The Margery Allingham Society

From The Glue Works

The newsletter of the Margery Allingham Society

No.6 - August 2003

Dear Members,
Welcome to The Glueworks.
New Members
We welcome the following new members to the Society - a record number of 15 since March. They are: Alexandra Almond of Victoria, Australia; Mrs Jeanne Aylward of South Croydon; Mrs Diane Cullen of Luton; Mrs Marian Hirst of Dewsbury,W. Yorks; Frances Killpatrick of Alexandria, Virginia; Canon Professor John Richardson of Edinburgh; Mr Matthew Scott of Stratford-upon-Avon; Ms Lesley Simpson of Ealing; Mr David Vlazny of California; Mrs Reba White Williams of New York; Dr Chris Willis of London; Dr Robert Barnard of Leeds; Mrs Ann Cleeves of Huddersfield; Ms Leslie Forbes of London and Mrs June Thomson of St.Albans.
Many of us already know the last four named through their work as crime writers: June Thomson was our guest speaker at the Centenary Birthday Lunch for Albert Campion in 2000; Robert Barnard was our honoured guest and speaker at the Birthday Lunch in May of this year. Leslie Forbes, also present at the Lunch, is known for her A Table in Tuscany and for her novels Bombay Ice, Blood Fish and Bone and, just published, Waking Raphael; Ann Cleeves is Reader in Residence to the Libraries of Northumberland, Cumbria, Gateshead and North Tyneside. She has two series - one featuring George & Molly Palmer-Jones ex-Home Office birdwatcher and wife set in Surrey, and one featuring Inspector Stephen Ramsay, set in Northumberland. Her latest novel is Another Man's Poison. Dr Chris Willis has recently edited a new edition of Mary Elizabeth Braddon's mid-Victorian crime novel The Trail of the Serpent.
Forthcoming Events
This Newsletter is being prepared immediately following the Society's London walk on August 16th. Sixteen members enjoyed this excellent outing.
A full account will appear in The Bottle Street Gazette.
Tate Britain Gallery Visit - Saturday October 25th
Continuing our celebration of Death of a Ghost we shall meet at Tate Britain for lunch followed by a tour of the galleries where our member Dr John Sweetman, a former academic, writer and distinguished art historian will introduce us to the painting of the period relevant to the novel.
Full details of the arrangements for the day will be sent to those who indicated their interest when this was initially announced. If you did not do so, and would like to hear more, please get in touch with Marianne as soon as possible and no later than October 1st. The Tate officials need exact numbers by that date.
Margery Allingham Soiree in Chelmsford
Roger Johnson writes to tell us that Chelmsford Theatre Workshop is to stage a soiree with the theme An Evening with Margery Allingham. There will be two performances: one on Friday November 14th at Hylands House - a beautifully restored country house on the outskirts of Chelmsford; the other on Saturday November 15th at the Old Court Theatre in Chelmsford. The first half of the programme will consist of dramatised information about Margery's life and work. The second half will be a performance of Roger's radio script of 'The Widow', as seen last year at Danbury. Performances will begin at 7:45. Tickets will be available from the Civic Theatre Box Office on 01245 606505.
The Margery Allingham Centenary
Many of you have asked which dates should be kept free for Society events next year. Read on
The Centenary Birthday Lunch
will be held on Saturday May 22nd at the University Women's Club. Full details of this together with the name of the distinguished Guest Speaker and other honoured guests will be announced later. Keep the day free.
The Centenary Exhibition
Preparations are now underway for the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue.
More than sixty pictorial items will be shown- together with manuscripts, letters, photographs and other material from the archives.
The exhibition will open at the Barbican Library early in May and there will be a private view accompanied by a lecture given by our member Dr Susan Rowland. Details of dates etc will be announced later. The Shoe Lane Library will show other Allingham material - this will run concurrently with the Barbican exhibition.
The National Portrait Gallery will also show its own Margery Allingham material during May and this too will be accompanied by a public lecture and special opening.
At the end of May the exhibition will move to East Anglia and will be shown at the Manor House Museum in Bury St.Edmunds from 9 June - 22 August. There will be a special opening at the beginning of this period - details to be announced later. The Manor House Museum holds a special collection of dress and costume of the 1930's and this will form a most attractive background to the Allingham exhibition.
At the beginning of September the exhibition will move to the Chelmsford and Essex Museum at Oaklands Park, Chelmsford where it will be open from 4 September - 31 October. Once again there will be a special opening and an accompanying lecture. As this period includes the autumn convention dates there should be ample opportunity for all members to see the exhibition at one of the venues.
Autumn Weekend Meeting 2004
This is to be held at Writtle College, Chelmsford over the weekend of September 17 - 19 or 20. Writtle College is a partner institution of the University of Essex and is located within a beautiful parkland campus and landscaped gardens 2 miles from the centre of Chelmsford.
As this centenary meeting is a very special one it has been opened to members of member societies of the Alliance of Literary Societies. We shall be close to 'Allingham Country', the Allingham exhibition will be on at the Museum (see above) and Roger Johnson is to organise a special performance of Margery's one act plays at the theatre. In addition to these attractions we shall be having a line up of distinguished speakers. More details later. Keep the dates free.
In addition to these events the Society hopes to contribute in some way to a number of crime conventions in this country and in the USA. Further details in the Bottle Street Gazette.
The Society website formerly at is in process of being moved to a new location under a new webmaster. We are very grateful to Spencer Lodge for all the work he put into establishing the Society on the web.
The new website is The process of moving from one site to another takes some time as new links have to be set up with other sites. For the time being it will be advisable to look at both sites for news about the society. The new site should include a lot of new material about Margery together with Society news. If there is anything you would like to see on the new website please let us have your ideas.
Annual Subscription
It appears that a mistake was made on the online membership application form. The US subscription should read $20 or $28 for two persons at one address.
Blue Plaques on D'Arcy House
Two members have told us that a second Blue Plaque is proposed for D'Arcy House. This is to mark its association with Dr.J.H. Salter the Essex naturalist and antiquary. Members who attended the 2001 Autumn Weekend meeting at Danbury Park will remember Stephen Nunn's excellent paper on Dr Salter. In her biography of Margery, Julia Thorogood says that, to the writer, Dr Salter was 'the epitome of bulldog Englishmen'. Margery left a sketch of him as Dr Bouverie in Dancers in Mourning.
The Way We Were
Members living in the Anglian TV area were recently able to see footage from a number of old films shot by Joyce Allingham and donated by her to the East Anglian Film Archive. (Margery in the kitchen at D'Arcy House kneading bread and preparing for the famous cricket parties) We hope to be able to borrow this material to show to members during our centenary year.

Greetings from all at the Glueworks.

From The Glue Works: Previous Issues

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