In searching for something else, I came across a wonderful article from the first ever issue of Umbrella -the literary magazine produced by the Umbrella Club and first published in October 1958. The article, which deals with John Smedley's Hydropathic Institution in Matlock was written by Geoffrey Saunders (a resident of Coventry) under the pen name of Geoffrey Demdike and contributed to the Andrews Pages - Matlock and Matlock Bath website by one of the former editors of Umbrella - Jim Runnalls.
Industrial background of John SmedleyIt's an interesting article and worth visiting the site for. Smedley's was a family business in Matlock, and founded in 1784 by Peter Nightingale ( a relation of Florence Nightingale). The mill specialised in the production of muslin and spinning cotton to send out to local cottages with hand frame looms. Towards the end of the 18th century the company had extended its activities to include knitting and hosiery manufacture - said to be the origin of Long Johns. . By this time, John Smedley was running the business alone, although the Nightingale family retained an interest in the property. As Lea Mills remains open and an operational building to this day, manufacturing the company's range of designer knitwear, John Smedley claims to be world's longest running factory manufacturer over four generations." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smedley_%28industrialist%29
And it is here that Geoffrey Demdike's article begins, entitled Smedleys Hydro and you can read it on this site, where you will find lots of other fascinating material on the Matlock area.
|Screen shot of the Matlock website.|
And for more information on the Hydro - see here on the same site.