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Matlock Carnival, 1938 - Entertainments at the Band Stand
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Matlock Carnival 1935

Carnival 1936

Carnival 1937

A Scottish Band

A few years later


Despite some rain, the final events of the 1938 Matlock Carnival were well attended. The weather had improved during the evening for the carnival band contest, which was won by Derby Band, but the children's fancy dress procession in the afternoon was a little spoiled. The children's fancy dresses were judged on the Hall Leys Park and there was a procession, which included several carnival bands, through the town afterwards[2]. "A fearsome monster over 40 feet in length, with a head twice as big as an elephant's, and blood red eyes, appeared at Matlock last night, but the people in the densely packed streets only laughed at its antics". This was an entry in the procession; its inclusion created both speculation about its origins and a source of fun for the onlookers. So much so that Councillor A. Mason instantly offered to present a silver cup to the person who thought up the best name to give it[2].

This tableau on the Hall Leys bandstand seems to show the 1938 participants as amongst the prizewinners was Audrey Fearn of Starkholmes, who won second prize in the Children's Comic Dress for being dressed as a Jockey[1]. She is in the front row, on the right.

List of 1938 prizewinners:
Girls fancy, under 7: 1. Mary Wragg, 2. Jenny Green, 3. Diana Flint
Boys fancy, under 7: 1. K. Hall, 2. E. Horrocks, 3. C. Lomas
Girls over 7, local: 1. Ruth Land, 2. June Smith, 3. K[athleen]. Gregory
Boys over 7, local: 1. Eric Green
Children's comic dress, local: 1. Dorothy Green, 2. Audrey Fearn
Fancy dress, open: Mary Welch, 2. Patricia Welch, 3. Jane Murphy
Tableaux: 1. Mrs. Pape[1].

The carnival queen in 1938 was Lilian Knowles and her attendants were Misses L. Gratton, N. Keyte, S. Slaney and M. Gill[3].

This was to be the last carnival for some years. In 1939 Matlock's carnival was cancelled at very short notice. Edna May Burnett, who was on the staff of Derbyshire Stone, had been elected as the Queen by visitors to the hydros in June that year[4]. The arrangements had reached their final stages and there had been a considerable outlay in funding by the time the cancellation was announced at the beginning of September so, unfortunately, months of preparatory work had been wasted[5]. However, the annual baby show, held at the Town Hall and arranged by Matlock Charity Carnival Committee went ahead on 22nd September. Evacuated children from Manchester were among the 100 babies who were entered. So something was salvaged[6].

If you have any further information about the identity of anyone in the photograph please contact the web mistress.

You may like to view more onsite information:
Photograph of Matlock Bath's 1947 Carnival Queen is onsite in an article about one of Matlock's photographers, Harry Gill.

Image supplied by and copyright © Glynn Waite collection.
Researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 19 September 1938.

[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 16 September 1938.

[3] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 17 September 1938.

[4] "Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston Division Free Press", 23 June 1939. Matlock Carnival Queen.

[5] "Derbyshire Times", 8 September 1939. Carnivals Cancelled. Both Matlock and Cromford carnivals were cancelled.

[6] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 23 September 1939. Awards for Babies. Matlock Carnival Committee show. Mr. Lynch presented the prizes.