All Saturdays sold out as boat vote announced

Ian Page, a stalwart of the Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders' Association, has won the boat vote at this year's Matlock Bath Illuminations.

Visitors to one of the region's top events declared his spectacular model - '50 Years of Disney' (pictured above) - as the pick of a fabulous parade featuring 10 boats this year.

Ian, who lives in nearby Cromford, will now have the honour of leading out the famous parade on the River Derwent every Saturday and Sunday night for the remainder of the 2022 Illuminations season, which ends on 30 October.

Every remaining Saturday is a sell-out, though tickets are still currently available for the Sunday nights online at

District Council Leader Councillor Garry Purdy and his wife Sandie presented prizes to the boat builders at last Saturday's Illuminations.

Ian was presented with the Arkwright and Centenary Cups, plus a £1,000 cash prize.

530px Boat winner Ian Page right with Cllr Garry Purdy and Mrs Sandie Purdy
Second place went to 'Musical Box, by the Matlock-based Motley Bunch - Christine Dence, Richard Wood and Pete Hartshorn - who won the Plumtree Cup and a £900 cash prize, followed in third by 'Peppa Pig' by Matlock's Paul Henshall, competing for a 47th year. He won the Sheffield Wire Rope Cup and an £800 cash prize.

In fourth place, competing for a 51st year, was Matlock's David Gregory with 'Nearly There Gromit', winning him the Dave Sanderson Trophy and a £700 cash prize.

The Compere’s Award, presented by Geoff Stevens MBE, compering the event for a 54th year, went to 10-year-old Taylor Hambleton-Harrison, playing an active part in the parade for the first time with his boat ‘Jet’.

530px From left Geoff Stevens MBE and wife Jacquie Stevens Taylor Hambleton Harrison Councillor Garry Purdy and Mrs Sandie Purdy
It's a friendly competition, with all non-prize winners receiving £600.

Every boat features as many as 1,000 LED bulbs - and completing this year's spectacular parade are 'Jubilee Tree of Lights', also by David Gregory, 'Fred Flintstone (who needs fuel anyway)' by Rory Harrison of Ashbourne, ‘Black Buck’ (Vulcan Bomber) by Matthew Hall of Ashbourne, ‘Jet’ by Taylor Hambleton-Harrison and Michael Hall, and ‘Wrecker’ by David Harrison of Ashbourne.

The traditional candle boat, which goes out before the main parade and is constructed by all the boat builders to show how the models used to look a century ago, is a tribute to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is lit with more than 70 night lights.

Watch this video of the 2022 boat parade:

More information:

Illuminations FAQs
Programme of entertainment
Ian Page, a stalwart of the Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders

Find us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter