Jane Wymark (born 1951) followed her father into acting; she played the role of Elizabeth's cousin Morwenna Chynoweth Whitworth Carne in the BBC's adaptation (1975 - 77) of Winston Graham's 18th-Century Cornish drama Poldark.
Cleethorpes-born Jane Andrews used to work as a dresser for Sarah, Duchess of York, a one-time member of the British Royal Family. Andrews murdered her boyfriend.
Keelby-born Maxine Carr, the ex-fiancée of Soham murderer Ian Huntley (see below), lied to police and was jailed for perverting the course of justice. She served 21 months in prison before being released and awarded a new identity and a lifetime's anonymity.
Dr William Dodd
William Dodd, born in 1729, was the son of the Rev William Dodd who was Vicar of Bourne from 1727 - 56. He graduated with distinction from Clare College, Cambridge, and then moved to London where his extravagant lifestyle soon landed him in debt. Dodd decided to take Holy Orders and was ordained in 1751. He became a popular and fashionable Anglican clergyman but was always short of money and in an attempt to rectify his depleted finances, he forged a bond in the sum of £4,200. He was found out, prosecuted, sentenced to death and hanged in public at Tyburn on 27 June, 1777.
John George Haigh
John George Haigh (1909 – 49) of Stamford is better known as the 'Acid Bath Murderer'. He was found guilty of six murders during the time when the penalty for murder was execution. To try and avoid this fate, Haigh feigned mental illness, hoping to be sent to Broadmoor (a high-security psychiatric hospital). The jury found Haigh guilty of murder and the judge sentenced him to death by hanging. His executioner was Albert Pierrepoint.
Grimsby-born Huntley murdered two schoolgirls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002, and was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in jail.
Lord John Hussey
Lord John Hussey (1466 - 1537) incurred the wrath of King Henry VIII and was beheaded for high treason in 1537. His house in Boston, 'Hussey Tower', still stands.
Alan Pennell of Grainthorpe was 15 when he stabbed Luke Walmsley, 14, through the heart in front of other pupils at school in North Somercotes, Lincs, in 2003. Pennell was sentenced to life in prison for Luke's murder. He will be eligible to apply for parole in 2015. Luke's parents created the Luke Walmsley Sports Foundation in his memory.