CRIME writer Agatha Christie’s links with Wallingford will be the focus of a special day of events in the town next year.

Organised by Wallingford Museum, events could be stretched across a festival weekend if a number of organisations agree to offer support, according to curator Judy Dewey.

The best-selling crime novelist, who wrote the popular Miss Marple and Poirot detective stories, lived at Winterbrook House, in Cholsey, from 1934 until her death in 1976, and at the time was married to second husband Max Mallowan.

Mrs Dewey, from Cholsey, said: “We plan to stage a special day next year dedicated to Agatha Christie’s links with Wallingford.

“Ideally the day would be held some time around September 15, Agatha Christie’s birthday, but that might not be the best time of year to hold it because that’s not long after BunkFest, which takes an awful lot of organisation.

“The museum will stage a special day of events next year, but if other organisations in the town agree to join in, then there could be a festival stretching across a whole weekend.

“If it was a success then it’s something that could become part of the calendar of events in Wallingford annually.

“There are all sorts of things you could do, from staging a murder mystery evening at one of the hotels, to guided tours from Wallingford to Cholsey, taking in locations linked with the author.

“We did hope to stage a special day this year but we have just run out of time to organise it.

“Agatha Christie’s links with the area are very strong – she lived in the town from 1934 until 1976, died at Winterbrook House in Cholsey, and is buried in the churchyard at Cholsey.

Mrs Dewey said the Wallingford festival would be on a much smaller scale than the week-long Agatha Christie festival which takes place each year in Torquay, around the time of the anniversary of the author’s birth.

Mayor Bernard Stone said: “Agatha Christie wrote many of her novels in Winterbrook House and you could stage all kinds of different events — Agatha Christie films showing at the Corn Exchange and a play in the Castle Gardens.”

In 2011 the High Street museum staged an exhibition featuring 15 letters by the author, including 13 she wrote as president of the town’s Sinodun Players drama group.

Earlier this year the museum updated its exhibition to include written submissions from people who knew the author.

Memorabilia owned by Wallingford residents revealed the crime writer sometimes bought laxatives from a chemist in the town, wore corsets, and would allow some residents to use the squash court at her home.

Mrs Christie’s daughter Rosalind, from her first marriage to Archibald Christie, was born in 1919 and died in 2004. Rosalind’s son Mathew Prichard unveiled a blue plaque at Winterbrook House in 2010.

  • The museum is staging a family medieval day on August 24 from 11am to 4pm.