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Margery Allingham Celebration Evening

A project by: Jordan Welsh



from 11 donors

This project received donations on Tue 12 Sep 2023
A celebration of the life, career, and legacy of crime writer Margery Allingham

A short summary of The project

This event will be a celebration of the life, career, and legacy of Essex based crime writer Margery Allingham, one of the four Queens of Crime during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. It'll be an evening of short, informative talks by some of the leading experts in the field, as well as exhibition of items from the Margery Allingham archives which are held by the University. This event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Allingham's first novel.

Who are we?

My name is Jordan Welsh, I am PhD student and assistant lecturer in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies. Although crime fiction is not related to my PhD research, it does form a part of my wider interests. I am organising the event alongside Dr. Sarah Demelo, the Curator of the University's ESCALA, Art and Special Collections.

our story

2023 marks 100 years since the publication of Margery Allingham's first novel “Blackkerchief Dick” a story of pirates, smuggling, and love on the Essex coast. 

Allingham lived most of her life in Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Essex and set many of her stories in the varied landscapes of Essex and Suffolk. She was one of the most popular crime writers of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and is considered one of the four Queens of Crime along with Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh. Her crime series featuring her detective Albert Campion spanned eighteen novels and five short story collections, in addition to several novellas, stand-alone novels, short stories, and autobiographical writing. 

The Special Collections in the University of Essex Library hold the Margery Allingham archives, and as a result, I felt it was fitting to hold an event to mark her life, career, and legacy. The event will include an exhibition of items from the archives (many of which have never been on display before) as well as an evening of short, informative talks by experts on Margery Allingham and detective fiction which will be of great interest to Allingham fans and newcomers alike. 

The event will take place in October, and will be open to members of the university and the wider public. The event will be free to ensure that there are no barriers to prevent anyone from attending, although it will be ticketed due to venue capacity. (Tickets will be released soon!)

This event touches on a local literary talent and her legacy, with the hope of inspiring the public to read her works and explore the Essex landscapes that she adored. It will be a real asset to the cultural and heritage offerings of the area, as well as promoting a local literary figure, and the resources which are available to the public via the University of Essex. 

Where will the money go?

We have ensured that this event is run as economically as possible, and everything has been done to keep costs to a minimum. At present the only budget we have is the annual budget of the Special Collections and Arts Collection fund, which would not be enough to cover the whole event and would prevent them from doing their vital work if their entire budget was taken up.

Our rough costings can be seen below

  • Venue hire (including ushers and tech support): £306
  • Small fee to speakers for their time and contribution: £150
  • Speaker's travel expenses: £100 (Approx.)
  • Small catering budget for speakers and organisers: £30
  • Printing and marketing costs (Posters etc): £100

We will provide regular updates in the run up to the event and will promote it as widely as possible across a number of social media channels and other organisations. 

Should we exceed our target, then any additional funds will be split between the University of Essex's ESCALA, Art and Special Collections team (to continue their work and care of items within the archives and collections), and Cancer Research UK (in memory of Margery Allingham who sadly passed away from cancer in Colchester in 1966)


We are providing rewards that will see donations marked with the donor's name shown (if provided) on the night of the event, as part of a slideshow as everyone enters and settles into the venue. Posters with donor's names will also displayed in the exhibition space of items from the Allingham archives.

We will also have the opportunity to receive a tour of the archives and special collections by our curator. 

Help us succeed!

  • You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.
  • In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.
  • And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this celebration event happen.