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 Mistral. Journal of the Mersea Island Society. 2005 Page 33.

Crime Writer's Link with Mersea by Sylvia Gower contd.



She used the story for her first novel Black Handkerchief Dick 
[ Blackerchief Dick or Blackkerchief Dick ]. This book was published in 1923, with the 
book-jacket designed by Philip Youngman-Carter. It was published by Sir Ernest Hodder 
Williams. Later, Margery ...
Cat1 Books-->Mistral Cat2 Places-->Tolleshunt D'Arcy

Mistral. Journal of the Mersea Island Society. 2005 Page 33.
Crime Writer's Link with Mersea by Sylvia Gower contd.

She used the story for her first novel "Black Handkerchief Dick" [ Blackerchief Dick or Blackkerchief Dick ]. This book was published in 1923, with the book-jacket designed by Philip Youngman-Carter. It was published by Sir Ernest Hodder Williams. Later, Margery seems to have become embarrassed by her 'teenage novel' and allowed people to think she had made it all up. The family continued to holiday in Mersea and in 1923 she wrote "The Sexton's Wife, a ghost story set in Tollesbury and "Hill of the Ancestors" thought to have been inspired by Mersea Burial Mound, although never published.

Her marriage to Philip Youngman Carter took place at St Giles in the Fields on September 29th 1927.

After a short stay in Holborn, they moved to rent Viaduct Farm at Chappel. In 1934 they bought a handsome Georgian house named D'Arcy House, in Tolleshunt D'Arcy. They lived here for the rest of their lives, taking an active part in village life, especially in the village Cricket Team. Once a year, their local team played a team from Chappel. On these occasions the Youngman Carters invited the villagers to lunch and tea in their garden. A documentary film, called ' The Way we Were' was recently produced by I.T.V. This shows cine-camera film of that event and others in the village, taken by Margery's sister Joyce. Margery can be seen preparing and serving food for the occasion and thoroughly enjoying it.

During the War, she was appointed Billeting Officer for Tolleshunt D'Arcy and in 1941 her book 'The Oaken Heart' was published. This gave an account of village life in wartime, and today provides a fascinating social study of the time.

Her husband was commissioned into the R.A.S.C. and served in N.Africa and the Middle East. In 1946 he was demobilised and served with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and worked as Features Editor of the Daily Express. Later he joined the 'Tatler' as Assistant Editor, to become Editor.

In London, he became a member of the Thursday Club, which was how, in 1949, that Club's Cricket Team which included the Duke of Edinburgh, and other well-known personalities, were invited to play the local D'Arcy Cricket team! This was also filmed by Joyce Allingham and shown on 'The Way We were'.

After the war, Margery's books became even more popular and in 1951 she was voted one of the best ten mystery writers. Her book, 'Tiger in the Smoke', published in 1952 was made into a film in 1956, starring Bernard Miles and Donald Sinden. In 1959, Margery won the Crime Writers' Award for her novel 'Hide my Eyes'.

Margery Allingham died on 30th June 1966 and is buried at Tolleshunt D'Arcy. In 1988, the Margery Allingham Society was formed to celebrate the work of a great 'Queen of Crime'. As result of the Society's campaign, a commemorative blue plaque was unveiled at D'Arcy House in 1992. In the summer of 1997, the Margery Allingham collection was opened in Maldon District Museum.


Date: February 2005      

Photo: Mersea Museum
Image ID MIS_2005_033
Category 2 Places-->Tolleshunt D'Arcy


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This image is part of the Mersea Museum Collection.