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COME BACK J M FERRIS – ALL IS FORGIVEN!

Tracking the Mastermind Club’s second hundred members

Last year, after some frustrating research in the Club’s original ledger, backed up by Magnus Magnusson’s book “I’ve Started So I’ll Finish” (ISSIF from now on) I managed to complete a table of members 1 to 100. Foolishly emboldened by this modest success, I went on to try to trace the next 100 members. It soon became clear that this task would not be straightforward, and that I was already running into the period in which the Club’s original administration was hitting the skids.
The table produced from this effort is attached. A few observations come up immediately:
• Members numbered 101 to 165 inclusively can be identified, but from then on there are some gaps in the records
• Bill Wright, Magnus himself, and Mary Craig all appear, at numbers 113-115
• Just 16 names remain in current membership, fewer than survive from the initial 100 members
• No record can be found to show the names of members numbered 166, 168, 176-178, 180, 182, 184, 188, 191/2, 194/5,197 and 199
• Members from 185 onwards all appear to have been honorary, as specialist question-setters
• At least two members, 155 Elaine Scragg and 158 Josephine Layton, do not correspond to anyone listed in ISSIF, as contestants or question setters.

All those shown in the table joined in a period of less than one year, from 1 September 1978 to 25 July 1979. However, the ledger lists entries during this period from a number of others, all of whom paid at least one initial £2 subscription but were not allocated membership numbers, probably because they could not be identified. Many of these names are not legible, and certainly none of them appear in the lists in ISSIF.

Can anyone shed any light on these mysterious figures? As best I can make them out, they are (listed by date of first entry):
• 2 May 1979: G. Anaba, ? Southon
• 3 July 1979: ? Tenby
• 11 July 1979: Mrs B Ardley, ? Gibbs-Smith, K Macksey, Nancy Sayer
• 25 July 1979: ? Morpurgo, J H Palsson

There are numerous others at later dates. No doubt the problem was caused by the difficulty of taking names from undocumented cheques after the Club’s well-known difficulties with its first Treasurer, but it would be really interesting to know how all this occurred, and where these apparently prospective members went.

Club veterans – can you help?

Tony Dart (275)
February 2012
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