The Lives We Lived.

The first sketch is of the Trough on Nottingham Road at it’s junction with Quarry Lane. I have tried to give an idea of how it looked during the 19th /20th century. Quarry Lane was aptly named for the Stone that was mined from it’s close proximity to the many quarries…It is no surprise therefore that houses, walls, and many other things were built with the stone from our area. The Trough itself was originally placed where St Mark’s church is today. When the building of the church commenced, the Trough was moved to the position that is shown in the sketch. It remained there for many years, until the major road changes began to take place, and many of our old precious building disappeared. How nice it would be to find what happened to it. and have it replaced in it’s position as shown. Back to the sketch, the Bulls Head is shown in it’s original position with a large Oak Tree to the fore. To the rear of this is Field Mill Dam. This was at a time when Portland Street was called Bulls Head Road. The two houses to the right of the sketch, are at the Bottom of Quarry Lane, and the wall in front of them is on the left of the beginning of Quarry Lane.

The second drawing is the Stone Stile.

This is the Quarry Lane end of the pathway that took you from Portland Street to Quarry Lane, used by many as a shortcut to cut the corner off of Portland Street and Quarry Lane.

Starting from Portland Street, on the left, the pathway passed the backs of the houses of Lord Street. On the right it passed the wharf of the railway that was used as Sidings for goods being transported by rail. On the right we come to the rear entrances to Field Mill Football Ground, this end to the football pitch is known as the Railway End. The nearside corner nearest to Quarry Lane were the toilets, a corner where many youngsters of yesteryear,used to climb up the corrugated fencing, and sneak into the match. The rest of the pathway divided the many allotments between the railway and Field Mill Ground.

We now come to what is called, “a Stone Stile,” these are mainly found in the Midlands, and this is the only one that I can recall in Mansfield. I’m sure there must be more of them, perhaps someone will let us know. That stone stile has been there ever since I can remember. So has the viaduct, but that too has gone the way of many other old things that have worn out their usefulness. I believe much of land has now been built on, yet the whole area was very fertile land.

Over the stile , there were stone steps that led down to Quarry Lane.The stone steps had been worn down in their centres by the thousands of feet that had trampled up and down  them. The stone stile had also much wear by the people who either stood on or cocked their leg over the stile. We enjoyed all the beauty of these sketches from many years ago, how sad that changes had to be made.

This sketch is for you to imagine you are stood on the viaduct looking over the steps from the opposite view. It also shows the stone stile from a different viewpoint. It also shows the position of the Mansfield football ground. It also shows the old stand before the purchase of the stand from which I believe was Haydock Park Racecourse. I have included the flood lights, although they came at a later date. In the beginning there were no evening matches, and only the odd small flood light for evening training.   Also in the early days football was not allowed to be played on a Sunday, that was a day of rest. When Sunday football did come about, the first league match to be played was between Darlington and Mansfield Town.

This sketch is a little away from Quarry Lane, it is of the Off- Licence that was situate in the old Brickyard..It was the first building adjoining the houses of Victoria Terrace.. At the other end of the Terrace was the the Brickyard Club….The Off-Licence was run by Mr and Mrs Bloor. They also sold sweets and lemonade etc. No matter what container you took, you could have it filled from the Barrel.  As a youngster, I could never understand why the whisky was poured into a small glass and then into a glass or cup. Of course it was a whisky measure of a tot.

A Curtis
A Curtis
A Curtis
A Curtis

Comments about this page

  • How well I remember the above sketches, however, my memory has been further jogged about the rambles we as young children spent , sometimes taking up the whole day adventuring through the unspoiled countryside. Being out all day meant we as children had hunger pangs. I have previously mentioned that there was always plenty of supplies of food , somehow we knew what was edible and what was not edible. Apart from the obvious such as fruits, I am reminded of the ears of corn that seamed plentiful during my younger years, which did include the War years of 1939 to 1945. It is amazing how much we learned during those very tough years of hardship. Of course their was always the rivers and lakes that would quench our thirst, plus other things to eat. The one thing I forgot all about was the ears of corn which was in abundance in many of the Farmer’s fields. We would take an ear of corn, rub the ear between our two hands. This would separate the wheat from the chaff, we would then blow away the chaff, thus leaving the corn to be popped into our mouth to chew. Another reason that we as war children survived.

    By alcurtis (30/08/2015)
  • Hello Greg and Peter, thank you for spotting my deliberate mistake….Seriously, I’m not a Horseracing fan, so I hope you will forgive me my little slip… I well remember the stand being bought and erected….I knew the course it was purchased from began with an ( H ), but could not for the life of me think of Hurst Park..My Apologies to everyone….alan

    By alan curtis (03/09/2013)
  • Hello again Alan, Greg is correct, the stand at Mansfield Town F.C. was from Hurst Park Race Course. I know that because I started work in 1962 in the workshops of Westfield Transport, the owner of that company was Tom Eason who I believe was a director of Mansfield Town F.C. at that time so was involved in moving the stand to Mansfield. I can’t remember the company who moved the very long girders that were too long for us to move they were 60 or 70ft long and had to be moved on a trailer with rear wheel steering but on one trip the vehicle went off the road and turned over and unfortunately the person operating the rear wheel steering was killed. I along with 3 or 4 of my work mates were sent to fit the steelwork to the Quarry Lane end of the stand just before it was opened to stop people falling off the end, and to keep the wind and rain out and I think it’s still the same steelwork today we fitted all those years ago. Another thing I wondered Alan when I was at Westfield Transport there was a rep named Alan Curtis, was it you or might it have been a relative of yours?

    By Peter Bowler (02/09/2013)
  • The football stand was bought from Hurst Park racecourse in Surrey. Hurst Park closed in 1962.

    By Greg Collard (28/08/2013)
  • I believe the first floodlit football match ever played was at Field Mill in 1923 In those days ??? there was a Greyhound Track there and Meggitts the Electricians (on the Corner of Albert Street ) modified the lighting system that was used for them. Unfortunately there was an electrical problem and I rather suspect the match was never restarted but may have done. There wouldn’t have been a white ball in those days unless it was coated in whitewash – which everybody used for decorating in those days

    By Malcolm Raynor (27/08/2013)

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