Working in central Mansfield in the mid 1960s - some recollections

Photo:Linneys shop, Westgate, in 1972. Photograph by J W Purdy

Linneys shop, Westgate, in 1972. Photograph by J W Purdy

www.inspirepicturearchive.org.uk NCCW001766 ID22261

Shops, Food Outlets and the CHAD

By Tony Clement

August 1966 was the start of my apprenticeship working at the Chronicle Advertiser newspaper on Westgate, Mansfield, this was behind Linneys shop, which was more or less where McDonalds is now, access to the printing section of the CHAD was through an archway and down a narrow alleyway, if you had never been down this alleyway you would never know it existed.

The main alleyway was a cut-through to the market place and also had access to the Black Boy pub, the frontage is still there on the market place, albeit with a new shop front, and to Butcher Welsh bookmakers, which was up a flight of stairs opposite the Black Boy back door.

This was an interesting new environment for a 16 year old who had just left school, parked in the alleyway were two cars that belonged to Ian Linney and David Greenslade, both directors of the Chad and Linneys, these cars were very exotic for the time, a Jaguar E-type and a Jensen CV8, probably now would be worth a lot of money.

Behind Linneys shop was the Chad printing works, and an extensive maze of alleyways, some probably never been used for years, one connected to the rear of a fish and chip restaurant known as the Elite Restaurant, this backed onto the side of Granada cinema, and was also on a cut-through walkway allowing another shortcut onto the market place.

The Granada cinema was a luxury 1930s cinema with a restaurant, which a lot of the Chad printers used to frequent at dinner time for their set food menu, which was quality and very good value, most of these buildings were sadly swept away in the 1970s to make way for the Four Seasons Shopping Centre and the Mansfield Library.

One of my jobs as an apprentice was to fetch the fish and chips for the senior printers, and to fetch cigarettes from Miss Candy, a shop that was joined onto the foyer of the cinema, and served West Gate and cinema customers at the same time.

I can remember a sad day when the cinema closed, I can’t remember what the last film was, but I can recollect piles of cinema seats pulled out of the cinema and laid in rows for disposal, it would be interesting to know what happened to these.

Some of shops demolished on West Gate to be replaced by the Library, was a gentlemans clothing outfitter and school uniform shop, which I think was called John Manners, plus an off-licence I cannot remember the name of.

Other eateries in Mansfield that we frequented were the Chinese restaurant on the Market Place, the Wimpey Bar on Regent Street, and the Clumber Grill on Clumber Street, which stood where Wilco is now.

All this changed in the late 1960s when the Chad moved from West Gate to Newgate Lane in Mansfield, and Linneys sold the stationers shop and concentrated more on the newspaper and printing side of the business.

An interesting time to be working in central Mansfield just before everything changed, no pedestrianization of West Gate, buses going up Regent Street, with main bus stops on it, and for a time buses going around market place, this combined with the closure of the railway station in 1966, made Mansfield an interesting place to work before all this was demolished in the 1970s.

This page was added by Tony Clement on 12/10/2021.

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