Imagine if you will, a once vibrant market town populated by proud working class pit-men, no-nonsense housewives and the opulent owners of a great number of textile factories. Well, you’d be imagining an entirely different town to Mansfield.
In truth, Mansfield is a decaying, forgotten, meaningless pit of social exclusion left behind by the rampant industrial closures of the Thatcher era.
Here, science and philosophy are seen as a weakness, to be foregone for an almost religious obsession with football, badly modified Renault Clio’s, spousal abuse, vandalism and public urination. The odd well-mannered, artistically-minded or intelligent person can crop up in town now and again, but such people are looked upon as outsiders, not to be trusted, and in most cases to be destroyed. As a result, the general intelligence level overall would be best described as like watching an otter trying to gnaw through a pencil, never mind write his own name.
In Crap Towns II it was noted that the most popular local past-time was “hanging out a the bus station.” For a long time, the biggest feature in the town centre was indeed the 1977-built, concrete horror. But, to be fair, a new bus station is in development; it seems the mountainous heaps of used needles and discarded Special Brew cans will find a glossier home in the near future.
Anthony Hible (and others)