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#madeinmansfield poetry project needs your inspiring words

Posted onPosted on 1st Dec

The man behind the #madeinmansfield positive poetry initiative, local writer Alan Dawson, is urging people to send in their words and get involved.

The project that aims to showcase all that is positive about Mansfield and Ashfield through people’s own words.

He said: “I am finding the #madeinmansfield poetry initiative thought-provoking and I have read some great writing. One Mansfield resident, Mary Langton, has been prolific.

“Her newly-written poetry has been popping up regularly on her social media account and personal blog. Mary, who lives in the Carter Lane area of Mansfield, has only recently begun to write formal poetry, although in the past she always wrote short verses on cards for family and friends.”

Mary said she would be buzzing to see her poem posted on the Mansfield and Ashfield Journal website and it would inspire her to write more.

Alan added: “I believe that Mary’s story will inspire Mansfield and Ashfield residents to be creative and feel the buzz, as she puts it. Her featured poem, Coping With Covid, is a colourful recollection of our town. I can almost taste those mushy peas and cockles brought from the stall on the Market Square.”

Coping With Covid

When I was young, I used to have so much fun bustling around the town –
The market traders with smiling faces, their own spaces making strange sounds.

Friends chatting and people laughing and going about their day, –
Pie and mash, cockles, mussels, hot mushy peas, on offer in a special way.

Loads of cafes where the grownups met to decide what they were doing that night –
The girls giggling about what to wear and boys discussed who was up for a fight.

For now, Covid has put a stop to that, it crept in like the night –
Deciding it must all come to an end, fun, meeting places have all gone now, everyone’s out of sight.

I often say to my son and grandson, I had best years of Mansfield, the King’s, Swan, Eight bells and even the Crown –
People came from all over to visit our glorious town,

Whether it was for shopping, history or clubbing, there’s an abundance to be found –
It was well known across the county, for good looking girls, handsome men and friendship is all around.

Most of us came from mining villages, everyone helped each other –
But we knew when it was time, we all had to listen to MOTHER.

Men wore flat caps, women wore pinnys and the kids always had hand me downs –
But we were always happy, our faces all grubby, there was so much love around.

Mary Langton

Alan continued: “Poetry does not have to be formal; it need not be written down – poetry is everywhere, you must listen and look.

“I have heard plenty of poetry from the terraces of Field Mill (latterly the One Call Stadium) over the years. Chants, as they are more commonly known, are usually humorous, ironic, or just designed to put the opposition striker off his stroke. Chants can be passionate too.

“A simple chant of: Yellows, Yeelloows, Yeeellooows in hushed voices from the supporters to show respect for their team, rivals the All Black’s Haka for emotion.

“Without doubt newly-appointed manager Nigel Clough is making a positive impact on the town and the Stags have shown some better form of late. It made me chuckle this morning when I came across a comment on Steven Hymas’ Facebook account. Those who know Steve, who is a director of the club, will understand that he is Yellow and Blue through to the core. He posted:

💛💙 woke up this morning feeling fine! I’ve got Mansfield on my mind! Cloughie’s got us playing the way we should! Oh yeah! Something tells me we’re into something good…
M.T.F.C 🙌🙌
All Mansfield aren’t we 🦌🦌

I love it… I should imagine he will be even happier now that Stags played their way into the Third Round of the FA Cup after a nail-biting game against Dagenham and Redbridge at the One Call.

Keep sending in the poetry… I would like to read some festive cheer.

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

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,” Alan added.

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