Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I?

A little bit tricky this week, near as I can figure it, the answers are:

Q1. Ellesmere Port

Q2. St Oswald

From the clues given in the first paragraph, the second town they are in (mistakenly) is Ellesmere, in Shropshire. The first town, which they really wanted to be in, was Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire. The two towns are connected by the Shropshire union canal, which is around 66 miles in length. The footballer who was born in Ellesmere Port in 1914 and who was manager of England for seven matches, was Joe Mercer. The lake or mere at Ellesmere in Shropshire is thought to be glacial in origin and is around 48 hectares (or 120 acres) in area.

The town seven miles to the southwest of Ellesmere, is Oswestry. The war poet Wilfred Owen was born there in 1893 and some of his poems were used in Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem' which was performed in 1962 at the reconsecration of Coventry cathedral, which had previously been bombed and flattened by Blue Meanies.

Oswestry is named after St Oswald, who was allegedly killed by Penda, son of Pybba, at the battle of Maserfield c642 AD. Legend has it that the corpse was dismembered and parts removed as holy relics to places far and wide, one story says that a crow dropped one of Oswald's arms into a tree and that this place subsequently became known as Oswald's tree or Oswestry.The body was for a time buried in Oswestry but later translated to Bardney. Oswald has more than one feast day, the list includes, the 5th, 8th and 9th of August and the 8th of October. The founder of the national youth theatre, Michael Croft, was born in Oswestry, in 1922.

The fourth town, where the composer of the 'Two Poets', Sir Edward German was born (c1862), is Whitchurch and the Hamlet, where the victor of the battle of Plassey, Robert Clive (of India) was born (c1725) was Market Drayton.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Not too difficult this week, near as I can figure it, the answers are:

1. Princess Beatrice

2. Julia Margaret Cameron

The initial clues place us firmly on the Isle of Wight. The Author who described his works as 'Logical fantasy', was John Wyndham. He published 'Day of the Triffids' in 1951 and towards the end of the book, the main characters move to the Isle of Wight to escape the toxic topiary. The stately home with the 342 acre estate is Osborne house, which was purchased by queen Victoria in 1845 and modified by a builder called Thomas Cubitt (b1788). Two authors who convalesced there (during WWI), were Robert Graves and A.A.Milne. Edward VII, who was queen Victoria's second child (he became king when she died) had his honeymoon at Osborne house.

The village is Newport and the castle is Carisbrooke castle (c12th century) which features in the book 'Moonfleet' by J.Meade Falkner. King Charles I was imprisoned in Carisbrooke castle for a time.A princess who lived in the governor of the Isle of Wight's house, was Princess Beatrice (b1857).

The poet who wrote 'Drake' was Alfred Noyes and he lived at Lisle Combe, Undercliff, Ventnor, which is approximately 8 miles south, south east of Newport. Driving northwest from there, takes you to the Village of Freshwater, home to a 19th century poet laureate called Alfred Lord Tennyson. Dimbola lodge in the Freshwater area, was owned by the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (b1815). Her family had an estate in Ceylon called Dimbola.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I?

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

1) Hawes

2) Richard Whiteley

From the initial clues given and the fact that the Eastender Himself has been hiking there and completed the Yorkshire three peaks challenge not once but twice and lived to tell the tale (he was revived by the post hike pints of Theakston's old peculiar and the fish and chips at the pub in Horton in Ribblesdale), we are placed squarely in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales national park, one of the most beautiful areas on the big British island (the visitor should fully expect to encounter Hobbits there, no bad thing either, the Eastender is a fan of Hobbits).

As we live in a non simultaneously apprehended universe, it is not really possible to say which is the fastest or the shortest river but the ones listed as such in the guidebook for the region, are the river Swale and the river Bain, respectively. The village is Bainbridge and it has a Roman fort called Virosidum next to it. If you head southwest from there, you come to Semerwater, which is the largest natural lake in the county. Cam high road, from the satellite image, is straight enough to be a Roman road, so the author is likely to have crossed this, while travelling northwest from Semerwater. The highest road in the Dales national park is Beggarman's road, which joins Wensleydale to Langstrothdale.

The Christmas eve rail accident in 1910 occurred at Hawes junction (now named Garsdale). From looking at the satellite picture, Garsdale is not a town, more of a one horse dorp, so the first town the author is talking about, is likely to be Hawes (this also appears to be more of a large settlement than a town). If you drive south from Hawes, along Beggarman's road, you come to a fork, one goes to the south east and one goes to the south west, the south westerly fork comes to White Scar Cave (discovered in 1923 by Christopher Long) which contains stalactites which are called 'Witches fingers'. 'Carrots', refers to the orange coloured stalactites in the cave. If you continue down the road, you come to the village of Ingleton and if you turn left there, you come to Giggleswick and Settle. The social reformer, Benjamin Waugh, who started the charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), was born in Settle c1839. Richard Whiteley, the Countdown host, went to Giggleswick school and the school theatre there, is named after him......

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I?

Not too difficult this week. Near as I can figure it, the answers are:

1. Ramsay

2. South Bishop Lighthouse

An island noted for its birdlife, with a highest point 446ft and a name which means 'wild garlic island' is Ramsay island in the Pembrokeshire national park in Wales. A saint whose feast day is the 5th of December who lived there was St Justinian which is the name of the ferry terminal hamlet that 'Mulligan' (the puzzle author) is describing. If you look at the satellite pictures, you can see that there are several islands west of Ramsay but only the southernmost one, has any human constructions on it and this is the south Bishop lighthouse.

The broadcaster who transmitted from a Lancaster bomber above Berlin, was Wynford Vaughn-Thomas. He was born in Swansea, in 1908 but lived for a time in Fishguard and opened the Pembrokeshire coast path. If you drive northwest from Swansea, you come to Fishguard. The Resistance and the Constance were two ships involved in a French invasion in 1797 which happened around the Fishguard area. The stumble head lighthouse was built c1908 , is 56ft high and is on an island (St Michaels island) off a headland near Fishguard.