The Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore had its genesis in a dinner get-together in mid-2001, when five former members of The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis met again for the first time in several years. All had left their former scion years previously, after it had, for various reasons, ceased to meet their Sherlockian needs. But in getting together again, they realized once more how enjoyable was the fellowship of other, congenial Sherlockians. Why not, they thought, start a new scion in Indianapolis? (After all, Chicago has 12 scions.) They began planning for the new scion’s inaugural meeting, choosing the first Saturday in January 2002 to coincide with the weekend of Holmes’ birthday, per conventional Sherlockian scholarship. The name for the new scion was a natural for several reasons, not the least of which was one founder’s use of Barker–Holmes’ Hated Rival upon the Surrey Shore–in an unpublished scenario he’d written a decade and a half earlier and a special fondness for a character who was apparently so accomplished a sleuth that the Great Detective himself considered him skilled enough to dub “rival.”
The kick-off meeting of the Hated Rivals attracted a columnist for the local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, who subsequently wrote a column on Holmes and local Sherlockians (and in which the fledling scion even received as much coverage as “the big guys in town”). The second Rivals meeting, at a Victorian-era jailhouse/museum, in nearby Noblesville, IN, attracted a number of new Sherlockians–people who’d never before attended a scion meeting. Subsequent meetings were scheduled for other Indianapolis locations with a Victorian connection, including the Indiana Medical History Museum, the Conner Prairie 1880s settlement, and historic Crown Hill Cemetery, resting site of poet James Whitcomb Riley.
The philosophy behind The Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore is simple: To provide a forum and a place of fellowship for anyone who enjoys Sherlock Holmes in all–or any of–his various manifestations, whether in the original stories, the movies, pastiches, parodies, plays, TV shows, games, graphic novels, or any other medium. No one need be a Sherlockian scholar or purist to join this scion. No one need fear enjoying, for example, Sherlockian science-fictional settings or other cross-genre offerings. (After all, Doyle himself was also a science fiction writer, as have been many BSI members.) All one needs to become a member of the Hated Rivals is to enjoy Sherlock Holmes and his adventures in any form–or even just the Victorian world and times in which he lived. The Rivals plan to meet approximately six times a year–whenever possible, in Victorian settings–and to offer information not only about the Master Sleuth of Baker Street but also on various aspects of the Victorian world in which Holmes lived. (Upcoming meetings, for example, will feature talks on grave robbing in the 19th century and Afghanistan during Victoria’s reign.)
Finally, and most important, the main goal of The Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore is to have fun. (And truly, what better reason can anyone have for reading, enjoying, and celebrating Sherlock Holmes.) The Rivals welcome all who share their philosophy.
Box 26290, Indianapolis, IN 46226-0290