Gainsborough Heritage Centre would like to wish readers a very happy New Year and look forward to a brighter 2022. Hopefully standard opening times will resume; keep your eye on the Facebook page for further information.

The Centre’s new year exhibition is a brilliant collection of Karl Wood paintings. Wood was born in Derbyshire in 1889. In the 1920s he moved to Gainsborough, first living in Market Street and later moving to larger premises in Market Place. His studio was above the entrance to Curtis Walk.

Wood offered private lessons on pianoforte, oil painting and watercolour painting. He charged one shilling and sixpence per hour, which was expensive but considered good value as he was a good teacher. During the 30s and 40s he taught art at the local boys’ grammar school; Mr Wood was known to be a good, kind teacher although a little eccentric – always wearing his artist smock during lessons.

In 1933 it was noted in a local magazine that Wood had travelled 28,000 miles on his bicycle all over the country, sketching and painting 450 of his famous windmills. Locals may know his wonderful mural on the wall in Cleveland doctors’ surgery on Spital Terrace.

Wood had a controversial life, spending time in prison in 1951 for gross misconduct with another male. On his release he was waylaid and badly beaten by two local men, resulting in Wood leaving the area.
This is certainly an exhibition not to be missed. Read about Wood’s fascinating life and view his original paintings of windmills and old Gainsborough.

The Gainsborough Heritage Centre is situated in the Old Post Office building in North Street. It is disability-friendly, with a lift to all floors. Entrance is just £3.00, and children are free when accompanied by an adult. Why not consider becoming a member? Support this wonderful museum – a registered charity run by dedicated band of volunteers. They look forward to welcoming you. Find out more at www.gainsboroughheritage.co.uk.