Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap is the world's longest running play. The iconic neon sign at the front of St Martin's Theatre welcomes theatregoers and announces the longevity of the play. The play originally opened in London's West End on 25th November 1952. Each year as the production celebrates its anniversary the sign is changed. I decided to along this year and here are a few photos I took.
The war memorial in Swardeston, Norfolk, is rather special. A simple, granite stone Celtic cross has the name Edith Cavell at the top of the list of villagers who lost their lives in World War I (1914 - 1919). Nurse Edith Cavell was executed on 12th October 1915, by a German firing squad during World War I, for her role in assisting over 200 soldiers to escape from occupied Belgium. I visited Swardeston, the village where Edith was born and spent her childhood and taken on a walking tour by Nick Miller, Edith Cavell expert and author, to see the locations that were significent to Edith.
Nurse Edith Cavell was executed on 12th October 1915, during World War I, for assisting over 200 allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. There is an annual public wreath laying ceremony that takes place at her memorial, in London, on the anniversary of her death, which is organised by the Cavell Nurses' Trust. The next wreath laying service will be held on Wednesday 12th October 2016 at 10.30am and is free to attend.
Eltham Palace is best known today for its sumptuous art deco interiors created in the 1930s - 1940s when Stephen and Virginia Courthauld resided there. The house however has an amazing history, from medieval manor house and Tudor royal palace to the Courtaulds, which is covered my original blog post.
Last month I made a long overdue return visit to as this year they have opened five more rooms and this blog is going to focus on its art deco interiors, although at the time this style would have been referred to Moderne, as the term art deco wasn't coined until 1960s. If you think the Entrance Hall looks amazing wait till you see the bathroom. Warning there are rather a lot of photos.
The Goring is the hotel where in 2011, Catherine Middleton and her family stayed the night before her marriage to Prince William. The other week I visited for afternoon tea with @DawnCorleone which is featured seperately in my Scones of the Month blog. When I entered their Front Hall, I was immediately impressed with their beautiful wallpaper, so much so that when we left the restaurant we went to have a closer look. The Goring's Facebook page states that "The Goring's Front Hall is a destination in itself". DawnC was staying there, as a guest, so was able to tell me more about it, thanks Dawn, and I loved it so much I felt I just had to blog about it.
On Christmas Eve, 24th December 1914 Agatha Miller married Archie Christie, her first husband, at Emmanuel Church, Guthrie Road, Clifton, Bristol. On a recent visit to the city I did a bit of research to identify the location of the church only to discover, like in all good detective novels, that things were not as they first appeared to be.
Two Temple Place was built for William Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the world, and today it is owned by the Bulldog Trust charity. Since 2012 it has opened its doors for a free annual exhibition. With this also comes the wonderful opportunity to visit one of the most splendid buildings in London, a magnificent Victorian house.
Earlier this month I fulfilled my long standing wish to stay at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate which has connections with the mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime.
On the evening of 3rd December 1926 Agatha left her home in Sunningdale and her 4 seater Morris Cowley car was later found abandoned at Newlands Corner in Surrey. By this time Agatha was aged 36 years old and was already a successful crime writer and her 6th novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd had just been published. Her sudden disappearance attracted both national and worldwide interest. The search for Agatha was the largest manhunt of the time, involving over 1,000 police officers and civilians,and reputedly the first search in England to use airplanes. Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes) gave a medium one of her gloves in the hope of locating her, however Agatha's whereabouts remained a mystery for several days.
Mrs Mallowan, aka Agatha Christie, lived in Wallingford, Oxfordshire for many years and is buried in nearby Cholsey. In my quest to visit the key locations associated with the world's best selling author of all time, I made a visit to the town to discover its Christie connections.
Next to Platform 8, in Victoria Train Station, there is a small plaque to the Unknown Warrior. His final resting place is in the nave of Westminster Abbey. Although we do not know his name or his rank in the army, his tomb is a very poignant remember of all those who died during World War One but whose bodies have never been identified.
Each year on 10th November the London branch of The Western Front Association holds a ceremony to remember the arrival of the body of the Unknown Warrior at Victoria Station.