Saturday, 9 November 2019

Important News - Honourary Member

The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society would like to announce the temporary doubling of its membership.

Today, Brenda The Headless Mannequin was enrolled as an honorary member.

As Paul Thomas Miller has already selected the entire text of the UK Canon in publication date order as his investiture, there was nothing left for Brenda. As such, she has been invested as "The Blank Page at the Back of The Complete Sherlock Holmes 1930 Doubleday Edition".

It was made clear to Brenda that her investiture is temporary and would be revoked as soon as "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) got bored of her or decided she was taking up too much space in The Sherloft. She seemed fine with that.

Brenda enjoys her investiture.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Monthly Meeting Minutes – 8th November 2019

The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society
Monthly Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: 8th November 2019

Location of Meeting:
The Sherloft, My House, Portsmouth, UK

Attendees:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Apologies:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) apologised for drinking all the port without sharing.

Presentation:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) presented his ultra-realistic pastiche:


A Study in Toilet

Sherlock Holmes discarded the newspaper he had been absorbed in since breakfast causing me to look up from the yellow-back I had been reading.
“Nothing, Watson,” said he. “Nothing but inaccuracy and mediocrity.”
“You found no mystery to interest you, then?”
“There is not enough detail to tell. They omit nearly as much as you do in your accounts of my endeavours.”
“But the details are all there,” I remonstrated. “I supply all the salient facts.”
“Ah! But who is to say what is salient? My method is founded upon the observation of trifles, and yet you neglect so many of them. Take your version of the Mary Morstan affair; not once during the whole investigation did you ever record my use of the W.C. Are we really expected to believe my bowel and bladder are so capacious?”
He was, of course, correct and I was just vowing to rectify this in my future writings when Mrs Hudson ushered in Inspector Gregson to consult Holmes.
The official detective was decidedly flustered, so while I poured him a brandy and urged him to settle himself, Holmes popped upstairs to the toilet. Soon, Gregson was quite calm, if slightly impatient to get to business.
When Holmes finally returned to the sitting room, he brought with him a smell of rotting cabbage that indicated his bowel movement had not been a pleasant one.
“Good day to you, Gregson. You have come from Edgware, I perceive.”
“Indeed. I confess that, by now, I should not be so confused by your deductions, and yet I am. How did you know?”
“There is a slight discolouration to the legs of your trousers caused by ammonia rich splashes. The facilities at the Edgware underground station are well known for producing that distinctive pattern of splash-back. It is a simple matter of observation.”
“Simple to you, perhaps, Mr Holmes.”
“I assume you have come to consult me about more than urinals, however.”
“Quite so. It is a grave matter.”
“Then prey, tell me all.”
“The details are simple enough and we have plenty of witnesses to verify the facts. Unfortunately they simply do not make sense. It is this way: Thomas Baily is the vicar of St Margaret's Church in Edgware. The church’s pipe organ has been out of service for a while, so yesterday the church held a summer fete in order to raise money for a replacement. Consequently, the grounds of the church were well covered in locals either running stalls or making use of them.”
“They were all outside?” Holmes interrupted. “They did not make use of the interior of the church?”
“No. The church is not a big one. Indeed, there is only one door in and out of the building. It would make it quite unsuitable for large crowds milling about. Reverend Baily made use of the good weather and picturesque grounds, instead. All was going well, although the Reverend admits they were nowhere near raising enough money. Then around half an hour after one o’clock Mrs Agatha Wanette, a parish widow, came to speak to the vicar directly. She explained that she had just altered her will in favour of the church. The late Mr Wanette was a rich man so that the money would pay for the organ and much more besides. Obviously Reverend Baily was pleased but asked if an advance might be possible as the organ desperately needed replacing soon. It seems Mrs Wanette was still in her sixties and in rude health so that the delay would likely be considerable. The pair retired inside the church to discuss the matter in privacy. There are dozens of witnesses to testify to this. And there are just as many to swear no one came out.”
At this point my morning tea caught up with me and I asked Gregson to pause in his narrative while I relieved myself. I had a small wait as Billy the pageboy was already in there. However, I was soon stood at the bowl, legs apart, chap in hand releasing a hot stream of urine.
“Around quarter of an hour later,” Gregson continued as I returned, “the verger; Colin Goswell, was working in the rear of the churchyard, away from the hullaballoo of the fete. He claims to have heard a scream come from within the church. Concerned, he rushed to the church door to see what was the matter. He found it locked. Knocking provoked no answer from within. He rushed to his nearby house to retrieve his own key. On his return, his visible anxiety garnered a few followers from the stalls nearest the door. Upon unlocking the church and entering they found nothing other than the vicar sat on one of the front pews, reading nonchalantly. They asked what had happened to Mrs Wanette and Baily claimed that she had just left following a quarrel over money.”
“That seems perfectly normal,” said I, somewhat confused.
“I’m afraid not, Doctor. For there is no way she could have left the church without being seen. And the stall-holders all swear that she did not leave. The verger sent for the police at once. Since then, we have checked her home and that of her sister. She never returned from the church. When we questioned the vicar he became most suspicious. Rather than concern for his missing parishioner, his first reaction was to ask how long a person must remain missing before they can be declared legally dead. He seemed wholly absorbed by the idea of getting his hands on Agatha Wanette’s bequest. The vicar was detained while we searched the church, for by now we strongly suspected foul play. However, there is no sign of violence, nor of the missing widow. Without a body, we were forced to release the vicar, but we have stationed men to watch him.”
“What has he been doing since his release?”
“Since returning he has not left St Margaret’s. But he does appear to be confident that the inheritance will come to him, as he has begun ordering repairs already. He has, for instance, made arrangements for the broken pipe organ to be removed from the church despite not having been able to pay for its replacement.”
Holmes sat up, alarmed.
“We must go to St Margaret’s at once!” he declared.
And while I collected our hats and coats, he popped to the latrine to make sure he was empty before the journey.

When we arrived at the church, we were greeted by Thomas Baily. He was a tall man, athletically built for a clergyman, and he radiated a serene calmness that is common to spiritual men. His welcomes were unusually warm considering the purpose of our visit and Holmes lost no time asking where the toilet was. Gregson and I sat on one of the pews and waited for Holmes to return. I made small talk with the reverend about his hopes for a new pipe organ.
“This old one has had troubles for a long while now. When the bellows finally gave out in Spring, we were forced to retire it. As you can see, we are already having it dismantled so we can remove it.”
“It could not be repaired?”
“Perhaps. But with Mrs Wanette’s money soon to be donated to the church, there is no need. No, much better to replace it with a more reliable instrument.”
We continued to converse on such topics as the benefits of a mechanical bellow over a manual one, how to select pipes and the advantages of various racks.
Ten minutes or so later, Holmes returned.
“I’m sorry to delay you all. I’m afraid my movements have been somewhat erratic lately, and the sheer size of the faecal object I just produced, required several flushes before I could convince it to depart. Please pass on my apologies to your cleaner, Reverend.”
“Don’t mention it, Mr Holmes. The cistern in that lavatory is not up to the job as it once was. Once I have replaced the organ, it was next on my list of necessary renovations.”
“Ah yes, the organ! What seems to be the trouble with it?”
“The bellows,” I interrupted. “Mr Baily has just been telling me all about it.”
“Ah! I happen to have written a monograph upon the mechanics of pipe organs. Perhaps if I were to take a look, I might be able to fix the…”
“No, thank you! That won’t be necessary!” exclaimed the vicar, interposing himself between detective and organ. “It is being collected this afternoon for disposal. Your interference won’t make any difference.”
“Mr Baily,” Holmes rejoined, “I won’t touch it if you would prefer me not to. But I must say that your uncharacteristic vehemence is quite suspicious.”
“You suspect me, Mr Holmes? What of, may I ask? It seems that if you are going to come into my church with unpleasant opinions about me, you should do the decent thing and come out with them to my face.”
“I suspect you, Mr Baily, of the murder of Mrs Agatha Wanette. You needed her money, but she was not prepared to part with it until she was dead. You invited her into this church to try to change her mind. When she would not, you overpowered her, she screamed, you killed her. Realising you were surrounded by potential witnesses, you immediately locked the church door.”
“Then where is her body, Mr Holmes?” replied the vicar, whose face was now contorted into a hateful scowl. “You know very well, that you cannot convict a man of murder without first producing a body. No body – no murder. I might sue for slander, if you continue.”
“Oh, I shall produce her body.” Holmes responded. A familiar, silently produced, eggy smell told me that was not all that Holmes needed to produce.
Gently but firmly pushing the clergyman out of his way, Holmes marched over to the bellows of the dismantled pipe organ. He undid a few fastenings and removed the side panel. My nerves had been hardened in my youth by the horrors of war. Yet, the sight of the mangled body of Mrs Agatha Wanette folded into itself in the bellows of a church pipe organ caused my bile to rise and my head to swim. So squashed was she, it was impossible to tell where one limb started and another ended. As she was removed by two sturdy constables, it was clear almost every bone in her body had been broken and the bruises to her throat testified as the manner in which Thomas Bailey had dispatched her to the afterlife.
“I believe you have the whole of your case, Gregson,” remarked Holmes. “Now, you will excuse me while I pay another sit-down visit to the toilet, for it seems I hadn’t finished after all.”


Any Other Business:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) demanded more port to be brought to meetings. It was unamimously agreed that this was a super idea.

"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) recorded tonight's meeting in a photograph:


Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Monthly Meeting Minutes – 15th October 2019

The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society
Monthly Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: 15th October 2019

Location of Meeting:
The Sherloft, My House, Portsmouth, UK

Attendees:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Apologies:
Invisible Tony apologised.

Presentation:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) presented his paper on Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who:


Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes

This is not a terribly original essay. I’m not the first to have noticed there are quite a few links between Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. Most obviously, the creators of BBC "Sherlock" (2010) also had a big hand in the 21st century return of Doctor Who. Steven Moffat began writing for Doctor Who in 2004 and became producer and head writer in 2009. Mark Gatiss has written several episodes too, and has appeared as a number of characters. Indeed, it was while working together on Doctor Who that the two conceived the idea of a contemporary Sherlock Holmes.

There is also the matter of the structure of both sets of adventures. Both the Doctor and Sherlock Holmes are eccentric geniuses. They are heroes despite not always being relatable or likable. We usually relate to both  through a companion. The companion is a decent, moderately intelligent everyman who we can connect with more readily than the hero themselves. Like Holmes, the Doctor goes from adventure to adventure. Usually there is a mystery to solve and a villain to thwart. It is only through the intellect of the hero that this is accomplished. Often in unconventional ways.

This led me to wonder if it were possible to find a Holmesian link for every one of the Doctors to date. The answer is debatable. Each Doctor can be linked to Holmes somehow, but while some links are strong and obvious, others are extremely tenuous. If you are willing to accept the rather dodgy connections, I present my list of links between all the Doctors and Sherlock Holmes.

1. The First Doctor
The First Doctor was played by William Hartnell between 1963 and 1966. His first story was “An Unearthly Child”, in which we are introduced to The Doctor and his granddaughter. They end up accidently abducting two 1960s teachers and encountering a tribe of cavemen. In 1981 the story was novelized by Terrence Dicks (the man who coined the Whovian phrase “regeneration”). Terrence Dicks is also well known for his series of ten “Baker Street Irregulars” children’s books based upon the Baker Street Irregulars of the Holmes canon.
Hartnell died in 1975, so in the 1983 story “The Five Doctors” the First Doctor was played by Richard Hurndall. In 1959 Hurndall had recorded a five part BBC Radio adaptation of The Sign of Four, taking the role of Sherlock Holmes.
The First Doctor was also in two episodes recorded in 2017: “Twice Upon A Time” and “The Doctor Falls”. This time he was played by David Bradley. He had already proved himself in the role when he played Hartnell playing the Doctor in a 2013 docu-drama called “An Adventure in Space and Time”. He was specifically chosen for the role by Mark Gatiss – a writer, producer and actor in BBC’s 2010 “Sherlock” series.

2. The Second Doctor
A year before taking on the role of The Second Doctor, in 1965, Patrick Troughton played Mortimer Tregennis opposite Douglas Wilmer as Holmes in a particularly enjoyable TV adaptation of “The Devil’s Foot”.
I note also that he appeared in the 1948 Laurence Olivier film version of “Hamlet” with four future Sherlock Holmeses: Peter Cushing, John Gielgud, Christopher Lee and Patrick MacNee. Stanley Holloway was also in Hamlet as a gravedigger. A role he must have been suited to , for in 1970 he was a gravedigger again, this time in “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes”.

3. The Third Doctor
Jon Pertwee is famous to Brits for two roles. First, as the earth-bound Third Doctor from 1970-74, the Doctor forced to temporarily swap the Tardis for Bessie, a yellow vintage roadster. He was also well known for the enchanted yet stupid scarecrow, Worzel Gummidge in a kids TV series which ran from 1979 to 1989. Worzel was infatuated with a life size doll called Aunt Sally, played by Una Stubbs. That Stubbs went on to play Mrs Hudson in the 2010 BBC Sherlock series may seem link enough, but there is a more Sherlockian Worzel connection. In the 1989 episode “Elementary My Dear Worty” Worzel takes on the guise of Sherlock Holmes and using his unique intellect and Holmesian garb, manages to mess everything up.

4. The Fourth Doctor
Tom Baker as The Fourth Doctor presents little challenge to link to Holmes. In the 1977 story “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” The Doctor prowls Victorian London in full Holmesian costume.
Then in 1982 Tom Baker went on to play Sherlock Holmes himself in a TV series version of “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. I have not seen it myself, but I am told it might be the worst version of the story ever made. Quite an accomplishment given the amount of competition.

5. The Fifth Doctor
The Fifth Doctor was played by Peter Davidson, whose daughter, Georgie Moffett, appeared in the 2008 episode “The Doctor's Daughter” with The Tenth Doctor played by David Tennant who she then married in real life. Which I think makes her her own grandma.
More relevantly, it was Peter Davidson who supplied the voice of the presentation in the planetarium scene of “The Great Game”, a 2010 episode of “Sherlock”.

6. The Sixth Doctor
Poor, maligned Colin Baker played the least popular Doctor from 1984 to 1986. Prior to this he had been briefly married to Liza Goddard from 1976 to 1978, making his father-in-law David Goddard. David Goddard was the producer of all 13 episodes of Douglas Wilmer’s 1964-5 “Sherlock Holmes” TV series.

7. The Seventh Doctor
“All-Consuming Fire” is 1994 novel by Andy Lane. In it The Seventh Doctor (along with his companion, Ace) teams up with Sherlock Holmes. When Big Finish produced the story as an audio drama in 2015, the role of The Seventh Doctor was taken by TV’s Seventh Doctor: Sylvester McCoy.

8. The Eight Doctor
The Eighth Doctor has only made a few appearances. He was played by Paul McGann in the 1996 TV movie “Doctor Who” and a 2013 mini-episode, “The Night of the Doctor”.
In 1997 Paul McGann would play Arthur Wright in “FairyTale: A True Story”. This was a film depicting the events of the Cottingley Fairy hoax, in which Arthur Conan Doyle (played by Peter O’Toole) and others were tricked into believing two young girls has photographed real fairies.
Arthur Wright was the father of one of the girls and it was his camera which they used to create their photographs.

9. The Ninth Doctor
When Christopher Eccleston took on the role of The Ninth Doctor in 2005, it was inevitable that he would face the Daleks. When he encountered them in “Dalek” and “The Parting of the Ways” they were voiced by Nicolas Briggs.
Briggs does a good deal of work for Big Finish who produce audio dramas. Most notably he is the voice of Sherlock Holmes in their Holmesian dramas. This includes the version of “All-Consuming Fire” which they recorded with The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy.
Nicolas Briggs has voiced several Whovian characters including the Judoon and the Nestene in The Ninth Doctor’s first episode: “Rose”.

10. The Tenth Doctor
I was surprised to find David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor a difficult one to connect with Sherlock Holmes. The best I can do are two rather ropey associations…
In the 2008 episode “Fires of Pompeii” one of the Doctor’s antagonists is Lucius Petrus played by Phil Davis. In 2010’s “A Study in Pink”, Phil Davis would go on to play Sherlock Holmes’s antagonist; Jeff Hope.
David Tennant is also good friends with Benedict Cumberbatch and told Cumberbatch that he should try for the part of the Eleventh Doctor. It is to the benefit of all BBC “Sherlock” fans that he did not.
The Tenth Doctor was also played once by Richard E Grant in 1999 in a comedy skit called “The Curse of a Fatal Death”.  Richard E Grant is dealt with later in this essay.

11. The Eleventh Doctor
In his 2012 episode “The Snowmen” Matt Smith’s Doctor dresses as and claims to be Sherlock Holmes. This fails to convince Dr. Simeon and The Great Intelligence as he spouts “Shut up! I’m making deductions! It’s very exciting!”
The Great Intelligence in this scene is voiced by Sir Ian McKellan, who played Sherlock Holmes in the 2015 film “Mr Holmes”. Whereas, Dr. Simeon is played by Richard E. Grant who we will discuss later on…
Matt Smith also auditioned for the role of Dr. John Watson in the BBC “Sherlock” series. It is said that he was considered too weird for the role but that the audition stood him in good stead for the Doctor role he would later be offered.

12. The Twelfth Doctor
Peter Capaldi – The Twelfth Doctor – did play Sherlock Holmes once in a sketch with Alexei Sayle as Dr. Watson. It appeared in series one, episode six of The All New Alexei Sayle Show in 1994 and saw a sycophantic Watson toadying up to Holmes:
Holmes: It’s getting dark
Watson: My God, Holmes! How did you know?
Holmes (irritated): I looked out of the window.
And so it goes on, much to Holmes’s annoyance.
Incidentally, Sayle himself appeared in the 1985 Doctor Who story, “Revelation of the Daleks” as an annoying D.J. known only as D.J.

13. The Thirteenth Doctor
Jodie Whittaker (The Thirteenth Doctor) had her debut film role in “Venus” (2006) where she was the female lead opposite Peter O’Toole. Peter O’Toole has said in subsequent interview that Whittaker is one of his two favourite female actors: “She’s not only an accomplished young woman but she’s a very, very special person. She’s got lots and lots of qualities that I’m extremely fond of.”
As well as playing Arthur Conan Doyle in “FairyTale”, as previously mentioned, Peter O’Toole voiced Sherlock Holmes in four animated Holmes films made in 1983.
Rather tenuously, then, it could be said that a Sherlock Holmes is a massive fan of The Thirteenth Doctor.

14. The Valeyard
The Valeyard is an unusual manifestation of The Doctor from the 1986 story “The Trial of a Time Lord”. He is an amalgamation of the Doctor's darker sides and acts as The Sixth Doctor’s prosecutor during his trial on Gallifrey.
He was played by Michael Jayston who appeared as The Earl of Rufton in Jeremy Brett’s 1991 TV version of “The Disappearance of Lady Francis Carfax”.

15. The War Doctor
John Hurt played this version of The Doctor in 2013’s “The Day of the Doctor”. He is a warrior version of The Doctor who came between his eighth and ninth incarnations.
One of Hurt’s most famous roles is that of Gilbert Kane in 1979’s film “Alien”. He was not the first choice for the role, however. That was Jon Finch, who had to leave after one day’s filming due to illness.
In 1994 Jon Finch played Count Sylvius in the Jeremy Brett version of ”The Mazarin Stone”.
The willfully erroneous conclusion then, is that had Jon Finch not been taken ill in 1979, he would have played The War Doctor, and Hurt would have played Count Sylvius. While demonstrably untrue, it is the nearest thing to a link I could find, so it will have to suffice.

16. The Film Doctor
Peter Cushing played The Doctor twice in big screen movies, “Dr. Who and the Daleks” (1965) and “Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.” (1966). These are rehashes of plots from the TV series and are generally considered non-canonical.
Peter Cushing has also played Sherlock Holmes on three separate occasions: in the 1956 Hammer Horror film “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, the 1968 TV series “Sherlock Holmes” and the 1984 TV movie “The Masks of Death”.

17. The Dream Doctor
In the 2010 episode “Amy’s Choice” Toby Jones played the nefarious Dream Doctor – a twisted version of The Doctor, hell bent on his own destruction.
In 2017 he played the similarly nasty Culverton Smith in BBC Sherlock episode “The Lying Detective”.
Needless to say, he was thwarted by our heroes on both occasions.

18. The Shalka Doctor
“Scream of the Shalka” was a 2003 webcast episode of Doctor Who starring Richard E. Grant as the Doctor.
In 2002 Grant had two Holmesian roles in different TV movies. He was Mycroft in “Sherlock” with James D’Arcy playing Sherlock Holmes. And in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” he was Jack Stapleton to Richard Roxburgh’s Holmes.
More importantly, in 1992 Richard E. Grant played Sherlock himself in “The Other Side”. This was a supernatural TV drama in which Arthur Conan Doyle was haunted by, among others, the ghost of Sherlock Holmes. It is well worth seeking out for its original plot.

19. The Comic Relief Doctor
In 1999, as part of that years Comic Relief programming Rowan Atkinson played The Doctor in a skit titled “The Curse of a Fatal Death”.
Atkinson has played many roles, among them Inspector Raymond Fowler in the police sit-com “The Thin Blue Line”. In the very first episode ("The Queen's Birthday Present", 1995) we are treated to a discussion between Fowler and an underling regarding Sherlock Holmes in which he is appalled to discover that Holmes and Watson were homosexual.

Appendix:

In the course of my research for this essay, I also stumbled upon a few Sherlock Holmeses who have a link to Doctor Who which also deserve a mention. There are likely more out there to discover, and it is a subject I may return to.

Jonathan Price played Sherlock Holmes in the 2007 TV series “Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars”. In 1999 he played The Master in the previously mentioned Comic Relief spoof: “The Curse of a Fatal Death”.

Clive Merrison is well known to Holmesians as the voice of Sherlock Holmes on BBC radio in a long running drama series which ran from 1989 to 1998. He was also in Doctor Who twice: he was “Deputy Chief” in 1987’s “Paradise Towers” and Jim Callum in 1967’s “The Tomb of the Cybermen”.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb played Holmes and Watson twice in sketches on “That Mitchell and Webb Look”. In series one, episode two (2006) in a sketch called Holmes and Watson they played actors alternating their roles as Holmes and Watson. In 2010 they ended series four, episode six with a sketch called “Old Holmes” in which Mitchell plays Holmes and Webb plays Watson. In 2012 they appeared in Doctor Who as Robot 1 and Robot 2 in “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” – a rather comedic episode.

Nicholas Rowe is best known for taking the lead in the Spielberg film “Young Sherlock Holmes” (1985) but he played an actor playing Holmes in 2015’s Mr Holmes, too. Between these two appearances, in 2009, he was the voice of Rivesh Mantilax in an animated Whovian miniseries called “Doctor Who: Dreamland”.

Elementary’s Sherlock from 2012 onwards, Jonny Lee Miller, had a brief appearance in Doctor Who when he played “Kinda child” in the 1982 “Kinda” story.

John Cleese has played Holmes on two occasions. Once in 1973’s “The Strange Case of the Dead Solicitors” and again in “The Strange Case of the End of Civilisation As We Know It” (1977). These are both comedic shorts for TV. He also made a cameo with The Third Doctor as an unnamed art critic in 1979’s “City of Death”. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment where he critiques the Tardis which has been left in an art gallery.

Any Other Business:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) showed us his rash. It was none of our business.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Monthly Meeting Minutes – 9th September 2019


The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society
Monthly Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: 9th September 2019

Location of Meeting:
The Sherloft, My House, Portsmouth, UK

Attendees:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Apologies:
Sorry.

Presentation:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) presented his new degree course which he has created.
Full details can be found HERE.
Everyone present was enchanted and immediately set about getting themselves degrees. All agreed it was the best degree they had ever managed to not drop out of in the first term.

Any Other Business:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) wanted to mention his latest "song": "Silver Blaze of Glory" but no one wanted to listen because it doesn't quite work. Instead they all listened to the audio version of last month's "I Can Count on Holmes".

Friday, 16 August 2019

Monthly Meeting Minutes – 16th August 2019

The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society
Monthly Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: 16th August 2019

Location of Meeting:
The Sherloft, My House, Portsmouth, UK

Attendees:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Apologies:
No apologies. No surrender.

Presentation:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) presented his counting book for children entitled "Canonical Numeronical or I Can Count on Sherlock Holmes":


















Any Other Business:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) wanted to mention his song "Hatherley's Thumb" but it had all ready been mentioned elsewhere so it was not allowed.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Monthly Meeting Minutes – 31st July 2019

The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society
Monthly Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: 31st July 2019

Location of Meeting:
The Sherloft, My House, Portsmouth, UK

Attendees:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Apologies:
Apologies were made for "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) by "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) who was trying to be funny. He was disregarded.

Presentation:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) presented his discussion of the Staff of 221b:

The Staff of 221b
By “The Entire Canon” (Paul Thomas Miller)

We know of several of the household staff at 221b and can infer the presence of several others. There follows a discussion of them here:

Mrs Hudson
Many people are unsure whether Mrs Hudson was Holmes’s landlady or his housekeeper. It is certain that Mrs Hudson managed to keep her house from 1881 until at least 1903, whereas we have no idea whether she ever laid some land. Therefore, she was a housekeeper.

Mrs Turner
Mrs Turner pops up briefly in A Scandal in Bohemia serving the tea. It is my belief that she was temporarily performing the duties of the page boy. Therefore she would be more aptly titled Page Turner.

Billy the Page
Billy appears in The Valley of Fear and The Mazarin Stone. As a page boy it was his job to tear the pages out of old telephone directories to make toilet paper. Such home-made botty wipes were known in the 18th century as buttock-torns. Hence his other title – the boy in butt-torns.

Peterson the Commissionaire
Baker Street’s very own commissionaire was employed specifically to hang around the streets in the early hours of the morning watching drunks break windows and stealing their hats. The word commissionaire comes from the Greek for “comb’s his own hair.”

Gibletty Jenny
Many middle-class Victorian homes employed a Gibletty Jenny. It was her job to check through all the offal for anything worth keeping before feeding it to the other staff. After the events of Blue Carbuncle, Sherlock Holmes would have been certain to engage the assistance of a Gibletty Jenny.

Corner Monk
With little time to spare for his spiritual life, Holmes would have been likely to employ a corner monk. Favoured by aristocratic bachelors, the corner monk could be easily stored in a corner, due to its diminutive size, but was always ready to perform marriages, confessions or exorcisms as need and time permitted.

Dirt Orphan
A house like 221b would be incomplete without a dirt orphan. It was their job to go around the house licking the dirt and dust from furniture and carpets. A combination of unhygienic work practices and malnutrition meant that most dirt orphans died within a week of service. Fortunately, there was an ever-growing supply of new recruits to take their place.


This was followed by "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)presenting his music video he made for a cover version of the Muppet’s song “Rainbow Connection” in which he had clumsily changed the words to “Sherlock Connection”. The video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/I7aljS95_1A

Any Other Business:
There’s no business like any other business, no business I know. Everything about it is appealing. And so forth.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Monthly Meeting Minutes - 30th June 2019

The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society
Monthly Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: 30th June 2019

Location of Meeting:
The Sherloft, My House, Portsmouth, UK

Attendees:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Apologies:
Apologies were interrupted by "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) asking if The Sherloft window could be opened. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) informed "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) that this sort of interruption should be kept until Any Other Business. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) rudely asked again pointing out that it was unpleasantly hot in The Sherloft. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) once again reminded "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) to restrain himself until Any Other Business or else leave the meeting. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) apologised.

Presentation:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) presented his discovery of a Sherlockian Ten Commandments.




Any Other Business:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) asked if The Sherloft window could be opened. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) pointed out that there was no point as the meeting had finished.