Gainsborough Heritage Centre re-opened by actress Julia Deakin after £45k revamp

The Gainsborough Heritage centre. The new street scene featuring typical old shops of the town  Picture: Sarah Washbourn
The Gainsborough Heritage centre. The new street scene featuring typical old shops of the town Picture: Sarah Washbourn
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Gainsborough’s rich history was brought to life during the recent grand re-opening of the town’s Heritage Centre.

The “new and enhanced” centre, located on North Street, was officially re-launched by Gainsborough actress Julia Deakin following a £45,000 revamp.

The Gainsborough Heritage centre. A typical Gainsborough living room Picture: Sarah Washbourn

The Gainsborough Heritage centre. A typical Gainsborough living room Picture: Sarah Washbourn

Colourful characters dressed in period costume were on-hand to lead visitors around the new exhibitions, including an 20th Century street complete with shops and houses.

Exhibitions officer James Titley said: “After a considerable amount of planning, work, and investment, we invite visitors old and new to come along and enjoy what we have to offer.

“Over the past 10 months we have planned, pieced together, and now built a series of exciting and interesting displays that cover a variety of topics.

“But perhaps our most significant display will be our reconstruction of a typical early 20th Century street- including period shops, a post office and a house. Our rich industrial past will be the focus of one of our rooms and will include displays of machinery and Gainsborough-made products.”

Gainsborough-born actress Julia Deakin officiallt re-opens the Gainsborough Heritage centre. Pictured with Andrew Birkett, left and Deputy Lord Lieutenant David Harris  Picture: Sarah Washbourn

Gainsborough-born actress Julia Deakin officiallt re-opens the Gainsborough Heritage centre. Pictured with Andrew Birkett, left and Deputy Lord Lieutenant David Harris Picture: Sarah Washbourn

Julia Deakin, who has starred in Coronation Street and Sean of the Dead, said: “I am delighted to open the Gainsborough Heritage Centre.

“I was born in the town in 1952, about 100 yards from where the current Heritage Centre site is based at the Old Post Office.

“My parents Wyn and Bill Deakin ran shops in the town until the early 70s when they retired to Springthorpe.

“I attended Gainsborough Girls High School and it was the best thing that happened to me as it was pivotal in gaining my self-esteem and having fun.

“I am now finding my old affection and admiration for the little markettTown which gave me a safe and rich education, and a curiosity to explore further afield.”

Chairman of the centre, Andrew Birkitt, said: “For the first time since moving to the new building from Marshall’s Yard a decage ago, we will be able to offer areas on all three floors of the Old Post Office to the general public.

“There will be loads of new exhibits to see, that we hope will give visitors a real flavour of the town’s past.

“Of course this has been brought about by massive investment from WREN and ourselves of approximately £45,000, with £22,250 from WREN and the rest raised by our volunteers and numerous supporters to whom we will always be grateful for making this happen.”

The Centre’s new opening times are Tuesday and Saturday 10am until 4pm and every Sunday 11am until 4pm.

Admission charges are £3.00 for non-members of the Association and free entry for members.

For more information email at chairman@gainsboroughheritage.com, visit www.gainsboroughheritage.com or call 01427 610526.

CAPTIONS:

ngas heritage: Gainsborough-born actress Julia Deakin shares her connection to the town.

ngas heritage2: Gainsborough-born actress Julia Deakin officially re-opens the centre. Pictured with centre chairman Andrew Birkett (left) and Deputy Lord Lieutenant David Harris.

ngas heritage4: The new street scene exhibition featuring the town’s shops of the past.

ngas heritage5: A typical Gainsborough living room of the past.

ngas heritage6: A 20th century shopkeeper bags up sweets at the centre’s new 20th Century street exhibition.

ngas heritage7: A 20th century shopkeeper weighs packages at the street exhibition’s post office.

ngas heritage9: Visitors explore the centre’s archives on the top floor.