Crown Square in the late 1940s and early 1950s had changed
only slightly from the Crown Square of the late 1930s. Some
safety measures had been introduced to aid motorists (see both
the top postcard and the photograph below), as black and white
paint on the kerbstones and the railings all round the Square highlighted
the potential hazards. This was undoubtedly left over from the
blackout imposed during World War Two when kerbs were painted and
white lines appeared down the centre of the roads.
Signposts were taken down and even milestones were removed or obscured
as defence measures to cause confusion in the event of an invasion.
Street lighting had been either turned off or the lamps were covered.
There are two things that help determine the date of all three
pictures on this page. The first is the lamp in the middle of the
traffic island. In 1950 the Matlock Road Safety Committee decided
to recommend the introduction of fluorescent lighting. This had
been suggested by Mr. J. Shaw, a representative of the bus drivers.
So the tall lamp standard's days were numbered. The second is the
bus stop seen next to the railings outside Orme's Causeway Lane
shop front. A brand new bus station on Bakewell Road
opened in 1952 and the bus stop here was not used afterwards.
The railings, particularly those on the Orme's corner, provided
a place where people would pause for a chat, often resting their
arms on the top rail.
Crown Square was unfortunately flooded in September 1946, when
Derbyshire rivers burst their banks. Goods had to be removed from
the cellars of business premises in both Crown Square and Bakewell
Road. Most of the
shops and businesses were the same as those trading in the pre
war era. Next door to Orme's, on Causeway Lane, was a well established
butchery run by John William Boden. On the Bank Road side of Orme's
was Rock Cafe, although this was sold for £14,000
in 1947. The sale notices described the premises as a double-fronted
sale shop, with rooms at the rear, a first floor cafe, club rooms,
etc. The other shops
hadn't changed: The Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Electric Power
Company showrooms sported a long white banner which says "ELECTRICITY",
next door were the Sheffield Gas Company's showrooms, then Arthur
William Gessey's stationers, Evan's cafe and confectioners and
J. H. Dewhurst's butchers. The shop on the corner of Bank Road
and Lime Grove Walk (green signs on the top image and blue on the
bottom one) had become the furniture store of T. Greaves and Co.
Ltd. before the war.
Note the sign on the roundabout pointing roughly
towards the Crown Hotel
that reads "Services Canteen". Presumably it was left
over from the War
and this photograph was possibly taken not long after the war ended.
There were no curtains at the hotel's windows and it looks uninhabited.
The second and third images show the Orme's bus stop in use. In
the second image passengers were either getting on or getting
off a bus whereas in the third picture a queue had formed
at the stop. People were waiting to board one of the buses that
went up to the Duke of Wellington, via Matlock Green, from
Cromford and Matlock Bath. The bus
stop for those who wished to go to Cromford, using the reverse
Duke/Matlock Green route, would board the bus on the opposite
side of Causeway Lane.
The photograph for this third picture was
taken slightly later than those for the other two images. There
were new bollards in the centre of the road on the pedestrian
crossings (close up on the left). Most of the black and white
paintwork had disappeared, but still remained below the bollards,
although the black and white below the bollards had been introduced
pre war. Zebra crossings had not yet been introduced into
It is hard to work out what happened to the greenery
(virginia creeper?) on the front of the Crown Hotel which was
so luxuriant in the other two pictures. It now only covered
the wall below the first floor, so had either been severely
cut back or was not yet out. It is more likely to be the former
as it looks clipped. The sign for the hotel, above the first
floor window on the left, was missing. It had presumably been
taken down for re-painting.
Advertisement for Orme's from Hodgkinson's Almanac
1. "The Bank and Centre, Matlock". F. Frith & Co. Ltd.,
Reigate. A.F.S. MTK. 5. Frith's Series. Not posted.
2. Photograph of Crown Square. No date.
3. "Matlock, Crown Square". Photochrom Co Ltd., Graphic Studios,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, No V4269. Not posted.
4. Advertisement for Marchant Brooks from "Hodgkinson's
Matlock and Historic Almanack, 1945 (War Edition)" © Jane Leslie collection.
Postcards and photograph in the collection of and provided by and © Ann
Researched by and written by and © Ann
Andrews. Intended for personal use only
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web
 There is more about blacked out Britain
restrictions on the home front - Britain is blacked out! (an
external link, so might appear in a new tab or window).
 "Derby Daily Telegraph",
2 December 1950.
 Waite, Glynn (2012) "The
Matlock Cable Tramway", Pynot Publishing, 50 Main
Road, Holmesfield, Dronfield, Derbyshire. ISBN 978-0-9562706-5-8
 "Derby Daily
Telegraph", 5 May 1948. The "Rock Cafe" ,Crown-square
and Causeway-lane. Matlock, offered with vacant possession, was
sold the previous day.
 "Derby Daily
Telegraph", 21 September 1946. Matlock Bath was
also affected and businesses on The Parade also had to clear