This rare picture of the Fish Pond Hotel is hard to date although
it was probably taken in the late 1930s. About the only
clue is a tiny sign roughly in the centre of the picture
that says Spa Cafe. The gable end had been extended so
that it adjoined the shop next door; you can see that the
roof of the gable is different from the rest of the roof.
A set of gates were installed, which enclosed the stable
yard. This extension was eventually demolished, probably
in the late 1980s.
The horse and cart outside the hotel is carrying milk churns.
The gentleman on the right who is sitting in the bus stop
area is wearing plus fours, a style of trouser made popular
by Edward Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII). He also sports
Argyle socks and Oxford brogues which were popular in the
Frank Warner was the Fish Pond's licensee in the mid to
late 1930s. He had moved from the George Hotel.
The hotel provided lunches or dinners for various local
bodies and was also where people would go to after visiting
the Grand Pavilion. On special occasions an extension was
applied for, as it was in 1936. Both Mr. Warner and Mr. D.
Boden, licensee of Hodgkinson's Hotel, asked Matlock Police
Court for extensions for the evening of the Police Ball that
was to be held at the Pavilion on 5th March. However, Superintendent
Aves strongly opposed the application, citing a similar application
granted to the Fish Pond Hotel just the week before when
his officers had found young girls and boys were dancing
on the hotel's tables instead of at the Pavilion. Both applications
were refused, and Derbyshire's policemen were unable to quench
their thirst at the end of their evening of dancing.