The cutting in the drawer


Greenway House in Devon, summer home of Agatha Christie

ASHLEY WALTON discovers that the Daily Express turns up at the oddest of places

The label on the drawer in historic house was just too tempting to ignore. "Please open me!" So I did.  Inside in prime position was an ageing, yellowed cutting from the Daily Express. What intrigue, what memories it must hold.

I was in a bedroom of Greenway House, the beautiful summer home of Agatha Christie overlooking the River Dart in deepest Devon and looking at the cutting from the Express dated 26 November 1977 and bylined Alex Hendry.

It was a story about a party for 1,000 guests at the Savoy Hotel to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Mousetrap at St Martin's Theatre. 

Agatha Christie had died two years earlier but someone in the family thought the cutting so important they  encased it in plastic and gave it a special place so that visitors to this National Trust house could see it for themselves.  

In the same room was one of Agatha's own thoughts: " only a mode of thought”, a bit like the Daily Express, a thing of the past, just clinging on in memories. 

The house and gardens, by the way, are sensational, best accessed by the little ferry from Dittisham. You ring the bell for the ferryman outside the pub.  Just perfect.

A visit to Greenway isn't complete without seeing the boathouse, scene of the crime in Dead Man's Folly.

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre