Ferguson's Gang: The Remarkable Story of the National Trust Gangsters

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Pavilion Books, Nov 26, 2015 - 224 pages
2 Reviews
1927. Britain’s heritage is vanishing. Beautiful landscapes are being bulldozed. Historic buildings are being blown up. Stonehenge is collapsing. Enter Ferguson’s Gang, a mysterious and eccentric group of women who help the National Trust to fight back. The Gang raise huge sums, which they deliver in delightfully strange ways: Victorian coins inside a fake pineapple, a one hundred pound note stuffed inside a cigar, five hundred pounds with a bottle of homemade sloe gin. Their stunts are avidly reported in the press, and when they make a national appeal for the Trust, the response is overwhelming. Ferguson’s Gang is instrumental in saving places from Cornwall to the Lake District, a legacy of incalculable value. Yet somehow these women stay anonymous, hiding behind masks and bizarre pseudonyms such as Bill Stickers, Red Biddy, the Bludy Beershop and Sister Agatha. They carefully record their exploits, their rituals, even their elaborate picnics, but they take their real names to the grave. Now Sally Beck and Polly Bagnall can reveal the identities of these unlikely national heroes and tell the stories of their fascinating and often unconventional lives. With the help of relatives, colleagues and friends, we can finally get to know the women who combined a serious mission with such a sense of mischief.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DramMan - LibraryThing

Rollicking account of fundraising by a band of eccentric do-gooders, in the early years of the National Trust. A well told tale from another, simpler era. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eglinton - LibraryThing

Anonymous do-gooders raise funds to preserve neglected properties and landscapes. A clique of well-bred, spirited women is behind the stunts (masked invaders delivering the readies to a National Trust ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27
Section 28
Section 29

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 30
Section 31
Section 32
Section 33
Section 34
Section 35
Section 36
Section 37
Section 38
Section 39
Section 40
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Polly Bagnall is a contemporary British painter and artist working in South East London. Her grandfather, John Macgregor, was "The Artichoke", a member of Ferguson's Gang.

Sally Beck is a national newspaper and magazine journalist specialising in celebrity, real life and health features.

Bibliographic information