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The sharp bend in the road is known as Artists' Corner, a favoured spot through the centuries for artists to come to admire the scenery and either draw or paint High Tor. This photograph probably dates from a short time before the First World War, and was possibly taken between 1910 and 1912.

Just past the corner is a shop with a signboard above it; this was a grocery run by John Thomas Carding in 1911[1]. The group of buildings were known as Dale Crescent. Charles and Emma Wildgoose lived next door to the Cardings at Findern House, Dale Crescent[2]. Charles was a postman and Emma let out apartments.

In front of Carding's premises was a man push a barrow loaded with baskets, presumably making home deliveries. The two groups of people could be day trippers. They were well dressed, possibly in their Sunday best, and the ladies were wearing mostly wide brimmed hats.

Then there are a couple of small shops with a balconied flat roof above, the first of which seems to be piled high. The window was full and boxes can be seen stacked up through the open doorway. It was a confectionery and in 1901 Mr. Harness, a postman, lived there with his family[3]. James Richards, another postman, moved in a few years later. In 1910 the two storey building, on the site former toll house[4], was divided into two shops, one of which was rented by the house decorator John C Keith as lock-up sales premises[5] which is probably why it looks empty. The confectionery was rented by Charles Richard Buckley whose occupation in 1911 was Chauffeur[2]. By 10 February 1914 the Buckley family had gone and the confectionery was occupied by Alethea Chamberlain[5]; when the building was inspected on that date it was noted that 'The roof of the shop is used as an open-air refreshment room'. This was where, later on, visitors to the Dale would buy a tray of tea. The owner in 1914 was Herbert Briddon and, when the Briddons owned most of them, these properties on the corner seem to have changed their occupants fairly frequently[6].

The Colour Works foreman, John Teasdale, also lived in the row in 1911 and Joseph Redfern lived a little further along the road at Dale Cottage[2].

Though it is hard to see, between the second small shop and the garage was a weighing machine. It was still there in the 1960s.

Behind the second row of cottages is the stone boundary wall of St. John's Road which runs along the bottom of Shining Cliff. The Rocks, known as Rockville Cottage when it was first built by Colonel Edward Payne, is the large dwelling on the top right. A sale notice in 1840 described the property as commanding "the most picturesue scenery in Matlock Dale[7]".

The only traffic on the road is a motorbike and sidecar[8]. Early motorcycles resembled bicycles, and this model has large bicycle-like wheels. A lady is a passenger in the vehicle, protected by a screen. The motorcyclist himself seems to have little to protect him, not even a pair of goggles.

 

Who were they?
Can you identify these two young men? Is one P.C. Birch?
The badge on the arm of the man on the right dies not appear to be an AA badge

"Dale Road, Matlock" No publisher details provided but no. 1417. Unposted
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Image scanned for this website and information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews with additional input from Colin Goodwyn.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] The board over Carding's shop has been painted out years ago, of course, but it is still possible to read that name when the light catches it at the right angle. Mr. Carding didn't just run the shop. He was also employed as an asphalt maker and his wife and later his daughter who worked in the shop. Both Kelly's 1912 and Kelly's 1916 Directory shows him living at Dale Crescent. He was the son of Joseph and Blanche Carding and the family were living in Woodthorpe at the time of the 1881 census - see Strays. By the 1891 census John Thomas was living lived with an uncle in Starkholmes.

[2] The 1911 census was held on 2 April 1911.

[3] See who lived in Dale Crescent and the other dwellings shown on this photograph in the 1901 census.

[4] See a nineteenth century photograph of the toll house

[5] John Christopher Keith and Mrs. Alethea Chamberlain are listed in both Kellys 1912 Directory of Derbyshire (Matlock Bath) and Kellys 1916 Directory. JC Keith lived a few doors away in 1911, although then he was recorded as John Campbell Keith. Mrs. Chamberlain's eldest son married the great aunt of the web mistress.

[6] Researched by Colin Goodwyn.

[7] Rockville Cottage, later called The Rocks, had been built "within the last two years" according to an advertisement offering it for sale or rental. The notice was published in "The Derby Mercury" on Wednesday, 25 March, 1840 and again a week later on 1 April, 1840. Colonel Edward Payne, the owner, had built Tor Cottage (High Tor Hotel) a few years earlier. So Payne built two dwellings in the Dale.
See his name in Nineteenth Century - Game Duty Lists

[8] Sidecars were introduced in 1905, rapidly displacing motor cycles pulling trailers which only lasted about three years around 1903-6. Colin Goodwyn has commented that usually one day's exposure to dust and stones and the exhaust and oily fumes from the bike was more than enough for a lady passenger - if the trailer was still actually attached when the rider turned round! He thinks the chair looks like a standard Mills-Fulford design but maybe not that actual make. The axle of the sidecar wheel would be in line with or up to an inch or two in front of the motorcycle rear axle and the screen could well be behind the riders elbow so the passenger would be behind the rider by a couple of feet or more. It was a common arrangement.