Competition: Win ‘The Casebook Of Bryant & May’

Bryant and May


It’s compo time! A simply delightful limited edition hardcover copy of ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May’ is now set to become even more collectable because it is set to be the first in an annual series, and will be signed, dated and numbered by me before being mailed out (UK only, I’m afraid, but you could make a friend in these Comment pages who’ll post it to you) to the winner of our Bryant & May competition. I’d like to stress that I do this sort of thing out of love for my readers, and that it’s not set up and paid for by my publisher, more’s the pity.

Okay, here we go. I need the answer to three questions about London.

1. What’s the only tube station not to contain a letter from the word ‘mackerel’?

2. In medieval times, what was the name of the only street in London where prostitution was legal?

3. Why was the old dialling code of Golders Green not GOL but SPE? (This is in a Bryant & May novel)

First correct three-part answer that comes through to my comments approval box wins!

28 comments on “Competition: Win ‘The Casebook Of Bryant & May’”

  1. Stephen Maddock says:

    St Johns Wood
    Gropecunt lane

  2. Mim McDonald says:

    St John’s Wood
    Cock’s Lane
    It’s the first three letters of speedwell – take gold from green and you get blue, and speedwell is a very blue flower. The chap who thought it up was a crossword fan.

  3. admin says:

    I think you got cut off in your answer, Stephen, but you already had one wrong there.

  4. Amy Gregson says:

    St John’s Wood
    Cock’s Lane
    The numbers for Golders Green are the same as the ones used for Holborn

  5. Keith Garlinge says:

    1)St Johns Wood
    2)Cocks Lane
    3)Telephone exchange was SPEedwell.

  6. admin says:

    Yikes – that was fast! I’ll have to make them A LOT HARDER next time – Mim, your message came through 17 minutes ahead of everyone else by my server, so you’re the winner. Send an address.

  7. Mark Roberts says:

    The answers are St Johns wood, Gropecunt Lane, and Speedwell was used because GOL had the numerical equivalent of HOL which was Holborn, still cant remember which book these came from but i do remember Arthur talking about St johns wood i think x

  8. slabman says:

    Well, of course, St John’s Wood & Cocks Lane, but so far the answers only say why the exchange wasn’t called Golders Green, not why it was called Speedwell. So, pedantically, the reason is that Mr Pink, Deputy Director of London Telephone Exchanges at the GPO rejected over fifty other names for the exchange. He wanted something that suggested ‘gold as green’. As it’s blue that makes yellow turn green, he came up with the name for the brightest shade of blue he could think of.

  9. Iain Bryson says:

    1St John’s Wood

    2 Cocks Lane

    3 SPE for Speedwell telephone exchange

  10. Jen says:

    1. St Johns Wood
    2. Cokkeslane
    3. The name “Golders Green” could not be used because its numerical equivalent is the same as that of Holborn, and, under the automatic telephone system which will be introduced in London, no two names can have the same equivalent.

  11. Nikki-ann says:

    Well done to the winner!

    I’ve just ordered myself the signed slipcase version as a treat 🙂

  12. Joss Bundy says:

    St Johns Wood
    Cocks Lane
    Speedwell, reorganisation after the war to meet demand. GOL could be confused with other districts like HOL when dialled on a, er, well, dial phone!

  13. Jo sully says:

    1. St Johns Wood
    2. Cocks Lane
    3. Speedwell. Name of the local telephone exchange in Golders Green

  14. Mim McDonald says:

    Woohoo! How do I send an address? I can’t see an obvious button or link for emailing/ private messaging.

  15. Alan G says:

    Damn novovirus – was in with a chance there.

  16. Dan Terrell says:

    Yes. Congratulations, Ms. McDonald. (You have a nice website.)
    Now, although I completely understand why these bookfests are UK Only, I really do, I must say they make me feel like a WWI doughboy.
    Hunkered down in a damp trench with all the other foreign fighters, listening to the latest Comp arc across over our heads, a brief pause, and then the return blasts rocketing by over our heads, until finally someone scores a hit.
    Glad I already own a copy. May I sign your signature? What’s it look like?Anyone on this side want to join me in Boston? We could hoist some Sam Adams in an oldish pub, talk about the unfairly cold weather here, and then go down to the harbor and tip a few cases of Twining’s English Breakfast into the water. It’s not original, but…

  17. John Howard says:

    God I feel inadequate. Now I know why I enjoy the books. I learn stuff I didn’t know. Don’t promise to retain it though. I would be crap on a pub quiz team. (Certainly one of admin’s devising)

  18. Mim McDonald says:

    Thank you Dan 🙂

    I too love learning stuff from the books. Being a country mouse, London’s always intimidated me, but Christopher’s books have given me an interest in the city and made me see it differently. It’s still chaotic, but not frighteningly so.

  19. John Howard says:

    know what it is Dan. We are still jealous of all the chaps that came over all those years ago distributing largesse along the lines of nylons and fags. Or so I have heard.

    Alternatively it’s admins way of trying to persuade another wave to come on over, only this time you need to bring good food. Our tastes have changed over the years.

  20. Dan Terrell says:

    John: Does your Customs allow food to enter? Ours doesn’t, unless it is contained and has the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture seal of approval. I kid you not.
    We have some really good food here now, including my wife’s, but we don’t have many ugly veggie stands, yet.
    Come this way and we’ll be sure to feed you and I’ll have my son bring over a growler or two of his homebrews. He’s a beer professional with a nice website. And it’s free for family and close friends.

  21. BangBang!! says:

    I only work 16 hours a week at the minute and I still managed to miss. What terrible timing. And I knew the answers as well! I could do with some of Dan’s ale to drown my sorrows!

  22. Helen Martin says:

    Those of us on the other side of the world have an additional problem, especially if we sleep at night – THERE ARE HOURS OF DIFFERENCE IN OUR TIME ZONES! There! I’ve got that off my chest. Doesn’t matter ’cause I only had part of the answer anyway. I promise I won’t explode like that again *whacks self over head with atlas then leaves to make quiet cup of tea*.
    Thanks to the Chambers Book of Days I have been reminded in detail about the dates for Easter.

  23. Jo W says:

    Oh dear! I missed the competition too. My excuse? Roaming London all day,trying to learn more about my town!

  24. Admin says:

    Mim, you can privately Tweet me through my Twitter name, Peculiar, and I’ll send you the email address.

  25. Helen Lewis says:

    1. Hoxton
    2. Cocks Lane
    3. Couldn’t use GOL because the letter O wasn’t used because it could be confused with number 0.
    Loving the Bryant & May books, they prompt us to visit places in London we might otherwise overlook.

  26. Hi there. I’m too late for the contest but I am new to your blog and your books. I just discovered you PCU books 6 weeks ago and have subsequently read them all. i LOVE them. I love your characters, your humour, your vocabulary… all of it. More please!

  27. Randal Everts says:

    Dear Mr. Fowler: I was vastly delighted to receive the latest BRYANT & MAY opus, MEMORY OF BLOOD (we are behind the times here in Hawaii, another benighted island) and at the same time I purchased a book from our Library Book Store entitled THE 13TH ELEMENT by John Emsley. I mention it because he goes into detail on the production of lucifers and safety matches by the firm founded by BRYANT & MAY. You probably know all about that anyway. I noted your interests and have to say that I am a cousin of HP Lovecraft and if I could have attached a photo that I scanned of him at picnic I would have. My family is also a fan of Hammer Horrors and we had the extreme pleasure of meeting Michael Ripper and his family at a convention in America in 1999; I have photos of him I could send as well. He was incapacitated by a stroke but crying the whole time since he was being honoured–I went to see him, not the “big” stars because to me, over the last 50 years, he has been the big star of Hammer. I do enjoy your treks to diverse parts of London (I lived there in 1960-61 in Cadogan Square, near to the flat that Michael Reeves died in and in the very flat that a woman and son lived where he killed his mother, many a year later–think it was 81 Cadogan Square (I find online it was the famous Barbara Baekeland case)–my last visit to London in 1987 found the flat torn apart as it was being renovated into more expensive digs–I went in and found the hallway so narrow, the ground floor rooms so small that I barely recognised the place we lived in back in 1960 (when I was 14). I do look forward to the next book on B&M, Your mini-insular fan, Randy Everts

  28. Kevin Webb says:

    Chessington Zoo was never closed, one could, and did, climb over the fence at the top of Whinney Hill. Where’s my bibliography?

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