On a chilly August evening local historian Paul Howitt Cowan took members on a tour of the Market Street and Church Street area of Gainsborough. The starting point was the Roseway car park where a bomb had fallen in 1942, demolishing the buildings that were there. The group were conducted through Chapel Yard, a narrow pedestrian passageway leading into Market Street where they viewed the former county court, an elegant Georgian building of five bays and three storeys which is now used as offices, and the adjacent Friends’ Meeting House which dates from 1704, with minor additions in the 19th century. Both properties have delightful rear gardens. Further along Market Street, on the northern side, the Georgian properties give way to a series of unattractive shops and offices dating from the 1960’s. Another grand building on the corner leading into the Market Place is the NatWest Bank. This was built in the neo-Georgian style in 1926. Turning into Church Street Paul pointed out a small building which was where the infant Rose wrappings company had its original workshop. Across the road there is a heritage ‘blue plaque’ marking Rose’s connection with this part of the town. Another iconic building, the former 1930’s State Cinema, closed many years ago and became a department store before closing and re-opening as a club, which has in turn also closed. Across the road is The Horse and Jockey pub, a hostelry with origins in the 1700’s. Paul next led members to the John Robinson Memorial Church which was built in 1896. Across the road and to the right in Roseway is the recently established Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, and to the left the entrance to Barnaby’s Yard, built around 1790, and one of the few remaining ‘yards’ for which Gainsborough was noted.
At this point darkness began to fall and it had turned quite cold so, as arranged, everyone made tracks to The Ship Inn at Morton where a delicious and plentiful buffet supper and hot drinks awaited. On behalf of the Institute Hilary Harris thanked Paul for a very enjoyable and informative evening which had elicited many comments and questions, as well as lots of reminiscences by those who had lived in or around Gainsborough for many years.
The September meeting is another in the ‘Have a go …..’ series when members will be invited to have a go at crotcheting with Joan Wines of Sturton by Stow.