A new study has found Dronfield is one of the most desirable places to live in the country.
The Derbyshire town is ranked ninth in a top ten list compiled by Royal Mail and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The research looked at the past two years and calculated the most desirable areas based on a range of factors including good schools, affordable housing, employment prospects, working hours and access to green spaces.
To test the study’s findings, the Derbyshire Times headed out onto the streets of Dronfield to find out more.
Activities manager at Dronfield Hall Barn, Maria Smith, 32, said:
“I started working here about two years and I was amazed by the enthusiasm of the community to get involved and support things.
“We are working on a project to restore the old barn which was derelict and we run community activities and events out of it.
“It would not have happened if it had not been in Dronfield because it has relied on community support.
“Dronfield is a very nice place. There is loads going on all of the time and there is something for everybody to get involved in.”
Volunteer at the barn, Jean Collins, 70, of Hilltop, has lived in the area for 45 years and was full of praise for the town.
“It is a safe place,” Jean said. “I do feel like it is place where I can go out at night by myself.
“From my side of Dronfield there is a good public transport service.
“There is good hourly train connections to Sheffield and Nottingham.
“There is also many different groups and societies for people of all ages.”
Jean added: “Shopping is not very good. There are several specialist shops but there are empty units in the Civic Centre which is not very good.
“The people are lovely and friendly.
“The schools are excellent.
“It is a happy place to live.”
Karen Stanley, 56, visited Dronfield for the first time last year.
She’s continued to travel to the town from Penistone twice-a-week to go to Fisher & Son family butcher’s shop and to The Forge shopping centre.
“Frank sells good, quality meat and he is very friendly,” she said.
“There is The Forge, Ashgate Hospice shop, the Green Dragon pub, the Manor Hotel - I like it here.
“Everybody is really friendly and people say hello and ask where I am from.
“I come here at least twice-a-week and I tell my friends to visit me here too.”
Town stalwart, Frank Fisher, 86, runs Fisher & Son butcher’s shop on High Street.
Frank said he likes the town but his business is currently struggling due to the competition from the big supermarkets.
The shop was established in 1702, and Frank works full-time in the shop just as his father, grandfather and great-grandfather did.
“Dronfield used to have a population of about 3,000 people,” Frank said.
“It has changed a lot. It is more cosmopolitan now.
“There used to be more atmosphere about it, but is a nice town. It has been through different phases.
“It was a small town and then there was the resurgence of the buildings in the 1950s.”
Susan Crawley, 68, who lives on Tay Close, has lived in the area for 40 years and says it is a good place to live.
She said: “We are near to the Peak District and Chesterfield.
“The people are very friendly.
“The shopping centre is a bit hit and miss and the HSBC bank has just closed.
“We are hoping we do not get any more charity shops.
“The schools are very good.”
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