Chairman’s Report 2012

Deceased members.

Over the last year we have lost a number of distinguished Sherlockians among them Mrs Pam Bruxner, Lady Pat Gore Booth, Mrs Eileen Holman and Herr Theo Wyler – all stalwarts to whom our Society owes a great debt.

The Diamond Jubilation May 2011.

Thanks go to all those who were responsible for running events in the course of our Jubilee celebrations. Hats off to Catherine Cooke for masterminding the challenging logistics of complex bookings. In particular I would also wish to record my thanks to David and to Audrey Jones for putting together our events at the House of Lords. Our sponsor Lord McGregor wrote a very gracious letter, in which he undertook to wear our Society tie. I would be interested to hear if anyone spots our tie worn around his Lordship’s neck. My thanks go to Ashley Mayo for chairing our post-AGM event; to Catherine Cooke for arranging our AGM & lunch at Simpsons; to Carrie Chandler for our day in Greenwich; to Guy Marriott and Helen Dorey for our London bus trip and afternoon tea; and to Laurence Owen for his hugely successful and original Hound Radio Play. Our Jubilee Celebrations were an unqualified success; and no one can dispute that the centrepiece which made it all worthwhile was the speech in the House of Lords from our Hon. & Founding Member, Freda Howlett.

Silver Blaze Wessex Cup 6th July 2011

Our Society’s Guests of Honour Ken and Nancy Ross as well as our guests Sir Peter O’Sullevan and Sean Magee greatly enjoyed their evening at the races with the Society. Many thanks to Bob Ellis for organising this special summer day out, which commands good support from our members.

Oxford Weekend, 2 – 4 September 2011

Many congratulations are due to Nick Utechin and to Guy Marriott, plus Kellie Takenaka, for their great achievement in organising one of the very best Society weekends I can recall. The venue selected, Trinity College, could not have taken more trouble to ensure a warm welcome and comfortable stay. I am delighted that, after hearing Nick and Guy debate the fundamental question of the ‘Contraversity’, the matter remains as unresolved and tangled as ever.

Richard Lancelyn Green Lecture 6th. October2011

Many congratulations to Sir Christopher Frayling for a wonderful talk unravelling the mysteries of the Hound and to Dr Auberon Redfearn, the Society’s unofficial poet laureate, for composing the libretto to our Jubilee Hymn which enjoyed its debut performance at the meeting.

Annual Dinner 7th January 2012 & Morning After.

What an outstanding weekend we enjoyed in January. The Dinner was amazing and Stephen Moffatt’s speech simply unforgettable. Our Hon. Member Nick Utechin also spoke with a focus that only he, with his broadcasting experience, could deliver. This was quickly followed on Sunday evening by a stunning episode of “Sherlock” – a magnificent beginning to the year. Richard Doyle’s comments will stand for those I received from so many – “I must say that the dinner in London was absolutely superb. The reality of the evening greatly surpassed any possible expectation I had.” Thank you to our Meetings Secretary, Catherine Cooke, for her faultless arrangements. Congratulations to Nick and to our former Chairman, Philip Porter, for bringing our Hon. Member Mr Douglas Wilmer’s name to public attention through the correspondence columns of “The Times”. I thought that this year’s Morning After was a fitting accompaniment to follow our Dinner, and all the arrangements worked well. Special thanks go to the editor of our Journal, Roger Johnson, for arranging our entertainment with Nicholas Biggs & Richard Earl, the Holmes & Watson team from “Big Finish” productions. Thanks also to Roger for arranging with Nicholas to make the CD recordings available to Society members at a wonderful discount.

Whaling Meeting March 2012

It was a considerable pleasure to welcome a great number of members – including many new members – to our March meeting, which proved to be one of the best & scholarly meetings I can recall. Many congratulations to Carrie Chandler for chairing the meeting and suggesting our wonderful speaker, Philip Hoare.

The Society’s DVD

My grateful thanks to all those involved in creating a wonderful recording of the Society’s doings over the last sixty years, and for the associated illustrated booklet – in alphabetical order, Lars Ahlner, Peter Horrocks, Roger Johnson, Albert Kunz, Heather, Kit & Lawrence Owen, Wayne Walker Allen & Ivy Warren. The project took shape whilst I was indisposed and I am truly most grateful to Bob Eliis, Calvert Markham & our President Guy Marriott for picking up the pieces and seeing it through.

The result is a magnificent finial upon our Jubilee escutcheon.

Christmas cards 2011.

Our splendid card was designed by our member, Ron Tiner, a professional illustrator, and sold by our merchandising officer, Bob Ellis and Ashley Mayo.

In closing my three-year term as Chairman, in addition to all those mentioned above I would especially like to thank our President, Guy Marriott, our Treasurer, Calvert Markham, our Membership Secretary, David Jones, our Webmaster, Jonnie Hough for their unfailing support and all those members of Council and of the Society who have made a contribution. It has been a huge privilege & a source of lasting pleasure for me to fulfil the Chairman’s role.

Jonathan McCafferty

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