“Silver Blaze” 2015

The horses have been carefully transported to ‘the borders of Surrey’ in anticipation of the Stormy Petrels’ annual “Silver Blaze” races.


The races will take place at ‘Johnston Downs’ on August 15th, with the first race beginning at 3:00 pm.


No need to bring cash…just bring you enthusiasm for the thrill of the race!


Also, don’t forget to bring a pot-luck dish for sharing.


This event will also feature the “Hats & Ascots” competition. (think Eliza Doolittle and Freddy Eynsford -Hill)


More details, as to address info, will be e-mailed to members of The Stormy Petrels shortly. If you require additional information, please contact Fran at stormypetrels@gmail.com



Twenty-one Stormy Petrels and guests were treated to a talk by Sonia Fetherston, BSI who happened to be in Vancouver.  We were very delighted when she accepted our invitation to discuss the recently-restored silent William Gillette movie.  A film that would impact Sherlockians 100 years later! Sonia had been to the debut screening of the restored film last May in San Francisco and was able to inform us about how it was made, lost, found and painstakingly restored. (The film was not found in one reel but several and had to be put into sequence. Also,the title cards were originally in French and had to be translated). The movie, based on the play “Sherlock Holmes” written by William Gillette and featured Gillette in the title role who had played Holmes 1,300 times on the stage, but this was the only time he played Holmes in film. Sonia was able to answer many questions, and her enthusiasm was definitely contagious! Several of our group, who were not familiar with William Gillette’s work and his impact on the Holmes image, were all very anxious to see the movie. DSCN9590We thank Sonia for a wonderful evening! Hopefully we will see her again!

Special Guest Speaker – on William Gillette Film!

William Gillette was an American actor and playwright, born in 1853.  He portrayed Sherlock Holmes more than 1,000 times on stage, but only once on film. This film had been lost for almost 100 years, and was recently discovered in a film archive in Paris, France.  Great news for Sherlockians! The re-discovered film has been restored and the film made its US debut in San Francisco in May. Among the attendees was Sonia Fetherston BSI, award-winning author.

sherlock_holmes_1916-full-still[1]The Stormy Petrels are honoured and very pleased to have Sonia in Vancouver to treat us, and anyone wishing to join us, to a talk about William Gillette and the re-discovered and newly-restored film. She will answer questions on its actors, when and where it was made, how it came to be lost and how it came to be found and everything in between. The talk will take place at our usual meeting location, Hampton Place (UBC) at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 16th. Please join us and meet Sonia and learn all about William Gillette and his film.

“Mr. Holmes”

“Mr. Holmes”


On July 2, 2015, I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the movie in Vancouver.

If you plan on going into this film expecting to see the same Sherlock Holmes that you are used to, except a little older, you will be disappointed. This is not your usual action-packed,  thrill-of-the-hunt-grab-your-toothbrush-Watson type of story.

Holmes, like the rest of us, is human after all. Even the sharpest of minds lose their edge. Even the heartiest of souls can weaken. Memories fade, but regrets can linger. Vulnerability takes over. We all need someone.

We still cheer on our hero as he tries to right the wrongs. After all, he is still our Holmes!

“Mr. Holmes” starring Ian McKellen in the title role, will be in theatres in Vancouver on July 17th. The acting was superb, needless to say, and an added bonus for me personally, was seeing Nicholas Rowe as a ‘matinee idol’ Holmes in the movie. (Nicholas Rowe portrayed “Young Sherlock Holmes” in 1985)

Whether you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or not, I recommend you see this movie. You needn’t be a Holmes aficionado to appreciate it.


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