Ferguson's Gang, formed in 1927, was an anonymous and somewhat enigmatic group that raised funds for the National Trust during the period from 1930 until 1947.
The gang was influenced by Clough Williams-Ellis's publication England and the Octopus, which denounced insensitive building and ugly development. They determined to save what they could. Their donations enabled the purchase of Shalford Mill, in Surrey, and Newtown Old Town Hall, on the Isle of Wight. They also funded the purchase of stretches of the coastline of Cornwall, Priory Cottages at Steventon in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), and supported appeals for money to purchase land in Derbyshire, the Lake District, Devon and Wiltshire. In total they raised the sum of £4,500, the equivalent to half a million pounds in today's money.
As an example of their methods, in 1933 a fully masked Red Biddy deposited a large sack of Victorian coins to the value of £100 on the Trust secretary's desk. In 1935, one of the 'gang' was interviewed by the BBC, and turned up at Broadcasting House wearing a mask.
In the words of the group's leader Bill Stickers:
We aint so many, We aint so few,
All of us has this end in view,
National Trust to work for you.
Members of Ferguson's Gang included Bill Stickers, Sister Agatha, Red Biddy, Erb the Smasher, Kate O'Brien The Nark, Silent O'Moyle, See Mee Run, Gerry Moham, Black Maria, and the Lord Beershop of the Gladstone Islands & Mercator's Projection. When the Oxbridge Sanskrit scholar and adopted Cornish bard Margaret Steuart Pollard died at the age of 93 in 1996, her obituaries revealed that she had been Bill Stickers.
In 2013 the author Anna Hutton-North completed an extensive research programme to uncover the women behind the pseudonyms. Her full history of the Gang is included in Ferguson's Gang: The Maidens behind the Masks.
- Hutton-North, Anna (2013). Ferguson's Gang - The Maidens behind the Masks. Lulu Inc. ISBN 978-1-291-48453-3.
- Herdman, Sue (Spring 2008). "The Cloaked Crusaders". The National Trust Magazine (The National Trust). pp. 24–27.
- Waterson, Merlin (1994). The National Trust: The First Hundred Years. London: National Trust (Enterprises) Ltd, BCA and BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-37066-6.
- Jenkin, Ann Trevenen (1996-12-07). "Obituary: Margaret Pollard". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2009-11-01.
- Hutton-North, Anna. "Ferguson's Gang - the history". Lulu Inc. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Fergusons Gang site 
- Photograph of members of the Ferguson Gang at Shalford Mill
- Archive photograph of three members of the Ferguson Gang enjoying a picnic in 1935
- Archive photograph of the Lord Beershop "blessing" Newtown Old Hall on the day the Ferguson Gang visited in 1935
- Ferguson's Gang: masked maidens with an excellent cause: Daily Telegraph 2008-04-02
- The secret female benefactors to the National Trust: Womans Hour BBC Radio 4 2007-12-31 (with audio)
- The Ferguson Gang: A Story from Secret Britain
- Report on Ferguson Gang from the Children's Newspaper 1933-12-02
- Ferguson’s Gang and the hazards of oral history and hearsay: National Trust Arts Buildings Collections Bulletin Oct 2009