The buildings in the pictures on this page were all torn down
when the A6 trunk road was widened in the 1960s. Parts of
the main road were not wide enough and the properties that
were in the way had to go. Fortunately, a number of postcards
are left to remind us how pretty the riverside between the
old Devonshire Cafe and the Grand Pavilion used to be. It
is still attractive, but in a different way today.
This group of pictures were taken in the 1920s and 1930s.
In the first three images we can see the landing stage below
what was Smith's Petrifying Well, workshop and Tea Gardens
(it is bottom left, above). Here was one of the places along
the river where rowing boats could be hired during the summer
months and was also where the family launched their decorated
boats over many years. They won many prizes at the Venetian
(as they used to be called).
The top post card shows the portion of the riverbank between
the Smiths' property and the Devonshire Café. We can
see the back of the Spa garage, later a garage for the North
Western bus company. This building was sold to Derbyshire
County Council in 1936 and was then used as a works yard.
The canopy was in Hodgkinson's hotel yard. The yard had formerly
been gardens, part of the hotel, and had sold "intoxicating
liquor" since about 1850. The sale of liquor was questioned
at the Brewster Sessions in 1890 when the local police argued
that it should not be licensed as the highway passed between
the two properties. However, the magistrates' clerk said
the public only had a right of way over the highway, the
Bench agreed and it was decided that the gardens were licensed
The second view (above) is from a little further down the river.
The building on the left was for many years Buxton's Museum.
Bill Boden moved there in the late 1920s and
converted it into the Derwent Cafe. His daughters, who had
married two Hardy brothers, still owned it when it was sold
to the Ministry of Transport.
The wooden building in the bottom left hand corner must be
part of the Great Petrifying Well.
The third picture (above) is a similar view but was taken
somewhat earlier than the images above and below it. There
is quite a lot of ivy on the back of the Museum building,
which had been removed by the time the later pictures were
The final picture (below) is an enlargement of the fourth
postcard, showing the back of the three buildings beyond
the Devonshire Cafe. Most of the Cafe itself is hidden
behind a tree (4th image only).
Bath The River (it is in the "Just images" section
of the site).
Bath View from River Derwent shows some of the boats
tied up at Smith's landing stage (also in the "Just