Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

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

Q1. Hythe

Q2. Colin MacInnes

The initial clues can cause some confusion as the author is not talking about optical mirrors but rather the concrete accoustic mirrors they built in various coastal areas of the UK before WWII, in an attempt to detect enemy aircraft by listening for their approach. They did work to an extent but due to the progress in aircraft engine technology and the resulting increase in speed, the warning time was short and the accoustic detection system was eventually replaced by radar. The issue is also confusing because there are concrete acccoustic mirrors in several British coastal locations and on an island on Greatstone lakes, on the edge of Greatstone on Sea, which is just down the road from Hythe but from the description, there is said to be in several references, a thirty foot concrete accoustic mirror on an area of land known as 'The Roughs' on the outskirts of the town of Hythe, in Kent.

 A canal in the locale of Hythe, which was said to have been completed c1806, is most likely 'The Royal Military Canal' and a factory there which made 'Milk Stout' was Mackeson's which is reported to have ceased operations c1968. An author who lived in Hythe and penned a novel called 'The Heat of the Day' c1949, which featured characters called Stella Rodney and Robert Kellway, was Elizabeth Bowen. There is a tunnel near Sandling station north of the town but couldn't find any references relating it to a treaty, unless it has something to do with the Channel tunnel treaty, as the terminal is nearby, in Folkstone.

Francis Pettit Smith (b1808) is said by some sources to have invented the screw propellor, his father was the postmaster in Hythe and a lifeboat designer who is buried in the town is most likely Lionel Lukin. An author who wrote about a London pimp called 'Billy Whispers', in a novel called 'City of Spades' was Colin MacInnes, who is said to have lived in Hythe for a time. There is an eleventh century church in Hythe called St Leonard's and one of it's claims to fame is that it has a crypt full of bones, around 1,100 skulls and about 8000 thigh bones.

link to the competition:

Where Was I?

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