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COLIN WATSON ( By Eileen Dorr)


Colin was born in Croydon, Surrey on February 1st 1920 and attended Whitgift School in south Croydon 1930-36. He worked as a journalist in London and Newcastle-on-Tyne where he was leader writer for the Kemsley Newspapers but mainly a theatre critic and book reviewer. Before the war he worked for the Stamford Mercury and Boston Guardian. In 1940 Colin married and after his first book was published in 1958 it was successful enough for him to retired from journalism and concentrate on being a full time author. In 1960 after the publication of his second book the family moved to the village of Hameringham near Horncastle in the Lincolnshire Wolds. His wife Peggy was a school teacher and helped to support the family in between books. They had a son Jeremy and two daughters. Peggy died in 1976 after a long illness of kidney failure and a failed kidney transplant. Colin moved to Folkingham two years later after marrying his second wife Ann. They lived in the old baker’s shop in West Street. His hobby was designing and making silver jewellery with his wife which was exhibited and sold locally. He was also very fond of music, lapidary and photography.


Colin had his first crime novel ‘Coffin Scarcely Used’ published in 1958.  It was the first of twelve novels known as the Flaxborough Chronicles. The fictional town of Flaxborough is thought to be based on the town of Boston. The third novel of the series ‘Hopjoy Was Here’ published in 1962 won the Silver Dagger Award from the British Crime Writer’s Association. Five years later he won a second Silver Dagger Award with his novel ‘Lonelyheart 4122’. The main characters in the books are Inspector Purbright, Sergeant Love and Miss Lucinda Teatime. The BBC bought television rights to his books and made a seven part series in 1977 called ‘Murder Most English’. Anton Rodgers played the part of Inspector Purbright, Christopher Timothy played Sergeant Love and Brenda Bruce played Miss Teatime. The series has now been brought out on DVD.  


He wrote his last three books whilst living in the village. ‘Blue Murder’ was published in 1979, ‘Plaster Sinners’ in 1980 and ‘What-ever’s Been Going on at Mumblesby’ in 1982.

He was said to have be one of the greatest satirists in the field of mystery.


Colin died in the Pilgrim hospital, Boston after a routine check up on January 17th 1983 at the age of 62 years and is buried in Folkingham churchyard. His wife Ann was managing director of Watson & Walker Ltd of Heckington



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