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Photographs of Matlock Bath Today (3)
Matlock Bath : Twentieth & Twenty First Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
South Parade

1. View of the River Derwent and South Parade, taken from the top of Holme Road in September 2008.

Gulliver's Kingdom is just seen through the trees. A little of Temple Walk is in the picture, notably the houses before you reach the Temple Hotel from the main road. One Temple Walk property has housed the same family for over 200 years. The modern houses on the right hand corner immediately below the camera were built in the 1950s on land that had been part of the garden of "Ashfield", originally called the Villa. The gatepost for the house, with "Ashfield House" written on it, was still to be found at the road junction of Temple Walk and Waterloo Road in the 1940s and was probably there until the police houses were built. A large ash tree grew beside the gatepost[1].

Photograph of South Parade taken from close to the Fish Pond Hotel, looking northwards 
Image supplied by and Copyright of Martin Rowley  

2. Pictures 2 and 3 show the village on a busy summer's day and were taken about 1998.
The first photograph of South Parade (Museum Parade) has been taken from close to the Fish Pond Hotel, looking northwards towards the Pitchings and Waterloo Road. The historic Hodgkinson's Hotel is at the bottom of the Pitchings, on the left hand side. The exterior was restored a few years ago. To the left of centre, above the traffic light showing green, you can see Wellington House on Waterloo Road. Next to it, and slightly higher, is the stone built Belle Vue House.

To the right and behind the traffic lights is an open space, but this has been built on since this picture was taken (see 4 and 5 below).

This view of South Parade, and the properties on the hillside above, was described in the 1860s as the "long row of shops and hotels, their delicate white and cream-coloured fronts agreeably harmonising with the varied greenery behind. On the slope of the hill, above the parade, are the Temple Hotel, Guild-de-Roy, Belle Vue, and a number of other showy houses and fantastically built villas."[2] It is the colour that is important in the description from James Croston's Guide: no brilliant white of modern paint but a sort of off-white or pale cream, almost certainly of limewash, that would have covered the render. The Parade would have looked more like the elegant Regency squares and terraces of somewhere like Brighton where many buildings are required to be the same colour.

View looks southwards along the South Parade
Image supplied by and Copyright  of Martin Rowley
3. Taken from the bottom of the Pitchings, this second of the 1998 photographs looks southwards along the South Parade. In 1800 the row of shops was one long building stretching from Hodgkinson's Hotel (shown in the first photograph), to the end. Where the shops now are were stables and coach houses, with living accommodation above. Some of the upstairs rooms show signs of having been part of larger properties; for example, the ceiling mouldings go into two different rooms, divided by partition walls. The building with the very large bay window, semi obscured by the left hand branches of the tree, housed Mawe's very first Museum[3]. The whole Parade had been part of the Great Hotel, though the window wasn't there at the time of the hotel.
The Donegani family lived at Belle Vue House and ran a butcher's shop on South Parade[4]. The tiled butchery was on the RHS of the green painted building that is now the cycle shop. There was a fishmonger on the left, with a shared central doorway between the two. The butcher's shop later became Hardy of Wensley (British Butchers) and LCM later took over.

New shops   4. About 2000 the area opposite the shops and cafes of South Parade was redeveloped, to provide a row of shops, a fish and chip restaurant a small kiosk and the photograph on the left was taken before any of the shops were occupied. This was where, in the 1950s and 60s, Mr. W. Smith hired out boats and had his Petrifying Well.
Riverbank behind the new shops   5. This picture shows the back of the shops and the kiosk.
The road widening of the 1960s and this later redevelopment has provided views of the river that were, for many years, hidden by buildings.

This used to be a bank   6. This used to be No. 1 North Parade, also shown in picture 2. Re-numbering of North Parade means that it is now no.148.

There was a four storey building on this site until the 1920s, when the original building was demolished. Peter Reeds had closed his grocery and the replacement building, which retained the same roof height, became a bank. Williams Deacon's Bank opened "on and after Monday 11th June 1923" with Mr. Lionel Healey as its manager[5].

Traffic jams during the tourist season   7. Holiday crowds in South Parade. The motor cyclists have been regular visitors to the village for quite a long time now.
Crowds in North Parade
8. An equally busy North Parade, also taken during the spring holiday season a few years ago - the deciduous trees are not in leaf. Cable cars belonging to the Heights of Abraham can be seen above Upperwood Road.
Someone who grew up in Matlock Bath in the 1950s and 60s recalls how many locals even then did not leave the village at Bank Holiday time before the road was widened and, as this photograph perhaps shows, it was quicker to walk than to be stuck in a car.
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Ashfield, prevously The Villa - The Old Bath-hous

Edwardian Matlock Bath

Museum Parade &
The Pitchings Photo 1910

South Parade, 1920s

South Parade & The Pitchings, a drawing

Images supplied by and copyright © Andy Andrews, Martin Rowley and Ken Smith.
The Ken Smith images scanned for this website by and © Ann Andrews.
Information written, researched, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
Martin Rowley is also interested in the surname of Donegani.

References (coloured links go to transcripts or information elsewhere on this web-site):

[1] Information from Ken Smith.

[2] See Croston, James (2nd edn. 1868) "On Foot Through the Peak". He also described Museum Parade in the first edition.

[3] See the short Biography of Mr. Mawe

[4] The Donegani family were living in Scarthin in 1901, later moving to Matlock Bath. There is a Family Photo and a Donegani Biography.

[5]# "Derbyshire Times", 9 June 1923. Bank advertisement.

Elsewhere on the Internet is Martin Rowley's Victorian Donegani's (link will open in a new window).