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Annual McLaughlin Address, Wentworth Falls School Of Arts

5 June 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

The eccentric entrepreneur Mark Foy (1865-1950) made his fortune from his share of profits of Sydney’s Mark Foys department store.

Believing that all diseases could be cured by bathing in cold water, he built the Medlow Bath Hydropathic Treatment Centre, now known as the Hydro Majestic.

He married Elizabeth Tweedie in 1900 and had four children with her and several illegitimate children from his many affairs.

The talk will reveal many previously unknown aspects of Mark Foy’s life and the history of the Hydro Majestic.

There is probably not another building in Australia which has as many curious stories and legends associated with it as the Hydro Majestic hotel at Medlow Bath in the Blue Mountains.  Intended by its builder, Mark Foy, to be an antipodean health resort in the style of Smedley’s hydropathic treatment centre in England, it instead became a venue for more hedonistic pleasures.  In place of cold-water baths, strict dietary rules and ‘lights out at 10.30pm’, guests often partied on into the small hours of the morning.  The Hydro developed a reputation as a place where people could lose their inhibitions as well as discreetly meeting their secret lovers.  Some say that the ‘ghosts’ of these past revellers can still be seen and heard in the hotel’s corridors.

Dr Jim Smith, Mclaughlin lecturer, and Ms Fiona Burn, BMHS President, with Dr Smith’s lates books on the Hydro Majestic Hotel and Mark Foy


5 June 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm