On Monday, May 9, Don Ayris presented a DVD, The Town on the Trent, meaning Gainsborough of course.
He had produced the film in 1990, using photographs, engravings and a commentary by Darron Childs.
The subtitle was A History of Gainsborough, and members were taken back to the earliest settlements here, through the times of King Alfred and Canute, then Sweyn Forkbeard, who lead the Vikings and established Gainsborough (or perhaps Ganesborough) as the centre of his military activities.
Of the places featured in Gainsborough, he started unsurprisingly with the old hall.
There was an interview with Walter Kelsey, who was involved with the friends for a long time. Other significant places were the parish church, the bridge, central station and Pillared House.
How Gainsborough was able to prosper relied earlier on river trade, but in the 19th and 20th centuries, as we know, on engineering, particularly Marshal’s and Rose’s. By the time this film was made, these firms were no longer flourishing and members were shown the town in 1990, including what were then recent developments, seeking to reinvent this market town.
The question was posed: What does the future hold? Members had heard about history, but they can see what has happened 26 years on from the film.
There was time at the end for discussion and reminiscences, particularly about more recent developments – the film had stimulated many memories for those present.