The Dracula Society
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Past Society Events in 2021
Our activities in the first half of 2021 were curtailed due to COVID-19 pandemic social mixing restrictions.
The Christmas Social
Thursday 16th December 2021
Also after a gap last year due to COVID-19 we finally met again for out usual pre-Christmas gathering, again at the historic George Inn in Southwark, the venue for many of our meetings in past years. Despite ongoing COVID worries, a good turnout of members enjoyed our traditional caption competition, and the "Santa's Sack" raffle to exchange genre-related artefacts.
The 46th Annual Bram Stoker Birthday Dinner
Saturday 6th November 2021
After a gap last year due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, we were delighted to meet again for our annual celebration of the birthday of Bram Stoker.
We were also delighted that both of our 2020 award winners were able to be present to receive their awards in person.
Writer and actor Jonathan Goodwin of "Don't Go Into The Cellar!" received a very special Hamilton Deane Award in recognition of his efforts to keep live Gothic horror performance alive online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Robert Lloyd Parry of Nunkie productions was also nominated by the Society Committee.
Author Will Maclean received the Children of the Night Award for his novel The Apparition Phase.
Both award winners made excellent acceptance speeches.
Our special guest was actress Judy Matheson, who amongst many other film and television roles appeared in the vampire genre films Lust for a Vampire and Twins of Evil.
Jonathan Goodwin and Judy Matheson
Friday 15th - Sunday 17th October 2021
Frankenstein in Bath
Originally scheduled in 2020 (twice!)
We finally made it to Bath on the third attempt, where we looked in detail at its Frankenstein connections.
When we last visited in 2006, relatively little was known about Mary Shelley's time in the city, and the circumstances around her writing much of the novel there.
Now thanks to Sir Christopher Frayling and others, we know a lot more, and it was finally acknowledged in 2018, the bicentenary year of the novel's publication, with a plaque in front of the Pump Room. The building where Mary lodged while she was working on the novel was demolished later in the 19th century to build an extension to the Pump Room. Rather fittingly, the basement of the original building still survives, and is now an electricity substation!
Sir Christopher gave us a fascinating talk on Mary Shelley's time in Bath on the Saturday evening.
The stunning "Creature" in the House of Frankenstein in Bath
A highlight of the trip was a visit to the House of Frankenstein museum, which had only opened a few months previously, and would not have been there if we had met any of our previous dates! Crammed full of very well presented exhibits on several floors, the highlight was an 8 feet tall amazing anamatronic representation of the Creature/Monster of the novel, looking very different from Boris Karloff's iconic cinematic portrayal of course!
Saturday 2nd October 2021
The Films That Never Were: Hammer’s Unmade Film Scripts
An illustrated talk by Dr. Kieran Foster
Kali, Devil Bride of Dracula; Vampirella; Vlad the Impaler; and Nessie are just a handful of over a dozen film projects from Hammer Studios that never got beyond the planning stage.
Kieran has studied all the unmade films' scripts and other materials held in the Hammer Archive at De Montfort University.
He shared with us his insights into Hammer's ongoing difficulties throughout the late 1960s and the 1970s, and highlighted a number of fascinating 'what ifs' in the studio's history.
This talk was originally scheduled in 2020, and it was good to finally be able to hold it, with a huge turnout of over 40 members!
Saturday 14th August 2021
A picnic on Hampstead Heath
Thankfully blessed with warm and dry weather, a very impressive turnout of 23 members and guests spent a convivial afternoon picnicking on Hampstead Heath, which started with readings from Dracula concerning the mysterious reports given by local children of encounters with a "Bloofer Lady" on the heath.
Our Chair Julia Kruk reading from Dracula on Hampstead Heath
Some of the children apparently carried bite marks on their necks as a souvenir of the encounter!
The lady in question was, of course Lucy Westenra......
Saturday 24th July 2021
Originally intended as our New Year meeting to tie in with our now postponed Germany trip, we finally screened the 1939 Universal Studios classic Son of Frankenstein, which features both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, with Basil Rathbone in the title role.
The wonderful Bela Lugosi as Ygor ushers Boris Karloff's "Monster" off stage at our screening
This was our first regular Society meeting since March 2020, and it was wonderful to finally see members get together face to face again after such a long COVID-19 pandemic-enforced hiatus!