Saturday, 29 December 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it this week, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Nicholas Bacon

Q2. St Albans

The initial clues place us at the site of a mansion called 'Gorhambury House' (c18th century) west of the city of St Albans. The original or 'Old Gorhambury house' was constructed, according to the references I checked, between 1563 and 1568, for a lawyer called Nicholas Bacon, who was for a time a keeper of the great seal. His son, Francis Bacon (the polymath) inherited the house and was made attorney general c1613.

Travelling two miles or so to the south east of the mansion brings us to the Gardens of the Rose, at Chiswell green, which belong to the Royal National Rose society (founded c1876). Four miles south east of that position, next to junction 22 on the M25, lies Salisbury hall and the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Museum, where while the theme tune for the film 633 squadron plays in your head, you can view a fine example of the 'Wooden Wonder' itself, in the form of a restored world war II Mosquito aircraft. The prototypes for these aircraft were developed at Salisbury hall.

St Albans was occupied by the Romans at one point, they called it Verulamium (possibly the name was associated with the word Verlamion, which some sources claim means 'place by the marsh'. There were two major battles fought around St Albans in the fifteenth century, one on the 22nd of May 1455 and the second on the 17th February 1461. The second battle was unsurprisingly a primate politics affair over who would control England and its resources, a Yorkist or a Lancastrian. Margaret of Anjou ( mother Isabelle, Duchess of Lorraine) brought a combined Lancastrian and Scottish army down through England to take on the team of a guy called Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. The Lancastrian Scottish force trashed most of England on their way to the venue (medieval armies also marched on their stomachs and they had to disperse them over a wide front to enable them to pillage enough food from the unsuspecting inhabitants en route). Warwick's intel on the disposition and intent of the enemy force was poor and he positioned his troops in such a way that the Lancastrians snuck their army through St Albans at night and hit them on the flank the following day, soundly defeating Warwick.

There does appear to be a medieval clock tower in St Albans, the references claim it was constructed c1403 - 1412 and it stands where the tyrannical psychopath Edward the first Longshanks, planted a cross (one of a series of twelve) to commemorate the death of his wife, Eleanor.The clock tower stands near to St Alban's cathedral which houses the bells 'Sanctus' (cast c1290) and 'Edmund' (cast c1884 in memory of Edmund lord Grimthorpe). The sources I checked claim that king Offa (grandfather Eanwulf) found the remains of St Alban, a martyr who had been whacked by the Romans. Alban told the Roman guard captain, that he wasn't there for decapitation, they'd said he hadn't done anything and could go and live on an island somewhere but it was to no avail, he fessed up that he was "only joking squire, it's decapitation", so they cut his head off making him one of the first British christian martyrs. Some sources claim that his feast day is on the 22nd of June, while others claim it's on the 20th June. The nineteenth century novel which features the city, is likely to be 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens.

link to the competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Much to research this week, the most likely answers, seem to me to be:

Henry Horatio Hobson (the cobbler)

Charles Laughton (the actor)

Salford and Gloucester (cities one and two)

Henry III (the king)

Beatrix Potter (the author)

Cabbagehall (the viaduct)

Kirkcaldy (the town)

George Shillibeer (the entrepreneur)

Carlton House (the 18th century house)

Beau Brummel (the dandy)

The initial clues place us in the city of Salford (granted city status c1926), which is where the play 'Hobson's Choice' by Harold Brighouse was set. 'Hobson's Choice' is believed to have had it's first public viewings c1916. The play was turned into a film circa 1953/54 and starred the actor Charles Laughton (b1899) as Henry Hobson the cobbler.

Travelling around one hundred and ten miles south of Salford, brings us to the city of Gloucester and a king (Henry III) was crowned at the abbey there c1216 (he was also later crowned in Westminster abbey). He reigned until 1272 ie for 56 years. An author called Beatrix Potter (husband William Heelis) wrote a story called  'The Tailor of Gloucester' which from the references I looked at, was published around 1902 and featured mice.

Three hundred and ten miles north from Gloucester takes us to the Cabbagehall viaduct, just south of the town of Leslie in Fife. The references I checked claim that the viaduct has 14 spans and was constructed c1871. The brassic clue either refers to the fact that the spans are named after a brassica type vegetable (ie a cabbage) or could mean that the people who owned it were brassic lint (skint) and can only afford to eat cabbages. The viaduct is around six miles north of the town which is reputed to have the longest street fair in Europe, established c1304 in Kirkcaldy.

Some sources claim that an entrepreneur called George Shillibeer started the first omnibus service in London on the 4th July 1829. The prince regent, an upstart Hanoverian pretender, who later became George IV, lived in Carlton house (demolished c1827) and his daughter princess Charlotte of Wales, was said to have been born there c1796. The prince was friends with a dandy called Beau Brummel (born c1778) who used to hit people with quips, banter, repartee and one line put downs and on one occasion, referring to the prince regent standing beside someone, said 'who is your fat friend?'

Link to the competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I? competition

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not much of a challenge this week, they might as well have supplied the answers along with the huge giveaway clues. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Truro

Q2. Richard Lemon Lander

The initial clues given place us firmly in the city of Truro, in Cornwall. It's name is said to be derived from a word meaning 'three rivers'. From looking at the OS map of the area, there seem to be two rivers, the Kenwyn and the Allen which flow through the city itself, these later merge into the Truro river. I found references which claim that Truro became a city c1877 and that the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was built in 1880. The Architect who designed it was called John Loughborough Pearson (b1817) and the sources I checked say that his father was an etcher. Pearson incorporated the church of St Mary's, which stood on the site for the new cathedral, into his design and it is now part of it.

A locomotive called the city of Truro (built c1903 for GWR and still extant) is said in some references, to belong to the National Railway Museum (NRM). The explorer, Richard Lemon Lander (born c1804) was a very exotic character, some references claim that he was actually born in a pub, either the Daniell Arms on Lemon street or the Fighting Cocks Inn, on Green street, depending on which source you check. There is a statue on a column dedicated to his memory outside of the Daniell Arms on Lemon street. Lander followed the Niger river from Bussa down to the Atlantic ocean, encountering many dangerous people on his travels. He was eventually killed by local tribesmen on a subsequent trip to the area.

A playwright, baptised in Truro c1721 was Samuel Foote and according to references checked, he did publish a play called Taste, c1752. An author who was born c1884 who attended school in Truro, was Sir Hugh Walpole and he did write a work called 'Jeremy' c1919. The motto of the city of Truro, whose coat of arms does have a fisherman, a miner, a ship and two fishes on it, may be 'Exaltatum Cornu In Deo'. The Eastender has not translated any Latin since studying the works of Pliny the Younger back in nineteen canteen and has not come up with a meaning for this phrase.........(IIRC Pliny the Elder led a far more exciting and interesting life than PTY, though he did get a bit too close to a volcano)

Link to the competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I? Competition

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Green groweth the holly, 
So doth the ivy. 
Though winter blasts blow never so high, 
Green groweth the holly......

Seasonal greetings, not too difficult this week, near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Ipswich

Q2. Alexander Obolensky

(NB, for question 2, The rugby player's full name and title were given in some references as 'Prince Alexander Sergeevich Obolensky though he was also known as 'Obo' and 'The Flying Prince').

Pretty sure that this week, from the initial clues given, the quest takes us to the marvelous county of Suffolk, specifically to an edifice called 'Freston Tower' on the south western bank of the river Orwell. The description of the tower in the references I checked matches the one in the puzzle, ie it is six storeys high, has 26 windows and an observation platform . The tower was built circa 1758/9, possibly as a viewing point for the wealthy merchant who is believed to have constructed it, to see his ships as they approached the port town of Ipswich. I have not yet found an old poem connected with keeping the seas around that area clear.

A captain who was born in the Ipswich area and who commanded the Discovery on a voyage to Jamestown, was John Ratcliffe (aka John Sicklemore). There are several captains listed for this ship on various voyages and dates but he seems to be a good fit.

I found several sources which claim that Ipswich has thirteen medieval churches and the football team, who's fans are known as 'The Tractor Boys' was founded c1878 and became professional c1936. A manager of Ipswich Town FC, appointed c1955 and who played his international debut against Switzerland c1948, was Alf Ramsey.

A rugby player, born c1916 and buried in Ipswich, was Alexander Sergeevich Obolensky. He was not only what is known in the trade as a Rurikid prince (a Russian who's family fled the Bolsheviks and became British) but also a very brave aviator who was killed at the young age of 24, when his Hurricane hit a rabbit hole on landing during a training flight. It was said that as he had been taxiing at the time, he had undone the safety harness and was catapulted out of the cockpit and broke his neck. Obolensky, from the sources I checked, did indeed score seventeen trys against Brazil. There is said to be a statue of 'Obo' at Cromwell square, in Ipswich. The Eastender knows Martlesham Heath well and IIRC, there was a very nice boozer called 'The Douglas Bader' in the locale, though an excellent pint of Woodforde's Wherry, could also be had at 'The Fat Cat'.

A thespian who may have made his debut in Ipswich (c1741) in a play called 'Ooronoko' (aka 'The Royal Slave') was a chap called David Garrick. I found a reference to a pantomine he took part in which was called 'Harlequin Student' or 'The Fall of Pantomime with the Restoration of the Drama'.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday competition

Little bit tricky this week but near as I can figure it, the most likely answers, seem to me to be

Q1. John Cobb

Q2. The Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway Company.

(NB for question one, Mr Cobb's full name is given as John Rhodes Cobb but it is marked as John Cobb on the memorial near Urquhart castle)

The puzzle author has upped his game this week and thrown in a bit of nacht und nebel, to make things a little more interesting. I found several hiking trails or 'ways' in the UK which are quoted at 79 miles long, some examples are the Yorkshire Wolds Way and The Dales way but I am pretty sure that the one which is pertinent to this quest, is The Great Glen Way, which shadows some of the A82, along the north western shores of Loch Ness.

From the initial clues given, the author may have visited the Divach falls near Drumnadrochit. Looking at the OS map for the area, you do have to leave the main road and use the back roads to get to the aforesaid cataract, which some sources claim is around 100 feet high (he could also have visited the Plodda falls near the village of Tomich, in glen Affric, which are said to be around the same height but they are further down the back roads from Drumnadrochit and he may not have travelled that far).

There is a memorial on the A82 around two kilometres south west of Drumnadrochit and from the pictures I have seen of it, this is dedicated not to Donald Campbell (red herring) but instead to a quieter speed record achiever called John Rhodes Cobb (born 1899), who lead a very adventurous and daring life, which was financed by his work at the family fur broking business (Anning, Chadwick and Kiver ltd). The photographs of the memorial and some of the references indicate that JRC was killed while attempting to break a water speed record, in a jet boat called 'The Crusader' on loch Ness, on the 29th September 1952. The tragedy happened close to Urquhart castle and the memorial was built near the accident site by the local villagers. Some of the witnesses claimed that the boat flipped over when it hit the wake of a plesiosaur but they may have been on the ale at the time.

A film about highwaymen starring Ned Beatty and Joe Mullaney, which was shot in the area circa 1985, was 'Restless Natives'. The film features music by one of the few great bands to emerge from that ghastly decade, namely, 'Big Country'. Continuing down the A82, brings us to the village of Invermoriston, which is where the river Moriston flows into Loch Ness. I found some references which claim it is 4 miles long but I think the people who wrote this are measuring the distance to the dam. On some of my maps, it looks more like 16 - 20 to the main lake that it sources from (Loch Cluanie).

It seems more like six miles on the map from Invermoriston to the town of Fort Augustus, though again the puzzle writer may be using the car odometer to measure the distance but there is indeed a small island, called Cherry Island and it is thought to have been a Crannog or a fortified dwelling which was built on top of wooden piles driven into the loch bed. Cherry Island is believed to be the only isle on loch Ness. A company which was incorporated in 1896 to open a railway from Fort Augustus to Spean Bridge, was The Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway Company. The railway opened in 1903 but later went bust (not enough passengers to make it viable) and was taken over by the Highland Railway, then the North British Railway and finally the London and North British Railway, before closing c1947. 

Fort Augustus had a Benedictine abbey and the OS map and satellite pictures show there is also a lighthouse there. North east of Fort Augustus, the OS map shows the word 'Meml' near the south eastern shore of the loch in the vicinity of loch Tarff and between Glendoe lodge and Murligan hill. I have not yet located a source which explains what the memorial commemorates. (The Eastender Himself would have travelled down the south eastern shore of the loch, to see the house (Boleskin) of one of the greatest of the Yardbirds, Mr Jimmy Page (Boleskin was formerly owned by a whacky practitioner of Magicke, called Aleister Crowley))

Link to the competition:

Where Was I? Competition

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Bit of a slog this week. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers, seem to me to be:

Q1. Shaftesbury

Q2. Woodhenge

The initial clues place us in the Dorset area, Shaftesbury to be more precise. I found references which claim that the town is between 600 and 700 feet above sea level, so does appear to be on a hill. A saint who is possibly buried there (at Shaftesbury abbey), is Edward the Martyr. He was murdered by Aethelred the Unready's followers at Corfe castle c978 (so fits the 10th century clue) and his feast day is reported to be on 18th March. Aethelred was his half brother and he wasn't really 'unready' his nickname was actually 'Aethelred the poorly counselled', it's just that the original Anglo-Saxon sounds like the current English word 'unready'. He was indeed badly advised and experienced a lot of problems with the Danes who were invading Wessex around that time (he fled to Normandy when old Sweyn Forkbeard came over to have words (Aethelred allegedly massacred a lot of Danish settlers)). An eleventh century king who died at Shaftesbury abbey c1035, was the Dane, Cnut (sister Estrith) who once tried to command the waves to prove a point. According to some of the references I checked, the quote "A place where the churchyard lay nearer heaven than the church steeple", may be from a work by Thomas Hardy, called 'Jude the Obscure' (c1896) and possibly refers to St John's church at Enmore Green, Shaftesbury. From the photographs I have seen of it, the graveyard does seem to be higher up the hill than the church.

Travelling five miles north east of Shaftesbury brings us to Old Wardour castle. This sits beside a lake and according to the spiel on the English heritage site, it was constructed c14th century and you can actually climb the turrets. Around four miles north east of there, lies the site of RAF Chilmark. The quarry was the RAF's ammunition store and according to some sources, was originally hewn to provide stone for Salisbury cathedral. This site allegedly came into use by the air force c1937 and closed c1994 and was for a time the RAF's sole ammunition dump. Around eight miles to the north west of Chilmark carries us to some villages with the suffix 'Deverill', these are Kingston Deverill, Monkton Deverill, Brixton Deverill and Longbridge Deverill. A saint who is said to have been active in that area c12th century, is Wulfric (feast day 20th february). Wulfric was a bit of a hippie by all accounts and likely lived in a cave and took magic mushrooms.

North from the Deverill suffixed villages lies the White horse at Westbury, a hill fort near it and the site of the Battle of Edington, where King Alfred battered Guthrum the Dane and his team, for ruining their Christmas dinner c878 (The Eastender Himself has been hiking in this region but prefers the white horse at Uffington).

Seventeen miles east of the Deverill villages, brings us to Woodhenge. From the pictures I saw of this, it does seem to be next to a bend in a river and is marked out with concrete blocks, which delineate where the wooden posts which made up the original Henge stood. It is reckoned to be neolithic and c2500bc ish, so fits in with the clues about concrete blocks and postscripts.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not too bad this week , some huge giveaway clues and back in the day, the Eastender Himself trained for his PPL in this neck of the woods, so knows it well. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers, seem to me to be:

Q1. Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve

Q2, Merchant Taylors' School

(NB for question 1, I found references which give the size of Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve as varying between 726 and 755 acres so 731 is in the right ballpark for this to be a candidate. I found several sources which say the four woods which make up the nature reserve, have a total area of 295 hectares, which is around 731 acres )

From the initial clues given, the first station the author is describing, is most likely to be Ruislip Gardens. According to some of the references I checked, this did have what were described as 'winged' canopies and John Betjeman wrote a poem about it (Middlesex c1954) which is where the references to 'red trains' and 'Elysium' come from. I found five stations in the town with the name Ruislip in them, some of them are shared between mainline rail and the tube (West Ruislip, Ruislip, Ruislip Manor, Ruislip Gardens and South Ruislip) An extract from the Betjeman poem 'Middlesex' is below:

Gaily into Ruislip Gardens
Runs the red electric train
With a thousand Ta's and Pardon's
Daintily alights Elaine;

Hurries down the concrete station
With a frown of concentration
Out into the outskirt's edges
Where a few surviving hedges
Keep alive our lost Elysium
Rural Middlesex again

An airfield which lies to the south of Ruislip Gardens station, is RAF Northolt and according to some of the sources I checked, this seems to have been first used by the RFC c1915 and was one of the first aerodromes to receive the Hurricane fighters. The men of letters founded in 1882 refers to the APOC (Army Post Office Corp) and the British Forces Post Office has headquarters at Northolt.

The puzzle author most likely alights from the train at West Ruislip station and a short distance to the north, lies Ruislip Wood National Nature Reserve (I found references for the size of this ranging from 726 to 755 acres). Ruislip wood nature reserve, contains a 'Great Barn' which was built c1280 and is said to be around 40 metres long (greater than 100 feet). Ruislip Lido apparently started life as a canal resevoir (c1811) before becoming a leisure facility c1933. The sources I checked confirm that it does indeed have a beach and a miniature railway and that several films were shot there, including 'A Night to Remember' c1958 (about the Titanic in 1912), the 'Young Ones' with Cliff Richard and possibly a comedy film called 'What a Whopper' in the 1960s. I found a reference which says the Lido closed c1990 and was demolished c1998.

North of the Lido, lies the town of Northwood and this is the postal area of a school called Merchant Taylors' School. It seems to be located in a place called Three Rivers, Sandy Lodge, Hertfordshire which is on the north side of the town.This school was originally in the city of London and was founded c1561. There is also said to be an art nouveau style church in Northwood but seems to have been converted to a library at some point. A former pupil of Merchant Taylors' school was one William Henry Pratt aka Boris Karloff (b 1887), who played the 'Frankenstein' monster in a film of the same name c1931.

Link to the competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Very entertaining this week and a little tricky as some of the acreages and hectarages of the islands involved vary depending upon which sources you check. Near as I can figure it, the answers which seem to me most likely are:

Q1: Luing

Q2: Kay Kendall

(NB for question one, the size of Luing island in hectares is quoted in some references as 1430 and in others as 1543, which gives acreages of 3533 and 3813 respectively. The acreage for Seil island is given in one source as 3289, so they are similar in size, however it is the highest point at 94 metres clue, which indicates the answer is likely to be Luing )

I'm not sure what the "Lend me a dollar" quote refers to but from the initial clues given, I'd say that the author and his travelling companion are standing on the Clachan bridge, which spans the Clachan sound, on the northern end of Seil island, in the Argyll and Bute region. The bridge, according to some sources, was designed by Thomas Telford and constructed by an engineer called Robert Mylne c1792. It became known as the 'Bridge Over the Atlantic' and has a span of around 72 feet.

The highest point on Seil island (according to Ordnance Survey) is Meall a Chaise at 146 metres or approximately 479 feet, which rules that out as the location of the 'pretty island'. The highest point on the nearby Luing island, again according to OS, is Cnoc Dhomhnuill at 94 metres or around 308 feet, which puts this insel in the frame as a candidate for the answer to question one.

Approximately two miles south of the Clachan bridge lies Ardmaddy castle, which is famous for, among other things, its Rhododendron gardens. Travelling northeast from the bridge brings us to an inlet called Loch Feochan, which does look to be around four miles long and has a road which tracks along its southern shore. The Argyll and Bute district was the location for the films "A Ring of Bright Water" (civil servant with a strange pet, (an otter) c1969) and "Enigma" (c2001). I found a reference which says that a scene from "Enigma" featured a house in the locale called "Tigh Beg Croft". The road does turn north at the end of the Inlet and it carries us to a town called Oban, (the distance looks to be around four miles on some of my maps but again, the author may be measuring the distance using the car odometer) where an actress called "Kay Kendall" (b 1927) went to school (St Margaret's convent school). Some of the biographies I read on Kay Kendall state that she was in a film called "Les Girls" (c1957). The poor woman, god help her, died from Myeloid leukemia at the young age of 32 (c1959). Shortly before her untimely demise, she became involved with the actor Rex Harrison, who according to some sources, left his wife to take care of her.

The Callander and Oban railway was authorised c1865 but didn't actually reach the town of Oban until 1880. A mile in the westerly direction across the sound, lies the island of Kerrera, highest point at around 189 metres or 620  feet , the hill of Carn Breugach. Around four and a half miles to the northwest of Kerrera, lies the Lismore lighthouse, which is not actually on Lismore but was built on Eilean Musdile by Robert Stevenson c1833 and is reckoned to be around 26 metres or 85 feet in height. There is another lighthouse on Lady's rock very close by but I couldn't find any information on its dimensions or construction dates, however the Lismore lighthouse seems to match the clues. A king who died on Kerrera, who's father was William the Lion, was Alexander II of Scotland. Alexander II was a psychopath and by all accounts he murdered a baby girl, the daughter of a rival for the throne, by getting his goon squad, to bash her brains out on a rock ( The Eastender was raging when he read this and thinks someone should have altered this royal bampot's parameters of absolute reality, with an anachronistic Claymore (Claymores are though to be 15th century weapons, Alexander II died c1249), long before the fever killed him on Kerrera). There is a ferry to Kerrera, marked on some maps as being situated a few miles south west of Oban.

Link to the competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I? Competition

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

I reckon that the Sunday Times IT bod has been out on the sauce last night, the puzzle did not become visible until 08:58 hrs this morning. The Eastender Himself is a bit cheesed off about this as he likes to get this one knocked on the head early so he can go for Sunday lunch. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be :

Q1. Christopher Hollis

Q2. Midsomer Norton

(NB for Question 1, Christopher Hollis was known officially as Maurice Christopher Hollis but his bios seem to use the name Christopher Hollis, which he was better known by)

The initial clues place us in the county of Somerset, where some of the local coal mines closed for good c1973. A Palladian style mansion which was constructed between 1721 and 1725 by a bankster financial terrorist called Henry Hoare II (what a great name for someone who creates counterfeit money from thin air and loans it out at outrageous levels of interest ) is Stourhead house (was called Stourton manor). Around 2 miles northwest of the house/estate, lies King Alfred's tower, which from the pictures I saw of it, does indeed seem to be triangular, this was also constructed by the nasty old banker.

Travelling around seven miles north/northwest of the Palladian house brings us to Nunney castle, this was constructed around 1370 by a Sir John de la Mere and bombarded by the Parliamentarians c1645. Some of the references I checked claim that the gun damaged section fell down on christmas day c1910. Two miles north of the castle takes us to the one horse dorp of Mells. Siegfried Sassoon (Mad Jack) the war poet is allegedly buried there as is one Christopher Hollis (born c1902) who lived in Mells for a time and was an MP, a writer for Punch magazine and an author. Mells is said to be where Little Jack Horner is from and the tasty plum he pulled out of the pie was said to be the ownership deeds to Mells Manor.

Five miles north/north west of Mells lies Downside Abbey, built in the early 19th century, it houses a school who's alumni are called 'Old Gregorians'. I looked at several references which say that a saint Oliver Plunkett's headless body is intered there (he was hung drawn and quartered by the vicious government sociopaths of the day) and that the church tower is 166ft high. Depending on which sources you look at, St Oliver Plunkett's feast day can be on the 1st or the 11th of July.

Northeast of Downside abbey is the town of Radstock, which was once home to the Marcroft wagon works which closed c1988. Ludlow, Huish and Coates refer to the coal mines/mining companies which were operating in the area around Radstock, prior to 1973. Two miles north of the Abbey puts us in the town of Midsomer Norton, where the Somerset and Dorset railway line is being restored by the Somerset and Dorset railway heritage trust. According to some sources, the Somerset and Dorset railway was created in 1862 when an act of parliament gave the green light for the amalgamation of the Somerset Central Railway and the Dorset Central Railway.

link to competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not much of a challenge this week, the Eastender Himself used to live in North London and knows this area well. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be :

Q1. Wood Green

Q2. Alexandra Palace

The initial clues place us in the metropolis, in the north London district of Wood Green (an aborescent sounding  suburb), which was where the late great Jack Hawkins was born (c1910). Hawkins played captain Ericson in a film called 'The Cruel Sea'. There is a 'new river' passing close to the tube and overground rail lines here and according to the references I looked at, it was constructed c 1609, to bring water from Hertfordshire into the city. The Lido referred to is most likely the Park road pool, which used to be called Hornsey Lido and was built c1929 (The Eastender Himself used to go swimming there on Sundays, when he lived in the big smoke).

Not too sure who the author was, Barry Took co authored a radio show/books called 'Beyond Our Ken'  with Eric Merriman (born c1924) and he was born in Muswell Hill c1928 (not sure if Muswell Hill can be considered part of Wood Green). There was also a book about Ken Livingston, also called 'Beyond Our Ken' co authored by Ken Livingston (born c1945) and David Morrison. David Copperfield's aunt, Betsey Trotwood, hated donkeys and I found a few references which claim that her husband was buried in St Mary's churchyard in Hornsey. From the satellite pictures, It looks like you can see St Mary's CE school and a churchyard and church tower next to it, from the train. According to the 'Friends of Hornsey Church Tower' website, this site was called St Mary's.

Walking south west from Wood Green takes us to Alexandra park (196 acres) another favourite with the Eastender, following your Sunday swim, you could get a pint of Guiness at the bar in the Ally Pally and sit out at the picnic tables on top of the hill, enjoying the views of London as you sipped it in the warm sun, IIRC there was also a very nice cafe at the Garden centre there, with a deck, where you could get a piece of cake and a cup of tea and also enjoy a pleasant seat in the sun as you read the papers.

One of the architects who designed the Alexandra Palace was Alfred Meeson (born c 1808). Meeson also did some work on the houses of Parliament. The theatre in the Ally Pally could according to some sources, seat 2500 people and it had a pipe organ in it (The Grand Willis Organ), which was built by a Henry Willis (born c 1821). The organ has had a somewhat chequered history, it had some of its pipes removed by squaddies and refugees (presumably sold for scrap) following the first world war and during world war two, somebody dropped a doodle bug (a type of primitive cruise missile) close to the Ally Pally. The resulting explosion took out the windows and the organ became exposed to the elements and suffered further damage, it was then vaporised in a fire c1980 before being partially restored by a descendant of Henry Willis in the 1990s.

Link to the competition

Where Was I? competition

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not too difficult this week, no privileged access to restricted databases required to find the most likely answers, which near as I can figure it, seem to me to be:

Q1. Lewes

Q2. Gideon Algernon Mantell

From the initial clues given, it looks like the author is in the town of Lewes, in Sussex. There is a ruined priory there which was built c 11th century and was dedicated to a St Pancras (feast day 12th May, and patron saint of teenagers). I found some references which claim that the nave of the priory's church was 432 feet long and that Anne of Cleves was given a house there (c15th century) as part of a divorce settlement from Henry VIII (he obviously had a keen sense of irony over removing the head of someone called Cleves and decided upon the payment of a domicile instead). The priory of St Pancras according to some sources, was built by an earl called William de Warenne.

An American born art collector who caused a bit of controversy in the town and who lived for a time in Lewes house, was a chap known as Edward Perry Warren, he had lots of bohemians and hippies staying with him and some of the local nosey parkers, led by a Mary Whitehouse type woman called Kate Fowler Tutt, went crazy when he loaned Rodin's statue, 'The Kiss' to the town hall c1913-14 (Philistines, PR stunt to drum up visitors to the exhibition or both, who knows?). A surgeon, who was born  in Lewes c1790 and whose hobby was reconstructing fossilized dinosaurs, including iguanodons, was Gideon Algernon Mantell.

Lewes castle does indeed have two mounds of earth or mottes as they are known in the trade, upon which the fortifications stand and does have octagonal towers (some sources describe them as semi octagonal). It was, according to several references I looked at, built by William de Warenne.

Things were going well for the de Warenne clan and in 1264, they invited King Henry III down from London, for the St Pancras bank holiday weekend. They were in the castle popping a few pills and dancing to The Yardbirds, when someone came running in shouting, "The Rockers are here!". They ran to the northwestern side of the town and charged up the hill to a point about 104 metres (344 feet ) where they clashed with the Rocker hordes, who were steaming down the hill and about half their number. They were led by a guy called Simon de Montford (battle of Lewes). I found a contour line marked 100 metres on the ordnance survey map which shows the site of the battle, which is close enough to be in the right ballpark but I digress, there were beer bottles and deck chairs flying everywhere and during the melee, a policeman's helmet was knocked off and one of the king's team (a prince Edward) decided to pursue a contingent of the enemy, who'd left the battlefield to get some beers. This action caused the king's side to be defeated and his majesty fled and holed up in a night club called 'The Windmill' in a rough part of  town, from which he was later ejected by the bouncers for noising up the bar staff and given a good kicking by the waiting rockers........

Link to the competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

More than a little bit tricky this week, very obscure question about a chocolate marketer which you need acccess to databases to find out about....

Q1. Glasgow School of Art

Q2. George James Harris.

(NB for question 2 I'm not totally sure about this one, there was a George James Harris who was chairman and marketing director of Rowntree and some unconfirmed sources say that he was born in Paisley road west, in Govan c1896)

From the initial clues, the puzzle author is travelling on 'The Clockwork Orange' or 'The Shoogle' as Glasgow's underground railway is better known. Allegedly, it takes 24 minutes to complete a circuit on this particular train set. From the positional information given, he is likely at Cowcaddens station and south west of there lies an art school, 'Glasgow School of Art', which was founded in 1845. The building was designed by a brilliant artist and architect, regarded as the innovative Banksy of his day , Charles Rennie Mackintosh (b 1868). He won a competition to design the art school c1894.  Sauchiehall street means 'Alley of Willows' or 'Meadow of Willows' and it's where Rennie Mackintosh implemented his  'Willow tearooms' project, which I believe are still there, though have not been in them for a few years. The entrepreneur who commissioned Mackintosh to design the tearoom, was Catherine Cranston (b 1849).

Travelling south takes us to St Enoch's underground station, near the river Clyde, which to quote Robbie Coltrane, "is long and wide", around 106 miles long according to some references. There was a large overground station there and what was at one time Scotland's largest hotel. These however, were not demolished until around 1977, to build a shopping mall. Heading west on the Shoogle, brings us to Ibrox, home of the now defunct Rangers football club, which has unfortunately been home to two disasters, in which people were crushed to death, one in 1902 and one in 1971.

Turning north west brings us to Govan, home of Govan Old Church which is the oldest church in the area and which has gravestones with viking carvings on them. I'm not a hundred percent sure about this one but according to some sources, the chocolate manufacturer might be George James Harris, chairman of Rowntree and born in Paisley road west c1896....

North from Govan brings us to the lively and bustling district of Partick, which the famous football club known as 'Partick Thistle Nil' is named after. Partick Thistle Nil, were runners up in the 1953 league cup and their ground is nearer to Maryhill, than Partick. The first international football match, according to some sources, was played at a cricket club ground in Hamilton crescent. Travelling east then south east brings us to St Georges cross station, which is close to the Mitchell Library, which was donated to the city by a tobacco manufacturer called Stephen Mitchell.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not too difficult this week. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Dover

Q2. Charles Rolls

(N.B For question 2, it is quite easy to select Sir Christopher Cockerell, pioneer of the hovercraft as the first pioneer, as he made his famous flight almost 50 years to the day that Bleriot made his but since I could not find a significant event which occurred in Dover on 2nd June 1960, concluded that the first pioneer was Bleriot and this indicates that Charles Rolls was the second pioneer, as he performed the first double crossing of the English channel in a powered aircraft, on the 2nd June 1910).

The initial clues place us in the town of Dover, on the Prince of Wales pier (1650 feet and completed 1902). The pier, in some of the photographs I saw of it, did have concrete panels with round windows in them at the landward end, to allow sightseers to view the activities in the hoverport below. A truly great British genius, Sir Christopher Cockerell (gawrd bless 'im leddies ed jittlemen) carried out the first pioneering hovercraft flight from Calais to Dover on the 25th July 1959 and there were passenger hovercraft operating there up until the year 2000.

The 4140 feet breakwater the author is referring to, is most likely Admiralty pier. According to some of the references I looked at, a guy called Matthew Web (b1848) set off from here to become the first person to successfully swim across the English channel without a buoyancy aid, on the 25th August 1875. Admiralty pier was fed with passengers, by a railway station called Dover Marine, which did indeed have a 700ft shed and was used by a luxury pullman train service, called the Golden Arrow which operated from London and Paris and left both cities at 11:00. Presumably, they were supposed to arrive in their respective destinations at 17:35. There was also a Dover promenade pier (900ft and demolished in 1927 from the sources I checked).

Looking about a mile north of the end of the Prince of Wales pier, means that the lighthouse must be on land and there appears to be a roman Pharos around 80 feet high in, the vicinity of Dover castle. The memorial commemorating the historic flight of Louis Bleriot is in the vicinity of the castle too. A brave pioneering aviator called Charles Rolls doubled Bleriot's flight, when he crossed the channel twice, the following year on the 2nd June 1910.

Link to Sunday Times Where Was I? Competition

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

My broadband connection has been running like a dog today but near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Newcastle Emlyn

Q2. The Sagranus Stone

(N.B. For question one, I found several references which claim that the first legal printing press in Wales was situated in the village of Adpar but reading about the place, it seems to have been assimilated into and is now considered to be part of the town of Newcastle Emlyn. The Eastender Himself is taking a punt on Newcastle Emlyn being the correct answer)

The initial clues place us once more in Wales, specifically, the town of Newcastle Emlyn. I found several references which claim that the first legal printing press in Wales, was installed in Adpar (now a district of Newcastle Emlyn) by a gentleman called Isaac Carter (c1718/1719). Newcastle Emlyn sits on the river Teifi, which at 75 miles, is believed to be the longest river in Wales.

Travelling west/north west from there brings us to a village called Cilgerran, where there is a castle, which appears, from the pictures I found of it, to have two towers and was allegedly built sometime during the 12th century (first mentioned in texts published c1164). Seven miles west/south west of Cilgerran, lies the site of Nevern castle (be careful not to pick Castell Henllys here, this is an iron age hillfort with a replica iron age village on it). Nevern castle was built by some good ol' Normans and was fought over by them, more than JR and Bobby Ewing fought over Southfork. William Fitzmartin and his father in law, Lord Rhys, were in dispute over ownership of the castle for years and Hywel Sais, a son of Lord Rhys, is alleged to have torn the place down in 1195.

The village of Nevern is situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the church in Nevern was founded by a St Brynach (feast day 7th April) c6th century. The Eastender Himself had to look up what a 'Portal Dolmen' was, seems to be a crude megalithic burial structure made with three flat rocks standing perpendicular to the ground and a capstone laid flat on top. The one the puzzle author is describing, is most likely Pentre Ifan, which is around two miles south east of Nevern. Judging from the size of it, someone very big must have been buried there (Readers are advised that such tombs often contain barrow wights and barrow zombies and that these can follow you home and become almost as much of a pest as people who stalk celebrities).

Journeying seven miles north east from Pentre Ifan brings us to a dorp called St Dogmaels. Two miles east of there is the town of Cardigan where a gardening broadcaster called David Clay Jones was born c1923. The ruined abbey is called St Dogmaels, named after the sixth century saint (feast day June 14th). The church next to the ruined abbey, (which I believe is called St Thomas's) contains a Rosetta stone like object, which is inscribed with script written in both Latin and Ogham. Ogham is an ancient twenty character alphabet, believed to be Irish/Pictish in origin and seems to me to be even harder to read and write, than both kinds of Armenian (eastern and western). The stone is called 'The Sagranus Stone'.

Our friends down the road at Kaledo Jewellery have asked us to give them a plug, the Eastender Himself has no problem with this, as he believes that business is business. There are some very high quality artisan silver products for sale there. See link:

Kaledo Jewelley

The artisan's blog can be viewed here, for those of you who are interested in seeing how such beautiful things are made:

Kaledo Jewellery Blog

Link to Sunday Times Competition:

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Quite tricky this week but near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Erraid

Q2. Sir Hugh Fraser

(N.B. for question two, if you do a search for businessman and Iona, the engine can come back with Rev George Macleod and Sir John Macleod, businessman (George's father). Rev George Macleod helped reconstruct some of the buildings on Iona and created the Iona community, so that can cause some confusion as to the identity of the beneficial businessman but Hugh Fraser's 'Fraser Foundation', gave the island to the national trust for Scotland, in memory of his father, Lord Fraser of Allander and is a much better fit for the answer)

The initial clues place us on the island of Iona, in the Hebrides, the main drag there is called 'The Street of the Dead' or 'Sraid nam Marbh' in the local tongue, mainly because they had to track coffins along it to bury people at the graveyard near Iona abbey, at the small church of St Odran (feast day 27th Oct). According to some references, St Odran may have been a victim of what is known in the trade as 'foundation sacrifice' ie he was whacked by saint Columba and buried in the foundations of what was to be his own church, as an offering, to make sure that it didn't fall down. Some texts claim that he came through the walls and frightened the bejaysus out of the congregation and had to be quicky re-buried after telling the punters that there was no heaven or hell (a likely story, sounds a bit like the bad ass barrow zombie (Glam) that haunted Grettir on Iceland, after he 'acquired' some valuable grave goods).

The graveyard at St Odran's is alleged to have 48 Scottish kings buried there, among them a Constantin Mac Cinaeda (Constantine I, a son of Kenneth Mac Alpin) who was buried there c876ad. Some of the references I looked at claimed that he died in 878ad but historians are always arguing about dates and who did what to who. A king, who some sources claim reigned c1093/94 and who died in 1094 and might be buried on Iona, is Duncan II. A saint who was abbot of Iona and whose mother was called Ronnat, was Saint Adamnan.

Travelling south west along the main drag until you reach the end, brings you to a point where looking south south/east you may be able to see the tidal island of Erraid (around two miles distant on some of my maps). This island was featured in a book called 'Kidnapped' by Robert Louis Stevenson (published c1866) and featured the exploits of a good ol' Jacobite rebel called Alan Breck Stewart (gawrd bless 'im) and David Balfour (loyal to the upstart Hanoverian pretender). They had to leave the ship they were travelling on, after becoming involved in a bit of a fraicas with the crew and subsequently striking the Torran rocks. Balfour ends up being washed ashore on Erraid. Erraid is about one square mile in area and does indeed seem to have mica on it.

Heading west from the viewpoint, brings us to a trail which meanders in a south westerly direction past loch Staoineig and thence to the bay where saint Columba came ashore c562ad (wearing a dishevelled raincoat and smoking a cigar). Columba, in many accounts, seems to have had a bit of an anger management problem and had to flee from Ireland after what started out as a dispute over intellectual property rights, resulted in an armed conflict with the deaths of an estimated three to ten thousand people ( battle of Cul Dremhne). 

If you turn northwest from the end of the road, that leads to the highest point on the island, a cnoc known as Dun l (which according to ordnance survey, is 100 meters or 328 feet high in old money). The businessman who is largely responsible for preserving the natural beauty of the island was a guy called Sir Hugh Fraser, who's 'Fraser Foundation' donated it to the national trust for Scotland, as a memorial to his father, Lord Fraser of Allander.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not too challenging this week. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers, seem to me to be:

Q1 . Hen Gwrt

Q2. The Kymin

(NB from looking at the national trust site and other references, the hill is called 'Kymin hill' and the estate seems to be called 'The Kymin' so the Eastender Himself is going with 'The Kymin' as the name of the nine acre site)

Some huge giveaway clues this week, 'Trilateral' gets you the answers almost immediately, there is a group of Norman castles in monmouthshire which are called 'The Trilateral castles'. These are Grosmont Castle, Skenfrith Castle and White castle. From the initial clues given, it looks like the author is at Grosmont castle, travelling four miles south east of there brings us to Skenfrith castle, which stands next to the river monnow and from the photographs I found of it, it does indeed have four ruined towers and a keep inside the walls (looks like a very beautiful, if somewhat eldritch place).

Travelling south west from Skenfrith castle takes us to the hamlet of Llantilio Crosseny, where a moat (or more accurately 'a moated site') called Hen Gwrt can be found. It is indeed square and surrounds the remains of a house . Some of the references I found on this claim that it was possibly a manorial site used by the bishops of Llanduff in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, later being used as a hunting lodge.

A sixth century saint who came to the aid of the district around Lantilio Crosseny, was Saint Teilo (feast day 9th February). Some sources claim that he was asked for help by a king Iddon to see off some Saxon hoodies who were drinking cider, doing club style singing at 3 am and plundering the place. Teilo is reputed to have planted a cross on a pre christian mound where the church now stands and prayed for their defeat. It seems to have worked because Iddon gave the church some lands in grattitude after the Saxons were routed and given an ASBO. Llantilo Crosseny may be a corruption of 'St Teilo's at Iddon's Cross'. Teilo's PR people put out a story claiming that he had a pet dragon (captured by him while on holiday in Brittany) but they may just have been trying to big him up a bit.......

Travelling around seven miles east south east of Llantilo Crosseny, brings you to the town of Monmouth and about a mile east of the town lies a nine acre estate called 'The Kymin', where there is a hill which has been used as a picnic spot since around 1793. The hill has two notable structures on it, a Georgian round house (built c1794) and a Naval temple (built c 1800). Lord Nelson did lunch at the Kymin, while inspecting the temple, which is dedicated to the victories of the British navy.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

If you are not an extremist with a qualification in the humanities (ie know a lot about literature and history) you may find this week's puzzle a bit of a slog . The Eastender is not and had to rely on researching the clues and data crunching, though reading about some of the people uncovered has prompted him to consider learning a bit more about them and their works. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Max Faulkner

Q2. Duncton Hill

(NB for question one, there were two golfers who came sixth in the 1949 open. Max Faulkner and Arthur lees. I couldn't find a reference that shows Arthur Lees lived in Pulborough but did find one for Max Faulkner living there (obit in the Bexhill observer). Lees seems to be associated with Sunningdale club in Berkshire.

(NB For question 2, there are two places in close proximity called Duncton hill, one is a viewpoint and one is an actual hill, which one of my maps claims is 255 meters or 836 feet and while it is difficult to work out the height using only the contours, there are photographs of a plaque on a plinth at the viewpoint, which show it to be 121 meters or 398 feet above sea level (I don't know if Hilaire Belloc wrote the poem Duncton hill about the hill or the viewpoint).

The initial clues lead us to Duncton hill viewpoint in a region known as 'The South Downs National Park' (according to some references, this came into being c2011). There were several liberal MP's born in 1870 but the one who most fits the clues given, is Hilaire Belloc, he seems to have been something of a polymath; a poet, author, journalist, adventurer, hiker and friends with H.G.Wells and George Bernard Shaw. He would be regarded as controversial by some elements of the idiocracy that we have created to run things today. Belloc according to some sources, loved Sussex and wrote a poem about Duncton hill, it has a line in it as follows:

The passer-by shall hear me still,
  A boy that sings on Duncton Hill.

which fits nicely with the clue at the end of the puzzle, he also wrote poems about a hippopotamus and a girl that slams doors.

I shoot the Hippopotamus
with bullets made of platinum,
Because if I use leaden ones
his hide is sure to flatten 'em.

Travelling twenty five miles west from Duncton hill viewpoint takes us to a place called Bishop's Waltham, where a ruined abbey lies (Bishop's palace). Some references claim this was started by a guy called William Wykeham (born c 1324) and that he also founded Winchester college. The palace was allegedly destroyed by Oliver Cromwell (presumably because he did not want the opposition using it like the Alamo to hole up in, or maybe just out of badness).

Tracking east from Bishop's palace, brings us into proximity with a house called Uppark. I found some references which say that the mother of H.G.Wells, was the housekeeper and that Wells himself lived there for a time. Uppark, according to some reports, was torched by a roofer (probably one of Cromwell's descendants) c1989 but it has since been refurbished. I think that the house and its environs were used as a social model in an H.G.Wells novel (c1909) called 'Tono Bungay' (Tono Bungay being a patent medicine). The Eastender Himself favours Bulwer Lytton's 'Vril' over Wells's 'The Time Machine', for the reason that the Vril-ya would have sent any Morlocks who were stupid enough to venture into their caverns, packing, in short order. His occult work 'Zanoni' makes for very interesting reading too......

Wells was employed by a chemists shop in the town of Midhurst and also taught at the grammar school there for a time. Duncton hill viewpoint is around five miles south east of Midhurst. Four miles or so north/north east of Duncton hill viewpoint lies the town of Petworth, this has a 'Petworth House', a seven hundred acre deer park and was home for a time to an author called Joan Aiken (born c1924). Aiken wrote a book called 'Dido and Pa' which featured a Mrs Bloodvessel.

Five miles east/north east of the viewpoint (the plaque there claims that it is six miles, also shows as six on one of my maps), lies the town of Pulborough. Pulborough was once home to the joint sixth place 1949 open golf contestant, Max Faulkner (he tied with Arthur Lees) and the cricketer (urg, cricket)  who captained the England team in the first test match played in 1924, one Arthur Gilligan.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Loads of fun this week leddies ed jittlemen, Mr Fautley has exhibited brilliance in the deviousness of this weeks geographic and historical hunt and has again wheeled out some of the favorite weapons in the puzzle writer's arsenal, ie information overload (aka chaff, some sources claim that there are more than 1350 known hill forts in England and Wales, scrolling through and checking them all will take you a lot of time, so a faster method is required), switching meters to feet (to make it harder to find with a modern map) and that old favorite, juxtaposing several items of information which appear very similar at first glance ( more than one baronet was born c1906 in the area under scrutiny and there seem to be more than one medieval cottage in the vicinity, with names that sound like scorers), next week, he will say that the letters you have to gather, are an enigma code encryption of one of the answers. As near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be :

Q1. Canada

Q2.  A La Ronde

The initial clues place us at a hill fort called Hembury castle, in the county of Devon. Ordnance survey claim that this is around 269 metres or 883 feet in height. The hill fort was believed to have had a causeway at one time but there is not much left of it now. Travelling four miles northeast from there brings us to the outskirts of a village called Dunkeswell, where Wolford chapel lies. This seems  to be a nineteenth century listed building which was given to the prime minister of Quebec c1966 by one Sir Geoffrey Harmsworth, so the deeds to the chapel appear to be held by the Canadian government (don't think Quebec is a country so not sure why it had a prime minister).

Three miles (looks more like two and a half on one of my maps and four on the other, so three is in the right ballpark) south east of Wolford chapel takes us to the village of Broadhembury, where a hymn writer called Augustus Montague Toplady (who allegedly wrote the hymn 'Rock of Ages') ministered to the faithful (c1768). Nine miles south east of Broadhembury, brings us to Blackbury camp (does sound like a holiday spot for soft fruit, sometimes called Blackbury castle) which may indeed an iron age hill fort be.

The puzzle now becomes a little tricky, there are two (could be more) houses in the west north west-ish directions, which baronets born in 1906 are associated with, these are Killerton (Richard Acland born c 1906) and Creedy park (Sir John Ferguson Davies also born c1906). The Eastender Himself favours Richard Acland and Killerton as the baronet and location respectively, as taking the first letter of John, does not provide a character that could be used in a word for a number. After driving the twenty two road miles to Killerton (it's not twenty two miles ATCF from Blackbury camp) you are close to Marker's (a scorer's) cottage, which according to the blurb in some of the references has an unusual painted decorative screen, depicting saint Andrew (watch out that you don't pick Shute Barton as the scorer's cottage (football reference as in shoots at the goal and scores) as this gives the wrong location and letters (has a St Michaels church very close by).

Clue 1. H(e)mbury Castle
Clue 2. Wol(f)ord Chapel
Clue 3. Ca(n)ada
Clue 4. Br(o)adhembury
Clue 5. Augus(t)us Montague Toplady
Clue 6. Blackb(u)ry Camp (or castle)
Clue 7. Killert(o)n
Clue 8. (R)ichard Acland
Clue 9. Mark(e)r's cottage
Clue 10. St A(n)dr(e)w

This gives us the letters:

E, F, N, O, T, U, O, R, E, N, E

Which the numbers one and fourteen can be constructed from. Adding one to fourteen gives fifteen and adding one to that gives sixteen. Ten miles south (little bit south east ish) of Marker's cottage, lies a house called A la Ronde, which has sixteen sides, it also reputed to have a room encrusted with shells........

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not too bad this week (no questions about furniture). Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be :

Q1. Chester

Q2. Sir Adrian Boult (or just plain Adrian Boult)

The initial clues place us in Deva Victrix or as it is called now, the city of Chester. The river Dee is reported in some references to be around 70 miles long and it appears to be spanned by a suspension bridge. On the north side of the river at the end of the suspension bridge, lies a park where a church called 'St John the Baptist' is situated. I found several references which say that this was the cathedral of a bishop called Peter and was consecrated as such c1075. It held this designation until c1085 when the bishop died. I also found some references which say that both the central tower and the west tower have collapsed more than once (not once as the puzzle author has stated).

Travelling north northwest from St John's brings us to Chester cathedral which was designated as such in 1541. It was upgraded from an abbey (St Werburgh's) which was built (c1092) by the first earl of Chester, a guy called Hugh D'Avranches, who went by the nicknames of 'Fat boy' and 'Wolfman' depending on who he was hanging out with and how much they'd been drinking. Fat Boy's father was called Richard and the first earl died c1101 (shot by a Norwegian bad ass called Magnus Barefoot). He is allegedly buried in the cathedral graveyard. A good ol' Norman boy called Bill the Conqueror gave Chester castle to the Fat Boy Wolfman first earl. The castle has Agricola's tower, a chapel and an eighteenth century gun platform.

The Eastender Himself found a weighty tome in the archives called 'The Cathedral Church of Chester; a description of the fabric and a brief history of the episcopal see' written by one Charles Hiatt and published c1898 as part of the Bell's cathedrals series. This intriguing incunabula contains the dimensions of the nave and the tower and confirms that they are indeed 145 feet long and 127 feet high respectively. It also waxes lyrical about the woodwork in the place . (NB that there were several cathedrals inaugurated c1541, including Gloucester, Peterborough, Bristol and Oxford but the descriptions in the WWI? puzzle do not fit these places as well as Chester).

A conductor called Sir Adrian Boult was born (c1889) in Liverpool road in Chester (Liverpool road lies to the north of Chester cathedral). Boult conducted the orchestra for the coronation of King George VI (the current queen's father) c1937. Some references say that George VI's mother was called Mary from Teck.

Travelling south west from the current cathedral brings us to Chester castle and going north east from there brings us to the back end of St John the Baptists, where the remains of the Roman amphitheatre lie.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Curses! Mr Fautley has finally got one over on the Eastender Himself with his obscure nacht und nebel furniture question last week, it was a fifty fifty shot between Ebenezer Gomme  and Lucian Ercolani, both had brands which were household names in the fifties, yours truly took a punt on the wrong one. However, he will not beat me this week. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers are:

Q1.  Beinn Tangabhal (Ben Tangaval in English)

Q2. The Annie Jane

From the initial clues given, the author appears to be near Kisimul castle (c 15 century), on the beautiful island of Barra. The castle is built on a rocky island in Castle bay ( a natural moat hundreds of yards across). Barra may be named after a sixth century saint called Fionbarra or St Finbarr (feast day 25th September).

Going northwest from the junction leads to a tower on loch Tangasdail called Dun Mic Leoid, castle Sinclair, Ian Garbh's Castle or An Casteil depending on your preference. A little further on from there lies the 'Isle of Barra' hotel (not too sure what records it has set). Turning south west at the junction takes us past Beinn Tangabhal, which ordnance survey say is 332 metres or 1089 feet high.

From the next set of clues given, it looks like the author is heading to Vatersay, which can be reached by a causeway. I found several references which claim that around 200,000 tonnes of rock were used in its construction. Back in the early twentieth century and late nineteenth century a lot of ethnic cleansing and land grabbing was going on in that part of the world. Some of the islanders decided to invoke an ancient law which stated that if you could build a thatched house and light a fire in its hearth in a day, you could keep the land. A small group of people, who became known as 'The Vatersay Raiders' tried this experiment around 1906 and frightened the sociopathic absentee landlord oligarchy of the time so badly, that they had to cut a deal to let them have a bit of property to croft on, when some of them were released from jail.

A ship called the Annie Jane hit a reef near Bagh Siar (West Bay)  on Vatersay in September 1853, it had been bound for Montreal in Quebec before getting into trouble and some of the references show that around 350 men women and children perished in the wreck and are buried on the Isthmus, which has dunes on either side of it. There is a memorial to the victims in the form of an obelisk on the west side of the road and a stone cairn. It seems that only a quarter of the people on the Annie Jane survived the incident.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Bit of a dilemma regarding furniture this week, this is not the Eastender's area of expertise but near as I can figure it, the most likely answers are:

Q1. Lucian Ercolani (Ercol)

Q2. Waddesdon Manor

(NB for question one, I'm not sure about this at all, G-plan furniture by E.Gomme ltd of High Wycombe, was marked with the G-plan brand symbol but Ercol were also based in High Wycombe and had pioneered and perfected the steam bending of wood (English Elm) in large quantities or batches. Both of these manufacturers had products which were very popular in the 1950s. Ercol's products are marked with a lion symbol (also to be considered is the outfit started by the German fighter pilot who built comfy chairs in High Wycombe after his experiences sitting on a hard seat in his aircraft during WWI ie the Parker Knoll company). Things are further complicated by the fact that Ercolani, who produced Ercol furniture worked for E.Gomme for a while and also knew the guy who ran Parker Knoll. There was also a furniture manufacturer called James Clarke in High Wycombe who specialised in the production of small batches of furniture but although he produced a very popular '750 small' chair for government contracts, I can't find anything which says he became a household name in the 1950s. I did however find several references which said that Ercol became a household name around that time, so will take a punt (and it is a punt) on it being Ercol (could just as likely be E.Gomme). The plot thickens somewhat when you find out that Ercolani's son was a bomber pilot and a wing commander to boot, so that ties him in nicely with some of the other clues )

The initial clues place us in the village of Cookham, in Buckinghamshire, birthplace of Sir Stanley Spencer (c1891) an artist who was famous for his war murals. The village is home to the Stanley Spencer Gallery. Five miles north east of Cookham takes us to the town of Beaconsfield, which was once home to a controversial author called Enid Blyton ( the Eastender has read many of her books and doesn't think they are controversial at all, they reflect the social environment that the author lived in at that time and are a bit dated now, however, she is forgiven all because of her wonderful designation of the local plod, as PC Goon, actually, I think she could be responsible for the term 'Plod' meaning copper, coming into widespread use as well). Beaconsfield is home to the world's oldest model railway village (est c1929) Bekonscot.

Travelling north west of Beaconsfield brings us to High Wycombe where the RAF bomber command headquarters was based at Daws Hill. Now known as RAF High Wycombe, it's motto is 'Non Sibi' which means 'not for ourselves'. High Wycombe seems to have been swarming with bodgers and there were many furniture companies there , Ercol, E.Gomme ltd who created G-plan branded furniture and Parker Knoll to name a few. London Wasps, who are based at High Wycombe, were founded in 1897.

Sixteen miles north north west as the crow flies from High Wycombe, brings us to the Schatzkammer of a liberal MP called Ferdinand James Anselm Freiherr Von Rothschild (b c1839 and possibly part of that red shield mob out of Frankfurt who like to create money from thin air and lend it to people with a very large viggorish (you could well ask 'why is no one else, apart from a select few banksters, allowed to do this?'). The baron liked collecting stuff and he kept his vast hoard in a mansion called Waddesdon manor.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

A little bit tricky this week, much to research and check. Mr Fautley has upped his game but near as I can figure it, the most likely answers this week are:

Q1. Lundy Island

Q2. Shutter Point

From the initial clues given, it looks like the author is on the Landing beach at Lundy island (the island is named after a bird, Lundy may be a Norse word for Puffin). A pebble's throw from there, lies a 52 foot lighthouse which was constructed around 1897 (Lundy island south lighthouse). Another lighthouse, which he says should be visible at night and which lies twenty miles to the east, is most likely Bull point lighthouse (36ft high), a little ways to the north of Woolacombe, in Devon.

Walking north west from the Lundy island south lighthouse, takes you close to a castle, which was built by Henry III (who inherited the throne when he was nine) and thence to a church called St Helena's, which was designed by an architect called John Norton (born c 1823). Norton specialized in the Gothic style of architecture.

Travelling south west from there, takes us to a rock called 'the Shutter' at  Shutter point and it was here that a 'great ship', a Spanish galleon no less,  in the 1855 novel 'Westward Ho!', written by Charles Kingsley, was wrecked. This rock has destroyed a few real ships and the island is also reputed to have the remains of a few crashed Heinkel bombers on it. Going north from there brings us to the old lighthouse on Chapel Hill, 96ft high and built c1819-1820. The old light is close to the highest point on the island (142 metres or around 465 feet). There is a third lighthouse at the north end of Lundy island and this is most likely the one which the author did not have time to visit.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not much sport in it this week but near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to be:

Q1. Caerphilly

Q2. Ness Edwards

(NB for question 2, some sources say that his name was Onesimus Edwards)

If anybody sang 'Rule Britannia' in the Eastender's car, he would throw them out and make them walk home but I digress, the clues place us in the town of Caerphilly. The roman fort referred to is most likely to be Gelligaer, which is around six miles north of the settlement. A poet born in the town c1809 who wrote a national anthem (The Welsh national anthem) which was set to music by his son and published c1860, was Evan James (son James James). A comedian who was born in Caerphilly c1921 and arguably the greatest British comic, was Tommy Cooper (gawd bless 'im). A trade unionist, who was born in 1897 (in Abertillery) and was the town's MP and served as the postmaster general from 1950 - 51, was Ness Edwards.

Caerphilly castle was built by a full blown goose stepping fascist lunatic called Gilbert de Clare who apparently murdered a lot of people because of their religious affiliations (and because him and his buddies wanted to destroy their loan book database which was stored in a particular quarter of Canterbury). De Clare was the 6th Earl of Hertford (and the 7th Earl of Gloucester according to some sources). Caerphilly castle seems to be famous for its leaning tower, which, depending on source, can be 10 or 11 degrees out of true....

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Quite heavy going this week, near as I can figure it, the answers are:

Q1. The Crystal Palace

Q2. Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins

(NB for question 1, this is sometimes referred to as just 'Crystal Palace')

The initial clues place us in the Sydenham area of London, the author is most likely describing the 'Paxton' tunnel, named after the designer of the Crystal Palace, Joseph Paxton. The Paxton tunnel served the now demolished Crystal Palace high level station (closed to the public in 1954), which was west of the 28 lock Croydon canal (completed 1809). The name 'The Crystal Palace', is thought to originate with Punch magazine.

The structure that the author is referring to is most likely to be the Crystal Palace TV transmitter antenna, ground height around 360 feet, height above sea level around 1027 ft. Walking north, north east from the masts takes you past the Crystal Palace caravan site and onto Westwood hill, where the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton once lived (at number 12). The "latitude of 88 degrees 23 minutes south in 1909" clue, refers to his Nimrod expedition. The cricketer with the significant statistics (if anyone on the planet actually understands cricket) was Dr William Gilbert Grace, who also lived in Sydenham for a time.

The artist born in 1807, is most likely to be Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, also a naturalist and sculptor, he created, with the assistance of a Sir Richard Owen, some full size dinosaurs for the great exhibition and the Crystal Palace site, some of them are still there today. It was rumoured that people actually had dinner inside of the Iguanadon there.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Rockabilly Comes From Bluegrass

The Eastender Himself was listening to an old timey country song called "My Sweet Blue Eyed Darlin' which was written by a bluegrass singer called Bill Monroe and was struck by how much like a Buddy Holly song it sounds. The chord progression on the last line of each verse is pure Holly and the Crickets and the thumping base and the way the players each break into a mandolin or banjo solo, is very similar to the set up in a rockabilly band. Bluegrass music predates rock and roll, but rockabilly music, is very obviously, in part, derived from it.You can also hear the influence of the Hank Williams Snr song 'Move it on Over' in Bill Hailey's 'Rock Around the Clock'

have a listen to these versions of 'My Sweet Blue Eyed Darlin'

You're my sweet blue-eyed darling

And my love belongs to you

All I ask of you my darling

Is to love me good and be true

Days come and go and I still love you
And I see your smiling face
Tell me love that you need me
And no one's going to take my place

And today I need an answer
And I want to hear you say
You don't belong to another
And in my arms you're gonna stay

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Not as difficult as last week. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers are:

Q1. Aberdeen

Q2. Torry Point Battery

(NB for question 2, this is sometimes referred to as 'Torry Battery'. See links )

The initial clues place us in a part of the world that the Eastender Himself knows well, the city of Aberdeen. A wild rocker and poet called George Gordon Byron (6th baron Byron b1788), went to school at Aberdeen Grammar for four years. His wife was called Anne Isabella Milbanke.

There are three 'cathedrals' in Aberdeen but the one which the puzzle author is most likely referring to, is St Machar's, he uses the quotes advisedly,  perhaps because technically, it is no longer a cathedral but what is known in the trade as a 'high kirk'. There has been a place of worship on the site since around 580 ad but it did not become a cathedral until the 1130s. St Machar's feast day is November the 12th and he was indeed around in the sixth century.

The university-cum museum, is most likely the Marischal museum (founded 1786), which is part of Marischal college. It is housed in a beautiful building, which is reputed to be the second largest granite structure in the world. Union bridge, on Union street, claims to be the largest single span granite arch in the world.

Two miles south east of the Marischal museum puts us at Nigg bay and the ruined church referred to is most likely, St.Fittick's. St Fittick is the patron saint of gardeners and his feast day is on the 30th August/1st September. The lighthouse is most likely Girdleness lighthouse, built circa 1833 and is around 121 feet high. If the bearings are taken from the lighthouse, then approximately half a mile north west from there, lies a battery, which is most likely to be Torry battery (sometimes called Torry point battery), constructed in 1860 and sits near the mouth of the river Dee, which in some texts is reported to be 85 miles long.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Quite hard going this week, and also very tricky as the author has cunningly thrown in some nacht und nebel with the Bottesford/Langar dilemma. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers are

Q1. The Stanton Tunnel

Q2. Margidunum

(NB for question 2, I'm not  totally certain about this one, there were roman settlements all along the A46 . There is some confusion as to whether the author is referring to Bottesford or Langar as the position from which to determine where the roman settlement was located, 207 squadron were in Bottesford in 1941, but in Langar from September 1942, Langar airfield was constructed in 1941 and the writer he refers to (Samuel Butler) was born in Langar. The Eastender Himself is opting for Langar to measure the distance and use the bearings from, which puts the site of the Roman settlement near East Bridgford on the Fosse way, Margidunum)

From the initial clues given, the author is most likely between the settlements of Quorndon (sometimes called quorn) and Queninborough, just north of Leicester. There is a railway test track around there called 'Old Dalby' test track which starts at Melton Mowbray and terminates at Edwalton, which is around three miles from Nottingham city centre. Old Dalby test track is reported to be 13.5 miles long in some references, not 18 miles as stated in the clues, however, it does pass through the Stanton tunnel which is 1332 yards long, was opened in 1879 and is very close to the A46 Roman road which used to form the western frontier of the Roman empire.

The village of Keyworth lies to the west of the Stanton tunnel and this is where part of the British Geological Survey (founded 1835) is located (a rocking organisation). A canal which is around three miles north east of the author's position, is the Grantham canal, which is 33 miles long and was closed to traffic in 1929.

RAF Bottesford was home to 207 squadron in 1941. The writer refered to in the clues, is most likely Samuel Butler, his bio says he was born in Langar, near Bingham but he did write a piece called Erewhon, which is an anagram of nowhere. This is where the puzzle becomes very tricky, is the author referring to Bottesford or  Langar as the location from which to use the bearings and distance information? I opted for Langar as the location to use, because 207 squadron were based in Langar from 1942 but the airstrip itself was constructed in 1941, the location of the writer's birthplace and the nowhere clue also back this up. The airfield in Bottesford is recorded in some sources as being built in 1940, which again excludes Bottesford as the location of the second village.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers this week are:

Q1. The Battle of Stirling Bridge

Q2. The River Teith

(NB, for question 2, the river Allan/Allan water also flows into the Forth but it is nearer than two miles to the Stirling bridge location and the does not match the linguistic clue given, also if it is called Allan water and not the river Allan, then that too could exclude it as a possible answer, though technically, it's still a river. The Eastender is going with the distance information on this one and picking the river Teith).

The initial clues place us in Stirling, which was awarded city status in 2002. There is an earthworks structure just below the castle, on the western side which is known as king Arthur's knot or king's Knot and is believed by some to be the origin of the round table myth. Some sources claim that the town of Stirling was known as 'The key to Scotland', because of its strategic importance. There was a battle at Stirling bridge recorded as taking place around the 11th September 1297, in which a tactically challenged numpty called John de Warenne, 6th earl of Surrey, thought it would be a great idea to send his army over the bridge (two abreast) onto a spit of land which was looped by the river on three sides and hemmed in by the opposition on the other, needless to say his force was routed and they had to flee for their lives.

From his description, the author appears to be passing the Bannockburn battlefield on the train, fought seventeen years after the first battle, by a good ol' Norman rebel called Robert the Bruce, in 1314.King Robert's wife was called Elizabeth. A stream called the Bannockburn flows close to the battlefield but from the map, it looks like it is fed by a reservoir only  around two miles west/south west. 

The author has likely visited the stone bridge at Stirling, which was constructed c1500 and it spans the river Forth. There seem to be varying opinions on just how long this river is but I have found several sources which claim that it is around 65 miles, which matches the description in the text. Stirling bridge was also constructed at the lowest crossing point on the Forth. The river which joins the Forth, two miles or so north west of the author's position is the river Teith and although he is possibly implying that its name in English sounds like teeth, in the original language Teith can mean pleasant

A king who died in Stirling castle c1214 was William the first, the lion of Scotland and a king who committed a murder there (he killed the 8th earl of Douglas at dinner on 22nd February 1452) was James II. James II was married to Mary of Guelders. Several royals have been crowned in Stirling castle but the one who fits the bill here, is most likely James V (crowned c 21 September 1513). James V's second wife was called Mary of Guise. A king who was baptised at Stirling castle on 17th September 1566 was James VI of Scotland/James I of England (father Henry Stuart, lord Darnley). A football, which is reputed to be one of the oldest, was found behind the panelling of the queen's chamber in Stirling castle. Stirling Albion football club was founded c1945 and an alchemist who tried to fly from the walls of Stirling castle, was James IV's alchemist, John Damian (c1507).

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Little bit tricky this week. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers are:

Q1. Newcastle Upon Tyne

Q2. The Ouseburn Viaduct

NB question one is a little bit ambiguous but making the assumption (and the Eastender Himself does not like assumptions) that he means which city was he in, I have selected Newcastle upon Tyne as the most likely answer. It's also worth noting that sometimes the city is referred to as just 'Newcastle' but it is more accurate to say Newcastle Upon Tyne.

The initial clues place us squarely in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. The river Tyne is sixty two miles long and the Romans built a bridge and a fort called Pons Aelius there, near the High Level bridge, which was opened in 1849. Aelius was emperor Hadrian's heir but he died before he became emperor so this is maybe why the author says it's slightly confusing (Aelius was also said to be Hadrian's family name in some texts). The High level bridge is around 446 yards long and depending on the state of the river, can be 109 feet above the water. The castle keep the author is referring to is the original new castle and was built by Robert Curthose, duke of Normandy c1080 as a wooden motte and bailey structure, with the stone keep being constructed later by a king (Henry II, who had a son also called Henry).

The parish church is most likely The Cathedral of St Nicholas (patron saint of barrel makers) , Newcastle upon Tyne, which became a cathedral on the 25 July 1882. The inventor referred to is most likely Sir Joseph Swan (b 1828), who invented the first incandescent lightbulb and demonstrated it at the Newcastle Chemistry Society and the Literary and Philosophical society of Newcastle Upon Tyne, both of which were close to the cathedral.

The theatre Royal in Newcastle was built by an architect called Benjamin Green (b c1811-1813) who also did a lot of work on railways. The theatre lies in a district known as Grainger town and Grainger (b1797) was a builder who developed the 12-13 acre area referred to. This is where the puzzle becomes tricky because there are two viaducts, originally constructed using timber arches mounted on stone piers for N&NSR, in 1839, in Newcastle. They were both designed by the same architect, Benjamin Green. The bridges are the Willington viaduct and the Ouseburn viaduct and from the description in the text, the Ouseburn viaduct is the best fit. It has five arches (the Willington viaduct has seven) and is closer to the author's position to walk to than the Willington viaduct (it's approximately a mile north east of the high level bridge)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Marvelously entertaining this week leddies ed jittlemen, many interesting clues for the puzzler to research, with the author cleverly weaving some of the sponsor's SEO keywords into the piece. The Sunday Times programmer has claimed that the competition is closed (it's not, if you scroll down, you can still enter it). Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers are :

Q1. The Cowburn Tunnel

Q2. Kinder Scout National Nature Reserve

The clues in the second paragraph place us in the town of Buxton. There is a shrine called St Anne's well there. Saint Anne was a first century saint whose feast day is 26th July. Buxton has an opera house which was designed by an architect called Frank Matcham (born 1854). It opened in 1903 and according to the records, the first play performed there, was 'The Prologue'. An architect called John Carr (b1723) built the beautiful crescent in the town.

Driving north from Buxton, the author is likely to be on the A6, which goes past a place called Dove Holes. The Dove Holes tunnel, which is 2984 yards long, travels under the road at this point and comes out near a place called Chapel En Le Frith. If you continue north to the Buxton road, you come to a right turn which can lead to a village called Edale (A6187, then the Edale road), which marks the start of the Pennine way. Further along the A6187, about seven miles south east from Edale, as the crow flies, lies the village of Hathersage, where a gentleman called John Nailor is reputed to be buried. The Cowburn tunnel (3702 yards long) lies a little way to the south west of Edale station. The peak district is made up of three parts, the dark peak, the white peak and the south west peak.

However, the author says he did not visit these places and travelled north/north west and this makes it likely that he is travelling on the Hayfield road which goes past a place called Kinder Scout National Nature Reserve. Kinder Scout was the scene of a heroic struggle for access by hikers and ramblers against the goon squad of a deranged NWO neo feudalist bankster financial terrorist absentee landlord, who thought only he should be able to enjoy the scenery . The ramblers took part in a mass tresspass on Kinder Scout on the 24th April 1932 and gained their much desired rights to walk in the countryside.

Around fourteen miles north from Buxton, if you are on the Hayfield road, there is a junction which takes you onto the snake road (ophidian means serpent like) and the pennine way crosses this at a height of 1680ft. The peak overseeing the proceedings, (which someone once tried to land a Liberator bomber on and unsurprisingly managed to break it) is likely to be Mill Hill, which is recorded as being 544 metres or 1785ft high.