Cloche hats, shorter hemlines and dropped-waisted skirts – typical 1920s fashion. And it’s no surprise if this photo looks like a scene from a dramatisation of one of Agatha Christie’s Poirot detective novels – Agatha Christie was born Agatha Miller in 1890 in Torquay, and grew up in the town. She married Archie Christie in 1914 and the couple spent their honeymoon at the Grand Hotel in Torquay. During the First World War she worked as a member of the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) in a makeshift hospital in the Public Hall attached to Torquay’s Town Hall in Castle Circus, first nursing wounded soldiers and then working in the pharmacy, where she gained a considerable knowledge of poisons that she later used to great effect in her books. It was also during the war that, in 1915, she noticed a small Belgian man on a tram in Torquay, one of many refugees from the conflict who had come to the town from Belgium; she used him as the model for one of her most famous fictional creations, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who appeared in her first published novel, ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’, written in 1916.