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Matlock Bath: Museum Parade & The Pitchings, 1909
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Edwardian Matlock Bath



South Parade and the Heights of Abraham, 1905



South Parade, 1909 card



South Parade, 1920s



Matlock Bath Buses
1912-33 (Part 2)



Charabancs in Matlock Bath in the 1920s



This beautifully clear black and white photograph was taken by Phil Williamson's grandfather, who was studying at Royal College of Music in London for about 18 months between 1909/10 . The young Australian was a keen, but amateur, photographer at that stage of his life. He did not carry on with it in quite the same way after he returned home, and only took the usual family snaps, etc. It is believed he used glass negatives, which gave the exceptional clarity and detail, but unfortunately these no longer exist. He travelled widely within the U.K., but he was probably interested in Derbyshire as his own grandmother (Sarah Webster) was born in Little Eaton in about 1824.

On the original photograph you can almost read the number plate of the charabanc! This was clearly the very early days of motor vehicles in the village as sign at the bottom of the very big bay window reads "GARAGE". The ground floor of the building was used as a tyre store for Spa Motors and across the road was the garage run by Ernie Williams[1]. The word "GARAGE" is painted on the roof. In 1908 the garage was advertised as "E Williams, motor engineers & garage[2]". The solitary charabanc has been replaced by motor cycles in the modern Matlock Bath. The entrance to Smiths' petrifying well and Tea Gardens is behind the female in the long white dress.

The buildings on the left, originally part of Matlock Bath's famous Great Hotel, are almost the same today. The commercial premises closest to the camera was William Hackney's Household Stores. Hackney was a china dealer and his stores are also shown on another postcard on this web site. The buildings on the right disappeared when the road was widened.

Look carefully at the wedge-shaped building at the bottom of Waterloo Road (The Pitchings). This photograph shows it was four storeys high. Today there are only three storeys; it was completely rebuilt, probably about 1923, by Williams Deacon's Bank who bought the premises in March 1919.
Compare the photograph with a modern drawing of The Pitchings
Photographs of Matlock Bath Today (3)

This was 1 North Parade and the building housed a Grocery & Confectionery shop, owned by Peter Reeds, at the time this picture was taken. There is a female standing outside the shop, probably Peter's wife Emma. She is wearing a long white apron[4]. Next door was William John Smith's hairdressers and tobacconists[5]. This was a shop unit and the Smith family lived on Waterloo Road. Next along, where the white screens are covering the doorway, was Hockin's jewellers[6]. One of Mr. Smith's sons went on to marry Mr. Hockin's daughter. When Peter Reeds sold No.1 to the bank he transferred his business to No.2[1].



1903 advertisement from Heywood's Guide


1. Photograph kindly provided by and © Phil Williamson.
2. Advertisement from from "Abel Heywood's Guide Books, With Cycling, Walking and Driving Routes. Matlock Illustrated." (1903) Abel Heywood & Son, Manchester & London.
Information researched and written by and © Ann Andrews. With additions by Colin Goodwyn.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured hyperlinks are to transcripts elsewhere on this website):

[1] 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.
[2] Kelly's 1908 Directory
[3] William Hackney is known to have been at the Household Stores as he published postcards, one of which is elsewhere on this web site. He advertised in various directories including Kelly's 1899 Directory, Kelly's 1908 Directory and Kelly's 1912 Directory. However, in the 1901 census he was at No.2 South Parade
[4] See Peter Reed's entry in the 1901 census and in Kelly's 1908 Directory or Kelly's 1916 Directory. Also his MI at Holy Trinity
[5] William John Smith was at 2 North Parade in the 1901 census, but did not stay at the address. See: Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1899 Directory | Kelly's 1908 Directory
[6] See Herbert Hockin the 1901 census. He had moved to no.2 by 1911. Also see: Kelly's 1908 Directory