Saturday, 26 October 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. The Innocent Railway

Q2. Dalkeith

The initial clues seem to place us on a cycle path, which follows the route of the old Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway. According to some sources, this used to be known as 'The Innocent Railway', probably because it used horses to pull the carriages and freight wagons, thus making it much safer than the early steam engines. The railway closed c1968, with the section between Newington/St Leonards and Craigmillar being reinvented as 'The Innocent cycle path' c 1981. The Innocent railway tunnel (517 metres or 565 yards), is claimed in some references, to pass under Holyrood Park (640 acres) and the highest point in this park, is Arthur's Seat, shown as 251 metres (823 feet) on some maps.

Near the Craigmillar end of the cycle path, lies Craigmillar castle, which depending on the source you check, is listed as c 14th or 13th century. The Historic Scotland web site puts the tower house at around 17 metres or 56 feet high. It is claimed in some texts on the subject, that Mary Queen of Scots stayed at the castle when the plot (with or without her knowledge) to whack her husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, was carried out. The castle is beautiful and if you like the medieval period (the Eastender does), looks like it could be worth a visit.

Travelling two miles of so west of the castle, would bring us to the Royal Observatory, which seems to have been there since at least the 18th century, though astronomy was being taught in Edinburgh as early as the 16th century. A mining village four miles or so east north east, from the vicinity of Craigmillar castle and which used to be on the route of Innocent railway line, is most likely Newcraighall, where c 1972, the film director Bill Douglas shot some of the scenes from his film 'My Childhood'. This movie was part of a trilogy, with the other two being 'My Ain Folk' and 'My Way Home'.

The architect John Adam (b c 1721) is said to have studied at Dalkeith grammar school. Dalkeith lies three or so miles south of Newcraighall.John Adam's grave is in Greyfriars kirkyard and he died c 1792, which is 39 years before the Innocent railway came into being (c 1831).

Link to the competition

Where Was I?


  1. Where was you? No solution to Sunday 3rd Nov and you do such a comprehensive job of it normaly! Must away to crack it myself but you are missed and much appreciated - come back soon - next Sunday fine!
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Chris W.

    1. Hi, Can you tell me what has happened to the East Ender Himself.

      Thanks, David Smith

  2. Copy that from Colon the Colossus. Sorry to see that you did not post your in depth commentary/analysis on last week's quiz, where the answers were Cockspur Street and the Playhouse Theatre and also nothing transcribed for this week which should, if my myopic view of life conjures up, reveal the answers Sidmouth and Beer. I trust that you are either on holiday, or only temporarily indisposed. Wishing you well for next week and beyond

  3. Missing the East Ender and his in-depth analysis of this weekly puzzle, hope all is well and he comes back soon!!

    1. Yes I'm missing him too!
      I like to do an in-depth analysis of the clues myself and always check my answers with his comprehensive and often very amusing blog. Hope he comes back soon.
      David from Salisbury

  4. I agree he was so good - where are you Eastender?