Mansfield

Mansfield

‘A series of spectacular arches carries the railway towards Worksop’

Events in August
10 Open-Air Theatre: Frankenstein
11 Pleasley Pit Engine Running Day
14 Summer Festival at Carr Lane Park
15 Open-Air Theatre: The Wind in the Willows
16 Open-Air Theatre: Ali Baba & the 40 Thieves
17 Sweat Lodge
18 Open-Air Theatre: Gangsta Granny
18 Matlock Brass Band
21 Open-Air Theatre: Sense & Sensibility
28 Summer Festival at Titchfield Park
31 (and 1 Sep) Wellbeing Show

Exhibitions
to 31 Aug Man on the Moon: 50th Anniversary
to 6 Oct The Golden Age of Satire
to 6 Oct Kindness: Prints & Drawings by David Shrigley
to 12 Oct 100 Years of Mansfield

What to see
You’ll find accounts of Mansfield’s tourist attractions in Towns of Two Halves (and of 91 other places: order the book now for £8+P&P from info@townsof2halves.co.uk. For additional information plus shopping, eating out etc there’s Mansfield’s local government website or the Chad local paper. Links to local attractions include:

Mansfield Fire Museum
Mansfield Heritage Trail
Mansfield Museum
Newstead Abbey
Pleasley Pit & Country Park

‘Newstead Abbey is good to look at and some of the rooms are memorable, but it’s the former lord of the manor, his strange character and activities, that will stay in your mind’

“The more you read of Byron’s troubled life and times as you make your way round the premises, the more improbable a fatally attractive womaniser he seems. The idea that he ever limped along his drive from the bus-stop seems very fanciful.
“In contrast to the later image of a man of action, Byron was as apt to be fighting the flab as the enemies of Greece. He associated thinness with mental clarity and creativity. Ahead of his time as a student, at university he followed a diet of biscuits and soda water; prone to binge, he would wash a super-sized meal down with magnesia. He smoked cigars to ward off hunger pangs.
“Byron’s height as an adult was 5ft 8ins and his odd eating habits brought his weight down from 13st 12lbs to 9st at one point. Constantly on his guard against corpulence, he also had to live with a deformed foot. He took exercise with the same moderation he applied to his diet; remarkably, he became a skilled sportsman and, as a swimmer, might have been known as Flipper to his friends had he lived 180 years later. He also helped the weight-loss along by wearing layers of woollen clothes to promote sweating. Mad, bad and fragrant to know…
“How much time Byron spent at Newstead is open to question. The Abbey says he lived there “at various times” between the autumns of 1808 (when he was 20) and 1814. Also between those years he:
• Undertook the Grand Tour, an expedition cut short by the Napoleonic Wars
• Crossed Portugal and Spain by land and thence the Mediterranean to Greece
• Moved on to Smyrna and Constantinople where he famously swam the Hellespont
• Became a celebrity on returning to London with the publication of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
• May have had affairs with (among others) a 14yr-old Italian boy, a 12yr-old Greek girl, Lady Caroline Lamb and his half-sister Augusta Leigh.
“Stately homes are usually interesting for the décor, the furnishings or the architecture. Newstead Abbey is not bad to look at and some of the rooms are memorable, but it’s the former lord of the manor, his strange character and activities, that will stay in your mind as you make your way back down his curving, wooded and interminable drive.”

This is an extract from Towns of Two Halves. Order the book for £8+P&P from info@townsof2halves.co.uk