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Matlock Bath: North Parade in the 1920s
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Donegani family, about 1900


The shop where the three women were standing, 1910-14


A quiet North Parade.

On the right of the photograph is the arched entrance of the George Hotel; the name is written in white paint around the arch, something not seen on earlier images. Above it hangs a sign announcing that "Home Brewed Fine Ales" were available on the premises and another sign, on the right side of the arch, reads "Lunches Plus Garage". The wheel of a bicycle is just visible in the entrance way to the garage.

The three women in the foreground are wearing clothes from around the 1920s or so. Behind them is the rather splendid glass covered canopy, a structure that used to be outside Boden's shop, and the sign reads "Harry Boden Confectionery"[1]. Harry Boden (1878-1964) married Winifred Donegani (1881-1969) at St. Giles in 1907 and the couple ran their confectionery and grocery business on North Parade until the early 1960s. They had a big meat slicing machine in a room immediately behind the shop and there was "a big room at the back" that the Matlock Bath W.I. used for basket making, etc in the 1950s[2].

This big room at the back was the Arcade Restaurant. In January 1927 a social gathering, organised by the committee of the Matlock Bath branch of the Unionist League, was held here. Lord Hartington addressed the group on the current situation in China, an important and worrying issue of the day[3]. Harry Boden allowed free use of his rooms in February the same year for a fundraiser for Mr. E. Allen, the captain of Matlock Bath Swimming Club. He had suffered a severe accident at the quarry where he worked and a whist drive was held to raise funds for him. Approximately a hundred people attended[4]. Many more whist drives were held at the Arcade Restaurant in the 1930s, mostly in aid of the Matlock Bath Cricket Club. It was also one of the local restaurants recommended by the Matlock Bath Venetian Fete Committee.

Matlock Division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade held their first annual dinner at the Arcade Restaurant in 1929, with about 50 members attending. Mr. W. Daniels presided. The company were entertained by, amongst others, Mr R. Tinti and Mr. Francis Boden (son of Harry and Winifred). The Mr. Tinti mentioned could have been either Romolo or his son Remo[5]. The Bodens also catered for weddings, with the last mention of an event there in the 1940s.

After Harry Boden's death the family left The Arcade and there was a change of use. It became Peakland Arts for a number of years[6].

1930s advertisement

On the left hand side of the road, hiding the Promenade from view, is a long length of canvas that used to be placed around the Promenade and Lovers' Walks during holiday times. It is shown on several images of North Parade[7]. In 1931 the Matlocks Urban Council discussed this issue following an appeal for its removal from the Matlock Publicity Association. Some Councillors felt the canvas should go but Councillor Baxter pointed out that, having arranged for acrobats to perform on the Promenade, the Council would not get its money back if the canvas was removed as it would allow the public to view the entertainments without paying the entrance fee[8].

1. Postcard of "North Parade, Matlock Bath" in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
2. Advertisement published in "The Matlocks, Derbyshire. Official Guide" Issued by the Come to Derbyshire Association, published 1930s. In the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Images scanned for this website and information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] 1928 and 1932 Kelly's Directories record "Harry Boden, Refreshment rooms, North Parade".

[2] From conversations with Ken Smith.

[3] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 28 January 1927. This was the early part of the Revolution in China. The Shanghai Massacre was to take place in the April of that year.

[4] "ibid.", 11 February 1927.

[5] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 16 December 1929. Ambulance Men at Dinner. Matlock Division Reports Good Progress.

[6] Reminiscences of the late Frank Clay. Private papers © Ann Andrews.

[7] See, for example, North Parade, early twentieth century (2).

[8] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 21 April 1931. Appeal for Canvas to be Removed.