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Tributes for Antony Shaples aka John Blacksmith


Antony Sharples AKA John Blacksmith: Passed away 13 January 2019 aged 76 years old.

Antony Sharples book - No Stone unturned
He will be sadly missed for his writing on The Madeleine McCann Case. He is the author of blogs- The Blacksmith Bureau  - The Cracked Mirror



Because it was he, the writer, because it was we, the readers

Building the internetic tumulus of Antony Sharples,

the author of The Cracked Mirror and The Blacksmith Bureau

From the beginning of mankind, the dead have been honored and their remains protected; the oldest tombs date from the VIth millennium. With the advent of writing, funerary inscriptions appear on the tombs in Greece and glyphs on the Mayan tombs.

I'm metaphorically calling "internetic tumulus" a collective tribute, yet in the process of  elaboration, to celebrate  Antony Sharples' entry into posterity, taking the side of eternity against the ephemeral. The only possible compensation for insufficiencies of temporal existence is human memory as it is fixed and perpetuated through works. It also points to the singularity of the honoured writings and seeks to apprehend the identity of Antony Sharples at the very heart of his demise.

The purpose is therefore twofold: "dispel any misunderstanding" and "see better how he was". The writings of the readers paying homage meet those of the author to whom homage is paid, creating intellectual curiosity, pleasure of wording, emulation between author and readers. The tumulus is therefore a hybrid object. 




"It's hard to put into words how the news of Tony's death has saddened me so. I unfortunately never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, which almost makes me feel I've no right to feel any sadness at all. I've thought of his family and those close to him, and how they might feel about strangers talking about him after his passing. It feels intrusive somehow, that we dare to think we have anything to feel sad for, anything to grieve for - even the right to.

But, no matter the reservations, we do feel it. We feel the loss of an incredible mind, a formidable being who had such a talent; to write factually AND creatively. Christ, that's hard. Creative writers aren't usually fans of following rules - they are artists you know! - yet he managed to pull off both, strategically wiping out the opposition, fact by fact, with poetic licence to boot.

Whatever you thought of Blacksmith, he suffered no fools and told no lies. He had no alliance, no care for popularity. His blunt honesty often irked those who demanded he plant both feet one side of that fence, but for him, that fence was so irrelevant it didn't deserve recognition.

"I don't do theories" he said. He definitely didn't - a fact-smith, was Blacksmith. Speculation wasn't his game. Even when his lack of such saw him labelled with very desperate, projecting insults, nothing - and no one - could fold him. Can you imagine a poker game with this guy?!

He brought some of the most incredible insight to this case we could ever hope to see. He was criticised for implying he had inside knowledge which he regularly insisted was a misconception. He had criticism for knowing he was right and being 'smug' about it. Well...he did know he was right, because he only dealt in facts. Yes he had hopes, opinion, some of which he'll sadly never see confirmed or denied.

Thankfully, his legacy as Mr John Blacksmith will live on. His humour, intelligence, determination and meticulous research will live on forever.

 I imagine the character we knew as Blacksmith was only a tiny percentage of the incredible man he was, so I for one am forever thankful to have conversed with such a remarkable, unforgettable man.

"Do give me up old boy, it'll do you the world of good." John Blacksmith, 2018

They never could 'JB', you were too good.

Rest in the knowledge you were always true."

Sade Anslow, 19.03.2019 --



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