Following the Matlock Bath Improvement Act of 1905 several major changes
were made to the Promenade.
The Council's proposals had been published in "The London
Gazette" at the end of 1904. These included enlarging
the recreation and pleasure grounds, improving the banks of the
river and providing shelters, seats, kiosks, boathouses and other
buildings. They wanted to extend their powers regarding their existing
pleasure grounds in the district, including the river walks and
other public walks. They also wished to charge admission.
The Promenade had initially been fenced with a low railing,
so charging admission meant the railings had to be replaced by
something considerably higher and stronger. In addition, entrance
gates would be needed to limit the points of entry. These were
all to be in place by Easter 1906.
This meant that the Promenade and riverbank could no longer be
seen from the pavements of North Parade although the residents
could still enjoy the view from their upstairs windows. A report
in the Manchester newspaper during the summer of 1906 commented
that Matlock Bath was endeavouring to attract visitors with the
first programme ever catered for by the local Council. This included
band concerts on the promenade and Pierrots, but the proposal for
dancing to be introduced had been abandoned after a decision by
By the time the top photograph was taken in 1914 a hedge had been
planted on the Promenade side of the railings and was growing to
a good height and the shelter in the middle distance had been erected.
There were still no railings beside the river so, although there
were railings to keep people out who did not want to pay, there
was still nothing to protect people who did gain entry from falling
into the river! And some did.
At a meeting of Matlock Bath Urban District Council in 1920 the
chairman, Mr. J Boden, J.P., reported that the combined takings
of the Promenade and the Pavilion for the month of August showed
the total income was nearly double that of 1919, and almost four
The second photograph is looking in the same direction, but was
taken from slightly closer to the Promenade's main entrance next
to the Midland Hotel. The picture was taken after the first image
as some of the trees are bigger, and probably dates from about
1919. The War Memorial was eventually to replace the lamp post.
Matlock Bath's Memorial
Matlock Bath's War Memorial
Bath: Remembrance Day, about 1930