Tuck's postcard of Matlock Bridge and Bank was taken at a very similar
time to the
previous image as the development on the Bank is
at exactly the same stage. The picture was taken at the time
when the County Bridge was being widened and we can see just
a couple of minor things relating to the widening in the enlargement
below. A fence, which sticks out from the Crown Square shops
on the left, has been put up to partially block the roadway across
the bridge. It is impossible to tell whether the vehicles are
horses with carts or horses with carriages but they seem to be
waiting outside Orme's grocery store on the right to cross the
bridge. Look carefully and you can also just see the beginning
of the temporary footbridge that had been erected.
The County Bridge was partially closed.
Local carters were encountering difficulties when descending the
Matlock hills and some attached slippers, a kind of skid or shoe
with studs in them, to the wheels of their drays as a means of
retarding the speed of their vehicles when going downhill. Slippers
would have been especially useful when the drays were carrying
a heavy load, such as stone. The road surfaces, made from successive
layers of crushed limestone which was covered in mud and then
rolled (macadam), were not good.
The iron tyres on both carts and carriages caused deep ruts.
The heavily loaded drays, especially with slippers or skids on them,
were breaking up the road surfaces and making things worse.
One problem aggravated the other. In early
November 1904 the Council's Surveyor, Mr. James Diggle, alerted
the Council to the damage being caused to Matlock's roads by
They then needed to make an example of someone for causing
damage. On the 30th November a man named Thomas Wood of Darley
Dale was summoned for using a slipper with studs on 2 November,
having carted four tons of stone from Rockside Terrace down Wellington
Street. The Surveyor estimated the damage that Wood had caused
was 5 shillings.
The following summer another dray became unmanageable, colliding
with a lamp post near the town hall and then skidding across
the road. The driver, Frank Booth, sustained a fractured jaw
and other injuries.
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this
 Macadam for road surfaces was made
up of materials advocated by J. L. McAdam many years before.
Each layer of stone was rolled before the next one was laid.
Tarmac, or tarmacadam, was introduced later on.
 "Derbyshire Times",
9 November 1904.
 "Derbyshire Times",
3 December 1904.
 "Derbyshire Courier",
26 August 1905.