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Matlock Carnival, 1937 - Queen Crowning Ceremony on Causeway Lane
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Matlock Carnival 1935

Carnival 1936

Carnival 1938

In July 1937 Elsie Hallam, of Greystokes, Church Street and an employee of Drabble's Mill, was chosen from amongst nine candidates to become the year's Carnival Queen[1]. The crowning ceremony took place on the Causeway Lane Ground in the afternoon of 16th September[2]. Elsie is seated to the left of the microphone on the front row of the outdoor stage and was attended by her sister Hilda Hallam and Miss Marjorie Allsop as well as two little girls, Vera Shaw and Doreen Allwood. The Queen wore a white satin dress with a royal blue cloak which had a long train. The older girls wore sky-blue with pink sashes, whist the younger ones had on pink dresses trimmed with blue[2].

Seated behind them was Miss Marie Ney, a well known actress who then performing at the Buxton theatre festival; she is the person with the fur wrap around her suit[3]. She had just crowned the Carnival Queen when the picture was taken. On the right (seated) is John J. Lynch, Chairman of the Charity Carnival Committee, and Lubin Wildgoose, president of the Wakes committee, who had introduced Miss Ney. The Carnival Queen then gave a vote of thanks. Mr. Fred Drabble then gave her a "good wristlet watch" that had been subscribed for by the directors of the F. W. Drabble & Sons and her fellow employees[4].

Miss Ney went to Chatsworth after the ceremony as the Buxton players were being entertained by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire[2].

Before the big day the programme of carnival events, which were to be held on September 16th, 17th and 18th, was advertised in the local press as one of the most attractive ever arranged. It included: "Mannequin Parade. Procession. Searchlight Display (given by the local detachment of the Sherwood Foresters). Baby Show. Fancy Dress Balls. Parade of Carnival Queens. Exciting"![5]

After the crowning ceremony, although there was a shower around tea time, the weather improved again and a large crowd assembled for the annual procession; it was almost half a mile long. It was headed by the Carnival Queen and her attendants, who were driven around on a float, and included four bands and many in fancy dress. The route took them along Dale Road, up the Dimple and along Smedley Street and descended the hill down Lime Tree Road. As it became dark torches were lit to line the route[2].

Whilst some of the events on the first day were affected by the rain the Carnival Queen and her attendants had visited the town's hydros. In her role as Queen, Elsie Hallam would have attended other fund raising events over the course of the carnival, such as the ball and the baby show; both she and her attendants were at the annual dinner of the Carnival Committee, held at the Railway Hotel in late October. Mr. Lynch was supported at the event by Mr. A. Fletcher, a former chairman the committee. It was agreed that 1937 had been another successful year for the carnival's fund raising, despite the mixed weather experienced. In addition to the public support received almost every organised body in the town had helped the committee. Mr. Lynch gave special mention to the United Services Club who had raised a record sum of £60[6].

There is a short biography of Mr. Lynch.
If you have any further information about the identity of anyone in the photograph please contact the web mistress.

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 © Lynch family collection.
Researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 24 July 1937.

[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 17 Sep 1937. Torchlight Procession at Matlock. Charity Carnival Success.

[3] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 16 Sep 1937. Matlock Carnival Opens. Crowned by Actress. Gay Streets.

[4] "Derbyshire Times", 17 Sep 1937.

[5] "Derbyshire Times", 3 Sep 1937. Matlock's Great Carnival. September 16th, 17th, 18th.

[6] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 29 Oct 1937 and "Derbyshire Times", 5 November 1937, Support for Carnival. Matlock Dinner Tributes.