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Matlock: Dale Crescent, about 1908
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Wilby's tailors



Samuel Brown's first temperance hotel



His second temperance hotel



An evocative photograph of Dale Road in the late Edwardian era. The photographer has managed to capture the briefest of moments as a young woman with a package and a rolled up newspaper tucked under her arm hurries along the pavement. On the opposite side of the road another woman has turned to look at him, whilst a group of four males behind her are discussing bicycles. It is unclear why there are two wooden barrels outside Pilkington's chemists shop, but they could contain goods for the shop.

Three men on the far left are peering into the shop window of the Bon Marché, a stationers and booksellers with a lending library, run by Samuel Brown and his daughter Lucy[1]. Next door, to the right of the men, was James Wilby's tailors shop. On the same side of the road, just past the lamp post outside Hall & Co., there are two young women pushing prams who are almost level with the Old English Hotel.



Lucy Brown's advertisement,
from Hodgkinson's Guide, about 1907.


Dale Crescent was used as an address by a number properties on Dale Road around 1908, extending from the Boat House Hotel to Henry Barnwell's shop by Matlock Bridge[2].

On the extreme right is Frisby's shoe shop, advertised as "Frisby Joseph, boot & shoe factor, Dale road" in several on site directories[3]. It is unclear when Frisby's first opened in Matlock, although it is possible they did so at the beginning of 1908. One small clue is the sign for the Old English Hotel as Arthur Wall's name is no longer on there; Arthur had passed away in the January of 1908[4]. Mr. Frisby did not manage the shop in person[5] and in 1908 the shop's manager was Harold Lambert[6]. Although the shop closed some years ago the painted sign on the wall can still be seen (see About Matlock Bridge and scroll down).



1930 advertisement for Frisby's, from the Operatic Society programme for that year.


1. "Dale Crescent, Matlock Bridge". Neil's Series No. 1742. Posted 16 August 1910. Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ray Ash collection.
2. Miss Brown's advertisement from "Guide to Matlock and Matlock Bath" (ca. 1907) Printed and published by Geo. Hodgkinson, Matlock Printing Works. © Ann Andrews collection.
3. Frisby's advertisement from Operatic Society programme for 1930 © Ann Andrews collection.
Researched, written 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 Browns can be found in the 1881 census (Matlock Bridge) | the 1891 census (on The Dimple) | the 1901 census |Kelly's 1876 Directory | Kelly's 1881 Directory (Samuel Brown, temperance Hotel, Riverdale House) | Kelly's Directory 1908 (Samuel) | Kelly's Directory 1912 (Lucy) | Kelly's Directory 1916 (Lucy). Samuel Brown passed away at Matlock in 1914, aged 63. Lucy Brown was retired by 1939 and living at 2 Causeway Lane. She died there on 11 Jan 1955.

[2] Several properties giving their address as Dale Crescent can be found in Kelly's Directory 1908 - Commercial Premises although there is only one in Kelly's Directory, 1908 - Private Residents. Another advertisement for a shop in Dale Crescent (Evans) is on Dale Road, Matlock, 1909.

[3] Kelly's Directory 1908 | Kelly's Directory 1912 | Kelly's Directory 1916.

[4] "Belper News", 24 January 1908. Well-known Derbyshire Landlord.

[5] Joseph Rowley Frisby (1879 - 1929) was the managing director of Joseph Frisby (Ltd.), shoe shop proprietors ("The Scotsman", 29 August 1929). His father, Joseph Frisby, had a boot factory in Leicester, where JRF was born.

[6] "Derbyshire Courier", 19 September 1908.