Brick Kiln Lane.
My grandparents and parents had some friends on Brick Kiln Lane they were quite old when we used to visit them more my grandparents age than that of my parents they must have passed away many years ago. I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think they’d ever had any children maybe they did, I don’t know, they were a Mr and Mrs Stocks and lived at Hospital Cottage the last building on the left hand side before Abbot Road, I believe at one time it was either a Typhoid or Cholera hospital, very isolated when it was built no doubt to keep the inmates well away from the population of Mansfield.
When we used to visit Mr and Mrs Stocks in the 1950s I remember the cottage had a beautiful garden with a sunken lawn in the middle and on the lawn was the biggest tortoise I had ever seen, they must have had it years, they also kept chickens at the top of the garden. There were no water mains at that time at that end of the lane so the only water supply in the house was a hand pump at the side of a stone sink in the kitchen, the water being pumped from a well in the garden, I don’t know if they had electricity but I can only remember being there in daylight so they might have had gas lights.
The down side of them not being connected to mains water is that they didn’t have a flush toilet not unusual to them because they’d never had one but I think thats the only one I ever saw, its certainly the only one I ever used. The lavatory was a brick building, I cant recall how far down the garden it was but I’m sure it wasn’t joined to the house, inside there was a wall about the height of a modern toilet bowl with wood on top and a hole about nine inches diameter and that was it, these were refered to as Thunderbox toilets, At the back was a trap door at ground level to allow the contents to be shoveled out, not a very nice job.
Right at the end of this era the council used a motor vehicle but I can just recall a horse drawn tank being used, this tank was about a quarter open to allow the contents of the Thunderbox to be shoveled in. It was a cylindricle tank with a cart wheel at each end, the shafts were fixed to the side so it was wider than it was long and to empty it they just took the horse out of the shafts and tipped it up,it pivotted on the axle. When the tank finally became redundant it was left on a piece of land opposite Hospital Cottage where the Cycling Proficiency course was built, when the machines moved in to level the ground I rather think it was buried where it was left.