The two cards featured here (images one and three) date from
between 1911 and 1914. There were considerably more properties
on the Bank than in the first decade of the twentieth century.
Edge Road, for example, had almost doubled in size and
so had Lime Grove Walk. The top picture was taken by Charles
Colledge in 1911. The United Methodist Church on Imperial
Road was being constructed at the time of the 1911 census and
it was completed later in the year.
The Sunday School next to the church was built a short
time later (see small image at the bottom of the page).
The terrace of six houses on Edge Road in the centre of
the above photograph was built against the hillside, so fronting
the street the houses are two storeys whereas at the back
they are three storeys - the view we can see here. Of the
occupied houses, Edward Barratt, an insurance clerk, lived
at Mayfield with his family and at Fernlea next door was
George Challand Pearson with his wife and son. Mr. Pearson
was a tailor. Two more new builds were on the other side
of the road, opposite what is today Edgefold Road. In the
top image we can see the shell of 14 Edge Road, which was
without a roof. If we look closely at the second postcard
below we discover a second property, similar in style though
not identical, had been built next door and we know this
is Edgemount or 16 Edge Road.
Detail from top postcard. It shows a newly built terrace
of houses on Edge Road, some of which don't
appear to be occupied. Another house, now 14 Edge Road
(was this Hillcrest?), was being erected
and a digger on the far left seems to be laying foundations
for another property.
Matlock was beginning to experience problems with motor
vehicles on both Bank Road and in Crown Square, with a number
of accidents reported in the local press. For example, in
1910 a motor engineer from Matlock Bath, Guy Le Blanc Smith,
was charged at the Matlock Petty Sessions with dangerous
driving as a result of an incident at the Smedley Street
junction with Rutland Street. One of the witnesses was Ernest
Smith, a tram driver from Industrial Road, who was driving
Tram Car One and had stopped at Rutland Road when he saw
the car driven by Le Blanc Smith approaching. The tram cars
travelled at 6 miles per. hour and Mr. Smith believed the
car was five times faster than his tram although, in all
fairness, he could not have had long to assess the speed.
He added that the car had to swerve round the tram on the
off side as there was no room to get past College's shop
on the corner. Mr. Le Blanc Smith did not sound a hooter
and, unfortunately, he killed a dog that ran out of Hand's
garage into the car. The Red Flag Act had been repealed just
over a decade before. Before then a man carrying a red flag
had to walk in front of motor cars, so the cars travelled
at walking speed (i.e. no more than 4 miles per. hour). In
the Le Blanc Smith case the bench concluded that driving
a car uphill at 12 to 14 miles an hour, Le Blanc Smith's
own assessment of his speed as he approached the Smedley
Street / Bank Road junction, was dangerous and he was fined. "The
hill has a gradient of one in seven, and it would take a very
powerful car to get up it at such a speed".
At a Matlock UDC meeting in 1911 Mr. Richards stated
that a good deal of motor-bike
racing was taking place on Bank Road on Sunday afternoons.
The motor cyclists congregated in Crown Square and then rode
their bikes up and down the hill for a couple of hours. The
smoke and dust they created was considered a great nuisance.
In addition, similar racing had happened on Steep Turnpike
on three Sundays
that summer. The Council decided to seek advice from
Police Superintendent Clarke. At the same meeting the Council
received a letter from the Matlock photographer Frederick
Barber who lived on New Street complaining that the tram
had recently carried him past his house, where he wanted
to alight, as a wheelbarrow was blocking the way. The conductor
was chastised and the Council promised that they did not
think such an annoyance would happen again.
This "General View" of Matlock Bank and part
of Matlock Bridge shows the Imperial Road
Church on the far left and the bottom of Steep Turnpike
and the large house known as The Firs
on the right. The area where Firs Parade is today was
thickly covered with trees. A tram is
descending the bank just below the Smedley Street junction.
On a more positive note, to celebrate the Coronation of King
George V in 1911 the Council's Coronation Committee decided
to decorate the Town Hall inside and out from public funds
as well as a portion of Bank Road, Crown Square, Pic Tor
and the Hall Leys.
Other streets, such as Stoney Way, put out their own bunting
(see the Vernon
Lamb Archive: VLA5217).
Detail from the "General View", above.
United Methodist Church and Sunday School, Imperial Road
From the Vernon Lamb Archive: