|A Journal of the Whitechapel Society Article|
|This article originally appeared in The Journal of the Whitechapel Society. For more information, view our Journal of the Whitechapel Society page. Our thanks to the Whitechapel Society for permission to reprint this article.|
Interviewed by the Journal of the Whitechapel Society
Mark Galloway founded the Cloak and Dagger Club in 1994. This in turn resulted in the formation of a club magazine, 'The Ripperologist'. Mark is president of 'The Whitechapel Society' which was formerly 'The Cloak and Dagger Club. He lives in London.
Q. HOW AND WHEN DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS & JACK THE RIPPER?
A. I first became interested in Jack the Ripper when I was twelve years old. I was in my local library and looking at a number of books mostly history related. I came across a book on the history of the Metropolitan police. I can't remember the title and author, but it had a whole chapter on the Whitechapel Murders and Jack the Ripper. It had the photos of the victims. Like most twelve year old boys, who are interested in blood and guts, I was fascinated by the Mary Kelly picture, I would study it for hours. But what really got me hooked, was the fact that they never caught the killer. I'd always been interested in mysteries, I'd read loads of books about do ghosts exist etc, and I used to watch the Arthur C. Clarke programme The World of Strange Mysteries. So this mystery really interested me. The first authoritative book that I read on Jack the Ripper was the Jones and Lloyd Ripper File.
Q. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CANDIDATE FOR JACK?
A. I personally think that the killer was probably Aaron Kosminski or someone like him, A poor Jew or Christian living in the area. I don't think the Royal conspiracy holds much water. There is another candidate which I think is very interesting, and that is Dr. Frances Tumblety.
Q. THE MAYBRICK WATCH STORY HAS RECENTLY APPEARED IN THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS. DO YOU HAVE ANY OPINION ON THE WATCH OR THE DIARY?
A. I personally don't think the Maybrick Diary is genuine. Of coarse it is interesting, anything connected with Jack the Ripper is interesting. But I don't think the case has been solved with the Diary. I think more tests need to be done to it to determine its age. I'm not really sure about the watch, is it a fake, is it real I just don't know.
Q. YOU SEEM TO BE VERY INTERESTED IN EAST END HISTORY. DO YOU BELONG TO ANY OTHER LOCAL CLUB/SOCIETY?
A Yes, The East End History Society.
Q. ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE CLUB YOU FORMED IN 1994 HAS REACHED THIS TENTH ANNIVERSARY MILESTONE?
A Yes, I am very surprised that the club I started is still going after ten years. I must admit that when I first started it, I didn't think anyone would turn up at the first meeting at The Alma, but I was pleasantly surprised when the moment came and we had a full house. The meetings from then on were always full. So it is good to see that the club is still going and people are still interested in coming.
Q. ARE YOU STILL IN CONTACT WITH THE ORIGINAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS?
A. I still see one of the original committee members. Richard Turner.
Q. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO HAVE BEEN THE HIGH AND LOW POINTS DURING YOUR TIME SO FAR WITH THE CLUB?
A. The highest point for me, must be the first meeting. Because after all the preparation trying to get the club off the ground, getting people interested, looking for a venue to hold meetings, booking speakers etc. After that hard work paid off and I met some very nice people through the club, who are still members and some who are not, but whom I'm still in contact with. The lowest point for me must be the time when I walked away from the club. I regret doing it now, because not only did I look at the club as my baby, but also I feel that I let a lot of people down.
Q. DO YOU HAVE ANY VIEWS ON THE SPLIT BETWEEN THE RIPPEROLOGIST AND THE CLOAK AND DAGGER CLUB?
A. I agreed with The Ripperologist breaking away from the club. I think Paul Begg and Adam Wood are doing a good job looking after it.
Q. WITH A FULLY BOOKED UP PROGRAMME FOR 2005, WHICH SPEAKER ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THE MOST?
A. I'm looking forward to hearing Robin Odell's talk.
Q. WHERE DO YOU SEE THE CLUB IN TEN YEARS FROM NOW?
A. In ten years time I would like to see the club as being bigger and better. I think that the club is very important. It has a lot to offer people, the East End and Ripperology.