D = Main office building seperate detached building
from the works, must have been where the accounts/ money was counted or held
due to those iron bars set in the windows! Taken after the works closure
around the mid-late 60's.
E = Shot of the actual works builings it self, the
Main office building can be seen in the background, built around 1900. The
works themselves where seemingly rebuilt (EST 1920's?) as the building in
this photo do not match to the maps and plans of 1900. Taken around the
late - mid 1960's.
Interested in Whittaker's bottles?
Got more info about Whittaker?
Contact Matt Bradbury on ( Matt.Brad @ ntlworld.com )
(who contributed some of the info and photos on this page)
Whittaker's, Matlock Bath
About 1875 Mary Whittaker, wife of John Whittaker,
ran Matlock Bath Aereated and Mineral Water Works. An advert reads:
Whittaker's World Famed Derbyshire Mineral Waters.
Special bottles of "Guinness's Stout" (The Harp brand)
Bass and Worthington's Pale Ale.
Allsopp's Lager Beer.
Quinine, Teak and Iron brew.
Soda Water, Lemonade, Ginger Beer.
Champagne Cider &c &c in bottle and syphon.
Extract from Article by Dr Hamilton Seymour in
"The Age", August 1904.
"One of the most valuable mineral waters that I have ever
examined is produced at the Matlock Bath Mineral Water
Works, the property of Mr Whittaker. The reason is that all the
water used at this establishment is from the same springs as the
famous water at the Baths - of which I intend to speak in
another article; for I believe it to be from an
all-round medicinal standpoint the most valuable water
in Great Britain.
I have personally visited the essences, syrups and
system of generation? and bottling of Mr Whittaker's
soda water, lemonade, ginger ale etc, and find
everything used is of the very highest standard of
quality, and the greatest care and clenliness are
maintained. I recommend most highly Mr Whittaker's
pure and valuable mineral waters".
Ask for Whittaker's mineral waters.
M.Whittaker, Matlock Bath
Whittaker's trademark was:
Two people sat at a bar, their speech bubbles read,
"How's that for a drink?", reply "Immense."
Whittaker's manufactured Tordale Minerals made from the spa water,
which drained off Masson Hill (near Masson Mill at Matlock Bath)
and also supplied alcoholic drinks under licence up to the 1960s.
Oswald "Ossie" Whittaker, son of John and Mary, became landlord of
the Rutland Arms (opposite Masson Mill)
In the Census, the Whittakers can be traced in
Mary WHITTAKER died in 1922. John WHEATCROFT was born 1818 and married
Priscilla CARPENTER in 1840. Their children included Priscilla born 1841,
William 1843, Mary 1845, Elizabeth 1848, Thersa 1851 and Ernest 1860.
Census references are:
See also e-mails sent to the author on the subject.
Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
Have any more information about this photo?
Please e-mail the author on:
Emails on the subject
Kevin Marples writes:
"Ossie" Whittaker was my uncle and he ran the Rutland Arms at Matlock Bath
up until the early 1960s with his wife Gertrude Whittaker (nee McIntyre)
when they moved to Lytham St Annes. The pub and houses along that row were
demolished shortly afterwards to make way for road widening.
Carl Shillito writes:
Hi John & Matt
Thank you both for your replies to my enquiry about John Wheatcroft and
the Whittaker's soft drink business.
Firstly John's details re John Wheatcroft tally with mine more or less.
He, his wife and their first child are on the 1841 census at Hurst Castle
in Hampshire. I can't decipher whether Thersa was really Theresa or even
Thirza, but I haven't got access to the BMD Index at the moment so I can't
cross check. I believe that Ernest was actually a nephew who lived with
them since he was a baby. He was born at Burton on Trent in 1859. I have
a BMD reference so I will be able to find out who his parents were. I
believe that he went to Sheffield to work as an analytical chemist. I
would like to know aout John Wheatcroft's siblings if you have those
Secondly, I have had a conversation with my father bearing in mind the
new information that I have and I think I can clarify things as follows:
My great grandmother Mary Smith (nee Wheatcroft) remembered travelling to
Matlock Bath from Sheffield in the 1880s to see her grandfather John
Wheatcroft and other members of her family (her brother, John, lived with
his grandparents and worked as a telegraph boy). Her grandfather was
something of a character. Born in Wirksworth in 1818 he had worked on
the coastal defences around the Solent before returning to Matlock Bath
and establishing himself as a cavern guide. My great grandmother's visits
probably took place after the original concern that John Wheatcroft had
started around 1873 with his daughter Mary (the Matlock Bath Mineral
Water Company) had been relaunched as Whittaker's, but he was still
involved with the business at that time. He used to rouse the girl
employees (wenches, he called them) who had lodgings either above or
adjacent to the factory (possibly in the upper floors of Derwent House
where the Whittaker's lived). She remembered that the business was
supervised by a formidable lady dressed in black. This could only have
been Mary Whittaker. I saw the works in the late 1960's after they had
been sold, at which time I am sure that there was a "Vimto" sign above
the entrance. John Wheatcroft was described as a property owner in 1891,
and living on his own means in 1901. I believe he left a will on his
death in 1905 but I am not aware that my own branch of the family
inherited anything from him, or from the Whittakers. In any case Mary
Whittaker was unlikely to have approved of my great great grandfather
William (her brother). A notorious figure in the Woodside Lane district
of Sheffield, "Derbyshire Bill" was undoubtedly fond of beer, but not the
Please feel free to use this information as you wish.