This photograph was taken from almost the same vantage point as Matlock
Bridge & Bank, 1903-04 before the green fields were covered
by houses. It was registered by Valentine's in 1907. The photograph
is looking towards Hackney and shows Allen Hill, The Dimple, Imperial
Road (bisected by the red chimney) with a short stretch of Edge
Road - shown as a cul de sac at that time - from the point it joins
Wolley Road / Imperial Road to it disappearing into a tree. It
also includes a few buildings on Bakewell Road and Snitterton Road.
Below the line of houses on the top of the hill, which are
on Cavendish Road just above Jackson Tor, is Jackson House. In
both 1908 and 1916 Leonard Bramwell was running Jackson House as
a hydropathic establishment.
All Saints' Church is easily distinguished by the large grey roof.
Part of Wolley Road is just above the red chimney and looks like
an angular letter J, with the houses of Malpas Road off it to the
left. Beyond that are the buildings around the Crabtree Inn and
Hackney just goes off on the far left.
As for the red chimney, this was part of the "Rag Mill" near
the railway station,
and later was occupied by Poyser's Patents. It was built between
1876 and 1884 but
there was no clear indication of an occupier until Smedley's Hydropathic
Company Limited bought the disused mill from Mr John Fisher of
Chindrass House, Starkholmes in 1901. The mill had been empty for
years but had a right to water power from the River Derwent. The
hydro's purchase seems to have been unexpected though it transpired
that they had bought the mill for conversion to an electric power
station. It was said that until he had accepted the cash for the
deal John Fisher did not know the name of the buyer!.
Smedley's required an adequate water supply, mentioned in the company's
annual report, but the mill neither did nor could take river water
for power although it must have drawn its supply for its boiler
and also for use in paint grinding from there. Smedley's idea
was destined to be short lived.
In June 1902 the Notts. and Derbyshire Electric Power Bill was
among the Bills which received the Royal Assent the House of Lords.