I was born Patricia June Westley on 11 June 1946 in the new “prefabs” at 46 Stubley Lane, Dronfield.
I was the first baby to be born in the prefabs and was given a victory spoon to mark the occasion by Dronfield Council.
Our prefab was at the Subely Lane end of Summerwood Lane (across from where Gunstones Bakery was to be built).
My dad helped to build the prefabs when he was demobbed from the army. He later worked as a Moulder at Butlers Foundary at the bottom of Church Street, Dronfield. This is now The Forge shopping complex. He was also a voluntary fireman.
We knew all of our neighbours. The Halls next door then the Hopkinsons, Leightons and Sharpes. Mrs Unwin lived over the back garden fence and looked after me when my brother was born in June 1950. One of Mrs Leighton’s daughter’s used to take me to the Baptist chapel on a Sunday at the bottom of Stubley Lane.
I remember when they were going to build Gunstones Bakery in around 1950, they sent a converted bus set up as a café to show people what was going to be made at the bakery.
My first school was School Lane Infants School on School Lane Dronfield. I think I only went there for a term because we then moved to 54 Carr Lane, Dronfield Woodhouse in August/September 1951. I then went to William Levick School which was on Holmesfield Road (this is now a care home).
The view from 54 Carr Lane when we moved there was across open fields with just a couple of farms visible. I remember the Gosforth Valley housing estate being built during the 1960’s which changed our view dramatically from fields to rooftops.
We soon got to know our new neighbours on Carr Lane, most of whom had young families. Ray Brooks lived with his parents about 6 houses away. He was known as Ray Stewart and had a musical group called Frankenstein and the Monsters!
We went to the local chapel on Sundays and to Christian Endeavour in the week. It was at the top of Carr Lane on Holmesfield Road. This has now been converted to a house.
Growing up in council houses as we called them was a happy time. We never knew or noticed that a few people owned their own houses. We all felt that we were just the same as each other.