Elkes Girl Pipers played at Matlock Bath's Floral Fete in the
summer of 1937 and they were billed as a major attraction.
The girls were all employees of Elkes Biscuits,
a Uttoxeter biscuit maker. This would have been a marching
band with the young women playing drums and bagpipes and the
majorette (front row, left) would have marched at the front,
leading the band and twirling her baton in time to the music.
The 1937 Fete saw the promenade and bandstand decorated
with floral streamers, with over 30,000 flowers used.
An item in the river gymkhana, arranged by Remo Tinti, saw
a boat full of immaculately clad men in white flannels armed
with flour and another boatload of men dressed in black and
with bags of soot chasing each other up and down the river.
Eventually all the men were covered in soot and flour and
the boats capsized. Another event was for the "Derwent
Gold Plate" when swimmers rode on wooden
horses down the river; the horses had flue brushes for tails,.
It sounds like an early version of "It's
a Knockout" which was a popular British TV programme
that began in 1966. Fireworks, of course, rounded off the
In 1935 the Elkes Valley girl pipers were in Matlock and
provided the music for the carnival procession round the
Similar bands also took part in the annual carnivals.
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on
this web site):
 Elkes Biscuits was initially a
small family business, based in Uttoxeter, and is now part
of Fox's biscuits.
 "Derby Daily Telegraph", 19
July 1937. Floral Gala at Matlock. River battle with flour
 "Derby Daily Telegraph",
16 September 1935.
 See Matlock
Carnival, 1936. There's another Carnival photograph
Man's Photographic Memory (scroll down).