The Captain: You might be surprised by the famous folk who hail from Gainsborough

Gainsborough Old Hall G131122-1d
Gainsborough Old Hall G131122-1d

I overheard a conversation on the bus the other day in which two young chaps were bemoaning the lack of notable people from our town.

They claimed there were no famous folk hailing from Gainsborough – by which I assume they meant no footballers, soap stars or people off The X Factor.

As the rest of their conversation involved rating the young ladies on the bus out of 10, they were hardly the most insightful of fellows.

But it did get me thinking. Is it fair to say that Gainsborough is bereft of stars?

After all, as anyone who has been to primary school in the town knows, Gainsborough was once the capital of England.

The likes of Sweyn Forkbeard and King Canute may not quite be Simon Cowell in the fame stakes, but they are pretty important to anyone interested in history.

If you look into the list of notable people from round here there is a pretty decent selection – even if many are hardly household names.

Those of a certain age will remember John Alderton from Upstairs Downstairs, and he has also done voice overs on Fireman Sam and appeared in hit film Calendar Girls – not bad for a lad from Gainsborough.There is also TV producer Bill Podmore, best known for working on Coronation Street when it was a lot better in the 80s.

Lyricist, poet and author Chris Mosdell may not be a household name, but some of the people he has collaborated with certainly are.

Try Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton for size if you don’t believe me.

Unfortunately, Chris swapped Gainsborough for life in Tokyo and New York some time ago – I wonder if he noticed any difference?

Also hailing from Gainsborough was actress Sybil Thorndike, made a dame for her performances in Shakespearean productions.

All in all not too shabby a list, and certainly better than nearby Retford, which truly has to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Does anyone honestly remember Philip Jackson–- an actor best known for his role as Chief Inspector Japp in TV’s Poirot – apart from his closest relatives?

Can you add to Gainsborough’s famous people list? If so, drop the Captain a line.