Tributes paid to former Skegness mayor

Frank Grunnill. Photo: Steve Gould
Frank Grunnill. Photo: Steve Gould

Two-times Mayor of Skegness, Francis ‘Frank’ Grunnill, who has died aged 83, was a much-loved figure in the town. Here, his grandson Elliot Smith, a journalist, honours his life

Tributes have poured in for a much-loved two-time town mayor and Honoured Citizen of Skegness, who died last weekend.

Francis Grunnill, of Mayfield Grove, died of natural causes at Skegness Hospital on Sunday night, with his daughter and son-in-law at his side. He was 83.

Frank, as he was always known, was a popular figure, having lived in Skegness all his life. He served as an independent town councillor for 20 years, along with actively supporting numerous charitable ventures.

He became an Honoured Citizen of the town on August 6, 2003.

He had a spell as president of the Skegness and District Multiple Sclerosis Society, was a supporter of the town’s branch of the British Heart Foundation, and was one of only a few individuals to receive three Jolly Fisherman Awards, for service to the town.

Former mayor and fellow councillor Sue Binch posted on social media: “He was one of the best councillors I worked with. I will never forget him.

“When I first became a councillor, I could always ask Frank for advice.”

Frank was born on February 9, 1932, one of seven children, and was the last surviving sibling.

Aged 14, he became a telegram boy with Royal Mail, where he would work for 46 years in total, either side of a brief stint in the RAF.

He ended his career as an office manager before turning his hand to local government.

In September, 2011, he and wife Lilian celebrated their diamond wedding, before Lilian died in December the same year, following a long battle with cancer.

A loving husband, father and grandfather, and a lifelong public presence known for his quick wit and boundless compassion, Mr Grunnill’s legacy is woven permanently into the fabric of the town.

Daughter Cheryl Smith, 57, said: “Dad was a member of one of Skegness’ oldest families.

“He loved this town and dedicated his life to serving its community. He will be terribly missed by all those whose lives he touched.”