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Matlock: Bank Road (2) from Crown Square, about 1910
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Peter Holmes advertisement

Bank Road & the Steep-Gradient Tramway

Crown Square 1910

Crown Square 1937-39

An unusual view of the world's steepest tramway, looking straight up Bank Road. The tram is heading up the hill, with a father and son perched at the front to enjoy the ride. There are a number of pedestrians but no other vehicles on the Bank, not even a horse and cart.

What has helped date the photograph to about 1910 is the sign above the shop doorway which provides the shopkeeper's name as J E Beard. John Edward Beard first appears in local records around 1908[1] when he is found occupying Crown buildings as a general and fancy drapery, also selling millinery and underclothing. He was still there in 1912. Born in Westminster in 1858, he was the son of a draper; the family later lived at Great Malvern. Mr Beard, his wife and two surviving children moved to Matlock from Nottingham to live above the Crown Square premises. Mr Beard had previously had a drapery business on Mansfield Road, Nottingham and the Matlock concern appears to have involved all the family[2].

In 1914 several advertisements appeared in the Sheffield paper advertising his drapery stock for sale. It was advertised at cost price and he placed the value of £350 on his entire stock. Beard's Matlock drapery eventually became Orme's grocery shop, beloved by a whole generation of Matlock residents, though Orme's also disappeared from the scene many years ago[3].

Beard's 1908 Advertisement,
from Matlock Operatic Society Programme

See Orme's on Matlock: Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (4), N - R

"Bank Road, Matlock (from Crown Square)" was produced by Loca-Vu Photo Co of Sheffield. Not posted.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ray Ash.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] 1908 Kelly's Directory | Kelly's Directory 1912

[2] 1901 census of England and Wales and earlier census records. John Edward Beard died on 18 February 1935 in Nottingham, aged 77; his wife Maria Isabella (nee Young) died in Q3 1930, aged 71, also at Nottingham. The couple had married in 1884.

[3] "Sheffield Evening Telegraph", 24 August 1914.