Sherlock lovers back bid to build attraction in Portsmouth

STAR Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC television series Sherlock
STAR Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC television series Sherlock
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LITERARY fans have thrown their weight behind the idea to create a Sherlock Holmes attraction in Portsmouth.

As previously reported, proposals have been revived for the literary character’s life to be told through a world-class multimedia experience.

It could include holograms of characters, and re-enactments of plots and Holmes’ life at his home in 221B Baker Street, London.

Visitors from around the world would be expected to visit as the Holmes character and stories retain global appeal.

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London has now backed the major idea and one of its members has not ruled out helping in any way if it was approached.

Roger Johnson, editor of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s journal, said: ‘I can’t say anything about the financial implications because I don’t know what they are, but it would be a wonderful idea.

‘The really important thing here is, it would put so much emphasis on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who lived and worked in Southsea when he created Sherlock Holmes.

‘Portsmouth is the birthplace of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.

‘It’s an amazing global phenomenon that’s been going on for around 137 years.

‘It would be a great asset to the city.’

Asked whether the society, founded in 1951, could help bring the plans to life, Mr Johnson said: ‘I can’t say for definite because the society’s activities is governed by a committee, but my feeling is very definitely yes, we would.’

The society is open to anyone with an interest in Sherlock Holmes. It publishes a scholarly journal and occasional papers and holds meetings and excursions.

As reported in The News on Monday, a private company has been commissioned by the city council to carry out a report into the commercial benefits of the idea and whether there would be enough demand for the attraction. Any plan would need significant investment from the private sector and a suitable site would need to be found.

The Northern Quarter, a retail complex due to be completed by developers Centros by 2018, has already been put forward as one suggestion.