College students bring Mansfield's rich history to life with tour around the town centre
The Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project (MTHP), which focuses on Victorian and Georgian buildings in a well-known conservation area and historical shopping street, has been brought to life thanks to students at West Nottinghamshire College.
A guided history tour was launched in June by students on the Level 3 Diploma in Travel and Tourism, which saw the college’s principal, governors, tutors and representatives of the Townscape Heritage Project, discover the history of a number of buildings and businesses along Leeming Street and the Market Place.
After being approached by the MTHP, students were tasked with putting together a professional tour, suitable for members of the public to engage in, where they could learn more about their town’s history and business origins.
Since March, the group has worked together researching the history and discovering about popular places such as Mansfield Palace Theatre, the museum and old library, The Bowl public house and the elaborate number 11 Leeming Street, built in 1901 as one of Jesse Boot’s first chemist stores.
The group’s pilot tour, just before the college closed for the end-of-year, was a great success, and included film and TV media students who recorded the event, while guests enjoyed hearing the history of historic Leeming Street and its stunning architecture, the college said.
The tour group – Brooke Marshall, Molly Salkeld, Tamara Case and Sadie Barlow – has spent months putting together a professional business plan for the guided tours, taking into account the costs associated with this kind of tourist business, a cash flow analysis, how to script and deliver the historical information in an engaging way and how to market such an enterprise.
Travel and tourism tutor Dan Wilcockson, said: “The first tour really couldn’t have gone better.
“The students really showed off their tour-guiding skills, along with just how hard they had researched their town, and presented the facts in a very engaging way, injecting their own personalities and humour into it."
The MTHP is run jointly between Mansfield District Council and Mansfield BID.
Councillor Stuart Richardson, portfolio holder for regeneration and growth, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by these talented students and exactly what the community engagement programme of the Townscape Heritage Project aims to achieve.”