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Matlock: Bank Road (3), 1923-27
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Crown Square 1901



Bank Road & the Steep-Gradient Tramway



Bank Road 1907



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



This elevated view looking straight up Bank Road can only have been taken from the upper floors of one of the buildings that used to be at Park Head (see the link to Crown Square 1901 on the right). This has to be one only a few images that shows both the tower on top of 1 Crown Buildings and that of Smedley's hydro. The two are very similar in design.

The photograph was taken in the last few years of the life of the Bank Road Tramway, possibly as early as 1923. The shrubbery outside the Crown Hotel had been cut down by this time and Orme's had moved into the building over the road, having vacated their previous shop at Park Head. It is very feint, but you can just make out the name "Orme's" over the shop door. Orme's took over the premises, No 1 Crown Buildings, that had been vacated by the milliners and outfitters R. & M. Reay[1]. So the building underwent a change of use, as it had been a drapers / outfitters since the 1890s.



There was eventually a single storey building on land behind the Crown Hotel. Herbert Mountney was the licensee of the Crown Hotel in 1925[2] and Harry Leonard of Snitterton Road was the manager of Orme's[3]. He was still there at the outbreak of the Second World War, by which time he was 70 years old.

The story behind Orme's move to the shop on the Bank Road / Causeway Lane corner is quite complicated. In June 1919 Hodgkinson's auctioneers offered the three Crown Square properties at Park Head - Orme's, Gessey's (previously Margerrison's) and Arthur Dakin's (previously Phillips') - for sale on behalf of the trustees of the late Mrs. Russell[4]. The shops were bought by Mr. E. T. Hooley of Risley Hall and Hooley subsequently sold Orme's to Mr. Stanley Orme of Granby House, Bakewell. At the time Matlock UDC were hoping to buy all three premises and had appointed an intermediary to bid for them, so something clearly went wrong[4]. In the July the Council issued and served a writ against four parties involved in the sale, claiming they were the purchasers. They had hoped to acquire the premises as they wished to widen the street close to the County Bridge[5]. In 1921 there was some discussion in a Council meeting when it was alleged that they were acquiring the most valuable sites in the town, including Orme's property, and intended to erect premises on some of it. The allegations, strenuously denied by all but one of the Councillors, were withdrawn almost immediately[6].

Before he moved to his new premises at 1 Crown Buildings, Stanley Orme applied for confirmation of the renewal of his grocer's license[7]. He had held a license for his Park Head shop for 45 years and the Derbyshire Licensing Committee sanctioned the removal of the license from one shop to the other in May 1923[8]. The new shop, which Mr. Orme's owned, was only 65 yards from his old premises but was considerably bigger. Matlock Council had "recently" acquired his existing premises at Park Head and they unanimously passed a resolution consenting to the removal, which also had the unanimous approval of the Matlock justices![9] So what seems to have been the Council's headache of 1919 and 1921 was resolved.


"No. 15 Bank Road, Matlock". No publisher. The card has been used but there is no legible postmark on the back. However, the stamp was one showing George V.
Postcard in the collection of and 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] The Reays advertised in Kelly's 1916 Directory. In 1920 the Central Sale Rooms advertised household furniture of Messrs R and M Reay and others was for sale ("Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 26 November 1920).

[2] Mr. Mountney's name is shown at the Crown in Kelly's 1925 Directory.

[3] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 27 May 1926.

[4] "Belper News", 6 June 1919. A Matlock property sale. Why did not the Council purchase? The Council had met several potential bidders "in camera".

[5] "Derbyshire Courier", 12 July 1919.

[6] "Derbyshire Courier", 14 May 1921.

[7] "Derbyshire Times", 17 February 1923. Stanley Orme's application, dated 16th Feb 1923, was first published.

[8] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 2 May 1923. Derbyshire Licensing Committee decisions.

[9] "Derbyshire Times", 5 May 1923. County Committee Confirm Local Decisions. Whilst it is difficult to know when Orme's vacated the Park Head shop, it is thought that it would have been around the time of the changes to the license. They were shown at 1 Crown Buildings in Kelly's 1925 Directory.