It is the story of a young boy being brought up in a small community in Chesterfield during and after the Second World War. It covers the struggle that took place in the days of rationing and relative poverty in an area bounded by three bridges and containing 72 houses, three shops and a pub. He was a descendent of large families; his Mam was one of 23 and his Dad one of eight children. He records events that occurred inside the close knit community, the colourful characters within it, and explains some of the different activities that seem to have been forgotten in today’s environment. Mining was the main industry and gambling was very much a way of life there. It includes a number of unusual incidents which are both extraordinary and humorous at times. It is also a tribute to the people who helped him to get where he is today.
It really is a great and authentic record of life during and after World War II. I know it will reflect the experiences of many local people and I am sure they would greatly enjoy reading it.
Tony Benn, MP for Chesterfield 1984-2001
‘May the most precious source of human drama never go out of fashion or die! Sad or joyous it gives us all a sense of being.’ This little book will help it stay alive. Long live community!
Betty Heathfield – (A leader of the ‘Women against Pit Closures’)
‘Life Down t’Lane describes in honest detail our terraced-house lives in the 1940s and 50s. These lively recollections of a childhood in an industrial town, in this case Chesterfield, will prompt many reminiscences among those who had similar experiences and be a source of interest, amusement and even amazement to those too young to remember those times.’
Des Baker (Old Taptonian 1949-1957)