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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

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The Undershaw Alliance: Launches its website today
Raks New Profile Pic Square
rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly
The Undershaw Alliance: Campaigning for a Conan Doyle Museum and Centre for British and Irish Crime Writing

Photo credit: all-art.org, courtesy of the Haslemere Educational Museum

Conan Doyle's Epitaph:

Steel True
Blade Straight
Arthur Conan Doyle
Patriot, Physician and Man of Letters

The Undershaw Alliance is proud to announce that it is launching its website as of today. The website is here:
The Undershaw Alliance website has now gone onto my sidebar on the Links list.

We still have a lot of work to done around fine-tuning the website and improving the look and feel, but all the key information is now on there and so we wanted to go live with it.

Who are The Undershaw Alliance?

To campaign for Undershaw's conservation as a Conan Doyle Museum and Centre for British and Irish Crime Writing, two supporters’ groups have been set up, Academics for Undershaw and Crime Writers for Undershaw , the first as a body of authoritative opinion affirming the cultural value of Undershaw, the second honouring Conan Doyle’s place as an ancestor of to-day’s detective fiction. These two groups form The Undershaw Alliance, more than 500 strong, and working to enlist opinion formers and professionals. The Undershaw Alliance believes that Undershaw can and must be saved for the nation, for the enjoyment of the nation: indeed, in the context of cultural tourism, for all nations.

Our task now is to appeal to a broader public and enlist greater international public support for this.

What is its Mission Statement?

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.

How are its proposals different from the current development plans and also the plans of the Undershaw Preservation Trust (UPT)?

There are three plans in contention:

(a) our own aim 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, open and accessible to the public all year round (including school visits), with a library, shop, conference facilities, crime writing courses and a writer in residence;

(b) the aim of the Undershaw Preservation Trust for Undershaw to be turned into a single private residence; and

(c) the aim of Fosseway Ltd for Undershaw to be turned into multiple private residences.

How can you help?

If you would like to join either Academics for Undershaw or Crime Writers for Undershaw, or if you would like to help create another similar group within the Undershaw Alliance, please write to us at undershavian@gmail.com

Do not worry if you are not an academic or a crime writer - you can still join The Undershaw Alliance campaign. You can add your name to our growing list of supporters, or write a message of support saying why you think Undershaw is worth saving, and why it should be a Museum and Centre for Crime Writing.

There is also provision if you want to receive regular updates from us on the progress of the campaign. We will not inundate you: you will just receive a bulletin every 3 or 4 months.

Join our campaign now!

David Charles Rose, Rakshita Patel

Undershaw as it is now:

Previous features on The Undershaw Alliance can be found here:

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I really hope that the various campaign groups, petitions, etc will ensure that something gets done about Undershaw. In an ideal world a cooperative could achieve what you hope for, but in reality what's needed is some serious financial backing – a oligarth who prefers fiction to football... a J K Rowling of the crime writing scene... someone with clout and hard cash. I know that public funds are unlikely to be forthcoming in the current financial climate, but I've signed the online e-petition because I don't think it would do any harm for a debate to be forced about the principals of the Undershaw case. :-/

And I think you know my view on that one!

I want to save Undershaw too, and have been working on the campaign to save Undershaw for over a year.

But buying Undershaw, restoring it, and opening it as a Museum, should not be funded by taxpayers. That is definitely not a priority for me when so many third sector organisations and charities providing essential services to those in desperate need are going to the wall.

Public money should be prioritised for education (including higher education), youth services, the NHS, social services, libraries, etc. Public money for public services please!

Edited at 2012-03-15 12:03 am (UTC)

I agree, at this time, taxpayers' money cannot be used to save Undershaw. But I still think that a debate would raise awareness and might bring about some funding offers from private sources. All publicity is good. :-)

Which is a fair point. I agree with you.

However, the petition asks for a lot more than you say. It says:
"I believe that Arthur Conan Doyle's house, Undershaw, should be purchased from it's private owners, for a fair price, by the nation for the nation, and that funds be made available to Hindhead Council to develop Undershaw into a national Conan Doyle Museum."

As such, there is no way I can sign or support that petition. This is NOT a priority for me for public money. Not compared to health and education and youth services.

Well I never agree with anything 100 per cent... but I do see the petition as a starting point for discussion and negotiation on another front. Can't do any harm. :-)

I just don't want to sign something that states that I believe public money (taxpayers money) should go towards this. Not when the public sector is being cut to the bone. If there is any money for the taking, it should go towards public services.

And you are quite right to stick to your principles. :-) I see public money being wasted every day (Gritters out regularly literally chucking money down the drain when there's no likelihood of ice being my current bugbear) and think why not at least provoke a discussion! Remind politicians to think small scale occasionally rather than about wars and international games events... :-))

It also says that an indefinite sum of money should be handed over to the Council to develop the house into a Museum.

You of all people should understand this. Why should people up North, including North of the border, who are struggling financially fund regeneration activity is Surrey? Hello?!

Well I still reckon that the petition has merit. There never has been anything fair about the distribution of public money. We can't opt in and out of what any current government spends our taxes on. Personally I would rather my money was spent renovating buildings of historical interest than on building, for example, Olympic venues at vast expense as I have practically zero interest in sport. :-) Funding public services is a bottomless pit without much joy. ACD is loved by the entire nation, and leisure facilities are important too. Agreeing with every detail of the petition is not the point for me. A debate, like we are having here, should be held!

And now I'm running away because I've run out of arguments to support my own case. You can tell that I never was part of any serious debating society... :-))

Like you, I have zero interest in sport. But those Olympic venues will be utilised by people (young and old) for years to come after the Olympics has been and gone, and they have been built predominantly in East London where there was poverty and disadvantage. This is part of the Olympic legacy, which will see East London rejuvenated and regenerated. Local people will have world class facilities and this will contribute to improving their health and well-being. So we will have to agree to disagree.

But you are right, a debate on the issue would be good.

And contrary to what you said, you had some excellent arguments, and you SHOULD have been part of a debating society!

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