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The Blocks, Crowd Outside a Shop, High Street, Stonebroom, c 1940
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'The Blocks' at Stonebroom. The latter, built for colliery employees in the middle of the last century, were in a deplorable condition, and photographs in the 14th November 1947 edition of The Derbyshire Times were captioned 'The Black Hole of Derbyshire' (Plate 39). As long ago as 1910 the medical officer of health for the Chesterfield R.D.C. had reported: 'The colliery villages, built in parallel blocks with rows of sanitary conveniences between them', are not of a character to elevate the minds of their inhabitants', and mentioned in particular Stonebroom and other villages where such housing conditions existed. There were over 160 dwellings in 'The Blocks' when they were officially 'condemned' before the war, and the first houses were started at Mickley in 1946.