Matlock Modern School's four page "Monthly
March 1935, for the parents, pupils and staff, shows us that the
pupils were encouraged to take part in a wide variety of social,
artistic, academic and horticultural activities, both within the
school and in the town. The school was very progressive for the
times and this bulletin is rather charming; a very pleasant, humorous
atmosphere seems to spring from the pages. The announcement that
a school council had just been formed, made up of some pupils,
was very forward thinking for the 1930s (see
page 2 below).
The school was originally called Matlock Garden School
and had moved from Matlock Dale in 1926 which is when
it changed its name.
It was housed in a former hydro building on Rutland Street, originally
Matlock House Hydro (later Tilley's Hydro). There is a reference
to the school's Ultra-violet sun bath in the solarium, presumably
left over from the building's former days as a hydro, on
page 3 below.
Mr. and Mrs Law moved to Rutland Street with the school and the offices
of Albert Law's accountancy firm, Keens, Shay, Law and Co., were
also on the premises.
Bertha Alice Law, the school's principal, was born at Great
Langton, Northallerton, Yorkshire; she married her husband
Albert there in late 1911. Albert was a chartered accountant
by profession, as well as the auditor and secretary of
Walsall Chamber of Commerce.
Shortly before her marriage Bertha Law was recorded as being an
artist in the census,
which is probably why arts and crafts were amongst the school's
many strengths. Pupils
would return to Tor Cottage, where the school was founded, as a
large studio still remained there.
Although nothing is mentioned in the newsletter, there were holiday
activities and "camps" at the school. For example, in
1927 the Federation of University Women's "Camps" for
schoolgirls ran senior camps, for those who had left school but
were not yet 23, and one was opened at Matlock Garden School during
the summer holidays,
so presumably at Tor Cottage rather than the Rutland Street building.
The school was to close in 1936.
Names in the newsletter (navigate down to the pages for the
Note A : Where surname is on more than one page, the surname is
repeated and followed by the page number, e.g. LAW, 2
Note B : (2) = 2 people with the surname on an image
ANTHONY | BACHELOR | BARHAM | BARRIE | BOWSER | BRIGGS
(2) | CATHRO-GORRIE | HASTINGS |
HODGKINSON | LAW, 2 |
LAW, 3 | LENNOX | McMANUS | MASON |
NIXON | PERROT |
Prince of Wales (above) | RADFORD | ROGERS | SHIRLEY |
SMITH | TURNER (2) | WARD | WILLS
Below is the school badge
This embroidered badge, which is on a blazer, might be unique.
The embroidered triangle and inner ring, which
look a silvery bronze, were originally a shade of lilac
as the uniform was grey and lilac.
Only a hint of the original colour has survived.
1934 advertisement for Matlock Modern School, published in "Derbyshire
 Goodwyn, Colin (1998) "The
History of Tor Cottage Matlock Dale", a privately published
limited edition. Mrs. Law also used Tor House, then known as
Matlock Garden School.
 Mrs. Law was born in Great
Langton in 1882, one of the daughters of Thomas and Hannah Place,
who were both from Staffordshire. Thomas Place was a Timber Merchant.
Albert Law was born in 1879, in Tipton, the second son of Edward
and Sarah Law. It is possible the families might have known or
known of each other as Bertha's mother was also born in Tipton.
By 1891 Albert Law was an Accountants Clerk and living with his
family in Walsall (extracted from the 1891 census). Albert died
in Yorkshire in 1957, aged 88. Bertha outlived her husband, and
died in Scarborough in 1966, aged 84.
 The 1911 census is available on Find
My Past (an external link, so with open in a new tab or window).
 Camps For Schoolgirls,
"The Times", Tuesday, 2 Aug, 1927. These were
held at boarding schools and most catered for girls who were actually
at school rather than young women. It is strange it was still Matlock
Garden School in the article, but perhaps the newpaper's information
was out of date.
 "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire",