Remembering Hugh Lamb
It was a small gathering, but the group of family and colleagues that came together to celebrate the life and work of Hugh Lamb enjoyed a night of warmth, laughter and common affection for the late anthologist.
Fellow writers and anthologists Mike Ashley, Steve Jones and Mick Sims, publishers Jo Fletcher and David Brawn, Hugh’s sons Richard and Andrew, his grandson Jack and Stuart Humphryes, otherwise known as Babelcolour, raised a few glasses in toast and shared their stories of the man they had known and respected for decades.
Mike remembered a time that he and Hugh had travelled to Winchester to find the house, and grave, of Bernard Capes. On coming across a house that looked promising, Hugh charmed his way into the place and made such an impression that they were able to look at the title deeds and find that it had indeed belonged to Capes’ widow.
Steve entertained all with the time that he and Hugh were pursuing the decorative books on the shelves of a London bar, only for Hugh to discover that one of the books was a volume he had been searching for for decades. It somehow managed to find its way into Hugh’s collection.
These were just a few of the remembrances that flowed between the group on what was the perfect send-off for a man who often jokingly referred to himself as a ‘living national treasure’ (after reading the description in an article about himself).
There was also a tribute from writer Ramsey Cambell, who was unable to attend but forwarded this statement in his stead:
Hugh was hugely knowledgeable about our field and just as assiduous in searching out lost treasure. He was a gentleman and a fine friend, and I believe I owe my British career to him. Certainly he gave me my start, as the advisor on horror to Star Books – he recommended Piers Dudgeon (his editor and then mine) to publish me in British paperback, and then Hugh used tales of mine in several of his excellent anthologies. He’ll be much missed, but his achievements live on and enrich our field.
Also discussed were future plans for the name and work of Hugh Lamb. Watch this space…
I discovered Hugh’s anthologies in the early 1980s, when I was a library assistant at the public library system in Aurora, Colorado. With persistence, I managed to locate and purchase out-of-print copies of many of these earliest volumes. I treasure them to this day. Now that I’ve discovered additional titles lacking in my collection, I will be acquiring them, as well. I recently retired from librarianship and writing film and book reviews for various publications here in the United States. (Also, I was once the Associate Editor of American Reference Books Annual.) Presently, I teach film studies classes to adults at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Thank you so much for your comment, Jeffery. It’s always amazing to find out how widespread the appreciation for Hugh’s work is. Hugh was also a keen movie buff, and would have no doubt enjoyed chatting with you about them!