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I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere

Episode 148: Roger Johnson and Jean Upton

Burt Wolder: Support for this episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere is


made possible by the Wessex Press, the premier publisher of
books about Sherlock Holmes and his world. Find them online
at WessexPress.com. And the Baker Street Journal, the leading
publication of Sherlockian scholarship since 1946.
Subscriptions available at BakerStreetJournal.com

Scott Monty: I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, Episode 148. Roger Johnson


and Jean Upton.

Mycroft Holmes: I hear of Sherlock everywhere since you became his chronicler.

Narrator: In a world where it's always 1895, comes I Hear of Sherlock


Everywhere, a podcast of devotees of Mr. Sherlock Holmes,
the world's first unofficial consulting detective.

Dr. Roylott: I've heard of you before. You're Holmes the meddler, Holmes
the busybody, Holmes the Scotland Yard jack in office.

Narrator: The game's afoot as we discuss goings on in the world of


Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, the Baker Street Irregulars and
popular culture related to the great detective.
Dr. Watson: As we go to press, sensational developments have been
reported.

Narrator: So join your hosts, Scott Monty and Burt Wolder, as they talk
about what's new in the world of Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes: You couldn't have come at a better time.

Scott Monty: Well, greetings and salivations fellow ... Oh, no. Greetings and
salutations. That's how it goes. Welcome to I Hear of Sherlock
Everywhere, the first podcast for Sherlock Holmes devotees
where it's always 1895. I'm Scott Monty.

Burt Wolder: I'm Burt Wolder.

Scott Monty: And we are drooling at the prospect of welcoming our guests
to the program today but before we get to that, how are you,
Burt?

Burt Wolder: I am okay. How are you?

Scott Monty: I'm just-

Burt Wolder: How are you?

Scott Monty: I'm satisfactory I think is as it will go.

Burt Wolder: Well, Nero Wolfe thought satisfactory was the highest
compliment and praise that he could offer.

Scott Monty: Well, I think that's fairly accurate. I like that. I like that.
Satisfactory and just jim-dandy.

Burt Wolder: Satisfactory, jim-dandy, old factory. All kinds of factories.

Scott Monty: Don't shut that factory down. Well, we have a wonderful show
lined up for you today. Of course, you can find show notes at
ihose.co/ihose148. That's ihose.co/ihose148, all lowercase.
Our handle on the socials is "ihearofsherlock". You can find us
at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, those places where we
will post images and links and obviously, links to the show
when it is published. Just a reminder, if you can, subscribe to
us wherever you're listening to us right now, whether it's our
website or a podcast player. Make sure you're subscribed so
you don't miss an update and most importantly, share this
with someone you love. Share it with a Sherlockian, share it
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could benefit from learning about what's going on in the world
of Sherlock Holmes.

Burt Wolder: Yes. Share it and for goodness' sake, also give us a call. Let us
hear your voice. Let us know what's on your mind. Have a hand
in shaping our content, the shape of these programs. Contact
us. You can do it any number of ways. You can call us at 774-
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comment at ihearofsherlock.com. You can find us on
Facebook. You can find us on Instagram. You can find us on
Twitter. We're all, "ihearofsherlock". And that rug that's in the
guest room there, just to the right of where you're listening to
this, we're actually under there as well. So you can just find us
everywhere you're expecting us and some places you're not.

Scott Monty: I didn't know we were under that rug.

Burt Wolder: Yeah.

Scott Monty: ... Wow. It was hard to breathe.

Burt Wolder: Yeah. And by the way, you folks need to step up your
vacuuming. I mean, come on.

Scott Monty: Yeah. I'll tell you, the dust bunnies were fierce. Well, you know
what is also fierce but in a good way?

Burt Wolder: I can't imagine.

Scott Monty: Our friends at Wessex Press.


Burt Wolder: In the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, July is hay
[manuf 00:05:01], the time when we mow and make our hay
harvest. We cool off by turning to Sherlock Holmes and Conan
Doyle in the Newspapers, volume three, edited by Mattias
Boström and Matt Laffey. These newly discovered stories for
the last six months of 1893 show Conan Doyle the celebrated
author, lecturing on English literature and they report the
presumed death of Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls.
Get your copy right now at our WessexPress.com. Then came
hot July, boiling like to fire, that all his garments he had cast
away. Upon a lion raging yet with ire, he boldly rode and made
him to obey. Cool your summer reading with a new book from
the Wessex Press. Choose yours today.

Scott Monty: But we are pleased to welcome two icons of the Sherlockian
Holmesian world. Of course, they are Roger Johnson and Jean
Upton. We have had Sherlockian couples on before. We've had
Al and Julie Rosenbatt on episode 103, we have had Tyke and
Teddie Niver on episode 126 and this is a further installment in
that series. This is really another member ... Another two
members of the Florin Society. The Florin Society, of course, is
not official but it is just kind of tongue in cheek. It is when two
members of the Baker Street Journal happen to be ... Excuse
me. Two members of the Baker Street Irregulars who each
hold a shilling, happen to be married. And when you get two
shillings, that is a florin.

Scott Monty: And in this case, we have Roger Johnson who received his
investiture in 1991 is The Pall Mall Gazette and his then
American wife, Jean Upton who received her investiture in
2000 as Elsie Cubitt. Highly appropriate since Elsie Cubitt was
from Chicago and left the United States to marry Hilton Cubitt
in England in "The Adventure of the Dancing Men". So highly
appropriate there. Roger and Jean are both stalwarts of the
Sherlock Holmes Society of London about which we're going to
talk with them and want to talk about their unique
backgrounds, how they met and more importantly, how they
get access to the inside of the sitting room at the Sherlock
Holmes pub. Roger and Jean, welcome to the program.

Roger Johnson: Well, thank you very much.

Jean Upton: Hiya, thank you.

Scott Monty: Well, it's delightful to have both of you on here. And I suppose
we will begin where we begin with all of our guests and ask
you how, and when, and where did you first meet Sherlock
Holmes?

Jean Upton: Well, in terms of my first introduction to Sherlock Holmes, it


was probably through the Basil Rathbone films being shown on
television. And then when I was six, I started reading the
stories for the first time. I had been stuck in bed and in my
bedroom for God knows how long because I happened to
catch every possible childhood disease, one right after the
other, so I didn't have anybody to play with. My mother
couldn't have cared less. I read every child's book that we had
in the house and then started on the other stuff, and the first
one happened to be Sherlock Holmes.

Scott Monty: Wow. Well, that sounds like perfect conditions under which a
small child can make these discoveries. Unfortunate as it was.

Jean Upton: Well, yeah. And I was fortunate in that I learned to read when I
was about three and a half or four, so I was able to read well
enough to understand most of the words in the original Conan
Doyle stories. And what I didn't understand, I could look up in
the dictionary.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Burt Wolder: So Jean, so roughly how old were you then? You're not reading
this at four and five years old.

Jean Upton: No. I was reading the Sherlock Holmes stories at six.
Burt Wolder: Six, wow.

Jean Upton: Yeah.

Burt Wolder: You may be ... Among all the people we've interviewed, you
may be the earliest discoverer of Sherlock Holmes.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Jean Upton: Oh, really?

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Burt Wolder: What else? What else were you reading? You said you sort of
read all the childhood books and what else made an
impression on you then?

Jean Upton: I was reading Kipling. There were a lot of British children's
books in our house because one of my great uncles was British
and I had an older brother and sister, so these were books that
would've been given to them that I discovered. So I discovered
Mary Poppins probably a decade before other people did. And
I'm trying to think what else we had. Marguerite de Angeli was
another one. She happened to be a friend of my
grandmother's. And the name might not be familiar to you but
if you look her up on Google, she happened to live in the town
next to us oddly enough.

Scott Monty: Where was there, Jean?

Jean Upton: I grew up in Wyncote, Pennsylvania.

Scott Monty: Okay.

Jean Upton: And oddly enough, I grew up in a house where Christopher


Morley had lived.

Scott Monty: Oh, really?

Burt Wolder: Really?


Jean Upton: Yeah. He was renting the house for a couple of years with his
family while he was waiting for his own house to be built about
a block and a half away. It was right next to the Jenkintown
Wyncote train station, so he was able to commute into
Philadelphia where he was working at the time.

Scott Monty: Now, did you happen to find any Morley family artifacts in the
walls or anything like that?

Jean Upton: No. No, no. I wish we had.

Burt Wolder: How did you find that out?

Jean Upton: The real estate agent who sold my parents the house knew of
it and Steve Rothman was able to confirm it because he came
across some correspondence with the address on it.

Burt Wolder: Well, I'll be darned. That's really amazing.

Jean Upton: Yeah. And what's rather nice is when Roger received his
investiture in the BSI, it was given to him in that house.

Scott Monty: How did that work?

Jean Upton: Well, Roger had come over for Christmas to meet my family
when we first got engaged and I think Tom Stix was still
recovering from surgery, so Bob Thomalen presented it to
Roger at the house because Roger wasn't going to be able to
stay long enough to attend the BSI dinner.

Scott Monty: Oh.

Burt Wolder: Oh, that's fabulous.

Jean Upton: Yeah, so ... Nice, unique way to receive the investiture.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Roger Johnson: Yeah. I just want to add to that that the fact that my
investiture was given to me in December meant that I just
scrapped into the class of 1991 along with the first women to
be invested with all rights and privileges, which was rather
nice.

Scott Monty: Good company to keep.

Roger Johnson: Absolutely.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Roger Johnson: And the day after the party, Jean drove us up to Norwood,
New Jersey where we had dinner with Tom and Dorothy Stix.

Scott Monty: That's lovely.

Roger Johnson: And I'm so glad she was driving. I could not have coped.

Scott Monty: Well, Roger, tell us about how you first met Sherlock Holmes.

Roger Johnson: I don't honestly remember. I seem to have been aware of


Sherlock Holmes all my life, but I suppose it was the image that
I was aware of. The deerstalker, the pipe, the magnifying glass
and inevitably, "Elementary, my dear Watson." I think the first
I became aware of the stories was not on television or on film
but on the radio because I grew up with the series on BBC
Radio with Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley. And for a very
long time, theirs were the voices that I heard in my mind every
time I read one of the stories. The first of the books I read was
probably "The Hound of the Baskervilles". The older I get, the
less certain I am that it was that one but I think it was. And I
would've been, I don't know, 9 or 10 I guess. Certainly older
than Jean was when she first read stories from the canon. I do
remember that the hound gave me a nightmare and I was so
gripped that I wanted to carry on reading the next day.

Scott Monty: Well, that's true dedication. No doubt.

Roger Johnson: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, it's the sign of a damn good
storyteller.
Scott Monty: It sure is. It sure is.

Burt Wolder: And at that point, did you go through the rest of the stories?
How sticky was that "Hound of the Baskervilles" experience for
you?

Roger Johnson: I'm not sure when I decided I wanted to read all the rest of it.
Certainly, I was really hooked by my mid-teens. And I knew
about the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, but I thought,
"Well, these people are adults, and they're obviously deeply
intelligent and educated, and I'm not going to fit in." But, I was
a joiner. I joined various clubs and societies. Let me see. A
slightly roundabout story here.

Roger Johnson: One of my favorite writers was and to an extent still is H.P.
Lovecraft and I read all I could of Lovecraft. And I discovered
through my researches and through knowing about Arkham
House and August Derleth, I discovered Solar Pons the
Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street. And I discovered that there
was a Solar Pons Society, the Praed Street Irregulars. And I got
that from Arkham House Catalog which was issued by the
European agent, nice guy called Ken Chapman down in South
London. I used to buy books from him and have them
delivered to my school because I didn't want my parents to
know how much I was spending on books. Yeah. And from the
catalog, I learned of the Praed Street Irregulars and I wrote to
the man in charge, Luther L. Norris of-

Burt Wolder: Oh my goodness.

Roger Johnson: ... Culver City, California. Yeah.

Burt Wolder: Yeah. Luther, yeah.

Roger Johnson: Yeah. Sadly, I never got to meet him. We were going to meet
when he was on a European tour with his wife but, very sadly,
she died in Rome. And of course, he cut the vacation short,
went back to America. We continued corresponding until he
died and I regard as in many ways, the best friend I never met.
He persuaded four of his Pontian, Sherlockian friends to write
to me. Two of them — God bless them — are dead now, Ted
Schulz and John Bennett Shaw, but the other two are still very
much around and we are still very good friends, Peter Blau and
Jon Lellenberg.

Burt Wolder: Oh, very good.

Roger Johnson: So my first contact with the Sherlockian world came about in a
rather roundabout manner and through Americans, so I've
always had this American connection.

Burt Wolder: Well, now let me-

Roger Johnson: I ... Yeah, sorry.

Burt Wolder: Let me ask you a question. You said a few minutes ago that
you remember reading "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and
your experience of reading "The Hound" gave you a nightmare.

Roger Johnson: Oh, yeah.

Burt Wolder: And then you've described your fascination with H.P.
Lovecraft, so didn't Lovecraft, which is much darker and scarier
and mysterious...

Roger Johnson: I was a little older when I discovered Lovecraft. I got into ghost
stories and supernatural horror, and I'm still very much
interested in that. So I've written, what? About 30 stories
myself which have been published, but I've done nothing in
that line for quite a few years now. I've had stories picked for
the year's best horror stories and best new horror. And yeah,
for a comparatively small output, I'm rather pleased with the
result.

Burt Wolder: And-

Roger Johnson: It's never going to make me money, but ...


Burt Wolder: And so how did you find ... So there you are, corresponding
with people in America, finding connections between Holmes
and Solar Pons and H.P. Lovecraft and all these common
interests and thinking that there they are, the good and the
great in the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. So when did
you first connect to the Sherlock Holmes Society of London?
How did that come about?

Roger Johnson: Well, I realized that Luther was a member. And now if I'd been
really savvy, I would have looked in the London telephone
directory. It never occurred to me that the society would be
listed in there. But I asked Luther and he gave me what turned
out to be Lord Donegall's office address.

Burt Wolder: Oh, goodness.

Roger Johnson: The editorial office address and his secretary, Cecilia Freeman
put me onto Margaret Gunn who was then the membership
secretary and from there, well, never looked back, except in
nostalgia.

Burt Wolder: Wow, that's wonderful. So how old were you when that
happened roughly? Were you still in your teens?

Roger Johnson: No, no. It was 1968, so I would have been 20, coming up to 21.
It was all the press and media attention that the first trip to
Switzerland attracted and I thought this looked such great fun,
I just have to try and join the society. And that was what
stimulated my ... It stiffened my resolve. Stiffen up the sinews,
summon up the blood and all the rest of it.

Burt Wolder: Do you remember your first meeting?

Roger Johnson: I can't remember what it was about but I remember that one
of the first people I met was Michael Hardwick. I was ... Let's
see. Yes, I just sprained my ankle. Stupid. The only time it's
ever happened to me, I'm glad to say. I just moved into a new
flat as a student sharing a flat and in the dark, I fell downstairs,
so I was hobbling when I got to the meeting. But what that
particular one was about? No, I'm afraid I can't remember. I
could tell you exactly where it was. It was our regular meeting
place which was the Royal Commonwealth Society, very close
to the Sherlock Holmes pub.

Scott Monty: Nice.

Roger Johnson: Yeah.

Scott Monty: Now, you didn't happen to accompany the group that time
around to Switzerland did you?

Roger Johnson: No, no. That was ... It was the all the reports of the trip to
Switzerland.

Scott Monty: Oh, I see.

Roger Johnson: No, my-

Scott Monty: It's afterwards.

Roger Johnson: My first overseas trip with the society was 10 years later, the
second Swiss pilgrimage.

Scott Monty: So Jean, we've heard an awful lot here from Roger about the
people that he's met, the societies that he discovered, in
particular the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, but what
about you? When did you first discover this world of Sherlock
Holmes beyond books that involved these strange and
fascinating and similar people?

Jean Upton: Well, I probably first was aware of various societies and groups
in the 1960s. In the '70s, I would have liked to have gotten
involved, but I had the misfortune to be married initially to
someone who didn't like anything that took attention away
from him, and he threw out all of my books.

Scott Monty: Oh, no.

Jean Upton: Oh, yeah.


Burt Wolder: Good grief.

Jean Upton: But needless to say, that marriage ended and-

Scott Monty: Good for you.

Jean Upton: ... I moved out to Los Angeles for five years, tried to hook up
with Sean Wright's group out there. But despite writing to him
several times, answer came there none. So it really wasn't until
I returned to the East Coast in the 1980s that I started hooking
up with some of the local groups and then also joined the
Sherlock Holmes Society of London around 1986 or '87. And
then my first meeting with the Sherlock Holmes Society
happened to be also my first visit to the UK, which was in
December 1987 when the society was visiting the Granada
Studios in Manchester when the Jeremy Brett series was still
being filmed.

Scott Monty: Wow.

Jean Upton: Yeah. Good first meeting.

Scott Monty: Yeah, not bad. Not bad.

Jean Upton: And it was a bit bizarre too. It was only about six weeks after
my father had died, so I was not in the best of shape anyway.
The jet lag. Showed up at the studios. And when they
discovered that I had traveled all the way from the United
States, the Granada promotions team really went to work on
me. And I was photographed with Jeremy Brett and the other
members of the cast, and then taken away to be interviewed
with Jeremy, and led around basically by the scruff of the neck,
and discovered a couple of years later that all of this was used
to promote the Granada Studios Tour. Nobody bothered to tell
me this. I discovered this by way of Peter Blau who sent me a
photocopy of a press clipping with my photographs in it. Yeah.

Scott Monty: Well, that worked out pretty well then. Didn't it?
Jean Upton: Yeah.

Burt Wolder: So what are your memories of that? That is just extraordinary.
There you are, jet lagged, having suffered this loss in the
center of attention. What were your impressions of Brett and
the operation, and anything surprised you? You must have
gotten a lot of impressions.

Jean Upton: Everyone was very nice, but it was all a bit of a blur. One good
thing came out of it because I had sort of been hauled off to
the side with the photographers and everything, by the time
we got back to the interior set, the rest of the society had gone
over to where there was a reception that afternoon and so I
had the whole place to myself to take a lot of detailed
photographs. And many, many years later, when most of the
set had been sold to the Granada Studios Tour and they
wanted to film another series, in order to reconstruct the set,
my photographs were used because nobody else apparently
had ever bothered to take any, which I think is very strange but
there you are.

Burt Wolder: It's funny. I imagine if you're in production, you would think
that the set designers and the decorators would have taken
photos. But if you're busy recording the movements of actors
across all these scenes and so on, I imagine it probably doesn't
occur to you to take special precautions.

Jean Upton: Well, I don't think they really ever expected it to be such the
phenomena that it was. But they could have either sat and
watched through hours and hours of video, taking notes or
everything was there in a plain photograph for reference,
which enabled them to match up a lot of things and beg,
borrow and steal others.

Burt Wolder: Well, at some point, we should turn our conversation with you
and Roger to another great stage set of Sherlock Holmes,
which is the exhibition from the Festival of Britain, the
elements of which you and Roger had been maintaining at the
Sherlock Holmes pub for a very long while.

Jean Upton: Yeah, yeah. Well, there's great-

Burt Wolder: So you have unique experience in various major settings of the
Baker Street saga.

Jean Upton: Well, the funny thing about the pub is I remember when I was
quite young and it must have been about the time that the pub
had reopened as the Sherlock Holmes. A friend of my mother's
used to subscribe to a lot of magazines and one of them had
photographs of the sitting room. And I remember seeing those
and I would have been, I guess, about six or seven at the time?
Can't recall.

Roger Johnson: Younger.

Jean Upton: Younger, Roger says. But I remember looking at them and
thinking to myself, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to go
and see that some time?" And of course, it was decades later
that I finally got to the UK and went to the pub and went to
see it and I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to get
inside there sometime?" And then after we were married, it
was before I was able to work legally, I went up to London one
day and had lunch there and I looked into the study and I was
thinking, "That looks in really bad shape." And I discovered
from talking to the managers, there had been an overhead
leak from either a washing machine or a dishwasher that had
gone through the ceiling and had caused a fair bit of water
damage, and stuff was dusty, and it was just in bad condition.
So I said to them, "Look. I'm associated with the Sherlock
Holmes Society who are the people who put together this
exhibition in the first place. Would you allow me to go in there
and sort it out for you?" So that's how it all began.

Scott Monty: That's fascinating. When you go in there though, do they paper
over the windows so people don't see the scene marred by a
modern human being or-
Jean Upton: Well, no.

Scott Monty: ... are you in the full view of everyone?

Jean Upton: Because when I first started doing it, it was in the days when
pubs closed for several hours in the afternoon because of the
licensing laws at the time, so I was able to go in there when no
members of the public were there and just roll up my shirt
sleeves and really get down and dirty with it. And then what
we've discovered in later years, Roger and I will go in there
quite often when people are having lunch and the people are
vastly entertained to see what we're doing, so it's never really
been a problem.

Scott Monty: Sure. Have you found anything in the sitting room that
surprised you or that you perhaps didn't know was there
before because it was obscured from sight?

Jean Upton: The weird thing is the stuff that's actually been stolen from
there.

Scott Monty: Oh, no.

Jean Upton: Because unfortunately, previous managers over the years


would rather indiscriminately let members of the public in
there to take photographs and I think brass knuckles
disappeared. We had to actually replace the boxing gloves.
How somebody managed to steal them and why they stole
them, we still have no idea. But one item that really bugged us
to lose, which was present when we first started looking after
the room but then disappeared one day, there was a
hypodermic case which was either silver or stainless steel that
had been engraved to reproduce Arthur Conan Doyle's
signature on it.

Scott Monty: Oh, wow.

Jean Upton: Yeah, and that went. And again, we have no idea how or
where or when. We think we know possibly how but we're not
absolutely certain. I'm trying to think ... We have found odd
little scraps of paper, notations as to where things were
purchased for the exhibition and we've, of course, added a lot
of stuff in there because things have been damaged over the
years. But I think at this stage, Roger and I know the contents
of that room as well as we know the contents of our own
house.

Scott Monty: Oh, that's great. Now, when did you and Roger first meet?

Jean Upton: Well, Roger was on that trip in 1987 to Manchester but we
never actually met. We're in a photograph today, separated by
one person who was Tony Howlett. And it wasn't until 1989
when the society went to Cambridge that we finally met. I had
been subscribing to the District Messenger, so we were
corresponding, but that was the first time we were actually
introduced to each other.

Burt Wolder: Roger, what ... So Jean mentioned that the four of you had
actually met. She had subscribed to the District Messenger and
so on. Could you tell our listeners a little bit about the early
history of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and how the
District Messenger came about?

Roger Johnson: Well, the early history of the society, it goes back to 1951
when there was a ... Let me see. There was the Festival of
Britain, which the government had decided after ... It was a
period of austerity after the Second World War and the
government decided that we really need what they called a
tonic to the nation. There's not much physically left now of the
Festival of Britain, but it was a big thing. The main survivor I
suppose is the Royal Festival Hall just over the river actually
from Charing Cross Station. Very close in fact to the Sherlock
Holmes pub.

Roger Johnson: The Borough of St Marylebone which doesn't exist any longer,
it's been subsumed into the city of Westminster, the borough
councilors like all the local authorities in the country decided
they were going to contribute to the festival. They would put
on their own events and displays. And they thought the
appropriate thing was an exhibition about slum clearance and
this idea attracted quite a lot of criticism, especially in the
newspapers and it began with a letter supposedly written by
one Dr. Watson. And there were followed letters from Mrs.
Hudson, from Inspector Lestrade and even one, absolutely
genuine, from the actor, Arthur Wontner. All of them, of
course, saying, "Marylebone, The most famous resident of
Marylebone, Sherlock Holmes. Why not do an exhibition about
Sherlock Holmes?" The council hummed and hawed for a little
bit, and they said, "Yeah, all right." So the exhibition was put
on.

Roger Johnson: It was organized by the borough library, the borough reference
librarian, a man called Jack Thorne. He was the mastermind. It
was housed at the building that occupied the fight of the only
house that has ever legitimately borne the address, 221 Baker
Street. That was an office block called Abbey House, home of
the Abbey National Building Society who since the 1930s, had
employed someone on their staff to reply to all the letters that
were addressed to Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street. They
knew it would be great publicity for them, the borough council
knew it would be great publicity and the exhibition was laid on
and it was a huge success. Material was borrowed from the
Doyles, from the Pagets and from all sorts of other people.
Items were donated. Items were occasionally bought for the
exhibition. As I say, great success that included the full-scale
reproduction of the sitting room at 221B.

Roger Johnson: The people who actually worked on putting the thing together
included, let me see, four volunteers from outside. Professor
Bill Williams, Mr. Colin Prestige, Mr. Anthony D. Howlett and
Mrs. Alfrieda ... Sorry. Ms. Alfrieda Pearce as she was then,
who was the assistant to Jack Thorne and the library service. A
little over a year later, Tony Howlett and Frieda Pearce were
married and Frieda Howlett as she now is, is the last survivor of
the original, the founders of the Sherlock Holmes Society of
London because they-

Jean Upton: She'll be 100.

Roger Johnson: And she will be 100 years old in September.

Burt Wolder: Oh my goodness.

Scott Monty: God bless.

Roger Johnson: Yup. After a day's hard work putting the exhibition together,
they went to a nearby pub called Allen's Bar and over a
refreshing glass or several, decided it was time that Britain had
another Sherlock Holmes Society. There'd been one before the
war as you probably know, whose inaugural meeting was held
the day after the inaugural meeting of the Baker Street
Irregulars. And one of the founder members of the Sherlock
Holmes Society as it was called, brought a message of greeting
from his brother. The brother being Christopher Morley and
the man in question being his brother, Frank who was living
and working in England. He was in publishing and at one stage,
he shared an office with T.S. Eliot. But getting back to the
Sherlock Holmes Society, it flourished from the beginning.
Numbers grew. A year after the inaugural meeting, the
Sherlock Holmes Journal was established and come 1957,
Whitbread the brewers who had ... They'd become rather fond
of the idea of what they called feature inns, what we now tend
to call themed pubs, and they thought it was time for a
Sherlock Holmes pub.

Roger Johnson: And they owned this rather nice one just close to Trafalgar
Square and Charing Cross Station, called the Northumberland
Arms. It had formerly been the Northumberland Hotel. And
thought it ideal if there was a Sherlock Holmes pub, so they
bought a fair amount of the material that hadn't been claimed
one way or another from the Sherlock Holmes exhibition of
'51. They got Jack Thorne in again to supervise the exhibits
around and he brought in Michael Waite, the stage designer
who had designed the 221B sitting room at the exhibition at
Abbey House. And the room at the pub ... I suppose it's what?
About a third of the size of the original, but it has all the
important features and it's very little changed really from what
people would have seen in 1957. But the Sherlock Holmes
Society of London has had a connection with the pub really
since the beginning. Not just through the exhibition, the fact
that they both have their origin in a way in the 1951 exhibition,
but we've discovered photographs from the official opening of
the pub at which the society's president, S.C. Roberts, the
editor of the Sherlock Holmes Journal, Lord Donegall, and
group officer, Jean Conan Doyle, and her sister-in-law, Anna,
they're all there, all in the pub and celebrating the official
opening. So yeah, the society and the pub share a history.

Roger Johnson: Now, you asked about the District Messenger. Well, the
journal appears only twice a year, half as often as the Baker
Street Journal and it's not the ideal means of informing people
about, say, plays. That was the original purpose of a
newsletter, which we originally called the Grapevine Service
because we couldn't think of a better name for it. And then
one of our members, Tony Medawar, had the bright idea of
calling it the District Messenger, which is an excellent name I
think. I volunteered to write it and distribute it which
originally, of course, was all type written on a manual
typewriter, then photocopied and all sent out by post. And it
grew, and it grew. And after 32 years, I passed it over to
another of our members and Jean took it over a few years ago.
And nearly all the subscribers, of course, receive it now by
email and it's also posted on the society's website. There's an
entire archive on there and it covers a great deal more than
plays and just about ... Because I have ... Peter knows this very
well, of course, but we have taken inspiration from Scuttlebutt.
Of course, we have. Scuttlebutt is the father and mother of
Sherlockian newsletters.

Scott Monty: Now, how often does the District Messenger come out?
Roger Johnson: In my time, it was always irregular. That was a given. Jean has
established it as a monthly.

Scott Monty: And if folks would like to ... Obviously, if they want to take a
look at it, they can go to the Sherlock Holmes Society of
London website. We'll have a link in the show notes. But, how
can they sign up to get it by email?

Roger Johnson: Well, if they go to the society's website and they look at it, at
the top of each issue in fact, they will find Jean's address and
email address, district.messenger@yahoo.com.

Scott Monty: Like all these things, an undertaking of love.

Roger Johnson: Well, it is but so is what you're doing.

Scott Monty: Well, it's love and hate for us.

Roger Johnson: Yeah. Oh. One gets frustrated of course, but that's must be
true of all. Everything you do for love, it goes with being a true
amateur and after all, that's what amateur means.

Burt Wolder: Yeah, that's exactly right. Well, it's wonderful the themes of all
of this. You mentioned S.C. Roberts who in addition to
everything else was one of the great early writers about
Sherlock Holmes and among the first to collect information,
essays, insights, speculations into books. So this goes back
decades, and decades, and decades to Father Knox and others.
And publishing and sharing when you have these enthusiasms
and ideas and things spark you, it becomes very convivial,
writing things down and publishing. But the wonderful
distinctive thing about the Sherlock Holmes Society of London
where among the many wonderful distinctive things about the
society which we haven't even talked about, we talked briefly
about the trips to Switzerland, but there are so many other
things like the summer cricket match. I've been a member for
decades and when I lived in ... I've only attended probably a
handful of meetings over the years when I've actually been in
England.
Scott Monty: We're just going to pause for a moment. When we get back to
Burt's line of questioning, we'll get into the digital aspect of the
Sherlock Holmes Society of London.

Scott Monty: The Baker Street Journal continues to be the leading


Sherlockian publication since its founding in 1946 by Edgar W.
Smith. With both serious scholarship and articles that play the
game, the journal is essential reading for really anyone who's
interested in Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a
world where it's always 1895. We're about halfway through
2018 right now and yet it's still not too late to get your
subscription to the Baker Street Journal. If you haven't visited
the BakerStreetJournal.com site lately, you may have missed
some of the contents there. Contents of both the summer
2018 issue as well as news and other publications by the BSI
Press. Publications like "Trenches: The War Service of Sherlock
Holmes", "Mobile Holmes: Transportation in the Sherlockian
Canon", and of course, "Dancing to Death" as a part of the BSI
manuscript series. You can check all of this out and more on
BakerStreetJournal.com and get yourself caught up with
Sherlockian scholarship today.

Burt Wolder: Among the distinctive things about the society is the website.
Compared to other Sherlockian groups, the Baker Street
Irregulars included, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London has
always had a lovely website and merchandise available for
purchase by members and so on. How did the society's
adoption of digital technology and a web presence come
about?

Roger Johnson: Yeah. That's one of those good questions that I can't really give
you an answer to. We had someone who was a bit of an expert
in that line, Calvin's son who set up the website. Yes. We've
been lucky to have a couple of people who had expertise in
that way and the one was the son of our former treasurer,
Charles Marcum. His father, Calvin, is still very much present in
the society. And our current webmaster, Jonny Hough is
excellent and he's a member of the society himself. He attends
meetings, he knows what gives. He is so helpful and so
encouraging. I do a certain amount of posting information on
the website and I would never have had the slightest idea of
how to go about that had it not been for Jonny's encouraging
tuition. As an old man, I am happy to learn from young men,
from young people and yeah, you learn to do things that you
never thought you would.

Scott Monty: Now, at a certain point, Roger, you took on the editorship of
the Sherlock Holmes Journal which is the official publication of
the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. Again, membership is
open to anyone. If you go to the website, you're greeted with
options based on geography, based on level of participation
and every member gets a subscription to the journal as part of
their membership.

Roger Johnson: That's right.

Scott Monty: So how did you fall into the editorship there and what kind of
professional or even amateur qualifications did you have at the
time?

Roger Johnson: Amateur is about right. Nick Utechin is the longest-serving


editor. 30 years he did. He was remarkably young when he
began, but he had ... As co-editor, you have to remember that
editorship ... Start that again. Editorship of the Sherlock
Holmes Journal is actually a joint affair. There's the person who
chooses the content and edits the content, which is what I do,
and the person who attends to the layout and deals with what
you might call the practical side of it, also deals with the
printers and the distributors. In my case, that's Heather Owen
who has been doing the job for more than 40 years, which is
startling, and she's the unsung heroine. She learned her trade
from Patsy Dalton. Patsy was a professional editrix and
journalist, Fleet Street. She was married to actually one of the
first of the editors of the Sherlock Holmes Journal, Philip
Dalton, who he was a journalist but he spent most of his career
in the PR department at Scotland Yard. James Edward Holroyd
who was his partner as the original two editors of the journals,
he was a professional journalist himself and the writer of the
first letter to the Times saying, "We want a Sherlock Holmes
exhibition" in 1951. So we have had professionals doing the
journal and as far as I'm concerned, thank goodness digital
technology has made it a damn fight easier for amateurs like
me to do some of the work.

Scott Monty: Well that's great. Well, between diving in and participating in
some of these and as you said before Roger, learning from the
younger generation coming along, this is fascinating to hear.
Because we run into our share of Luddites in Sherlockian
circles who have no inclination toward getting themselves up
to speed technologically, so it's encouraging to hear that there
are still some curious minds out there with regard to
modernization.

Roger Johnson: Don't misuse the word, "Luddites".

Scott Monty: Well ...

Roger Johnson: People who aren't interested are not necessarily Luddites.
Luddites were the people who smashed up machinery. Yeah.

Scott Monty: Well, verbally.

Roger Johnson: I don't think we've got too many of them in the Sherlockian
world.

Scott Monty: Yeah. They're verbal Luddites. Let's put it that way.

Roger Johnson: Yeah, okay. I was very lucky in my job. I was a librarian in
public libraries for many years and I remember at one stage
saying, "If I wanted to work with computers, I'd have trained to
work with computers." But of course, computers became an
inevitable part of my job and I am more grateful than I can say
to my employers, Essex County Council, for insisting that we all
underwent training to use computers.
Scott Monty: Sure.

Roger Johnson: Somewhere, I still have it. It seems ... It's an absurd title but I
have the European Computer Driving license.

Scott Monty: How does ...

Roger Johnson: And heaven knows who came up with that title.

Burt Wolder: Well, now wait. Now, just wait a minute, Roger. You say you
have the European Driving License for this. So when you are
doing that, are you doing it on the right side of the road or the
left side?

Scott Monty: Sounds like a hard drive to me.

Roger Johnson: God knows who came up with that name. It's a silly term, but it
was a good training course. Very good. I was very lucky with
my tutor.

Scott Monty: Yeah. And Jean, we've been hearing an awful lot from Roger
about the Sherlock Holmes Society and his official role there,
all things editing and writing, but it sounds like ... And we know
you're involved in the District Messenger now, but it sounds
like your talents earlier on were more visual. You mentioned
those photographs from the Granada tour. Are you trained in
photography or ...?

Jean Upton: No, no.

Scott Monty: Just a hobby?

Jean Upton: Always enjoyed photography from the time I was quite young,
but no. It's just an interesting way of recording events for me.

Scott Monty: There's another visual connection that we have or that we're
aware of with you and the Sherlock Holmes pub. You know
what I'm talking about?

Jean Upton: I think so.


Scott Monty: Would you care to share that with us?

Jean Upton: I assume you're talking about the Arthur Conan Doyle portrait.

Scott Monty: Yes.

Jean Upton: Well, how that came about was there used to be in the pub, a
pastel portrait by Henry Gates whose large oil portrait of
Conan Doyle now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. And I
just thought it really ought to have a portrait of Conan Doyle.
And I think it was ... What year? 1994, the society was having
its Back to Baker Street Festival, which I think went on for
about a week.

Roger Johnson: A week.

Jean Upton: Yeah. It was quite a lot of different things going on, so I
volunteered to paint the portrait for the pub and I used the
Gates portrait. The Portrait Gallery was able to supply me with
a photograph of it because at that time, it had been in storage
for God knows how long. And then I also worked with other
photographs of Conan Doyle in order to come up with the new
portrait. So that was unveiled by Dame Jean Conan Doyle and
Michael Cox who was the original producer of the Jeremy Brett
TV series.

Scott Monty: Now, that's probably about as big an honor as you can get if
you're doing a portrait of Conan Doyle.

Jean Upton: It was pretty cool, yeah.

Scott Monty: And I've-

Jean Upton: But I'm pleased to say by the way that the portrait by Gates is
now back on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

Scott Monty: Oh, that's great.


Jean Upton: Because I have been pushing them for years as had other
people. It required apparently a fair amount of repair and
restoration, which has been carried out. It looks very bright
now and we have actually been to see it, but I'm delighted that
it's finally back up for the public to see.

Scott Monty: Yeah. And your portrait is still available for the public to see?

Jean Upton: Yup. It's in the upstairs restaurant.

Scott Monty: Excellent. Well, once upon a time ... You may not be aware of
this, Jean. Sir Arthur and I faced each other down in the pub.

Jean Upton: Oh, yeah.

Scott Monty: There was a charcoal sketch that was commissioned by David
Houle in New Hampshire.

Jean Upton: Yeah. And that used to hang ... In fact, I think it is still hanging
the restaurant.

Scott Monty: Yeah. I posed for it and he-

Jean Upton: Yeah. As a young Sherlock Holmes.

Scott Monty: A young Sherlock Holmes when he first came up to London.


And he brought a copy to the pub, and they went and hung it.
And it was on the wall directly facing Sir Arthur for quite some
time.

Jean Upton: Yeah.

Scott Monty: So we have that connection, Jean. That spiritual bond. I like
that. Now, one of the things that we touched on here and
there is your association with Roger that you were nearby each
other during your first trip but hadn't met. You mentioned
early on in the program here how he came over to your
parent's house in Pennsylvania, but connect the dots for us.
How did the two of you ultimately begin corresponding and
what led to that fateful day when Roger proposed to you?

Jean Upton: Right. Well, the correspondence began when I became a


member of the society and learned of the newsletter. And I
think Roger says I'm one of his first overseas subscribers
because when I first started coming over to London on a
regular basis, I'd set up a British bank account so I was able to
send him a cheque to cover the postage of posting it to me
when I was still in the United States. And then I was coming
over to London each year for meetings with the society
because they would have extended weekends away in
different parts of the country where the stories took place, so
that was my annual holiday. And it was a wonderful way for
me to see the country in the company of friends because I
always traveled on my own, so this was quite a nice change for
me. So the thing was with these weekend events, it was always
very rushed trying to get around to say hello to 70 different
people and never really getting the opportunity for a good long
conversation with anybody.

Jean Upton: And then in 1991 was the society's trip to Switzerland and that
I think was eight days? Something like that. So it was a much
more relaxed atmosphere, plenty of time to talk on the trains
or the coaches and that was how we got know each other
much better. And then I came over again in July of that year
and that was when we were engaged. Roger came over to
meet my family in December and then in April, we were
married.

Scott Monty: Well, that was pretty quick.

Jean Upton: It was a leap of faith.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Jean Upton: When you think about it.

Scott Monty: Yeah, yeah. And that was what? 27 years ago?
Jean Upton: Yeah. We've been married 26 years now.

Scott Monty: Wow. Yeah, 26. Yeah.

Burt Wolder: Well, you might be on to something there, Jean. It might be


working out.

Jean Upton: Well, it was funny. I was working for a couple of doctors in
Philadelphia, both of them were British and they had had a lot
of difficulty getting anyone to stay with them because they
were a bit difficult to work with, and I guess I lasted the
longest of anyone as their assistant office manager. And when
I told them I was getting married, you could see the blood
drain from their faces when they learned I was actually moving
to England. And in order to stop me from going, they were
going to give me something like $10,000 upfront and increase
my salary by $10,000 a year.

Scott Monty: Wow.

Jean Upton: And I said no.

Scott Monty: Wise choice, yeah. Roger is worth at least twice that. So you've
been at the forefront of the movement in London with the
Sherlock Holmes Society. Wonderful excursions every year.
Obviously, the big annual dinner at the Houses of Parliament.
People rave about that. You're helming the District Messenger
now, so you like us hear of Sherlock everywhere. What's your
take on Sherlockiana at this moment and where you think it's
going?

Jean Upton: Well, it's nice to see that there are a lot of younger people
getting involved in it. And I know some of the young ladies in
particular received a lot of criticism because their initial
introduction seems to have been through either the Benedict
Cumberbatch TV series or their Robert Downey Jr. films, but
my attitude has always been however you get your first
introduction, inevitably, it's going to lead you to the original
stories and this wonderfully enough is exactly what we're
seeing happen. I had ...

Jean Upton: A funny thing happen to me yesterday. I was up in town at our


local book shop and there was a man in there with his teenage
daughter, and they were trying to look for books that would
interest her because she was at that stage between reading
children's books and reading adult books. And I was earwigging
a bit as they were talking to the volunteer in the shop, and I
said, "Well, have you ever read any Sherlock Holmes?" And she
wrinkled her nose and she said she'd read some of them, and I
said, "Well, which ones have you read?" And she named the
titles of some of the more recent pastiches, and I said, "Well,
those aren't really Sherlock Holmes stories. What you want are
the ones by Conan Doyle." Well, she'd never heard of Conan
Doyle. So I picked out a couple of paperbacks and suggested
she try them and hopefully, I've set her on the right path.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Jean Upton: But that is one of my concerns. There's an awful lot out there a
lot of people think is the real thing and I can see how people
would be put off Sherlock Holmes if they read only the
pastiche.

Scott Monty: I can too. There are some wonderful pastiches out there that
are a great deal of fun, but if that's where you-

Jean Upton: But there's a lot of drack.

Scott Monty: Oh, there is. There is. But if that's where you think Sherlock
Holmes begins and ends, that can be quite limiting.

Jean Upton: That's a shame.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Jean Upton: Yeah. And I know this was one of the concerns of Dame Jean
because that was how I first became associated with Dame
Jean. She was getting a lot of flak over the fact that she had
criticized ... I think it was Michael Hardwick's "Revenge of the
Hound", and a lot of people really gave her a lot of grief over
that. And I wrote, supporting her. And she said, "Well, basically
my concern is that people won't get around to reading my
father's stuff." And her attitude was that if someone was that
good a writer, they should be capable of making up their own
characters, and we're starting to see a bit of her nightmare
come true now I think.

Scott Monty: Yeah.

Jean Upton: As you say, there are some very good pastiches but there's an
awful lot of stuff that just shouldn't be getting published. It's
just not good enough.

Burt Wolder: Yeah. Well, the other thing about pastiches is that the
challenge with this sort of eternal characters, Tarzan, Robin
Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Superman, that it gets all sort of
jumbled together. It's as if it's a long journey and at the end of
it, all of your experiences from starting out at home to arriving
at your destination become jumbled in one thing, but it's not
the case. The original stories, that narrative voice, the
approach to plotting, the discovery. Along with the authors,
the reader is discovering more and more about the characters
and they become real, and they have various interactions, and
you find these great moments. That really defines the saga and
what we call the canon. And the fact that other people can put
similar characters with identical names and situations to do
this, that and other thing ... I hadn't thought about it but it is ...
Because I ... It's a new idea to me that there would be people
that would just think that pastiches and so on would be it, and
it's very, very far from it. It's as far from it as the Superman
comic book today is from the original Superman back in the
1930s and '40s.

Jean Upton: Yeah. I think what I object to the most is that some of them are
just so poorly written.
Burt Wolder: Well, it's tough. It really ... If it's an easy thing ... If writing well
would have been an easy thing, there would be many more
Nobel Prizes for literature.

Jean Upton: Yeah, yeah. I know. It's unfair of me to criticize because I don't
write fiction. My brain just doesn't work that way. But I just
struggle when I see misspellings, sentences that don't string
together properly, poor punctuation.

Scott Monty: Well, you don't have to be a writer to criticize.

Jean Upton: Yeah, I know.

Scott Monty: You're a reader, so ...

Jean Upton: I know.

Scott Monty: You have standards. That's all right.

Jean Upton: Yeah.

Scott Monty: As we all should.

Jean Upton: Even just historical errors like that.

Burt Wolder: Yeah. Well, and also inappropriate language use. When you
read a lot of one particular author's work, you become pretty
familiar with that author's lexicon, how the sentences are
strung together and when characters say uncharacteristic
things, it really sort of leaps out at you.

Jean Upton: Yeah. But everybody has their own take of Sherlock Holmes, so
fine.

Scott Monty: Well, that's what makes this such an interesting hobby.

Jean Upton: Yeah, yeah.

Scott Monty: So Roger, the world of Sherlock Holmes just continues to


evolve here and you've been kind of at the point of the spear
for quite a while between your editing of the journal and the
newsletter. What do you see as happening next? Where is this
going?

Roger Johnson: Yes. I'm not a prophet. I leave that to other people. I'm
delighted when something new and interesting happens. I'm
especially delighted when something new and interesting and
really good happens, but I could not have foreseen the success
of Sherlock. I certainly didn't foresee the success of Elementary
nor did I foresee the advances in digital technology would
enable the huge, must be infinite quantity of Sherlockian
pastiche that Jean was just talking about. I'd no idea all that
would happen.

Scott Monty: You think this internet thing is going to catch on?

Roger Johnson: Ooh, I think it might. I think it might, yeah. But I'm not a
prophet, I wouldn't like to bet on it.

Scott Monty: Well, I think as you've observed, it is difficult to predict which


way these things are going to turn or what's going to spring
from the next inspired person's mind, but we are here and we
are enjoying all of it as it comes. And these are some
watershed moments like the Rathbone films or like the
Granada series was. There are these points in our history that
you can point to that every generation has its Holmes and the
character just finds a new way to become relevant to each
successive generation.

Roger Johnson: What I will say and I'm sure that this will prove to be true, for
decades, certain people have been saying everything of
interest that can be written about Sherlock Holmes has already
been written, there's no point in writing anymore, and we get
really, really good articles, books and so forth. I'm constantly
finding excellent material sent to me for the Sherlock Holmes
Journal. I still have a backlog that will last us for at least the
next five years.

Scott Monty: Wow.


Roger Johnson: I'm gradually whittling it down. There's splendid material being
published in the Baker Street Journal, in the Watsonian, in
Canadian Holmes, the Passengers' Log, Proceedings of the
Pondicherry Lodge. I love that. That's the Sherlock Holmes
Society of India's online ... Or I should say PDF journal.
Excellent stuff.

Burt Wolder: And do you read any of the ... What comes out of France, from
the Société?

Roger Johnson: I have to skim through it because my schoolboy French isn't up


to that much I'm afraid, but I know very well that there is very
good material coming from France, from Switzerland, from
Germany, from Sweden, from Italy, from Japan. I have to take
it on trust that the Japanese material is good except when
someone translates it, but I know that the Japanese scholars
are excellent scholars and very nice people. We were delighted
... What a couple of years ago was it? Or was it last year? Last
year I think.

Roger Johnson: Yes. The Japan Sherlock Holmes Club celebrated its 40th
anniversary, and Jean and I, Catherine Cooke, and Heather
Owen, and Charles Foley were invited to join them for a
celebration at the Sherlock Holmes pub, and it was a
considerable honor.

Scott Monty: Yeah. Well, I recall Roger, a few years ago ... Actually, probably
more like 10 years ago at a BSI dinner, you gave a speech and
talked about the gilded age of scholarship of Sherlock Holmes.
And you remarked that the gilded age, we do remember it
fondly, there were giants of our hobby then but that it wasn't
all over. We didn't have to simply look back with wishfulness
thinking this will never happen again. There are certain ... The
first time a chronology comes out or the first time an
annotated version comes out, of course, there will always be
firsts. But I seem to recall that you remarked that while that
was the gilded age, we are now in the midst of a golden age.
Roger Johnson: I can't remember whether I said exactly those words, but I was
actually quoting Frieda Howlett at the Sherlock Holmes Society
of London 50th anniversary meeting. She said the golden age is
now and it continues to be now and that's what's really
wonderful about our world. It seems to be a continuing golden
age.

Scott Monty: It does indeed.

Roger Johnson: Yeah. When Bernard Davies died, I wrote in the Sherlock
Holmes Journal there were giants in the earth in those days
and it seems right now that Bernard was the last of them, but
even then, I knew that wasn't true. There are still giants and
we're lucky to know them, we're lucky to work with them and
we're lucky to enjoy their work and their company and their
friendship. Friendship is essential in our world. I forget who it
was who ... One of the early Baker Street Irregulars who said
he hoped he wouldn't be shot down as a heretic but he did
think that the friendship, the camaraderie was as important in
the BSI as the scholarship, and it's true. I think it's true.

Scott Monty: I think we would all agree. Part of what makes this little hobby
enjoyable is the people and whose company you get to attend
these events.

Roger Johnson: Indeed. And we can now share our friendship much more
easily when we're not actually together. We can enjoy that
friendship when we're not actually together as we're doing
now.

Scott Monty: Indeed. Well, thank you for the gift of your friendship, even
though it is from thousands of miles away. We feel it strongly
here. And I speak of the entire Sherlockian community as well
as just Burt and I individually, it means a great deal what you
do and continue to do.

Roger Johnson: I will reciprocate that. We love you guys and we're so grateful
for what you do. Thank you.
Scott Monty: Well, Jean, obviously your relationship together with Roger,
the two of you are one of the original Sherlockian power
couples out there. We're grateful for your wonderful
collaboration together. It really is a meeting of equals and as
we just mentioned to Roger, the friendship that we feel to
both of you, both collectively as an audience as well as
individually, we couldn't be more grateful for it.

Jean Upton: Oh. Thank you for that, but as Roger was saying it is the
relationship with other people with a common interest that's
what makes it so enjoyable. And I think there's so much
tolerance as well for the eccentricities that we all have.
Because for example, I discovered just a couple of years ago,
I'm on the autism spectrum which a lot of people would find a
little difficult to deal with but fortunately, people tolerate me.
We've got enough in common that they can sort of get past my
lack of filters.

Burt Wolder: Well, now we've tumbled onto the secret ingredient
responsible for your success with that group of British
physicians in Philadelphia.

Scott Monty: There you go. Well, Jean, thank you so much for the pleasure
of your company for the last hour or so and-

Jean Upton: Oh, thank you.

Scott Monty: Sure. We wish you all the best.

Jean Upton: The same to you guys.

Scott Monty: Well, how delightful. My only regret is that it took so long for
us to have Roger and Jean on the program.

Burt Wolder: It's not ... This is something I think we've been talking about for
a decade. We've been doing this now for 11 years and one of
our earliest observations to each other was, "Oh, boy. Let's talk
to the Society of London. Let's talk to the folks in France." And
we finally did it.
Scott Monty: Indeed we did. Scheduling is a little tough but glad we did.
Glad we did. And Roger's and Jean's is such a ... In some ways,
a unique story, living in Christopher Morley's house and getting
to engaged to a Sherlockian there. Obviously, that's a one of a
kind. But in another sense, their story about coming to
Sherlock Holmes and finding other similar minded people and
finding their niche, it's the story that we all have in one way or
another.

Burt Wolder: Yes. Yeah, making those kinds of connections. The lovely thing
is that Roger is such a ... Roger and Jean, they are invaluable
repositories of the history of major events in the Sherlockian
world. And the lovely thing about this conversation was for
them to have at their fingertips, even down to the names of
the people who were participating and instrumental in the
construction of the Festival of Britain exhibition in the early
days of the society. I'm just happy we captured some of these
for historical reasons, not the least of which is my additional
happiness at just having just so much joy in talking to them.
And by the way, we will have this in the show notes but our
listeners can talk a look at the Flickr gallery associated with
Sherlock Holmes Society of London and see some photographs,
so you can see exactly what Roger and Jean and many others
look like.

Scott Monty: Yeah. And see the activities that they're up to. We didn't spend
an inordinate amount of time on it because this after all, was
an interview about Roger and Jean, not about the SHSL, but
there are so many things that the Sherlock Holmes Society of
London gets up to. Whether it's these major excursions to
Switzerland that they do every decade or so, or their weekend
outings, or the cricket matches, or what have you. I am a
member of the society myself, albeit a corresponding member.
Boy, do I wish I lived in England to be able to partake of some
of these events on a regular basis.

Burt Wolder: Yeah. Yeah. I've never made it to one of the cricket matches
but there's always next year.
Scott Monty: Sure.

Scott Monty: Well, speaking of events to attend and news in the Sherlockian
world. Thought it's appropriate for us to kick off this slight
news interruption with a mention of Wessex Press's From
Gillette to Brett V. Registration is hopping and I believe from
what I'm told is that it is the most subscribed from From
Gillette to Brett event that they've had yet, and the even
better news is we will be there. We will be on the ground at
the event in October in Bloomington, Indiana and we may even
pull out our recording device there. We may event try a live
broadcast depending on what we can come across. We'll see,
but stay tuned for that.

Burt Wolder: Yes. And if you have any interest, folks, in going to this, the
original ... Early on, we're working on attending and so I'm
really looking forward to being there. But the first block of
rooms went in a nanosecond and the second block of rooms
went in a nanosecond and so sadly but appropriately, Scott
and I will be sharing a cardboard box at the bus station. The
advantage is it's near the Dunkin' Donuts, so we won't have
any problem with breakfast coffee.

Scott Monty: Although, we may be inundated with ears in our cardboard box
so we'll have to keep a lookout for that. What else is going on
in the Sherlockian world that you've heard of?

Burt Wolder: Me?

Scott Monty: Yeah, sure.

Burt Wolder: I am so out of touch with the news flow. I've just been
swamped-

Scott Monty: Oh, dear.

Burt Wolder: ... with work. I don't think I have a clue.

Scott Monty: Oh, dear. Well, we-


Burt Wolder: Oh, no. Well, I mean I've got some vague clues. There is a new
book out, "Conan Doyle for the Defense" by the very
interesting and talented Margalit Fox. and I have a suspicion
that she might actually be a future guest on a podcast
somewhere, so that's a publication event I've noted.

Scott Monty: Well, that could very well be. Who knows? We came across an
article in UConn Today, U-C-O-N-N, not Y-U-K-O-N, as in the
University of Connecticut, which was an interview with Pamela
Bedore, an associate professor of English and writing at
UConn's Avery Point campus. And she teaches a number of
classes there including popular fiction, and she's written a
book called, "Dime Novels and the Roots of American
Detective Fiction". An interview with her, which was an audio
interview, is called "The Popularity of Sherlock Holmes" and I
think it touches right on what we were just discussing with
Roger and Jean that we are in the midst of a golden age and
that Sherlock Holmes's popularity just continues to reach
rarefied heights.

Burt Wolder: That's absolutely amazing. Amazing. I never would have


predicted it but it's very, very gratifying. And the nice part
about it is it shows no sign of stopping at all.

Scott Monty: That's right and that's a wonderful thing. One last bit of news.
This is in the realm of theater and some folks may recognize
this name. Ken Ludwig has a new play out called, "Baskerville:
A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" and it is making it's way through
the DC, Philadelphia area and I'm sure it will be available and
coming to other theaters around the country before long. We
had Ken Ludwig on as our guest once upon a time. I think it
was I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, episode 73, if I'm not
mistaken.

Burt Wolder: Right, right.

Scott Monty: Our conversation with playwright, Ken Ludwig. Look for more
wonderful things coming from Ken to a theater near you.
Burt Wolder: Yeah. And by the ... I have been up in New Haven when
Baskerville was put on at New Haven and did an after show
conversation with the audience about Sherlock Holmes, which
was a lot of fun. Also, one of the things I wanted to mention. If
any of our listeners have an interest in Shakespeare — we tend
to attract a lot of English majors, myself included, to this kind
of interest and enthusiasm — Ken wrote a book a couple of
years ago called, "How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare"
and it is ... If you have any interest in Shakespeare and the
beauty of Shakespearean language and how you might
communicate that enthusiasm to a younger generation, I've
really enjoyed his book, so I would recommend that to you.

Scott Monty: Well, that's a good call. Well, of course, we've reached that
time in the program where we're going to be putting the
screws to you. That's right. It's the Canonical Couplet, that little
quiz program that you've come to love and know or loathe and
know, depending on which way you take it. We have had lots
of folks participate. Once again, when we gave the last clue
and again, this is a short couplet and you are to identify the
story that is referenced by this bit of poetry. And the last time,
we said, "To see a genius in his tracks arrested, just whisper,
'Norbury' as he requested." And that of course refers to which
adventure, Burt?

Burt Wolder: Oh. That's the Norwood Gables I think.

Scott Monty: The Norwood Gables. That's a new one. That is a new one. I
was going for the Westchester filigree.

Burt Wolder: Oh. You know it's really funny you should mention that. Last
Sunday, for lunch, I had the Westchester filigree. It was
delicious.

Scott Monty: Now, was that with or without HP sauce?

Burt Wolder: Oh, without. I don't like the HP sauce but I always have it with
the poached egg.
Scott Monty: There you go. Well, of course, that was "The Adventure of the
Yellow Face", the Yellow Face. Of course, Holmes asked
Watson to whisper, "Norbury" in his ear if he got a little too far
ahead of himself in the future. Kind of a request from Sherlock
Holmes to remain flatfooted on the ground. And we had a
number of submissions, number of people submitting the
correct answer so we will once again turn to the great
revolving drum. We'll spin it around here until we arrive at the
number ... Let's see. Oh, number 12. And that means our
winner is ... Let me see. Who's number 12 here down the list
here? Paul Miller. Paul Miller over in the UK. How appropriate
since we just interviewed two fine folks from the UK. Paul, we
will be in touch with you and arrange to have something from
our archive sent your way. Well, that means that now we need
to have the clue for this week's or this episode's canonical
couplet. Are we ready? Okay.

Burt Wolder: Yes.

Scott Monty: Here we go. From this important record, it appears that
Holmes was pretty good at 60 years. If you know which tale
that refers to, shoot us an email at
comment@ihearofsherlock.com with "Canonical Couplet" in
the subject line and give it your best shot. Good luck.

Scott Monty: Well, we've got another wonderful program lined up for you
next time around in IHOSE 149. Are we up to 149? Good grief,
we're closing in on-

Burt Wolder: Close to a milestone.

Scott Monty: ... 150. Yeah. Is that the sesquicentennial that'll be 150? Is that
how it works?

Burt Wolder: No, that's in Susquehanna. We're nowhere near there.

Scott Monty: Well, we need to go on site for that. Our Susquehanna


sesquicentennial.
Burt Wolder: Yeah. I like that. Live from Susquehanna.

Scott Monty: I want to come live from Walla Walla, Washington. Just
because I like saying "Walla Walla, Washington".

Burt Wolder: Walla Walla, Washington.

Scott Monty: One day, one day. Well, until that day arrives, I am trapped in
this body and this voice being Scott Monty.

Burt Wolder: I am very corporeally Burt Wolder.

Holmes & Watson: The game's afoot.

Sherlock Holmes: I'm afraid that in the pleasure of this conversation, I'm
neglecting business of importance which awaits me elsewhere.

Narrator: Thank you for listening. Please be sure to join us again for the
next episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, the first
podcast dedicated to Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes: Goodbye, and good luck, and believe me to be, my dear fellow,
very sincerely yours, Sherlock Holmes.

Scott Monty: Still working on it?

Burt Wolder: Oh, sorry. I was on mute.