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.
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" 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.
John William Boden's son, Frank Wigley Boden, was killed in the
First World War.
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
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.
[*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.
Postcard of The Way in from Coxbench, Little Eaton.
Postcard of Old Bleach Mill, Little Eaton.