Great turnout for Gainsborough's first ever Big Draw Festival

Budding artists – as well as first timers – were invited to try their hand at sketching and clay-tile making at Gainsborough’s first ever Big Draw Festival.

The festival was organised by the team behind the Townscape Heritage initiative, a £1.96 million project made possible by funding from the National Lottery, which looks to restore the standard of repair, maintenance and appearance of properties within the town centre.

The event took place on Saturday (September 25) in the gardens of the recently re-opened Gainsborough Old Hall, which is now under the leadership and guardianship of English Heritage.

Theresa Workman, Townscape Heritage activity co-ordinator, said: “It was lovely to see the local community of Gainsborough turning out for this event, and to see so many children out and adults alike, probably having their first ever go at making a clay tile and doing a really good job of it.

Ceramic artist Shaun Clark helped visitors create small clay tiles, decorated with nature themes

“All of this is thanks to the generosity of the National Lottery Heritage Fund which we are very grateful for.”

Ceramic artist Shaun Clark was on hand to help the visitors create small clay tiles which they decorated with nature themes.

He then chose a selection which will be used to create a panel which will be displayed at Gainsborough Old Hall.

Shaun told the Standard: “It’s been brilliant. Everyone came at once so it was really busy but then it is better sometimes when it is busy because everyone plays off each other’s enthusiasm for it.

“People can sometimes be self conscious about sitting and drawing or sitting and making clay but if they see someone else doing it, it’s not as overwhelming to them.”

Simon Bean, head of historic properties at English Heritage, said: “Gainsborough Old Hall is, and always will be, at the heart of this community.

“Visitors were able to see the work that has gone in to the gardens and enjoy a bite to eat in the brand new café or pick up a Gainsborough-themed gift in our shop.”

For more information about Gainsborough Old Hall or if you would like to book tickets to see inside, visit

For more details about the Townscape Heritage initiative visit