So here we go – the answers for Festive Quiz of 1957.
1.Why should you never arrive early to a party according to the rules of marvellousness laid down by Muriel?
If you arrive early, you look desperate which suggests you have no other friends.
2. The first ever Country House Concert at Lady Pentland-Firth’s estate took place on Twelfth Night. Why was it so important that this was a success, and how did Muriel ensure that it got good reviews?
Cousin Lulubelle was aware of the imminent bankruptcy of Lady Pentland-Firth if the concert failed and was waiting in the wings, so to speak, to move in on the estate for the development of condominiums.
Muriel and Lady P-F organised a lunch time reception for the Press at the Half Moon Bar at The Central Hotel where the malt whisky was accompanied by a glimpse inside the account book from “Busty Betty’s”.
3. At the end of January Sebastian and Dimitri got into trouble over some brass rubbings in the Necropolis. Who got them out of prison and why was it so important for Sebastian to leave Scotland in February?
Lady Pentland-Firth got them out of prison, reminding the Inspector that once upon a time she and he had been well acquainted.
Sebastian had to leave Scotland on account of his being not just theatrical, but very theatrical which having been in “The Service” left him open to blackmail.
4. In March, Mrs Travers was persuaded to get involved in a rather unusual activity – what was it, who persuaded her and why?
It was a séance and it was the crime writer Bunty Haystack who persuaded her to hold it, because Miss Haystack was doing research for a new book involving the supernatural and wanted first hand experience of a séance.
5. Why did Muriel transgress during Lent?
Muriel had given up the use of her silver cocktail sticks over Lent. She was in Paisley at a reception where small sausages where passed round without any means of eating them except with one’s fingers. The very thought! Fortunately Muriel had them in her handbag, as she was taking them to the Rural Bolthole for Mrs Travers to clean, this giving her something to do in the evening. Rather than use her fingers, she used one of the silver cocktail sticks.
6. In April 2017, Sebastian was asked to open an exhibition in Glasgow. Who curated this exhibition, where was it held, what was it about and how did Muriel feature in this exhibition? Bonus question – why was Sebastian so upset by the Lord Provost of Glasgow?
It was curated by Dr Vivienne Valhalla, “uber curator”. It was held in the Museum of Fashion, soon to be known as “Mofash” and it was about capes. The recreation of the Wylie drawing room, complete with the walnut cocktail cabinet, was a highlight along with some of the capes worn by Muriel and an article from 1957 written by her on the subject of capes and cloaks.
The Lord Provost described the Muriel as “some old wee Glasgow wifey”. Sebastian put him right with the following riposte – She was not ‘some’ Glasgow wifey! She was some Glasgow lady – who meant business!
7. Who is Claire Voyant and how did she get mixed up with Lord Pentland-Firth?
Claire was the mistress of Lord “Salty” Pentland-Firth. She eventually discovered he was selling naval secrets to the Comrades and threatened to expose him and the Comrades. This sealed the fate of them both. Lord P-F was bumped off during the F.A.F.S. lunch, but Claire got away and has been on the run ever since. Her apparent new found calling may be her undoing.
8. Why does Jasper carry a clothes peg with him in the summer?
He uses it to peg his panama hat to the waistband of his trousers so that he does not lose it when he enters a building.
9. At the end of June on Route 7 there was a tragic bus crash in Oxford Street, London. Who was one of the casualities?
10. In August, the elderly Sebastian revealed some interesting information about a trip to Liverpool made by Muriel and Jasper in that same month 60 years ago. Who did Muriel meet at a church fete there and how did it effect the future development of British culture?
Muriel met a young Paul McCartney and thanks to her he was introduced to John Lennon and his group The Quarrymen. Muriel unconsciously gave the boys some ideas for songs which were later very successful, particularly asking them to remember her when she was 64.
11. How did Muriel and Lady Pentland-Firth ensure Bunty Haystack did not “spill the beans”?
Bunty Haystack has done extremely well in the Flower and Fete Show (F.A.F.S.) having come first in all categories and become champion of champions – the first time an incomer has won everything since 1908. This has earned her the right to be Honorary Vice President for Life with a non executive seat on the committee and instant elevation to the secret Conclave of Puddings and Petunias (C.P.P.)
Membership of the C.P.P. means Bunty must never speak or write about F.A.F.S. or else she will be brought before her peers and following trial by tray bake, should there be a guilty verdict will be debarred from every Flower Show and Rural Women’s organisation in the country,.
This is a price no woman is prepared to pay.
12. What apparently happened to Hilda at Hallowe’en, how did Mrs T get involved and why did the Handsome Stranger appear on the scene?
Hilda, the German vomin vot did zee heavy vork, appeared to be caught in the man-trap in the Woodlanders’ Museum. For this, Mrs T was arrested for her murder because it was known that Hilda had tried to take over Mrs T’s position of superiority in the Wylie household during a bout of Asian ‘flu and they had been heard arguing at a later date.
It turned out that Hilda had not been murdered. It was just a bundle of clothing, a sort of female “Guy Fawkes” dressed to look like one of the characters from a Black Forest cuckoo clock with a remarkably life-like mask that would fool anyone into believing it was a real body. Once this was realised by the police, the Handsome Stranger made his presence known and with cars standing by ensured that Mrs T was released.
Well done to all of you for taking part and here’s to 1958 and another year of marvellousness and je ne sais quoi.