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.
The word "GARAGE" is painted on the roof. In 1908 the garage
was advertised as "E Williams, motor engineers & garage".
The solitary charabanc has been replaced by motor cycles in the modern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.
the photograph with a modern drawing of The Pitchings
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.
Next door was William John Smith's hairdressers and tobacconists.
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. 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.
1903 advertisement from Heywood's Guide