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Matlock Bank, Summer 1904 (2)
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Matlock Bath: South Parade, 1910 - the Roads & Boden's Restaurant

Tuck's postcard of Matlock Bridge and Bank was taken at a very similar time to the previous image as the development on the Bank is at exactly the same stage. The picture was taken at the time when the County Bridge was being widened and we can see just a couple of minor things relating to the widening in the enlargement below. A fence, which sticks out from the Crown Square shops on the left, has been put up to partially block the roadway across the bridge. It is impossible to tell whether the vehicles are horses with carts or horses with carriages but they seem to be waiting outside Orme's grocery store on the right to cross the bridge. Look carefully and you can also just see the beginning of the temporary footbridge that had been erected.

The County Bridge was partially closed.

Local carters were encountering difficulties when descending the Matlock hills and some attached slippers, a kind of skid or shoe with studs in them, to the wheels of their drugs as a means of retarding the speed of their vehicles when going downhill. Slippers would have been especially useful when the drugs were carrying a heavy load, such as stone. The road surfaces, made from successive layers of crushed limestone which was covered in mud and then rolled (macadam), were not good[1]. The iron tyres on both carts and carriages caused deep ruts. Heavily loaded drugs, especially with slippers or skids on them, were breaking up the road surfaces and making things worse. One problem aggravated the other. In early November 1904 the Council's Surveyor, Mr. James Diggle, alerted the Council to the damage being caused to Matlock's roads by the slippers[2]. They then needed to make an example of someone for causing damage. On the 30th November a man named Thomas Wood of Darley Dale was summoned for using a slipper with studs on 2 November, having carted four tons of stone from Rockside Terrace down Wellington Street. The Surveyor estimated the damage that Wood had caused was 5 shillings[3]. The following summer a dray became unmanageable, colliding with a lamp post near the town hall and then skidding across the road. The driver, Frank Booth, sustained a fractured jaw and other injuries[4].

"Matlock Bridge & Bank". Raphael Tuck & Sons O'er Hill and Dale Post Card, No.2250 Matlock Bath and Matlock Bridge. Posted on 21 Sep 1907 at Derby. An unposted version has the words Photo Holland in the stamp box.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] Macadam for road surfaces was made up of materials advocated by J. L. McAdam many years before. Each layer of stone was rolled before the next one was laid. Tarmac, or tarmacadam, was introduced later on.

[2] "Derbyshire Times", 9 November 1904. Other and Varied Subjects (discussed by yhr Council).

[3] "Derbyshire Times", 3 December 1904.

[4] "Derbyshire Courier", 26 August 1905. Dray Accident at Matlock.