There is a great deal that is interesting about this early twentieth
century postcard. It shows the High Tor, the High Tor Tunnel and
the large gasometer on the Starkholmes side of the line.
There are actually two trains shown on the main line as a second
train is waiting at the northbound platform whilst the Midland Express,
with its distinctive "Derby Red" (or crimson lake) livery,
steams southwards towards Cromford and then Derby. Matlock Bath
was more than just a passenger station and several goods wagons
are in the sidings of the station yard. There are no signals close
to the points and the adjacent sidings and it is impossible to see
the position of signal box, which would give a clearer idea of when
this picture dates from.
Presumably the white boxes close to the points are linked to the
Whilst it is quite hard to date the postcard precisely it is possible it
is from about 1906-08. Comparisons with late nineteenth century photographs show the station
to be very similar. Drabble's Timber Yard is on the left. George
Drabble began advertising at Matlock Bath in 1891 as "timber
merchant and saw mills, Railway station" and the last reference
to him at the station was about 1916.
The railway engine, a Class 3P 4-4-0, could have been built in the 1890's as the distinctive
tall funnel and the extended footplate at the front of the engine's
boiler marks it as an extremely early style; the life of such engines
was twenty or more years. The driver's cab is very open and has
spectacle glasses as windows. The express is heading a uniform rake of Buin clerestory coaches.
These coaches appeared around 1904, which is why the date of 1906-08 is suggested.
Midland Express trains no longer steam through Matlock Bath on
their way to Manchester or London and haven't done so since the
days of Dr. Beeching. There is now only a single track for the
trains and the footbridge to the platform on the other side has
long gone - there is no platform either.
The booking hall and platform.
The booking hall, but looking southwards
down the platform. Key's Field can be seen top right.
View even more about the station by clicking on
the images below:
Also see, elsewhere in the Matlock section of this web site, Bemroses'
Guide, which dates from about 1869:
engraving of High Tor Tunnel, showing the railway station building
(at the bottom of the page)
Tickets on the Midland Railway
Fares on the Midland Railway
More information about the railway elsewhere on this website:
Cards of Derbyshire Scenes - more Midland Railway cards,
but not the same publisher
Railways of Derbyshire, 1903 - a map
Those with railway ancestors might like to see the following,
as some Midland Railway employees moved from Matlock to Matlock
Matlock & Matlock
Bath Lists: The Twentieth Century: Matlock Station Staff, 1911
- 1966, A - J
Matlock & Matlock
Bath Lists: The Twentieth Century: Matlock Station Staff, 1911 - 1966, K