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Matlock from Matlock Bank, 1904-06
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Smedley's Chapel, 1885

Winter Garden

Co-op in Crown Square 1945-52

Matlock Bank & Bridge, late 1890s

The spectacular view across the valley towards Starkholmes, High Tor and the valley of Matlock Dale was taken from high up on the Bank, photographed from garden of the house on Cavendish Road where the web mistress lived for a number of years (see bottom photo)[1]. A wing of the former Smedley's Hydro on Smedley Street is on the left, almost in the middle is the distinctive dome of Smedley's Winter Garden (opened 1900) and houses and shops opposite the junctions of Wellington Street and Smith Road. On the right, partially hidden by the shops, is the Smedley's United Methodist Free Chapel in the grounds of the Hydro, though by the time the picture was taken this time is was being used as a dynamo house. There is a horse waiting patiently outside the church.

Smith Road, named after the Matlock businessman Job Smith[2], is the narrow road (bottom, right of centre) that joins Smedley Street. On the right hand side of the junction is the former Malvern House Hydro, the establishment Job Smith ran and which he bought in 1886[3]. Although this picture doesn't show it there is an interesting triangular carving, incorporating a concave shell, over the corner doorway. Malvern House was bought by Smedley's Hydro after the First World War and used as staff accommodation.

Co-op, the Central Grocery

The Co-operative movement had a strong presence on Matlock for over a hundred years[4]. It began as the Industrial & Provident Society Ltd in 1863 but the Matlock & District Co-operative Society Limited became part of the Derwent Valley Co-operative Society Limited. In May 1891 Matlock Industrial and Provident Society submitted plans to the Council for a new Co-operative Hall in Smedley Street[5]. In June the same year it was reported that Matlock Industrial and Provident Society were about to build a block of business premises and houses on Smedley Street[6]. This enlargement of the top image shows the three storey building, that has a frontage of thirty yards and was built of dressed ashlar stone. It was opened in June 1893. Three hundred people were present for the "inauguration", with tea followed by entertainment and presided over by Dr Moxon[7]. There were three shops on the ground floor - drapery, boots and grocery - the building was also the headquarters for the Society. The Co-operative Hall, which seated 300, was on the first floor and accommodation was provided the manager. Cellars and a number of store rooms were underneath the building. Bread was baked here for many years, in the 1960s delivered the fresh loaves by van to households in the neighbourhood. The Co-op bank was also housed in the building at one stage although it closed some time ago. Adjoining the Co-op building, on its left (also shown on the top image), are houses that have a date stone of 1904 and which help date this picture.

Enlargement of land between Wellington Street and Smith Road

It is not know if the gardens between Smith Road and Smedley Street were allotments, private gardens or a market garden but next to them is either a builder's yard or timber merchant's premises and there there appear to be roof trusses stacked up in the centre. This may have been the Wellington Street business of the Antliff Brothers[8].

  On the left is another enlargement, this time showing the rubbish tip next to the Town Hall which was something that received a number of complaints in the late 1890s. Look at the top image. It is just above the houses that join on to the Co-op building[9].

July 1964

The final image is a photograph that was taken from the garden of The Rowans on Cavendish Road in July 1964. The buildings in the foreground hadn't changed greatly in the intervening years although Smedley's Church had been demolished. It was replaced by a modern block in the hydro's grounds, with what appears to be an entrance onto Farmer's garage forecourt - you can just see the petrol pumps on the forecourt. The gap in the fence is closed off today and the pumps have gone, with Farmer's now located in a modern showroom on the opposite side of the road. Almost opposite the forecourt is the single storey building which housed a gentleman's and women's hairdressing salons. Stuart Woodley had moved to the premises in either the late 1950s; his business had previously been in one of the shops under the hydro, where the County Offices are today.

There is a coloured version of this view, published as one of their Artistic Series by A. P. Co. See Just Images, Matlock (Matlock from Matlock Bank)
Google image of Smith Road and the two buildings of Malvern House Hydro

1. 2. 3. 4. "Matlock from Matlock Bank". Published by Salisbury Ball, Sheffield, No.10600 B.C. Printed in Germany. Posted 17 Aug 1- Mrs. Wright, Lincoln ... Will send one pair of the stilts to Beesby ... Love Clara
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
5. Photograph of Matlock from the garden of The Rowans, Cavendish Road © 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] The Cavendish Road house referred to was built by Harry Douglas, manager of Smedley's, and lived in for many years by him and his family. We lived there in the 1960s.

[2] See Biographies - Smith, Job and Bank Road & the Steep-Gradient Tramway.

[3] "Derbyshire Times", 12 June 1886. A Birmingham auctioneer called Mr. Howell sold Lot 2, Malvern House Hydropathic Establishment It was bought by Mr. Job Smith, the occupier, for £450.

[4] See Letterheads for the Industrial and Provident as well as The Derwent Valley Co-Operative Society Ltd. (scroll down). The first directory entry was Harrod's 1870 Directory (not transcribed). The first transcribed entry was in Kelly's 1876 Directory and they were listed in all the directories up to 1916 when they had become Matlock Bank Industrial & Provident Society Limited (Kelly's 1916 Directory).

[5] "Derbyshire Courier", 9 May 1891..

[6] "Derbyshire Times", 20 June 1891. The Co-operative Society and their property.

[7] "Derbyshire Courier", 17 June 1893, Co-operative Hall. James Turner was the architect, the building contractor was Mr. L. T. Wildgoose and the cost was £2,600.

[8] The Antliffs can be found on Wellington Street in Kelly's Directory 1908.

[9] There is more about this on Matlock Bank & Bridge, late 1890s.