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Matlock: Hall Leys, Tennis, Boating Lake & Paddling Pool, 1940s & 50s
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Boating Pool

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Matlock Bath's Miniature Railway in the Derwent Gardens



The photographer presents us with a slightly more unusual view of the Hall Leys Park (above) as he or she was looking down the valley from the end furthest away from Crown Square, so looking back towards Park Head and Matlock Bank, with Causeway Lane on the right. The football ground 'stands' and dugout can be see on the opposite side of the road.

According to a 1950s guide which was published not long after the top postcard, the park provided "amusements for young and old[1]". This card shows many of the things available in the late forties and early fifties, including the swings and the children's paddling pool although the protective weather screens, added to the bandstand in the 1950s, were a thing of the future.

Whilst it is not easy to see beneath the trees, on the left is the line of the miniature railway beside the river. There was another miniature railway in the Derwent Gardens in Matlock Bath[1]. Bowls and crazy golf were also available, and still are today.

Flags can be seen on the boating lake's islands but they had disappeared by the time later pictures of the lake (see next image) was taken.

A wartime trade directory stated that the Council had provided "tennis courts, a miniature golf course, a crown bowling green, and a magnificent lake has been constructed for motor boating and skating"[2]. It is possible that the hard tennis courts were constructed at this time as the boating lake, and some of the other facilities updated.


Tennis Courts, Hall Leys Park, 1948


The sepia post war picture, above, shows quite a crowd watching a tennis match on the grass court closest to the building known as the Tudor refreshment rooms. A more recent addition to the park is an area for skate boarders, constructed on one of the tennis courts.

The final image is included because it shows a greengrocer's truck, owned by Roby of Tupton, parked behind the swings. The Robys used to sell fruit and vegetables on the Hall Leys in the 1950s.

Fruit and veg for sale



1. "Matlock Park. The Boating Lake and Paddling Pool" published by Photochrom Limited. No. 78718, but likely to have been taken in the late forties.
2. "The Park, Matlock", No.10 in the series published by Rhodes Shops. Photo., A. J. Roberts. Posted in Matlock, Derbyshire on 25 Aug 1948.
Rhodes' Shops were at Smedley Street Post Office, on Bank Road and Dale Road[1]. In the collection of provided by and © Pauline Jordan.
This image was originally on a page within this website called "The Hall Leys Tennis Courts, 1948" (file: matlock_park_in1948.htm) that has been deleted.
3. Photograph of the swings and green grocer's truck © Kenneth Smith collection.
Researched by and © Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] "The Matlocks, The Official Guide Book" (about 1950). Joint advertisement for the Hall Leys Park and the Derwent Pleasure Grounds

[2] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1941