A removal man’s memories of Gainsborough and district

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Gainsborough has seen a lot of changes over the years - with a lot more to come!

Ballards Removals was established by me, Richard Ballard, in 1978, so my memories of removals in Gainsborough go back a long way! We’ve provided removals services to people and businesses in and around the town for over 40 years and, in 1991, we acquired a company called Keymoves of Gainsborough (formerly known as Frosts Removals) so we know the area well.

My earliest memories of Gainsborough are of a very industrial town with some major manufacturing companies. The one which many will know was “Marshalls” founded in 1848. Marshalls employed hundreds of people, manufacturing agricultural tractors and various pieces of equipment for the Ministry of Defence. The tractors were magnificent pieces of engineering and were used and sold all over the UK and to the Commonwealth Countries around the world. They were highly praised for their reliability and robustness, indeed quite a few examples are now collected by various Vintage Tractor clubs. Unfortunately, as with a lot of other engineering industries, business suffered in the 1970s and the factory closed down in the 1980s.

With the closure of Marshalls all sorts of smaller companies who supplied them also suffered and disappeared, it was certainly a difficult time for the town. On a positive note though, the site where the tractors were made has been redeveloped into a modern and much needed retail park, Marshalls Yard. Ballards Removals were involved in clearing out the offices ready for the redevelopment. Also developed around the footfall of Marshalls yard are a number of modern hotels and fast food outlets, creating a vibrant centre in Gainsborough, a positive outcome from a very negative event.

It is interesting to reflect back on how places you know well have changed over the years. For example, along the River Trent which runs through the town, there were quite a number of warehouses, served by barges carrying a variety of cargo. As transport moved away from the river, the warehouses were no longer used, and have now mostly been converted into riverside apartments. We have moved dozens of families into these and always enjoy the views as we work!

Just north of the town is Corringham Road Industrial Estate, one of Gainsborough’s main employment centres, with a wide range of businesses operating from modern purpose-built factories and warehouses. Agriculture is also an important occupation in the region.

There are any number of pretty villages around Gainsborough and the population is fairly stable, with fewer people moving in and out than in some other regions. There were several RAF Bases around the Gainsborough area due to the flat areas of land which weren’t over-populated and whilst most of these are now non-operational, the houses remain and are occupied by civilians. It is a very cost-effective area to buy property, you certainly get a lot for your money here.

What I like about Gainsborough now

Marshall’s Yard, as mentioned earlier, is the focus of quite a lot of activity in the town. One recent event was the Christmas lantern parade in November 2019 which ended at the Yard, with music from local bands, and of course some festive food. The parade also marked the start of the celebrations for Mayflower 400, the 400th year since the Mayflower first set sail, which was an important event for the people this area as various separatist movements originated in the area, with one group who apparently worshipped in Gainsborough Old Hall. https://www.discovergainsborough.com/news/record-parade-turnout-sparks-beginning-of-mayflower-commemorative-year/

The Gainsborough Farmers’ and Craft Market is regular event, taking place on the second Saturday each month at Market Street, near Marshall’s Yard. If you haven’t been before, we recommend taking a look. See more information about Marshall's Yard.

The Trinity Arts Centre hosts a range of events including live music, comedy and cinema. See the current programme for Trinity Arts Centre here.

Gainsborough Model Railway is a fabulous hand-built model railway, based on the East Coast Main Line from London Kings Cross to Leeds Central, is an “O” gauge railway, with over 1200 ft of track. If you are at all interested in trains and railways, this is well worth a visit, with replicas of the Flying Scotsman and the Mallard for example and a very detailed model of the old Kings Cross Station. There are several open days planned for 2020, starting 11th April.

There is quite a lot to do in Gainsborough and it’s a nice, friendly area to raise a family, with good schools and a highly regarded Grammar School. There are two major supermarkets and discount stores, the area is well served with local pubs and gastro pubs, although a personal observation is there is a shortage of “special places” to dine. It is an up and coming area though, so I feel sure this will soon be rectified.

In January 2020, the Riverside Housing Scheme was announced, part of the plans for Gainsborough’s regeneration and growth. This project will transform a brownfield site on Bowling Green Lane into 135 new homes, all landscaped and with a riverside walk. Work is due to start In March and should be completed sometime in 2023. 

There are also plans to create a new Multiplex cinema in the town centre which, if approved, will being a lot more footfall into the town and will offer even more choice to the people living and working in Gainsborough.

We look forward to continuing to help people moving into and around Gainsborough for many years to come, so if you’re thinking on moving into the area, please get in touch.

See more information about removals services in Gainsborough.

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