The Margery Allingham Society

Past Events

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21st November 2015 - Winter Lunch
Another enjoyable lunch at The Albany.
10th October 2015 - Extra-Sensory Perception
A fun and informative talk by Professor Richard Wiseman on real world research into telepathy and extra-sensory perception for the 50th Anniversary of the publication of The Mind Readers.
23rd May 2015 - AGM and Birthday Lunch
Our guest speaker this year was Jake Kerridge, crime critic of The Telegraph who entertained and amused us with his after-lunch speech. In addition to Margery's 111th and Albert's 115th birthdays, we were also celebrating the 80th birthday of our Chairman, Barry Pike.
26th February 2015 - Launch of Mr.Campion's Fox
Mike Ripley's second Campion continuation, Mr. Campion's Fox, was launched at Heffers bookshop, Cambridge with a conversation between Heffers' head of Crime Fiction, Richard Reynolds and Mike Ripley.


22nd November 2014 - Winter Lunch
We gathered at Porters English Restaurant in Covent Garden for an excellent lunch and conversation.
11th October 2014 - Bletchley Park
Our visit to the wartime code-breaking centre was prompted by Margery Allingham's fascination with secret communication. Full write-up in the Autumn 2014 Bottle Street Gazette.
19th July 2014 - Death of a Ghost and the Royal Academy
After an informal lunch at Westminster Reference Library, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of Death of a Ghost with a slideshow of works from masters of the Royal Academy with an erudite commentary by Dr. John Sweetman. We then strolled along to Piccadilly to see this year's Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition. Full description in the Autumn 2014 Bottle Street Gazette.
24th May 2014 - AGM and Birthday Lunch
Alison Joseph, Chair of the CWA and author of the Sister Agnes series, gave us a fascinating talk about material culture in the works of Margery Allingham from little throwaway lines to large ideas. This talk will be printed in the Autumn 2014 Bottle Street Gazette.
10th March 2014 - Mr.Campion's Farewell at the Essex Book Festival
Mr. Campion's Farewell dustjacket
Mike Ripley at the Essex Book Festival 2014
Mike Ripley spoke about his life-long connection with Margery Allingham and how he came to finish Mr. Campion's Farewell from the five chapters started by Pip Youngman Carter. This talk, at Great Baddow Library, was part of the Essex Book Festival.


30th November 2013 - Christmas Lunch
Winter Lunch 2013
Back to The Albany again for the Winter Lunch, where sixteen of us gathered to discuss all subjects under the sun and to admire Mike Ripley"s Albert Campion tie.
26th October 2013 - Tiger in the Smoke Walk
Tiger in the Smoke Walk 2013
As in the book we started in Paddington Station and, led by Jennifer and Lesley, went in search of the Police Station, Feathers pub and the alleyway where Duds met his end. After lunch at Smith's Bar and Grill by the canal, we crossed the Harrow (Barrow) Road into Hide My Eyes territory. Walking the area where Margery lived in her teenage years, we reached Little Venice, before heading south to Westbourne Grove. The party stopped in Kildare Gardens, which could easily be the inspiration for Canon Avrilís home in St Petersgate Square. Finally we walked south, looking at possible locations in More Work for the Undertaker. The walk ended at Queensway tube by Kensington Gardens.
13th July 2013 - 25th Anniversary Lunch
We met at the Concert Artistes Association in Covent Garden for lunch and a fascinating talk from Barry Pike on Margery's books written under the Maxwell March pseudonym: The Shadow in the House, Other Man's Danger and Rogues' Holiday.
Imogen Robertson
Imogen Robertson
18th May 2013 - AGM and Birthday Lunch
After an enthusiastic AGM where we made plans for promoting Margery Allingham to the wider world, we welcomed Imogen Robertson, author of the Crowther and Westerman series, as our guest speaker at our annual lunch for Margery's 109th and Albert's 113th birthdays.


24th November 2012 - Christmas Lunch
We returned to The Albany for our pre-Christmas lunch this year and enjoyed an excellent lunch and conversation.
Draft Design for The China Governess dustjacket by Youngman Carter
Dustjacket design
for The China
Governess by
Youngman Carter
6th October 2012 - All Human Life Depicted
After lunch at Smith's Bar and Grill near Paddington Station, Miranda Goodby, Curator of Ceramics at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, gave us a very enjoyable talk on Staffordshire portrait figures of the 19th century for the 70th Anniversary of the publication of The China Governess. We then returned to Bake and Cake for another excellent tea.
Mavis Cheek
Mavis Cheek
19th May 2012 - AGM and Birthday Lunch
Mavis Cheek was our guest at the Lunch for Margery's 108th and Albert's 112th birthdays.


26th November 2011 - Christmas Lunch
A small group gathered in a London pub for lunch and a chat. Later, a few of us went on to the Art Deco exhibition at RIBA.
David Cleveland
David Cleveland
10th September 2011 - Joyce Allingham's Films
To commemmorate ten years since the death of our patron, Joyce Allingham, David Cleveland presented a viewing of some of her films. Joyce was a keen photographer and amateur film-maker. Her films focus on Essex and its people and at least one includes a glimpse of her sister, Margery. The films are held at the East Anglian Film Archive who have digitized them and assisted us in arranging this viewing.
30th July 2011 - Traitor's Purse
After an excellent lunch at The Seashell Restaurant, Professor Shelley Channon gave us an expert's assessment of Campion's amnesia for the 70th Anniversary of the publication of Traitor's Purse at Church Street Library, Westminister. Professor Channon related incidents in the book to real-life cases of amnesia and indicated where Margery got it right and where she didn't.
Birthday cake 2011
14th May 2011 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
Nicci Gerrard sparked a keen debate on Margery Allingham's books as guest speaker at Margery's 107th and Albert's 111th birthday lunch.
Jennifer Palmer's talk
Jennifer Palmer's talk
24th March 2011 - The Oaken Heart at the Essex Book Festival
The The Oaken Heart event at the Essex Book Festival was held at are St Nicholas School, Tolleshunt D'Arcy. Headmistres Sophie Massey introduced Julia Jones of Golden Duck and Barry Pike to the 80+ audience. Dr Jennifer S. Palmer gave a slideshow on the background to The Oaken Heart, the children of St. Nicholas' school acted a short scene of evacuees arriving at Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Seona Ford read extracts from her mother's diaries of World War II and Barry Pike concluded the evening.


Converence room, Ipswich
3rd to 5th September 2010 - Ipswich Weekend Convention
The Holiday Inn, Ipswich was the venue for the 2010 convention. The weekend opened with dinner on Friday and a guessing game: everyone had brought an object that referenced an item in the Campion books and the others had to work out what they represented. On Saturday morning Julia Jones led us through a quiz on Herbert Allingham: 50 years in the fiction factory; Mike Ripley talked about being an Essex writer and Dr. Jennifer S. Palmer discussed representations of disability in Margery's books and other detective fiction. After lunch we set off in a Galloway's coach to tour Monewden, Letheringham, Easton and Glevering Hall, finishing up with a wonderful tea at The Teapot Tearoom in Wickham Market. After dinner we watched the Hammer film of Margery's radio play Room to Let. On Sunday morning we were challenged to find "Who Killed Robin Cox", a competition created by Margery for the 1938 Sunday Times National Book Fair. Barry Pike gave one of his usual fascinating talks, the winners were announced, then lunch and off home.
The barge Jason on the Regent's Canal
10th July 2010 - Regent's Canal
On one of the hottest days of the summer we boarded the barge Jason at Little Venice for a trip to Camden Lock and back.
The Birthday Cake
23rd May 2010 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
Christopher Fowler joined us for Margery's 106th and Albert's 110th birthdays at the University Women's Club, speaking about his writing career and the Bryant and May series.
Andy, Esther, Melissa and Samuel
Andy, Esther, Melissa & Samuel
23rd March 2010 - Regent Street Polytechnic
After lunch at the Cafe Lido in Great Castle Street, we strolled round the corner to the University of Westminster, formerly the Regent Street Polytechnic, where Margery Allingham studied from 1920-23. Four students, directed by Kate Murphy, performed rehearsed readings of works which Margery wrote and performed when she was a student. Melissa Rynn performed The Ballad of Rowenne, a ballad; Charlotte Corday Speaks in her Cell (France 1793), a monologue; and Tib Merriweather (The Convert), a poem. Esther Yesudas, Samuel Emm and Andy Adelowokan performed a short play, The Husband of Camille. All the actors were excellent, bringing Margery's words to life and we are very grateful for all their hard work. The performance was followed by a tour of the building.
Julia Jones at the Essex Book Festival
Julia Jones
23rd March 2010 - Cheapjack at the Essex Book Festival
This year's Margery Allingham related event at the Essex Book Festival was a talk by Julia Jones on Philip Allingham and Cheapjack with readings by Julia and Francis Wheen and a slideshow of photos from the book. The event was held at The Albert Sloman Library, Essex University and prior to the talk was a tour of the Margery Allingham and Philip Youngman Carter archive and a buffet tea.


7th November 2009 - Coffee and Crime, Witham
Essex Libraries asked the Society to give a brief introduction to Margery Allingham at one of their Coffee and Crime events. This one, held at Witham Library, featured Barry Pike talking about Margery Allingham, Seona Ford on Dorothy L. Sayers and Mike Ripley discussing his historical mysteries set in Essex.
Broughton Road, Ealing
Broughton Road, Ealing
24th October 2009 - Ealing
A late replacement for the postponed Regent Street Poly event, lunch at the Cafe Rouge, Ealing was followed by a stroll over to Margery Allingham's birthplace at 5 Broughton Road Ealing, attempting to identify locations unchanged from Margery's day.
The Bell Inn, Kersey
The Bell Inn, Kersey
25th July 2009 - Kersey
An excellent lunch at The Bell Inn was followed by a stroll around the village, visiting the church and the pottery. Kersey was the model for Sanctuary in Look to the Lady and is one of Suffolk's prettiest villages.
Janet Laurence
Janet Laurence
23rd May 2009 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
Margery Allingham's 105th and Albert Campion's 109th birthdays were celebrated at the University Women's Club. Janet Laurence spoke about her introduction to Margery Allingham and writing her own Darina Lisle and Canaletto series.
Julia Jones
Julia Jones
11th March 2009 - Margery Allingham Lecture
Julia Jones talked about Margery and Mersea with extracts from Blackkerchief Dick, Mystery Mile and The Mind Readers for the Essex Book Festival. The revised biography was on sale and Mersea Library had organised a display of items from the Margery Allingham archive. Society member Seona Ford hosted dinner for members of the Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers societies before the annual Dorothy L. Sayers lecture that evening.
7th March 2009 - Mr. Magersfontein Lugg: a celebration of his life and work
After lunch at Porters English Restaurant, we returned to The Club for Acts and Actors for readings featuring Campion's factotum. Barry Pike narrated and John Hines made an excellent Mr. Lugg.


Kensal Green Cemetery
4th October 2008 - Kensal Green Cemetery
One of London's famous cemeteries Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, London W10 was the location for a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of More Work for the Undertaker. A tapas lunch was followed by a fascinating tour of the cemetery led by Henry Vivian-Neal of The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery.
19th July 2008 - The Fashion in Shrouds
David Collis
David Collis
To mark the the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Fashion in Shrouds, the Society met at the Victoria & Albert Museum to explore the inter-war collections. Lunch at The Royal College of General Practitioners was followed by an illustrated talk by David Collis.
Catherine Aird
Catherine Aird
17th May 2008 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
Catherine Aird entertained us with a talk on references in Golden Age detective fiction that are obscure to the current reader. This will be printed in a future Bottle Street Gazette.
8th March 2008 - 20th Birthday Party
John Hines
John Hines
An excellent lunch was provided in the long room at The Royal College of General Practitioners. This was followed by readings featuring doctors from five of the Campion novels performed by John Hines, Seona Ford and Barry Pike. Everyone present was given a greetings card made by the Allinghams from one of Pip's drawings and A Bottle Street Miscellany. There was also a display of photos and memorabilia from Society events and of Society Merchandise for people to order.


21st September 2007 - Musical Evening
A celebration of the 70th anniversary of Dancers in Mourning was held in conjunction with the Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneidge Appreciation Society. The evening started with a meal, followed by readings by John Hines, Seona Ford and Barry Pike and songs from The Buffer, the show in the novel were sung by John Hines and Seona Ford to music composed by Maurice Bentley. The second part of the evening consisted of original recordings of some of the great stars of the time. Full report
Jasmine Simeone at the Wheaton convention
13th - 17th June 2007 - Wheaton Convention
The American Convention of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society took place at Wheaton College, Illinois. Seona Ford, Susan Peters and Jasmine Simeone gave talks in which Margery Allingham featured. The Autumn 2007 Bottle Street Gazette will have a full report and the text of Jasmine's talk.
Marge and Albert's Birthday Cake
Marge and Albert's
Birthday Cake
19th May 2007 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
The Society celebrated Marge and Albert's birthday with a lunch and a birthday cake. The guest speaker, Jonathan Gash, spoke of Lovejoy and of meeting Margery Allingham at parties thrown by Marge and Pip at D'Arcy House.
30th March 2007 - Allingham Archive at Essex University
A visit to the Albert Sloman library to see the Margery Allingham archive in its new home. The day started with lunch at the Wivenhoe House Hotel, then we walked across to the library to see the library and the archive. Barry Pike and Robert Butler, the Sloman's librarian, each gave a talk and we finished up with tea.


Pamela Bruxner, Chris Simpson, Jasmine Simeone and Jill Paton Walsh
22nd - 24th September 2006 - Cambridge Weekend
The weekend focussed on the 75th anniversary of Police at the Funeral, and the 70th anniversaries of Flowers for the Judge and The Shadow in the House (as Maxwell March). Speakers included Jill Paton Walsh, Michelle Spring, BJ Rahn, Catherine Cooke, Richard Cheffins, Christine Simpson, Barry Pike and Marianne van Hoeven and Richard Cheffins led a walk around Margery's Cambridge. Full account
Ann Cleeves and Barry Pike
Ann Cleeves & Barry Pike
20th May 2006 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
The Society celebrated Marge and Albert's birthday with a lunch and a birthday cake. Ann Cleeves cut the birthday cake and spoke about her novels, bird-watching on remote islands and her new novel, Raven Black.
Knot Garden, Museum of Garden History
Knot Garden,
Museum of Garden History
8th April 2006 - Margery and the Garden
The Museum of Garden History provided an apt location for a day dedicated to plants and flowers from Marge's life and novels. She was a keen gardener and her books contain many references to trees and flowers. Society members explored the museum and the knot garden. Lunch was taken at the musuem cafe. There was a talk about the history of the museum building (a deconsecrated church), the Tradescants and William Bligh of the Bounty mutiny. Barry Pike gave an illustrated talk on the use of plants and flowers in Marge's novels (illustrated transcript available here) and we had afternoon tea.


Popes Hall, Essex
Popes Hall, Essex
10th September 2005
Society members and descendants of Dicky Cheffins met for lunch at The Swan, Chappel, then explored Popes Hall, the model for The Beckoning Lady. There was tea with little pink cakes. We greatly appreciated Mr & Mrs Lockyer's hospitality and their kindness in allowing us to view their beautiful home and garden.
14th May 2005 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
Jessica Mann gave a fascinating talk on evacuees, discussing Margery's protrayals in The Oaken Heart and The China Governess and relating her own experiences as an evacuee.


Centenary birthday cake
birthday cake
2004 - Margery Allingham's Centenary
The centenary of Margery Allingham's birth was celebrated throughout the year with events such as the release of the festschrift Margery Allingham: 100 Years of a Great Mystery Writer; the unveiling of a plaque on the Allingham's London home; the Birthday Lunch; the exhibition of material from the archive at the Barbican, Bury St. Edmonds and Chelmsford; the Crime Scene walk around Bloomsbury and Piccadilly; the weekend convention and various talks. Full details.


Dustjacket of "Death of a Ghost" - designed by Philip Youngman Carter
Dustjacket by
Pip Youngman Carter
25th October 2003 - Tate Britain Gallery Visit
18 members joined the visit to Tate Britain on October 25th. Lunch in the restaurant, suitably surrounded by the splendid Rex Whistler murals, was followed by a tour of the 19th and 20th century galleries. John Sweetman's erudite and enjoyable commentary on the art of the Death of a Ghost period made the occasion memorable.
16th August 2003 - Little Venice Walk
2003 marks seventy years from the completion of Death of a Ghost, the novel about the art world that Margery Allingham set in Little Venice. The Society marked this with a fascinating walk around the area of London described in the novel, led by our topographical expert Richard Cheffins.
20th May 2003 - Annual Birthday Luncheon
Guest speaker Robert Barnard gave an entertaining talk. Robert Barnard was born and brought up in Essex and read English at Balliol. He taught English in the United Kingdom and overseas, returning to England in 1983 to write full time. He has written over thirty mysteries and is the recipient of many awards for crime fiction. He has also written on Dickens and on Agatha Christie, and is currently Chairman of the BrontŽ Society.


Dustjacket of Susan Rowland's book *From Agatha Christie to Ruth Rendell*
Agatha Christie
to Ruth Rendell

Susan Rowland
21st October 2002 - Literary talk at the University Women's Club.
Thirteen members and friends joined a further thirty members of the University Women's Club to hear Dr Susan Rowland of the University of Greenwich talk about her recent book on Queens of Crime - From Agatha Christie to Ruth Rendell (Palgrave, 2001). This was a very enjoyable occasion for which we thank Susan, whose erudition and enthusiasm for her subject clearly captured her audience. Everyone was made aware of the importance of Margery Allingham within the crime fiction genre, and of the existence of the Society.
Autumn 2002 weekend at Danbury Park.
Twenty members participated in this very successful two-day meeting at Danbury Park Conference Centre. Once again we were blessed with wonderful weather, which added greatly to the enjoyment of the occasion, and especially so our outing to the Mill at Chappel - scene of Sweet Danger - where we were able to see the scene of Albert Campion's first meeting with Amanda. The papers given at the weekend focused on this novel and added some new and surprising insights into what many of us may have regarded as very familiar territory.

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