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Matlock Bath: Charlotte Farnsworth, Poetess
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Lottie Farnsworth outside her booth
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Charlotte Farnsworth, who was born in Bonsall[1], would fill the tedium and lonely hours on days when customers didn't pass through her riverside turnstile behind the Pavilion by writing poetry. Her inspiration was her beloved Matlock Bath.

"I remember coming over the fields from Bonsall when I was a girl and watching the crowds streaming down on a bank holiday from the excursion trains. ... Matlock Bath is a beautiful place and thousands of people know it and love it and I hope it will be even more popular in future years"[2].

Below is just one example of Lottie's published poetry in which she describes the magic of the Venetian Fête[3] when it was held on the Promenade and the band played in the band-stand.

The Venetian Fete

If you cannot go to Venice
To view the wondrous sights,
Just come along to Matlock Bath
And see how fairy lights
Are reflected in the Derwent,
As they shine upon the trees !
Come to the Grand Venetian Fete,
Which has never failed to please !

The wood is like a spangled gown
The bridge, a rainbow span-
The bandstand like a jewell'd crown,-
Come, see them, if you can !
The fireworks are a grand display
And the music is a treat.
Competing boats, in bright array,
Make a pageant hard to beat.

Be sure you come to Matlock Bath,
To see this charming Fete !
Woods may be bright with Autumn tints,
So do not come too late
To climb the Heights, or see the Caves
And the Petrifying rills !
Thousands who come will come again,
Lured by beauty, lights, and thrills.

CHARLOTTE E. FARNSWORTH,
Matlock Bath, Derbyshire.

(Copyright) (1935)

Lottie wasn't the only female poet to write about Matlock Bath.
Matlock & Matlock Bath - Poetry


Photograph and poem in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Images scanned for this website and information researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links are to information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] Charlotte Eliza Farnsworth was born in Bonsall in 1890. She was the daughter of Arthur, a stonemason, and his wife Charlotte (nee Wormleighton). She lived in Matlock Bath on Temple Walk; she also lived with Mrs Lusby above what later became Gill's shop. She also wrote poems about Bonsall and Cromford. She died at Wirksworth in 1962, aged 72.
[2] Newspaper article written by Lottie, date unknown but in Ken Smith's collection.
[3] There is more about the Fête. See Matlock Bath: Illuminations and Venetian Fête in the 1950s and Matlock Bath: Venetian Fete (now Venetian Nights), decorated boats