A BRONZE statue of blockbuster crime writer Agatha Christie is to go up in Wallingford town centre in a bid to attract fans of the author to her former hometown.

Town councillors approved the use of Arts funding for the Agatha Christie Project Committee plan for a statue and town ‘mystery’ trail.

The long running campaign dates back to 2018 when the council agreed to apply for European Union funding for the memorial. Lee Upcraft, town mayor at the time, said it would cost an estimated £60,000 for the statue.

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The plan is for the statue to be erected in the Kinecroft, close to Wallingford Museum which houses a permanent Agatha Christie exhibition.

Museum curator Judy Dewey said the statue would be a major asset to the town.

She said: “There are not many statues of Agatha Christie around. People come from all over the world to visit this area because of her.

“Anything that encourages people to come to the town, is a good thing for both the museum and Wallingford.”

She added: “We feel there is a story to tell about Agatha Christie in Wallingford. It is an important story and an important part of our history.”

Wallingford Mayor Marcus Harris said: “The idea is to put the statue close to the museum so that visitors to Wallingford can enjoy the Agatha Christie display at the museum.”

No date has been fixed for the erection of the statue, but the council hopes to do it as quickly as possible.

Read more: A £60,000 statue of Agatha Christie is planned for Wallingford

Details of the trail are also yet to be confirmed, but it is hoped that it will take visitors around points of interest connected with the writer’s life, including her former home and her burial site.

Christie, best known for her murder mystery books and sleuths Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, was former president of the Sinodun Players drama group, which now owns Wallingford Corn Exchange.

She lived at Winterbrook House in Cholsey from 1934 until her death in 1976,

It is believed she created Poirot and Miss Marple in the library while living there with her archaeologist second husband Max Mallowan.

They couple moved to the house in 1934 after she spotted it advertised in a local newspaper.

She lived in the house for more than 40 years until her death in 1976. She is buried in nearby St Mary's churchyard in Cholsey.

The house has an English Heritage blue plaque by the front door in recognition of its famous former owner.

Last year a crowdfunding page was launched by a community group to raise funds to buy her former house to transform the space into an arts centre. The group failed to raise the £2.75m needed to buy the property.


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