Blue plaque for thriller couple

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A THRILLER writer and his wife have been honoured with Guernsey’s eighth blue plaque.

Bailiff Sir Richard Collas unveils the blue plaque to honour the thriller writer Desmond Bagley and his wife Joan. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 21428749)

The plaque was unveiled at the former home of Desmond Bagley and his wife Joan in the Rohais de Haut yesterday morning.

It was awarded not only for Mr Bagley’s international best-selling work, but for the couple’s services to the community through their involvement with La Societe Guernesiaise, the GSPCA and Guernsey Fencing.

The first of Mr Bagley’s novels, The Golden Keel, was published in 1963 and the last, Juggernaut, was published posthumously in 1985, two years after his death.

Biographer Phil Eastwood said he was pleased to see Mrs Bagley’s name appear on the plaque along with her husband’s.

‘Joan not only finished two of his books but she was his lifelong companion and carer,’ he said.

‘I am very grateful to see both names on the plaque.’

The Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas, the chairman of the blue plaque panel, invited people to continue nominating individuals who have made a difference in the island and who have a building or premises linked to their time here.

‘But most importantly, it cannot happen without the consent of the owners,’ he said, as he expressed his thanks to Bagley Hall’s current owners, Deryck and Melissa Mourton.


Mrs Mourton, who made the nomination, said she was delighted to remember the Bagleys in this way.

‘It is befitting that such a prominent author and his wife, whose contributions to the island were significant, are commemorated with a blue plaque,’ she said.

The unveiling of the plaque coincided with the opening of the Bagley exhibition at this year’s Guernsey Literary Festival, as well as a lecture by Mr Eastwood.

The blue plaque scheme, which was first launched in 2008, recognises islanders who have made an important contribution to the Bailiwick and the wider world.

n Information on how to nominate someone is available from the Guernsey Information Centre, Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery and the Royal Court.

Aaron Carpenter

By Aaron Carpenter
News reporter


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