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Chesterfield House Hydro Brochure, 1906-17, has an earlier picture of the console tables

The Old Baileans, Matlock & District Amateur Operatic Society and the local Rotarians were amongst the numerous clubs and societies who hired Lilybank's ballroom for their annual dinner dances and balls in the 1950s. Over the Christmas period the ballroom was used by the hotel for such things as a Fancy Dress Ball, and although there was a separate television room where programmes were projected onto a screen, a special screen was erected in the ballroom to show the Coronation of the Queen in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953. The screen was also used so the guests could see the Queen's Speech on Christmas Day.

In its heyday it must have been a wonderful room to dance in. There was Art Nouveau glass in the windows and in the roof lantern, and panoramic views of Matlock from the windows (described by Sally Mosley in her article about the building's time as a school). Lilybank's ballroom, opened in 1923[1], had a sprung maple floor, which can be seen both in the postcard above and in the bottom photograph. Chairs and sofas were arranged around the edge of the room and in the right hand corner there was a grand piano.

There were, in addition, two remarkable carved and gilded console tables with marble tops that had large oval mirrors above them and marble busts on the table tops. They were Victorian Italianate in style and probably made from gilt gesso[2]. There is photographic evidence that the tables had formerly been in the Recreation Room (Ballroom) at Chesterfield House Hydro before they were taken to Lilybank. It is possible that prior to them being installed at Chesterfield House they had graced a large grand Victorian period property, though so far no information about that has been found[3].

The Connor family lived Lilybank Hotel from 1949 until 1956 and below are two photographs of the children, Deirdre and Terry, that were taken in the ballroom. Behind the children are the console tables and the photo of Deirdre posing on the table top in front of the mirror, in particular, shows what wonderful decorative pieces they were.

There is more about Dalefield / Lilybank / The Gables

Lilybank Hydro (Dalefield)

Barton's Dalefield Hydro 1904

Sun lounge 1930s

1950s multi view, with advertisement

1930s, with advertisement

Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (3) - Lilybank

Dinner menus
from the late 1950's

Mrs. Marian Wildgoose, who owned "The Gables"

Sally Mosley's article about the school (Newspapers section)

1. "The Lilybank Hydro, Matlock. The Ballroom". Published by Photchrom Co. Ltd., Royal Tunbridge Wells. Not posted.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
2 & 3. Photos of Deirdre and Terry taken by Monica Rippon © Deirdre Connor collection.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews, with some information provided by Deirdre Connor.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Sheffield Independent", 1 October 1923. Advertisement for the hydro, one of a large number of adverts placed by Mr. & Mrs. John Kay in the autumn of that year..
[2] With thanks to both Victoria Cambridge and her husband for helping with the style of furniture.
[3] Victoria noticed the console tables (March 2016) in a booklet or prospectus about Chesterfield House from its early days as a school, dating from either the late 1920s or early 1930s. It is not known whether Mr. Kay, who preceded the Connors at Lilybank, installed them immediately after the ballroom was built or obtained them a few years later. However we now know (Oct 2016) that they were istalled at Chesterfield House, possibly as early as 1906 or even before then See Chesterfield House Hydro Brochure, 1906-17.