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Matlock Bath: South Parade & Green Lane, about 1900
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The Fish Pond, 1927

To advertise the occupations of those working below, a bicycle wheel that rotated in the wind was fixed to the roof of the workshop in Green Lane, just off South Parade. The Ashbys, father and son, made bicycles[1]; their name is on the signboard straddling the lane and the 1903 advertisement, below, says they made the Gladiator Cycle. The father and son team were also Cycle and Motor Repairers[2] and provided accommodation for cyclists in the left hand portion of the building, with the garage in the middle under the arch. They had "Dunlop Tyres In Stock", according to the sign in the foreground.

Frederick Ashby senior was a former farmer from Lincolnshire[3]. Unfortunately, his Matlock Bath business did not survive and at the end of 1907 there was a Deed of Assignment for the benefit of his Creditors[2].

If you were around in the 1950s this building is probably better remembered as "The Singing Kettle" café, though it had been rebuilt. There was a Cyclist's Touring Club blue sign on the wall and a fish and chip shop at the far end.

Ashby's 1903 Advert

1. Postcard In the collection of, provided by and © Ken Smith.
2. Advertisement from "Abel Heywood's Guide Books, With Cycling, Walking and Driving Routes. Matlock Illustrated." (1903) Abel Heywood & Son, Manchester & London. Advertisement in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews
Images scanned for this website, information researched by and written by and © Ann Andrews
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links go to on site transcripts):

[1] See the 1901 census transcript of Matlock Bath. He was also probably the John Ashby advertising in Kelly's 1899 Directory. This was the earliest they have been found in Matlock Bath

[2] London Gazette 13 March 1908 - creditors were required to sent in their debts or claims. This was not uncommon with small businesses at that time and many recovered from this, sometimes with the wife taking over the business

[3] 1891 census of England & Wales