Navigating Cyril Project No. 1 : Starting Point

edmonds_rI found a small photograph.

I was internet grazing when I came upon it.

In my 50 years it’s the first time I’ve seen a picture of my paternal grandfather, who died during the second world war at the age of 22 years, and from this tiny blurred image my father’s and my own eyes stare. During the last few days the face of the young chorister momentarily captured in the photo has haunted me. Now further photos taken on the same day have come to light…

Born in 1921 Cyril was a member of Matlock Bath Church Choir, making him 14 yrs. old in the photos.


The choir of Holy Trinity Church, Matlock Bath, were taking part in a Procession of Witness and Call to Repentance held by the Archbishop of York, Dr. Temple, on Ash Wednesday, 6th March 1935. The Procession consisted of massed choirs and clergy from churches in the district as well as representatives from other organisations. They were to march along North and South Parades to Matlock Bath’s Holy Trinity Church for a service conducted by the vicar of Matlock Bath, the Rev. Arthur Phibbs. The sermon was given by the Archbishop.The choirs were captured on camera by Mr. Cyril Edmonds (Snr.), the owner of the Cumberland Cavern, as his two sons were part of the parade. He was to focus on the Matlock Bath contingent as these were essentially photographs for his family album. Cyril is the third boy from the right looking towards his father’s camera.


Singing as they marched; the procession passing the Matlock Bath Fish Pond where there are some large cars in the car park. They are all holding up two North Western buses; the buses would not have been able to drive past them as it would not have been deemed to be respectful.


The third picture shows the choir returning from Holy Trinity Church and still singing. They were outside the Fountain Baths and Derwent House on North Parade, where someone is peering out of the window and Cyril is the chorister immediately below them, almost beneath the edge of the sign; he is again looking towards the camera.


The column of choristers with their police escort had now rounded the corner and were walking past Fernie Bank and the houses of Fountain Villas. The monkey puzzle trees in the gardens still exist. Raymond, Cyril’s older brother, is on the far right, at the head of the parade.

ps. find a little more about ‘navigating’ HERE20140204-143545.jpg

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