Gainsborough is going places

The new decade is off to a strong start for the town, finds Glynis Fox, with improved transport links and continued regeneration.

The team at Marshall’s Yard is looking forward to a busy and positive year in 2020 – as 2019 ended with new retailers joining the centre as well as major investments in the wider town centre.

The centre recorded a 29.6 per cent increase in visitor numbers in December, compared to the same period last year and new retailers joining the lineup in the busy Christmas period included Vodafone and Superdrug, both popular additions to the Yard.

Vodafone has opened in the former Root café at Marshall’s Yard and the new Superdrug store opened at the beginning of November near to New Look and Next at the award-winning shopping centre.

The centre opened in spring 2007 and over the last decade has really established itself as one of the region’s major retail destinations. The centre also houses high spec office space and is home to several growing local and regional businesses.

The centre team has been working closely with West Lindsey District Council as well as the Town Council and other local stakeholders to deliver a busy diary of events and they’re now planning some great events for 2020.

The first weekend in June this year will see the return of the popular Food and Garden Festival which will once again take place at locations across the town. The event was held for the first time during 2019 and this year’s festival will build on that success.

This year will also see the return of the ever popular DN21 Awards – aimed at rewarding and recognising business excellence in retail and other sectors across the town. The popular event is due to take place in April.

The monthly Farmers’ and Craft Market relocated to Market Street in Gainsborough during 2019 and is going from strength to strength. The market is managed by the Marshall’s Yard team and takes place on the second Saturday of each month, offering the best in fresh, local, homemade and handmade produce and crafts from a variety of local traders.

Centre manager at Marshall’s Yard, Alison Shipperbottom said: “We are really keen to strengthen that link between Marshall’s Yard and the town centre and coupled with the investment and improvements to this part of the town, relocating the monthly Farmers’ and Craft Market has been really key to this.

“We’ve had great feedback from our traders and shoppers about the new look market in its new location, and we have some really great events and initiatives planned to link in with the markets throughout this year.

The re-introduction of the rail service between Sheffield and Gainsborough has also been a boost to the town centre economy. The new service allows visitors to travel by train from Sheffield, Retford and Worksop – right into the heart of the town at the previously unused Central Station, which can be found at the rear of Marshall’s Yard.

The Marshall’s Yard centre owners Dransfield Properties are also working with West Lindsey District Council on the regeneration of Market Street and the last twelve months have seen some exciting developments in this part of the town.

Former run-down units have been transformed into modern retail space and traditional shopfronts have been installed, creating a new and attractive independent quarter in the town.

Local companies to join the Market Street lineup over the last twelve months include Bamboo Nails and The Meat Storr. The Forge Restaurant and Bar has also just opened on the ground floor of the Travelodge Hotel, which opened in November 2018.

The new restaurant and bar has been launched by local businesswoman Mette Robinson, owner of Cream and the former Root café at Marshall’s Yard. The new restaurant is serving a fabulous traditional menu with a strong emphasis on local sourcing. An attractive bar area has also been created as well as a stunning alfresco dining area perfect for the summer months.

A West Lindsey District Council spokeswoman said: “We’ve enjoyed working with our partners Marshall’s Yard to help make Gainsborough an even more exciting destination for locals and visitors alike. The new train service takes passengers right into the heart of Gainsborough, allowing them to explore the brilliant brands on offer at Marshall’s Yard before discovering the local gems, including the historic Old Hall, the town has to offer.

“In 2020, we’re looking forward to enjoying all the activities taking place as part of the Mayflower 2020 commemorative year. We are also looking forward to the grand opening of the town’s new restaurant, which is something we have been supporting Dransfield and the Marshall’s Yard team on. There are many exciting developments just around the corner, and 2020 looks to be a brilliant year for Gainsborough.”

February sees the owners of The Meat Storr in the town’s Market Street celebrating a successful first year in business.

Partners Michael Storr and Natalie Powell are delighted by the way trade has built up since they opened their own shop (after Michael had worked as a butcher in the Gainsborough area for 22 years).

Their shop is part of a regeneration project delivered by West Lindsey District Council and property developer Dransfield Properties and the couple moved in just after the nearby Bamboo Nail Spa.

“The business is going very well and trade was fantastic over Christmas!” said Michael.

“We are attracting shoppers from both the town and villages nearby including Corringham, Retford and Beckingham.

“We are also supplying a lot of businesses, including pubs, restaurants and nursing homes in the area. Most of which has come through word-of-mouth recommendations and good comments on social media.”

Michael and Natalie have now recruited a full-time kitchen assistant and a full-time butchery apprentice.

They hope to be able to offer more positions within the business in the near future.

The third generation of the Solheim family are now fully integrated into the day-to-day management of Ping, the global golf brand, which manufactures custom-built products for sports enthusiasts and professionals.

Established in Redwood City, California in 1959 by former General Electric engineer, Karsten Solheim, the distinctive sound of a golf ball coming off the face of his first putter, the Ping 1A, inspired the company’s name. The business rapidly grew and is now based in Phoenix, Arizona, with a facility covering Asia in Tokyo and its European headquarters in Gainsborough.

Ping is one of the town’s largest employers, with 214 permanent staff, as well as seasonal employees, but the location was initially driven by Gainsborough being the home town of Roy Freeman, who knew Karsten Solheim and accepted the offer to run Ping Europe with his wife, Pat, commissioning the first factory on Lea Road in 1973.

Karsten’s youngest son, John A Solheim, is the current chairman and CEO of Ping worldwide and his eldest son, John K Solheim, is president. The Solheim family values of integrity, quality, performance and honesty extend to their workforce, which by return has shown loyalty through long service and outstanding application of craftsmanship to uphold the ethos of continually innovating and improving Ping products. From the first twelve employees taken on in Gainsborough, three are still working for the company today.

European marketing manager, Matthew Clark, takes up the story: “The Solheim family have continually invested in the Gainsborough-based Ping factory but they have also invested in the local community and facilities supporting our factory location. The Solheim family purchased Gainsborough Golf Club and the now 125-year-old Thonock Park course in 1986, added a golf range in 1993 and a second course, The Karsten Lakes, in 1997.”

Ping also supports many charitable activities in the town through its annual Charity Golf Day, which has so far donated very close to £250,000. They have also been a long-term supporter of Gainsborough Trinity Football Club.

Thonock Park provides an excellent location for Ping’s European Fitting Centre, which many famous names visit to be fitted for their custom-built clubs. The clubhouse was recently refurbished and is open to members and non-members. The addition of eight boutique guest rooms has further enhanced the existing Sports Bar, Café 19 Coffee Shop, Ping Golf Shop and restaurant, with a range of function rooms providing the area’s best location for conferences, weddings and special occasion celebrations, as well as casual or more formal dining.

“Thonock Park is a resource for all of the local community, whether you want to meet friends for coffee, enjoy a round of golf, or come along to our popular Sunday lunch carvery. You do not need to be a member to enjoy its beauty and these facilities,” Mr Clark added.

Ping Europe managing director, John Clark, perhaps best voices the company’s view of Gainsborough’s contribution to the success of the business: “In Gainsborough, we have always found people who care passionately about what they do and what they make. This is a very important factor behind the reason we have been able to grow significantly and become the number one golf club brand in the UK. In an era when the world now comes to you, we lack for nothing being based in Gainsborough.”

Find out more about Thonock Park and Ping by visiting: /

Hemswell Court sits amidst beautiful landscaped gardens in the Lincolnshire countryside and is the ideal venue for couples looking to celebrate their wedding day in style.

For those who choose to hold their ceremony at Hemswell Court, two elegant licensed rooms are offered – perfect for civil ceremonies and partnerships. The Drawing Room and Primrose Room are beautifully decorated, filled with priceless antique furniture, providing a classical elegance and backdrop to your ceremony and photos. These spectacular rooms are light and airy, offering views of the lawns and gardens.

Alternatively, your ceremony can be conducted by candlelight and in the colder months the stunning fireplaces can be lit for beautiful firelight ceremonies.

If you are tying the knot in the summer, Hemswell Court is licensed for outdoor weddings in the bandstand, set in the beautiful gardens.

From the moment your guests arrive in the Grand Hall, the dedicated team at Hemswell Court are on hand to ensure they receive a warm welcome. Canapés and drinks can be served at your Reception, followed by a Wedding Breakfast in either the Primrose Room or Ballroom, with a stunning selection of menu suggestions the team of chefs have created. Head chef, Shaun Lees, is always happy to tailor a menu to meet individual needs.

For your evening reception, Hemswell Court can cater for up to 200 guests, offering a delicious selection of evening buffets. Couples can organise their own choice of band or use the in house disco.

Following a night in one of the 25 luxury en-suite bedrooms, with an elegant bridal suite especially for newlyweds, you and your guests can all enjoy a sumptuous award-winning breakfast together.

Gainsborough is a traditional market town, 20 miles north of Lincoln. The town has an ambitious growth plan, with its population predicted to rise to 30,000 by 2036, supported by the development of 4,350 new homes. As well as a commitment to new housing, the plan is focussed on heritage-led regeneration.

Gainsborough has a long and varied history, but it was in the medieval period that the town developed as an inward port, bringing steady growth. The town is most famous for engineering and manufacturing, which became prevalent during the Victorian era, leaving a legacy that can be seen along the riverfront, some of which has been developed into housing.

The town is home to one of the best preserved medieval manor houses in England, Gainsborough Old Hall. Throughout history, the Hall has welcomed many visitors including Richard III and King Henry VIII. It also has links to the Mayflower story, which commemorates its 400th anniversary this year. It is believed that a group of separatists, who later became known as the ‘Pilgrims’, worshipped in secret at the Hall by kind permission of its sympathetic owner, William Hickman.

The United Reformed Church, just a short walk away was also built in memory of John Robinson, famously known as the pastor of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

A Mayflower 400 programme of events will run throughout 2020 in Gainsborough and across the ‘Pilgrim Roots’ region. For more information visit

Other notable associations include King Canute’s alleged failure to hold back the tidal bore known as the aegir, which took place on the River Trent; and that Gainsborough was the capital of England in 1013 when Sweyn Forkbeard was declared King of England on Christmas Day.

Various grants are contributing to improvements in the town centre. West Lindsey District Council has introduced a shopfront scheme; and a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund has also resulted in a £1.85m investment in the town’s heritage assets. The Living Over the Shop fund also provides incentives for owners to convert the upper floors of retail properties, to deliver more housing in Gainsborough’s historic urban core. The recent improvements to Gainsborough Central Station have also brought opportunities to the town. Passengers can travel from Gainsborough to Sheffield six days a week, which operates hourly, stopping at Retford, where you can connect to LNER services, reaching destinations such as York, Newcastle and London in less than two hours. A new ticket machine has also been installed allowing you to buy tickets online in advance.

For more information about visiting Gainsborough, go to For investment and business opportunities go to For more information about West Lindsey District Council visit

Gainsborough based housing provider Acis has launched a new service to help people stay in the home of their choice for longer, building on their 20 years’ experience in Lincolnshire.

Acis will now be offering home adaptations services directly to people across Lincolnshire, aimed at helping people with mobility issues and disabilities, including elderly people, maintain and enjoy their independence for as long as possible.

The new business, Acis HomePlus, is installing specially adapted bathrooms, including walk-in showers and wetrooms to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls. They can also install low access or adjustable units in kitchens and create spaces for wheelchair access. Stair lifts, handrails, ramps, and home conversions are also available.

Services which prevent accidents and illness, such as those provided by Acis HomePlus, can save the NHS millions of pounds each year and reduce the need for expensive care stays.

The average hospital stay costs taxpayers £400 a day, while ambulance call outs cost up to £233 each. What’s more, latest research shows that care home costs range from £27,000 to £39,000 per year for a residential care home. This increases to £35,000 to £55,000 per year if nursing care is required. Acis HomePlus offer tailored solutions at affordable prices.

For more information, call for free on 0800 049 5397 or visit

Recognition of excellence from within the industry and quality of training has recently placed Drovers Call Care Home on Lea Road, Gainsborough, in the spotlight.

The home is part of the Knights Care group and provides a broad spectrum of services including nursing, residential, day care, respite, dementia and complex care services. There are single room, en-suite facilities for up to 60 residents.

Managing director, Adam Knights was recently a finalist in the National Care Awards, nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Adam explained the ethos behind the care given at Drovers Call: “The positive culture and positive outcomes are evident immediately once you enter the building,” he said. “Our focus is always on the quality of life for clients and to achieve this we not only invest in a high specification environment and facilities but also focus heavily on staff development and training. Our staff contribute to national pilots which advance our industry as well as share best practice in care.”

Emily Gillott is one of the staff at Drovers Call who has recently graduated from the nurse associate national pilot scheme and Reece Allgood is now following in her footsteps and is due to graduate from Lincoln University in March 2020.

Drovers Call has its own minibus for the residents’ regular days out and a wide choice of therapists including a chiropodist, hairdresser, dietitian, audiologist, optician and physiotherapist.

Each patient can receive care tailored to their own specific needs and be part of a vibrant community whatever their length of stay.

If you would like to know more about Drovers Call, visit the home or enquire about care packages please contact: Drovers Call Care Home, 186 Lea Road, Gainsborough DN21 1AN, Tel: 01427 678300,

Barnes Jewellers, on Lord Street, has been established since 1908. Their reputation for excellent customer service and craftsmanship means they are always in demand for repairs to watches and fine jewellery. From battery replacements and strap renewals to servicing, cleaning and more complex repairs there is no need to put your favourite piece or watch to the back of the drawer or cupboard. Get expert advice from the knowledgeable staff at Barnes Jewellers and let them bring it back to life. Browse the windows and displays for a wide choice of gold and silver jewellery, as well as watches and clocks in many contemporary as well as classic styles.

As a family owned business, Barnes Jewellers are proud to have served the local community for more than 100 years and their values of quality, choice and service make them still the first choice for fine jewellery, stylish timepieces and skilled repairs.

Barnes Jewellers, 40 Lord Street, Gainsborough, Tel: 01427 612150. Open: 9am to 5pm Mon, Tues, Thurs; Wed, Fri and Sat 9am to 4pm. Closed Sunday. Email:, Find them on Facebook: Barnes Jewellers

If you are looking for the assurance of a team of experienced and knowledgeable lettings professionals in close proximity to manage your property, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, look no further than Martin & Co, Gainsborough.

The company has been based in the town since 1996 and their current location at Marshall’s Yard is right in the heart of Gainsborough with easy access to parking.

Owners David and Angela Longstaff have accrued more than 60 years’ experience in the property sector and with their team of 14 staff manage more than 1,000 properties across Gainsborough, Scunthorpe and Brigg.

“We have plenty of insight into these local areas and offer a tailor-made service to our landlords,” said David. “Our dedicated lettings team conduct research, whether you are a first time investor or multi-property landlord, and we are here to support you with a fully managed service. Our detailed inspections mean properties are cared for from the initial occupation and throughout the letting period.”

Their Gainsborough branch of Martin & Co has become the largest single office within the national sales and letting agency thanks to a fifth acquisition in eight years. Most recently they acquired 55 properties from independent agent Proctor & Rayner. This strategy of adding fairly small portfolios has enabled the business to grow their team at a similar pace, with always strong support for landlords and tenants in place.

“We couldn’t run this business and we wouldn’t have enjoyed the success we have without Angela’s amazing work behind the scenes,” said David. “She’s the systems person and works incredibly hard to ensure we are on top of what is a large portfolio.”

Ian Wilson, chief executive of The Property Franchise Group added: “Dave and Angela epitomise the best of franchisee spirit. They are true entrepreneurs who started their business before we came along, but were happy to join Martin & Co for access to our brand, systems and processes.

“We preach the advantages of both organic and acquisition growth and these guys walk the walk.”

For more information about the services Martin & Co, Gainsborough can offer landlords contact: Martin & Co Gainsborough, Lettings and Estate Agents, Marshall’s Yard, The Engine House, Beaumont Street, Gainsborough DN21 2NA, Tel: 01427 611833,

Find all you need to put the heart into your home when you visit Horsleys of Gainsbrough.

The family owned, independent store has for four generations been serving the people of the town and surrounding areas with the best quality goods and customer care since 1902.

Originally founded as a drapers, the business today specialises in leading brands of furniture, flooring, beds and electricals. Step inside their store at 27 Church Street or visit Horsleys online and you will discover not only outstanding choice but also good old fashioned service.

Horsleys’ wide range of furniture includes items for the dining room, sofas and chairs as well as occasional pieces from leading brands such as Parker Knoll, Alstons, Celebrity, Sherborne and La-Z-Boy.

There is plenty to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep with divans and bed frames, mattresses and headboards as well as bedroom furniture. There is plenty of advice on hand from knowledgeable staff to help you with the choice of pocket, memory or orthopaedic mattresses.

The flooring department features carpets, laminate and wood finishes by Amtico, as well as vinyls and rugs. You can be assured of a quality fitting service too from Horsleys. Each client’s satisfaction is of the utmost importance.

Leading brands of quality white goods include those from Bosch, Hotpoint, Indesit, Beko and Belling. There are cookers and hobs, dishwashers and washing machines as well as fridges and freezers at competitive prices.

Buying from your local, independent retailer you can be sure of the best attention from showroom visit to installation in your home.

Visit Horsleys of Gainsborough today to appreciate the difference.

Never miss a copy!

Big savings when you take out a subscription.