MI6 digs up one of 007's in-the-field postcards to his housekeeper May, whilst on the Moonraker mission...

Postcards From Bond - Dover
24th April 2009

Bond is tasked to investigate shady card-cheat Sir Hugo Drax and a series of strange happenings at the Moonraker base in Kent. MI6 dusts of the archive and uncovers unseen material from Bond's mission in Dover.

Moonraker Locations

Above: Never-before-seen postcards from the MI6 archives - postmarked Maidstone, Kent, 1953...

Moonraker Locations
Whilst many 007 adventures are synonymous with exotic locations - be it a luxurious ski resort or a lavish Bahamas beachfront, Fleming never disappointed his travel-loving readers. However, the third Bond adventure"Moonraker", first published in 1955, sees the now-famous secret agent remain entirely on the British Isles. Fleming's penchant for travel takes an interesting turn as he focuses the spotlight on his home country of England. The author's vivid descriptions of everywhere he takes Bond truly allows readers to witness for themselves the often grueling but always fabulous situations 007 finds himself in.

"At six o'clock that Tuesday evening towards the end of May, James Bond was thrashing the big Bentley down the Dover road along the straight stretch that runs into Maidstone."

At the beginning of the novel, M takes Bond to "Blades" - a fictional gaming club - heavily inspired by gentlemen's clubs of the time (most notably The Reform Club). Here, Fleming describes the exclusive and suitably lavish interior of the club whilst M shouts his best agent a champagne supper and briefs 007 on his mission for the evening. In his personal capacity, M has asked Bond to assist in the puzzling matter of Hugo Drax, a billionaire-cheat who has bled the chief's funds dry playing Bridge.

In order to avoid miring the name of the club in the ensuing scandal that would surely result, Bond teaches a lesson to the cheating multimillionaire by serving him with a dose of his own medicine. In the memorable scene that follows at the Bridge tables of "Blades", Bond unmasks the cheat for what he is and swindles him with a horrendously complicated hand of the game.


Three miles north of Dover in Kent, Bond is sent to investigate a mysterious incident at the site of Drax's "Moonraker" project. M describes the incident at a tavern called 'The World Without Want' where Drax's employees were often to be found, drinking after work. This was an area Fleming himself knew well as he owned a weekend retreat nearby and readers are treaded to some of Fleming's best work.

"To their left the carpet of green turn, bright with small wildflowers, sloped gradually down to the long pebble beach of Walmer and Deal, which curved off towards Sandwich and the Bay."

In another scene, Bond tracks Drax from Blades to Ebury Street, where Fleming had once lived himself. The author describes Drax's raw Mercedes Type 300 S as "too short and heavy to be graceful", but Bond does spend some time admiring the brute of a car. During the journey as Bond gives chase in his Bentley - Fleming gives a detailed account of the route and the sites of London: St. James Street, The Mall, Buckingham Palace Gate, etc. After a short stop at the Drax residence, the chase continues out of London and onto the A20 to Dover. Bond looses his prize when the Bentley has a nasty accident.

MI6 Literary Locations Guide
London & Kent, UK

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  Postcards From Bond
Delve into the MI6 archives and uncover never before seen postcards from Bond's missions around the world to various MI6 personal. Recipiants include M, Moneypenny, Loelia Ponsonby and May - 007's housekeeper.
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