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Matlock Bath: Mrs. Jemima Ballard
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Clifton Cabin on Derby Road

South Parade, 1920s

Shows the front of Smiths' tea garden

Aviaries & Monkey Houses, Lovers' Walks

Monkeys are on this multi view card

Jemima Ballard ran a confectionery and grocery shop on South Parade in the 1920s, in the building where the Peach family cycle shop was until recently[1]. She took over the premises from Clendon Etheridge who had sold fish - the fish slab was still in place during her tenancy![1] She had previously been involved with several businesses in the locality, some with her husband Frederick Bolton Ballard[2] and others in her own name[3]. In 1902, for example, the couple had a confectionery shop on Derby Road, described as being just beyond the parish church in "a somewhat isolated position"[4]. This was the building known as the Clifton Cabin today.

Her home and shop were advertised for auction in the spring of 1927, along with the butchers next door. It is not known who bought the property but she remained as tenant[5].

She was said to have been one of the oldest tradeswomen in Matlock Bath when she died on 9 May 1932, aged 73[6]. Her relatives have said she sat down to dinner and died[7]. After her death the Matlock auctioneer Marchant Brooks and Co. sold her estate. She owned "a stone built lock up sales shop fronting onto ... South Parade, containing a cafe with a verandah at the back overlooking the river and gardens". There was also a "small piece of ground at the side with a Petrifying Well under, and the total frontage of the property was estimated at 85 feet". At the time of Mrs. Ballard's death, this property was let to Mrs. Hackett. She also owned a two bedroomed cottage with a garden in Upperwood. Neither property was named[8].

This picture of her seems to have been taken from the terrace above the landing stage in the Smith's Tea Gardens, next to the petrifying well and workshop. In the background, on the opposite side of the river, are the aviaries and monkey houses that were a popular attraction from 1914 to about 1940. The stone (tufa?) building with the two arches half hidden behind the trees is probably where two black bears were kept during their short sojourn in Matlock Bath.

Photograph of Jemima Ballard in the collection of and provided by and © John Watts.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to information elsewhere on this website):

[1] Recollections of the late Mr. Frank Clay, father of the web mistress, from private papers and notes owned by Mrs. Doreen Buxton, some of which were written in 1992 and are still within copyright.

[2] Jemima Harrison, the daughter of Samuel and Jemima Harrison of Belper, married Frederick Bolton Ballard at Christ Church, Belper in 1884. In 1891 they were at Bridge Street, Belper with a china dealer's shop. The moved to lived in Scarthin and were there at the time of the 1901 census.

[3] Mrs. Ballard moved to Matlock Bath and advertised in Kelly's Directory 1908 | Kelly's 1912 Directory | Kelly's Directory 1916. By 1922 she had become a confectioner on South Parade and continued to advertise in 1925, 1928 and 1932.

[4] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 20 September 1902. Alleged Juvenile Shop-Breakers at Matlock Bath.
The article was about the theft from a lock-up shop on the Derby Road at Matlock Bath, in the occupation of Mr. Ballard. The paper mentioned the four lads responsible and commented that the isolation of the property was why the theft was not discovered quickly.

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

[6] "Derbyshire Times", 14 May 1932 and probate records. She died at South Parade.

[7] Information supplied by John Watts.

[8] The sale notice for her property and effects ("Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 16 July 1932) shows she owned a lock up shop, with a verandah, overlooking the river. It had a petrifying well at the side. The frontage was estimated at 85 feet and was let to Mrs. Hackett.