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Matlock Bath: The Fish Pond, about 1940
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Although the sender of this postcard didn't comment on the picture, his message reflected the situation both in the village and in the country at the time the card was posted.

"I am very relieved that the people here are not like the chap at Buxton. You have to pay to go anywhere. There are a lot of soldiers here. I have to get a ration card on Monday as the place is not registered as a boarding hse".

Rationing was introduced in 1940, just after the outbreak of the Second World War, and was to continue for 14 years. Some items became very scarce and rationing was the country's way of coping with shortages, ensuring everyone was on an equal footing. The postcard's sender mentions needing a ration card (or ration book) and he would have needed to register it at one of Matlock Bath's stores. The sender was lodging at Rose Cottage, on North Parade, and he clearly needed his coupons.

Matlock Bath was being used by the Army once more, just as it had been during WW1, although this photograph must have been taken before the War as there isn't a soldier in sight - only people of all ages who were enjoying looking at the fish. Just past the fish food dispenser is an elderly male sitting in a wheelchair. The trees next to the road had been pollarded, something the Council did regularly both here and along the side of the promenade.

Just above the man in the wheelchair, outside the building on Green Lane that later became the "Singing Kettle", is a male wearing overalls; he is standing with his hands on his hips. Behind him the sign board reads "The Temple Hotel", though the rest of the text is unclear.

At the far end of the pond is an ice cream van. This was where Boden's Restaurant and later the glove factory had been until 1929. The building unfortunately caught fire and had to be demolished and the land it once occupied was absorbed into the Pavilion car park.

"Matlock Bath, The Fish Pond" Copyright Publication by Photochrom Co. Ltd., London & Tunbridge Wells No.79276. Posted in Matlock on 8 Aug 194- (year unreadable, though the message is about wartime Britain) and sent from Rose Cottage.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Pauline Jordan.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.