Bracklesham Bay couple delight Littlehampton residents with Agatha Christie costumes

I am sitting in Edgcumbs taking my morning coffee and petting Ralph, the large, friendly, liver-coloured Labrador leaning against my leg, when I see Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot walking across the forecourt.

Well, not actually the Agatha Christie characters but giving a jolly good impression of the two detectives. He with his super moustache and brogues and she with the flowered bonnet and beads, both are appropriately costumed.

The charming Harrison's of Bracklesham Bay...

The charming Harrison's of Bracklesham Bay...

I cannot help myself, I wait until they are well into their coffee before approaching them for a photograph and nosily asking them if they were on their way to a revival gathering of some sort.

Happy to say they do not take exception to my intrusion and again, no, they are not on their way to an event they are just so bored with the dull modern High Street look that they like to brighten their own days and, as it so happens, the dull days of others. And so, they did.

Being one who also enjoys dressing up in the fashion of days gone by at events, they sharpened my day no end and I thought to myself, why not take a leaf out their book and dress up any old time you feel it? So, my thanks to the Harrisons of Bracklesham Bay for their inspiration and for showing such tolerance of my cheeky intrusion.

|Also in the news - Littlehampton RNLI scrambled to the rescue of a stranded dog after members of the public battled to save it; see inside The Honeypot Cafe in Rustington, voted by readers as the Herald and Gazette Cafe of the Year; and two Littlehampton GP surgeries that were told they would be shut down if they did not improve have been rated as ‘inadequate’ again|

MY friend’s winter solstice party was a little subdued this year but even with several absentees, mostly through illness, it was still a huge success.

Quality not quantity. A mere dozen or so of us hamming our hearts out with songs, saxophone, violin and poetry. A beaming Irishman demonstrating an energetic jig encouraging all to join in, some stand-up and, what was a first for me, witnessing a solo on a rare Chinese guzheng or zither. A sort of giant oblong guitar laid flat that sounded vaguely like a harp.

A beautiful sound and even lovelier knowing that our host, the soloist, had only acquired it a few days earlier – some people are unfairly gifted! Twice a year is not enough for such a gathering and perhaps all of us ought to have one for each of the seasons?

TOOK a rare train ride to London just before Christmas to visit my daughter, a dreadful experience. OK the train was on time but it was overcrowded with fellow sardines, many involved in noisy telephone conversations I did not want to hear and, worst of all, as usual, ill-equipped toilets that did not function anyway. I wonder why my children and partners regularly endure such misery just to come and visit a grumpy old man. I shall hold them all in even higher esteem from now on.

THE question most frequently asked of me is one for which I have no answer: “What is happening about our lovely Look and Sea Centre?”

• If you would like to get in touch with Whispering Smith, please email: whisperingsmith1@gmail.com

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