Memories of the 50s in Dore

My husband Bernard, our son Peter and I were fortunate to move to Heather Lea Place in 1950. Two houses and a bungalow had been built before the war. In the late 40's Montague Taylor started building houses and these were bought mainly by ex-service men. All forces were represented so we were all more or less the same age group and our children of similar ages. In 1951 our second son Martin was born. The Taylors, who lived in one of the older houses were an older couple with no children. Mrs Taylor was an infant school teacher and she loved to have the children at her house and in her garden. They also had a caravan at Llanddulas, North Wales and we had some lovely holidays there. The Taylors were a very kind couple.

When the children reached school age they all went to the village school under the care of Mr Wright. A lot of the boys joined the choir under the care of Mr Farnsworth. The children all went to Sunday School. Dore was, and still is, a lovely place in which to bring up a family. Bernard knew Derbyshire very well having explored it from early childhood so we as a family enjoyed exploring it too.

Scouting and Well Dressing

The boys joined Cubs and the girls Brownies and later Guides and Scouts. They had a great time. Children in the 50's had so much more freedom than now. Bernard was chairman of the Scouts Parents Group for four years, he was always thinking of new ideas to add to the Scout Gala. Betty Brown was our next door neighbour and Bernard knew of her artistic talents. He thought it would be a good idea to have a Well Dressing and asked Betty if she could help organise itl which as we all know she did for many years. A few of us went to Eyam for instruction and they very kindly gave us a board. The clay way dug from the bottom of our garden for the first few years and we soon got our hands 'puddling' it.

We had a good team under Betty's leadership. For a few years we did the Well Dressing in Shaw's garage on Causeway Head Road. We had a lot of fun.

Concerts and Dances

Some of the ladies from Heather Lea Place joined the Mothers' Union and each year we gave a concert, Pat Gregory was our choreographer. The first one we did was a sketch from the Black and White Minstrels. We had our faces blackened and wore black wigs. We caused much amusement in the audience as they tried to figure out who was who. The next one we did was from My Fair Lady and we were much more elegant!

The Mums and Dads from Heather Lea Place often went to dances together and had great evenings. Baby sitters had to be arranged; my Mum sat in for us and my Dad sat in for the Speakmans. He always said Betty left him a lovely supper.

In 1952 I returned to do some nursing and worked as a Staff Nurse at the Royal Hospital on Saturdays and Sundays 7.30 - 3.00 pm. Bernard did a great job looking after the boys, he didn't see much of them during the week and enjoyed the time he could spend with them at the weekend.

So our time in the 1950s was a joy to be remembered

Joyce Coggins