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Matlock Bath: The Grand Pavilion (The Kursaal), 1915
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"Celesque" Series card of The Kursaal and the Royal Hotel in Matlock Bath
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Fish Pond Stables

Fish Pond Stables, Providence Mine & the Mud Heap

Fish Pond and Pavilion

People continued to visit Matlock Bath during the First War, as this beautiful card illustrates. Taken from the terrace of the Temple Hotel - now The Temple - it shows the Kursaal, the Pavilion built in 1910 and soon to change its name because Kursaal didn't seem appropriate when the country was at War.

Local newspapers have always shown a humorous side. For example, this was published just before the First War:

Posters appeared on the walls this week announcing dancing at the Kursaal Ballroom. A special feature is made of the latest music, and the polished floor; but this time the printer has set up the latter as the "Polished Flour"[1].

Like many other large buildings, the Kursaal was used for billeting troops during WW1. In February 1915 the Army Services Corps arranged for an initial group of 230 men to be billeted here, with their canteen in the Pump Room. More arrived a couple of weeks later. Horses were also accommodated and further troops were billeted elsewhere in the village[2].

The Pavilion building was described as follows in the 1930's: "Almost adjoining the Derwent Gardens is the Pavilion, built by the Urban District Council in 1910. This includes the Pump-room, where the thermal water is sold, and a Cinema. There are also a Theatre with a nice little stage, and two smaller rooms used for meetings, etc. The Theatre is also used as a ballroom, having a dancing-floor. Good theatrical companies visit Matlock Bath at times[3]". Dancing continued to be enjoyed in the ballroom for more than fifty years. However, the building now is home to the Peak District Mining Museum.

The picture also shows two other important buildings in the village. In the centre of the picture is the spire of Holy Trinity Church and the large building with many chimney stacks was the Royal Hotel, which was to only survive for just over decade more before it was ruined by a disastrous fire.

The roof tops belong to The Fish Pond Hotel (below the Royal Hotel) and to some of the shops on North Parade.

There is more information elsewhere on this web site :
Postcard of the Royal Hotel (this is the first of several images)

Grand Pavilion
(Kursaal) 1910-12

Pavilion, Obelisk & Spar Shop

Grand Pavilion,

Grand Pavilion 1920s

The Ballroom, before 1928

Grand Pavilion, 1930s

Pavilion, 1938

Pavilion Grounds

Industrial Exhibition 1946

Musical Festival 1961

"Matlock Bath: The Kursaal & Royal Hotel, showing Church". "Celesque" Series, published by the Photochrome Co. Ltd, London and Tunbridge Wells, No. B.44536.
The recipient was Mrs. J. Watkinson of Bowness and the card was posted by someone visiting Matlock Bath on 26 Aug 1915.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only


[1] "The High Peak News", Saturday, 10 January 1914. Researched at Colindale by the web mistress.

[2] Beresford, Charles "The Bath at War, A Derbyshire Community and the Great War" (2007). Country Books/Ashridge Press. ISBN 978 1 901214 91 8.

[3] Ward Lock & Co's "Matlock, Dovedale, Bakewell and South Derbyshire", Illustrated Guide Books of England and Wales (1932-3), pp.33-34