1930 marked a milestone in English Literature. Agatha Christie had her first Miss Marple novel “Murder at the Vicarage” published. Agatha was a bit of a weird old bird, interested in murders and stuff. She came from that sort of a family. Her younger brother, John Reginald Christie, was one of them ruddy serial killers and he had all the bodies sealed up in the plasterwork of his house. It must have stank to high heaven.
The family resemblance between Agatha and John was so striking that The popular actor Richard Attenborough was able to easily portray both of them in his 1965 film “Ten Little Rillington Places. Some people favour Hercule Poirot as Agatha’s greatest detective, but I don’t rate him. Besides, he is foreign. I much prefer Miss Marple. Who could resist falling in love with an elderly lady who earned worldly wisdom through a lifetime of experience and is able to see men for the peccadillo riddled fibbers that they are and expose their transgressions for the world to see? If Margaret Rutherford was still alive I would want her to play me in the inevitable BBC television adaptation of my life. I was talking to her here on the other side few days ago, and she said that she would have ruddy well done it too. But sadly she can’t, so I suppose I shall have to make do with Victoria Wood. Our Michael is in talks with that Idris Elbows out of the Wire to play him.
I reckon that I would have made a good detective when I was alive. I was good at solving mysteries. Even though I never came across any murdered vicars or anything. I always knew who had made a ruddy mess of my knickers drawer, and that was in the days before DNA testing an’all. I knew whenever Raymond’s brother Bernard had been in the house an’all, because he always used to wee all over the floor in front of the toilet. And I used to know when our Madge had been bestowing her favours on Bartlett the greengrocer too, because she would always have enough rhubarb to do a great big crumble, and she used to be round mine to borrow an egg so that she could make custard to go through it. I don’t know why she didn’t get the custard of Bartlett while he was slipping her the rhubarb. But then again, chins would have started wagging if people had seen her coming out of his shop with custard about her person. Not much got past me though, I reckon I could have given Miss Marple a run for her money. I reckon Agatha made a packet out of her, and she also paved the way for later popular lady novelists such as Daphne Du Maurier, Muriel Spark and Barbara Cartland, as well as all those lovely Mills and Boon books and the wonderful slightly older female characters we regularly come across within the pages of the People’s Friend.
Doris’s top hit of 1930 “Happy Days are Here Again” by Ben Selvin and his Orchestra. They ruddy weren’t. After the 1929 Wall Street Crash in America, there were hard times on both sides of the ruddy Atlantic. But as ever, when things are bad, there is always someone who comes up with a really happy song to keep people’s minds off it.