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, 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.
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
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
There is more about Dalefield / Lilybank / The Gables
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..
 With thanks to both Victoria Cambridge
and her husband for helping with the style of furniture.
 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.