Traditional Craftsmen and Women Invited to showcase their skills at new Heritage Skills Fair in Gainsborough

Image displaying a person cutting and carving wood

On Saturday 16 September 2023 from 9am until 3pm, we will be holding a Heritage Skills Fair in Gainsborough followed by a week of bookable workshops. We are interested to hear from anybody who would like to book a place as a demonstrator at the fair which will have zones for construction skills, decorative arts and traditional makers.

Gainsborough is hosting the Heritage Skills Festival as part of the National Lottery funded Townscape Heritage Initiative which is underway to restore Gainsborough’s historic shops. Skilled craftsmen are vital for such schemes so to bring them into the public eye, there will be a week of activities headlined by the Heritage Skills Fair to showcase rare traditional crafts that are thriving in our region.

It is free to join the Heritage Skills Fair, in return we ask for a willingness to demonstrate your skills, and possibly allow visitors to try it themselves. 

We are able to offer a covered market stall with a 9ft by 5ft footprint for your display, where you are also welcome to sell items you have made yourself. Alternatively, you may pitch your own tent or marquee, or request an open space for your bespoke display.

Cllr Paul Howitt-Cowan, member champion for heritage and leisure at the council, is delighted the Heritage Festival will be coming to West Lindsey. He said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our local traditional trades and craftsmen and women to be able to showcase their work and encourage people to participate and learn how to carry out these heritage trades”.

Townscape Heritage Activity Co-ordinator and organiser of the Festival, Theresa Workman said:

“Lincolnshire is blessed with an astonishing range of specialist craftsmen and women carrying on age-old traditional skills. We want to showcase these individuals and companies to a wider national audience and offer visitors a chance to see their work close-up, to book onto a class and try it themselves.’

The festival continues throughout the following week with bookable workshops for adults to learn a heritage skill. We are welcoming workshops at our various heritage venues and are particularly interested in hearing from tutors experienced in working with lime mortar, repair and maintenance of traditional sash windows, or stone-masonry.

If you are interested in being a part of our Heritage Skills Festival, please contact Theresa Workman by emailing with an outline of your proposed demonstration or workshop, accompanied by a photograph or webpage address, including your contact details. You will receive communication to discuss your application individually before making a formal offer of a place.

This free event has been made possible by Gainsborough’s Townscape Heritage Initiative which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and also by the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. We would like to thank all players of the National Lottery.




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