Plaque

(lost) Holmes & Watson - Criterion - lost

Erection date: 3/1/1953

Inscription

This plaque commemorates the historic meeting early in 1881 at the original Criterion Long Bar, of Dr Stamford and Dr John H. Watson which led to the introduction of Dr Watson to Mr Sherlock Holmes.

{Below is a small rectangular plaque, illegible in the photo, but it probably names the erector of the plaque, the Tokio Sherlock Holmes Society.}

The presence of Sherlock Holmes at this unveiling is rather misleading since he was not present at the event commemorated. In Conan Doyle's story Watson met the go-between Dr Stamford at the Criterion and was taken by him to Barts and it is there that the famous meeting took place.

Our picture source, Alamy, (incorrectly) captions the photo: "English actor Carleton Hobbs, dressed as Sherlock Holmes, with ex-Chief Inspector Fabian, of Scotland Yard, witnesses the unveiling of a plaque recording his character's meeting with Dr Watson at the long bar at the Criterion Restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, London, in 1851 {sic}. The plaque is the gift of the Tokio Sherlock Holmes Society."

Other photos at Alamy show Sherlock departing in a horse-drawn hansom cab - so it was quite an event.

The Arthur Conan Doyle Encylopedia has a video showing Sherlock arriving and unveiling the plaque, and informs "The plaque was an idea of Mr. Richard Hughes, an Australian sherlockian (resident in Tokyo), and offered by the Tokyo branch of The Baker Street Irregulars."

In 1953 when this plaque was unveiled the radio Sherlock Holmes series, that was to run for a massive 75 episodes, was in its first year; Carleton Hobbs was a little-known actor with only a few minor credits to his name; Fabian had published his book 3 years previously, and it would be dramatised by the BBC, beginning the following year.

Site: Holmes & Watson - Criterion (2 memorials)

W1, 224 Piccadilly, 224, Criterion Restaurant

The Criterion Restaurant is on the ground floor with the entrance at the left of our photo.

The meeting at the Criterion took place on New Year's Day in 1881, 72 years and 2 days before the first, lost, plaque was erected.  The current plaque, erected to mark the centenary of the meeting, is inside, on the wall to the right, before the tables begin. It was brought to our attention by Londonist.

The meeting at the Criterion is described in the first Sherlock Holmes story "A Study in Scarlett" published in 1887. See the plaque at Barts Hospital for the actual meeting of Holmes and Watson.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Holmes & Watson - Criterion - lost

Subjects commemorated i

Sherlock Holmes

Originally named Sheridan Hope, then Sherringford Holmes and finally Sherlock...

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Dr Watson

John H. Watson, MD, friend of Sherlock Holmes.

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Holmes & Watson - Criterion - lost

Created by i

Tokyo Sherlock Holmes Society

Active in 1953. Initiated by Richard Hughes and also known as the Baritsu Cha...

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Robert Fabian

Robert Honey Fabian was born in Lewisham. He joined the police in 1921 and ro...

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Carleton Hobbs

Hobbo (as he was known) portrayed Sherlock Holmes in 80 radio adaptations in ...

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Richard Hughes (journalist)

Richard Joseph Hughes CBE was an Australian journalist who spent much of his ...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Holmes & Watson - Criterion - lost

Also at this site i

Holmes & Watson - Criterion

Holmes & Watson - Criterion

Here, New Years Day, 1881, at the Criterion Long Bar, Stamford, dresser at Ba...

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