There is no place like home for pensioner Geoffrey Banyard – who is still living in the same house he moved to as a baby.
The former painter and decorator loves his home in Shiregreen so much he has stayed there for 80 years.
And he said community spirit in the area is as alive as ever despite witnessing many changes over the past eight decades.
Geoffrey moved to Butterthwaite Road when he was just eight months old with parents William and Violet and brothers Kenneth and David in 1934.
He went to Beck Road School, which is still open today, until he was 11 before he went to study at Hatfield House Lane School. He was one of the first year groups required to stay at school until he was 15.
Geoffrey said: “If you passed your 11 Plus exam you were able to attend Firth Park School, known to us as the Red Cap School. I did not pass so attended Hatfield House Lane School.”
As with many households, Geoffrey’s family had an evacuee stay with them during the World War Two. Evacuees were brought to Beck Chapel, which is now the location of the Shiregreen Community Homes office, and allocated a placement.
A 20-year-old woman and her baby from London were given a home with the Banyard family and stayed with them for about three years. Geoffrey still keeps in touch with the baby named Mavis, who is now a grandmother.
He said: “I remember around this time that two landmines had been dropped on Sicey Avenue.
“Luckily neither exploded but the bomb disposal team were called out to ensure they weren’t a risk.
“I remember it being an annoyance as I had to walk the long way to the shops!”
At the age of 15, Geoffrey learnt the painting and decorating trade and worked with his uncle.
At 18 he was called up for National Service and sent to serve in Germany where he worked in a workshop, maintaining spares for parts needed in the war.
After two years, National Service was disbanded and Geoffrey was able to return to his same home, quickly picking back up his painting and decorating trade. “One of my most memorable jobs was painting Sheffield United’s football ground,” he added.
Geoffrey met and married his wife Maureen in 1968 and they went on to have two sons, Roy and Paul, who now serve in the Army.
He said: “I have lived here all my life and have been lucky enough to remain in our family home.
“The biggest difference to Shiregreen from when I was young is that there were no cars on the road.
“I remember when rationing was introduced the number of local shops increased and also when my mum used to collect our milk with her own jug from a mobile milk truck, one of the only vehicles we were used to seeing.
“It’s great to see community spirit again, seeing neighbours hanging flags across the street for the World Cup was something I hadn’t seen since VE day.
“Shiregreen Community Homes have helped to support and promote this by letting people know what is happening in the area.”
Shiregreen Community Homes took over the management of the property in 2002 and Geoffrey believes he could be the longest-standing resident in Shiregreen.
He got in touch with the housing provider when he saw an article in their resident magazine about another veteran tenant.
“It was my neighbour that encouraged me to get in touch,” he added.