I have met and through letters and e-mails have made many useful contacts that have remained with me throughout and through part of the campaign. Over the next few months I would like to give a mention to these individuals separately so that each one stands out from the next.
I am going to start with Alistair Duncan (pictured above).
Alistair has written several books entitled 'Close to Holmes', 'Eliminate the Impossible' and 'The Norwood Author'. As written previously he very kindly donated these books to the raffle that was held recently to raise an awareness of Undershaw. This prize was won by Mrs English. Photo directly above (to follow) shows me presenting Mrs English with the 3 books at the top of the driveway to Undershaw.
You can find a post on Alistair in the blog archive for May which gives you the details of his books and the link to his publishers website. If you enjoy your Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes then you will enjoy Alistair's books.
Before the decision was made to develop Undershaw, Alistair wrote a few paragraphs to insert into my blog.
"When Lynn first suggested to me the idea of a book on Undershaw I was sceptical. I had only recently completed my book 'The Norwood Author' and had been hoping to hang up my pen for a few months. However, Lynn's was not the only voice. An American Sherlockian contacted me via a website entitled 'Sherlockian Who's Who' (a global directory of Sherlockians) and suggested the very same idea. Despite this I was still sceptical.
Why was I sceptical? I guess it was because I felt that this part of Conan Doyle's life had been well covered. With my earlier book I was covering a period that had, to a large extent, been overlooked. I didn't feel the same was true for 1897-1907.
I finally became convinced when Guy Marriot, the president of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, added his voice to the chorus in May.
The book is now underway.
If I have one regret it is that my book will have nothing to do with the fate of this great house. By the time it is complete the house will have either been saved or developed (I use the term very loosely). However, in the event that it is saved I hope that my book will demonstrate why it was the right thing to do (although why there would be any doubt is beyond me). If, sadly, Undershaw has been vandalised (I can think of no other word) then my book will be able to show (I hope) what a disastrous and short-sighted decision it was.
So watch out for this new exciting book about Undershaw and Conan Doyle's life in Hindhead.
Thank you Alistair for your contribution.