Although postal dates for several versions of
this card are in the 1920s, the original photograph was taken before
the First World War. Unusually, it shows a large number of people
outside the premises. Were they celebrating a Coronation, a Jubilee,
mourning someone or just having their picture taken? It may be
fanciful, but it is possible the female seated on the bench on
the left was Rachel Wildgoose, surrounded by some of her staff
and family. The woman on the steps, leaning against the wall, could
have been a bathwoman or a cook. The people on the terrace
on the right and on the first floor roof are probably guests.
Mrs. Wildgoose regularly advertised her first establishment, Oldham
House on Wellington Street, in the Sheffield papers:
OLDHAM HOUSE.-Mr and Mrs Wildgoose (daughter of the late Thos. Davis)
Hydropathic Establishment, next door to Prospect place, Matlock Bank.
N.B. An experienced Bathman in attendance.
She was to buy Prospect Place in 1899 for about £2,500 and
the two businesses became one. This image
shows the combined properties.
See samples of their notepaper
on Matlock: Letterheads
of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (4), N - R
Vernon Lamb Archive, Hydros and Convalescing, Index has 15 photos
of the hydro's staff and guests