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The Derwent at Matlock Bath, 1950
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River Derwent



CDV from late 1800s



Devonshire Hotel, 1890



River Derwent, 1906



Promenade - tufa water feature



Road widening 1967



This is a clear view of the southern end of North Parade, showing some of the buildings on both sides of the road. On the riverbank nearest the camera is the end of the promenade, with the tufa water feature close to the end of the walkway. It is opposite the Fountain Baths, the two storey building on the right of the picture. On the ground floor of the baths are two large arched doorways, one at each end of the building, although one is hidden by the trees and the other (at the right hand end) is only half shown. Next door is the shop belonging to the Barnes family[1]. They originally lived over the shop but Miss Barnes (Frances) eventually moved to Rockvale Villas and then to the Lower Towers[2]. The final shop opposite the promenade was Victoria House, which was a greengrocers on and off, run eventually by Nellie (nee Statham) and her husband Jimmy Steeples[2].

Primrose Cottage is high up on the hillside above the Temple Hotel. A man is standing on the balcony surveying the scene. It was probably Mr. Robert Gregory, who had been the floor manager at Masson Mill for many years. He and his wife Mary Ellen had lived at Primrose Cottage for at least forty years when this picture was taken[3].



The enlargement of the properties on the left bank of the Derwent, above, shows the buildings from the Devonshire Café northwards (i.e. towards the viewer). These riverside buildings, with balconies over the water, were reaching the end of their lives as they were all to be compulsorily purchased and demolished seventeen later.

The very last people at the Devonshire Café were and Mary Doris and Charles Parker[4] and the advertisement below[5] dates from their time there. The couple's grand daughter has fond childhood memories of fishing for minnows over the balcony at the back of the property with a jam jar/bread and very long piece of string![6] Sadly for the Parker family they were forced to leave their home; they moved to Cromford.

One interesting feature is the X pattern decoration on the bay windows of some of the houses. The design was first used on the front of the houses of Clarence Terrace.


Devonshire Cafe advert 1950
Advertisement for the Devonshire Café, about 1950[5]



The second enlargement shows Rose Cottage, then covered with ivy. In 1895 one Henry Kay sold all his furniture "upon his Premises"[7]. Louis Pearson and his family then moved in for a time[8] but eventually it became the home of Mr. Richard Mosley, his wife and two daughters[9]. It remained with this family for many years as one of their daughters, Olive, took over the business[2].

On the left hand side of Rose Cottage were steps, known as the Ginger Steps, that led to three cottages[2]. The first was lived in by Mrs. John Farnsworth for a time (approximately 1912-20). The second was known as Spring Cottage[2]. This had been the home of one of the Hardy family, but during the first war the Boden family moved in[10]. They left Matlock Bath when Mr. Perry moved his glove factory to Chelmsford[2].


All three sepia images are from "The Derwent at Matlock Bath". Valentine & Sons, Dundee, No. H.9635. A real photograph, published in 1950. Not posted.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
References (coloured links are to onsite transcripts or images):

[1] Frances Ada Barnes was one year old at the time of the 1901 census. She died in 1992 in Nottinghamshire. Her relatives are buried at Holy Trinity . See her parents MI | her grandparents MI.
[2] Recollections of the late Mr. Frank Clay, from private papers and notes owned by Mrs. Doreen Buxton, some of which were written in 1992 and are still within copyright.
[3] Also from the late Frank Clay. Mary Ellen Gregory died at Primrose Cottage in 1950 (from Wills Calendars, now at Gov.uk); Robert had retired and he was described as a "retired cotton doubling foreman". He died in 1965, aged 86.
[4] Mary Doris Parker (nee Mosley) ran the Café; she advertised in Kelly's 1941 Directory but only provided North Parade as the address. She and Charles were married at Holy Trinity in 1918. In the 1901 census she was living with her parents in Scarthin. Charles Parker was employed by the LMS Railway as a Signalman.
[5] "The Matlocks, Derbyshire", published about 1950 and printed by Geo. Hodgkinson, Printer, Matlock
[6] Private correspondence with the web mistress
[7] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 9 March 1895. Sale by Joseph Hodgkinson. Henry Kay was at Rose Cottage in the 1891 census and Kelly's 1891 Directory.
[8] Louis Pearson can be found at Rose Cottage in the 1901 census.
[9] The Mosleys had previously lived in Upperwood. See their 1901 census entry. Mrs Richard Mosley advertised apartments at Rose Cottage in Kelly's 1908 Directory and Kelly's 1912 Directory. Mr. and Mrs. Mosley's MI is at Holy Trinity.
[10] Frank Hardy was at Spring Cottage in 1911. His family were cab drivers in Matlock Bath. The Bodens had lived at Portland Cottage on Clifton Road before the war. George William Boden was conscripted and died in 1916. See Names on Matlock Bath's War Memorial.