Photo credit: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/sherlock-holmes-and-the-curious-case-of-the-authors-ruined-mansion-6283413.html
South Today (BBC Regional News for the South) ran a feature on Undershaw and the Undershaw Alliance yesterday (Thursday 12 January).
All credit for the coverage has to go to David Rose, who created and co-ordinates Academics for Undershaw, and launched Crime Writers for Undershaw a couple of months ago. Together, Academics for Undershaw and Crime Writers for Undershaw, make up the Undershaw Alliance.
South Today covered Undershaw and the Undershaw Alliance's campaign. As David is based in Paris, I was the official spokesperson for the Undershaw Alliance. Our key announcement was that the Undershaw Alliance now numbers around 500 signatories, made up of academics and crime writers. Guy Ritchie has recently joined as one of our supporters (within the last month). We are working on a business case to save Undershaw for the Nation.
Our Mission Statement is to save Undershaw for the Nation by relaunching it as the Conan Doyle Museum and Centre for British and Irish Crime Writing, thus affirming its cultural value and Conan Doyle's place in the literary heritage of Great Britain and Ireland, and beyond.
We want Undershaw to comprise a Museum dedicated to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a gift shop, a library, crime writing courses and a writer in residence. It would be open and accessible to the public all year round.
I would like to thank South Today for publicising the Undershaw Alliance and our campaign.
The programme is available to view until 6.59pm today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0196rkr/South_Today_12_01_2012/
No longer available. It is past 7pm!
The clear win was the response from Waverley Borough Council. Councillor Adam Taylor-Smith said quite clearly that they were unhappy with the current owners and had had to step in on a few occasions already. That they backed a plan for an alternative for Undershaw. And that they as a Council would put pressure on the current owners to sell to someone interested in doing something with the property which would be a fitting tribute to Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.