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Fundraiser starts Christie Week in traditional style

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 14, 2012

  • WHAT'S ALL THIS THEN? Above, from left, Nicky Allen, Melanie Sweet, Arthur Christian and Mary Popham at the Babbacombe Cliff Railway

  • ROARING TWENTIES: At the Agatha Christie fete are, from left, Kathy Uglow, Jackie Bixby and Sara Robottom

  • CAP THAT: Above, Jane Christian at the Babbacombe Cliff Railway; Right, Martin Gaisford as Hercule Poirot

  • ROLE PLAY: Toads and friend, from left, Scott Wallace-Baker, Imogen Davies, Becca Lamburn, Jemma Carlan-Wells and Rob Lord PHOTO TORQUIL MACLEOD

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CHARITIES raised thousands for good causes at the annual Agatha Christie fete.

The event, which kick-started Agatha Christie Week is organised by the Rotary Club of Babbacombe and St Marychurch.

Between 30 to 40 charities were raising money on the day and they estimate around £18,500 would have been raised for local charities.

Kathy Uglow from the rotary club said it was a great day.

"It was a big success. The weather was kind to us and we estimate we had between about 9,000 people coming through the fete.

"The biggest attraction was Big Noise Chorus a 160 strong choir which attracted huge crowds.

"It was non-stop entertainment and there was lots of diversity with the Agatha Christie dancers doing the Charleston and Heather and Gorse clog dancing.

"Torbay Brass Band did a grand finale of proms and we also had silhouette Jazz Band and a soloist from Babbacombe Theatre called Atlanta.

"Traders are already booking up for next year. The crowds were making the most of everything in the area."

On the same day Babbacombe Cliff Railway also drew in the crowds with people attempting to help foil a dastardly plot. Visitors were transported back to 1926 when the Cliff Railway first opened for a murder mystery event.

To help set the scene there was also live music and dancing all day with a number of characters in period costume.

John Ayres, Chairman of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway Community Interest Company which runs the railway, said: "We had a lovely day. Our volunteers, including me, really enjoyed dressing up in their costumes and helping people with the clues."

John added "This event, part of the English Riviera Agatha Christie Festival, was a first for the Cliff Railway.

"Having an event within a larger festival was definitely helpful for us as it spread the word about our day far more widely than we would have been able to on our own and we very much hope to take part in the Festival in the future.

"We were delighted with the way people got behind our event to help out. Lionel Digby kindly supplied the costumes for the policeman and railway guard, Datel sponsored some of the entertainment.

"We had some vintage cars brought along to help set the scene and John Glanville supplied two lovely 20s bicycles which we had down by our Visitor Centre on the beach.

"We also have to thank Jo Lindsay who made all our other beautiful costumes and the Friends of Babbacombe Cliff Railway who contributed significantly to the cost of running this event."

For all the latest on the Agatha Christie Festival visit www.agathachristiefestival.co.uk

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