Last week I was in conversation with a friend who resides in our bordering city of Sheffield. She began to tell me of her recent adventure to our busy town of Dronfield – on an obscure mission to rent some wine glasses. This mundane and tedious task later provoked me to question: “What really brings people to Dronfield?”
Unfortunately, Dronfield does not hold an audacious title such as ‘Wine Glass Capital of the World’ or anything remotely similar. In fact, it only takes a quick look at a map to realise that Dronfield’s residents choose to live here so they can live their average middle-class lives in close proximity to their places of work in Sheffield and Chesterfield, whilst still enjoying the simple pleasures of being only a short drive away from the great outdoors of the Peak District (but then again, who’d want to go there?)
Another theory about Dronfield’s growing population is the industry that it provides. There are various industrial firms and warehouses scattered throughout Dronfield, including the infamous Gunstones Bakery; which as any frequent users of public transport will know, provides many hot and sweaty journeys on the 43 bus service, as passengers awkwardly try not to encroach the personal space of others.
In spite of these distinctly mediocre advantages, I still believe that Dronfield has more to offer as regard to attracting visitors, and maybe even convincing them to stay as permanent residents. In actuality, our humble abode offers great opportunities in each of the three key elements of life – Football, Music and Beer.
Dronfield has a strong heritage in the world of football, housing the world’s oldest football club – Sheffield FC – and therefore the origins of the beautiful game itself! Our wonderful town has also provided football legends such as Chelsea defender Gary Cahill (who has numerous appearances at the international level) and, more importantly, the mighty Kevin Pressman.
Music would not be the same without the relentless force of rock and roll. Rick Allen, raised in Dronfield, played drums in the band ‘Def Leppard’ and was famous for overcoming a horrific car accident in which he lost his left arm. In a heroic comeback, Allen continued to make music with the band showing the true grit and determination that runs through Dronfield’s veins.
With the emerging popularity of ‘real ale’, Dronfield stands at the forefront. Attracting tipplers from far and wide, our town reaps the rewards of its refreshing beers through the outlet of its numerous picturesque and atmospheric pubs such as the Blue Stoops and the White Swan.
Nonetheless, as with all things in life, not everything is quite as it seems. I have presented the positives but each of the aforementioned points have their flaws. Football has Roy Keane and hooliganism, great music rears its ugly ‘Top 40’ head, and premium alcohol drives adolescents to drink cheap cider on Cliffe Park at night time.
Despite our town’s great feats, Dronfield and its residents must do more to promote our formidable assets in order to effectively increase the town’s popularity. I understand that an evening of non-league football followed by an exhausting walk up one of Dronfield’s many hills to the Yew Tree in order to knock back several lukewarm lagers whilst enduring a performance from Junkyard Dog may not sound like your ideal Saturday – however, it is still much more than Unstone has to offer.
– Contributing Author, James Kirk
– Twitter: @Kirks2k