"Grandeur had come to Smedleys" in
the post Smedley era, with "new grounds and terraces laid
out in 1885" and
major alterations to the building following on afterwards.
The works were divided into four sections from the outset,
the first being "the new and stately entrance hall and
reception room, which cost upwards of £9,000." The
second phase was completed in 1886; there was a new dining hall,
additional bedrooms and a 100 foot long "lofty" corridor
connecting the wings of the older part of the building. The
third phase was to include a new drawing room, with more bedrooms
above, and above these it was proposed to erect a central tower
to add to the beauty of the building and act as a landmark to
visitors "exploring the many labrynthian woods and forests
that surround the mansion of hydropathy". The estimated
cost was £25,000. It was planned to rebuild and enlarge
the kitchen; it was then to be fitted with the latest improvements.
A sitting room for the servants was also to be included in this
phase. In addition
to Dr. William Bell Hunter and his junior physician, Dr. Tennant,
the hydro's senior staff at this time included Alfred Douglas senior
(secretary), Mr. Challand (cashier), Mr. Alfred Henry Douglas (manager)
and Mrs. Walton who was the matron.
The well in the grounds was considered to be no longer adequate
in 1887 and was closed the following year. A reservoir was built
on Wellington Street adjacent to that of the Local Water Board.
In May 1890 the tenders
received in connection with building the fourth (which was
also the last) phase of works were opened at
a meeting of the hydro's directors. Smedley's Hydropathic Company
had spent no less than £40,000 on extensions and improvements
already and the cost
of the latest project was estimated at £10,000.
Smedley's continued to operate with all the construction in
its midst. At Christmas time a ball was given at the hydro with
Mr. J. H. Barnes's Quadrille Band supplying the music; there
were upwards of 150 guests.
The new billiard room, part of the fourth instalment, was formally
opened in March 1892
by Robert Wildgoose, J.P., the chairman of the directors. The "apartment"
had a frontage to the main promenade, which ran the whole length
of the sanatorium. It was said to be magnificent. There were
six large plate glass windows and the stained glass in the windows
depicted national games such as cricket and skipping.
The billiard room was also lit by skylights. The wooden panelling
on the lower parts of the walls (wainscoting) was relieved
by costly Sienna marble pillars. There were recesses along
one side of the room that were designed for small parties. The
louges [sic] placed around the room were upholstered
in frieze velvet. Two massive oak billiard tables had been supplied
by Messrs Orme & Co. of Manchester. Mosaic marble tiles
were inlaid on the floor; the entrance hall also had the same
The new chimney for the boiler house,
planned to be 140 ft. high, was started in the summer of 1893.
It was built by Mr. Wildgoose.
You can see the chimney quite clearly on the
top image. The chimney behind Smedley's on the second image
belonged to the tram depôt and was a little shorter, a
mere was 100 feet high.
Unfortunately Mr. Alfred Henry Douglas, who had been the manager
of Smedley's for over
ten years and must have been heavily involved in the rebuilding
programme, died at his father's house in Holloway in August
1893. He was only 35 and had been connected with the hydro for
17 years. His funeral, at which the Rev. Valentine Ward officiated,
was held at Matlock Congregational church and he was then interred
at Holloway Cemetery. A large number of people attended the
funeral, including Smedley's directors: Mr. R. Wildgoose, J.P.,
Mr. J. H. Quilliam (Matlock) and Mr Jos Crowther (Huddersfield),
Dr. Hunter's representative, Mr. Bunny (Liverpool), Mr. Cooper
(Ripley), Mr and Mrs. Bramah (Sheffield). About 50 of the hydro's
employees also went.
Henry Challand, his brother-in-law, had been filling in as manager
since Alfred Douglas junior had become ill and was now appointed
in his stead.
It will be seen that the Douglas family, and their relative
Mr. Challand, were to provide a stability for Smedley's that
passed down through the generations, lasting until the
hydro closed its doors for the last time.
When the four phases of building programme were finished in
1894 the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire "formally
opened the new general bath, with boiler house attached",
exactly 20 years after the death of John Smedley. The Terrace
had been extended over the baths, provision was made for al
fresco concerts and "an artistical kiosk had been erected
on a level with the drawing-room terrace".The
latest additions had cost £20,000 and were all "on
the Bank Road side of the establishment" The
Duke was given a key to open the doors of the
new bath houses at the ceremony. Since Smedley's death the
building had been greatly altered, with the older portions
rebuilt on a much larger scale. Smedley would scarcely have
recognised it. As Dr. Hunter pointed out is a statement he
made after the opening ceremony, even 19 years before "the
building was one of the most awkward and ill-constructed
erections that could well be imagined. About that time the
directors decided on a scheme for complete reconstruction,
and although it was still far from complete the greater and
more difficult part had been accomplished".
Amongst the junior physicians working alongside Dr. Hunter
over the years were:
- Thomas Maccall M.D. - found in Kelly's 1881 Directory | the
1881 census (Moved to North Meols, Ormskirk)
- Dr. Tennant - attended the Christmas dinner at Smedley's
in 1885 when he said he had every faith in the future of the
establishment and was proud to be associated with Dr. Hunter.
He was still in post at the end of 1886.
- Joseph Geo. Garibaldi Corkhill L.R.P.C. Edin. - found in
Kelly's 1887 Directory (Moved to Birkdale, Ormskirk)
- Charles Jos. Whitby B.A., M.D - in Matlock in 1889 and found
1891 Directory (Moved to Hydro Establishment at Limpley
Stoke, Bradford on Avon by the 1891 census). He had been one
of the management committee of Smedley's Memorial Hospital.
- William Cecil Sharpe M.B. - found in the
1891 census | 1895
Kelly's Directory (Moved to the Red House, Darley Dale
and died there in 1928). Both he and his wife were involved
with Smedley's Memorial Hospital.
William Bell Hunter
died at the end of 1894 and was replaced by William C. Sharpe.
Life at Smedley's carried on much as normal up to the turn of
the century. There were more balls, and not just at Christmas,
with Barnes' orchestras supplying up-to-date music.
At the annual Christmas Day Banquet in 1899 a minstrel's gallery
had been erected for the orchestra, which played appropriate airs
during the meal.
A telephone was installed in 1896 and a refrigerator and typewriter
the following year.
The hydro was entering the twentieth century with what was then
the next stage in the hydro's history, Smedley's Hydro, early 1900s