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Matlock Bath: New Bath Hotel (5)
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Men's Cricket Team,

It is possible that both these photographs were taken to mark the opening of the New Bath Hotel's outdoor swimming pool in 1934. You will notice that the pool has no water in it. A large sign advertising the pool can be seen beside the approach road, ensuring that those travelling along Derby Road could read it (just above the word "collection" on the top image). In contrast, the signboard for the New Bath Hotel is relatively small and can't be seen here! It is actually sticking out from the wall, to the left of what looks like a white post and close to the edge of the card's title label. The white post was actually one of the gate posts for the old toll house[1].

The pool replaced the large and very old lime tree there had been in the hotel's gardens, although was not quite in the same place as the lime had been[2]. The photograph dates from the early 1930s, whether or not it was taken to advertise the new swimming pool, as Win Tor, to the right of the New Bath's Roadhouse on Derby Road, looks both neglected and unoccupied. It was possibly being demolished. Win Tor is shown in a similar state on the previous image, suggesting the two pictures date from around the same time.

At first glance the second postcard looks identical, apart from the position of the lettering on the card. However, we can see the former rubbish tip more clearly on the lower card. It was surrounded by small trees, but the edge of it is quite easy to see behind the roadhouse on the A6.

On the very top edge, about a quarter of the way along from the left, is what appears to be a small white mark. This is the entrance to the Cumberland Cavern and the small building is the hut that stood near the cavern's entrance. Cyril Edmonds, who owned the cavern, had originally provided a pavilion for the cricket field that was up the lane above the Cavern, and when it was no longer needed he took it down and rebuilt it at the cavern. It had central wooden steps up to a roofed verandah and double doors into the hut - definitely a pavilion style[3].

Enlargement of top postcard showing the late Victorian roadhouse, by now AA approved.
In 1930 the New Bath advertised the Roadside Bar, "which enjoys the benefit of the Full License. ...
Adjoining the Roadside Bar is a small quarry of ornamental tufa stone, which is in demand for the construction of Rock Gardens, etc.
There is now fencing around the perimeter but the path connecting it with the New Bath, mentioned on New Bath Hotel (2),
is under the shadow of the trees.
There is an earlier view of the building on New Bath Hotel (6)

In 1881 the hotel's proprietor Thomas Tyack had applied for an extension of his wine licence from his old premises to include "more suitable buildings now in the course of construction"; the new buildings in question were this roadside bar. As he already held a wine licence, his application was for the same certificate to also cover this new establishment. An underground passage had been constructed from the hotel, emerging into the new premises. Tyack's reason for building the bar was that excursionists were calling at the hotel in large numbers requiring refreshments and asked for spirits, so the new build was to keep the hotel's visitors and the excursionists apart[5]. To modern ears that probably sounds more elitist than was intended as the hotel was not designed to cater for groups of people descending on it in large numbers for a relatively short time each weekend or public holiday; the staff would not have been able to cope with the demand. Although Rev. Latham objected, the bench had visited the new premises and considered them to be part and parcel of the main hotel. For those who did not want alcoholic drinks Mr. Tyack intended to provide tea, coffee and aerated waters. He would close during the winter months and only be open until 5p.m. during the summer season. Excise officers had also visited the new premises and given their approval, which meant the bench had no option but to grant the licence although the local police were opposed to the application[5].

There is more about the New Bath Hotel

1. and 3. "New Bath Hotel, Open Air Swimming Pool. Matlock Bath". Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Pauline Jordan. Posted 8 Jul 1947 in Matlock, Derbyshire. Personal family card written at Dovedale House.
2. "New Bath Hotel, Open Air Swimming Pool. Matlock Bath". Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Christine Leila Hill.
There is no publisher's name on either card.
Researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

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

[1] See Matlock Bath: Warm Walls Toll Bar, before 1879.

[2] See image 6 on the "Just Images" of Matlock Bath page. The ancient lime tree is also mentioned by Henry Moore in his guide Picturesque Excursions From Derby to Matlock Bath (1818).

[3] From information provided by Christine Leila Hill, whose grandfather owned the cavern.

[4] "Derbyshire Times", 23 August 1930.

[5] "Derbyshire Courier",3 September 1881. Matlock. Annual Brewster Sessions. Removal of Licence.