Independent shops and businesses launch living Advent calendar on Matlock road to boost Christmas trade

Businesses on one of Matlock’s main roads are shining a light on the independent character of the area by creating a living Advent calendar.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 7:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 9:45 pm

The initiative has been launched to coincide with a new Facebook page set up by traders to promote Dale Road, which is home to more than 40 shops, bars, restaurants and service firms.

Emma Stevenson, from M’s of Matlock, at 37 Dale Rd, set up the group.

She said: “The main idea of the living advent is to get visitors chatting to traders, learning a bit more about their products and getting to know the people behind the business.

“It is about providing a talking point, but also, for parents who might be visiting the road with children, it’s something fun and different to do and prompts a conversation about the uniqueness of this road.”

Since the start of December, shops and other businesses between Matlock bridge and the railway bridge have begun to display some of their best-selling products in the window, together with a unique identifying number.

Shoppers can collect living Advent trail sheets from Annie’s Kitchen, record the associated with each number, then return completed sheets to the café for the chance of winning a hamper of gifts and goodies from the street.

Jean Butterworth, from Little Shabby Hen at 63, Dale Rd, said: “After the photos of our stickers got posted on Facebook last week, customers and visitors to the shop have been very enthusiastic.

Dale Road business owners Jean Butterworth and Kelvin Mills.

“I had a number of people say they had come down the road because they wanted to support us. One couple had travelled 70 miles just to visit, because of that post.

She added: “You can think your words are falling on deaf ears, but people are listening and they do care.”

Traders hope the new sense of cooperation along the road will benefit them all as they seek to bounce back from the pandemic.

Kelvin Mills, from Quirky Antiques at 54 Dale Road, said: “The living Advent will encourage people to explore the entire breadth of the road and discover how many wonderful businesses have their home here. Each of th em has different challenges depending on its position on the road.”

For the latest happenings along the road, go to

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Nancy Fielder, editor.