The day the prince with a golden key played to the gallery
The official website of The Usher Gallery, on Lindum Hill, tells us that it was officially opened by the Prince of Wales with a solid gold key on May 25, 1927.
The Prince, of course, was to become King Edward VIII when his father, George V, died in 1936.
You will also recall that he was later to cause a constitutional crisis by wishing to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, which led to his subsequent abdication.
In providing us with a brief history of the gallery, the website informs us that its existence was down to one man, James Ward Usher, who was born in Lincoln on January 1, 1845.
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He was the eldest son of James Usher, who opened a jeweller's and watchmaker's business in Lincoln High Street in 1837.
James Ward Usher joined his father in 1860 after leaving school and the business was renamed Usher and Son.
Taking over the business in 1874, he had a passion for collecting, and built up a collection of ceramics, clocks and watches, coins, silver, enamels and miniatures.
Apart from being an avid collector, James Ward Usher was also an astute businessman.
The business and his collection grew as he constantly added to it. He was the main supplier of trophies in the area and for a period of time he obtained the sole rights to use the Lincoln Imp and to sell Imp jewellery. He used the figure on pins, brooches, spoons and cuff-links.
Some of the jewellery, such as the Lincoln Imp brooch, was set with precious stones and can be seen on display in the Usher Gallery.
When he died in 1921 at the age of 76, James Ward Usher bequeathed to the city his collection of watches, miniatures, porcelain and silver. He also left a considerable amount of money for a gallery to be built in order to house his collection.
Five years later in 1927, the Usher Gallery, designed by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, was completed, and opened to the public.
The city's gain was the Lincoln High School's (LHS) loss as the gallery was built on part of the school's extensive garden.
As headmistress, Miss Lucie Savill bemoaned in her report in the Christmas 1927 edition of the LHS magazine: "…as I stood at the laying of the foundation stone of the Usher Art Gallery, I realised that our big garden was gone for ever."
However, she went on to comment that citizens should be glad of the opportunity given to Lincoln to enjoy good pictures.
The four photographs published in the midsummer 1927 edition of the LHS magazine capture the scenes in the Arboretum, where staff and pupils of the school gathered to celebrate the event.
Notice the gym slips and Panama hats worn by the girls and the fashionable bell-shaped cloche hats worn by the ladies.
The school news page in the magazine recorded that, on May 25 1927, the school assembled with the other Lincoln schools to cheer the prince.
I wonder if my father, Jack Harrod, might have been there? He would have been aged 15, and was a pupil at Lincoln School at the time.
The weather was "ideal", and the Prince looked "really Prince-like".
The assembled throng was particularly delighted to see that the headmistress was one of those people fortunate enough to be presented to the prince.
The group then returned hurriedly to the school in the hope of glimpsing some of the ceremonies outside the Usher Gallery from the school garden alongside.
An extra day's holiday at half-term was granted to commemorate the prince's visit.
The visit was also commemorated in three different contributions in the magazine by pupils. The first was a charming entry by a kindergarten pupil Joan Peake.
She wrote: "Miss Arrowsmith and Miss Burroughs took us to the boarding house. We went through a funny little hole in the wall. We came to a lawn and after that we came to some steps and into the boarding house.
"We went upstairs and looked out of the window and we saw the soldiers lining up for the prince to walk down between the lines and then we heard ever such a lot of clapping, and then the prince's car came and he got out.
"There was a band playing when the he arrived. It was lovely to see the soldiers on the Minster Green and the lovely cathedral behind them. Then we came down to lunch and went into the garden.
"We heard clapping and cheering and it sounded like the waves of the sea. And as he came up the path the flag went up, then he went up to the Usher Art Gallery and opened it with a golden key."
A somewhat different style is offered in an entry by Cecilia Kitchen from the lower sixth form. She recorded that the day was beautifully fine and warm, an admirable day if one had to wait a long time to see the prince.
Many readers will have memories of waiting for our present Queen to make a brief appearance in the pouring rain at Sincil Bank, prior to the opening ceremony of Pelham Bridge in 1957.
Cecilia went on to inform us that a guard of honour was formed by some of the Lincoln Guides and Scouts, who lined the drive to the gallery.
The grounds of the gallery were filled with people and outside, behind the barriers, were dense crowds patiently waiting to see the prince as he came from the Arboretum.
The band began to play God Bless the Prince of Wales to announce his arrival, the guides and scouts sprang to attention and the spectators all craned their necks forward towards the gate, only to find it was a false alarm.
Outside, a barrier had given way through the pressure of the seething masses but the crowds were nobly held back by mounted police.
One or two people had fainted, either from the heat of the day, or from the denseness of the crowd.
Cecilia concluded her vivid description of the event by reassuring her readers that, after that disturbance, everyone settled down again to await the real announcement.
The prince walked up the drive with the mayor and, after a short announcement, was presented with the golden key to unlock the door to the gallery.
The glimpse everyone had of the prince, and his salute as he left, were well worth the long wait.
The final contribution, by a lower third form pupil, Freda Walker, also helps us to imagine the colourful scene. She described the band as being stationed on the grass under a rustic summer-house, covered with cool green ferns and plants.
Many were described as wearing rosettes or Prince of Wales feathers, and carrying flags. She thought that the prince looked very tired with his exertions, although "nice in his navy-blue suit".
She observed that he was not wearing a hat but walked bare-headed. Miss Savill and the prince, accompanied by the mayor and sheriff, shook hands as she was presented to him.
It was a busy day for the Prince who also visited the Ruston factory in Lincoln, and took the controls of a "mighty excavator".
In a fascinating piece of historic footage, British Pathe News captured the event in a piece of silent film which reveals, among other interesting features, one hilarious moment when a man appears to be knocked over in the background by a piece of moving equipment.
The film may be viewed at www.britishpathe.com/video/ prince-of-wales/excavator/ query/lincoln