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Canonical explorations in Kent

September 20 - September 22

This year for our Autumn weekend excursion we plan to visit the Kent coast. We will be staying in the Pegwell Bay Hotel overlooking the sea.

It is not only Basil Rathbone’s masterful presentation of the popular British musical hall song “Oh! I do like to be by the seaside!” in the 1939 film classic The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes that draws us to the sea. The county of Kent is extremely rich in Canonical references. Whereas in the past the Society had day trips to look at particular aspects of Sherlock Holmes in Kent (e.g. in 2005 to visit a candidate of Joshia Amberley’s home as reported in “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”), this year the Society invites members to spend an entire weekend in the popular seaside resort of Pegwell Bay near Ramsgate and explore nearby Broadstairs and Whitstable amongst other places.

The programme is being put together and we are planning presentations about possible locations of Birlstone Manor (The Valley of Fear) and to examine popular forms of entertainment in English seaside towns in Victorian times, inspired by the incident of the strong-man Leonardo, who drowned while bathing in Margate (“The Veiled Lodger”). Kent harbours were a gateway where many explorers started their journeys (for example Gravesend, mentioned in numerous Sherlock Holmes stories). We could also visit Quex Park, the home of the Victorian explorer Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton whose outstanding collection of natural history specimens and cultural objects, will allow us to shed light on explorers and “returning colonialists” in the Canon in more detail. We will pay a special tribute to Peter
Cushing, one of the most famous Sherlock Holmes on screen, who lived for many years in Whitstable and who is fondly remembered and honoured in the town and in the local museum. Another idea is a visit to the charming Charles Dickens museum in Broadstairs.
Our base for the weekend will be the Pegwell Bay Hotel on the outskirts of Ramsgate which has recently undergone refurbishments and offers unrivalled seaside views. The price will be about £300.00 per person (as usual there is no single supplement).

If you are interested please reserve the date to join this very first ever Society weekend at the seaside. Further details and a booking form will be included in the next mailing in April.


September 20
September 22
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