The feats of Donington’s most famous son should reach a much wider audience after an auctioneer and TV crew’s visit to the village on Monday.
Captain Matthew Flinders, the Donington-born explorer who sailed round Australia and give the country its name, was the main attraction for a production team from BBC TV’s Antiques Road Trip.
Flinders’ ancestor, John Flinders of Nottingham, welcomed Somerset-based auctioneer Claire Rawle to St Mary and the Holy Rood Church, Donington, where she was shown a display dedicated to the celebrated voyager.
Claire said: “We’re always looking for stories of local interest, but also stories that aren’t generally well known, and Matthew Flinders fits that profile.
“He’s massive in Australia where he did very important work, but he’s less well-known here.”
During her visit, Claire was shown a bronze statue of Captain Flinders and his cat Trim that is kept at Thomas Cowley High School.
John said: “Matthew was an illustrious former pupil of the school and his achievements are well documented.
“Yet outside of Australia and his native county of Lincolnshire, little is known of him.”
Claire and the TV crew, producer Jonathan Hayles, production assistant Paul MacGregor and production assistant Anna-Ryan Kennedy, also saw displays as part of the village’s 50th anniversary flower festival.
As well as the Captain Flinders display, put together by curator Alan James, flower arrangements were based on themes from the Queen’s 90th birthday and Diamond Jubilee to Donington in Bloom and Flinders Founders Teen Park.
Claire said: “I love Donington because it seems to have a very strong beating heart and, with the flower festival, it seems to be a very strong community as well.”