Dale Road & Marsdens, 1928 & Early 1950s
|Matlock : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards,
Engravings & Etchings
Marsdens Outfitters, Drapers and Costumiers has
long disappeared from Dale Road but it was, in its day, a wonderful
shop. The main part of the store dealt with women's and girls' clothing
and hats, alongside fabrics, haberdashery and household linen. The
hat department was something special. It was at the rear of the shop,
so overlooking the river, and was down a flight of stairs. The gentlemen
and boys were catered for next door in a long, narrow shop that had,
if memory serves, a parquet floor. Young boys would go there with
their mothers to buy their Sunday best suit and a cap. Marsdens also
sold school uniforms. When you had purchased your item the money
was placed in a cylinder by the salesman or woman. The store used
a cash system whereby the money containers travelled along wires
from various points in the store to the cash office. Your change
and receipt returned the same way. Marsdens' cash office was located
between the main shop and the gents outfitters. The shop can be seen
in both the top image dating from the 1950s and in a photograph from
1928 immediately below.
Marsdens, 1928. The first shop in Matlock to be lit by
Scroll over the image to see a photo of the store in 2016,
including what was the gents outfitters.
When the 1928 photograph was taken Marsdens Ltd. had been
in existence for more than half a century and they then had one
of the largest drapery, millinery, dressmaking, outfitting and
tailoring businesses in the county. At the time Henry Marsden acquired
the business, he developed and extended it in several directions,
and by 1928 the firm had what were described as handsome premises
in the town combined with the largest stocks. The managing director
was then Mr. Arthur Marsden, who was also the Chairman of the
Matlock Chamber of Trade. It was Arthur Marsden who was responsible
for making costly structural alterations shortly after the First
World War that resulted Marsdens taking the appearance of a large
modern town store. It was the first shop in Matlock to be lit
by electricity, the firm having put down their own plant before
the Derbys. and Notts. Co. laid their cables.
The first enlargement from the top image
shows three Dale Road buildings next door to the drapery
that were affected by a serious fire in February 1899. The
back part of Marsden's grocery and provision store, next
door to the drapery in Derwent House and the closest to the
camera, was "burnt
out through the roof"
in the fire; the sub-manager was a Mr. Slater who lived on
the premises with his family. He was not insured. Fred Else's
stationers next door was completely destroyed; he also sold
toys and fancy goods and his shop had recently been restocked.
Fortunately the family were away but he kept firearms and cartridges
in the house that exploded as the fire intensified. Fire also
affected Parr's Bank (destroyed "up to the line of the
block"), but the resident manager - Mr. Jewitt - and his
wife, child and servant also escaped. Parr's had only recently
absorbed into or had been taken over the Derby and Derbyshire
Bank and, miraculously, everything belonging to the bank was
saved. Unbelievably, the spaniel owned by Mr. Else was found
in the basement the following day by insurance inspectors.
The Treadgold's, who lived opposite, not only provided enormous
help in salvaging items etc from the bank but also gave shelter
to Mr. Jewitt and his family as well as that of Mrs. Arthur
Marsden. Treadgold's shop suffered relatively minor damage,
though had plenty of broken windows, but it would have
been very different if the wind had been blowing in another
direction. Mrs. Abbott, landlady of the Queen's Head, had
opened up the Market Hall for rescued goods and took the
Slater family in; the children were wrapped in blankets and
counterpanes. As Mr. Balguy, the general manager of Parr's
and who had formerly lived at the bank, said "We
have a roof over our heads and that is all".
William Boden, a builder living on Matlock Bank, was commissioned
to reconstruct the bank almost immediately. The two other premises
had to be almost totally rebuilt. Once
the work was completed Parr's Bank changed buildings (it is the
NatWest today). James Potter, a local solicitor, moved his offices
and also the Magistrates' Clerk's Office from Holt Chambers into
the former bank (Bridge Chambers) and the firm still
occupies the building (2017).
Unfortunately, the small garden and the stone columns and entrance
porch have been removed at some stage. It has been suggested that
Potter's had once been a temperance hotel but there is no evidence
to support the theory. Marsden's
menswear was eventually housed in the grocery and provision store
Second enlargement of the top image
A little further along Dale Road in the early 1950s was
Moore's bakery, with the Hovis sign below the first floor window
that can be seen in the second enlargement of the top image. Moore's
was established on Dale Road some time before 1881,
having arrived in Matlock in the late 1850s. Next door was the
where the female in the white skirt and dark jacket can be seen
looking at the window display; their "little shop" was
originally in the Market Hall but moved further along the road
to "up-to-date premises" after the First World War. Their
new shop had previously housed the Crompton and Evans Union Bank.
Hall & Co. is a little further along - with a narrowish entrance
to the back of the shop on its right.
Lennard's shoe shop (with the white signs) was on the opposite
side of the sideway (Lennard's Corner).
The name Lennard's can still be seen on the tiled floor of the
entrance today. Then there were a couple of other businesses
and finally the Old English Hotel which is a little obscured by
the street furniture.
One the right hand side of Dale Road in the top image, on the
corner and displaying the large R.A.C. "Inn" sign, was
the Queen's Head Hotel; at that time is was run by Mr. Hardy whose
advertisement is below.
1. "Dale Road, Matlock". Postcard in the collection of © Ken
Smith and scanned for this website by Ann Andrews.
2. Mounted photograph of Marsdens shop, Dale Road, said to have
been taken in 1928. © Susan Tomlinson collection. 2016 view of the
store (seen when you scroll over the main image) was taken for this
web site by and is © Susan Tomlinson.
3 and 4. Enlargements of sections of item 1.
5. Advertisement from "The Matlocks, Derbyshire",
guide book published in the 1950s. Geo. Hodgkinson, Printer, Matlock.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web
 Marsdens was a family run firm.
See, for example, Kelly's
Directory 1891 | Kelly's
Directory 1908 | Kelly's
Directory 1916. Also see Matlock:
Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (3).
 After Marsden's closed Harry
Briddon took over the main shop. What had been the gents
and boys section, was separated off as it was in a different
building, and became a dress shop. It is now part of NatWest
 "Derbyshire Times",
29 September 1928. Chamber of Trade Meeting.
 "Derby Daily
Telegraph", 6 February
1899 and "Derbyshire Times", 11 February 1899. Mr. Balguy
was living on Dale Road in 1881.
 "Derbyshire Times",
4 March 1899. Preliminary Sale Announcement by Joseph Hodgkinson,
the Auctioneer and James Potter that (Lot 1)
two valuable site in Dale Road occupied by Messrs Marsden, Grocer
and Messrs Else stationer, recently burnt down.
 "Derbyshire Times", 31
May 1902. Several Good Rooms, suitable for Offices (in the building
late Parr's Bank) advertised to let by James Potter.
This was quickly followed by "Derbyshire Times", 21
June 1902. Potter's Notice of Removal.
 There had been a temperance hotel
nearby, in Riversdale House. This was Brown's Hotel. For more information
see Matlock Bridge: Bank House, formerly Riversdale House, about
1902 and Matlock Bridge,
Pic Tor Walk, 1909.
 The Moore family can be found
on Dale Road, then Dale Crescent, as early as 1881
- see the census for that year. But they were in Matlock
before that. William was in
Matlock Town in 1871 and Peter was living
on the Bank and the whole family were on
the Bank in 1861. They are also listed in nineteenth
century trade directories and twentieth
century trade directories.
 Advertisements for Manchester
Stores were published in trade directories from 1895. See Kelly's
1895 Directory (under Loverock & Son). Earlier than
that it was Loverock & Son.
 There is more information about Hall & Co.,
in the early 20th century.
 The first trade directory reference
for Lennards is Kelly's
1916 Directory. The manager was wounded during WW1. See Newspaper Cuttings Jul 1914 - Nov
1918 (July 1917), though the article spells the store