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Matlock Bath: The Fish Pond, 1927
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Fishpond and shops, 1932
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1 & 2 South Parade, 1906

South Parade & Green Lane, about 1900

South Parade & Heights, 1914-18

Most photographs of the Fish Pond were taken from a different angle, with the Grand Pavilion (now the Mining Museum) as a backdrop, so this photograph is unusual as it shows the row of three shops on the opposite side of the road that are next to the Fish Pond Hotel (not in the picture). The overly large slot machines by the Fish Pond's railings, shown on the extreme left, dispensed fish food for the visitors to feed the goldfish with. A penny bought a small boxful of dried grubs or shrimps.

The fish food was a money spinner for the Council. Towards the end of 1930 Councillor W. Jacques complained at one of their meetings about the condition of the fish food boxes, which he described as "one of Matlock Bath's greatest assets" and declared that one box was totally hors-de-combate, whilst another was suffering from partial paralysis! Because of their state the Council had lost a considerable sum in the previous 6-8 weeks[1]. He had to raise the topic of the unsatisfactory condition of the fish food machines once more at the next meeting. He pointed out that it might seem a small matter, but he wanted the Council to realise that the receipts last season (1929) were £74 17s 3d from the sale of the dispensed food whereas they had been £139 17s 3d in 1928. The question asked was did the boxes leak[2]? Most people would wonder with hindsight if someone managed to tamper with the boxes to either take the money out or dispense the fish food without cost.

The large building at the far end of the pond was for many years Boden's Restaurant. There is a covered sign on the corner of the building which probably held the restaurant's menus. In 1929 a major fire on the premises meant that the building had to be demolished and where the building had stood became part of the Grand Pavilion's car park. So the picture here pre-dates the 1932 postal date by several years.

Whilst the photograph below is perhaps not showing the building at its best, as the facade is covered with scaffolding poles and boards when it was taken, it shows the shop in this parade that at one time was run by Harry Gill. Mr. Gill was perhaps better known during his lifetime as being a local photographer and collector.

In the postcard above Gill's shop is slightly obscured but was the left one of the three in the little parade, behind the man standing next to the fish food dispenser. In the 1950s and 60s the other shopkeepers were Tommy and Connie Lound, who sold toys and newspapers, and Mr. and Mrs. Bert Gregory who sold chocolates and sweets in the shop at the far end at what was known as the Beehive Cafe. Tommy Lound's shop was a wonderland for small children; he specialized in electric trains and for some years mounted exhibitions in the Grand Pavilion.

This shop was formerly run by Harry Gill

"Fish Pond, Matlock Bath". Card posted Retford 4 May 1932 and sent to Newark - message unrelated to the view. Another card was posted in 1927.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews who also provided the information.
Photograph of No. 1 South Parade today, scanned by Ann Andrews, provided by Ken Smith,with grateful thanks.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derbyshire Times", 25 October 1930.

[2] "ibid", 22 November 1930.