There were tears, cheers and celebrations as the first of 99 post-war bungalows was demolished in Eckington ahead of a £10.5 million council housing development.
Tenants and councillors gathered to bid farewell to the old bungalows, known as Tarrans, at a celebration today (Monday, July 22) as they make way for the first new council homes to be built in a generation in North East Derbyshire.
One of the longest-standing tenants, Denis Green, 62, said it marked “the end of an era”.
He added: “I wasn’t very happy when I first heard they were going to be pulling them down. We have had good years here but now I am looking forward to living in a brand new home.”
His son, Stephen Green, 50, who was born in the Tarrans, on Pitt Street, added: “It has been emotional seeing this go down. It has brought back a lot of memories.”
Another tenant, June Silvers, 65, praised the work of the council in liaising with tenants throughout the planning process.
She said: “We weren’t happy to start with, but the council have been wonderful. They have kept us informed and asked for our opinions on the new homes. We have been able to say what we want and what we don’t want and they have really listened.”
The scheme, run by North East Derbyshire District Council in partnership with Rykneld Homes, will see the demolition of the homes, which were originally built to last 10 years for soldiers returning from the Second World War.
According to the council, the Tarrans have long-term structural problems and are expensive to heat. 130 new homes, off Sheffield Road in Killamarsh and Pitt Street and Pipeyard Lane in Eckington will be built in phases by contractor Galliford Try, with the first due to be ready to move into by the end of the year.
Cllr Betty Hill, executive member for housing at NEDDC, said: “Winston Churchill said when they were built that these were homes for heroes. They were supposed to last ten years and some have been up 70 years now. What will replace them are really, really fantastic homes that these people can be proud of.
“It is a great day for North East Derbyshire district council but I must thank Rykneld Homes and the tenants. It wouldn’t have got off the ground without them.”