Saturday, 14 September 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

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

Q1. Huddersfield

Q2. Celia Johnson

(N.B. for question two the actress's full name/title is given in some references as Dame Celia Elizabeth Johnson)

The initial clues place us most likely in the vicinity of the town of Huddersfield. There are several viaducts near this settlement, the Denby Dale viaduct and the Paddock viaduct for example but the one that is a good fit for the description in the puzzle, with 32 arches, a construction date of c 1850, by a civil engineer called Sir John Hawkshaw (born c 1811), is the Lockwood viaduct, which does seem to lie on the south western outskirts of the town. A politician who spoke of 'the white heat of revolution', in reference to technological progress, was Sir Harold Wilson, who in some references, is said to have been born in the Cowlersly district of Huddersfield c 1916. Lockwood viaduct does not look to be east/north east of this area, although if the puzzle author is referring to the bearing of the town from the suburb, the directions given make a little more sense.

Several references claim that at 1600, Huddersfield has the third most listed buildings in the UK. Huddersfield station is said by some sources to have been constructed c 1846 - 1850 by architect James Piggot Pritchet and son. The station was because of its Corinthian columns, once described as 'a stately home for trains'. A rare three wheeled car built in Huddersfield between the years 1919 and 1924 is most likely the L.S.D car. In this case L.S.D does not mean that it could fly way out yonder but rather the initials are said to stand for Longbottom, Sykes and Dyson, who were the designer,manufacturer and accountant, respectively of the company which constructed the strange vehicles.

A prime minister who was schooled in Huddersfield and who is listed in some references, as being chancellor of the exchequer between 1905 and 1908, is most likely Henry Herbert Asquith and a musician/bandmaster, who was born c 1878 and who died in 1912 (because the poor sod was on the RMS Titanic) is likely to be Wallace Henry Hartley, who lived in Huddersfield for a time. An actress who made her debut at the theatre royal in Huddersfield c 1928 playing the part of Sarah, in George Bernard Shaw's 'Major Barbara', is most likely to be Celia Johnson who also starred in a David Lean film called 'Brief Encounter', along with Trevor Howard c1945. A great old British actor called James Mason, who starred as Lord Rohan in a 1943 movie called 'The Man In Grey', is said in some references to have been born in Huddersfield c 1909.

The sport of Rugby league is said to have been founded in the George Hotel, Huddersfield c 1895 and Huddersfield Town F.C are said to have won three successive league titles c 1926.

link to the competition

Where Was I?


  1. The Lockwood Viaduct appears to run between Meltham Road at its northern end and Woodhead Lane at its southern point which would, according to maps of the area, suggest a location more towards East/South East of No 4, Warneford Road, the alleged birthplace of Sir Harold Wilson. Like you, I am inclined towards thinking that the author refers to the direction of Huddersfield town centre which appears to lie east, northeast of Cowlersley.

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