Dear blog reader, this is the second part in the series looking at what was the focus in Shandon in a particular week in time. In the second week of March in 1879 the focus in Shandon was the availability of the Helensburgh News and the alterations made at the Hydropathic Hotel
Helensburgh News 13 March 1879
To our readers – To suit the convenience of the public in this district, it has been arranged that in the future the News will be on sale on the morning of publication at Mr Vallance’s, Quayhead.
Since our last notice of this establishment the additions are nearly completed, the extent of which nearly occupy half an acre, and are in conformity with the baronial style of architecture for which Shandon House has so long been famed. In the new building there are 95 bedrooms in two flats, with baths adjoining, fitted up in the very best style, the furnishing and carpeting being of the newest design, supplied by Messrs Wylie & Lochhead and Messrs Cree & Co, Glasgow. On the ground a floor a magnificent dining room, where upwards of 900 can sit down at once, has been fitted up, and a door on the left-hand corner leads into a tasteful and properly ventilated recreation-room. An extensive corridor, leading from the recreation-room into the conservatory, is also being elegantly fitted up. The culinary arrangements are almost complete, the kitchen and range containing all the recent improvements, and in close continuity with the dining-room there is a service-room, where victuals can be served up in the best of order without a moment’s delay.
We do not at all intend this as a proper description either of he internal arrangements of the external improvements, but before the grand opening, which is expected to take place early in May, we hope to be able to state more fully and with greater authenticity the real dimensions and capabilities of what is sure to prove one of the most, if not the most attractive establishments of the kind in Scotland.
In addition to spacious dining and drawing-rooms, ladies’ drawing-room, recreation-room, billiard-rooms, and the suite of bedrooms referred to above, not to speak of the outdoor pleasure to be enjoyed, the establishment may be considered all that could be desired. The baths are elegant, and could not be surpassed in the kingdom, everything possible being done to make them complete. The swimming bath, capable of holding 6000 gallons of salt water, is particularly worthy of notice, and of itself should prove a great acquisition, and, no doubt, when once in operation, will be largely patronised by local ladies and gentlemen, as well as those residing for a time in the establishment. This bath can be heated by steam to any tolerable degree of temperature, and is fitted with trapez for gymnastic exercise. We think the company may consider themselves fortunate in securing such an energetic person as Mr Mackenzie as manager, and we are sure that his courtesy and gentlemanly deportment will secure for him the respect and esteem of all who may find it convenient to locate themselves under his care.