Home > Old Photos > Stella Van der Gucht Collection

Old Photographs of Derby,
Derbyshire, England

This page features old pictures supplied by Stella Van der Gucht.

Update !: The photograph of Reginald Bancroft (DP-OLDSVDGC-05) below was used on the front cover of the November 2006 issue of Practical Family History magazine, Welcome to readers if you are looking at this page !

When Stella initially contacted me on May 6th 2006 about an old photograph she had, her descriptions sounded like a view of Saint Mary's bridge. I waited for the photograph to arrive to confirm this, on the 15th May I was able to confirm that it was not Saint Mary's bridge and it was in fact an extreamly rare view of the original Exeter Bridge.

Exact Map Location : Click Here.

The shot was taken from the Long bridge looking down onto a frozen River Derwent, in the back ground centre is Exeter Bridge (demolished 1929) and replaced with a single span concrete version designed by Charles Herbert Aslin, of the City Architect's Department, (who also built the Bus Station that is about to be demolished any day now!).

It appears this photo may have been taken by Derby Photographer Frederick Joseph Boyes of 22-24 Osmaston Road, Derby. He set up his studios in 1887 taking photos until the mid to late 1920s. Stella has other photos which bare this photographers name "Frederick J. Boyes Electric Light Studio".

Stella's words about this photograph : The small boy you can see on the far left is my grandfather Reginald Bancroft, who was born in August 1892 We think he is about 4 which would make it the winter of 1896-1897. He is holding the hand of his father John Bancroft. My mother was always told as a child that it was a special occasion when the river froze over.

John Bancroft 1844-?
When the river photograph was taken John Bancroft aged 50 was living with his second wife and son in Siddals Road. The studio photograph shows him as a younger man. He had a butchers shop in Siddals Road and also traded in Derby Market Hall . As a child he had lived in Abbey Street where his father (Garvis) was also a butcher. A few years after this photograph was taken the family moved from Siddals Road and he became the Innkeeper of the Bridge Inn in Duffield. He kept the Market hall business. Later he became the hotel proprietor of the White Hart in Duffield.

His obituary reads. We regret to announce that Mr John Bancroft one of the best known sportsman in Derby and district passed away at his residence at the White Hart this morning after a long illness. In years gone by the deceased was a prominent sportsman and it can truly be said of him that he gloried in his rod and gun. He was an expert angler, and in addition to winning numerous competions he landed many a big fish, one of which was the largest caught in local waters for many years, and which he had preserved in a glass case and counted amongst his most valued possessions . He was also a crack shot, and triumphed innumerable pigeon matches amongst competitors who had achieved fame at this sport, and at one time he was such a deadly shot that he seldom missed a bird.
The fish in a glass case was given to Derby museum

Reginald Gostelow Bancroft 1892-1971
The little boy having a walk with his father and his dog grew up to somehow survive the first world war.He was a grenadier guard and never spoke about his experiences.
All his working life Reg was a butcher in the Market Hall. In later years he specialised in different kinds of sausages. Customers could buy Bancrofts Best Beef Sausages. He played cricket for Derby Wednesday a team of tradesmen who played on early closing day. He lived with his family first in Norfolk Street moving to Ferrers Way, Allestree and later Chatsworth Avenue. The business was sold in the early sixties when he retired to Sufflok. The river photograph has always been treasured by the family and thought to be important. I am very grateful to Andy for finding out so much about the photograph and saving it for future generations.


Here are my detailed descriptions for the photographs.
DP-OLDSVDGC-01 is the full original photograph, The photo was taken looking over a frozen river Derwent, looking at the angle of view it may well of been taken from the long bridge (see a 'then and now' photo of the long Bridge, 1st show on here).
To see a photo taken from about 20 yards to the left of this shot, see my then and now photo River gardens view 1 on here.

The other images are zoomed in parts of the full image so you can see the details.
DP-OLDSVDGC-02 shows Exeter bridge - This three arched stone bridge was built by James Trubshaw in 1850, The one present in 2006 is one which was built between 1929 and 1931 and opened on March 13th 1931 by the then Minister of Transport, Herbert Morrison. In the distance just to the left of the chimney you can just make out the spire of Saint Alkmunds church (demolished 1967)

DP-OLDSVDGC-03 shows Derby All Saints Church (which became Derby Cathedral in 1927). All of the buildings you can see have long since been demolished, the area on the corner now occupied by the Council House and Derby river gardens to the left of the shot.

DP-OLDSVDGC-04 shows a close up view of the people on the Frozen river.
DP-OLDSVDGC-05 Reginald Bancroft as a young boy.
DP-OLDSVDGC-06 John Bancroft

I would like to thank Stella Van der Gucht for allowing the world to see these very rare images.
I would like to thank Derby Local Studies Libary for confirming with their records that the winter the river froze was 1894-1895.

Photo selection
To view large versions of any of the photographs below, simply click on a thumbnail.







© Andy Savage © www.derbyphotos.co.uk