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A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Darley Dale, The Warney Mill Estate (2)
Cara Hols, Two Dales

The Warney estate was bought by Herbert Hardy in two stages. Having bought Warney House in the early 1950s he transformed the land surrounding it into a caravan park - "Cara-Hols" of Two Dales. This was to be his first enterprise on the site. Mr. Hardy had at one time sold ladies stockings, initially from a suitcase and then from his hosiery shop on Bakewell Road in Matlock next to what was then the market and bus station.

He advertised his caravan park as being suitable "For lighthearted and Carefree Holiday-making". "You will thrill to the living comfort of Cara-Hols Mobile Homes. They're completely furnished and ready to live in, featuring dividing partitions to each Caravan, and every requirement except Linen. Parking available for Patrons bringing their own Caravan"[1].

The top postcard shows that quite a few changes had taken place since the Walton family had owned the property (see the photographs on the previous page). For example, the climbing plant covering the front and side of Warney House had been removed and so had several large trees. Some of the farm buildings, plus the greenhouse / vinery, had been demolished. Other buildings had been either added to or converted to provide facilities for the visitors, such as the Recreation Centre shown below.

Recreation Centre

Cara-Hols existed as a company until April 1981, when two notices published in the "London Gazette" announced that the Company was dissolved[2].

The third postcard in the series (below) looks across the Derwent valley towards Birchover and Stanton Lees. The embankment was part of the Manchester to London railway line and on the far side, close to the top of the picture, is the River Derwent which is marked by a line of trees. The building with the long low roof line next to the railway embankment was the Victoria Saw Mill.

Warney Mill, a stone built corn mill, is also close to the railway line - further down the road, past Warney House and the caravan park. When the estate was sold in 1950 the mill, which was then used as a Flour and Feeding Stuffs Mill, had both a Mill Dam and a water wheel[3]. Following the Marchant Brooks sale it had been bought by E. & S. Johnson who were already established at Ladygrove Mills in Two Dales[4]. Warney Flour Mills Limited was a working mill for a number of years until the company was liquidated in 1973[5].

View across the Derwent Valley

Herbert Hardy eventually bought the mill building and set up DFS (Direct Furnishing Supplies) on the site, pioneering Sunday trading as we know it today. When he started up DFS, the number and type of goods that could be bought on Sundays was very limited and did not include furniture. He thought of an ingenious way of getting round the law by allowing people to buy, say, a pound of carrots and then giving them a sofa or three piece suite as well. However, the price of the carrots bought on a Sunday matched the price of the furniture that was sold during the week. He was fined by the magistrates in 1971 but he continued to trade on Sundays.

Advertisement from the Matlock Mercury, 7 Jul 1951.
This advert, probably rather saucy for the early 1950s, was always at the very top of
the paper's front page.

Three postcards of the Warney estate after it had been turned into Cara Hols.
In the collection of, provided by and © Ken Smith.
Newspaper advertisement © Susan Tomlinson collection.
Research provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Birmingham Weekly Post", 29 January 1954. Advertisement for "bookings now being taken" for the coming season.

[2] "The London Gazette", 16 December 1980. Cara-Hols Ltd was struck off the Register and the Company dissolved. This was followed by the second notice in "The London Gazette", 2 April 1981 stating that Cara-Hols was dissolved and no longer existed as a company. Publication in the Gazette included companies that were being removed at their own request.

[3] Marchant Brooks sale brochure, printed by Smith's Printing Works, Ltd, Bakewell Road, Matlock (with grateful thanks to Ken Smith for giving me a copy). The auction was held at Marchant Brooks' sale rooms on Causeway Lane.

[4] "Kelly's Directory 1928", shows Johnson A. & Sons, corn millers, Denacre La[ne]. A. Johnson was Ernest and Stephen's late father and the family had been at Alport Mill up until at least 1923. Their elder brother, also Alfred, probably also worked for the firm as he was a traveller for Flour and Cattle Feeding Stuffs in 1939.

[5] "The London Gazette", 30 August 1973. Warney Flour Mills Limited. Announcement that on the 4th October 1973 there was to be a meeting to lay an account before the Company's Members showing the manner in which the winding-up had been conducted and the property of the Company disposed of when the Company was liquidated.

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