The case of the writer and the Olympic runner

Lively Lady amid the  welcome-home flotilla of 400 small vessels off Southsea.'All pictures: Graham Stevens

NOSTALGIA: Home to Portsmouth and a hero’s welcome

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But it seems he was also an official at the 1908 London Olympics, according to Allan Sturney from Old Portsmouth.

It appears that when Dorando Pietri was first over the line after competing in the marathon, he was disqualified as someone had assisted him before he collapsed. Conan Doyle was one of the officials who had gone to his aid.

The gold medal went to Johnny Hayes, who came in second. There was much sympathy for the poor Pietri and at a banquet held that evening following the race, Queen Alexandra presented him with a similar cup to the one presented to Hayes. The idea was thought to have come from Conan Doyle.


Jill Smith tells me the reason why Surrey Street in Portsmouth used to be such a busy location. It seems Portsmouth did not have a flourishing fishing fleet and most of the fish came down from Hull and Grimsby by train.

There was a tradesman’s entrance to the goods yard at the Town Station where all the merchants picked up their fish in wooden boxes. They used to load the boxes on carts and push them back to the markets.

Examined for quality, the orders were then sorted and then whisked away to shops and hotels.