After around 50 presentations on my usual topic of ‘Disappeared Department Stores of Edinburgh’ I wondered if I should investigate another area of potential interest. I mulled this over for many weeks. One day, for absolutely no reason at all, a subject popped into my mind:
The hydropathic movement in Scotland. I googled it and a number of fascinating papers appeared. I was hooked. This led to further research and the location of the excellent research of Alastair Durie and collaborators. They had researched the area very thoroughly indeed and I enjoyed reading the various papers and documents. However, I was left with one big question –Why? Why was Scotland such a hot bed of hydros? Why there? Why then? Who went? What were they looking for? Did they find it? And, of course, the inevitable –What happened to them? An early Scottish boom and bust industry?
As I enjoy presentations to groups large and small I have put my thoughts and findings into a presentation and already have bookings for it. I am slightly concerned about it as this is only my personal take on a large subject area but it should be interesting to share it and discuss what others might think of the light the subject casts on the persona of the Scotsman and woman of the 19th century.