Museum hopes for the Old Nick Theatre

A planning application to create a Crime and Punishment Museum in Gainsborough has been submitted to West Lindsey District Council.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 30th January 2017, 3:57 pm
Updated Monday, 30th January 2017, 4:01 pm
Old Nick Theatre
Old Nick Theatre

The Old Nick Theatre in Spring Gardens, Gainsborough, are planning to have a museum in the old police office and cells on the ground floor of the building.

Eleanor Bowker, of the Gainsborough Theatre Company, said: “We are working with the Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield and will come under their banner.

“They currently have the museum in Sheffield based in what was the old fire, ambulance and police stations,.

“There is another in Cornwall and one in Leicestershire. Having a group helps with rotation of exhibits.

“We are hoping to bring in an exhibition by Easter commemorating 100 years of women in the police force, which is particularly significant for Lincolnshire as the first woman in the force with power of arrest was Edith Smith who served at Grantham.”

The planning application submitted to the council includes proposed internal alterations to form ticket office/gift shop and accessible toilet, proposed reinstatement and repair of existing boundary wall, adjacent to Cross Street and change of use of ground floor from theatre to museum use.

The application can be viewed in full by visiting

Eleanor said: “Despite the hard work of volunteers at The Old Nick and the help we have received from the Prince’s Trust we still have quite a lot of work to do namely plastering and decorating.

“We are working with a very limited budget which we are spreading between mending and glazing the Victorian broken windows so that we can let in the light and the cost of architects plans and gaining planning and listed building consent.

“The alterations to the building are very minimal but they will allow wheelchair access to the ground floor, which includes the old Victorian cells, and also make provision for an accessible toilet.

“Our last request has been to re-instate the brick wall which ran along our Cross Street boundary so that old police vehicles can be permanently displayed in this area.

“We are hopeful too that items removed from the police station such as the telephone exchange and charge desk can be found and returned.”

The theatre will be opening for the Discover Greater Lincolnshire weekend on March 18, and 19, and visitors will be able to see the work done so far.

Anyone willing to volunteer is asked to contact Gainsborough Theatre Company on 01427 239387 or email [email protected]