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Stutley Constable

Good morning everyone. I have been wondering about something and thought I would pose the question to you all in hopes someone would know the answer.

In several of the canon stories, Watson tells the readers he has "kept in training". This is clearly a Victorian expression for staying in shape. Where or how would Watson have done this? Stamina would be easy enough to maintain in London. All he would need to do is walk instead of taking a cab. But what else would he do? Lifting weights would require a man to have access to a gymnasium or similar sport facility. Would Watson's club have something like that attached?

I'd be interested in any information on this subject.

1/20/2015 #31
Hum... I am not sure about lifting weights generally, but there would most certainly not be a gym at a gentleman's club. I could imagine Watson running, for a start. Holmes would want a sparring partner in his fencing training - and more than likely some of his self-defence training as well. Besides, he would have wanted to ensure that his friend knew some basic self-defence techniques.
1/20/2015 #32
Stutley Constable

I suppose I could look this up, KnightFury, but figured I would go ahead and ask. Did the YMCA have locations in London back in the 1870s and 1880s? I'm pretty sure there were YMCAs and YWCAs in the larger cities in the US at that time, but I don't know for sure. If there were such facilities, would a gentleman like Watson or Holmes go to them for the use of their exercise equipment?

1/20/2015 #33
I must thank you Stutley! I had never thought to research the YMCA either and have been rather surprised by my findings. The YMCA was founded in London (1844), but did not focus on health straight away (not until 1888) when it opened a large gym in Central London. The website that I was quoting from is:
1/20/2015 #34
Stutley Constable

Don't thank me. I'm just being a sponge. :)

The YMCA might be something worth a good deal more consideration than what I had originally thought. Wouldn't it be interesting to include in a casefic? Some scandal or other the proprietor is trying to avoid or perhaps an inexplicable incident.

1/21/2015 #35
Yes, it could be very interesting. I wonder what a Victorian gym would have looked like.
1/21/2015 #36
Stutley Constable

I imagine there would have been a boxing ring and if it were a more upper class sort of place there might have been a fencing piste. Other than that... maybe somewhere the men could stretch and lift weights or use punching bags. Steam rooms might also have been located at the back of the establishment. I suppose at a university there would be a swimming pool close by, but public swimming was done in places like parks or seashores and would not have been a year round activity. Track and field sports would have their facilities outdoors, of course.

1/21/2015 #37
Stutley Constable

I can't really put this in research or in story recommendations, but found the whole story fascinating. This is without a doubt one of my very favorite bits of true historical espionage and the story behind it is incredible and enthralling. Well worth your time to watch. The reason I am posting the link to the documentary is simply that the kind of thinking and planning that went into this real event seems so much like something Sherlock Holmes would have dreamed up.

1/28/2015 #38
Stutley Constable

Recently I found two mystery series I rather like and was wondering if anyone else has seen either of them. I came across an old movie starring Alec Guinness called 'Father Brown the Detective' and then discovered a much more recent TV series produced for the BBC by the same name. It isn't on par with shows like the Granada Holmes series, Poirot or Marple, but it isn't bad. The other series I've been watching is called 'Grantchester' and it's shown in the US on PBS. I have no idea what station broadcasts it in the UK. Regardless, it is a much more dramatic series than 'Father Brown' and deals more with the internal struggles of the main character than any of the shows I normally watch.

If any of you have come across either of these shows, what do you think of them?

2/2/2015 #39
I like Father Brown and have not seen (or heard of) Grantchester. Perhaps it has not made its way to the UK just yet...
2/2/2015 #40
Oh, I really enjoyed Father Brown. I would also recommend Campion for a fun mystery.
2/3/2015 #41
Stutley Constable

Campion... I remember way back around 1988 or maybe 1990 I saw one episode of Campion on KET which was/is the local PBS station. I thought it was pretty good and went to the library to find the novels. I have to say I was very disappointed with Margery Allingham's writing. I think the stories were really written much more for women than men and maybe specifically for well educated and well-to-do women. It is a very long time since I read the one book, so it might just be my memory based on the impression at the time. In this case, at least, I felt the TV show was superior to the written work.

I've also become aware since my previous post that there have been two versions of Father Brown. One seems to have been broadcast back in the late 80s and the more recent one is... Well, more recent. :) Anyone have a preference between the two?

Also, I wanted to pass on this link which should take you to the PBS site where you can watch the Grantchester episodes for free, though only for a limited time.

That's from WGBH out of Boston, I think.

I also wanted to bring up a Canadian production from the early 80s that I occasionally come across on YouTube. It was called 'The Great Detective' but had nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes, really. The show is obviously Holmes-like in it's concept, but it comes across as more of a combination of Holmes and Watson in a single character. Or maybe it would be more accurate to compare it to a combination of Miss Marple and Charlie Chan. Hard for me to put into words. I'm sure if you were to hunt for some episodes you could find it. Script quality is on par with American productions like 'Murder She Wrote' and 'Father Dowling Mysteries' from the 90s. I. E. Fun but not cerebral.

(Good lord, my punctuation really needs work.)

2/3/2015 #42
I agree, I was not a fan of the campion books. But the show was very lighthearted and entertaining. Good era of British mystery television.
2/3/2015 #43
Stutley Constable

Well, Giry, at least you weren't agreeing that my punctuation needs work. :D

Seriously, I would agree that there were some really great shows coming out back then. In the U.S. we were just getting the Poirot series on public television and of course we'd had the Joan Hickson 'Miss Marple' series for a while. And I had a very enjoyable time when I got out of college in '91 because there were two PBS stations playing the Granada Holmes series with Jeremy Brett plus A&E television was running episodes once a week.

Getting back to 'Grantchester', I found this on YouTube:

And while I was finding that, I came across some episodes of 'Jonathan Creek'. That series wasn't bad, but some of the mysteries were not well considered and I got a little tired of the first female lead. The episodes could be fun, though, and might be worth your while.

2/3/2015 #44
Stutley Constable

Good morning ladies and gents. I hope everyone is having a very fine day. I just wanted to let you all know that when I came into the Consulting Room this morning I found a new thread created by hwegowefj. It had been created sometime around 4:00AM EST in the States and this person's profile (which is nearly blank) indicates they live in the Republic of Korea. The first and only post contained complete gibberish, a sequence of letters and numbers repeated a couple dozen times. I banned hwegowefj permanently and then deleted the thread. I did not bother reporting the abuse because this sort of thing is like graffiti. The person who did it is long since gone and will not likely return. I would ask, though, that if you see this sort of thing on our forum, please notify me or one of our other moderators.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

2/13/2015 #45
Duly noted, Stutley. On a brighter note, who's participating in the ACD- Holmesfest on LJ? I don't know if I want to or if I should focus on school work instead XP
2/14/2015 #46

Thought I'd share some general writing links and a quote, perhaps some folks here would be interested, if you hadn't seen them before:

(I'd posted these to my LJ, but for those here who aren't on LJ :)

Top 4 useful writing apps:

The 100 best websites for writers in 2015:

Top 6 blogs for bookworms:

E.B White on the role and the responsibility of a writer

"A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life." (see further in the article:

4/8/2015 #47

Hello, mates. Been quite a while.

4/27/2015 #48

I'faith, it has, Mam'zelle, has it not? ;) What did you think of the links?

4/27/2015 #49

Very useful! I'm only just getting back onto the writing scene, so it's nice to have the resources. :)

4/27/2015 #50

Glad to hear they were of help and looking forward to reading more of your work :)

4/27/2015 #51

I am really hoping to have something to post soon... not been well for a long time, so it's been hard. Need the normalcy of writing again...

4/27/2015 #52

Sorry to hear that and hope you feel better soon. Best of luck with your writing efforts!

4/27/2015 #53

Thanks, dear! Looking at the prompt thread. See if I can maybe get a touch of poetry out. Stretch my fingers.

4/27/2015 #54

Always a pleasure to see more SH poetry!

4/27/2015 #55

Wrote some original poetry the other day I ended up being rather happy with. There's just something about the SH poems... relish them!

4/27/2015 #56

Yes :) Perhaps you can link us to your original works too, if you'll be posting them online, that is?

4/27/2015 #57

Some of them are on fictionpress, though there are a few of my favs that I'm saving because I've been submitting to literary journals. Copyright and whatnot. But I'm in a lyrical poetry writing class this semester which has been rather fun.

4/27/2015 #58

Hello, Giry:-)

lovely to see you post on here again:-) Missed you!

4/28/2015 #59

Best of luck with submissions for publication! Do you want to share the link to your FictionPress acct?

4/28/2015 #60
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