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Matlock Bath: South Parade, 1909, & Boden's Baker & Confectioner
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South Parade, 1910 - the Roads & Boden's Restaurant



South Parade & Heights of Abraham, 1914-18



Edwardian Mat
lock Bath


Museum Parade &
The Pitchings Photo 1909



Mr. Buxton's Royal Museum & the Great Petrifying Well



South Parade & The Pitchings, a drawing



In 1909/10 a young Australian man was in England for about 18 months, attending the Royal College of Music in London. During that time he clearly did some sightseeing, as he collected many postcards from various parts of the UK. He also sent cards home to his relatives, including the top picture of Matlock Bath. Despite this particular postcard showing traces of postmark ink transferred from other letters with which it was posted*, it is nevertheless a beautifully clear image of Edwardian Matlock Bath. An attractive coloured version of the same image is below.

The shop behind the tree on the right sold Derbyshire Spa and Marble Ornaments (Buxton's Royal Museum). Some of the items for sale are displayed in the side widow. Next to it, with three men standing outside, is the Great Petrifying Well and Aquarium.

On the left the row of shops running from the building with the railings to the one with the large oval sign (Hodgkinson's Hotel) was part of Matlock Bath's once famous Great Hotel. What is curious about all three pictures on this page, and perhaps one or two others of South Parade is the window facing the viewer in the building with the railings. There seems to be a board across the lower panes of the upper, arched window. It is impossible to know why it was there, other than perhaps covering broken panes, or to know when it was there. On the pavement on the left, just past the large group who are mostly dressed in dark clothes, is a woman pushing a pram (perambulator); she is holding the hand of a young child. As for the man driving the open topped wagonette down the middle of the road, his back view is show on several other postcards.



The number 17207 is written on the card. Valentine's published another card with this number,
but it a slightly different view.


The shop on the left, with the white paintwork, says Boden Grocer Confectioner and was run by both John Boden and his son. The Boden family had been bakers and confectioners in Matlock Bath since before census records began. First Anthony, then Anthony and his son Abel, then Abel and his son John, then John and his son John William. They were bakers and confectioners and later John and John William became agents for W. & A. Gilbey (wine & spirit merchants), and the proprietors of Boden's restaurant, all on South Parade[1]. Their restaurant was in the large building almost opposite the bakers and confectioners and later became the glove factory.
There is more about the restaurant on Matlock Bath: South Parade, about 1910.

Anthony Boden had died on 12 Jan 1847 "after a long and painful illness"[2] and his son Abel was buried at St. Giles' on 2 July 1861, aged 53. John Boden passed away on 27 April 1902 at Matlock Town, in his home close to church where he had lived in his retirement. Apart from running the confectionery business he had been a leading man in the Congregational Church, superintending the Sunday school and for a while was a member of the church choir. He was said to be a good musician and his favourite instrument was the cello. He was also a prominent member of the Oddfellows and several of them attended his funeral[3].

John William Boden's son, Frank Wigley Boden, was killed in the First World War[4].

The family also had a bakery at 3 Crown Buildings, Bank Road, Matlock. This was where John William Boden died in 1933. Like his father, he was also a fine musician and played the violin in many local orchestras. He had served on Matlock Bath Council for a number of years, and was chairman for a long time though eventually gave up his council work[5].



Another peaceful and sunny summer's day. A small dog is tied up outside Boden's shop.
Note the imitation spectacles on the shop next door. It is difficult to know who the optician
was as nobody advertised in the local directories. The shop this side of the striped
sunshades was where Frederick Joseph Seaman had a photographers for a very short time[6].


[*Note about the top postcard only: What appears to be a circle of writing on the large wedge shaped building and roughly level with the Hodgkinson's sign is, in fact, postmark ink]


There are more of Phil Williamson's family postcards on Rosemary Lockie's Wishful Thinking website of Derbyshire.
Old Postcard of The Way in from Coxbench, Little Eaton.
Old Postcard of Old Bleach Mill, Little Eaton.


1. "South Parade, Matlock Bath". Black and white postcard kindly provided by and © Phil Williamson.
2. "South Parade, Matlock Bath". Valentine's Series No. 17207. 1892 Posted on 29 Apr 1907 in Matlock and sent to Mr. Hartnell, London. Personal message.
3. The Parade, Matlock Bath. Raphael Tuck & Sons "Chromette", Art Publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen "Picturesque Derbyshire", No. 4916. This was first used in 1906, and sold as a set of 6 cards, others posted in 1909]. Not posted.
Images 2 and 3 are in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References - coloured links go to on-site transcripts or information:

[1] There are many references for these Bodens:
» The line begins with Anthony and then Anthony and Son in Glover's Directory, 1827-8-9 and Pigot's 1831 Directory | Pigot's Directory 1842.
» See Pre 1858 Wills, Surnames B for Anthony Boden and his Burial | Wills A-C info for Abel Boden
» Abel Boden in trade directories - Kelly's 1848 Directory | Kelly's 1855 Directory | Whites 1857 Directory (under Bakers).
» John Boden in trade directories: Kelly's 1876 Directory | (the restaurant is not mentioned in either Kelly's 1881 or 1887, not transcribed on the site) |
» John & John William Boden in trade directories: Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory |
» John William Boden in trade directories: Kelly's 1899 Directory | Kelly's 1908 Directory | Kelly's Directory 1912 | Kelly's Directory 1916 |
» Census returns for the family: the 1851 census | the 1861 census (in both working for his father) | the 1871 census | the 1881 census | the 1891 census (John Boden) | 1901 census (John William Boden had taken over the family business) |
» MI at St. Giles for John Boden.

[2] "Derby Mercury", 20 January 1847. He was buried at St. Giles'.

[3] "Derbyshire Times", 3 May 1902. Death of Old Matlock Tradesman. John Boden was 70 years old and was also buried at St. Giles'. He was placed in the same grave as first wife, who had died on 10 July 1895. On the 8th April 1866, Mr John Boden of Matlock Bath had married Mary Ann, daughter of the late Mr Stone, Cromford at Glenorchy Chapel. The service was performed by the Rev R Bellamy ("Derby Mercury", 4 April, 1866).

[4] See Names on Matlock Bath's War Memorial

[5] "Derbyshire Times", 29 April 1933 and "Derby Daily Telegraph", 2 September 1933. He did not seek re-election in 1914 ("Derbyshire Courier", 24 March 1914). Yet in 1917 he was back on the Council ("Belper News", 30 March 1917). He is shown as a Council member in Kelly's 1916 Directory, Officials (scroll down for Matlock Bath).

[6] There is more about him on Matlock & Matlock Bath Photographers.