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Matlock : The Bridge (2)
Matlock : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Postcard F_38513, Matlock : The Bridge, copyright Bette Atkinson
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Matlock Bridge & Bank, 1903-04

Matlock Bank
Summer 1904

Matlock Bridge & Bank, 1909

Looking towards Hackney

Matlock - early 20th C

This lovely Edwardian coloured card is of Matlock's stone bridge over the River Derwent, shortly after it was widened in 1903/4. The stonework looks new and it is interesting to see the low wall curving round in front of the shop on the far right of the card. Pictures of the mediaeval bridge before it was widened show that there were neither pavements nor quoins so that people could view the river[1], so crossing the bridge would not have been easy for those on foot if a horse and cart went past.

Just beyond the bridge is Crown Square and there were then shops on both sides of the road on that side of the bridge. Those on the right, at the Parkhead, were demolished during the 1920's with work commencing in February 1926[3]. A large brown sign advertising R. Orme & Co., Family Grocers, Wine & Spirit Merchants can be seen on the end building closest to the bridge (on its right). Orme's eventually moved to the shop opposite the [former] Crown Hotel, on the corner of Crown Square and Bank Road but is no longer in Matlock. You can just make out the shape of one of the trams in Crown Square[3]. Immediately to the left of the tram, if you look hard, is the very edge of a building. This was the covered side entrance way of the Crown Hotel, which projected out over the pavement of Bank Road. The tram shelter is also in the Square; it is almost merged with the heads of the two people who are standing in the middle of the bridge. There are trees shown on both sides of the bottom of Bank Road. There are also two signs on the premises on the left hand side of the bridge. The one on the building closest to the bridge, just below its roof, reads Boot Mercer and further along is some white lettering that belongs to a Boot Warehouse.

In the foreground on the left can be seen the wrought iron gates of what became a bank. The gates were replaced and the entrance way was redesigned when Williams Deacon's Matlock branch acquired the rather grand portico gateway in 1920[4].

Colin Goodwyn comments that the telegraph pole really is a monster, for it must go down behind the wall to the garden!

A sepia version of the same card. Coloured versions sometimes blur the detail and here we can see some of
the people more clearly. There are two men with barrows who are clearing up the horse manure, one on the
bridge and the other closer to the cameraman, although both have been interrupted from the task in hand!
The shop on the extreme right has a Kodak sign on the wall and the street's name was given as Dale
Crescent rather than Dale Road.

These cards date from about 1905-6 as the Rockside tower had been built but there was no steeple on the Methodist & United Reformed Church.

1. "Matlock : The Bridge", one of the "Celesque" Series published by the Photochrome Co. Ltd, London and Tunbridge Wells, no. 38513. Kindly provided by and © Bette Atkinson.
Unfortunately, whilst there's a birthday message on the back of the postcard there is no postmark and not even a stamp to help to date it. The owner has another card which would appear to be taken about the same time and this has an Edward VII stamp on it.
2. "Matlock Bridge: The Bridge". Photochrom Co. Ltd London and Tunbridge Wells, No.38513. Sepiatone Series, Printed in England Written 4 Jun 1925, though not franked by P.O. Message is a personal one. Another version was posted in 1915.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews, with additions by Colin Goodwyn.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links go to more on site information):

[1] There is a picture of the bridge before it was widened in "The AutoChrome Album of Matlock & District". Scroll down the page.

[2] From the "High Peak News"

[3] Bank Road & the Steep-Gradient Tramway Matlock boasted it had the steepest tramway in the world

[4] From the Royal Bank of Scotland's branch history: Sheffield and Rotherham Bank 1792 -1992 A Banking Bicentenary. The Royal Bank of Scotland in Matlock"

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About Matlock Bridge