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Smedley's Hydro*
By Geoffrey Saunders, writing under the pseudonym of Geoffrey Demdike
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Smedley's Practical Hydropathy

John Smedley
Mrs. Smedley's Ladies Manual

Caroline Smedley

The Coventry Umbrella was an arts club that was initiated by a number of Actors of the Midland Rep along with young architects responsible for the redevelopment of the city of Coventry, which had been devastated by the bombing raids of the Second World War. One of the founder members of the Coventry Umbrella Club magazine was Geoffrey Saunders, a resident of Coventry. The article below, "Smedley's Hydro", was written by Geoffrey Saunders under the pseudonym of Geoffrey Demdike, and was published in the very first issue of their magazine. The illustrations he used, apart from the last one, were from John Smedley's "Practical Hydropathy", 14th edition on which the article is based. The cover of the first issue (above) was designed by Saunders. Another very early member was Jim Runnalls, who has very generously provided the article below.

*"Smedley's Hydro" was published in Vol. 1 No. 1 of "Umbrella", Umbrella Club, Coventry (Oct, 1959).
It is reproduced here with the very kind permission of Jim Runnalls.
Intended for personal use only.

You may like to view the following related web pages:

Water Cures
Newspaper report of 1872, about a Smedley employee
Advert for Smedley's Hydro, 1869
Smedley's Hydro, Matlock, 1906-7
Smedley's Hydro, 1908-14
Smedley's - Great Britain's Greatest Hydro, 1950. An advertisement published in "The Derbyshire Countryside"
1871 census - Mr. & Mrs. Smedley living at Riber Castle
About Matlock Bank
About Riber
See Smedley's Hydropathic Establishment Enumeration Book in the 1891 census (transcript)
And in the 1901 census (transcript)

Matlock: Water Cures, Mr. Smedley's Baths, Boxes & Douches
John Smedley designed a range of steam boxes, baths and douches, as well as some other gadgets, for use at both the hydropathic establishment and the free hospital

There may be additional information on the following pages:

Coventry Umbrella Club Blogspot (an external link so will open in a new window or tab)