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Matlock Bank in the early 1920's
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Cinema House

Matlock: Hall Lees

Hawe Lees, showing Bandstand and New Pavilion

General View, about 1914

The top view of Matlock Bank was taken in the early 1920s from the vantage point of the War Memorial on the top of Pic Tor. It shows the recently built Ritz Cinema complex on Causeway Lane and the Hall Leys without the mature trees and shrubs of today. In those days the cinema wasn't called the Ritz, of course, but was known as the Cinema House or the Picture House - and was not to be confused with the Picture Palace on Dale Road! The row of shops on Causeway Lane next to the cinema were not occupied when the picture was taken[1].

The relatively recently laid out grounds of the Matlock Sports Club Limited, including the goal post on the football pitch and its stand for spectators, can also be seen. Matlock Cricket Club had used the Causeway Lane grounds for a number of years[2] but on 14 March 1921 Matlock sportsmen floated a new company, the Matlock Sports Club, Ltd., with a capital of £3,000 in £1 shares. They were to acquire the land in Causeway Lane, known as Bachelor's Meadow, and to take over the Matlock Football Club, the Matlock Ivanhoe Football Club, and the Matlock Cricket, Football and Athletic Club[3]. The directors were Messrs. W. Abrahamson, F. D. Baxter, W. F. Dakin, Ernest Drabble, and 12 others[3]; Mr. Alfred Wrigley, who had been the secretary of the Cricket Club, became the secretary and the registered office was on Dale Road[4].

The second image also dates from the 1920s, though is a little later. The shops next to the Cinema all have their sun blinds protecting their windows, so by this time were all occupied. Higher up the Bank the tram depôt's chimney, on the corner of Rutland and Wellington Street, had not been taken down. It was removed in the late 1920s.

Amongst those trading on Causeway Lane in 1925, and whose shops, workshops and offices are probably shown, were[5]:
Edward James Clayden, a bootmaker & dealer;
the offices of William Henry Furniss, whose Premier garage was on Bakewell road;
Derbyshire & Smith, printers;
Leigh & Sons, bootmakers;
and Wm. Thompson, shoeing & general smith.

Of these businesses, the firm of Derbyshire & Smith was taken over in 1929. A new company, Matlock Printers Ltd., was registered on 2nd October that year; it had been formed for the purpose of establishing a new weekly local paper with capital of £3,000[6]. This paper was to be the "Coming Events" which was later renamed the "Matlock Mercury".


In the third picture some kind of event is being held on the football field as there are people standing around the edge of the pitch. The white shapes on the pitch seem to be hurdles of some kind. In May 1934 it was announced that a sheep-dog trial was planned for July or August that year, providing satisfactory arrangements could be made to use the Causeway Lane ground[7]. This idea seems to have been deferred slightly and was included in Matlock's Charity Carnival in the September. Events were held over five days and included a Comic Football match, a shop assistants' gymkhana, a baby show and sheep-dog trials as well as all kinds of events on the Hall Leys, a whist drive, ball and a celebrity concert at the cinema house[8]. So it seems the crowd on the football ground were watching sheep-dog trials.

On Smedley Street, up above the grounds, is the extension to what had been the Victoria Halls and was still known in the 1920s as the Derwent Mills (later Paton & Baldwins).

1. "View of Matlock from the Memorial". W & K Post Card "Real Photograph" British Manufacture. No 30. Unposted
2. "Matlock from War Memorial Hill". Published by A. W. Gessey, Bank Road, Matlock, Aqua-Tone Series. Not posted.
Postcards © Ann Andrews collection.
3. Photograph published by Photochrom, one af a set of small pictures of Matlock that were presented in an envelope. © Susan Tomlinson collection.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] When the image is enlarged the Cinema and the row of shops on Causeway Lane do not look quite finished, so this image may date from about 1921.

[2] The Cricket Club was to be found on Causeway Lane in Kelly's 1908 Directory and Kelly's 1912 Directory. Also see Lists Through the Centuries: Matlock Cricket Club, 1857 - 1900.

[3] "Derbyshire Courier", 26 March 1921. Matlock Sportsmen Float a Company. The minimum cash subscription was £1000 and qualification 20 shares. Kelly's 1916 Directory provides the first reference to both the Athletic Club and the Football Club sharing the Causeway Lane ground with the Cricket Club.

[4] See Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (3) - Matlock Sports Club.

[5] List of names extracted from "Kelly's Directory, 1925".

[6] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 3 October 1929. New Weekly Paper at Matlock. The directors of Matlock Printers Ltd. were Messrs. E. M Brentnall, of Birch Garth, Mickleover; T. A. Reed of 108 Dairy House Road, Derby; and James Ball of Radbourne Street, Derby.

[7] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 10 May 1934. Discussion of proposed carnival arrangements.

[8] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 31 Aug 1934. Matlock Charity Carnival advertisement (11-16 Sept 1934) - with thanks to Susan Tomlinson.