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Matlock Bath: Albion Hotel Restaurant, North Parade
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1900 photo of the Albion Boarding House

Menu card and advertisement

North Parade 1920s


North Parade, 1892

North Parade late 1905

North Parade 1930s, with Crowder's Parade (Evans) Restaurant

A postcard of the interior of the Albion Hotel Restaurant, which was run by Albert Edward Graves and his wife Isabel for many years[1]. When he died at the end of 1931 Albert Graves was described as one of the leading caterers of the town and a generous supporter of local charitable institutions. He had first visited Matlock Bath in 1890 and was a member of a band that played during the season in the old Pavilion and Gardens[2]. He was one of the top flute piccolo players in the Midlands and had been approached by several of the Midlands first-class bands[3]. After the band he was in left the district Mr Graves returned, married, and commenced business as a caterer at the Sheffield House Restaurant, later moving to the Albion. It was at a time when Matlock Bath was enjoying great prosperity[2].

When Mr. Graves married Isabel Evans at Holy Trinity Church in 1893 he was described as a chemist[4]. His wife was the daughter of Mark Evans and sister of John. In 1901 John's daughter Belle Evans was living with her aunt and uncle[5]. Belle went on to marry Harold Charles Crowder in 1919.

In 1900 Francis Hoyland of the County and Station Hotel applied for an occasional licence at the Albion Restaurant so he could sell alcohol on the premises at the band supper, to be held on 1st February between 7 and 11 p.m. This was granted[6]. Three years later, after the Royal Italian Band had performed in Matlock Bath throughout the season and then extended their stay for a further two or three weeks longer than normal before heading for South Africa, they were given a complimentary dinner at the Albion Restaurant. Mr. J. F. Donegani presided over the evening as he was the Chairman of the Music Committee[7].

At the end of the First World War, on 19th July 1919, Mr. and Mrs. Graves catered for all the returned soldiers, sailors, airmen and their respective wives of Matlock Bath and Scarthin with a "Welcome Home Luncheon" at their restaurant[8]. Local residents had given and paid for this celebration to honour those who came back[9].

Albert Graves passed away on New Year's Eve 1931, having been unwell for a while; his wife had pre-deceased him[10]. An obituary noticed stated that he would be much missed, especially by the poorer classes, whom he frequently assisted[3]. Albert and Isabel Graves, John Evans and his wife and Belle Crowder were all buried at Holy Trinity[11].

From the mid 1930s until the 1950s Mrs. Austin and Mrs. Julia Smith ran the Albion[12].

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

References (coloured links go to on site transcripts):

[1] Albert and Isabel Graves are mentioned in various trade directories: Kelly's 1895 | Kelly's 1899 | Kelly's 1908 | Kelly's 1912 (by this time a temperance hotel) | Kelly's 1916 and Kelly's for 1922, 1925 and 1928.

[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", Friday 01 January 1932. Resort loses a great friend.

[3] "ibid", 5 January 1932. Funeral of Matlock Bath Caterer. Many Tributes to Friend of Poor People.

[4] Parish register. He had been a chemist's apprentice and later a chemist's assistant for at least twenty years in his home town of Leicester.

[5] 1901 census transcripts. Also see Isabel Evans in 1891 and Belle Evans in the same census. John Evans, Belle's father, was mentioned in the London Gazette of 1896.

[6] "Derbyshire Times", 27 January 1900.

[7] "ibid.", 5 September 1903 and the "Sheffield Independent", 14 September 1903.

[8] Beresford, Charles "The Bath at War, A Derbyshire Community and the Great War" (2007). Country Books/Ashridge Press. ISBN 978 1 901214 91 8. Matlock Bath's post War celebration, pp.430-31, Scarthin's post War celebration, p.431.

[9] See Matlock and Matlock Bath : The War Memorials, Peace Day, 19 July 1919

[10] "Derbyshire Times", 9 January 1932. Matlock Caterer

[11] See their MIs: Graves MI | Evans and Crowder MI.

[12] Names provided by Ken Smith. Mrs. Julia Smith (no relation to KS) advertised in Kelly's Directory of 1941.