£1.3m heritage project leaders want your Mansfield memories and stories

A £1.3 million heritage project which aims to transform Mansfield town centre wants folk to come forward with their stories and memories of the area.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:16 pm

The Mansfield Townscape Project is a five-year initiative to refurbish around 40 properties and boost the architectural quality of Mansfield’s historic centre – as well as encourage residents to learn more about their town.

It is mainly centred around the Market Place, Stockwell Gate and Leeming Street and project leaders want the public to play their part in helping them to document specific buildings’ histories and stories through time.

And as Covid-19 restrictions slowly ease over the coming months, they have a number of initiatives planned – including displays, a community drop-in space above Mansfield Building Society and ambitious plans for a light show projecting historical information and images onto the streets and buildings.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Elephant parades through Mansfield Market Place from Stockwell Gate.

The project – supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund – is hoping Chad readers will back the project by sending in their stories, memories, anecdotes and old photographs.

On its website, the scheme includes an interactive map showing the specific properties it is targeting and has already started to feature some stories.

Personal memories include circus elephants on Market Place in the 1960s and the merry-go-round near the Town Hall, well-known fundraiser Mr Splash – who was a regular sight in the town centre for many years – milkshakes at the Co-op Cafe and the Brunts Buildings in the 1970s.

Stockwell Gate facing the Market Place in 1913.

Pete Brown, community participation co-ordinator, said: “The properties in the Townscape Heritage Area have been chosen for their architectural and historical importance.

"Most of the building featured are from the 19th century, but some of Mansfield’s streets goes back to the Middle Ages, such as Leeming Street.

"When you look at places like Chester, York and Ludlow as tourist places, they are popular because they stick with traditional architecture and shop fronts. That’s what we want for Mansfield.

"Drawing people back into an attractive, unified centre will also have the knock on effect of boost trade and economy.

Mansfield Market Place circa 1930s.

"Each building featured, has a unique tale to tell and we’ll be investigating and recording those stories. We need the public’s help. We hope is that people will come forward, tell us their stories and share their old photos and memories.”For more information, visit https://www.mansfieldtownscape.org.uk/