GUEST COLUMN: A busy month for me, by Mansfield Mayor, Coun Kate Allsop.

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I really hope you have enjoyed the summer; I don’t think we have done too badly with the weather.

I know lots of you have visited the events in Mansfield town centre and made the most of the sunny days. The beach in the Market Place has been very popular. The museum has been busy all summer, 40 percent more visitors than last year through its doors which is testament to their successful displays and events.

The Palace Theatre is busy preparing for this year’s pantomime, Aladdin. The cast this year are, Gemma Naylor as Princess Jasmine, Philip Martin Brown as Abanazar, Chirs Edgerley as Aladdin, David Rumelle as Widow Twankey and Mark James as Wishy Washy, for tickets call the box office on 01623 633133.

Last weekend was Heritage Weekend where our district’s historical gems were open to enable visitors to look round and learn of our heritage. The museum staff were in the town centre re launching the heritage trail, providing leaflets to direct you to our heritage buildings and places of interest. The Old Meeting House opened its doors to display local arts and crafts whilst the adjoining Chapel wowed visitors with its remarkable interior. Download a map of the trail from www.mansfield.gov.uk or pick one up from the museum.

On September 3, the Red Ensign Flag was raised by the deputy mayor at the Civic Centre to mark Merchant Navy Day. The Rev Fudger held a small service to remember seafarers past and present.

Pageantmaster Bruno Peeks has worked hard nationally to see the Red Ensign Flag raised around the country to encourage us all to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the Merchant Navy.

I attended the Nottinghamshire Best Bar None Awards at the Civic Centre. The awards are to recognise responsible retailers and raise standards across the licensee industry. This has been the first year a county-wide scheme had been run for Nottinghamshire, not only was the response really good from licensees in the area, but the level at which some venues are already operating is outstanding. Our local winners were After Dark, Andwhynot, The Bold Forester, The Cheeky Monkey, The Court House, Crown and Anchor, The Green Dragon, Havanas Tapas Bar, Industria, Illusions Nightclub, The Late Lounge, Rewind Nightclub, Rush Late Bar, The Stag and Pheasant, The Sunnydale Inn, The Swan, The Three Lions and The Widow Frost. Special congratulations go to Havanas Tapas Bar, Illusions Nightclub, The Late Lounge, Rewind Nightclub and The Stag and Pheasant who all go forward to the county ceremony.

I mentioned in my last column that I was opening the new Italian restaurant Ciao Bella on Nottingham Road, Mansfield. The opening was a great success, the owners have made a wonderful job of renovating the building, I wish them the very best of luck.

We are delighted to have won the small city category for East Midlands in Bloom this year, winning a Silver Guilt Award, this award reflects the hard work undertaken in recent months by partners, residents and local businesses who have created some great displays this year. Well done.