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Words: Glynis Fox
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the August 2015 issue

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New arrivals and expanding businesses are injecting extra life into a bustling market town – so if you haven’t visited for a while, it could be time to catch up!

Gainsborough offers a mix of shopping, colourful markets, historic attractions and events. The town and its surroundings are also home to major employers, including golfing company Ping and fancy dress specialist Smiffys.

Town Centre Manager, Samantha Mellows said: “The town is doing really well at the moment. A number of new businesses have moved into the town centre and positivity continues to grow.”

Among the latest arrivals are national retailer Store 21, which sells fashion clothing and homewares. It has taken a large unit in Silver Street.

“The Isla Bonita Hair Spa has opened in Market Street. The salon has filled a unit which had been vacant for a number of months and is offering a full range of hair services and Aveda products,” said Samantha.

Other fairly recent arrivals in Market Street include The Tool Box and Domino’s Pizza.

“Mackenzies Cards in Silver Street has also recently benefited from the support of the Gainsborough Shop Front Improvement Grant Scheme.

“They have upgraded their shop front, which now looks modern and inviting and has received positive feedback from customers. A Hallmark franchise, Mackenzies has now begun talks with Hallmark to refit the shop.

“The modernisation of Mackenzies and the arrival of Store 21 have, in particular, helped to improve the appearance of Silver Street, which is now more inviting as a shopping area.”

Gainsborough also hosts a lively market in the town’s Market Place on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

“A recent announcement that the multi-storey car park site on Beaumont Street will be redeveloped by owners Lincolnshire Co-operative is welcome news. It is hoped that the re-development will allow easier pedestrian access from Marshall’s Yard into the town centre,” added Samantha.

She said that shoppers appear to be making the most of the town centre and, during the summer months, also enjoying the plaza area of Marshall’s Yard.

“Gainsborough in Bloom has worked hard to inject colour and vibrancy into the town, once again, with the introduction of colourful planters in key sites, including the Market Place.”

As we went to press, the group was hoping to retain its silver award when the East Midlands in Bloom judges visited Gainsborough in July. Gainsborough is also preparing for 2020, when it will mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from the UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the US.

The town was due to officially launch the Mayflower 400 project on 16th July, when around eighty guests, including civic leaders from across the country, were scheduled to tuck into a medieval banquet in the Great Hall at Gainsborough Old Hall.

The Town Partnership continues to work closely with Marshall’s Yard as one of the key attractors in the town,” said Samantha.

“We will be working with them once again on the Christmas Lights Switch-On event on 21st November. It was a great success in 2014, bringing in thousands of visitors to Gainsborough and therefore supporting local businesses.”

Marshall’s Yard celebrated its eighth birthday in the spring and the centre has seen a number of exciting changes and new initiatives being launched.

The popular hair salon Stringers – which has been based at The Yard since the centre opened in spring 2007 – has relocated to a brand new purpose-built salon on the first floor of Britannia House at Marshall’s Yard, just above its old premises next to Stanley Hunt Jewellers.

The move has given Stringers space to expand and grow, as well as creating an opportunity for a new store or restaurant to open at The Yard, which will complement the great range at the town centre development. Stringers can also expand its range of beauty treatments and add extra chairs to cater for the salon’s growing number of clients.

A new Marshall’s Yard app is also being created later in the summer, giving shoppers the very latest up-to-date information including offers, events and sales, as well as opening times.

The app has been developed by Kal Group, the design and marketing company which is based at the Pattern Store in Marshall’s Yard. The project is being launched later in the summer.

The Yard is also launching its first-ever fashion show this summer with some great tips on what to wear if you’re heading to the St Leger in Doncaster in September. The centre’s fashion stores are gearing up for the event which will take place on 22nd August in the fountain area at the centre.

The team at Marshall’s Yard has worked closely with other stakeholders and groups in Gainsborough on key events over the last few years. These include the successful Big Christmas Lights Switch-On last year, which is planned to be even bigger and better this year, and the first ever DN21 Awards which took place in June, in partnership with Gainsborough Trinity Football Club.

Centre manager at Marshall’s Yard, Alison Hall, said: “The DN21 Awards were a huge success and it was fantastic to see the whole town come together to celebrate what we have here in Gainsborough and what a truly unique mix of retailers and other businesses our town has to offer.

“We’re already planning for next year’s event, as well as working together with other partners on events across the whole town, including a joint Halloween Event on 31st October, so watch this space.”

The Marshall’s Yard developers and owners Dransfield Properties Ltd unveiled plans last year for a new hotel in Gainsborough and planning permission has been granted.

Earlier this year Premier Inn was announced as the operator of the 51-bedroom hotel and further details will be announced later in the year about this new development for the town.

LOOKING TO 2020!
Gainsborough is looking ahead to 2020, when it has great reasons to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the United States.

The Mayflower left Plymouth in England, in September 1620 with just 102 passengers, arriving in America 666 days later. The sailing is celebrated by many in the US as the beginning of a national legacy – and in the UK as the start of one of the most enduring alliances the world has ever known.

Gainsborough’s part in the story is significant and it is believed that preacher John Smyth led his congregation to worship secretly in Gainsborough Old Hall, under the sympathies of Sir William Hickman and his mother Rose Hickman, who owned the Hall.

Smyth and his congregation later went on to join other separatists, before making the journey to America in 1620.

There are also links to All Saints Parish Church in the town, where Smyth’s daughters were baptised, as well as other villages near to Gainsborough, including Scrooby and Babworth – and Boston in the south of the county.

Gainsborough was due to officially launch its Mayflower 400 project on 16th July, when about eighty guests, including civic leaders from across the country, were expected to enjoy a medieval banquet in the Great Hall at Gainsborough Old Hall.

The launch was set to mark the official beginning of the project, whereby destinations across the UK will work together in the run-up to 2020 to deliver a range of activities and events to mark the anniversary.

Wrestling Brewster, a descent of one of the original Mayflower Pilgrims – William Brewster – was due to travel from the US to speak at the event.

Gainsborough Town Manager, Samantha Mellows said: “The Mayflower story is important for Gainsborough and provides a great opportunity to encourage visitors, particularly from overseas, to come to the town and its surrounding areas to learn more about our history.”

MARSHALL’S MEN AND MACHINES
Marshall’s engineering expertise helped to put Gainsborough on the world map and the company – which at its height employed 5,000 people – is being remembered in a special exhibition.

It is the brainchild of The Gainsborough Heritage Centre in North Street, which is working hard to preserve the history of the town, and it can be seen until 5th September.

Marshall Sons & Company was founded in 1848 by William Marshall as a family business, but it grew to provide work for the majority of people in the town. Once the largest factory under a single roof in Europe, it was based where Marshall’s Yard and Tesco are today.

Heritage Centre publicity officer, Gemma Clarke said a lot of people loved working at the factory and still talk about what it produced.

“The exhibition features information about the apprentices who worked at Marshall’s and showcases many models of the machines which the company produced – including a Marshall Model M Tractor, Marshall Threshing Drum and Elevator and X Craft Midget Submarine,” she said.

“There are also apprentice models of a Track Marshall Crawler, a Marshall Tea Machine and a Marshall Wickes Watertube boiler. A model of the works itself showcases how it impacted the town and how the area where the factory was situated has changed significantly.”

The Heritage Centre has used the archives collection to recreate areas within the factory as part of the exhibition, which also aims to remember the workers employed there and their stories.

The Gainsborough Heritage Centre is open on Saturdays – between 9am and 3pm – and on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, from 11am until 4pm. Entry to the Marshall’s Exhibition is £1.50 for non-Association members.

The volunteer-led Heritage Centre facilities, including its exhibition room and library/research room, are available for use by the public. The Association is also keen to turn the second floor of the centre into another exhibition room and archive officers are currently busy organising the storage of archive materials on the third floor of the centre.

WALTERS OPTICIANS
Walters Opticians is an independent family business established by Roy Walters in January 1998 with practices located in Market Place, Gainsborough and Hykeham Green Shopping Centre, North Hykeham.

They offer a comprehensive eye examination, backed up with an extensive range of ophthalmic equipment including retinal photography.

Walters maintain an extensive range of spectacle frames ranging from budget to designer. Frames include Michael Kors, Gucci, Radley, Tiffany & Co and popular with the gents is the Tag Heuer range. One of Walters’ qualified dispensing opticians will help you choose the right frame for you and give advice on the best options for your lenses, which may include: anti reflection coatings that will cut down on the glare from headlights and artificial lights or Transition lenses that change with the light. They can also offer an extensive range of varifocal lenses.

Contact lenses are available with all their advantages: unrestricted field of view; safer and more convenient for all types of sports; do not steam up or get splattered with rain and an increase in self-confidence, especially in children and young adults. Consultations are available with contact lens optician Karen Everatt to ascertain the correct lenses for you – they may be daily disposable lenses, monthly lenses, multifocal lenses or lenses that enhance the colour of your eyes.

Prescription sunglasses as well as non-prescription designer sunglasses are available. Ray Ban and Oakley are among the most popular ranges.

NEW MANAGER FOR CARE HOME
Experienced professional Mike Gibson is the new face at the helm of the Laughton Croft Care Home with Nursing.

Mike (60) has taken up the manager’s reins at the 36-bedroomed home, which lies between Gainsborough and Scotter. It offers a range of residential and nursing care for the elderly, many of whom are suffering from dementia.

Mike was born in Scunthorpe and was keen to go into nursing as a teenager, but for many years his career path took him in many other directions. However, he has always been passionate about working with and helping other people.

Along the way he has lived in Portsmouth, Peterborough and Cambridge, and served in the Royal Navy, worked in the field of electronics and also recruitment. In the latter, he assisted people leaving the Armed Forces to adjust to life in civvy street.

However, it was in 2008, that Mike snapped up the chance to go to university in Cambridge and study for his degree in Mental Health Nursing, following a period of caring for his late wife and two sons.

Mike, who also took an Access Professional Status course was, at last, finally on the road to making the break into the sort of career he had always wanted!

“Before joining the Laughton Croft Care Home, I worked in NHS and private sector care homes, where I enjoyed looking after people with dementia. It is an area which I find both challenging and rewarding,” said Mike.

Laughton Croft Care Home is one of six owned by the Croft Care Group. The others are in Yorkshire and the North East.

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