Matlock Bath's glove factory opened for business in 1917, initially
in the Grand Pavilion, and provided welcome employment for some
of the local girls. At the outset it employed a dozen girls.
It was set up because Matlock Bath UDC had wanted to let part
of the Pavilion and George Henry Key, the Council Chairman at
the time, agreed to invest; Henry Hetherington was also involved
at the beginning.
The enterprise became the Spa Glove Company.
Whilst the date on the back of the top photograph seems to be
be slightly inaccurate (1930) it shows some of the girls at work
making gloves. Amongst their number was Annie Ellen Holbrook who
was born in 1905; she was one of seven children and lived in Bonsall
and /or Matlock Bath. She worked at the glove factory as a teenager
although by the time she married in 1936 she was no longer employed
in the industry. Annie is pictured sitting behind her sewing machine
on the left side at the front, with piles of gloves in front of
Two Matlock Bath sisters, Florence and Nellie Boden, also worked
there for a time;
they were the daughters of George Boden who was killed during the
First War. Florence
later recalled hearing that the Armistice had been signed through
the large round first floor window of the glove factory building.
Another employee was Muriel Hatton, the great aunt of the web mistress.
The second image (below), of South Parade with the Heights of
Abraham and the Victoria Tower on the hillside above, was taken
from Temple Walk at a point roughly opposite the Pavilion. The
large building on the right hand side next to the fish pond has
the name "BODEN'S" painted on the roof (the pond
itself is hidden behind the trees). This became the glove
factory building; the premises had become available after WW1
as the building was no longer used as a restaurant by the Bodens.
Gloves were sold from a shop in the front section of the building,
next to the road, whilst the gloves were made at the back.
For some years the factory advertised in Kelly's Trades Directories,
changing its name several times.
||Spa Glove Co. glove manufacturers. T A "Gloves,
Matlock;" T N 184 Matlock.
||Perry & Rodwell glove manufacturers,
Corner house. T A "Perry, Matlock;" T N Matlock 116.
Lower down the list was Rodwell, Benjamin glove manufr. see
Perry & Rodwell.
Perry, Frank James, Springfield was listed amongst the Private
||Perry (Matlock Bath) Ltd. glove mfrs. Corner
ho. T A "Perry, Matlock;" TN Matlock 116.
Frank James Perry was still living at Springfield in that year.
It is not clear when the partnership of Perry and Rodwell, who
were both Glove Manufacturers and Fancy Goods Dealers, began
but it was dissolved on 31st December 1924.
After that the Matlock Bath business seems to have been run solely
by Frank James Perry. Frank Perry (1874 - 1951) and his wife
Jeane Pullinger Perry had come from Yeovil and
lived at Springfield on Clifton Road. Perry was the older partner
in the firm. Benjamin Hunter Rodwell (1900 - 1967), the other
partner, had grown up in Matlock Bath, having moved to the village
with his mother and stepfather James Fearn about 1904.
In January 1929 fire ravaged the building, leaving a roofless
shell, although the engine house at the back was saved.
It was not to be rebuilt and was the first of two major calamities
to affect Matlock Bath's trade in 1929. In April, the Royal Hotel
was also destroyed.
The glove factory returned briefly to the Pavilion, but Mr. Perry
later moved it to Chelmsford.
From the writing on the back of the postcard,
and the image itself, the picture was taken in the 1920's.
Notice the the old bicycles and motor bikes - something still associated
with Matlock Bath
You may like to view
Ben Rodwell was pictured on a
photograph of Matlock Bath: Men's
of Matlock Bath Today (3)
Pitchings, South Parade
Matlock Bath, a coloured postcard
If one of your relatives worked at
the Glove Factory please get in touch (contact link in the page footer)
links lead to more on site information):
 See High Peak
News : Saturday, September 22, 1917
 Mr. Key is listed in Kelly's
1916: Official Establishments, Local Institutions etc and both
he and Mr. Hetherington appear in Kelly's,
1916, Matlock Bath. In 1918 Key was still involved with the glove
factory; it was included amongst his commercial interests when he
bought "an extensive tract of the Hopton estate" (Derby
Daily Telegraph, Aug 1918)
 Information from her daughter, Bette
Atkinson, who owns the photograph.
 Beresford, Charles (2007) "The
Bath at War, A Derbyshire Community and the Great War". Country Books/Ashridge
Press. ISBN 978 1 901214 91 8
 George William Boden's name appears on both
Matlock's War Memorial at
Pic Tor and Matlock Bath War
 Recollections of the late Frank Clay.
Muriel was a seamstress and lived for some years at Belle Vue Cottage
with her parents.
 "The London Gazette",
3 April 1925
 Frank James Perry was born in West Camel,
Somerset, in 1874 and died in the Yeovil District in 1951. He had
formerly worked as an Insurance Agent.
 Benjamin Hunter Rodwell was born in Chesterton,
Cambridge in 1900, the son of James Hunter Rodwell and his wife Vine.
He married Paulina Stringfellow at St. Giles in 1923 and died in
the Ilkeston District in 1967. BHR's stepfather, mother and sister
were all buried at Holy Trinity.
 Perry lost about £5,000 of goods
and stock, including the machines, a large stock of skins and goods
awaiting despatch. Perry's cat, reputed to be the best rat catcher
in the district, was the only loss of life! The fire also destroyed
the fancy goods business of Mr. Worth. Worth lost about £1,000
of stock. (Derby Daily Telegraph, 3 Jan 1929). Also see The
Matlocks UDC Fire Brigade, about 1930.
 See The