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)

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15 Responses to Mansfield

  1. kperry says:

    kinda reminds me of Oshawa Ontario, switch football for hockey and thats pretty much it. A town infested with Tim Hortons chain Coffee shops and, layed off General Motors workers.

    • Ann Crawford says:

      I have just had a month in Mansfield with my family and dear old friends. I do admit that there has been a decline in her demeanor since those glory days of the seventies and earlier. The wonderful “market town” of days gone by is now a pitiful reminder of days spent getting bargains such as fabrics from the old mills, hosiery from the hosiery mills, shoes from the Mansfield Shoe Company, and many other items that were “made in Britain” and even locally grown produce, a carousel for the kids, a stall which sold fresh cockles and mushy peas with lots of mint vinegar on. On Sunday the no market day, the Salvation Army used to play late morning, families would stand around and sing with them. In the late 40s and 50s Mansfield was home to great number of refugees from Poland and Germany, these people added so much to Mansfield’s very small town community. My mother was on the Mansfield Town Ladies football team, her two brothers received offers from top soccer teams to play with them. Gone are the days of trips to the seaside from the local train station, walking to the train station at 5.00am in the morning and leaving the seaside on the 5.00pm train back to Mansfield. We all knew our neighbors and tried to help people who came from other countries to integrate into the community. Mansfield has a long history of hard working proud people, a lot of these families robbed of their livelihoods by the closing of the coalmines, hosiery mills, cotton mills, now only remnants remain of these industries, something which has affected not only Mansfield, but towns and cities all over the world. I live in Clinton, Tennessee USA which had a huge Levi factory where so many of the old Clintonites worked, a river which spawned fresh water pearls, River boats which took lumbar, coal from local coal mines. Coalmining here was also one of the largest industries in this area, to be transported by steam trains to ports to go who knows where. Now, no hosiery mills, no railways lines for the public, no river boats, no coal mines; so the way of the world has caught up with us all, an inevitable decline of one life to the birth of another life; some communities have faired better than others, some communities have disappeared altogether. In saying all of this, a huge part of my heart remains in Mansfield, with all her faults, she is home to so many good people and I think the article written above makes Mansfield sound like the cesspit of the earth with ignorant, uneducated people throwing dirty needles on the pavements; none of which do I see. I think the Mansfield’s penchant for soccer is no different to the advocates here of American football or the Australians for cricket. I just wonder who
      wrote this article and has he/she ever spent time with the people of Mansfield.

      • kperry says:

        I do not know, I just have a very good friend that lives there, I know you judge a town by its people not by appearances but it is the appearance that people remember

  2. Stylo says:

    I spent 2 years attending college in Mansfield. I’ve been there a lot. I have family that live in a village near by. This article is completely accurate and it is an utter shit-hole. That is all.

  3. Ant Hible says:

    Ann Crawford questions whether I have ‘ever spent time with the people of Mansfield’? Well seeing as not only do I have to live and work in the town with no immediate means of escape available to me at present, yes I can categorically confirm, I have indeed spent time, far too much for my taste, around the people of Mansfield. Yes, there a few nice folk. Simpletons, but nice. But for the most part, my eyes are confronted with the sight of tracksuit clad youths spending their dole on cheap cider. My mind is confounded with the knowledge that known alcoholics are given MONEY BY THE GOVERNMENT to fund their liver bashing habits. My ears are buggered from all angles by the sound of barely educated morons drooling over the unattainable dream of ‘winnin on t’lottery’ rather than going out into the big wide world and earning something for themselves. It is an utter dive of a town, populated to a large extent by the sort of people who breed purely for financial gain. So yes, Ms Crawford, I have indeed ‘spent time’ here. 20 years to be exact, and at the age of 22 that’s pretty much my lifetime. The day I leave this miserable, squalid little hole of exuberant despair will be the finest of my days so far.

    • samjordison says:

      To be honest, this ugly rightwing diatribe made me like the people of Mansfield more not less.

      • Ant says:

        I also do rather hope that my piece of frankly outlandish sentiment is taken in the clearly over exaggerated way in which I wrote it, done so mainly for the puropse of a small slice of darkly morose humor. This is, of course, in no way a reflection upon every single person in the town, many of whom I find to be genuinely warm and good natured. Its is, as with any modern settlement, the ‘bad’ people amongst us that bring a place down, and it towards those I direct my admittedly scathing and perhaps bitter account. But nonetheless, I still rather look forward to leaving the town behind.

      • samjordison says:

        Thanks for posting that clarification. I was worrying that the site had temporarily turned into the Daily Heil letters page…

  4. Ant says:

    Now, Tory influenced mass media. That’s a whole ‘nother level of disgrace haha.

  5. Lady Grahams says:

    What about the Mansfield Girls?

  6. petrolhead says:

    Can’t believe no one’s mentioned the mansfield circuit yet. Check it out

  7. Sonya graham says:

    I was born in Clipstone, a very happy place to be when I was a kid, my grandad died at the pit here, my dad had his working life here, my first hubby worked at the pit all his life. When I was a kid I used to play behind the pit canteen, used to go there sometimes for a dinner, Clipstone was a fantastic place to grow up. I used to go down Baulker Lane to play, we used to play cricket in the green opposite where I was borne, it was a safe happy pace, my dad knew everyone on Forrest Road, I went to the pictures which is now a pub/venue. The roads weren’t busy like they are now, don’t let anyone say Clipstone wasn’t a nice place, because I was. I still live here, and have fond memories of when I was a kid. We saw miners strikes ( which we didn’t want) I saw the nuns from Nazerath house come collecting at the pit gates. My dad was a youth leader for many years and was well liked and respected in the village. This is where I was borne, and I love Clipstone. My name was Sonya Milner, now Sonya Graham, and am very proud to come from Clipstone

    • Boza Boy says:

      No, thats why you lot are still called scabs. You thought you would be ok while the rest of the mining industry went to the wall – well what goes around comes around…..

      • Sutton Stag says:

        no way were we going to follow a rug headed, yorkshire, communist nomark like scargill. unlike you sheep! By the way have you managed to evict comrade scargill from his millionaires apartment in the barbican yet? no, didnt think so!

  8. Adam Rowley says:

    I am heroin addict from Mansfield and frown on discarded needle’s so please get the needles and special brew cans out of your mind. This town has more to offer than that so pay it a visit. Robin hood chilled at a forest up the road . Up the stags too n Nottingham is up the way too.

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