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Agatha Christie’s Mystery Weekend

6th, 7th and 8th September 2024

Agatha Christie, the undisputed ‘Queen of Crime’, lived in Wallingford for 42 years and wrote most of her novels here while living quietly by The Thames. The town is delighted to have a permanent tribute to her in a bronze sculpture that is set to inspire generations of creative thinkers and budding writers to come.

We celebrate Agatha Christie in Wallingford annually in September, with a variety of events to entertain both the young and old. From exhibitions and talks, to ‘who dunnits’ and art workshops, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

 

 

Throughout the Weekend:

Special Exhibition: ‘At Home with the Queen of Crime’

Takes you behind the scenes to Agatha’s home life, featuring photographs of her at Winterbrook House and memories of local people who met her. Read her handwritten letters revealing her love of pantomimes and her gradual frustration as her health declined.

Also ‘Ordeal by Innocence’

Artist Laura Hope exhibits paintings at Wallingford Museum.

Wallingford Museum: Open Friday 2pm-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10.30am-5pm.

Entry by Museum ticket (£6).  Details: www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk

 

‘Explore Wallingford in Rhythm and Rhyme with the Queen of Crime’

Pick up a leaflet from the Town Information Centre, and find the clues on 10 information boards around the town to solve the crossword.

Free

 

Guided Walks in Agatha Christie’s Wallingford, with a touch of Midsomer Murders! 

Saturday at 10am, Sunday at 10.30am. Walks start from Wallingford Museum, approx. 80 minutes long.

£10pp, www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk

 

St Mary’s Church, Cholsey

Visit the grave where Agatha Christie is buried and discover the beautiful ancient church where she and Max Mallowan worshipped. 

Saturday 10am – 4pm, Sunday 2pm – 4pm

 

Friday

 

‘Murder Mystery’ Themed Quiz

Test your knowledge of the world of crime in this fun-filled quiz.

3.30pm, Wallingford Library

Free admission, advanced booking required: [email protected]

 

‘The Mysteries of Miss Marple’

In this lively and engaging illustrated talk the ‘Agathologist’ Dr Mark Aldridge will be sharing insights into Agatha Christie’s spinster sleuth, Miss Marple. Drawing on research undertaken for his new book ‘Agatha Christie’s Marple: Expert on Wickedness’ Mark will be sharing the inside story of St Mary Mead’s famous detective. Using rarely seen illustrations and other material, this talk offers a new insight into one of Agatha Christie’s most famous creations.

7.30pm, The Corn Exchange. £15 pp

Book in advance at www.cornexchange.org.uk/whats-on/the-mysteries-of-miss-marple/

Wallingford Bookshop will be selling some of Dr Aldridge’s books after the event

 

‘Agatha Christie in Wallingford’

See the 17th century Town Hall open with an exhibition about Agatha Christie in the main chamber.

7.45pm – 9pm, Wallingford Town Hall

Free admission

 

Saturday

 

‘Sketch Agatha’

Join local artist Emma Souter for a morning of creativity sketching the statue of Agatha Christie ‘en plein air’.

10am – 11am, Kinecroft, weather dependent. £10pp

Book online: www.ayreshousestudios.co.uk/

 

‘Sherlock Bones’

Meet local children’s author Tim Collins for a morning of mystery and clues.

Wallingford Bookshop

 

The Making of Wallingford’s Statue of Agatha Christie

Join artist Ben Twiston-Davies to hear all about the process of creating his like-for-like statue of Agatha Christie in bronze.

11.30am, The Masonic Hall £10pp

Book online, www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk

 

‘Big Picnic with Agatha’

Pack a picnic and join family and friends for lunch outdoors on the Kinecroft.

12pm – 2pm, Kinecroft

 

Wallingford School’s Thriller

Students from Wallingford School will perform two short murder mystery plays for you to enjoy – ‘Afternoon at the Seaside’ and ‘The Patient’. The cast consists of 21 Wallingford School students between the ages of 12 to 18 years old and is directed by Beatrice Marshall who is a yr13 Wallingford School student. After performing many leads in the school musicals, Beatrice is now making her debut as a director.

12.30pm – 2pm, The Corn Exchange

Admission applies, book online, www.cornexchange.org.uk/whats-on  

 

‘Creativity in the Community’

Join local artist Jason Atomic for a community art workshop. Everyone is welcome.

3pm – 5pm, Masonic Hall

Free event

 

‘A is for Arsenic – the poisons of Agatha Christie’

Sit back and be ready to learn about the chemicals Agatha Christie used to kill off her characters. Christie used poison more than any other crime writer as a murder weapon. Discover the chemical and deliciously devilish characteristics of the poisons she used, and find out which ingredients in the dishes you’re eating have the potential to kill. Dr Katherine Harkup, best selling author of A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie will shine a light on the science used by the Queen of Crime and offer life-saving tips for avoiding deadly food.

3.30pm, The Corn Exchange, £15pp

Book online, www.cornexchange.org.uk/whats-on/a-is-for-arsenic-the-poisons-of-agatha-christie/

 

Wallingford Bookshop will be selling some of Dr Harkup’s books prior to the event, in the foyer of the Corn Exchange

 

 ‘Help us solve a murder!’

Enjoy a day out or evening on the Bunkline working out “who dunnit” in a murder mystery. Watch as the story unfolds, listen out for clues, get those grey cells working, question the cast if you wish to try and piece together the puzzle.

Afternoon Event: Mystery Spycatchers Family Event

Join us in the afternoon for an exciting family adventure on the railway! Two special mystery trains will depart at 2pm and 3:30pm; please arrive at least 30 minutes before departure to discover clues to help you find out the identity of a deadly spy!  Families and children will team up to tackle the mystery; actors from local group Dead Herring will be on hand to help find the crucial clues but we warned; you will have to work for them! This event is perfect for families and costs an additional £5 per family on top of the regular fare.

Evening Event: Murder on the Wallingford Express!

In the evening, immerse yourself in a Murder Mystery event complete with a meal served on the train. Visit our website for full details (www.Cholsey-Wallingford-Railway). Book a table for two, three, or four people and arrive by 7pm to enjoy a glass of Prosecco while our characters introduce you to the evening’s activities, but what surprises lie in store…?  As we travel through the beautiful South Oxfordshire countryside, you’ll have the opportunity to question suspects, solve a murder and by the time we get back all will be revealed in a dramatic dénouement; will your team unmask the killer and end up victorious?  The event has a 1930s and 1940s theme, so feel free to dress the part. We expect to conclude around 10pm.

Cholsey & Wallingford Heritage Railway, times vary

Book your seat https://www.cholsey-wallingford-railway.com/events

 

‘Afternoon Tea with the Queen of Crime’

Enjoy high tea by the Wallingford Tea-room in the grand Town Hall, with displays about Agatha Christie’s life and work.

Various slots available from 2pm, Wallingford Town Hall

Booking required, www.visitwallingford.uk

 

Gosford Park – Film

Set in the 1930s, the story takes place in an old-fashioned English country house where a weekend shooting party is underway. The story centers on the McCordle family, particularly the man of the house, Sir William McCordle (Sir Michael Gambon). Getting on in years, William has become a benefactor to many of his relatives and friends. As the weekend goes on, secrets are revealed, and it seems that everyone, above stairs and below, wants a piece of William and his money, but how far will they go to get it?

7.30pm, The Corn Exchange. £10pp

Book online, https://www.cornexchange.org.uk/whats-on/gosford-park/

 

Sunday

 

Run to Agatha

Join the team at Run Wallingford in a 5k or 10k run to either the Agatha Christie statue or St Mary’s Church, Cholsey.

9am, meet outside Runwize Sports. £1pp

 

Meet Colin Wade

Local author Colin Wade talks about his career as an author and his thrillers.

3pm, The Corn Exchange.

Admission applies, Book online www.cornexchange.org.uk/whats-on/

 

Maritime Murder: A Vintage Voyage Riverboat Experience

Join a 2-hour round boat trip departing from Wallingford, where professional actors bring to life the gripping tale inspired by the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie.As you navigate the gentle waters, unravel clues, and interact with the characters to solve the crime, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into one of Christie’s iconic novels.

Enjoy treats prepared by the renowned Soph’s Loafs and a pay as you go bar, will be available on board, offering a selection of wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks to complement your evening. Indulge in your favourite drink as you soak in the atmosphere and solve the mystery.

2pm & 7pm, Riverside adjacent to Splashpark

£50pp, includes food. Children must be over 12 years. All profits to Wigod Way Family Centre

www.bit.ly/MaritimeMurderWallingford

 

 

Eat & Drink

 

Shellfish Cow

The Shellfish Cow will be offering a special murder themed cocktail. Tel: 01491 832807 or [email protected] for bookings. 

 

Mollies

Mollies will be holding a Murder Mystery evening on Saturday 7th with a fabulous interactive acting troupe as entertainment. £70 per ticket – which includes a meal and a drink on arrival. www.mollieswallingford.co.uk

 

The Keep

The Keep will be serving up Agatha Christie inspired cocktails, no need to book, just turn up.

 

The Oxshed

The Oxshed in Cholsey will be running a themed cake of the day special: Agatha Chrispie and the Murder on the Orient Espresso, with special guest, Miss Marble.