Saturday, 31 August 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, through the possibly flawed perceptual filters of my reality tunnel, the most likely answers this week, seem to me to be:

Q1. The Royal Sovereign Lighthouse

Q2. Eastbourne

The initial clues place us most likely in the town of Eastbourne, in the county of East Sussex. Several sources claim that the pier there was opened c 1870 and is around 1000 feet long. According to the Trinity house website, a 36 metre (118 feet) high telescopic lighthouse, called the Royal Sovereign, warns ships of the Royal Sovereign Shoal, which looks to lie five miles or so, to the south east of the town. A chain of 74 Martello towers guarded the south coast of England at one time and number 73, which is known in some circles, as the 'Wish Tower', is marked on some maps, as being in Eastbourne. The town is also famous for its carpet like flower beds, which are planted along the promenade.

The national trail is most likely to be the 'South Downs Way', which according to some references, has its highest point on Butser Hill (around 270 metres or 886 feet ), in Hampshire. The school the author is referring to, from the positional information given, could be St Bede's prepatory school, on Duke's drive. Two writers born c 1903, who were educated in Eastbourne, at St Cyprian's school were Cyril Connolly and Eric Arthur Blair (aka George Orwell). Connolly wrote a novel called 'The Rock Pool', which according to some sources, featured a town called 'Trou-Sur-Mer'. Blair knew Connolly and the latter published some of his essays. The quote "We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose." , is attributed to George Orwell. The third writer is most likely Edna Lyall (born c 1857 aka Ada Ellen Bayly). She published a book called Donovan and lived in Eastbourne for a time. A doctor who is a good fit for the forger (and suspected serial killer) in the description, could be Dr John Bodkin Adams (born c 1899) who practised in the town for a while.

Scenes from the film Quadrophenia (c 1979) which was based on the 1973 Who album of the same name, were shot in and around Eastbourne. Little Jimmy (played by Phil Daniels) drives the character played by Sting's scooter, off the cliffs, near the town. The South Downs National Park,is said to be around six hundred and eighteen square miles in area and the highest point on the headland mentioned in the puzzle, at 164 metres or 538 feet, is likely to be the sea cliff at Beachy Head. The writer and NCF probably stop at Birling Gap, which looks to be around two miles or so from Beachy Head and looking north west from there, could bring the Seven Sisters chalk sea cliffs into view. There is an area within the Seven Sisters cliffs, marked as 'Rough Bottom' on the OS map.

link to competition

Where Was I?

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