Colin was an early castaway. In the second picture in this blog, I showed him his life story with a photo of one of his castaway choices in Oxford Castaways. The story he told me of how he wrote the Morse stories was unique. Fellow castaway and crossword compiler Don Manley was his best friend. I love this story Don Manley told me concerning Colin and the origin of MORSE!
“Colin and I are two of the most successful winners of the Azed competitions. The other most successful winner is Jeremy Morse of All Souls: it was Jeremy who gave his name to Colin’s detective. Colin also persuaded me to be Quixote in The Oxford Times in the eighties. At that time Colin also set for The Oxford Times under the pseudonym ‘Codex’.
Colin makes his Inspector Morse a keen solver and also used crosswords as part of the plot for ‘The Silent World of Nicolas Quinn’. I wondered if Don had other connections with the Morse books.
“We discussed the background detail for that book and I contributed ideas to a couple of others. Colin attributed a clue to me as The Oxford Times’ Quixote even though he wrote the clue himself. It was Bradman’s famous duck.”
The solution is, of course ‘Donald’.
I love this happy pic with Colin and some of his famous fellow Oxford Castaways* taken at the first anniversary of Oxford Castaways.(* Sir Roger and Lady Moyra Bannister, Korky Paul, Victor Glynn the film producer, Bill Heine-he with the shark in his roof etc ) Colin like the castaways in this photo strode happily between Town and Gown. I had to talk on his behalf at a small Literary Festival. He told me some great stories not only about the writing but also about the filming of the series. He always had a walk on role in the films.
Colin was a generous patron of the Oxford Writers Group. He allowed his endorsement to go on the cover of our anthologies of short stories. We learned a lot from him. At least we will have that kindred opera and crossword loving spirit will live on in the Morse books. He told me that his own literary hero as AE Housman. He was one of those Oxford Characters who was at ease in either town or gown! In this picture I was showing him his chapter in Oxford Castaways.
book launch 089 Colin Me miike &book!
At least Colin lived a long life. On this day last year his fellow castaway Rebecca Allison died aged 47. I cast her away with her close friend and partner in music Nia Williams as Mezzopiano. Kennington Choir will perform Dvorak Stabat Mater in Exeter College in two weeks time. It doesn’t seem credible that she won’t be there.
Becca and I
This pic was taken at a KOA Gala Night we organised together..she the entertainment and me the catering and box office.