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Matlock Bath: Fish Pond Hotel, 1930s
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Two images of the Grand Pavilion in the 1920s also show the Fish Pond Hotel

This rare picture of the Fish Pond Hotel is hard to date although it was probably taken in the late 1930s. About the only clue is a tiny sign roughly in the centre of the picture that says Spa Cafe. The gable end had been extended so that it adjoined the shop next door; you can see that the roof of the gable is different from the rest of the roof[1]. A set of gates were installed, which enclosed the stable yard. This extension was eventually demolished, probably in the late 1980s.

The horse and cart outside the hotel is carrying milk churns. The gentleman on the right who is sitting in the bus stop area is wearing plus fours, a style of trouser made popular by Edward Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII). He also sports Argyle socks and Oxford brogues which were popular in the 1930s.

Frank Warner became the Fish Pond's licensee in 1932 and its licence to sell beer and wines was transferred to him from Evelyn Spencer[2]. He had moved from the George Hotel[3]. The Fish Pond Hotel had never had a full licence, but when the licence was removed from the Bath Terrace Hotel the following year a full licence was awarded to Mr. Warner which enabled him to sell spirits as well[4]. The hotel was then owned by Bass[5].
Matlock Bath: Bath Terrace Hotel

The hotel provided lunches or dinners for various local bodies and had a dining room that would seat 200 people so was well equipped for visitors[5]. It was also where people would go to after visiting the Grand Pavilion. On special occasions an extension was applied for, as it was in 1936. Both Mr. Warner and Mr. D. Boden, licensee of Hodgkinson's Hotel, asked Matlock Police Court for extensions for the evening of the Police Ball that was to be held at the Pavilion on 5th March. However, Superintendent Aves strongly opposed the application, citing a similar application granted to the Fish Pond Hotel just the week before when his officers had found young girls and boys were dancing on the hotel's tables instead of at the Pavilion. Both applications were refused, and Derbyshire's policemen were unable to quench their thirst at the end of their evening of dancing[6].

To the left of the image are the wooden seats behind the bus stop. Fishpond Hill (formerly Old Bath Hill) is behind the wall; it is a steep path up to Temple Walk, used for many years as a quick way to reach Upper Wood.

1930s advertisement

1. "Fishpond Hotel and South Parade, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire Peak". [Formerly Don Lion Series] Empire View Productions, No.0152-11. Real Photo by Charles M. Jamson (Copyright Empire View Productions, Doncaster). Not posted.
2. Advertisement from "The Matlocks, Derbyshire. Official Guide". Issued by the Come to Derbyshire Association, published 1930s.
Both images © Ann Andrews collection.
Information 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 extension was added around 1927, or a little before, as it is shown on a postcard of The Grand Pavilion in the 1920s, which was registered in 1927 (second image on the page).

[3] Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1932.

[2] Derbyshire Times, 17 December 1932. Matlock Magistrates granted the final transfer.

[4] ibid, 20 May 1933. Licenses Confirmed.

[5] ibid, 11 February 1933.

[6] Derby Daily Telegraph - 26 February 1936. Danced on Tables.