At the end of the Second World War Matlock learned that Rockside Hydro
was to be converted into a training college for student teachers,
leaving only two large hydros in the town.
Smedley's was to be de-requisitioned in January 1946 and would
re-open in the Spring of that year. The other remaining hydro
was Lilybank. John Kay was still a director and in 1949 Stanley
Connor and his wife took over, with John as as deputy manager
of the hydro until Mr. Kay died, renaming it as Lilybank Hotel.
Whilst the Connors were in charge Deborah, the late Dowager Duchess
of Devonshire, opened a Fete in the grounds on one occasion. Famous
football teams also used stay at Lilybank when they were playing
against Derby County. The visiting teams included Preston North
End, with the football legend Tom Finney who has recently died
(2014), and York City.
The Connors left Lilybank in 1956 and
the business continued for a few more years but in 1962 the hydro/hotel
closed and in early 1963 the Lilybank Hydro Company was voluntarily
wound up, following the appointment of a Liquidator at an Extraordinary
Meeting of the Company's Members in Manchester.
The bar (enlargement of above card).
The bar from the ballroom was taken to the golf
links after the
Lilybank's Dining Room,
Advertisement from the early 1950s, when Stanley J. Connor was the
Note that Lilybank was then described as being an Hotel.
Hydro baths were no longer advertised.
There is more about Dalefield / Lilybank / The Gables