Matlock Cable Tramway

Brought to Matlock by Job Smith the Matlock Cable Tramway, based upon those in San Francisco, opened in 1893.  The popularity of the town as a Hydrotherapy Centre at that time, made the tramway very necessary as the railway station was by the river, and the Hydros were all up the Hillside.

The trams were hauled up Bank Road by a continuously moving cable under the road. Their top speed was 5 mph. This picture was taken by a local photographer W.N.Statham, whose studio was on Dale Road, then one of the most fashionable streets in the Midlands. Cables needed replacing, on average about once a year, one of the reasons which made the enterprise unviable economically, forcing closure in 1927.
The famous Tram shelter in Crown Square (this can still be found in Hall Leys Park)

It was through Job Smith’s idea and the good auspices of George Newnes, publisher of “Tit Bits”, who was a native of Matlock that the tramway came into being and got financed. George Newnes had previously financed the Lynton Scheme.