AGATHA Christie fans flocked to Wallingford from around the globe to celebrate her links with the town.

One devotee of the bestselling crime novelist flew in from Germany dressed as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and turned up at her graveside in Cholsey.

The author, who lived at Winterbrook House from 1934 until 1976, is buried at St Mary's Church in Cholsey and the third annual Agatha Christie Festival was held at the weekend in her honour.

Festival organiser Judy Dewey said: "We were on one of the walking tours when we saw this chap dressed as Poirot. It was very impressive.

"People on the tour couldn't believe it when they saw him. It really added to the atmosphere.

"Unfortunately he didn't leave his name. All we know is that he was from Germany."

The festival welcomed welcomed hundreds of visitors to Wallingford and Cholsey.

Mrs Dewey, curator of Wallingford Museum, where there is a permanent Christie exhibition, added: "The festival was a great success and I'm sure it will be on again next year. It must have given businesses in the area a boost.

"Hundreds of people came to lots of different events, including a talk given by Agatha Christie's grandson Mathew Prichard at the Corn Exchange on Saturday.

"He spoke in great detail about his grandmother and his memories of her.

"We had visitors from across the UK and all over the world too – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Italy and Russia.

"They came to Wallingford with the intention of travelling on to Agatha Christie birthday celebrations in Torquay.

"I think co-ordinating our festival with the one in Torquay is quite important. If we do that then we can we appeal to international visitors.

"All the visitors really got in the spirit of the event. As well as talks, there were walks and exhibitions and murder mystery events.

"We also had someone turn up dressed as Miss Marple, so it was a lot of fun."

The exhibition at the museum about the crime writer's life in Wallingford was updated in the run-up to the weekend.

Mrs Dewey added: "The museum was very busy throughout the whole weekend. We were very pleased."

Earlier the curator called for South Oxfordshire District Council to contribute funding to help make the most of Wallingford and Cholsey's connection with Agatha Christie.

One possibility is a new website illustrating the connection, as an existing website promoting the area's connection with the Midsomer Murders detective series, which films scenes in the area, has proved a big success.

Coachloads of tourists come to the town every year to seek out Midsomer locations.