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Matlock Carnival, September 1935
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Carnival 1936

Carnival 1937

Carnival 1938

Park Band Stand,
Hall Leys

The 1934 Carnival committee had some difficulty trying to chose a Queen for the Carnival[1] so it is not unsurprising to find that the following year considerable interest was shown in the election of the Queen for the annual event, which was to be held in September. When it came to the time for decision making, Matlock's three main mills nominated candidates for approval[2].

Doris Whitworth of Ashover, who was recommended by Derwent Mills, was the eventual winner. She is the young woman in the centre of the photo, wearing a dark cloak and holding an enormous bouquet. Kathleen Marriot of Lynholmes, the maid of honour on the left, had been proposed by Messrs. F. H. Drabble and Sons' mill. We cannot see the face of the second maid of honour, Miss Elsie Robinson, who represented Masson Mill but she is holding a scroll. The crowning ceremony took place on the Hall Leys bandstand on the first day of the carnival[3].

On the right is Cllr. Lubin Wildgoose, president of the Wakes committee[4]. Behind him, and only partly visible, is John J. Lynch who had been Chairman of the Matlock Charity Carnival Committee since 1930. At present the names of several others on the bandstand are unknown.

The centre of attention, apart from the Carnival Queen, was the young woman who had placed the crown on her head. She was Mrs. Pawley, who "had been captured and held to ransom by Chinese bandits a few years ago"[3]. In 1932 reports had come through that Mrs. Edith Muriel Pawley, a 19-year-old English girl, was being held near Panshan, Manchuria, along with with Mr. Charles Corkran, a son of Major-General Sir Charles Corkran; the pair had been abducted whilst training ponies[5]. A third man, Duncan MacIntosh, managed to escape and raised the alarm. She was held captive for six weeks before being released[6] and returned to England in June 1935!7]. She was the daughter of Dr. Walter and Mrs. Ethel Phillips of Darley Lodge near Matlock; her father had spent 25 years working as a medical officer in Manchuria[8]. So it is not surprising that people attending the Carnival were curious about her as she was not much older than the Carnival Queen and her attendants.

You may like to view more onsite information:
Photograph of Matlock Bath's 1947 Carnival Queen is onsite in an article about one of Matlock's photographers, Harry Gill.

Image supplied by and Copyright © Bernice Stoddart collection.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 7 August 1934. Miss Marjorie Godber, the beauty Queen of Wellington, Shropshire, had agreed to be queen for the Matlock Carnival in the event of the committee being unable to solve their difficulties!

[2] "Belper News", 19 July 1935.

[3] "Derby Daily Telegraph",13 September 1935.

[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph",17 November 1933. The president of Matlock Wakes Charity Carnival Committee was Mr. L. G. Wildgoose (chairman of the Urban Council).

[5] "Derbyshire Times", 1 October 1932. They were said to have been on the old racecourse at Xewchwang at the time. She had visited Matlock as her family were related to Dr. Wills of The Grange, Hackney and she and the two families holidayed together.

[6] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 14 October 1932. Mrs. Pawley Hopes. Reassuring News of Chinese Bandits' Captured. Also "Illustrated London News", 26 November 1932.

[7] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 6 June 1935. Mrs. Pawley Back from China. She had reached Plymouth on the liner Ranchi.