It was around 1974/75 when me and my dad used to go into Mansfield town centre on Saturday afternoon whilst my mum was at work. We would start off at the Co-op café where we had a strawberry milkshake. As the café was on the first floor we were able to look out over Stockwell Gate and see the comings and goings around the entrance to the Four Seasons and King’s Head pub.
After finishing our milkshake we would have a walk up Queen Street and visit the indoor market. My dad always bought some Polish salami from there. I think the indoor market must have been the only place you could buy salami in Mansfield at that time. I always remember the fishmongers in their long white coats and wellies mopping the tiled floor – the market did have a really strong fishy smell. Afterwards we would walk back down into town through the Market Place (picking up a polystyrene tray of cockles and mushy peas if we were lucky).
The final part of our journey took us to the top of Leeming Street to visit my great aunt who worked in Douro Wines & Spirits which was located at 40 Leeming Street, part of the Brunts Building. I used to go and sit at a desk in the back room which had a big black telephone sat on it. I was fascinated with the telephone as we didn’t have one at home at that time. It had letters as well as numbers on each dial and I was always told not to play with it. When my dad and great aunt were busy talking, I would pick up the receiver and pretend to talk to someone. The shop had a cellar and I was allowed to go and pick one bottle of soft drink. One day I picked tonic water and my dad said “You won’t like that”. Guess what, I didn’t!!!!