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The fate of the William Stanley?

Arthur Conan Doyle spent three and a half years living in South Norwood in present day south-east London.

I too lived there for some eight years. It was living there that inspired me to write two of my books - Close to Holmes and The Norwood Author. During the writing of the former I noticed that Conan Doyle was not really celebrated locally and I set about trying to change this.

William Stanley is the area's favourite son and well known UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon had a pub in the area named after him. During 2008/9 I lobbied them about displaying some information on Arthur Conan Doyle. The chain is well known for decorating its pubs with images and text relating to local history and usually around the Victorian era.

After some months the company agreed and even sent me text to check. Unfortunately its researchers had relied on Conan Doyle's autobiography Memories and Adventures and had thus reproduced many of his errors in its display material. I corrected it all and sent it back. When the display went up I could see that my corrections had been totally ignored. Not surprisingly, the written word of Doyle had been taken over that of Duncan. Understandable but a mistake.

I have today seen that a pub/bar chain called Antic have bought the William Stanley pub and will shortly begin refurbishment.

The report can be seen here

I have approached Antic via Facebook and Twitter to ask if they will retain the displays. If they respond I shall let you all know.


Written by Alistair Duncan Buy my books here

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