This is a true story of a Mansfield Man. A hard working man, a man who lived through two world wars, brought up a family through unbelievable times, and yet. He worked hard and brought up a family of five children. The younger generation would not understand the hardships’ that the British people endured through times of war. I’m sure they could not possibly conceive what it was like to go hungry.
The drawing of her Grandfather was drawn by my Daughter Lynn, whom Thomas thought the World of.
I recall being in that hungry position and being told to ” Run round the block, and take a kick at the pantry door “, You wont feel hungry then.” I have to say, It Worked.
Thomas Allsop was born in the year 1905. There were 11+ in the family, not sure where he came numerically, but I do know it was in one of the cottages close to the Trough in Mansfield Woodhouse. Attending York Street School, he was only 9 years old, when W.W.1. broke out. And only 13 years old when it ended.
Starting work at 14, he, like many others went for a life working down the mines. It wasn’t long before, at a young age, he was working on the coal face, working often in water, with a hammer and shovel.
I understand he married Elizabeth Mary Powell, in 1933. When they moved into a house on Wood Court in Mansfield, this house and others were demolished in 1936.
He continued this heavy work until whilst working in terrible conditions , he contracted Rheumatic Fever. This involved him having to leave working down the Pit. He was not aloud to go down again.
He eventually shed his illness , but that was after having a spell at Harrogate Waters, I am guessing something like Buxton Waters. He was told his days down the pit had finished, and he had to find a job working outside in the fresh air .
With his mining experience, he was soon employed by D’arcy, at Eakring Oil Wells. Working his way up to being a Driller. Spending many days and nights on the Riggs.. He soon became a charge hand, On the Eakring Oil Wells Books. He worked hard, and liked a drink, Which reminds me of a time the family went on a holiday, the kind of holiday most of us in Mansfield could barely afford. A weeks holiday in one of the old types of caravans in a field in Skegness. My wife to be was in the Caravan with her mother when this man came down the field platting his legs. He’s been with me Dad, said Iris. Her mother disagreed, but true enough , he had, and the man’s wife didn’t let him out of the Caravan for the rest of the week. Yes Thomas liked a drink, and could certainly put it away. The Reindeer Pub was his watering Hole. And of course Smith Street Club.
There is one part of his life that I have neglected to tell you, and that is . there was a time that Thomas was a Special Policeman , based at Mansfield Police Station. I have enclosed a picture of his passing out parade taken at Mansfield. He is on the second row from the front, seventh from the right. or Ninth from the left. Whichever… I believe that Thomas was a Special Policeman all through the war years , and some time into the early 50’s.
My work took my family and I away from the old town where my roots are still an important part of my life. There is an old saying that you can take the man out of Mansfield, but you can’t take Mansfield out of the man. How true I have found that saying is.
Thomas passed away in July 1980 at the age of 75 years. Leaving a large hole in the Allsop Family. He is sadly missed.