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Matlock: Rockside Hall - Commemoration Weekends, 1955 & 1956
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Photograph of Rockside when it was part of the Teacher Training College
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Rockside in Matlock Training College Brochure 1946-47

1946-48. The First Intake

Summer School 1952

Staff & Students 1955

Studying at Rockside, 1954-6

Staff & Students 1958

The top photograph of Rockside, with a tantalizing glimpse of the spectacular views of the surrounding hillsides, was taken at the end of the two year course of the 1954 intake to Matlock Teacher Training College. This was the College Commemoration Weekend in 1956 and the P.E. specialists can be seen performing on the lawn for staff and visitors. Notice that a large number of the women were wearing hats as this was the norm at that time.

In 1955 Miss Allen, the college principal announced that the colleges "soon will have contributed more than 800 women teachers to the country's schools", and then 100 who were to leave as qualified teachers would reach that figure. Matlock was a popular "first choice" for many applicants[1]. Of those who qualified in the summer of 1956, Drama was the main subject for 15 students whilst a further 20 studied P.E. People attended the college from all over the UK, but local women also took advantage of a college on the doorstep.

Matlock Training College was a pioneer in modern Music and Movement and P.E[1]. When the film "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"3], the fifth most popular film in 1955, was screened at the Ritz the college hired the cinema for a private viewing. This was apparently because of the daring new dance routines, which were slammed by critics and church leaders as too erotic, but Miss Allen was progressive and made sure they saw the film and studied the movements.

Below is a photograph taken of the previous year's Commemoration/Graduation Day, when some of the first years performed "Hiawatha". They took the photos on the lawn at Rockside as a souvenir of the dreaded dance tunics!

Janet Tilley | Marlene | Iris Burkinshaw | Jo | Marjorie Blunn
Mairi Sykes | Margaret Hoyte | Anne Mason (Minnehaha).

There is more about Rockside




From the South




Tennis 1920s

Kitchen Staff & Waitresses 1920-5

Staff Ball

Ups & Downs

Claremont & Mr Rowland

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About Matlock Bank
Rockside Hydro, "Watered-Down Future for a glorious icon of the age of the hydro"

1. 1956 photograph kindly provided by and © Bernard Gale.
2. 1955 photograph kindly provided by and © Mairi Beighton.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only


[1] "Belper News", 20 May 1955. Matlock Training College. Commemoration Day.

[2] From Mairi Beighton, a former student.

[3] "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", directed by Stanley Donen and starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell, was released by MGM in 1954.