Charles Colledge produced some really beautiful photographs for
postcards of Matlock and this is no exception. Here is Oldham
House in the inter war years, at the time run by Lubin George
Lubin Wildgoose was a grandson of Thomas Davis, one of the founders
of the hydropathy industry in Matlock, and he followed on
from his parents at Oldham House. He had married Jane Ellen Barnsley
at the Primitive Methodist Chapel on Matlock Bank in 1898 and
the couple had one son, Harold Davis Wildgoose. Lubin George
was elected onto Matlock Urban District Council and eventually
He was also very musical, singing in local choirs and playing
the double bass.
About 1900 his hydro became the first place in England from which
music was transmitted over the telephone. There had been a musical
competition practice at Oldham House one evening, after which
the four members of the Male Voice Quartet remained behind to enjoy
what was described as a quiet smoke. L. G. Wildgoose had arranged
to speak to his brother, who was living in Oldham, about 11p.m.
The group decided to give his brother a quick concert so crowded
into the hydro's telephone box, closing the door firmly to avoid
disturbing the visitors and servants. At the end of the impromptu
recital they received praise from an unexpected quarter as the
operator had been listening in.
"Well I'm d------. I never heard anything like that over
a telephone afore. Goodnight, lads, and good luck".
Over the years the hydro provided hospitality to individuals and
large groups, including hosting conferences. In the pre Christmas
period of 1928, for example, Derby County Football Club were amongst
the guests at Oldham House.
They seem to have trained there on numerous occasions over the
years. The Derbyshire Scouters held their annual weekend conference
there a couple of months before.
Over 100 Derbyshire Scout officers and lady cubbers attended.
Although the outbreak of the Second World War saw the end of hydropathy
at Oldham House, the Oldham House & Prospect Place Hydropathic
Company Limited was not voluntarily wound up until an Extraordinary
General Meeting on 21 April 1959. Harold Wildgoose was then Chairman
and Kenneth MacNeill Black of the firm Mills & Black was
The sender of this card wrote:
"You would like it here there is always some sort of entertainment
during the evening after dinner."
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.