Monday, 9 November 2009

Sally Morgan Visits Undershaw

Friday 22nd May 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. On Thursday 21st May the house came alive again, albeit for a brief time, as it's doors were thrown open to a variety of supporters and to the media.

The pictures show Sally Morgan and Richard Doyle on the terrace of Undershaw discussing the book written by Georgina Doyle.

Journalists, broadcasters and fans of Conan Doyle converged on the crumbling property to help publicise an urgent appeal for funds needed to save a significant piece of literary heritage from the threat of property developers seeking to turn it into flats.

In response to a recent article, medium Sally Morgan made a specially scheduled visit to Undershaw to pledge her support for the fundraising campaign.

She spoke with journalists about her reasons for wanting to help save the historic property, saying that Undershaw and its breathtaking views should be saved for future generations, so that they could enjoy its atmosphere and the whole experience of Conan Doyle.

Just one day before the event, I managed to locate and contact Richard Doyle, great nephew of Sir Arthur. Poignantly, he made a last minute dash along the motorway to be there in time to pledge his support. He brought along a book entitled 'Out of the Shadows' written by Georgina Doyle, widow of Brigadier John Reinhold Innis Doyle, Richard's father. He and Sally discussed it at length, comparing the phtotographs within the book to the house as it stands today.

I received an e-mail from Richard Doyle, in which he wrote: "I believe we should respect the wishes of the local community, and I support the appeal to save Undershaw for the benefit of all".

Sally Morgan described her visit to Undershaw as "most exciting", but at the same time 'tinged with sadness to see how a once great house has fallen into such disrepair. She claimed she was able to sense the presence of a lady who would most definitely like to see the house retained as a single property, rather than being split up. "I knew Conan Doyle was looking down", Sally said. "What more could anyone ask?"
The day was magical. There was something in the air that gave it a very special feeling.

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