Town centre heritage trail launches
Take a step back in time in Mansfield with a new heritage trail telling tales of the town's colourful past.
The £120,000 project will bring the history of the town centre to life with an MP3 audio tour and booklet filled with local people's stories and memories of places along the route.
The trail will be launched in the Market Place on Wednesday 12th March from 11am where members of the public can find out how to download the trail.
A group of 30 pupils from Sutton Road Primary school will be learning about the town's heritage in an education workshop at Mansfield Museum before heading into the Market Place to follow part of the trail. Accompanying the children will be a costumed character, helping to bring the stories and the history to life.
Other costumed characters will be in the Market Place giving local people the chance to record more of their memories of the town. A big screen will also be showing old photos and video footage of local scenes and sites.
In the Old Town Hall in the Market Place, Mansfield Preservation Committee will be presenting a display of old photographs of the town, including archive material from the Old Mansfield Society. The exhibition will be held in the Old Town Hall between 10am and 2pm on the day of the launch.
At the launch, there will also be an opportunity to learn more about local nature reserves, friends groups and the work funded through the Mansfield district heritage development project.
The heritage trail is one of three exciting projects that have been given the go ahead after Mansfield District Council secured more than £300,000 in external funding.
The funding includes £151,042 from the European Regional Development Fund, a £49,812 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus contributions from Mansfield District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, the Sherwood Initiative and Section 106 money (from planning developments).
The projects, which will boost the district's tourism potential and provide educational opportunities for local schools, also include:
- almost £190,000 to improve accessibility to Mansfield's natural history at the district's nine local nature reserves;
- a £5,000 revamp of the White Lion Yard exhibition material for Mansfield Museum.
Mansfield District Council's Executive Mayor, Tony Egginton said: "It's great that Mansfield is leading the way in using modern technology to bring the Heritage trail to your mobile phone or MP3 player. We're making our colourful history accessible to more people by offering different ways to uncover the hidden past of Mansfield. We're proud to recognise the history that is on our doorstep – you don't need to travel for miles."
Councillor Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration added: "The memories of local people have really brought this project to life. There are some fantastic tales of days gone by that could have disappeared over time. It's great that we've got them recorded, for future generations to learn from and enjoy."
The heritage trail covers buildings on Leeming Street, the Market Place, Church Street, West Gate and other interesting places around Mansfield town centre. The tour, which can be followed by booklet or by audio downloads, includes a series of plaques positioned at 25 areas of historical interest around the town, including the Samuel Brunts building on Leeming Street, the 18th century West Gate House and the 16th Century Ye Olde Ramme Inne on Church Street.
The audio trail can be downloaded onto a mobile phone or MP3 player and anyone with the relevant video technology can also watch short video clips and photos while on the trail. A children's booklet has been produced, with activities to enjoy while in the Market Place.
An exhibition about the trail will be on display at Mansfield Museum from 12th until 21st March 2008. From April, a mobile display will be exhibited in community venues around the district to promote the heritage trail.
Local Nature Reserves
Over £18,000 of funding for the LNR work was provided on the condition that volunteers would 'match' this by dedicating their time to carry out the improvement work. Local people excelled themselves by offering extra time - demonstrating how valued nature reserves are in this area.
Access at the reserves has been improved with better pathways, disabled access kissing gates and a new bridge to encourage people to use the sites for recreational activities. Signs have been installed at three local nature reserves to give visitors an insight in to the ecological importance of these sites and the wildlife that live there.
White Lion Yard
White Lion Yard is a unique piece of Mansfield's history. A grant of £5,000 will be used to create a display about the history of the yard at Mansfield Museum to support the exhibition material that is already on display there.
A package of resources will be produced about the trail for local schools to use. An education pack will be put together for classroom education sessions at Mansfield Museum. A 'loans box' will also be created containing historical artefacts which can be loaned to school groups.