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Matlock Bath: Fish Pond Hotel, about 1910
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Pavilion, with the hotel, 1920s

Charabanc Visitors

Past Matlock & Matlock Bath photographers

A group of day trippers ("excursionists") on an outing are enjoying the sunshine outside the Fish Pond Hotel. The amazing vehicle parked on the forecourt, described as looking like a hay cart on wheels, belonged to Joseph Tomlinson & Sons Ltd. of Sheffield[1]. One can only assume the passengers had a very bumpy ride, especially those sitting so high up at the back. The wheels front and back are different sizes and the charabanc seems to have a chain drive to give more torque to the back axle; you can also see the rear clamp brakes.

The Fish Pond's licensee when the picture was taken was Ernest Frank Martin from Birmingham[2]. William Wyvill was there around the turn of the century[3] and before that Joseph Wadsworth had a long association with the premises; in Wadsworth's time it was a beer house[4].

Soldiers were billeted here during the First World War. The web mistress's grandfather wrote about this in a letter he sent from France in 1915 to the landlord, Fred Ogden, with whom he corresponded. He also reported that he was well and "have not quite forgotten the old spot[5]". The Fish Pond had been his "local". Fred Ogden, who was the friend of quite a few of the soldiers, died suddenly in January 1916[6]. He was replaced behind the bar by Norman Harry (Harry) Sellors[7] who was called up in 1917.

Behind and above the hotel can be see The Temple Walk Studio, Photography which opened in 1899. This was used by several local photographers, including Alfred Seaman and/or his son[8] and Percy Rowbottom[9].

This picture makes it almost look as if the studio is part of the works on the opposite side of the road (with the stone walls).
There was a small building on the site in 1892.

Original photograph in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Images scanned for this website by Ann Andrews.
information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] White's Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham, 1911 shows Joseph Tomlinson & Sons Ltd., cab & omnibus proprietors of 20 Bedford Street, Sheffield. The directory entry listed several addresses for the firm.

[2] The earliest record of Ernest Frank Martin at the Fish Pond is in Kelly's Directory, 1908. He was at the hotel in the 1911 census and was still listed in Kelly's 1912 Directory.

[3] Mr. Wyvill appears at the Fishpond in Kelly's Directory, 1895 | Kelly's Directory, 1899 | the 1901 census.
He had been in Matlock Bath for some time previously. See: the 1871 census | the 1881 census (at Hodgkinson's Hotel) | the 1891 census.
There are two family memorials at Holy Trinity. See his son's MI (1) | Mr. Wyvill's MI (2).

[4] Joseph Wadsworth's MI is on this web site. He can be found in the 1861 census | 1871 census | 1881 census | 1891 census. His name is also included in several nineteenth century trade directories: White's Directory 1862 | Kelly's Directory 1864 | Kelly's Directory, 1876 | Kelly's Directory, 1891.

[5] Letter from Trooper Jack Clay to Fred Ogden, published in "The High Peak News", 20 March 1915. Letter dated 3 March. See Names on Matlock War Memorial and Names on Matlock Bath War Memorial for more information about him.

[6] Fred Ogden was buried at St Giles and has a memorial - see MI Surnames O. He is listed in other transcripts: 1871 census | 1881 census | 1891 census | 1901 census - see Strays O | Kelly's Directory, 1891 | Wills & Administrations, 1858 - 1928 : Surnames M - R. A short report of his death is included in Matlock and Matlock Bath Newspaper Cuttings, Jul 1914 - Nov 1918.

[7] See Kelly's 1916 Directory. Harry Sellors was born in Tewksbury in 1881 and lived at the Fishpond with his mother and sister. His sister took over the licence. See: The Grand Pavilion, 1920s. There is more about the Sellors family and their disputes with the Local Board regarding Old Bath Hill (Fishpond Hill today) on Matlock Bath from the Heights of Abraham, 1892.

[8] "Derbyshire Times", 13 May 1899. At a Local Board meeting the surveyor said plans had been presented by Mr. Seaman for a shop on Temple Walk. It did not say which of the Seamans this was.

[9] See Matlock Bath: Percy Rowbottom, artist and photographer