Founded in 1951, the Society is open to anyone with an interest in Sherlock Holmes, Dr John H. Watson and their world. It is a literary and social Society, publishing a scholarly Journal and occasional papers, and holding meetings, dinners and excursions.
How it all began…
London , 1950. St Marylebone Borough Council was hard at work trying to decide how to celebrate the Festival of Britain the following year. The Public Libraries Committee suggested an exhibition about Sherlock Holmes. Others on the council were not impressed – 'is this character, associated with murky crime, the best we have to offer' someone demanded. Why not do something on slum clearance? Letters began appearing in The Times – from Dr Watson, Mycroft Holmes, Inspector Lestrade – seventeen of them in all. Some even said that they had some mementoes of Sherlock Holmes, and offered to lend them for exhibition. Bowed down by public opinion, the Council relented. A small group of enthusiasts got together to plan the exhibition. Eagerly they designed and collected – a Persian slipper for Holmes’s tobacco, a gasogene for Watson's soda, a jack-knife for Holmes to skewer his unanswered correspondence to the mantelpiece. On an upper floor of Abbey House, the Baker Street headquarters of Abbey National, a meticulously detailed recreation of the famous sitting room at 221B took shape. Fresh crumpets – bitten into by two different sets of teeth – were supplied every day by a local bakery. Over 54,000 people came to see it. It was a triumph.
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