How Beautiful Mansfield Was in my Time..

The sketch shows how in my opinion the beauty of our town has made way for the modern buildings, which I understand are required for the growing population. The old buildings built by our forefathers were certainly buildings full of character, although it is fair to say that keeping warm may have been overlooked.

The gate above was situated in front of the old Quaker Meeting House, and behind the walls either side of the ornate gateway was  the burial ground of the Mansfield Quaker movement. Going through the gates, on either side, just like the ornate gates was the most beautiful small burial grounds one could wish to see. Manicured to a tee, there was iron railings down each side, over the railings was a well trimmed hedge of privets each side. The graves were all beautifully tended.

The buildings were situated, sort of at the back of the Co-op’s large building on Queen Street in Mansfield.

The road leading to the Quakers’ Meeting House was named Quaker Lane. You could walk along Quaker Lane, past the gate, along the narrow jitty to the left of the sketch, and it would bring you out onto Belvedere Street. You could also get to the Railway Station if you took the left fork at the Quaker gates, up the slight incline, passing the Midland Hotel, and the station was to the front of you.

The buildings on the left of the sketch belonged to Foister Clay and Ward Hosiery Factory, that too is no longer there.  In my day the factories, whatever they produced were built very near to where the people lived, so the factory would have houses all around, meaning there was plenty of work force on hand who did not have to travel to work. They could also pop home for lunch. It was only later that canteens became the must have for the workers.

Back to the Quaker Meeting House. I believe it was after the war, WW2, the Meeting House was taken over by Richardson’s Wholesalers. They used to supply most of the corner shops around Mansfield.


Comments about this page

  • Unfortunately, this article by the late Alan Curtis re – the Quaker Meeting House & burial ground (including his sketch of the gates) was a completely different nonconformist place of worship found on Quaker Lane. The Friends Meeting House (Quakers) was a completely different building which was on the other lower side of Quaker Lane. The building he refers to was in fact, Mansfield’s first Independent Chapel, later becoming better known as the Congregational Church, relocating to Westgate at the bottom of Wood Street, now the doctors surgery, sadly demolished in 1982. Tragically the former Quaker Meeting House was demolished around 1974 – this historic building was not listed and no one at the time seemed bothered to try and safeguard this precious building, yet this was one of the earliest Quaker Meeting Houses in the UK! The actual site where the building stood is now a car parking area behind the new bus station – how sad!

    By David Burton (05/08/2021)
  • My late father, Albert Parkin, was employed by Arthur Richardson and Son from the early 1940’s until his retirement in 1975. The company never occupied the Old Meeting House but had their own premises which were reached by driving by the side of the Crown Hostelry on Stockwell Gate.

    The premises were at the top of the drive and originally housed a pickle or jam  factory, the owners still lived in the cottage at the side of Richardson’s warehouse.

    The company reps parked their cars in the yard of the Hostelry, presumably there being an agreement with Mr. and Mrs. Emms the owners. The vans were thus able to freely gain access to the loading bay and warehouse at Arthur Richardson’s. Some years later the company moved onto Chesterfield Road, behind the premises of Evinsons and were taken over by Bookers.  

    By Michael Parkin (08/05/2014)
  • Tom many thanks for your invite, I live near Blackpool, but often come to visit my sister who lives in Rainworth.,It is nice to keep up with you on the ” ourmansfieldandarea ” site…

    By alan curtis (06/04/2014)
  • Alan!! Did you see R. Holts article on Transfer of Remains of Old Meeting House? If not, click on Mansfield and scroll down!! Ralph’s books may be in Mansfield Library but you are welcome to join us at the Sages table in Woodhouse!! Every Friday morning!!

    By Tom Shead (05/04/2014)
  • My Father in Law was a Joiner and worked for Fleets, Builders and he got the job of making the coffins when they exhumed the bodies from the Quaker Cemetery. Ralph Holt of the Old Woodhouse Society has researched the Quakers and some of his books are in Woodhouse Library, well worth reading!! I believe there is Plaque erected to the memory of the Quaker site in the new Bus Station!!

    By Tom Shead (03/04/2014)
  • Joe, you are quite correct, there was , and it was Divit’s. I remember it well, bottom of the bank over the railings where the bus terminus was. Behind the backs of the houses and pub on Belvedere Street, a couple of old very rusty vandalized cars. Certainly there in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Big family the Divits. I wonder if there are any still about ?

    By alan curtis (02/04/2014)
  • There was also a scrap yard at the side of the gitty I think it was called Divits.

    By joe sutton (01/04/2014)

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