Derby, Derbyshire: History in Old Images

Vintage postcard of St Peters Street from the Corn Market, Derby, Derbyshire, England

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Derby, in Derbyshire, England, UK.

Old Pictures & Photos of Derby

Derby in 1931

In 1931, His Worship the Mayor Councillor Wm Harold Hoare provided the commentary for a film about Derby.

The locations seen include:

  • Street scenes with trams and awnings
  • Derby Cathedral
  • View of the city from the cathedral
  • Electric power station
  • Market place – ‘Mecca of the thrify housewife’
  • Old Mayor’s Parlour
  • bands playing in the arboretum
  • artificial boating lake
  • the River Derwent
  • Derby railway works
  • Rolls Royce factory
  • Views of Derby

At the Derby railway works people work on steam engines and locomotives, while ar Rolls Royce we see workers making cars and airplane engines.

The Old Mayor’s Parlour is revered for its ancient wooden timbers in this 1931 film. Unfortunately someone let it be ripped down in the late 1940s so the area could become a car park. Even that didn’t last long, because it became a Corporation bus depot from 1958-72, and then a site known as ‘The Hole’ because of a failed redevelopment scheme.

Cities Of Great Britain No. 4 – Derby Aka Derby – Scenes Of City & Its Surroundings (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube

Derby in 1959

The 1959 short film about Derby starts at St Mary’s Bridge and the location at the east side of the bridge where Derbyshire Martyrs Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam, and Richard Sympson were drawn and quartered on 24th July 1588, for being Catholic priests during the reign of Elizabeth I when it was illegal to follow the Catholic faith.

Next up we see the railways busy with steam engines and their freight trucks.

After a glimpse of a Royal Crown Derby Pottery van, we see the comparitively new Council Offices, and the older County Hall.

Derby Cathedral makes way for the high street, which has electric wiring above. In the final scene we see a dark street with people walking towards the lit up cinema foyer.

Hometown – Derby (1959) – British Pathé on YouTube

Derby in the 1970s

Including the Corn Market, High Street, and Littlewoods, this is a look back at the centre of Derby in the 1970s, when a traffic management scheme was underway.

Traffic solutions in 1970’s Derby. Archive film 94140 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

This next video takes in a suburban estate, a large carp park, the ring road, and the traffic problems in the centre of town.

Traffic problems in 1970’s Derby. Archive film 94139 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

This final clip from the 1970s shows us what it was like to be driving a bus through the town centre in the 1970s.

You can see some really clear shots of the shop fronts.

Point of view from bus in 1970’s Derby. Archive film 94141 – HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

Progress in the Late 1990s

A glimpse of clubbers enjoying a night out at Progress in the late 1990s.

They will be really pleased to see themselves on a Local History website 🙂

Clubbers at Progress, Derby, Late 1990s – Kinolibrary on YouTube

Time Travel

A fascinating look at Derby through time, thanks to the clever use of old images.

Derby: A City Through Time: The Time Travel Artist (YouTube)

Execution at St Mary’s Bridge

A poem about the execution of Derbyshire Martyr Richard Sympson, who was found to have worn a hairshirt to his death. He was supposed to die first, but Nicholas Garlick pushed himself forward to the ladder before him.

The poem was perhaps written by an eyewitness, but author unknown.

When Garlick did the ladder kiss,
And Sympson after hie,
Methought that there St. Andrew was
Desirous for to die.

When Ludlam lookèd smilingly,
And joyful did remain,
It seemed St. Stephen was standing by,
For to be stoned again.

And what if Sympson seemed to yield,
For doubt and dread to die;
He rose again, and won the field
And died most constantly.

His watching, fasting, shirt of hair;
His speech, his death, and all,
Do record give, do witness bear,
He wailed his former fall.

More Pictures of Old Derby

Old Derby in Derbyshire, England, enjoyed through historic photos, vintage pictures & archive film. Browse history in these fascinating old images of a bygone era on my Pinterest Board.


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