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Newsletters - District Messenger 393

Nos amis anglais Jean Upton et Roger Johnson nous livrent aujourd'hui le 393e numéro de leur District Messenger, le bulletin d'information de la Sherlock Holmes Society of London. En bonus, leur carte de Noël et quelques images prises au Sherlock Holmes Pub où Roger assure la décoration de Noël de la reconstitution du salon de Sherlock Holmes (au premier étage, dans le restaurant).

The District Messenger is the SHSL’s monthly newsletter, edited by Jean Upton. It carries a wide range of information about events, people, performances and publications. You can download the collection here.

If you have information, comments or queries for the DM, please send them to Jean Upton at

Michael Cox

Happy birthday to our valued member, Michael Cox, who turned 85 on 28th November. Michael was the original producer of the Granada TV series starring Jeremy Brett, and kindly arranged the Society’s visit to the Manchester studios in 1987.

Congratulations are in order for our good friend Jerome Coopersmith, creator of the Broadway musical Baker Street . On 12th November, at the age of 94, Jerry became a Chevalier (Knight) in the National Order of the French Legion of Honour, in recognition of his service to France in WWII. The ceremony was held at the Lycée Français in Manhattan. You can read about Jerry’s extraordinary military career here:,120092. (Sherlock Holmes was awarded the same honour for the tracking and arrest of Huret, the Boulevard assassin.)

Jerome Coopersmith of Rockville Centre received his medal of honor from Anne-Claire Legendre, consul general of France, at a ceremony held last week in New York City.

Visitors to London who make a pilgrimage to Baker Street will encounter a pleasant surprise. At the intersection with Marylebone Road there are specially designed Christmas lights on the lamp columns, in the shape of a goose with the Blue Carbuncle in its crop. You can see photos of the lights on the Society’s Facebook and Twitter pages. This is the first year that the Baker Street Quarter has had its own festive lighting, and the various designs reflect people and events relevant to its history.

If you’re in the North of England, you might wish to acquaint yourself with The Scandalous Bohemians, who "hold informal lunchtime meetings every 4 to 6 weeks, for themed talks, quizzes and general Holmesian bonhomie !" For nine years the group met in Leeds, but have recently found a new meeting venue in the historic city of York. Brigantes, a brasserie at the top end of Micklegate, is an appropriately canonical setting, as it sports a blue plaque proclaiming the building to be the birthplace of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882): architect, builder and designer of the Hansom Cab.

The next gathering of the Bohemians will take place on Saturday 7th December 2019, from noon until 5:00PM, which will be a Festive Lunch with a ‘Winter’ theme. Booking is essential, so please contact Teresa Dudley, The Scandalous Bohemians’ Secretary, for more details at

You can also learn more about the meeting venue through the link 1 and link 2.

If you enjoy McFly and similar bands you’ll probably like The Sherlocks. They’re an indie band from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, made up of two sets of brothers. The band is currently touring the UK, and their website allows you to listen to their music and purchase merchandise emblazoned with their logo (I quite fancy the knitted hat with SHERLOCKS across the front).

Do you need ideas for Sherlockian seasonal gifts? Randall Stock has compiled his annual list of recommendations for Sherlock Holmes books, DVDs and other items of Sherlockiana.

Don’t forget that The Sherlock Holmes Society of London also has an interesting selection of books and gifts, including attractive cufflinks, lapel pins, rollerball pens and softskin notebooks. You can also purchase gift memberships.

Andrew Gulli, Editor of The Strand Magazine has provided a reminder of his new 2020 Sherlock Holmes Calendar. The calendar is in full colour and printed on thick glossy card stock. It features specially commissioned artwork by Jeffrey McKeever and Phil Cornell, plus Sherlockian trivia. This link takes you to the online shop which carries many other Sherlockian gifts manufactured by the Strand:

Mark Jones and Paul M. Chapman have launched a new podcast. Doings of Doyle focuses on the wider works of ACD. Each month, they will be discussing a different work by Doyle – everything from his gothic and medical stories to the historical novels and spiritualism – plus a bit of Sherlock Holmes. Mark says, ‘Our aim is to increase awareness of Doyle’s collected works and to promote his place in the pantheon of great writers.’ The first episode is on iTunes and Spotify or you can get it directly at Podbean.

They’re on Twitter as @DoingsofD and have a website at where they host the show notes. Mark adds: ‘Please have a listen and let me know what you think. All feedback gratefully received. And if you enjoy it and want to help raise awareness, please spread the word or leave a review on iTunes.’

The BSI Archives were the focus of a conference, Building an Archive: A Celebration of the Arrival of the BSI Archive at the Lilly Library, held on Nov. 8-10. Glen Miranker, BSI (‘The Origin of Tree Worship’) and Ross Davies, BSI (‘The

Temple’) joined Scott Monty and Burt Wolder to talk about the collection for I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. You can listen to the interview at:

Gillette Castle, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, will be hosting Holidays with Friends where the Castle will be decorated by various Friends group volunteers and open for tours from Saturday 30th November 30th to Sunday 22nd December (Saturdays and Sundays only) from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the park or online.

Jennie Paton reports that the Japanese anime series Kakukichō Sherlock began broadcasting on television in Japan in October. It is about ‘the comedic, mysterious, and dramatic adventures of a ragtag band of detectives as they live together in a tenement above Mrs. Hudson’s bar in the red-light district and attempt to solve an unusual string of killings.’

You can watch the first episode with English subtitles at

Anyone who has travelled to New York for the annual BSI festivities will undoubtedly have called in at the Mysterious Bookshop. Otto Penzler, its proprietor for more than 40 years, states that it is ‘the oldest and largest mystery bookstore in the world.’ You can read about the shop’s origins here:

Alexis Barquin maintains the online Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopaedia. This includes ‘Search the Sherlock Holmes Stories’, an extremely useful feature with a search engine and the Oxford University Press version of the 60 canonical stories, plus ‘The Field Bazaar’ and ‘How Watson Learned the Trick.’

Saskia Weber, Product Manager for Swisspeak Resorts, has sent information about their new hotel in Meiringen. Conveniently located near the Sherlock Holmes Museum and the railway station, the resort will officially open on11th December. Saskia says, ‘There are rumours that Sherlock Holmes will be mingling in the lobby.’ Apparently, some of the apartments provide views of the Reichenbach Falls and visitors can participate in solving the mystery of the disappearance of Professor Braun by using an internet-enabled smartphone. You can learn more at:

Adrian Kendrick has brought some interesting news: ‘I am a director on Guy’s Cliffe Masonic Properties Board, of Guy’s Cliffe House in Warwick, where Granada TV filmed the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes episode, The Last Vampyre. As I am sure you know, during the filming an infamous fire occurred that destroyed some of the building. We are currently looking at ways of raising more money to help fund the upkeep of the building, and our goal is to set up the very beautiful Guy’s Cliffe as a unique wedding venue.’

The site is open to visitors, and you can learn more at:

Some new and forthcoming books of interest:

The 2019 Baker Street Journal Christmas Annual will be about William S. Baring-Gould, the man behind The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, and is filled with letters and photos that have never before been published. These annual publications, which are always of interest, are only available as part of a subscription to the BSJ, so subscribe now at

Aboriginals: The Earliest Baker Street Irregulars, 1934-1940 by Harrison Hunt and Linda Hunt (The Baker Street Irregulars, 2019; 272 pp, $24.95 plus shipping pbk) When Christopher Morley founded the Baker Street Irregulars in 1934, he brought many distinguished friends and colleagues into the fold. This book presents capsule biographies and photographs of the earliest Irregulars.

For more information and a table of contents listing all

the included biographies, visit

Also from the BSI is a special offer on their Limited Edition Undershaw Set. This slipcased set contains signed, numbered, limited edition, specially bound copies of On Conan Doyle by Pulitzer Prize winning critic Michael Dirda and The Remarkable Characters of Arthur Conan Doyle, edited by Joel B. Silver. As part of publishing this set, the BSI donated $1,000 to the Undershaw Preservation Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the unique home designed and built by Arthur Conan Doyle. Only 80 sets of these beautiful books were produced. Originally $165.00, now $115.00 plus shipping. For details go to

The Sherlock Holmes Ultimate Smoking Companion by Kelvin I. Jones (Cunning Crime Books, 2019; 287pp. £8.54 pbk) This reprints the 1981 monograph ‘Thank You, Watson — The Matches!’ , with additional articles by Al Shaw, Wendy Heyman-Marsaw, James C O’Leary, John L Hicks, R.D. Sherbrooke-Walker and Mr Jones, plus stories by David Marcum, Roger Johnson and Kelvin Jones. There is a hardback limited edition of only 40 copies also available directly from Kelvin. Contact him on Facebook at Siger Holmes or email

Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse (Titan, 2019; 336 pp., £17.99 hbk)

This is the third in the popular series. It is 1873 and Mycroft, despite his resignation from his post as secretary to the Secretary of State for War, maintains his government contacts. They are found to be useful when he gets involved in international criminal affairs, all the while trying to keep his annoying younger brother in check.


William D. Goodrich died on Oct. 20. He had a long career in banking and was an active member of many Sherlockian societies. Bill was one of the founders of (the now defunct) Baker Street Miscellanea in 1975 and compiled two editions of his Good Old Index to the Canon in 1987 and 1994. He received his Investiture of ‘Alexander Holder’ from the Baker Street Irregulars in 1977. In his 1987 Introduction to Good Old Index, John Bennett Shaw wrote the following: “Bill Goodrich is typical of the true Sherlockian. He is a businessman, a husband, a father, a house-holder, a taxpayer, a book collector, and withal he appears quite sane. But more so he has imagination and energy and is creative in his reading and in his research. He saw a real need, a void in fact, in the specialised world of Holmesian studies. He fills this need most satisfactorily with this book.”

Periodicals Received

  • The Bilge Pump – The Irregular Publication of the Crew of the Barque Lone Star, November 2019 (Steve Mason;

  • Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections, September 2019 (Suite 111, Elmer L Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue S., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA)

  • Ineffable Twaddle, November 2019 (The Sound of the Baskervilles, Terri Haugen; )

  • Mayday Mayday, November 2019 (The Crew of the SS May Day, Belfast, Oscar Ross; )

  • The Passengers’ Log, October 2019 (The Sydney Passengers, Erin O'Neill, editor; )

  • Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, October 2019 (Peter E Blau, 7103 Endicott Court, Bethesda, MD 20817-4401, USA; )

  • The Tankerville Times, Autumn 2019, (The Tankerville Club, Cincinnati, Ohio; Dan Andriacco; )

  • The Whaling News, November 2019 (The Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn, St. Charles, MO ; J Andrew Basford; )

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