This very attractive Edwardian postcard, of three young girls playing
with their hoops beside the River Derwent, has been published
in several books.
It isn't just a pretty picture of three children. By the
time the photograph was taken the Jubilee
Bridge had been in use for some years but before it opened
this was the main crossing point on the river, either by ferry
or rowing boat. On
the opposite bank are boats moored at the landing stage, ready
for hire. The footpath, part of Lovers' Walks, goes
all the way along to Willersley Castle and the castle grounds were
the only other means of accessing the walks for much of the nineteenth
A little behind the girls, just past a large tree on the left,
we can just about see the glass window of the ladies' loos. The
buildings of the Switchback Railway in the Derwent Gardens are
shown, with "Switchback" in large letters
on the side of the building close to the river. This was the shed
at the northern end of the attraction, where the rides began. Next
to it is the entrance from Derby Road, raised up on stilts.
Writers have always described Lovers'
Walks in glowing terms. In 1811 Davies wrote "The
other path, which is called the Lovers' Walk, has been carried
along the margin of the river and has been cut through the wood,
and is beautifully arched by the intermingled branches of the trees
which inclose it." Equally effusive was the 20th century Ward
Lock Guide. "The
Lover's Walks, a labyrinth of tree-shaded paths ... holiday-makers,
especially the more romantic, have always highly esteemed these
The Guide goes on to discuss "the sheltered Derwent Gardens,
beautifully laid out with tree-shaded walks by the river's bank.
Minor delights here are a cafe and a switchback railway." It
may have been considered a minor delight, but you couldn't miss
such a large structure! Not everyone approved.
One of the Artistic Series, A.P. Co., 9 Bury Court, St. Mary Axe,
London, E.C. No.1957. Exact date difficult as the card is not postmarked
but first postal date known for their cards is now 1905 (see both
Via Gellia, Tufa Cottage on
this website and list
of postcard publishers elsewhere on the Internet which supplies
the date of 1909)
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann
Andrews Intended for personal use only
hyperlinks are to transcripts elsewhere on this website):
 There's a black and white version of
this picture in: Bunting, Julie (2002) "Matlock and Matlock Bath",
Tempus Publishing Ltd., Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 2QG ISBN 0-7524-2455-6
 Davies "History of Derbyshire"
- full details are elsewhere on this
 Ward Lock & Co's "Matlock, Dovedale,
Bakewell and South Derbyshire", Illustrated Guide Books
of England and Wales (1932-3)
There is more on site information:
Another old postcard
showing the Switchbank Railway and some details below it about
the Old Pavilion
Switchback railway is also mentioned on the "Switzerland
of England" page.