As I recall Napoleon described the British as a Nation of Small Shopkeepers – as for Mansfield he was virtually correct apart from Woolworths, Marks and Spencers, British Home Stores and of course Mansfield Cooperative Society.
Within and around the Borough there were many small shops in the thirties through to the late fifties or sixties.
In fact there was an area in particular about a square mile that was rather dense in having every type of shop that could meet your needs. That area was Carter Lane, Newgate Lane, Pecks Hill, Skerry Hill and Ratcliffe Gate, plus smaller groups on Nottingham Road, Bull Farm and the Chesterfield Road Areas.
Not counting the big cities it may have been a record for the small business and of course the market which operated on Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays.