Living on Bradder Street in the 1940's

In the beginning

I was born at 67 Bradder Street. Mansfield. Nottingham…On the 29th 0f November 1933, and believe it or not, I was at birth. At one month old I had phneumonia and was given up by the Doctor, and were it not for a home made concoction of Fever Mixture made by my mother, I would not be here…When the Doctor came the next day, he told my mother that he expected to see the curtains drawn… I was the seventh child of my mother, she was a widow when my father and she married, and so I was the fifth child of my father.

‘Paying your way’

There is an old saying ” Living Hand To Mouth. ” I don’t really know what it means, what I do know is that when the folk of Bradder Street had paid their way, most families hadn’t two ha’pennies to rub together. In those days everything was Weekly, the rent was 4s..2d a week, the shop book  ( bill ) had to be paid,( everyone ran up a weekly bill at the corner shop.) If you bought any clothes or furniture or indeed, anything, it was always on the weekly payment scheme. Also the tallyman and insurance man had to be paid. I cannot remember anything  being paid for Monthly…. People had to work long hours for low wages.Only the well off owned their own house. Everyone else paid rent, and the rent man came every Saturday morning.( I guess that was because he knew people were paid on Fridays ).

In and around Bradder Street

Bradder Street was absolutely surrounded by railways, and the river Maun ran along the bottom of the street parrallel to Quarry Lane untill it reached the Field Mill Damn, of which the Mansfield Town football ground is named. I recently visited Bradder Way on a nostalgia trip, and noticed the old stone wall at the rear of where our home used to be, was still the same. I used to use that wall as access to what was the Tippin between Bradder Street and Sibthorpe Street…The Tippin used to be an old sand quarry between the two streets,which was filled in with waste from the town’s business’s. I remember finding many a treasure there as a youngster. The Tippin was used and fenced off to store ammunition during the war. Night watchmen used to gaurd the perimeter every night. In it’s sand quarry days, a caretaker of the quarry used to live in an old tin hut there. His name was Billy Brierley, and all the young kids were frightened to death of him. At the Quarry Lane end of the Tippin on Sibthorpe Street, there was  a Slaughter house…Bradder Street was named after the Bradder family who lived in the big house at the bottom of the street, I think it was named Arlington House. This was later to become a Fish and Chip shop when a family named Austin moved in.

How people lived

The people who lived on the street were from all walks of life, but in the main were Coal Miners. They would come home from the Pit in all their ” muck “, and as there were no bathrooms in the houses, they would bathe in a tin bath in front of the fire. With only a cold water tap in the Kitchen, water was ladled from the tap to a boiler at the side of the fire grate, the other side of the grate was the oven. When one went to bed at night in Winter,the oven shelf would be taken out of the oven,wrapped in a sheet and used as a bed warmer, it was lovely to put your feet on…we went to bed by candle light, having a metal dish like holder for the candle. Others were employed at the Mills, Railways, Hosiery Factorys, Bus’s,  etc. Everyone seemed to have a job in those days. Some Miners were killed or injured at work, It was then that everyone rallied round….There were two corner shops on the street, and when anyone passed away, a collection was made round the street, a vase was purchased and put in one of the shop windows. Any monies left over was given to the family. People did not seem to live as long then, and were usually laid out in the coffin in the front room untill the day of the funeral. There was no such thing as a T.V. we did rent a wireless which was powered by an accumerlator which had to be changed every week to be recharged. Everyone would gather round the wireless to hear it. I remember listening to the announcement  saying that we are at war with Germany. The rent for the wireless was 6d a week.

The war years and rationing took its toll on the families. Food was in very short supply and a weeks rations didn,t go very far. It was at this time that Allotments came into their own. Bread was the main diet, and just about everyone made their own jam and did their own baking.

Games and pastimes

Kids hung about in small gangs but didn’t get into any trouble. They played games including football, rounders, dob, fag-cards. tin-a-lurky, marbles, hopscotch,skipping and cricket, using a dustbin lid for the wickets. You always knew when you were bowled out with a dustbin lid, It made a large bang. We used to bowl an old bicycle rim with a small stick and run down the street with it. In summer we used to go swimming  in the Hermitage Damn, or paddling on Titchfield Park. Another treat was going on a picnic to the Hermitage and taking a thick chunk of bread and a Tizer bottle filled with water, This we could only have after having a paddle in the river Maun trying to catch minnows with a home made fishing net..Fishing was always a great pastime at the Crawler near to Reed Mills…And it was great fun playing in what was called ” The Robin Hood “…..Near to Bonfire night,” Scragging” another gangs bonfire was a great achievement.


There were no muggings and no vandals, no one had anything to steal. There was respect and kindness  and caring from everyone in those days, and folk were safe going out in the dark. No one worried about not locking their doors, no one had ” nowt “… If we had a  1d in our pockets/purse, we felt rich. Everyone looked out for each other.


There were no holidays abroad, infact it was not untill after the war that we went on holiday  at all, in a caravan at Skegness. Let me tell you how we got to Skegness for that holiday…..From Mansfield we bought a workers return to Newark. From Newark we bought another workers return to Lincoln. From Lincoln we had to buy a return ticket at full price to Skegness, all by Bus. Quite a trek, but worth it.

Air Raid Shelters & Call up

For the safety of all citizens, there were two brick and concrete Air-Raid Shelters built on Bradder Street. There was also one in the Brickyard, an underground one at the side of the Engine Sheds, and an underground one in the allotments at Moorlane School…Most streets had Air-Raid Shelters built during the war. The number of people in the street were reduced when the war started, except for the Miners ( and some of those enlisted ). Men were called up to the services, and many ladies went in the Land Army…Even I received my calling up papers at the age of 9 years old… The War Office had got it wrong. One of my mothers first children who had died at the age of 2,  ( my half brother ), had the same initial as me, and they sent his papers addressed to me.  I wonder what would have been said had I turned up ….


Bradder Street was not on a bus route, the nearest one could get near to the street from down town was Sutton Road, close to Moor Lane. Most folk used to walk everywhere. There was no electricity, only gas. It was 1953 before electricity arrived on the street. The old Gas Lighter man used to come round morning and night to turn the street lamps on and off. The lamps were a good place to congregate, and great to ” swarm up “…The lamps were not lit during the Blackout and no house had to have any light showing. If you had a chink of light showing, the Air Raid Warden would shout Put That Light Out !! There was a man who came around to wake you up for work, or if there was an emergency.  A ” Knocker Up ” man who carried a long pole and would knock on your bedroom window untill you showed him you were out of bed.

My Father

My father worked at the Engine Sheds, he came from Cambridge, but always kept his accent. I believe he worked in the stores/office in the Engine Sheds, was always dressed up, wore patent leather boots, and was always spotless. He new first aid, and was often called upon in an emergency, hence being awoken by the ” Knocker Up ” man. He was once called out to save a mans life who had fallen into the Brickyard pond. Many is the time that I had to take him his Sunday dinner between two plates and wrapped around with a tea cloth, along with a pop bottle full of tea. He had a telephone in his office, a wall type with the earpiece hung on the side, and a handle you turned to call the operater. He passed away just a week after the war in Europe ended. I remember he was in the Victoria (The old Workhouse ). I went to see him with my Mother, but was not allowed to see him, I could not go in because I was only 11 years old, and I had to be 14 to be allowed in.

Joy and saddness

In the summer of 1945,   I learned that I had passed my 11 plus for High Oakham Boys School. How sad it was my father had not lived to hear.


Growing up on Bradder Street was fantastic, and I would not change it for the world. I’m sorry that I wondered away from the street for a moment… I remember the Miners on the street had a monthly allowance of a ton of coal. This was tipped on the street and had to be barrowed into the coalhouse at the back of the house. If I got the coal in for anyone I could have the last two barrows as payment. This would help keep our fire going.

An escapeism for we youngsters was the tu’penny rush. I remember my sister Ina taking me as a child to the Hippodrome on a Saturday afternoon. We bought a ha’puth of monkey nuts in their shells to eat inside. What a mess we must have left behind. Flash Gorden, Johnny Mac Brown, The Black Hand Gang, Gene Autrey and others. Of course later we went to the Granada. All this took our young minds off everyday happenings.

I received a very good schooling at Moorlane School,I was only 3 years old when I started, and I also remember being put to bed in the afternoon on a fold up bed. I remember school dinners being 1s..8d for the week. It was always good to get past the ” Nit-nurse ” without her taking your name. I will always be greatful to High Oakham School, I feel I learned so much. Pop Payling always made the class say the verse ” They shall grow not old.” I had to leave in 1948. The teachers wanted me to stay on and take the School Certificate Exam. But unfortunately I was the only one at home with my widdowed mother, and I had to leave school  to help with the income.

Alan Curtis





Comments about this page

  • My own ancestry, prepared for me by John Bradder of Corringham, Newark, tells me that a George Bradder of Mansfield built the terrace houses that are quoted here. I understand this was done in 1836 or thereabouts.
    The houses have all gone now I understand, but Mansfield council have kept the name Bradder on one of their industrial estates, there is a “Bradder Way”. I was pleased to learn this as having followed my mothers footsteps and started work at the coop local shop, at 14 years old. No real prospects, so night school, qualified accounting and auditing, changed jobs doing accounts for a building contractor, 1948. Then stayed in the industry till retiring last year, having been in contracting and architectural work for 74 years. My youngest son is in the industry having done lots of really good quality work.
    Did my first plans for two detached houses in Wollaton Vale, Nottingham, still have the original linen negatives.

    By Ivan Bradder (08/07/2023)
  • Hello Everyone, I have told you all I know, now it is time to let some of the youngsters take over.. Now well into my Eighties, I want to thank you all for your comments about life on the old street.. It is with great fondness I remember the folk who lived on the Street. All the people who lived there cared,  they cared for each other, and yet they were all equal folk, non better than any other.. There was a community with a natural willingness to help their neighbours,  This was prominently shown when someone passed away, People would knock on doors to let  their neighbours know when the horse and carriages, one to collect the coffin from out of the front room, and one , maybe two to take the bereaved family to the church and cemetery, had arrived on the street.. It used to be therefore, that the whole street turned out to pay their respects and farewells to a person, who to them ,was not only a neighbour, but a street family neighbour..  So you see my friends, the closeness in a street like Bradder Street, was not only like an oriented family, it was a bond that was very hard to explain.. The nearest I can get is, there was a street  bond of love, Their houses were open to anyone , there was no class distinction, everyone was the same class of folk who , if you needed it. Would give you their last ha’penny. There are very few of the old street left now.. However, when I visit the area of my childhood and youth, I can see the old people and families who lived on a street with a great history.. Oh and yes, many would, and did, enjoy a pint in the old Byron Pub….. Thank you all  alan 

    By Alan Curtis (22/01/2016)
  • I doubt very much if the children of today could comprehend what life was really like in the first years of the 1900’s. For a start, just about all the terraced houses had outside toilets, and all the pipes were made from lead. The very bad winters caused havoc, with the pipes freezing and then thawing.  It is almost imposible to imagine these days.

    Although there were small fireplaces in the bedrooms, they were very rarely used for a fire, for two reasons, 1. we had no coal, 2. it was dangerous with the wooden floor being so close.  In winter, you could see your breath each time you breathed out. It was a good job that newspapers were so cheap, one old penny each. Once read and finished  with, they were either used to light the sticks to light the fire.. or cut into squares as toilet paper. It is no wonder that life was much shorter in those days.  

    By alan curtis (11/12/2014)
  • Hi Alan my name is Valerie Noble I was born in Arlington House and Sam was my grandfather. Reading these comments brought back memories from my childhood. I used to go to school with Joyce Abrams and the gang. My mum and I used to go your house and visit your mum. I am living in South Australia. regards Valerie Noble. 

    By Valerie Noble (02/06/2014)
  • Valerie Noble, that name rings a bell. Jim and Marge’s daughter.  Marge was always popping into our house, in fact, everyone was always popping into our house, the door was always open. Valerie, you must remember Eileen, she is doing very well, 83 years old this month. Marge was very close friends with my sister Alice, her husband Reg Atkins, used to drink in the old Byron Pub with Jim, who must have been your father. I knew them all very well, and have very fond memories of all the Austin family. I can even remember Sam Austin and his wife, (your Gran), and the large family. all living in Arlington House together, at one time. Carmel and Reg were big mates, always after making an easy 10 bob! Your Gran was rather a large lady, frightened me to death. I remember, Joyce Abrams, I thinks she went to High Oakham School after Moor Lane. It was her brother Jack who I knew better. There are quite a few people from the old town who emigrated to Oz. Best Wishes to them all. Loved hearing from you. Alan

    By alan curtis (02/06/2014)
  • Alan, Sibthorpe Street does still exist you gain access to it from Highfield Way off Quarry Lane only one side of the street is in use and is occupied by S.R.Payne scrap dealers. At the top end furthest from Quarry Lane some of the original houses remain being used as dry storage for the company.

    By Stephen Walker (22/05/2014)
  • In that case Stephen, I take it the name Highfield Way comes from the rough field that was where the old Sand Quarry between Sibthorpe St. and Bradder St. used to be before it was filled in. The ground was certainly higher than Quarry Lane. When I looked, it had all been built on for industrial use. Thank You for your help.

    By alan curtis (22/05/2014)
  • Hello Garry, G’Day Mate. As the person who has mentioned Fatty Man’s Bank on the site a few times, without repeating myself it would be of help to your questions if you look at other sites on Oldmansfieldandarea. I suggest Quarry Lane, Arlington sketch. Byron Yard sketch. Yes the Old Lord Byron Pub has been demolished.The Bottom Shop Sketch, and other Bradder Street pages.  I could not find Sibthorpe Street the last visit I made to Mansfield, this is apart from the old stone houses that face Quarry Lane along the bottom of Sibthorpe Street. If you can remember the entrance to the old Sand Quarry, the tunnelled arch that runs under the railway viaduct, Fatty Mans. Bank is adjoining the railway embankment on the right before you enter under the tunnel. The bank was made up of white sand stone, soil and grassland, and plenty of trees. Wonderful area to play on as nippers. Enjoy Memory Lane, Don’t know how it came to get it’s name !!

    By alan curtis (19/05/2014)
  • As a person who was born on Bradder Street at Arlinton House 1953  then returned early sixties until 1970, I have some beautiful memories I really do, however can any one tell me about Fatty Mans Bank? I do remember the name but  not sure of the place, also  does anyone remember the allotments on Quarry lane? And what happened to the Lord Byron pub is it still there, and Sibthorpe St is that still standing?

    Regards Gary Noble.

    By Gary Noble (16/05/2014)
  • My mind has wandered back to the old Mansfield, the Mansfield I grew up in….When I think back to those days of my childhood, they were innocent days, happy days, days when we had no real worries, My Mum and Dad saw to that, a lesson I was to learn as I grew older, and pass on to my own children….I can only remember having one pair of boots, for everything…I remember having a coat, but I never had a jacket. All boys had to wear those very rough jerseys, I recall they were like sandpaper. but we didn’t care, they were warm. It’s funny thinking of those far off days, And being so young I had no worries whatsoever, I find myself back in my old Bradder Street, the houses with neighbours who were worth their weight in gold…The black iron cooking fire ,with The oven on the right, and a small boiler on the left…You could bake bread in the oven, ( everyone baked their own bread ). It was a time when farmers still used horses to plough the fields. Cars had not quite come into their own , for we could play on the street without the fear of being run over.. Horses were the main mode of transport, although buses were coming into their own.. If you owned a horse and cart, you could always earn a few bob, milk was delivered by horse and cart, bread was too. Oh Happy Days, Alan

    By alan curtis (28/02/2014)
  • Thank you Ivan, Allan was indeed a true Gentleman, and he was very close to my wife..I feel the reason being that Allan was the youngest in the family, my wife being the second eldest had the task of taking him under her wing. And everywhere she went, Allan went…In his younger days he worked very hard for the Coal Industry, doing much schooling to improve his knowledge of the mines and those who worked in them.. He did much for the miners of the area.

    By alan curtis (03/01/2014)
  • Lovely to read your stories Alan, I was born on Moor Street in 1943.  I believe I went to school with Alan Allsopp your brother in law at High oakham. Our paths crossed very often during our British Coal days, Alan was a true gentleman.

    By ivan sanders (06/12/2013)
  • Today my visit to my old town was fantastic, for I drove around many of the places I knew as a child. Past Moor Lane School, and onto the surrounding streets. My mind went into overdrive as I passed each area that brought the memories flooding back. I even saw the queues of evacuees with their small cases and gas masks lined up to start another war adventure, I can even see the fear and confusion in their small faces! I saw the Salvation Army building at the top of Old Victoria Street, and turning into the parking area, I said to my wife and sister, I must go in here. I noticed it was in some way different, and was informed on inquiring that the old building had been demolished. I was looking for some older people, but I didn’t need to worry, for all the folk in there were my age and older. One man told me he was born in 1922 in the Workhouse. All his family stayed and lived at the Workhouse.

    When everyone was on the bus, I popped my head in the bus and said anyone from Bradder Street, one man from the back seat said ” Near enough “On inquiring where, he replied, “Quarry Lane” at the bottom of Sibthorpe Street. He asked my name , then said “I went to school with your brother, is it you who writes about Bradder Street on the computer? Alan

    By Alan Curtis (28/08/2013)
  • I recall another miner who in 1943 never returned from his night shift down the pit.It was Mr Crosby who lived with his family lived at number 53 Bradder Street, which was just a few houses below us. He left a wife and two daughters , Eileen and Glenys Crosby. I believe it was another roof cave-in that was the cause. I very much doubt there is not a street in Mansfield that escaped the bereavement of the loss of a miner in the twentieth century.I believe that the past miners of the pits in and around our town could create a most interesting page.

    By alan curtis (25/01/2013)
  • I have just been reading about the high cost to the Mansfield mining families of retrieving the coal from the bowels of the earth. And what a cost it was !. I don’t think the youth of today can perceive what the miners of yesteryear gave and sweated to make this country of ours so great for them to enjoy the standard of living we all take for granted today. A start to the miner’s recognition has been the allowing of the Bevan Boys’ to march at the cenotaph in London on the Sunday nearest the 11th November. Their hard work during WW2 was very much appreciated at that time. I was looking for any further history about Bradder St. when I came across the name Joseph Coupe , of number 40 Bradder St. Now I remembered the Coupes, at least I remembered Old lady Coupe. I then went on to read that Joseph had been killed whilst working down the pit . He had been crushed by tubs, and died on the 26/10/1932.  I then went on to read, Reuben Allen ( there were quite a few Allen’s in the Brickyard ) of 3 Brickyard Row, died 25/11/1932  -fall of roof.(Brickyard Row must have been what we called the Ten Row ). Henry Vallance 7 Victoria Terrace, ( Lived next door to my Aunt. No.6 ) Died , cause read, kicked on head by pony. The one that read, Louis Clifford Storer of number 6 Victoria Terrace, age 14, ( must have been my Aunt Flo’s lad ), died 25/12/1918, cause: run over by tubs.He would have been my cousin. Fourteen year old youngsters working down the mine. It must have been back breaking work for all those who went to work down that shaft .From the turn of the 1800’s to the 1900’s there were literally hundreds of good men killed.

    By alan curtis (24/01/2013)
  • Hi, I have remembered something else we did in the 1940’s. As I have previously said, the Tippin was a great adventurous playground for ” us kids ” in the 1940’s, and as the eager to learn children we were in those days, we dug out trenches and put all kinds of wood across the trench,then lay old corrugated sheets over the wooden joists , and shovelled the dug out soil on top of the corrugated sheets. This made a marvellous den for our gang. Also in the 40’s, in the shops, you could buy metal moulds that when placed together, one could melt lead and pour it into the mould , and Hey Presto. open the two sides of the mould and you had a brand new toy soldier in shiny new lead…Of course , the moulds were out of our reach for cost, and we could not afford one….However, using what brains we had, we got an old lead soldier, dug some clay out of the ground, using two pats of clay,we made our own mould by placing the old lead soldier between the two pats of clay, and carefully opened the clay which showed the imprint of the soldier…In those days there always seemed to be plenty of old pieces of lead about…We made a fire, melted the pieces of lead in an old beans tin which had been pressed in at the top to make a pouring spout, then poured the lead into our home made mould…How enterprising was that ?

    By alan curtis (27/11/2012)
  • Mandy, Mandy, Mandy, what a pleasant surprise, cannot remember when I last saw you, and how lovely to hear from you…Your Mum knew more about old Bradder Street than I, and as a youngster your Mum “Ina” took me everywhere…It was she who first took me to the Mansfield Swimming Baths. The 3ft 6ins end was deeper than I was tall, and I went straight under. I didn’t give up though, soon became a water baby…Nice to hear from you,will look you up when next in Mansfield……Alan

    By alan curtis (16/05/2012)
  • Hello Alan its nice to read about things that my mother would have seen and done in her early years. I have fond memories of Bradder Street myself even though I was only about eight at the time I went to see my new cousin who had not long been born. My mum your sister Ina went to see Eileen. I was sent to he shop at the top of the street and the old lady shopkeeper knew who I was she said ”are you Ina’s daughter” so even though I didnt live there she new me.

    By mandy warren (15/05/2012)
  • Hi Berisford, glad I can bring a smile to some folk.Nevertheless, it was a sight when I was a Nipper that I saw many times.. and at that time to me, everyone looked old, and their clothes looked even older….That was a time when even the Rag and Bone men were poor….and even the goldfish they gave you for a few old woollens were minnows….They used to stand outside the school in order that you would run home and pester your Mum for some old woollens that she did not have….Anyway Berisford, back to the Farmer and his wife story….Many years ago I learned that not only did you not ask a lady her age, you never ever said that she looked old…still today that is sound advice… Nice to hear from you though…..alan

    By alan curtis (12/05/2012)
  • That made me smile Alan, old farmer, old bull, old cow, old rope, old clothes, old hat……..but his wife wasn’t old then? Nice old story!

    By Berisford Jones (11/05/2012)
  • It was quite a common sight in the late 30’s and 40’s. to see an old farmer walking along Quarry Lane leading an old bull, or an old cow, with an old piece of bull rope,and I often wondered if they had come straight from the Cattle Market. But I guess there were hundreds of farms in the area where they could have come from…Of course I knew where they were going to, They were going to the Slaughter House at the bottom of Sibthorpe Street. The old farmer would be dressed in his old farmer’s clothes, boots ,leggings ,jacket that had seen many a day, and of course an even older hat. Most had big rosy cheeks that had seen many a sunrise ,and a big red nose that had looked down into many a gill of ale. They always wore a hat, one that looked like it had trod on many times…sometimes his wife would make the trip and take the bull or the cow to the Slaughter House….It was later that the word A’bottoir. came into being. The Slaughter House, as it was called then, was at the Quarry Lane end of Sibthorpe Street….It was at the rear of a pair of semi’s ( houses ) that stood on Quarry Lane.. I believe the terraced row of old stone cottages are still standing,and the old Slaughter House was across from them at the corner of the old tippin… There was an opening into the Slaughter House on the Tippin side, It had a high stone wall in front of the opening just wide enough for the bull to enter. Once in the bull had nowhere to go. It was here that the execution took place. A cobbled sunken sluice trough leading from behind the high wall would be used to swill blood etcetera down to the grid on Quarry Lane….not a lot of hygiene in those days. The Mason family who lived near the bottom of Bradder Street. I believe it was number 13, were butchers, unrelated to the Mason family who lived near to us at number 71…..

    By alan curtis (03/05/2012)
  • Although there were no ” well off ” folks live on Bradder Street, in the 30’s and 40’s. there was always plenty of outside things to do and learn. Nature provided much for us to take on board. As well as the habitat and breeding ground of the Cocoa Pond for the Frogs there was another spot in the old sand quarry. It was  at the foot of an old sand-stone rock face that two small ponds had formed. The ponds were about a foot deep, and the stones that had been left in them provided the ideal habitat and breeding for the Newts that lived there. And of course, we had the river Maun which flowed past the bottom of the street. Passing under the first arch of the railway viaduct along Quarry Lane, and turning left, you crossed the footbridge into The Byron yard. Turning left again, the unmade road lead you past about five old stone terraced houses that had been built next to the river. Continuing along this road in the same direction as the river, you would pass what was known to us as ” Fatty Man’s Bank “, a great little area that we as children would enjoy. The paths along this bank were white stone, many of the children would take a block of this stone home, and their mothers would use the stone to clean and whiten their front door step. Fatty Man’s Bank was a hill that lay alongside the railway embankment. The arches of the viaduct had crossed the river Maun at the end of the F.M.B., there was another archway tunnel that lead under the railway into the old sand quarry, by turning left. If you didn’t turn left, the rocky road would take you into Gregory’s Stone Quarry and eventually lead you to Nottingham Road. At the end of the archway tunnel, on the right was the old house and yard that belonged to the sand quarry owner. We had the Railways and the Trains, the Tippin and the Hayfield to play on, the old brickyard to explore, the mill ponds to skate on, the dams to fish and swim. Farms to Potato Pick, the cornfields to wander through, the winding country lanes to walk, the Hermitage to picnic, the cattle market to get close to the animals, the Swimming Baths to enjoy, the 2d Rush on a Saturday, the cheap bus fares, the sledging in winter. The Robin Hood and river Maun were a great source of adventure, the Crawler for catching minnows, and probably most of all, we had neighbours that “cared.” What a lovely upbringing we all had, and what a great experience for us. It didn’t do us any harm.

    By Alan Curtis (15/01/2012)
  • Bradder Street – It is no wonder that any unmade road around Bradder St. was covered with ash and clinkers. There was an abundance of this waste from : the brickyard, the engine sheds and trains, home fires, smithies, and iron founders. Just about all this waste derived form the burning of coal and coke. It provided a great top cover for walking on and when compacted, helped stop weeds growing. Although when not compacted and left, it allowed a weed we used to call ” Stinking Nanny ” to grow through. If you rubbed your hand against the weed , it left you with a pungent smell that lasted until you washed it. The Cocoa Pond at the furthest corner of the Hayfield away from Bradder St., close to Sheep-bridge Lane and the old factory of Turners, there was a pond, locally known as the Cocoa Pond. The water in this pond was the colour of the chocolate drink, and if you paddled in it, your legs and feet looked like you were wearing Lyle Stockings. I didn’t know if the pond was man made, or if it was natural drainage from the water table and the pond formed over a thick layer of red clay. However, I suppose the Brickworks may have mined some clay. The pond was home to hundreds of frogs, and as young children we learned much about nature from the frog spawn and tadpoles. Marvellous Memories.

    By Alan Curtis (13/01/2012)
  • As with nearly all football teams , they start with a kick around on a makeshift football pitch, between two teams with coats laid down for goal posts, and there could be anything up to sixteen players on each side. This was exactly how it was for Bradder St., playing on the Hayfield, before they applied to enter there team in the Under 18’s Mansfield League. I recall it was 1946 and I helped to mark out the pitch on the Hayfield with the father of one of the team, Mr. Adams. His son ” Snowy ” was a very good footballer. Unfortunately at that time, I was too young to play with the big boys, but I did play for Mansfield Boys. Mr. Walter Howieson took charge of the team, and opposing teams had to change in his front room. Quite a squeeze for the room was only 12ft x 12ft. Nevertheless, the team were very successful, and it was not long before Bradder St. were entering a team in the Under 14 League. This team I was eligible to play in proceeding up to both the under 15 and under 16 with the same set of lads. Mr. Wilson from the street took charge of the younger Bradder St. Boys team. I have never heard of this before, but it did happen. When putting the young team together, we played one match against The Folk House on Chesterfield Rd.Rec. The second match was against a team in Mansfield Woodhouse. Not quite sure where the pitch was, but we caught a bus to Woodhouse centre, walked up towards Park Hall Rd., the road forked left, and the football pitch was on the left. We had been playing for about 20 minutes when a very large Policeman walked onto the pitch and stopped the game. He took the names of all the players and officials. Nothing more was heard of the matter, but of course, “No Games Were Allowed on a Sunday” !!!! A sad end to my tale is that Mr. Walter Howieson became a statistic of miners who were killed in the mines.

    By Alan Curtis (12/01/2012)
  • Coal mining by many of the men of Mansfield has put many a meal on the table for their families. They had a hard, sweaty, dirty job, working in conditions that we who have never been down a pit can only imagine in our minds. In the beginning it must have been horrendous, and having lived amongst them, and seen the loss of lives caused by the excavating of coal, it is no wonder the miners liked a pint. I have never been down a pit, but many of my family have, and there are too many to name, but I do admire those who did work down in the bowels of the earth, and they are in the thousands. In Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire there were some seventy one pits, of which, in the Mansfield area there were thirteen of them. One can only assume that the earth under most of Mansfield was like a warren. For many years Bradder Street suffered terrible subsidence from ground movement. I know from experience that we had to have new ceilings and floors. We got up one day to find our Scullery floor had lifted along a 12 foot line, and the red tiles had risen about 6 inches to become a pointed line. I do understand that subsidence was a huge problem for the N.C.B. My brother in law Mr Allan Allsop. He was a dedicated manager at more than one colliery, and worked with R.J.B. after the mines were closed or taken over. He passed away last year. At his funeral we were told he had saved the lives of thousands of miners. Alan Curtis

    By Alan Curtis (06/01/2012)
  • What a great read this article was. My grandad Wilfred Henry Leivers was born at 81 Bradder street in 1915. I can remember the houses on the street before they were demolished but I was only a small lad. I have often wondered what life my grandad and his coal miner dad ,had living there and thanks to the above I now have a bigger picture. I would have liked it there my self I think with all the railways around.

    By Simon Leivers (03/01/2012)
  • You are wrong Paula, I do remember your Grand-Parents and your Mum living on Bradder Street…I cannot remember the number, but I recall the Quinn family living nearer to the bottom of the street… My sister Eileen does remember your mother Olga…And yes, there were many miners living on Bradder Street… Really nice to hear from someone who originates from the street… Alan Curtis.

    By Alan Curtis (29/12/2011)
  • This is very interesting as my Mother grew up on Bradder Street her name was Olga Quinn daughter of James Michael Quinn your family probably did not know them but your article is interesting to me as my Grandfather was a coalminer so anything about Bradder St is of interest to me.

    By Paula Ward (28/12/2011)
  • Just to add to the above…On a Sunday, just about all the children were made to attend Sunday School. And for the working men, it was as the Bible says, a day of Rest. Usually consisting of a few, or more drinks, at the pub, followed by the best meal of the week, Sunday lunch… Followed by two or three hours Sunday afternoon sleep. Because there was no Sunday sport, the working man made his own. Usually in some obscure place near to the pub… Before the pubs and clubs opened on a Sunday lunch time, the men would congregate and play the illegal game known as a ” Tossing Ring “. This consisted of one man placing 4 or 5 pennies along the middle finger of of his hand and tossing them in the air so that the pennies spun round. Of course the pennies were from 4 or 5 different men playong the game. If the man shouted heads, whatever came down heads he could keep. Then the next man followed the same pattern, albeit with less pennies. They took turn to go first. As this game was illegal, and a form of gambling, the police often raided the rings ( where known.) And so it was that the men paid a ” Lookout ” to whistle if he saw the police coming, then everyone would scatter.. On one accasion, someone I knew had taken a new young lad man to join the ring for the first time. The game started and the lookout whistled. My friend said to the young lad ” Follow me “. The two of them ran down the backs of the terraced houses, went into the back door of one of the houses,through the back kitchen, through the living room where a family were sat down at the table having their Sunday lunch…My friend said ” Howdo “, they squeezed by the family, went through the front room and out the front door to safety…When out ,the young man said to my friend, ” Did you know them “. My friend said, ” No “.

    By alan curtis (21/05/2011)

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