Mansfield

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Mansfield
Mansfield Market Place.jpg
Mansfield Market Place with the Bentinck Memorial in the centre and the old Moot Hall behind to the left
Mansfield is located in Nottinghamshire
Mansfield
Mansfield
Mansfield shown within Nottinghamshire
Population99,600 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSK 53745 61114
District
Shire county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townMANSFIELD
Postcode districtNG18, NG19
Dialling code01623
PoliceNottinghamshire
FireNottinghamshire
AmbulanceEast Midlands
EU ParliamentEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Nottinghamshire
53°08′39″N 1°11′47″W / 53.14417°N 1.19639°W / 53.14417; -1.19639Coordinates: 53°08′39″N 1°11′47″W / 53.14417°N 1.19639°W / 53.14417; -1.19639
Mansfield bus station with the turf-roof and solar panels of Queen's Place low-energy building visible behind, and part of the old Co-op now known as Beale's to its left

Mansfield is a market town in Nottinghamshire, England.[1] It is the main town in Mansfield local government district and part of the Mansfield Urban Area. Nestling in a pocket of the Maun Valley surrounded by hills, the town is some 12 miles (19 km) north of Nottingham. The district is a largely urban area in the north west of Nottinghamshire, populated by 99,600 residents, most of whom live in Mansfield itself (including Mansfield Woodhouse), with Market Warsop a secondary centre, and the remainder the rural north of the district. Adjacent to the urban area of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Mansfield is the only major sub-regional centre in Nottinghamshire, covering an area of 30 square miles (78 sq km). The Centre for Cities (2009) classes the town as a "small city", although it does not have official city status. Mansfield is the one local authority area in the county directly to elect its Mayor. In October 2008 it elected its first Youth Mayor. Historically, the district has been influenced by its industrial past of coal mining and textiles thriving until their decline in the 1990s, seen also in the national economy. Mansfield has 20.2 per cent (12,890) of its working age population seeking key out-of-work benefits (based on a 63,800 total working age population, NOMIS). Over the last century the population has declined along with this industrial base, though much has been done to diversify the economy and replace jobs lost. Mid-year population forecasts show a move since April 2008 from 100,100 to 100,600 in 2009, 99,700 in 2010 to 99,600 in 2011.[2]

History[edit]

Settlement in the Mansfield area is known to date back to Roman times, with a villa discovered in 1787 by a Major Rooke between Mansfield Woodhouse and Pleasley and a cache of denarii coins found near King's Mill in 1849.[3] After the end of Roman occupation, the early English royalty are said to have stayed there, with the Mercian Kings having used it as a base for hunting in the nearby Sherwood Forest.[4]

The Domesday Book compiled in 1086 has the settlement recorded as Mammesfeld whereas in later market-petition documents of 1227 the spelling had changed to Maunnesfeld. By the time King Richard II signed a warrant in November 1377 granting the right for tenants to hold a four-day fair every year, the spelling had changed again to Mannesfeld.[3]

There are remains of the 12th century King John's Palace, in Clipstone between Mansfield and Edwinstowe. The area was originally a retreat for royal families and dignitaries in the 14th and 15th centuries due to its location within Sherwood Forest famed for its fresh air and exclusiveness. Access to the town was via a small horse-drawn carriageway from the city of Nottingham that was en route to Sheffield.

On West Gate within the town centre, a commemorative wall plaque marks the point that was thought to be the centre of Sherwood Forest 2013. A tree has been planted nearby.[5]

Access to the town between the 16th and 17th centuries was via several inns and stable yards. The Harte, the Swan (which has a dating stone with 1490 was found during alterations), the Talbot, the White Bear, the Ram (timber dating to pre-1500) and the White Lion were known to date from medieval times. Several timber-framed cruck buildings were demolished in 1929 and another in 1973 which was documented by a local historical society during its demolition and was dated at around 1400 or earlier. Other Tudor houses in Stockwell Gate, Bridge Street and Lime Tree Place were also demolished to make way for developments before they could be viewed for being listed properties. The majority of buildings remaining are from the 17th century onwards.

Economy[edit]

Town centre[edit]

Old Town Hall and Old Court building at the head of the Market Place built from local stone

Mansfield has a large market square with surrounding commercial and retail centre including a museum, the Palace Theatre and numerous restaurants, fast-food outlets, pubs, bars and night clubs.

On 6 April 2010 a town-centre Business Improvement District (BID) was established with offices based in the old Town Hall in the Market Place,[6] financed by a 2 per cent additional levy on the rateable value of nearby businesses.[7][8][9]

The Mansfield BID operates to a five-year business plan with a rolling yearly operational plan.[10] Before the end of its tenure in 2015, over 560 shops and other town centre businesses were canvassed in late 2014 to vote on the first continuation period, dubbed a BID Ballot. Mansfield District Council as an electoral services provider contracted out this procedure at a projected cost to council tax payers of £8,000.[7][11][12] A 55 per cent turnout participated in the ballot with 77 per cent vote to continue the BID for a further five years.[13]

The BID provides additional services (above the baseline statutory services provided by the council) and delivery of projects to enhance the town centre as a shopping destination, including enabling events to attract visitors and raise awareness, additional security for the town centre including management of persistent offender banning orders and improvement of shop frontages.[12][14]

Records show the first yearly income to have been £294,697, with an operating surplus of £151,610 over expenses.[15]

One of BID's achievements during 2012 to 2013 was a crowd-funded town centre Wi-Fi internet installation costing £37,000[16] and completed by June 2013,[17] using an extensive network of AP nodes requiring potential users to register before free use is enabled,[18] with a dedicated optional BID local information "App" for Android and iPhone available for download.[19] The intention was to encourage shoppers and visitors alike to linger in the town centre for longer than previously, to offer internet access to small businesses, and to provide market traders with a means of accepting non-cash payments.[20]

Other BID achievements have been "gating off" alleyways previously blighted by anti-social behaviour, improved signage and enhanced cleansing operations.[21][22][23][24]

In 2011, several shopkeepers complained that BID was "not doing enough to boost town trade."[25]

In 2012, Mansfield Constituency Labour Party criticised BID for receiving the best part of one million pounds during its first three years of operations, with little to show for the money.[26]

Retail shopping[edit]

Concerned at the decline of town-centre shops and an under-used main market square, Mansfield's MP Sir Alan Meale in November 2013 issued a 50-point blueprint intended to halt further decline and instigate revitalisation.[27] With further concerns that no aspects of his report had been acted upon and that the council's Queen's Place development had not been let to tenants since the official completion ceremony in November 2013,[28] Sir Alan again contacted the local newspaper to alert readers in February 2014.[29]

In August 2014, the council announced its first tenants at the 2.4 million pound development, offering two retail areas and six offices – three staffing agencies and a cafe/takeaway.[30] On top of undisclosed rental, businesses will need to pay business rates, VAT, a service charge on communal areas and a 2 per cent levy on its rateable value to Mansfield BID.[31] In contrast, the council proposes to allow Mansfield BID, if voted in for continuation from 2015, to use nearby office accommodation "free of charge... which is estimated as an in-kind contribution equivalent to £4,000 per annum."[32]

In September 2014, Sir Alan Meale MP again openly criticised the council for spending such an amount on a new build when other council-owned properties were run-down, and for ignoring his 50-point plan. He further urged the council to abandon its office complex on Chesterfield Road in favour of relocating to the underused Town Hall in the town centre.[33] It then emerged that only the cafe was a new business to Mansfield town centre, with the office tenants of Queen's Place simply relocating from nearby premises.[34] In late 2015, the second of the two ground-floor units, empty for two years since completion in 2013, was occupied by a diner-style ice-cream parlour.[35]

Mansfield has many retail outlets and a large indoor shopping centre called Four Seasons. This has over 50 units, with many popular national UK chains such as Boots, Debenhams, Burton, Thomas Cook, The Perfume Shop, HMV, Primark, the bookstore W.H. Smith and several phone shops.[36] There is one large store – formerly a Co-op, now known as Beales.[37]

Marks and Spencer and Dorothy Perkins are traditional key stores in West Gate, with nearby Costa Coffee from 2011,[38] in addition to several existing similar cafés. The economic crisis from 2008 led to some shops closing and being boarded up, or having their windows covered with poster images resembling library, cafe, pub or other shop scenes. The effect of the downturn was not as bad as it was in many other cities and towns throughout the United Kingdom. Nearby Chesterfield, of a similar size, suffered worse than Mansfield. The rate of property vacancy is less than 11 per cent, compared with up to 25 per cent in some places. There are still independent town centre shops, such as Xibit Jewellery, Vivid Shoes, MCS (Mansfield Computer Store) and other small family businesses mixed in the high street chains.

Rosemary Centre shopping arcade, at the edge of the town centre shopping area with walkways and underpasses connecting to the pedestrianised town centre

Rosemary Centre is a pedestrianised area just off the town centre. It has a covered parade of shops, and a little further away, three outdoor retail parks, two with adjacent internationally branded fast-food outlets.[39][40][41] There are also extensive supermarket developments being made by four of the five major food retailers, along with a number of discounters and small convenience stores.

Markets[edit]

Mansfield's Buttercross Market Monument on West Gate

Mansfield is a market town with a 700-year-old market tradition, the Royal Charter being issued in 1227. The present market square was created after much demolition after the Improvement Act of 1823.[3] In the centre there is the Bentinck Memorial, built in 1849 to commemorate Lord George Bentinck (1802–1848), son of the William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland, a major local landowner.[42]

A smaller nearby area called Buttercross Market on West Gate, the site of the original cattle market, has a large old centrepiece of local stone dating from the 16th century[5] and is nowadays heavily covered stalls.[43] Adjacent is Mansfield Library, officially opened by the Queen in 1977 and refurbished for 2012.[44] The old Carnegie Library, established in 1905 in Leeming Street, was used from 1976 as an arts and performance centre.[45]

The remaining part of the old Brewery offices, now housing a learning centre
But he's never had a pint of Mansfield.JPG
Not Much Matches Mansfield Beer.JPG

Employment[edit]

Mansfield was originally the home of Mansfield Brewery, once the largest independent brewer in the United Kingdom.[46] The brewery was acquired by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries for £253 million in October 1999, with production of the Mansfield range of ales moving to other parts of the country. The brewery's assets were later sold to Pubmaster Ltd and the site of the brewery is available for redevelopment. In the 1980s, Mansfield Bitter was advertised with a photograph of then US President Ronald Reagan and the tagline: He might be president of the most powerful nation on earth... but he's never had a pint of Mansfield.[47][48] "Not much matches Mansfield" was also used.[49]

Mansfield had an old-established soft-drinks manufacturer, R. L. Jones with brand names of Sunecta and Mandora, acquired by Mansfield Brewery in 1977.[50] A move to a modern factory at Bellamy Road in 1975 released land destined for a high-density housing development known as Layton Burroughs.[51] Mansfield Brewery sold the business in 1988 to the Scottish drinks company A. G. Barr plc, producer of Irn-Bru, Tizer and Mandora for £21.5 million.[52] At that time the company employed 400 people. Production ceased in January 2011 when A. G. Barr closed the factory and transferred production to its other sites.[53] The brewery production buildings were demolished in late 2008,[54] but five years later, the site still remained unsold.[55] The older ornate office buildings were saved and house a learning centre.[56]

Many of the areas adjacent to the town and its surrounding countryside still bear the marks of the vibrant district coal mining history. For most of the 20th century, mining was one of Mansfield's main industries. A notably violent scene of the UK miners' strike (1984–1985) occurred in Mansfield on May Day 1984.[57] The majority of the area's miners had voted against a strike, but the local branch of the union initially maintained that the strike was official, to show "solidarity" with strikers in other areas. Having been granted an extra day of leave after the bank holiday by the Coal Board, a group of working miners confronted union officials and violence broke out with striking miners.[57] Mansfield later became the headquarters of a breakaway union, the Union of Democratic Mineworkers, which recruited many who opposed the 1984–1985 strike.[58]

Clipstone Colliery headstocks stated to be the highest in Europe[59] and surrounding cleared pit-head site

The head stocks which stand close to the village of Clipstone are considered an important landmark to the people of the area,[60] and community groups are trying to preserve these as a reminder of the area's once busy mining history.[61][62] As demand for coal fell, Mansfield's many pits wound down and miners moved into other types of employment.

Mining subsidence has caused some problems with properties around Mansfield. A few of the streets in and around the town are long rows of terraced houses, reminiscent of the affordable housing provided for mine workers in the height of the industry. Many of these were demolished in 2012, in places such as Pleasley Hill and Market Warsop. The Coal Authority is based in the town.

Regeneration[edit]

MARR road known as Sherwood Way looking East towards Derby Road and Rainworth beyond with Cauldwell Dam and Woods to left

Several urban regeneration projects were planned for Mansfield, denoted by large-scale demolition, all of which have been deferred due to the economic crash starting in 2008 and subsequent cuts in funding from UK Central Government, necessitating continual and escalating austerity measures. Mansfield District Council had promoted two new developments from 2008, firstly Arrival Square[63] – an office-block adjacent to the rail station, tenanted by Probation Service[64] – and nearby, completed and officially opened by the Mayor Tony Egginton in late 2013, Queen's Place costing the council £2.4 million, offering two new ground-floor retail units and six offices in Queen Street between the new transport interchange and the market square.[28]

In February 2014, the town's MP, Sir Alan Meale criticised the council for failing to find tenants before the completion and opening.[65] Although it received a local-government award in July 2014, Queen's Place remained empty.[66][67]

In late 2015, restoration works to the historic Town Hall were completed. These had chiefly concerning the roof and other external structures, at a cost of £550,000. The Mansfield BID staff, and other council staff, moved elsewhere for the duration of the repairs. Despite the outlay, Mansfield District Council had no plans for future use of the large building.[68]

Reconstruction of the nearby King's Mill Hospital, part of which was completed by 2009, is near to the MARR road (Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route) which opened in 2004,[69] a bypass round the town designed to reduce through-flow traffic and improve public access by connecting the A617 at Pleasley to the A617 at Rainworth.

In 2009 Mansfield made a bid for city status, incorporating redevelopment plans for retail, residential and leisure facilities with road improvements, which are gradually being undertaken.[70]

King's Mill Hospital in 2013 showing Main Entrance beyond the paving, Outpatient Clinics to the left, Women and Children's Centre to the right and Wards in the Towers behind

Transport[edit]

Railway history[edit]

Mansfield railway station is a stop on the Robin Hood Line, a rail link connecting the town with Nottingham and Worksop. From 1964 until the reopening of the line in 1995, Mansfield was by some definitions the largest town in Britain without a railway station,[71] which was all the more remarkable because the town had pioneered the railway in the East Midlands. From 1973 to 1995 the nearby station at Alfreton was named "Alfreton and Mansfield Parkway" to encourage its use as a railhead for Mansfield. A Sunday rail service was restored to Mansfield in December 2008 – the town having been one of the largest on the rail network without one.

The town was originally the terminus of the Mansfield and Pinxton Railway, built as a horse-drawn plateway in 1819 and one of the first acquisitions of the newly formed Midland Railway.[71] The Midland used the final section to extend its new Leen Valley line to the present station in 1849.

The Midland Railway extended its Rolleston Junction–Southwell branch to Mansfield in 1871, continued the line north of Mansfield to Worksop in 1875, opened a link from Mansfield Woodhouse to Westhouses and Blackwell in 1886, and completed another link from Pleasley through Bolsover to Barrow Hill in 1890. Mansfield had become a railway centre of some importance, but it was a Midland Railway centre.

The Midland Railway monopoly was broken by the locally promoted Mansfield Railway between Kirkby South Junction and Clipstone Junctions opened in stages between 1913 and 1916 for goods trains and in 1917 for NottinghamOllerton passenger trains, calling at a second Mansfield passenger station. Although nominally independent, the Mansfield Railway connected with the Great Central Railway at both ends and trains were worked by the Great Central.[72]

Thus Mansfield had two railway stations: Mansfield Town, the former Midland station on Station Road, near Belvedere Street and Mansfield Central, the former Mansfield Railway station on Great Central Road, near Ratcliffe Gate. Central station lost its scheduled passenger services at the beginning of 1956 and Town station closed to passengers in 1964, leaving Mansfield without any passenger trains until the Robin Hood line restored the service in 1995.

A tram service operated between 1905 and 1932, run by Mansfield & District Light Railways.

Today[edit]

Buses[edit]

Buses in Mansfield are primarily operated by Stagecoach, with Trent Barton and National Express also operating in the area. Planning permission was given to develop a new bus station on the former Station Road car park which was expected to cost £7 million.[73][74] The old bus station, built in 1977, handled around 1,500 buses and 16,000 passenger arrivals a day, making it the busiest in the county,[citation needed] but with an outdated design and appearance, and poor outdoor waiting facilities.

There were good pedestrian links to the pedestrianised town-centre shopping streets, but the rail station was a few hundred yards' walk away. The new bus station addressed this problem, but has proved unpopular with shopkeepers near to the old facility, with several claiming substantial reductions in trade.[75][76]

The new bus station and transport interchange opened on 31 March 2013 in the choice location on a former car park close to the railway station;[77] it is part of a regeneration scheme known as the "Gateway To Mansfield",[75] giving visitors to the town a clean and tidy first impression, including buildings with a "themed" use of local sandstone. The scheme was implemented to improve facilities for locals, boost visitors to the town and help boost the local economy.

The new bus station increased passenger safety, additionally providing a more welcoming scene for visitors arriving by bus, and has been hailed as a successful enhancement to Mansfield town centre. Improvements have included a fully enclosed waiting area, automatic doors for comfort, fume reduction and safety, a tourist information centre, electronic bus and rail departure information, toilets and baby changing facilities. A tower with lift and stairs to an elevated walkway connects to the adjacent rail station.[78]

Road[edit]

Mansfield town centre is situated in a "bowl", a depression in the River Maun valley from which the town name is derived (Old English – Maunesfeld). A town centre ring-road was created with the old five main roads radiating out: the A60 to the North and South, the A617 to the East and West, and the A38 running to the South-West. An inner ring-road runs one-way around the town's shopping centre, enabling access to car parking and the major roads.

The town is the northern terminus of the A38, which runs from Bodmin in Cornwall and is the longest "A" road entirely within England. Mansfield can be reached in around 15 minutes from junctions 27, 28 and 29 of the M1 and is around 18 miles from the A1 at neighbouring Newark-on-Trent.

Rail[edit]

Mansfield is served by two stations, the most central being Mansfield railway station in the town centre, together with Mansfield Woodhouse railway station in nearby Mansfield Woodhouse. Both are on the same line and are each served hourly towards Worksop, twice an hour to Nottingham, alongside a service from Nottingham which terminates at Mansfield Woodhouse, which operates hourly.

On Sundays, Mansfield Woodhouse railway station is the terminus of the line, no services travel beyond to Worksop. Overall, Mansfield is served by one service an hour calling at Mansfield and terminating at Mansfield Woodhouse, alongside an hourly service from both stations to Nottingham station. For passengers wishing to travel to Worksop (only, all intermediate stations being closed on Sundays) must do so by changing at Nottingham for Sheffield and at Sheffield for Lincoln, leaving at Worksop.

Sport[edit]

One Call Stadium, home of Mansfield Town FC

Mansfield is home to Mansfield Town FC, known as the Stags. This was relegated to the Conference National after 77 years in the Football League at the end of the 2007–2008 season, but returned to the Football League after winning the 2012–2013 Conference National title. Non-League club AFC Mansfield plays in the Forest Town area of Mansfield.

Mansfield Rugby Club is a rugby union club based at Eakring Road and currently plays in Midlands 1 East, a sixth-tier league in the English rugby union system. It won the Notts Cup for five years in succession and for a record 18 times.

Mansfield Giants is Mansfield’s Premier Basketball Club, and has a three-star Accreditation and Club Mark from the English Sports Council. The team plays in the England Basketball (EB2).

The annual half marathon held for more than 30 years was cancelled after 2011 due to escalating costs, after changes to Health and Safety legislation meant professional services were needed to address road-closure measures, instead of the traditional volunteers. Mansfield local business networking group 2020 had hoped to restore a race by September 2014,[79][80] but this event, reduced in length to 10 kilometres, was postponed, initially until spring 2015, and took place in August.[81][82]

Angling is well supported in the Mansfield district, where ponds remain from the former textile milling industry.

Tennis is catered for by Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club located at the same site since 1883, with four grass courts and five asphalt courts, three of which are floodlit.[83] Further hard-surface courts are spread throughout the district at six different Mansfield District Council park locations.[84]

Mansfield is home to Mansfield Roller Derby, Mansfield's premier Flat Track Roller Derby league.[85]

One major issue for local residents is Mansfield's lack of a central Leisure Centre. Mansfield District Council decided it would rubber stamp the sale of the existing Leisure Centre and extensive public car park to Tesco, which opened a large Tesco Extra store in 2007. The Council asserted that this would be replaced by a brand new Leisure Centre, but nothing has been built or is planned. It received over £5m from Tesco for the Leisure Centre site, but decided to spend this on refurbishing Sherwood Baths instead of replacing the Leisure Centre.

Mansfield has two indoor swimming centres and a third, smaller pool attached to a school which has been under threat of closure since 2011.[86] This gives it the largest square meterage of indoor water-sports facilities per capita of any town in the United Kingdom with less than 100,000 inhabitants.

Mansfield is the largest British town not to have a municipal squash court in the whole of its district, following the demolition of the former Leisure Centre. The general public still hold this against the Council, as the previous Leisure Centre, paid for by the district's council tax payers, has now gone, seemingly for good. Tesco built another store on the town's outskirts approximately two miles away, demolishing the multi-sports hall and function venue and rebuilding or improving the previous gym, which had been refurbished only a few years earlier.

Despite many so far unfulfilled promises by the town's Mayor, the lack of a central Leisure Centre is seen as a contributing factor to the proportion of clinically obese residents in the town: over 15 percentage points above the national average.

Mansfield is one of the three outlets of the Nottinghamshire County Council Swim Squad, which competes as Nova Centurion. The Sherwood Swimming Baths adjacent to the former Sherwood Colliery was refurbished and opened in January 2010 as the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre. The 25-metre pool was widened at the expense of losing the tiered public seating and has a new, small, endless stroke-improvement training pool with variable-resistance water flow. The complex uses a ground-source heat pump backed by a biomass boiler burning wood pellets prepared from waste by a local wood yard, to reduce its carbon footprint.[87][88]

At the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a Mansfield contestant, Rebecca Adlington, won two gold medals, for 400 and 800-metre freestyle swimming. After her record-breaking success, Adlington was welcomed home to Mansfield by thousands of people lining the streets to applaud as she passed in an open top bus. This culminated in an appearance at the old Town Hall in the Market Square. Her success immediately boosted swimming interest in the area, leading to expansion of swimming classes to encourage young people to begin swimming. At the 2012 Olympic Games held in London and surrounding venues, Adlington won two Bronze medals again for 400 and 800 metres, the best performance of a generally disappointing Team GB swimming squad. Adlington retired from competitive swimming in February 2012.[89]

Mansfield has a Water Meadows swimming complex, which opened during the Christmas holidays of 1990. It is situated at Bath Street, on the site of the former Mansfield Baths and defunct cattle market, and hosts a gym and a soft-play area for children with an adjoining café, alongside two swimming pools and a small teaching pool. The leisure lagoon pool has a popular wave machine operating periodically, giving swimmers the experience of waves, similar to floating in an ocean. It also has a slide and a shallow "beach" area. Water Meadows is popular both with family groups and as a school swimming facility, using the 25-metre competition pool and teaching pool, with many schools from surrounding areas making regular use of the facilities.

Parks[edit]

Titchfield Park and River Maun looking towards Nottingham Road with Water Meadows pool to rear of camera position

Of Mansfield's many parks and green spaces, Titchfield Park, on the same site as the Water Meadows swimming complex, offers large grassy areas on both sides of the river Maun, crossed by two foot bridges. The park has a bowls green, hard tennis courts, a basketball court, a children's play area, and many flowerbeds.

Fisher Lane Park, located nearby, stretches from the top of Littleworth through to Rock Hill. It is popular with dog walkers, kite flyers and skaters, as Mansfield District Council installed a concrete skate plaza, causing some controversy with local people.

Carr Bank Park with Mansfield Manor Hotel, originally an industrialist's residence

However, the skate plaza has proved popular with local young people. During the summer months, some rides and stalls for local children are set up in the park.

Carr Bank Park, also close to the town has a rocky grotto, a bandstand and many summer flower beds. It has a war memorial built of local sandstone, dedicated to soldiers killed in action since the end of the Second World War, to compliment the original setting unveiled after the First War in 1921.[90]

Cemeteries and crematorium[edit]

The main cemetery and adjacent crematorium occupy on a 10-acre site accessed from Derby Road, on the southern edge of town near to the boundary with Ashfield District Council.[91] They share a car park. In late 2015, Mansfield District Council recognised the need for additional spaces and planning consent was obtained.[92] The older part of the cemetery, fronting Nottingham Road and Forest Hill (the old Derby Road) has on-street parking. Site access by foot can be difficult due to the steep slope.[91]

The cemetery was opened in 1857 due to insufficient church graveyard space,[91] the mid-to-late Victorian population growth and several then-new churches built with little or no dedicated graveyard areas.[93][94][95] A 10-acre extension was made in 1898.[91] The adjacent Mansfield and District Crematorium, having two chapels seating 35 and up to 80, was established in 1960.[96] and is a shared responsibility between Mansfield District Council, Ashfield District Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council.[97]

There are additional cemeteries on the A60 at Mansfield Woodhouse and at Warsop, and off the A617 at Pleasley Hill.[91]

Entertainment[edit]

The Palace Theatre in Leeming Street is the town's prime entertainment venue. Built as a cinema in 1910 and originally known as the Palace Electric Theatre, it was adapted as a theatre with a proscenium arch, presenting live shows.[98] It was known as the Civic Hall and Civic Theatre before the current name was revived in 1995.[99] With a seating capacity of 534,[100] the theatre is a mid-scale touring venue[101] presenting a programme of both professional and amateur productions, and a yearly pantomime.[102][103][104]

Mansfield Museum, alongside the Palace Theatre in Leeming Street, opened in 1904.[105] and has been based on its present site since 1938. With free entry, it won the Guardian Family-friendly Museum of the Year Award in 2011.[106]

The Old Library near the town centre houses a recording studio, meeting room and 100-seat Studio Theatre.[107] Mansfield also has a large multiplex cinema on a new retail and entertainment park outside of the town centre.[108] The previous ABC town-centre cinema was used as a snooker centre until closure in 2012,[109] but late in 2013 it was converted into a church.[110]

Mansfield also has Mansfield Superbowl, a 28=lane bowling alley with a bar, diner and function room, which opened in 1991, receiving a full refurbishment under new ownership in 2015.

The Intake is a live-music venue in Kirkland Avenue offering bar service and function rooms.[111] The Town Mill – a former waterside mill on the banks of the River Maun at the edge of the town centre – was converted into a pub and live music venue in 2002, but closed in 2010, citing the smoking ban, rising beer prices and recession among its reasons for failure.[112]

Sherwood Forest[edit]

Just a few miles outside of Mansfield lies Sherwood Forest. Mansfield had an Oak Tree and a plaque in West Gate to mark what was the centre of Sherwood Forest. Now the tree has been felled and a giant metallic feather has replaced it as a marker. Some residents of the town feel this is an eyesore, and the feather sculpture has been plagued by health and safety problems.

Summer in the Streets[edit]

Every year between June and August, Mansfield District Council hosts a Summer in the Streets festival. This consists of various public events held all across the town over many days, such as children's entertainment, fairground rides in the market square, and hands-on workshops for things like crafts and circus skills.

The highlight of the festival is a final event held in Titchfield Park, called Party in the Park. Its wide range of entertainment includes live music acts by local bands, performances from local dance groups, and activities such as face painting. For 2012 and 2013, this culminating event was cancelled for austerity reasons.[113][114]

On 21 August 2010 the various summer entertainment arranged by Mansfield District Council included the popular Irish boy band Westlife, in a live concert at Field Mill stadium, home to the town's football team, the Stags. This was the first big-name act to visit the town.

Media[edit]

The local newspapers are the Chad (formerly the Chronicle Advertiser) and the Mansfield and Ashfield Express, a community newspaper. Mansfield's radio station, Mansfield 103.2, broadcasts from Fishpond Hill in Skegby Lane, from a transmitter that also broadcasts Mansfield versions of Nottingham stations Radio Nottingham and Capital FM, on 95.5 and 96.5 FM respectively. DAB broadcasts from Fishpond Hill began on 21 July 2006 with the NOW Nottingham multiplex. Subsequently the Digital One and BBC National muxes were also added (during 2006 and 2007).

Television reception in Mansfield is often poor due to its location on the edges between regions. Historically, Mansfield has been part of the BBC North and Yorkshire Television regions. Between 1965 and 1974, some homes in Mansfield even received Anglia Television.

Since the 1995 arrival of Diamond Cable (latterly ntl, then finally Virgin Media), BBC East Midlands and ITV Central East has been provided, and since regionalisation of SKY digital, many residents now receive BBC East Midlands and ITV Central, which are the default channels for this area and appear on channels 101 and 103.

Mansfield receives its television signals from various transmitters: Waltham from East Midlands, Emley Moor from South and West Yorkshire, and Belmont from East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. This meant that the celebrations for Rebecca Adlington's success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, though covered officially by East Midlands Today, could be shown on both East Midlands Today and Look North, so that all the Mansfield area could watch.

Politics[edit]

The Brewery during early demolition in 2007

Mansfield has a directly elected Mayor, one of only 16 in the United Kingdom to have adopted the practice. Tony Egginton was the Mayor of Mansfield from October 2002 until retirement in May 2015, being replaced at the scheduled elections by a fellow candidate standing for the Mansfield Independent Forum political party, Kate Allsop. Much was said of the first Executive Mayor, but during his time in office, Mansfield struggled with local land development and many of the projects across the region faltered.[115][116][117][118][119][120][121][122]

These include the derelict Mansfield General Hospital site, which in 2013 was purchased for £1.8 million,[123] paid for by the local residents via their council tax payments, and with further anticipated demolition costs of £940,000.[124] Despite the purchase, the Mayor and his council have no specific plans for the site.[125][126] The old Mansfield Brewery remains as an abandoned space after demolition.[127]

The gateway redevelopment of the old Mansfield Shoe Company site, after the failure of the original developer, Highgrange Homes Ltd,[128] was being worked on in 2013 and 2014 to finish and sell the residential apartments.[129][130] The ground-floor units intended for retail sales have been externally closed with large windows and access doorways, but remain unlet.[131][132][133]

A council town-centre office/retail development on the site of the old Queen's Head pub, costing £2.4 million, was opened by the Mayor, Tony Egginton, in November 2013. The council was criticised in February 2014 by the town's M.P. Sir Alan Meale for failing to find tenants before the completion and opening.[65] The building remained empty at the time of receiving a local-government award in July 2014.[66][67]

The Mayor (in office 2002–2015) was criticised by some councillors and residents for placing too much focus on self-publicity,[134][135][136][137] as opposed to publicity for the town. The issue was raised again after his prominent role in Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington's homecoming ceremony following her Gold Medal successes at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.[138]

In April 2017, Sophie Whitby was elected to represent the Mansfield district as Member of Youth Parliament, on a manifesto which included promoting equality for the LGBT community.[139]

Benjamin Bradley has been the constituency (Conservative) Member of Parliament since May 2017, succeeding Sir Alan Meale (Labour), who served the town for thirty years.

From 2010 the Parliamentary Constituency boundaries were realigned to include areas to the north of Mansfield around Warsop, which had previously been part of the Bassetlaw constituency.

In the news[edit]

D. H. Lawrence, in Lady Chatterley's Lover, described Mansfield as "that once romantic now utterly disheartening colliery town".[140]

The 2005 and 2007 editions of Channel 4's programme The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK named Mansfield as the sixth and ninth worst place to live in Britain, largely due to the poor performance of schools in the area at the time.[141] This has recently improved due to a large reduction in crime, massive school improvements, and being known for good quality air. It is no longer in the bottom twenty of either list.[citation needed]

In June 2014, husband and wife Christopher and Susan Edwards were jailed after being found guilty of the murder of the woman's parents, William and Patricia Wycherley, whose bodies lay undiscovered for 15 years, buried in the victims' back garden in the town. The couple had stolen thousands of pounds, siphoned off the Wycherleys' pensions and sold their house, amounting to nearly £300,000.[142] The bodies were found last October after the Edwards gave themselves up, after spending a year in France knowing the DWP were intending to interview Mr Wycherley, who would have been approaching his 100th birthday.[143] Susan Edwards, a former librarian, had written Christmas cards and letters to relatives telling them her parents were travelling in Ireland "because of the good air" and had told neighbours they were in Blackpool or Morecambe.[144] The Edwards were later sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 25 years for the murders, together with 9-year sentences for disposing of the bodies and theft, to be served concurrently.[145]

On 30 May 2015, 13-year old Amber Peat went missing from home after returning from a family holiday. On 2 June her body was found in an area off Westfield Lane, Mansfield, within the same general area as her home less than a mile away, and on 3 June it was confirmed that the cause of her death was hanging.[146]

Notable people[edit]

The television presenter Adam Kingswood, from BBC TV's The Truth About Property, Richard Bacon (b. 1975) and professional golfers Oliver Wilson (b. 1980) and Greg Owen (b. 1972) come from Mansfield. The singer Alvin Stardust (1942-2014) lived there as a child. Radio, Television and West End actor Stephen Critchlow was raised and schooled in Mansfield and pianist John Ogdon was born in the suburb of Mansfield Woodhouse in 1937. Mark Holmes, lead singer of the Canadian new wave/stadium rock group Platinum Blonde, was born and partly raised there.[147] Mansfield is also the home of the Cantamus Girls Choir, twice World Choir Olympic champions.

Twin town and other associations[edit]

Mansfield has been officially twinned with Heiligenhaus in Germany since 1974[151]

The following entries can be seen in a Mansfield-based, self-published website:

Neighbouring cities, towns and villages[edit]

Climate[edit]

Mansfield experiences a maritime climate typical for most parts of the British Isles. This brings in a narrow temperature range, an even spread of rainfall, low levels of sunshine, and often breezy conditions throughout the year. The closest weather station to Mansfield for which records are available is Warsop, about four miles to the north.

The absolute maximum temperature record for the area stands at 34.6 °C (94.3 °F),[152] recorded in August 1990. In a typical year the warmest day should reach 28.9 °C (84.0 °F),[153] and 12.72 days[154] should reach 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or higher.

The absolute minimum temperature record for the area is −19.1 °C (−2.4 °F),[155] recorded during January 1987; there is air frost on an average of 59 nights a year.

Rainfall averages 634mm[156] annually, with 113 days[157] reporting in excess of 1 mm of rain. All averages refer to the observation period 1971–2000.

Climate data for Warsop, elevation: 46 m or 151 ft, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1960–2006
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.4
(57.9)
17.7
(63.9)
22.2
(72)
25.3
(77.5)
27.0
(80.6)
31.6
(88.9)
32.5
(90.5)
34.6
(94.3)
27.9
(82.2)
23.9
(75)
18.0
(64.4)
15.0
(59)
34.6
(94.3)
Average high °C (°F) 7.1
(44.8)
7.5
(45.5)
10.4
(50.7)
12.7
(54.9)
16.4
(61.5)
19.1
(66.4)
21.9
(71.4)
21.5
(70.7)
18.1
(64.6)
13.9
(57)
9.7
(49.5)
7.3
(45.1)
13.8
(56.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.9
(39)
4.1
(39.4)
6.4
(43.5)
8.0
(46.4)
11.2
(52.2)
14.0
(57.2)
16.4
(61.5)
16.1
(61)
13.4
(56.1)
10.1
(50.2)
6.4
(43.5)
4.1
(39.4)
9.5
(49.1)
Average low °C (°F) 0.7
(33.3)
0.7
(33.3)
2.3
(36.1)
3.3
(37.9)
6.0
(42.8)
8.8
(47.8)
10.8
(51.4)
10.6
(51.1)
8.6
(47.5)
6.2
(43.2)
3.1
(37.6)
0.9
(33.6)
5.2
(41.4)
Record low °C (°F) −19.1
(−2.4)
−15.6
(3.9)
−13.9
(7)
−6.7
(19.9)
−3.9
(25)
−1.7
(28.9)
1.4
(34.5)
−0.1
(31.8)
−3.2
(26.2)
−6.6
(20.1)
−8.4
(16.9)
−15.2
(4.6)
−19.1
(−2.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.0
(2.165)
38.9
(1.531)
43.4
(1.709)
55.6
(2.189)
49.3
(1.941)
68.8
(2.709)
45.6
(1.795)
52.5
(2.067)
55.3
(2.177)
61.9
(2.437)
52.0
(2.047)
58.9
(2.319)
641.2
(25.244)
Average precipitation days 11.0 8.3 10.0 9.6 8.8 9.2 7.9 8.4 8.7 10.2 10.2 10.5 112.7
Source #1: KNMI[158]
Source #2: KNMI[159]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  129. ^ Maslow Capital 70 of the 86 units have been sold October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
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  135. ^ Chad, local newspaper, 11 May 2011, front page and p. 3: 'Historic third term for mayor..' "Mr Egginton defeated Mr Yemm by just 67 votes..." (Egginton stated) "It's a big victory and from my footballing prowess in the past, that's the best hat-trick I have ever scored." Accessed 21 December 2013.
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