After the closure of the tram in 1927 a very small central island,
little more than a plinth for the street lamp on it, was initially
introduced into Crown Square. However, by the time of George VI's
coronation in 1937 the traffic island had been considerably enlarged,
grassed and planted with flowers.
It was surrounded by a very low decorative fence at that stage. Quite
when the fence disappeared is uncertain, but it is possible it was
removed during the war when the road signs were also taken down.
Street furniture was introduced in and around Crown Square at
the same time as the new roundabout was built. There were road
directions attached to the lamp post on the roundabout, keep left
signs, Belisha Beacons and marked pedestrian crossings. Railings
had been added at the road junctions, although not initially outside
the Crown Hotel. Bollards were placed in the middle of the road
at three of the four crossing points. Curiously, there were no
bollards at the Bank Road junction, although there was a crossing;
instead a single bollard was put on the roundabout opposite the
junction. However, Bank Road was also a minor road and a "Halt
at Major Road Ahead" sign can be seen on the edge of the pavement
outside Orme's. This is the sign with a triangle enclosed by a
In late 1934 the Minister of Transport, Mr. Hoare-Belisha, had
ordered that a scheme for pedestrian crossings which had been tried
out in London earlier in the year should be extended to the provinces.
In future pedestrian crossings were to be marked by 4" square
steel studs set into the road and Belisha Beacons set on 7 foot
high black and white poles on the edge of the pavement. These were
intended as signs easily visible to motorists as a way of cutting
down accidents. By
August 1935 it was reported that the Ministry of Transport were
very satisfied with the response by the local
authorities of all urban areas to the statutory request for systems
of pedestrian crossings and beacons on their main streets.
Presumably, the Crown Square roundabout was enlarged at that
The side entrance to the Crown Hotel seems to have been taken
down and closed off in the 1930s, certainly before the photographs
for these two postcards were taken. The top image shows the garages,
formerly stables, at the side of the hotel. Greaves furniture store
was by now on the Bank.
The second card below shows the newly built Lido and Lido Cafe
behind the Crown. They were erected on the former Imperial
Gardens in 1938.
It also provides a good view of the Town Hall and Smedley's Hydro.
Judging by the shadows, the traffic and the number of people around
the top picture was taken on a Sunday morning.
1. "Matlock, The Square". Photochrom Co Ltd., Tunbridge
Wells, Kent. No. 85442. This is a photograph. There are two other
versions - sepia and colour version.
2. "Bank Road, Matlock". J. Salmon Ltd., Sevenoaks. No.15123. Not
Postcards in the collection of and provided by and © Susan Tomlinson.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web
 From photograph of Crown Square in
 "The Times", 10 Nov,
1934. Belisha Beacons For Whole Country.
 "Derby Daily
Telegraph", Monday 19 August 1935. More Pedestrian Crossings.
 See Letterheads
of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (2)
 Matlock Lido: Liquidating a Former