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Hawe Lees, Matlock, showing Bandstand and New Pavilion
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Matlock from the Memorial



Carnival 1938



Coronation 1937



The 1950s



Boating on the river



An report in a Manchester newspaper in 1909 reveals some of the Council's plans for developing the Hall Leys. "Matlock Urban Council having bought the Hall Leys land by the Broad Walk for nearly £4,000, now propose to lay it out as pleasure resort. There are two schemes before the Council, and the provision having been suggested of a band kiosk, a football and cricket ground, a bowling green, tennis courts, a boat landing for the resuscitation of boating on the Derwent, a pierrot stage, and a pavilion at the Knowlston Gardens end of the estate. ..."[1]. Some of the ideas were never carried out but the band stand and pavilion, shown here, were two of the projects that were successful and remain in the park today.

The bandstand was installed in 1910; in August that year the Council agreed to a recommendation by the Haw Lees Committee to erect a band stand, at a cost of £195.They also recommended that two see-saws and six swings should be erected at "the lower end of the field"[2]. At the end of the year the total expenditure on the Haw Lees development, including the cost of the Band Stand, was just over £205 less than the £1,000 the Council had already provided[3]. The bandstand was already in place. When the town flooded on 9 December "the new Hall Leys Promenade, where the Council is spending lavish sums of money to make a pleasure resort," was under water and "in the centre of the submerged parts stood the new band kiosk, a curious receptacle for a park[4].

There seems to have been a slight delay in building the pavilion, which might explain the photograph's caption[5]. In 1912 the Derby daily paper reported that "the Haw Leys pleasure grounds, which were only opened to the public at Whitsuntide, had proved a great success financially, the receipts for games of various kinds having exceeded expectations"[6]. The flower border in the photograph is newly dug and contains no plants, an indication that the park's grounds had only recently be laid out. Mature trees and shrubs surround the bandstand area these days[7].

A small crowd were listening to a Scottish band and the picture dates from very early in the 20th century, probably about 1911-12. The Lion Foundry of Kirkintilloch made the bandstand for the town and it is still used for band concerts. Matlock's Brass Band was founded in the mid nineteenth century[8], although the band stand was not to be erected for a further fifty years or so afterwards.

Football was played on the Hall Leys, though the ground the club used was a little further down, where the tram shelter stands today. The football club was to move a little later on to the area behind the pavilion; the Causeway Lane ground would have been used by Matlock's Cricket Club when this photograph was taken[9].


Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Image scanned for this website and information researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 6 September 1909.

[2] "Belper News", 19 August 1910.

[3] "Belper News", Belper News 16 December 1910.

[4] "High Peak News", 10 Dec 1910. Matlock's New Park Flooded. Thanks to Susan Tomlinson for providing the article.

[5] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 9 August 1910.

[6] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 9 July 1912.

[7] See About Matlock (Hall Leys section), where there is a recent photograph and more information.

[8] The band marked its 150th anniversary in 2010. There is some onsite information about the band,

[9] Kelly's 1916 Directory provides the first reference to both the Athletic Club and the Football Club sharing the Causeway Lane ground with the Cricket Club. In their 1912 Directory only the Cricket Club is shown at the venue.