Guy Hadley – still in his twenties, but an established figure who had been winning since competition 22 – is asked to set his first NS comp (he had set WR comps). He asks you to imagine that you are regaled, in Piccadilly, by a friend who is ‘just off to Dalmatia for six weeks’, when you have managed a fortnight in January. Your task is to regale them with the pleasures of London in August.
Dalmatia was then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia – it is now principally in Croatia, although it has lost some territory to Montenegro. Split and Dubrovnik were starting to become accessible in the 1930s.
Hadley says he’d hoped for a study in hypocrisy, but he gets some Times leaders, or quite dull ‘Come to London’ fare. One wag suggests the lure of pushing a barrow in Whitechapel. The winner, Catharine, places Hadley in a quandary, as he knows it is 12 words over the limit (300 words). He says he is risking a lynching. He is. It’s not clear why he doesn’t have it published but withhold the prize: an exquisite torture. The runner up is Augustine.