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Matlock Bath: South Parade, 1920s
Matlock Bath : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
A previously unpublished photograph of South Parade
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Museum Parade &
The Pitchings Photo 1910

Visitors - Travelling by Motor Charabanc

Mrs. Jemima Ballard

Smith's Royal Museum

Matlock Bath Today (3)

Here is an early twentieth century photograph of South Parade from my collection; judging by the clothes the women are wearing it was taken post war and probably in the very early 1920s. The photographer was an amateur and this might be the only copy. The picture could have been taken either early one bank holiday morning or late in the day - as there is quite a bit of litter it was probably later on. When it was really busy the pavements and roadway were almost solid with people.

There are two charabancs in the road which were hired by the visitors, either in groups or by purchasing individual tickets; one is parked on the left, outside Williams' garage, whilst the other was full of trippers. More vehicles were parked in the yard on the extreme left. There is a sign on top of the wall but it cannot be read. However, the yard used to be the stabling for Hodgkinson's Hotel.

If you look carefully at the right hand side of the photo, where a group is waiting on the pavement, there is a sign sticking out which is for the Edinburgh Restaurant; it is almost at the edge of the picture. In the 1920s John William Boden was at Edinburgh House and running both the dining rooms and the Derwent Gardens Café[1]. If you look above, you can just about make out the very edge of Hodgkinson's sign and the pole from which it hangs.

The next shop along the Parade was a butchery; there are sheets of white paper hanging on the hooks in the window. It was one of a pair of shops which used to share a doorway, but by the time this photograph was taken there was a door for each shop. Then there was Mrs. Ballard's confectionery shop, previously Clendon Etheridge's fish shop. The marble slab of his fish counter was still in place![2] A little later on, in March 1927, the freehold premises occupied by Mrs. Ballard, Mr. H. Wragg and the British Butchers, Ltd. were for sale. The property was "being offered with the Goodwill of the Butchers' Business and possession. ... The butchers had been established for over 25 years"[3]. The butchery was taken over by LCM (London Central Meat Co.)[4].

Above the huge bay window of the next building there is sign facing the photographer which reads "MOTORS" although the rest of the sign is indistinct. The business belonged to E. Williams & Co. Ltd, whose managing director was Guy Le Blanc Smith. Although he was still in Matlock Bath, Ernest Williams was no longer involved[5]. The property was sold to the Astills in 1925[2].

Next to it is a building with two smaller bays and the central sign on the wall above them reads "THE ROYAL MUSEUM".

Finally, peeping out from amongst the trees on the skyline is the distinctive roof of the Old Pavilion.

Spa Service bus or charabanc, 1920s.
The vehicle was parked next to the river, on land that disappeared when the road was widened.
The land was roughly level with where the tufa arch/shelter is on Lovers' Walks[6] and not far
from Rose Cottage. On the building behind we can see the Offiler's Ales sign.
This is best seen on The Derwent at Matlock Bath, 1950 (4th image down).
The building was a repair garage run by Geoff Parker for a while[2].

1. Photograph in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
2. Spa bus/charabanc photo, stamped on the back with the number 2698, © Bernice Stoddart collection.
Information researched provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", both 1922 and 1925. Also see: Derwent Gardens - The Café (2) and On the Lovers' Walk - and the Ferry, 1900.

[2] Recollections of the late Mr. Frank Clay, from notes taken by Mrs. Doreen Buxton.

[3] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 4 March 1927 and 18 March 1927. The Lot was to be sold at the Devonshire Hotel on March 24th.

[4] See Matlock: Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (1), Surnames B for British Butchers.

[5] See Museum Parade & The Pitchings Photo 1910.

[6] I have left the reference to the 300 year old shelter although it is currently (2022) not there. About three years ago a tree fell on it, demolishing it. The Council have removed the stone and there is no sign of it on the ground showing where it had been. The web mistress understands that the stone is been kept until it can be rebuilt.