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The Hydro Majestic - escarpment view (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)

The Hydro Majestic – escarpment view (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)

Further to my blog of 5th September, I was fortunate to be contacted by Ellen Hill, Communications Consultant from the Escarpment Group who has just sent me a large amount of information and photos of the Hydro Majestic since its recent renovation, four images of which I have included here. I must say that they exceed all my expectations, and are in keeping with the original specifications of the outrageously over-the-top design of its creator, Mark Foy.

The Hydro Majestic's Cat's Alley at Dusk (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)

The Hydro Majestic’s Cat’s Alley at Dusk (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)

However, for historians such as me, it’s the hotel’s guests who breathe life into its buildings. Its famous visitors have been well documented: opera singers Dame Nellie Melba and Dame Clara Butt; munitions heiress Bertha Krupp, who donated a Bechstein grand piano to the hotel; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, for whom the Blue Mountains were the inspiration for ‘The Lost World’; and more recently, Russell Crowe who was asked to remove his baseball cap while dining in the Great Dining Hall in 1994; boxer Tommy Burns who set up a training camp at the Hydro Majestic ahead of his world title fight against Jack Johnson in Sydney in 1908, running for miles on mountain tracks in preparation; and, perhaps best known, Australia’s former first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton – he had retired from politics and was then a justice of the High Court – who died of a heart attack at the hotel while holidaying there in 1920.

The Hydro Majestic's Wintergarden (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)

The Hydro Majestic’s Wintergarden (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)

But there must have been countless other interesting guests over the last century: honeymooners, health enthusiasts, wealthy Sydney businessmen enjoying a lost weekend, and just ordinary people. It’s their stories that I would like to collect, so if you know of any, please let me know!

Delmonte Accomodation Wing at Hydro Majestic Hotel, Blue Mountains. Room 404. (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)

Delmonte Accomodation Wing at Hydro Majestic Hotel, Blue Mountains. Room 404. (photo courtesy Escarpment Group)