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Matlock Bath: From Lover's Walk, Jubilee Bridge, about 1900-05
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River & Promendade, about 1904



The Promenade, about 1904-05



The Promenade



Matlock Bath from the Heights of Jacob, 1910-14



Boating on the River Derwent



Shortly before the Jubilee Bridge was erected to link the Lovers' Walks with Matlock Bath, the local paper reported how events were progressing: "The grounds are being rapidly laid out on the north side of the river Derwent at Matlock Bath, and the newly planted lawns inside the rolled walks already are covered with grass, and plots are being ornamented. A deputation was invited to examine the bridge which is to connect the town portion to a part of the estate of the High Sheriff, which has been leased to the Jubilee promoters. On Thursday several members of the committee drove to the Butterley Iron Works, where the bridge was erected prior to it being conveyed to Matlock Bath. The deputation were highly satisfied with the design and the workmanship of the bridge. It will be erected next week[1]".

Ten years after Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, which was the reason the bridge was built, the country was celebrating again - her Diamond Jubilee. Matlock Bath once again planned to erect a footbridge, this time it was to link the lower part of Lovers' Walks with the southern part of Matlock Bath. It was not to be. Fortunately, the idea didn't totally disappear without trace as in 1969 a beautiful new footbridge was built to link the Derwent Gardens and the Lovers' Walks. It just took over seventy more years.

The two landing stages next to the river were for the hire of the pleasure boats. There were several along Matlock Bath's riverbank. The one closest to the cameraman on the right of the photograph was later used for dignitaries and their families attending the Venetian Fete, and provided a wonderful view of the boats, the bandstand concert and the fireworks. Once or twice, after heavy rain caused the water level to rise, they were nearly sitting in the river.

This photograph dates from before 1906[2] so predates those on the Jubilee Bridge and Derwent, Matlock Bath page.


Queen Series Card published by T.T.& S., Scarbro. Not posted.
Postcard in the collection of and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
Another version of this image was shown on Michael Portillo's "Great British Railway Journeys" on BBC2 on 25 January 2010.

References:

[1] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, June 1, 1887.
[2] The Matlock Bath Improvement Act had become law on 4 August, 1905 when the Royal Assent was given. This signalled changes to the Promenade as it was then enclosed by higher railings. In addition, at least one of the houses on the hillside above had not been built.