Images Index> Matlock, 20th and 21stC Images> This page
Matlock: Hall Leys Park in Winter, 1940s
Matlock : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
20th & 21st C Images
Next Image
Previous Image
More Matlock Pictures
18th & 19thC
"Just" Images
General Info
About Matlock
Find a Name

Matlock Town Players, 1931-2 season

This Winter or possibly early Spring scene of the Hall Leys provides us with a view of the Park that would not have been visible once the trees were in leaf. The image we see stretches from the hard tennis courts, past the band stand, to the boating lake. The boating lake was built and opened in 1935, together with a paddling pool. Beyond it, on the far side of Causeway Lane, is Matlock Town's football pitch and spectator stand. Look carefully and you can just see the fencing made from the old tramway cable just a few feet away from the football pitch.

The intention was to use the lake for boating in the summer and for skating in the winter. In late January 1936 the ice on the lake was about four inches thick, and judged safe for skaters. Many took advantage of this, especially at night, when the whole lake was brilliantly illuminated by the lighting system that had been installed on the boating lake's islands[1]. Skating was, of course, subject to the weather conditions and in late December 1937 the ice gave way during the afternoon so two or three skaters got their feet wet but elsewhere in the district other lakes were able to bear the skaters' weight[2]. Matlock Urban District Council's the surveyor announced that he had provided coloured illuminations so that skating could continue at night[3]. In early 1938 the Council were trying to decide whether the charge for skating should be 6d. per session or 1s. per day, although the issue of permitting skating on Sundays was circumvented because it had started to thaw[4]. Youngsters were still skating on the boating lake, when conditions allowed, in the 1940s.

"The Park Matlock". No.9 in the series published by Rhodes Shops. Photo., A. J. Roberts. Not posted but another in the series was posted in 1948.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Susan Tomlinson
Researched by and © Ann Andrews Intended for personal use only

[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 23 January 1936. Winter sports are here again. Report of the previous day's activities, following an unexpected return of wintry weather.
[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 20 December 1937. There was also skating on the smaller of the two lakes in the grounds of the Whitworth Institute, Darley Dale.
[3] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 21 December 1937.
[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 18 January 1938. Cllr. F. D. Baxter was reported as being surprised that the Council were intending to break the Sabbath and condone Sunday games.