IT is the end of an era.
Post-war properties known as Tarran bungalows are soon to be demolished in two communities and replaced with modern new homes.
But the 94 quirky homes, built from concrete panels and which are notoriously hard to heat, have fostered a strong neighbourly spirit over the years.
And their close-knit community has even caught the eye of a national photographer and film-maker, Elisabeth Blanchet, who is documenting the change.
Grandma-of-two Mary Greaves, aged 72, admits she cried when learning last year the ‘caravan-like’ home she has shared with husband David for eight years on Pitt Street, Eckington, was to be replaced.
She said: “It’s my home and I have loved being here.
“A lot of people didn’t want to move at first. When I got the letter I stood and cried.
“Most people are very friendly, everybody looks out for each other.
“If you haven’t seen a neighbour for a while you just pop across to their’s.
“It will be the end of an era when the bungalows go.
“When they put up new homes I hope the community spirit is carried across, because the council is trying to keep us all together.”
The Tarran estates - the second of which to be demolished is on Sheffield Road, Killamarsh - weren’t always so beloved.
Mary and David, 63, moved to Pitt Street after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“When we first came in here I could have died,” said Mary, who has been part of committees involved with tenant consultation on the £10.5m refurbishment to create the first new council homes in Eckington for many years.
“They were so cold and unwelcoming, but since we’ve come in we’ve had everything replaced.
“This is the worst winter we’ve had, and the homes are so cold - they are like being in a caravan!
“But we have been very lucky here – people are like a family. When David had a big operation, people knocked on our window to see if he was okay. It’s just one big community.”
North East Derbyshire District Council and Rykneld Homes are replacing the bungalows, some of which have structural problems because of deterioration of the concrete panels, with 130 new properties on the same sites.
Work is expected to start this summer by housebuilder Galliford Try Partnerships with both organisations aiming to preserve the estates’ community spirit.
The first properties, to include modern kitchens and bathrooms and a choice of styles for tenants, should be ready by the end of the year.