What have Dronfield Library, a downstairs room in the Peel Centre and an early council estate in town got in common? Answer: They are all linked to Dr. Howard Bennett Fletcher who practised medicine in Dronfield for 57 years up to his death in 1939.
Fletcher was active in local politics, was a JP and a Grammar School Governor. He served on the Local Board, known then as the UDC and was Chairman for 21 years.
Concerned about the rate of unemployment in Dronfield, Fletcher formed two small companies which made castings.
Shortly before his death, he bought Dronfield’s Manor House (now the Library) and gave it to the town to be used as the UDC headquarters.
He lived at the Grange on Church Street which he also left to the town. The Grange was where Dronfield’s first health clinic was held for many years.
Nearby, some of the earliest council housing in Dronfield was named after Dr Fletcher.
So what has all this to do with the Civic Society? Answer: Well former Chairman John Harvey noticed that Dr Fletcher’s grave was in a bit of a poor way and could do with some TLC.
With permission from Rector Peter Bold, our own David Hallam and his team which included Mick Kirk and Malc Styan, both volunteers for Dronfield Hall Barn, got involved in clearing the weeds, re-setting the surround stones and giving the stone a good clean.
With so many charitable ‘founding fathers’ connected with Dronfield’s past, the team could well find themselves spending rather a lot of time with their spirit levels and on bended knee carrying out these honourable civic duties.