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Matlock Bath: River Derwent, 1914
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Jubilee Bridge & Promenade 1890

River Derwent & the Devonshire Hotel 1890


Derwent Gardens from the River Derwent

Illuminations | Venetian Fête | Venetian Nights

A pretty riverside scene, taken just before the outbreak of the First World War from close to the Parade side of the Jubilee Bridge and looking downstream. Just behind the tree on the far right the door of the Fountain Baths (now the Aquarium) is wide open, waiting for swimmers.

Although war had been declared on 3rd August 1914, Matlock Bath continued with some planned events. On 22 August the annual regatta was held "on the promenade length of the Derwent". It had been arranged to take place the week before, on 15th August, but rain forced the organisers to change the date[1]. The next regatta was held in 1919, at the end of the war, as part of an event arranged to show Matlock Bath's appreciation to local demobilised soldiers and discharged men[2].

Regattas had been held in Matlock Bath since 1875, with the first one staged on a fine Thursday afternoon in September. The event had been organised by a working committee and the race officials were Sidney Wheatcroft (starter) and Philip Daykin (judge). A "large number spectators were present, the romantic rooks and walks on each side of the river being completely crowded. The races commenced at two o'clock, and lasted till seven. ... At night one of the grandest displays of fireworks ever witnessed in Derbyshire was given by C. S. Brock and Co. of London"[3]. The following year's regatta was somewhat marred by very heavy downpours but the evening saw more Brock's fireworks and from the station to the weir, as well as the Heights of Abraham, were lit up with different coloured fires, with the lights changing colour[4]. Later regattas included swimming races in the river[5].

"On the Derwent, Matlock Bath". Valentine's Series, No.JV-79512. Valentine's Series is a guarantee of British Manufacture, first published in 1914. Not posted.
Another version of this card was posted in 1929.
Image © Ann Andrews collection.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derbyshire Courier", 29 August 1914. Matlock Bath Regatta.
[2] "Derbyshire Courier", 26 July 1919. Also see: The War Memorials, Peace Day, 19 July 1919.
[3] "Derbyshire Times", 18 September 1875.
[4] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, September 13, 1876.
[5] "Derbyshire Times", 16 September 1882.