Monday October the 19th found the marchers on the next leg of their 300 miles journey. Mansfield was some 12 miles south of Chesterfield. The weather was not on the side of the marchers with heavy head on wind and rain all the way to Mansfield. With moral low they finally entered Mansfield. Sidney Sterck one of the reporters who walked all the way with the men reported in the North Mail:
A wet and bedraggled army, the Jarrow crusaders marched… into the Nottinghamshire mining town of Mansfield and no one raised a sympathetic cheer
The above quote says it all! Like Chesterfield before them, Mansfield was no more sympathetic than their neighbor had been.
On arrival in Nottingham the last few days of disappointment in other towns was soon forgotten. Here the men were given a wonderful tea and were inundated with gifts of clothes, foot-ware and a large supply of medicines later in the evening saw the men invited to the Music Hall. After the evenings entertainment excellent sleeping accommodation was provided. Nottingham had really pulled out all the stops and done the Midlands proud.
At the centre of Nottingham stands the Old Market Square, reported to be the largest square in England and was recently refurbished to include a large water feature, made up from fountains and rapids. Robin Hood is said to have lived in Sherwood Forest, here he setup camp and used the Sheriff of Nottingham as a punch bag.(so to speak) The statue of Robin Hood is a short walk from the Old Market Square. As for the Medieval Nottingham Castle, which was founded by William the Conqueror, well sadly only the gatehouse, recently restored, and some ruined foundations remain today. This is one beautiful City and lives up to its tourist reputation.
When the men had left Jarrow the marchers were thin and underfed many had been out of work for years. Now because of the good food that had been provided along the way they did not look the same people. Many years had gone by since any of the marches had ate so well, this in itself raised the men’s spirits.
Follow the Marchers: Nottingham to Leicester.
- Nottinghamshire Old Market Square – Image: Webshots