As part of the Heritage Lottery funded project, ‘The Great War – Life in The Bath’, an information board has been erected in The Memorial Gardens in Matlock Bath. It provides a detailed history of the funding, manufacture and unveiling of our
iconic Memorial. Currently in the charge of the Parish Council, it attracts interest from residents and visitors alike and now, with this board adjacent to the Memorial, all can all be fully informed of its important history. Pictured by the information board are Mike Greenan and Charles Beresford, residents of the village and members of the WW1 project committee. Charles, a writer and local historian said that the Memorial is one of the finest and the village should take great pride in its heritage.
On Sunday afternoon, November 8th 2015 around 50 people gathered in the Memorial Gardens Matlock Bath for
Remembrance. We were joined by members of the Sir Richard Arkwright Masson Mill Band who provided the music.
The Chair of the Parish Council in his introduction said “It is so encouraging to see so many young people gathered at this important community event especially as some are contributing with readings” The readings, taken from work done for the Heritage Lottery supported WW1 project ‘The Great War – Life in The Bath’ included dedications to two of the fallen, writings from a postcard sent from Matlock Bath to the front and creative writing done by pupils from Matlock Bath Holy Trinity School. There was also a reading of an account researched on a truce in the conflict at Gallipoli.
After the reading of the names of the fallen, wreaths were placed on behalf of the Parish Council and the children of the village and the last post was sounded.
Pictured by the memorial are the young people who from the village who contributed to this year’s Remembrance. From left to right: Noah Whitehead, Hannah West, Gaby Wolfenden, Peter McCrea, Shelby Hirstwood and Ellen Hollands.
On 21st July 2015, Andy Potter from Radio Derby visited the exhibition and talked to the main contributors – Charles Beresford, Dominic Hodgkinson, Mike Greenan and Laura Smith. Listen to the interviews on the BBC iPlayer.
It starts about 2hrs 12 minutes into the programme and runs for about 25 minutes with music between sections. This will only be available to listen to until August 20th 2015 so listen before it’s too late.
The pupils of Holy Trinity School Matlock Bath dressed to travel back in time to visit The Great War – Life in The Bath’. They donned vintage school ‘uniform’ of caps and waistcoats for the boys and mop hats and white smocks for the girls and walked to the Grand Pavilion to investigate what was in the exhibition. They were pleased to see that the work they had done as part of their study in school was on display. On hand were the organising committee to show them the other exhibits. The photos show Peter Baranek with a group of youngsters at the display about the family who sent the postcard used in the poster for the exhibition. The second photo shows two boys completing their activity sheet. The pupils also had a go at giving a name to the ‘old soldier’ who was made by patients at the Newholme Hospital Bakewell. On hand for help and advice was also a young solder in the uniform of an officer. The whole event was filmed and will appear on the website in due course. Before they left, each was presented with a replica postcard of the one sent by Albert Hodgkinson aged 14 of Matlock Bath to his father Lawrence who was serving in the trenches in 1915. We are grateful to Crich Tramway Village for the loan of the costumes. The exhibition will be open daily from 10.00 until 4.30 in the Pump room of the Grand Pavilion and admission is free. Period dress is however optional.
What do a postcard, scrap metal, John Masefield and a cap badge all have in common? The answer is
that they are all part of the diverse and extensive exhibition now open in The Pump Room of the Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath. The exhibition is part of the Heritage Lottery funded ‘The Great War – Life in The Bath’ project run jointly by Matlock Bath Parish Council, Peak District Lead Mining Museum and Matlock Bath Heritage and involving residents, businesses and visitors to the village. As well as exploring the lives of the fallen and the others who served in the forces, it also investigates life in the village and how the conflict affected those left at home. There are exhibits of memorabilia, artefacts that have been collected, and research into family history. Holy Trinity Primary School has also been involved in contributing work.
The postcard, after being the inspiration for the poster for this year’s exhibition, was the catalyst for the Hodgkinson family to collect together family photos and other artefacts and investigate further their family’s history around 1915 and before. The scrap metal is shell cases which when crafted became known as trench art and we have quite a diverse collection from various sources. The year 1915 saw the Gallipoli campaign and a resident has researched both the campaign and the part his ancestors played in it. John Masefield was at Gallipoli and his experiences inspired some of his writings. The cap badge was the inspiration for another piece of family research into what their ancestor did.
Life in the village includes a copy of the master’s log from the old school and school plans drawn up in 1908 for modernisation of the building and there is information about the railway and those who kept this important transport artery working. There is a wealth of information about who was living where in the village through the log book and maps of the 1910 Finance Act which have been copied from the originals in the Derbyshire Records Office. Then there are collections of newspaper articles from 1914 and 1915 all taken from the local publications of the period and reflecting ordinary life in Matlock Bath. Added into the mix is a miscellany of documents, artefacts and memorabilia relating to the year 1915 and thereabouts. The Pump Room is packed with unusual and interesting exhibits with something for all ages and interests and admission is free. It is open daily from 10.00 until 4.30. Entrance to the Pump Room is through the Mining Museum.
More details and information can be found on Facebook page The Great War – Life in The Bath or by phoning 01629 583834. If you are visiting Matlock Bath and the Peak District, please call in and share what we have created.
The summer exhibition of ‘The Great War – Life in The Bath’ project was opened on Saturday 11th July 2015 by Brigadier Edward Wilkinson CBE, TD in the Pump Room of the Grand Pavilion Matlock Bath.The exhibition which this year focuses on 1915
includes exhibits of memorabilia and a variety of displays. The project focuses on both those from Matlock Bath who were serving in the armed forces and also life in the village during the conflict. At the opening were invited guests including many of those who had contributed in many different ways. The Chair of the Parish Council, Peter Baranek introduced the exhibition and explained the project and then Brigadier Wilkinson gave us an insight into the Sherwood Foresters of whom he was a officer before he declared the exhibition officially open. A vote of thanks was given to the Brigadier by Charles Beresford and he presented the Brigadier with a copy of his book ‘The Bath at War’. After the opening, World War 1 soup was served with bread to those attending. The exhibition will be open daily from 10.00 – 4.30 and admission is free.
Those wishing to contribute artefacts, pictures or information and research or help in any way in the production of future exhibitions should contact Robin or Laura at the Mining Museum or email email@example.com
The display that was in the Memorial Shelter (now temporarily closed) is now being displayed in the bandstand on the other side of the river accessed over the Jubilee Bridge. Please visit this and tell us what you think.
Published in the Derby Telegraph December 30th 2014
Seniors’ Christmas Lunch
Isn’t it good that some long standing customs continue! As part of our research for ‘The Great War – Life in The Bath’ project, we discovered the following newspaper article about an event that took place at Christmas 1914 in the village.
The Matlock Bath annual custom to fete the aged residents has been continued this year despite the hostilities. The difference this year is that over 40 Belgian refugees attended. The three-fold programme commenced at 3pm with pictures followed by dinner and then a concert. Over 200 people sat down to dinner, the bill of fare consisting of roast turkey, roast beef, ham and sweets. The menu cards had been tastefully hand painted by Miss Cardin and bore the flags of the allies. They were in great demand as souvenirs of the function. The portrayal of Father Christmas at the end of the event by Mr A J Bates was describes as ‘excruciatingly funny’ as he gave personal gifts to everyone.
The 2014 Parish Council Seniors’ Lunch took place on Monday 8th December at the High Tor Hotel with 28 sitting down. The menu included turkey, slow cooked beef, salmon and nut roast and the three delicious courses were rounded off with coffee and mince pies. We do not think that those present would take too kindly to being called ‘aged residents’ but all appreciated the chance to meet in a social atmosphere and enjoy good food and pleasant company. All very similar we are sure to the event 100 years ago.
We believe the event in 1914 took place in the Pavilion but as yet we have not discovered any photos. Maybe a menu card still exists somewhere? If anyone has more information about this event or any other information that will enrich our World War One project please get in touch. Full details of this and all other Parish Council events and activities can be found on our website – www.matlockbathparishcouncil.gov.uk or by contacting the clerk on 07914 420545.