Here are two very similar views of the Promenade and Gardens,
both of which feature a wooden platform or dais and a gazebo
that have been erected around the Promenade's lamp. They
provide us with a view of North Parade in the late Victorian
and early Edwardian era as both pictures must have been taken
in the very early years of the twentieth century at the latest.
The lamp can be seen in other photographs of the Promenade;
it was eventually removed and Matlock Bath's War Memorial
was erected on the same spot.
In 1890 a plan to install forty [gas] candle power lamps
along both North and South Parade, extending from Mr. Bryan's
shop at the bottom of Holme Road as far as the fish pond,
was supported by the Local Board. The existing posts were
to be used, and the plan included a lamp that was to be erected
the centre of the east end of the Promenade although this
was not approved at that time.
Street lamps powered by electricity were a thing of the future and something
Matlock Bath's Board members resisted. There was a complaint in 1900 as Matlock
Bath [Council] hadn't lit a portion of the Promenade and Lovers' Walks. The
initial outlay would have cost £30 and some thought Matlock Bath could
afford these luxuries as gas was so cheap.
By 1905 the Promenade was illuminated after nightfall and a mid week fund
raising bazaar was held in a marquee on the Promenade by the Matlock Bath Band
Committee. Three daily band concerts were being held on the kiosk on the opposite
bank of the river throughout the summer season and on this occasion there was
a musical programme provided during both the afternoon and evening.
The top postcard looks down the length of the Promenade,
with garden benches placed at intervals along its length.
The gardens are slowly maturing. Whilst the trees had already
been planted along the roadside, the hedge of later years
was not yet in place and there was a low fence
between the gardens and the main road. There are chairs on
the wooden dais beneath the gazebo. It is difficult to see
but the top card has the number 17204 down the first tall
building from the right (just above the lower left edge of
the canopy). If this is the publisher's number, which is
likely, then the photograph dates from about 1898.
The image below shows us more of the Parade, from the Central
Restaurant on the far right to the Derwent Parade Methodist
Church on the left. Look behind the gazebo and to the right
hand side in front of the restaurant. A horse and some kind
of laden cart, possibly a wagonette, is trotting along the
road towards Matlock. There were no chairs on the dais in
Matlock Bath's Memorial
Matlock Bath's War Memorial
Bath: Remembrance Day, about 1930
is a similar card but of a later date (posted in 1909),
in the "Just Images" section on this site. If you look
at the railings you will see they are higher than those
shown on this image.