Allingham features on BBC Radio Essex

BBC Radio Essex featured Margery Allingham and her book The Oaken Heart written about life in the village of Tolleshunt D’Arcy where Margery lived during the Second World War. The BBC Essex Quest included a clue which took the team to Margery’s house in the village where they met Julia Jones, author of the biography of Margery, The Adventures of Margery Allingham, and Francis Ponder (pictured below) who grew up in the village and knew Margery from his time there as a boy.

francis ponder

Click on the link below to listen to the programme. The Quest team meet Julia and Francis at approximately 1:28:30 into the programme. Their conversation lasts a little over ten minutes.

BBC Essex Quest

Julia will be speaking at the forthcoming Allingham Convention in April. For more information about the Convention and to book your place see the Events Page:

Events Page

For those who are interesting in reading Julia’s biography of Margery, it can be obtained from Amazon through the link below:




Allingham Archive talk at University of Essex

Sarah Demelo, Curator of the University Collections at the University of Essex, will be talking about Margery Allingham and the archive, which is long-term loan to the University from the Margery Allingham Society, as part of a one-day event on 9th  March. The festival, Snapping the Stiletto, is an Essex-wide women’s history project, led by Essex County Council.

For further information about the event generally and the Allingham talk in particular – and to book tickets, go to:

You can also find out about the event, and book tickets, on Facebook at:


Allingham Convention April 2019

The Margery Allingham Society is holding a Convention on the weekend of 12-14 April 2019.

There are still places available for the Convention to be held at the Holiday Inn in Colchester from 12-14 April 2019. The total cost for the Convention is £300. If you would like to book or have any questions, please contact Susan Cooper at:

The cost of £300 for the weekend includes:

– Dinner, bed and breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Colchester on Friday, 12th and Saturday 13th April
– Sandwich lunch on Saturday, 13th and Sunday 14th April
– Programme of talks, film etc from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon
– Visit on Saturday afternoon – we hope this will be to Tolleshunt Darcy but this is not yet confirmed

We are also organising an optional visit to the archive at the University in Colchester, holding Margery’s papers, during the afternoon of Friday, 12th April. There will be no charge for this visit but we do need to know numbers attending in advance. Again, contact Susan Cooper to secure your place:


The Margery Allingham Society, together with the Crime Writers’ Association, is once again running its annual competition for best unpublished short story. The main requirements are that entries meet Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”

The competition is open to all – both published and unpublished authors from all over the world – and is for short stories of up to 3,500 words.

The prize is £500 and two weekend passes for CRIMEFEST 2019.

Closing date: 28 February 2019, 6pm.

Georgia Wells and the theatre of 1938

Members of the Society gathered at the Concert Artistes Association facilities to mark the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Fashion in Shrouds.

In the delightfully evocative surroundings, with photos of the stars of yesteryear looking down, we heard Barry Pike give a lecture on Margery’s fictional great actress of the London stage, Georgia Wells, and her resemblance to the real life names of the era such as Flora Robson and Edith Evans, noting parallels between their personalities and careers and the fictional attributes of Margery’s creation.

Birthday Lunch 2018

The Society held its AGM at the University Women’s Club in London followed by lunch to celebrate the joint birthday of Margery and her creation Albert Campion.

Barry Pike

Mike Ripley introduced the guest speaker.

Ruth Dudley Edwards compared writing Golden Age detective fiction with writing modern crime thriller fiction. One change she highlighted was the effect of the Clean Air Act which has dramatically improved the air quality in London and reduced the instances of the notorious London fogs with consequent loss of opportunity for villains to disappear apparently without trace when hotly pursued through the smog.

Ruth, as honoured guest speaker, cut the birthday cake which was then enjoyed by all attendees.

Dates for your diary

The programme of events for 2018 and the first half of 2019 is now published on the Events page of the Society’s website.

20th October 2018. A Celebration of 30 years of the Society and 80 years since the publication of A Fashion in Shrouds. There will be a talk followed by lunch at the Concert Artistes Association, 20 Bedford Street London WC2E

1st December 2018. Winter Lunch. (Venue to be decided but will be central London)

12th to 14th April 2019 A Convention at the Holiday Inn, Colchester, located close to several key sites relating to Margery’s life and works. More details and booking to follow.

To reserve your place at any of these events, please contact Susan Cooper