Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pauline Prescott and Miss Marple in Bournemouth

Walking up the hill past the Bournemouth International Centre to the Highcliffe after appearing in the Liberal Revue last night, I was reminded of a couple of incidents from the history of that short, steep stretch of road.

In 1999 John Prescott was driven down it. When it was suggested this wasn't a very environmentally friendly thing to do and he should have walked instead, his defence was that he had taken the limo:
"Because of the security reasons for one thing and, second, my wife doesn't like to have her hair blown about."
And if you watch The Body in the Library, the first of the Miss Marple adaptations starring Joan Hickson, you will see that the Highcliffe and the road past it feature prominently.

The Body in the Library was shown at Christmas 1984, so was presumably filmed that summer. I attended my first Liberal Assembly at Bournemouth in the September of that year, so it is nice to have a record of how it looked in those days (if you ignore the extras in 1940s clothes).

That Liberal Assembly took place at the old Winter Gardens. The Bournemouth International Centre had just been built and the Liberal Party had been offered the chance to be the first organisation to hold an event there.

But the conference organisers thought, despite the offer of a juicy discount, it would not be a good idea for the party to act as guinea pigs and discover all the problems with the centre.

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