Out and About in Gainsborough

An evening with the Gainsborough Wildlife Trust - speaker Des Lloyd Wednesday 19th February 2020.

On the evening of Wednesday 19th of February I went along to the first monthly presentation of the year by the Gainsborough Wildlife Trust in Morton Village Hall. Their invited guest speaker was Des Lloyd and the subject was “ A Feast of Photography”. The Chair of the Trust Dan Bardsley opened up the evening and introduced Des, we were told that this was his second visit and judging by the attendance number (over 50 people on a blustery evening) his first presentation obviously went down well. I arrived there at 7.25 and paid £1.50 at the door and bought some raffle tickets. Also on sale were some good looking bird boxes but my cat has very good hunting instincts so I had to pass on this occasion.

The presentation was in two halves with a refreshment break in between. Des has been taking photographs of wildlife for eight years and the quality of his work was breath-taking. His presentation was of a series of framed shots and he began with sequential images taken over four hours of the emergence of a dragonfly from its outer skin. Before this stage the dragonfly exists in ponds and when ready it emerges from the water and sheds its coat. The shots were so clear and showed each stage of the shedding and the final image of a fully formed dragonfly was a thing of beauty. Not only were the images crystal clear they came with a very informative narrative from Des so I learned more about this insect too.

There followed a series of images of various creatures including badgers, hares, seals, grey squirrels and several species of birds. In this day and age the words “amazing” and “stunning” are frequently overused and it seems inadequate to use them here but I can think of no other words to describe the quality of the images.

After around 30 minutes we stopped for a break which lasted roughly 20 mins and teas, coffee and biscuits were efficiently served. The room was buzzing with groups of people chatting and then the raffle tickets were drawn.

The second half began with a series photographs of birds in flight mostly taken in the local area and other parts of Lincolnshire and some taken in Scotland. We were also treated to some lovely photos of bears in Czechoslovakia the result of Des winning a photography competition the prize being a photo shoot in that country. Des was asked if he used Photoshop and said no he didn’t even have it on his computer and would never use it so all his photos are natural. This sometimes has cost him points in competitions but this didn’t bother him. Someone else asked if he had any of his work published. This very modest man said no but some of his images had been used on publicity stands and membership literature for the Lincs Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust. All I could think of was that these images would make a gorgeous glossy coffee table book.

There was a whole range of photos of all kinds of birds some resting and some in flight. Not only does Des take great photos he knows his subjects well and was familiar with the types of birds and their habitats (as was most of the audience apart from me it has to be said!)

So thank you to Des and the Gainsborough Wildlife Trust for a great evening. It is lovely to have access to such interesting talks in Gainsborough. The Wildlife Trust meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 7.30 pm at Morton Village Hall. Cost £1.50 per meeting. There is limited parking at the village hall but spaces are available in nearby streets. For more details of the Trust and their work and programme of events for the coming year visit their website www.gainsboroughwildlifetrust.webs.com

Spotlight on the Downtown Daytime Drama Drop-in Tuesday 17th December 2019.

Last week I was privileged to be invited to the Downtown Daytime Drama Drop-in for their final meeting before Christmas. Who are they you may ask? The group (DDDD for short) is an offshoot of the Stepping Stone Theatre and is run by the same people – Bill Rodgers and Kate Hull Rodgers.

The drop in aims to help people with health issues through the use of drama. This particular meeting was very much an “end of term” event with personal presentations from some of the members of their experiences in life and how the DDDD had helped them along. Sponsors were also present who had supported the group during the year.

The first half of the meeting was kicked off by Bill Rodgers (core member of the Stepping Stone Theatre) who explained that anyone was welcome to come to the Drop-in and that there was no pressure at all on anyone to speak if they didn’t feel like it. He assured everyone that regardless of their issues they could “open up” at the meetings and “what was said in the room stayed in the room.” Bill a professional actor has extensive experience in theatre and mental health issues spanning over 30 years and this certainly shows. He then introduced his wife Kate who is bi-polar but talks openly about herself and the benefits that drama has brought to her. Kate is an award winning playwright. Both Bill and Kate are larger than life characters oozing warmth and when it comes to mental health issues they have probably seen and done it all before so are ideal people to be running the Drop-in. I guess it would be true to say they would be unshockable. What came across is that they love what they do and care about people.

The personal presentations from some of the members were very moving, all said that they had gone through or were going through traumas in their lives but nevertheless by attending the group they felt able to speak about themselves, Some members were a little shy but bravely continued and it became very apparent that this was made possible by the calming and secure presence of Bill and Kate who were always openly encouraging. Even only attending this one gathering one could see that individuals had grown in confidence.

The second half was a small play put together by Bill and Kate and acted by them and five of the members. This was an amusing little play and was a real eye-opener to me. Here were people who had joined the Drop-in through all sorts of reasons some prone to depression others going through bad experiences but for twenty minutes they put all this aside and threw themselves into the play. It is quite humbling to see people come alive like this and blossom and one can only give thanks that the centre and all it offers is available. Gainsborough can count itself very lucky to have such a group.

For more information ring Bill or Kate on 01427 628888 or email: [email protected]


*For more details about the Stepping Stone Theatre and Bill and Kate please visit the following websites:

http://www.steppingstonetheatre.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/steppingstonetheatreformentalhealth/

www.humourus.co.uk

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0734673/

or see their page in the Wellbeing section of this website.

Sunday 24th November 2019 at x-church.

On Sunday 24th November I was privileged to visit this event at x-church in Ashcroft Rd. Probably Gainsborough’s best kept secret it was organised by Marcus Hammond and was named x-24th and as the poster explains “x-24th is happening because x-church’s neighbourhood is now the most 24th most deprived.”

Well going by yesterday’s offering the area has much to be proud of. This little gem of a show could have graced more formal sanitised venues but at the same time in doing so would have lost some of the unique charm that the church offers both in atmosphere and comfort. One certainly feels welcome and safe here! There is nothing “stuffy” about the exhibition so straightway a visitor does not feel any pressure to “understand” the items on show. (Huge relief!) Indeed I without thinking placed my notebook and pen on one of the exhibits and was mortified to be told of what I had done! However I was met with no malice just smiles.

The items on show are very thought provoking and brought out so many mixed feelings - chief of which was my guilt in not having enough time to really look at everything in depth due to another commitment elsewhere. There are diverse offerings - an assortment of colours/formats/textures are all there along with the opportunity to meet the people who had created these works. It was quite humbling to look at pieces of work that must have taken the creators a good deal of thought, time and effort to produce. At the same time I reflected that Gainsborough is fortunate to have such an interesting group of people who operate beneath the radar. This informal group of artists is certainly one of Gainsborough’s hidden treasures and needs to be seen more often.

So not only did I feel privileged to dip in to the “arty” side of Gainsborough I was also pulled up sharp as I realised how cluttered we are in our modern lives and that most of us remain closed to our creative sides as we battle with everyday life.

So thank you to x-church for sharing part of your world with us – the items can also be viewed today (Monday 25th Nov), Wednesday 27th Nov and Friday 29th November from 10.00am til 2.00pm. If you get the chance do go and have a look.

For details of art events at the x-church keep dipping in to www.flickr.com/photos/slumgothicx/

For more details about x-church visit www.slumgothic.co.uk