The Heritage Centre began after there were calls for a Museum facility to be created, the founding members of the Gainsborough Heritage Society set about trying to prove the need for such a place in the Town. At the time they got together and created an exhibition at Richmond Park displaying the history of the Town, little did they know on day one that they would end up with so many visitors queueing to support them, they would have to allow the exhibition to run longer than planned.
A year or so later and the heritage centre has its premises sat in the building formerly of Marshalls works, the Centre had many successful exhibitions with a vast array of exhibits permanently on display for all to see.
Jump forward a few years more and the volunteers of the Centre are dealt a heavy blow, the developers have told the volunteers they have to find somewhere else for the heritage centre and the long arduous task of finding storage for items begins. For what seems like a long time, the heritage centre volunteers kept themselves busy behind the scenes to try to find premises that would be suitable to get them back on their feet again.
After much looking at locations and much hopefulness the volunteers landed lucky with a building that was due to become available in Town. The terms were agreed for use of the Old Post Office as the new home of the Heritage Centre. In the beginning each room was in major repair and renovation, walls were removed and others built till we ended up with a building that was barely recognisable as the one we started off with. Toilets, kitchen, research room and shop area were created. We had volunteers clearing rubbish, cleaning and painting off scaffold to try and get the beginnings of the Centre opened. At the time we had very little to offer but it was the catalyst that led to our next big development.
By chance and a considerable amount of paperwork, the Heritage Centre was awarded a Grant of £25,000 from the CO-OP as part of their birthday awards, to enable the exhibition room to be made useable. I can tell you £25,000 sounds a lot but it really does not stretch very far when you want plastering, electrical and plumbing works done. This for us was a massive step forwards and allowed us for the first time to be able to have a dedicated changing exhibition area.