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Cooking from the Past

Recipe One - Soup by Olive Middleton


The recent discovery of a pre-First World War booklet contains not only fascinating advertisements from shops and businesses in the town, but also for many dishes of the time sent in by residents.

Comprising savoury and sweet dishes as well as household remedies, it was discovered by the proprietors of the Lee Wood Hotel and made available to BCA. The booklet was printed in 1912 for the benefit of The Home of Rest Furnishing Fund, which was in West Street. Moreover, it contains the name of each contributor and the house name or road of where they lived.

Should you yourself have any memories or information about the contributors mentioned or where they lived – or indeed a favourite recipe of your own – do let us know. It may be that we can make use of them in a future publication.


Here for your entertainment is the very last one! It takes us right back to the era of Donkey Stone, Rag and Bone Men, Dolly Blue and home-made starch. . .


Mix a pennyworth of bath-brick, 2 ozs of dry soap powder, 2 tbspns of whitening well together, fill a tin with the mixture and punch some holes in the lid. Use for all greasy things. This quantity will last about a month and costs 3d.

And here is the first recipe.We hope you enjoy making it.




Take part of the liquid a fowl has been boiled in and add vegetables, a little onion, a tablespoon of pearl barley, 3 ½ oz of macaroni (well soaked), a little cornflour, pepper and salt. Boil all together, add a pint of new milk, and the remainder of the liquid; a little good stock can be added if necessary.

Submitted by Miss M Burgess, Somersby, College Road, Buxton.
Somersby is one of Parker & Unwin’s houses built in the Arts and Crafts style in 1895 – 96.


Buxton Crescent

Background to the Crescent by Mike Wilde

Buxton Crescent was built to take advantage of a natural thermal spring by William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire. The Duke wanted to establish Buxton as a fashionable Georgian spa town. His architect was John Carr from York who undertook the work between 1780 -1789.
Over the years St. Ann's Hotel at the western end of the Crescent and the Great Hotel at the eastern end, took over the 6 lodging houses in the center of the building.
St. Ann’s Hotel continued in use as a hotel until the mid-1980s when it closed due to the high cost of necessary repairs and kitchen alterations to comply with Health & Safety and modern hygiene regulations. The eastern end became council offices, a library and a clinic until the whole building was closed when major structural problems were discovered and by 1992 it was unoccupied. In 1993 High Peak Borough Council purchased the building with a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to act as caretaker until a suitable buyer could be found. A further £1.5 million from English Heritage was used to make the building weathertight to prevent further deterioration.
Over the next 8 years, attempts to find a suitably viable scheme to preserve the building’s heritage were unsuccessful. In December 2000 the Heritage Lottery Fund was approached by the joint councils (HPBC & DCC) to help finance plans to restore the Crescent as a hotel and to restore spa facilities. Funding was eventually agreed in July 2003. A tender to redevelop and manage the building as a hotel and spa was won in December of that year by a partnership of the Trevor Osborne Property Group Limited and CP Holdings Limited, (owners of Danubius hotels). This plan was due to cost £23m and be finished in 2007. The project was dogged by a succession of technical and legal issues relating to the supply of water for bottling by Nestle. As resolving these issues took time, the costs of the project increased and that led to funding issues. These were not resolved until April 2012 when an agreement between the joint councils and the developer was signed. The first part of the job to secure the continuous water supply for Nestle to bottle was started and is now complete, however, yet more funding problems delayed the main part of project further with costs increasing as the UK came out of recession and put greater demands on our building contractors. Eventually, an additional grant of £11.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund was secured in 2014, with D2N2 supplying the final £2 million for the project in January.
Work is due to begin in earnest in the spring of 2016 and be finished in 2018.