R L Jones soft drinks manufacturer of Mansfield

Photo:Mandora Cola label

Mandora Cola label

One of R L Jones' products

First helicopter landing in Mansfield advertises R L Jones soft drinks

By Tony Clement

I was doing some research into the aircraft history of the Mansfield area and found an event that occurred in Mansfield on the 6th May 1956, at around 12.30 pm.

This was the first documented landing of a helicopter in Mansfield, on the Chesterfield Road recreation ground, according the Mansfield Advertiser of that date.

Has anyone a photo of this event, perhaps someone remembers this, a picture would be greatly appreciated?  Click HERE to see photos sent in by a reader - Ed.

Not only was this the first documented helicopter landing in Mansfield, but it was a publicity/advertising event  funded by local drinks firm R. L. Jones of Mansfield.

The helicopter was (according to the Mansfield Advertiser of the time) "dressed up as a Sunecta bottle" to advertise the soft drink produced in Mansfield.

Some of the management team of R. L. Jones were in the aircraft.

R. L. Jones also produced another publicity item in 1956-1957 in the form of a 24-card series entitled ‘Jet Aircraft of the World’ which were given away with every Sunecta glucose drink in that period, showing aircraft from England, USA, France, Russia etc., this was when the UK had a large aircraft industry. I cannot find out how the cards were given away, were they attached to the bottle or did you have to apply for them somehow?


Are any of these cards still in the hands of local collectors and perhaps they did cards on other subjects, which would be of great interest. http://www.skytamer.com/1956G10.html

In the mid 1960s R.L. Jones acquired the Derby firm of Burrows & Sturgess another famous name in the soft drinks industry.

Mansfield Brewery bought out R. L. Jones in 1977, the Brewery sold the Mandora and Sunecta drinks brand to Scottish firm A. G. Barr in 1988, production from 1975 was at a factory on Bellamy Road, Mansfield.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'R L Jones soft drinks manufacturer of Mansfield' page

This page was added by Tony Clement on 13/03/2017.
Comments about this page

Hi Tony

I have a full set of the cards. They are mounted in a bespoke album made of thin card. Each page has 3 cards with a silhouette of each plane and a brief description of it. A friend who deals in vintage postcards got it for me. I have no idea how the cards were distributed nor how you got hold of the album to mount them in.

By Albie Ontour
On 04/04/2017

I think you have got a rare set of the R L Jones cards there!.  Would you be willing to email a picture of some of them?  I would be interested to see it - and add it to the webpage if that's OK?  If so, please email to ournottinghamshire@gmail.com  

I would like to know how the cards we given away with the R L Jones drinks, perhaps the person who got you the cards would know? If anyone knows about the cards and the R L Jones firm locally, please put it on the website,

By Tony Clement
On 05/04/2017

Saw an article about RLJones soft drink company from 2017 by Tony Clement. This is a logo for Dixi Cola a new product introduced by the Company in the early 1970’s. [LOGO INCLUDED ABOVE - Ed.]
How do I know.....I was a former employee of Burrows and Sturgess in Derby (Slack Lane) and moved to Mansfield depot and then later to a depot in Cannock. Geoff Howell was the Marketing directed and Ross Clark was my direct Manager at the company. I emigrated to Canada in 1977. Just interested when I found the article.....thank you Wayne Jentas

By Wayne Jentas
On 19/02/2021

Off at a tangent, dixi cola tasted the same as Pepsi, but was more -more highly carbonated.  I was also in sales for Mandora 72 - 74.  I remember the name Wayne Jentas.  In 73 Mandora "rationalised" cancelling ~5000 of its smalleraccounts, initiating my redundancy and subsequent reinstatement two days later.  I would think Mansfield brewery might hold any surviving memorabilia.  Ross Clarke (comfortable to use his first name now) was my sales manager, and I think Tom Whitaker (Derby guy) took over the role after I left.  Via a very convoluted route I'm now a retired secondary maths teacher.  Social media averse, apologies for using this opportunity to reminisce. Happy happy days. 



By Peter Ball
On 07/10/2022

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