The Margery Allingham Society

Centenary Year – 2004

1st May 2004: Publication of Margery Allingham: 100 Years of a Great Mystery Writer
Dustjacket of "Margery Allingham: 100 Years of A Great Mystery
A celebratory collection of essays by distinguished writers and members of the Margery Allingham Society, to mark the hundredth anniversary of Margery Allingham's birth on 20 May 1904.
Catherine Aird, Robert Barnard, Richard Cheffins, Catherine Cooke, Natasha Cooper, Martin Edwards, Nicholas Fuller, Roger Johnson, Julia Jones (Thorogood), H.R.F. Keating, Margaret Kinsman, Stephen Leadbeatter, Oriel Malet, Jessica Mann, Tony Medawar, Sara Paretsky, Geraldine Perriam, Susan Peters, B.A. Pike, Shirley Purves, B.J. Rahn, Susan Rowland, Jennifer Schofield, Michelle Spring, John Sweetman, Frank Swinnerton, Andrew Taylor, June Thomson, Marianne van Hoeven and Margaret Yorke.
The book was launched at a reception at the University Women's Club on 20th May 2004 - see below for details.
It is published by Lucas Books of Thorndon, Suffolk at 12.99 (ISBN 190379735).   Copies will be available through normal commercial outlets and at Society events through the year. Please encourage your local bookshop to stock it.

Margery Allingham Centenary Exhibition at Barbican Library - photo  Chris Willis
Chris Willis
5th May 2004: Opening of Centenary Exhibition at the Barbican Library
The Allingham archive has recently come into the possession of the Society. It is extensive and includes a large quantity of fascinating material by Allingham and her husband now being shown for the first time. Exhibits include photos, sketches, cartoons, letters, original designs for book jackets, Pip's invitation to the Queen's wedding and certificates awarded to Margery Allingham for her war work in Tolleshunt d'Arcy.
Natasha Cooper
Natasha Cooper
Photos Lesley Simpson


Michelle Spring
Michelle Spring


Leslie Forbes
Leslie Forbes
At the launch of the exhibition, three of 'The Unusual Suspects' (Natasha Cooper, Michelle Spring and Leslie Forbes) gave readings from Margery Allingham's work and talked about her influence on their own work.
The Barbican Library has an extensive collection of out-of-print crime fiction. Click here for their catalogue.
Exhibition venues
5-29 May 2004
Barbican Library, Silk Street, London EC2
Additional material is on display at Shoe Lane Library, Little New Street, London EC4.
8 June-22 August 2004
Manor House Museum, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
1 Sept - 31 Oct 2004
Chelmsford Museum, Oaklands Park, Chelmsford, Essex

20th May 2004: Centenary Day
Sara Paretsky and the Lord Mayor of Westminster unveiled a Commemorative Plaque on the site of Hurlingham House, 1 Westbourne Terrace Road, Little Venice, (map) where Margery Allingham and her family lived 1916-1925.
Lord Mayor of Westminster and Sara Paretsky unveil the plaque
The Lord Mayor and Sara
Paretsky unveil the plaque.
Photos Chris Willis
Plaque on Hurlingham House
Commemorative Plaque
Lord Mayor, Sara Paretsky, Marianne van Hoeven
The Lord Mayor, Sara Paretsky and
Marianne van Hoeven outside
Hurlingham House.
Barry proposes a toast to Margery and Albert
Barry Pike proposing the toast
to Margery and Albert
Chris Willis
Lesley Simpson with her photo display
Lesley Simpson with her photo display
Chris Willis
In the evening a reception was held at the University Women's Club to celebrate Margery Allingham's 100th birthday (and Albert Campion's 104th!) and to launch Margery Allingham: 100 Years of a Great Mystery Writer. Barry Pike proposed a toast to Margery and Albert. On display were Lesley Simpson's photos of the scenes of Allingham's books.

22nd May 2004: AGM and Centenary Lunch
The CWA Diamond Dagger
The CWA Diamond Dagger
Chris Willis
Birthday cake for Margery Allingham's centenary
Birthday cake for
Margery Allingham's centenary
Chris Willis
A special lunch was held at the University Women's Club, to celebrate the centenary of Margery Allingham's birth. On display was the Diamond Dagger - the Crime Writers' Association annual award for lifetime achievement.
Members enjoyed a splendid three-course lunch, followed by coffee and birthday cake. Guest speaker Sara Paretsky (Diamond Dagger winner 2002) spoke of Allingham's influence on her work, and gave an appreciation of the novels.

27th May 2004: Lecture at the National Portrait Gallery
Dr Susan Rowland (author of From Agatha Christie to Ruth Rendell) gave a lecture on Margery Allingham, as part of the Gallery's "Lunctime Lectures" series. On display in the gallery were photos of Margery Allingham, Philip Youngman Carter and their circle.

4th - 29th July 2004: Crime Scene 2004
The BFI 2004 Crime Scene festival at the National Film Theatre included two events for the Margery Allingham centenary:
9th July 2004: Margery Allingham's London Walk
Professor BJ Rahn
BJ Rahn
Professor B.J. Rahn led a walk around Allingham's Bloomsbury and Piccadilly focusing on Flowers for the Judge and Black Plumes. The walkers met various characters from the books stationed at appropriate points along the route.
10th July 2004: Margery Allingham on the Occasion of her Centenary
Robert Barnard, Natasha Cooper, Val McDermid, Michelle Spring and Andrew Taylor discussed Margery Allingham's books, influences and virtues. Margaret Kinsman moderated.

14th July 2004: Bodies in the Bookshop
Crime event at Heffer's Bookshop in Cambridge featuring Margery Allingham: 100 Years of a Great Mystery Writer in paperback

17th - 20th September 2004: Centenary Convention
Barry Pike's quiz on dust wrapper design
Barry Pike's quiz on dust wrapper design
Lesley Simpson
Centenary exhibition at Chelmsford Museum
Centenary exhibition at
Chelmsford Museum
Lesley Simpson
Chelmsford Old Court Theatre Players
Chelmsford Old court Theatre Players
Lesley Simpson
Pamela Bruxner lays flowers on Margery Allingham's
				grave on behalf of the society
Pamela Bruxner lays flowers
on Margery Allingham's
grave on behalf of the society
Lesley Simpson
The Centenary convention, held over a weekend at Writtle College, Chelmsford, was an enjoyable mixture of talks and entertainment
Barry Pike created a fiendish quiz based on dustwrappers from overseas editions of the Campion books for Friday evening's entertainment.
Saturday's programme included a visit to Chelmsford Museum to see the Centenary exhibition. In the evening the Chelmsford Old Court Theatre Players presented two of Margery Allingham's radio plays; Room to Let and The Man in the Window.
Group shot at Layer Marney Tower
Group shot at Layer Marney Tower
Lesley Simpson
On Sunday, the convention travelled to Tolleshunt d'Arcy to lay flowers on Margery Allingham's grave. This was followed by a visit to Layer Marney Tower, the model for Angevin in The China Governess and Sanctuary in Look to the Lady. That evening, Seona Ford invited everyone to her home for a Centenary Celebration Supper.

Talks included:
Richard Reynolds: The Forgotten Backlist: the changing climate of bookselling
June Thompson: Margery Allingham and the Creative Imagination (read by Marianne van Hoeven)
Dr Ronald Blythe: My Literary Life, and recollections of some East Anglian writers
Kate Charles: Saint and Tiger: the theology of Margery Allingham
Susan Peters: Margery Allingham's Dance of the Years: the "unknown" novel
Julia Jones: "Entertaining half a million people a week...": Herbert Allingham's career

4th November 2004: Publication of new editions of Margery Allingham's novels
These will include Mystery Mile and Sweet Danger in paperback

6th November 2004: Lecture at Mayfair Library
Dr Susan Rowland gave a talk on Albert Campion, the hero which was followed by tea with little pink cakes and a general discussion.

In The Media:
The May edition of Book Collector magazine includes a centenary survey of Margery Allingham's work by Nicola Lisle and an article about the Society by Barry Pike.
The Essex Chronicle carried an article about Margery Allingham in the 1 May edition.
The BBC remembered Margery Allingham in three magazine programmes: 16th May, Open Book on Radio 4; 14th June, Woman's Hour on Radio 4 and 8th July, The Word on the World Service.

Website maintained by Lesley Simpson
All text and photos copyright The Margery Allingham Society unless otherwise stated.