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Join in poetry project #madeinmansfield to share positive memories

Posted onPosted on 20th Nov

People from across the area are being encouraged to take part in a poetry project that aims to showcase all that is positive about Mansfield and Ashfield.

The man behind the #madeinmansfield initiative, local writer Alan Dawson, said: “You don’t have to have had an experience in writing poetry.

“If you have memories made in and around Mansfield, why not share them.

“They could be fond memories from school, work, something that happened whilst in town for a boozy night out or meeting someone special etc.

“I want to help to eternalise the memories as poetry so that our collective voice will be heard to express what is positive about Mansfield and Ashfield — what makes us who we are.

“I am fortunate to have spent most of my life living and working in Mansfield. I have great memories of the town and the good times that I have experienced there — and I look forward to the positive experiences that I will have in the future.”

The poetry can be written individually or as part of a group and Alan said #madeinmansfield would be effective as part of the Arts in the Community Project for local schools.
The Mansfield, Ashfield and Warsop News Journal will feature a selection of the work online and in our print edition.

He added: “I am happy to create resources for schools or young people learning at home who have additional needs (including apps such as Signs and Symbols and Makaton).”
There are three age categories for the writing, up to 14 years, 14 to 18 year-olds and 18+.

People should submit four to 20 lines of poetry in any format, whether it be rhyming couplets or free verse etc. Or, Alan said, they could simply write a few sentences and email that in.

“You don’t have to have had experience in writing poetry,” he explained.

“If what you have written is positive or has a positive outcome, it will be part of or inspire #madeinmansfield ­— and it does not have to be serious.”

Alan, who is exploring ways to showcase the work, said he hoped #madeinmansfield would support the area and explore its identity.

He said Mansfield, Ashfield and North Nottinghamshire has a unique voice.

“It is an understatement to say that times are difficult lately; Mansfield’s fragile economy and the wellbeing of its residents are being tested like never before with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.

“However, I am confident that the town is resilient, and we will bounce back stronger than before.

“The local characters who I have met through the years and the unique perspective of the people are forever an inspiration for my writing.

“Mansfield has a lot to offer in the way of leisure and culture: we have the fantastic Palace Theatre, which, as well as operating as a mid-scale touring theatre, is a focal point, along with the adjoining museum, for the local community.

“Education manager Chris Neil is responsible for community projects, such as, Write Track, an initiative to encourage and support new writers.

“The pubs are friendly, the beer is cheap, and the banter is hilarious. There are plenty of places to eat, whether you want a take-a-way or sit down to be served with a cuisine of your choice.

“If you would like to swim, Water Meadows is next to the impressive Titchfield Park. Across the way from the park is a retail park, in which sits a bingo hall and cinema.

“A choice of gyms are scattered around the town, should you want to work out. The Four Seasons shopping centre and the market are also attractions for the area.

“Further to this, Nigel Clough has caused great excitement by taking the reins at Mansfield Town Football Club — it will not be long before the Stags are challenging for promotion to League One under his management.

“A lot of my memories have been at the One Call Stadium or, as it was once known, Field Mill.

“I remember the Yellows playing Liverpool in the FA Cup in 2013, with Liverpool needing a handball from Suarez to win the tie — we battered them, and the Reds were lucky to come away with a victory.

“Probably my best memory came in 1975 when I stood on the terraces of the North Stand with my mates watching Mansfield thrash Scunthorpe 7-0 to clinch the (old) Fourth Division championship — more than 11,000 supporters were crammed into the ground that afternoon… great memories!”

lIf you want to take part in the poetry project, #madeinmansfield, either through writing or organising or sponsorship and support,email thetownsman@hotmail.com

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Alan Dawson recently had some of his poetry included in a Nottinghamshire-based anthology Poets Of Robin Hood County, edited by Chelsea Parker and available on Amazon. Alan said his poetry was inspired by Vicar Water, Clipstone. Go to www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08NCCBTBH

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