SECRETARY’S REPORT

The third Open Meeting of the season was opened by Chairman Michael Cochrane welcoming those attending and in particular the lady guests and advising of a record attendance of 48.Two apologies were offered.

Secretary Neil Ramshaw gave notice of the A.G.M. on April 28th and asked for any agenda items to be advised to him by April 14th.

The Speaker for this meeting was Mrs Pat Osborne whose topic “The Mysterious Life of Agatha Christie” provided an interesting and informative overview of the prolific author’s life backed up by a series of relevant photographs which were circulated as the talk progressed. Agatha Christie (1890–1976) is best known as an English crime novelist who also wrote romances under the name “Mary Westmacott”. Her famous characters include Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Born into a wealthy upper middle class family in Torquay she had a happy childhood although the early death of her father had an adverse impact when she was eleven. As she got older her private life became more troubled and turbulent with her first marriage in 1914 to Archie Christie proving unsuccessful and divorce in 1928 ended it. The marriage did produce her only daughter in 1919 Rosalind and the troubles in her marriage and private life led to her extraordinary lost time in Harrogate in December 1926 leading to a large manhunt which eventually uncovered her at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel (now Old Swan). In 1930 she remarried Sir Max Mallowan an archaeologist and remained married and outwardly happy for the rest of her life although he again took a long-standing mistress to which Agatha turned a blind eye. After her death in 1976 Agatha Christie Ltd continued with her daughter and grandson having controlling influence.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time and the third in the world’s most published books behind Shakespeare’s works and the Bible. She wrote more than 70 detective novels as well as short fiction, romance novels and the play “The Mousetrap” which has run continuously in London since 1952–a record!! Her combined works have sold more than 2 billion copies worldwide. A number of questions and comments came from the audience at the talk’s conclusion.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Margaret Taylor on behalf of the 48 attendees…39 members and 9 guests.

NEIL RAMSHAW   SECRETARY

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