In the steps of Dame Agatha

In the steps of Dame Agatha

15 to 17 September 2017 was the 32nd annual conference of the Police History Society which Gary and I attended. The event was held at the Imperial Hotel Torquay.

There were some fascinating and thought provoking talks. Adam Wood of Mango Books who must be the leading expert on Chief Inspector Swanson of Scotland Yard, talked about the notorious railway murder of 1881, when Swanson arrested the culprit Percy Lefroy Mapleton.

Michael Haunschild spoke about Houdini’s challenges to the police, and his escapes from handcuffs, cells and straitjackets.

Angela Buckley told us about the 1876 murder of Constable Cock, a story with some fascinating characters and a twist in the tale.

Angela Sutton-Vane, a researcher, spoke about police records, and the importance of conserving them for the future.

Jon Wright, of University of Derby told us about the construction and use of a dedicated crime-scene house for the use of training students in forensic science.

Consultant Steve Beamon described the police strike of 1919, and really brought this dramatic incident to life.

At the gala dinner guest speaker Colin Taylor told us very entertainingly of the unusual challenges of policing in the Scilly Isles.

Next day Gary and I  walked the “Agatha Christie Mile” visiting the locations that appear in her books as well as the bust of Agatha herself, and viewed an exhibition of art inspired by her work

We loved Torquay and very much hope to be able to visit again.

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