We all know Stonelow Road. Located just seconds away from two of our most iconic landmarks, Fanshawe School and Greendale shops, Stonelow Road embodies everything that is quintessentially Dronfield. Yet it harbours a dark and dangerous secret…
Turning on to Stonelow Road from Green Lane, everything appears normal. You walk along a bit and there’s some lovely flats, a primary school, a church and a park. Could anything be more typically Dronfield? But how many of us, dear readers, have ever ventured further along Stonelow Road? Until the little kids’ park vanishes from sight. Until the houses get bigger and the cars more expensive. Until there is, wait for it, genuine, legitimate woodland stretching as far as the eye can see.
That’s right. You can smell it in the air and feel it in that unsettling churning deep in the pit of your stomach. Without warning, without any intention, you have ended up in Coal Aston. With road names all seemingly connected to some kind of tree, with their own specialist bus service adding precious minutes on to the Dronfieldian’s journey home (curse you, 44), and with an average age of 104, it’s impossible to explain your unease at finding yourself in such a place. There’s something that’s just not right.
Top sociologists have spent hours (about four, maybe five) researching what it is about Stonelow Road’s transition from Dronfield to Coal Aston that causes such turmoil for citizens of Dronfield, and they have come up with two possible explanations. Firstly, it’s the secrecy of it all. The cloak and dagger approach. It isn’t like travelling up Green Lane, where there’s a clear sign welcoming you to Coal Aston and alerting you to your change in territory. No, it’s the sneak attack of it that disturbs us. And secondly, it’s the underlying resentment every Dronfieldian unknowingly possesses about Coal Aston in general. Because, apparently, amidst the scoffing and the jokes, we all really know that Coal Aston does the whole suburban, idyllic lifestyle that Dronfield strives so desperately for better than we could ever hope to.
Well, if that’s the best you can come up with Dr. Sociologist, I wouldn’t quit the day job. The day we’re jealous of Coal Aston will be the day we go to Unstone for a pleasant, enjoyable evening.