We’ve all had that moment in life, where we’re chatting to someone from a far-away city and they ask where you’re from. Nobody has ever heard of Dronfield, so we’re left with no choice but to boldly lie or face a long explanation about small town geography. The question is this: when you tell your lie, do you claim to be from Sheffield or Chesterfield?
It’s an age old debate: is Dronfield part of Sheffield or part of Chesterfield? Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut answer, and that undoubtedly leaves us with a deep sense of not belonging. Community plays an important part in forming our social identities, and whilst this site alone highlights how great the community spirit is in Dronfield, it’s always nice to feel like you’re part of something bigger. Instead, we’re outcasts. We’ve got both cities fighting over us – like divorced parents battling over custody when neither really wants the responsibility of parental obligation – but there’s no definitive winner. There are so many contradictory factors in play that it’s impossible to call it. You only have to read Gordon Lake’s: Dronfield Pride article to get a sense of the impact this is having on our citizens.
Officially, of course, the answer is Chesterfield. We’re part of the County of North East Derbyshire whilst Sheffield sits snugly in South Yorkshire. But then why do we house Sheffield FC’s football ground? Why do we have a South Yorkshire postcode? Why can we use NUS discounted travel which is prohibited in Chesterfield? Why is Dronny Bottom ‘Chesterfield Road’ – indicating that as the destination rather than current location – instead of ‘Sheffield Road’? Why does 90% of post that comes to my door use the address form ‘Dronfield, Sheffield’?
We want to uncover this mystery, sift through the murky waters and extensive inconsistencies and finally answer the question as to which city our great town’s allegiances lie. We’ll do this through a series of three posts which will look at Dronfield’s geography, history and social attitudes in regards to this conundrum. It’s time to settle this, once and for all…