Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Traditions of a Sherlock Holmes scion society

Relics of "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor"
Sherlockians are, by and large, traditionalists. And the Sherlock Holmes societies they form each have their own unique traditions. As one who has attended many scion meetings as a visitor, I am fascinated by the variety of ways they are structured and what they do.

On Monday, I had the pleasure of speaking to Watson's Tin Box of Ellicott City, MD, about persistent plot tropes in the Canon. As newcomers, my wife and I were warned that "one meeting is an honest mistake; attend two and you are considered a member." This is a rather informal criterion!

The Tin Boxers meet on the last Monday of every month, except for holidays. There are no dues. Since its founding in 1990, the group has had a new president (called the "Gasogene") every year in order to foster the development of leadership. 

As with most such groups, each meeting includes a discussion and quiz on one of the stories of the Holmes Canon. But along with this, Watson's Tin Box has an amazing legacy from its late co-founder, Paul Churchill. He created a large box for each of the 60 stories, purportedly containing the original relics of the story at hand.

For example, Monday's story was "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor." Mr. Churchill accumulated what he claimed to be the vanished bride's watered silk wedding dress, the letter that Lord Robert St. Simon send to Sherlock Holmes, the hotel bill on which Francis Hay Moulton wrote his true love a desperate note, a post card of Flora Miller, a guidebook to France from the period of the story, a flag combining the Union Jack and the Stars & Stripes, etc. It is a marvelous conceit.

Learn more about Watson's Tin Box at their website. If you get a chance, stop by for a meeting. Or attend two and thereby become a member! 

Signing copies of my newest mystery novel for friends at Watson's Tin Box 

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