Tel: 01623 707017
We've Got Mansfield & Ashfield Covered


Positive memories wanted for #madeinmansfield poetry project

Posted onPosted on 23rd Nov

The #madeinmansfield poetry project is giving people the chance to shout out about all that is positive in Mansfield and Ashfield.

The man behind the #madeinmansfield initiative, local writer Alan Dawson, has collected these poems to hopefully inspire others to take part.

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

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 explained.

“#madeinmansfield begins with four poems written by individuals with different experiences of writing. However, each poem captures the Mansfield/ Ashfield area as a place for personal growth and positive living.

“I hope you inspired by the poetry and are reaching out for your pen to write.”

Mansfield writers Kev Fegan and Allan (Alfie) Barham, although writing about two different decades over 20 years apart, both proudly capture how it was to grow up in the town. Kev proclaims in an extract from his community play, Not Much Matches Mansfield, which was performed on five sites in Mansfield town centre in 2012 and was commissioned by the Palace Theatre, that not even a pint o’ best beer matches Mansfield.

In his poem, Teenage Memories, Alan, who was born in Glasgow but moved to Mansfield in 1947, writes about his teenage years and the influence of Mansfield Bitter on his teenage development – he also remembers when The Beatles came to town. Allan is well known around the town and supports local arts – apparently, he was not a bad rugby player, I heard someone say.

Extract from Not Much Matches Mansfield

Kissing after school in Carr Bank Park,
Walking home from “The Exorcist” after dark,
My first taste of cider at the Folk House disco,
Nappy night vibe-a-lite at Valentinos.
Underage drinking on the racecourse at night,
Off-roading on The Desert on motorbikes;
Climbing inside the Major Oak,
Finding a tenner on the Square when you’re broke.
Getting your name on the front of the Chad,
For doing something other than being a bad lad;
Disco-dancing at the Palais de Dance,
Born-again raving at Club Renaissance.
Glass of wine ‘round the back of And Why Not,
Jumping on the train over the viaduct.
Singing karaoke Thurs night at The Bowl.
Singing at Field Mill and the roar of a goal,
Not much matches Mansfield,
Not even a pint o’ best beer;
Not much matches Mansfield,
Nowt like it anywheer.

Kevin Fegan

Teenage Memories

Teenage years in the early 60’s, out with all your mates,
Honing drinking skills on Mansfield Ales, it really was just great.
Friday at the Palais was rock and roll night,
Pass outs to the Jockey to down a couple of pints!

The Bowl and Eagle Tavern were among our favourite boozers,
We loved a game of skittles but at darts we were mostly losers.
Jazz club at the Vic and on Sundays in the Crown,
And if we’d lost at rugby our sorrows we would drown!

Those concerts in the Granada, always such a treat,
The Beatles, Lonnie Donegan and the good old Merseybeat’s.
Dances at the Parochial Hall kept us entertained
And midweek matches at the Stags we supported now and again.

The pubs closed though at half past ten
No 24-hour opening way back then,
Still those teenage years have proved to be such a perfect education
As the taste for Mansfield bitter became an addictive dedication!
Allan (Alfie) Barham

Whereby Kev and Allan wrote about physical places around the town, the next two poems are internalized, where a sense of physical place becomes abstract. My King’s Mill Hospital-born daughter, Emily Dawson, who has not written a poem since leaving school, wrote a non-titled poem with three distinct and separated verses – it is like she is, holding her trinkets closely to her chest, keeping them safe and secure. Like Mary Langton, in her poem My Life, both writers have written pure metaphor. Mary, who was born in Garibaldi, Forest Town, writes about struggle and facing challenges, which are better to be faced in a place where she belongs.



Mansfield holds a mixed array of emotions for me.

Some good.
Some bad.
Some happy.

Mansfield will always be my home.
My safe place
My trinket of memories.
Emily Dawson


My Life

When I was just a little girl,
I always wondered about the world.
I sat and dreamed on the hot sunny days,
Of faraway places that were just a haze.

Time flew past as I grew and waited to see all places fresh and new,
I finally got to see them all, walked their scenic beaches, hills and halls.
But life has a habit of changing things,
Lots of disappointments and the darkness creeps in.

Life brings challenges in yourself it’s true,
It’s how you deal with them, what makes you you.
I am warrior, survivor and strong,
I knew that place I was in, wasn’t where I belonged.
Mary Langton