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Matlock Bath: Lovers' Walks, 1950s
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A young couple strolling on Lovers' Walks in the 1950s
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More about Lovers' Walks

Lovers' Walks, brief history

Lovers' Walk (Edwardian)

About 1914

Here are two really high quality photographs of Lovers' Walks that were taken in the 1950s - so before all the riverbank buildings on the opposite bank were demolished for road widening. During September, set pieces designed and made for various of the Matlock Bath's Venetian Fêtes used to be displayed amongst the trees between the river and the path[1]. On Fête nights various families launched their decorated boats from the landing stages on the opposite bank[2].

To one couple in Matlock Bath this photograph has a special significance. It is of them in their youth, when they were "courting"!

boating on the river

The second photo was possibly taken beside the lifebuoy that you can see in the top picture. The photographer has turned round to take the view across the river, and has captured some young rowers who are totally unaware of his existence.

The landing stage we can see was below the Pavilion and the rocks beside it (on its left) are where the waters from the fishpond emerge today before they cascade into the river. The young women on the landing stage are standing beside a wheel that is mounted on what looks like a raft. This could have been something that was destined for one of the decorated boats of the Venetian Fête[1]. The steps down can be seen on another picture on this site, taken about thirty years earlier[3]. They were behind the Great Petrifying Well on South Parade[4] and the building that had first been Boden's Cafe and later used as a glove factory[5]. Towards the right hand edge of the photo is a wall, with some tall trees running along the far side of it. They were in the grounds of what had been Herbert Buxton's Royal Museum[6]. Interestingly, in the same picture you can just about make out part of the building on the opposite side of South Parade, at that time run as a china shop by the Kelterbournes[7]. The tiny shop under the steps (partially eclipsed by a lorry) had been a butchers[8].

Postcard of Lovers Walk, No.MB7, published by Mason's and is one of the Alpha Series. Unposted.
2. Matlock Bath. The River". No.MB1, published by Mason's and is one of the Alpha Series. Unposted.
Postcards in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Images scanned for this website and information written, researched by and © by Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] Matlock Bath's Illuminations & Venetian Fête
[2] Venetian Fête (now Venetian Nights), decorated boats
[3] Matlock Bath: The river Behind South Parade's shops and businesses
[4] The Great Petrifying Well
[5] Matlock Bath: The Grand Pavilion, about 1920 shows the building. Also and read about Matlock Bath's Glove Factory.
[6] Matlock Bath: Mr. Buxton's Royal Museum & the Great Petrifying Well. You can see the line of trees next to the petrifying well building.
[7] The South Parade building is shown on many images. See, for example, Matlock Bath: South Parade & Green Lane, about 1900.
[8] Recollections of the late Mr. Frank Clay, from private papers and notes owned by Mrs. Doreen Buxton, some of which were written in 1992 and are still within copyright. Kelterbournes had earlier been Boden's shoe shop.