Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it this week, the most likely answers, seem to me to be:

Q1. Durham

Q2. Sir Ove Arup

N.B. for question two, the engineer is sometimes called Sir Ove Nyquist Arup.

The initial clues place us in a very beautiful northern English city, specifically Durham. The cathedral and castle there were awarded world heritage status by UNESCO c 2008 and there is a legend that the settlement was founded, when St Cuthbert's funeral bier was halted and the faithful were unable to move it. They had a fast for three days and during that time, the saint is alleged to have appeared to a monk, with instructions that the remains be taken to a place called Dun Holm. The funeral party had no idea where this was, until they encountered a milk maid who was looking for a dun cow, which she told them had gone missing there. The girl led them to the spot and after burying the saint, they went on to found the city. There are photographs of a sculpture of the 'Dun Cow', by Andrew Burton, cast c 1997, on the banks of the river near the cathedral.

Some sources claim that St Cuthbert's feast day is the twentieth of March and that his relics are buried in Durham cathedral. A second saint, who was born c 673 and is said to be interred there, is St Bede. Several sources claim that there is an organ, which has 5746 pipes, in the cathedral and that it was built c 1877 by Henry Willis. Durham cathedral is said to have a frontage of 496 feet in some references. Durham castle was attacked twice by the Scots, under Malcolm the second (father Kenneth) in 1006 and again in 1069. Malcolm's army was defeated during the siege of Durham.

The oldest bridge in Durham is said to have been built by Bishop Flambard c1127 and was rebuilt c15th century. From the photographs and satellite pictures, it does appear to have two arches. North of there lies a modern concrete bridge called the Milburngate bridge, which looks like it was built in the nineteen sixties or early seventies. Travelling south from there brings us to the third span, which is called Prebend's bridge. This is a footbridge which was built c1771 and does appear to have three arches. The river wear loops to the north/north east around the cathedral and going in that direction brings you to a concrete footbridge, the Kingsgate bridge, which is said to have been constructed c1963, by a very prolific, productive and creative engineer called Sir Ove Nyquist Arup (born c 1895). He is said to have also built the Sydney Opera house and the Pompidou centre, in Paris. A bridge to the north of there, which used to have a chapel dedicated to St Andrew on it, is likely to be the Elvet Bridge. The Elvet bridge has been rebuilt several times over the centuries and was reconstructed following flood damage c1771. I couldn't find an exact reference for dimensions of the Durham viaduct but it goes through the town and looks to be about the right size, when compared to the description.

Link to the competition

Where Was I?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Bit of work involved this week. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Alice Liddell

Q2. The Rufus Stone

N.B. for question one,the dean's daughter was also known as Alice Liddell Hargreaves after she was married.

The initial clues place us in the vicinity of the New Forest national park, down near Southampton. A poet who was appointed laureate c 1813, was Robert Southey and his second wife, who was called Car[o]line Anne Bowles, was according to some sources, born in the vicinity of the town of Lyming[t]on, which is a railway terminus town. From looking at the OS map of the area and confirming by checking the satellite pictures, there is a large 200 foot high concrete tower just south of the village of [S]way, you can see it if you stand on Flexford lane and look south west or on Barrows lane and look east. The tower was built c 1879 by Andrew Turton Thomas Pete[r]son and is known variously as '[S]way Tower', 'Pete[r]son's Folly' and 'Pete[r]son's Tower'.

A village a shade north of the tower is [S]way and here, for a short time, according to some references, lived the writer of a hymn called "Abide With Me", one Henry Francis Lyt[e] (born c 1793). 'Rock Burst Hen' appears to be an anagram of Brockenh[u]rst, which lies two miles or so north east of [S]way. The quote 'What is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?' is according to some sources, the opening line in a book called 'Alice In Wonderland', which was based on the daughter (Alice Liddell) of the dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell. Some sources claim that Alice Liddell was buried in the graveyard of the church of St Michael and All the Angels, in Lyndh[u]rst.

Driving seven miles or so north east from Lyndh[u]rst, brings us to the village of Eli[n]g, where there is a flour mill which is powered by the tide. It is believed that a mill has been operational there, for around nine hundred years. Travelling six miles west from Eli[n]g, brings us to the village of Min[s]tead and it is here that the quote "You know my method. It is founded on the observance of trifles" (by Sherlock Holmes), brings us to the resting place of a nineteenth century author called Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who is buried, at All Saints church there.

Now assembling the most likely answers to the clues

1. Letter seven from the terminal town Lyming[t]on = T

2. Letter four from the christian name of the poets second wife Car[o]line Anne Bowles = O

3. Letter five from the folly builder's name Pete[r]son = R

4. Letter one from the name of the village [S]way = S

5. Letter four from the hymn writer's name surname Henry Francis Lyt[e] = E

6. Letter nine from Brockenh[u]rst = U

7. Letter six from the name of the town where the dean's daughter is buried Lyndh[u]rst = U

8. Letter four from the name of the waterside village Eli[n]g = N

9. Letter four from the name of the village where the nineteenth century author is buried Min[s]tead = S

Adding the free letter 'F' to this list gives us

T, O, R, S, E, U, U, N, S, F

which can be rearranged to give the name of a monument which lies around two miles north west of Minstead, ie The Rufus Stone. This is a marker of the spot where a big sociopathic thug called William Rufus, king of England, was shot by an arrow while on a hunting expedition. It is rumoured that this guy was so horrible, that one of his own team (Sir Walter Tyrell) whacked him.....though at the time, it was spun as an unfortunate ricochet of an arrow off an oak tree 'accident' story. Not sure what the stone is made of but it is reported in some references, to have a cast iron cover.

Link to the competition:

Where Was I?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Daily Telegraph Where In The World? Competition

Near as I can figure it this time, the most likely answer, seems to me to be FRANCE

The shapes of the stones in the photograph on the Telegraph web site are very similar, if not identical to the stones in the Menec alignment, near the village of Carnac, which is in Brittany. Checking the satellite picture shows that there are rows of aligned objects, which could be stones, in the vicinity of the village. France is also known to have surly waiters (especially in Paris) and small dictators, emperors and presidents....

Link to the competition

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Little tricky this week, the prime minister was chancellor of several universities and people who are known for their work on logarithms, also went to Cambridge university. Near as I can figure it, the most likely answers this week, seem to me to be:

Q1. St Andrews

Q2. Stanley Baldwin

The initial clues place us in the university town of St Andrews, in Fife. I found a photograph of a gate at St Mary's college there, which has the motto 'In Principio Erat Verbum' or 'In the beginning was the word' written on it. The student union there claims to be the oldest and John Napier, who invented logarithms was a student there at one time. A British politician, who was prime minister three times (parents called Alfred and Louisa), who was also chancellor of St Andrew's university (c 1929 - 1947) was Stanley Baldwin.

A weekly spectacle which occurs there, is 'the pier walk', where after attending church the undergraduate students, who wear red gowns, march to the end of the pier, climb a ladder and walk back again. The Earl of St Andrews is said by some references, to be called George Windsor and he is the son of prince Edward of Kent. The town's most famous attraction at 6721 yards long, is the old course, which lies to its north west.

A chapel built there c 1516 could be Black friars and the cathedral with the ruined 33 metre or 108 foot high, St Rule's tower (feast day Oct 17), which held the relics of a fisherman (Scotland's patron saint), brought to these shores by St Rule of Patras,  is St Andrew's. The castle is said to have housed the bishops for the area and there is a botanic garden in the town, which was founded c 1889.........

link to the competition

Where Was I?

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, this week the most likely answers seem to me to be

Q1.  (Sir) Hugh Fortescue Locke-King

Q2. Stoke D'Abernon

(N.B. for question one, not totally sure if the landowner had a knighthood, though some references claim that he did, he was also known as Hugh Locke-King and Hugh F Locke-King )

The initial clues place us at the Brooklands museum in Surrey, a banked race track and airfield were constructed there by an entrepreneur called Hugh Fortescue Locke King c 1907. Another businessman, called Selwyn Edge, drove non stop around the completed track in 1907, for twenty four hours, covering a distance of almost 1600 miles. Some sources claim that the first aircraft which had an enclosed cabin was the  Avro type F, which was designed by Sir Edwin Alliot Verdon Roe (born c 1877). A.V Roe tested some of his aircraft designs at Brooklands. The site was later acquired by a company called Vickers c 1915 and it was here that the first VC10 was flown in 1962, with a further 53 VC10s being manufactured on the site. Some of these are said to be still in service as tankers with the RAF.

East of the Brooklands museum, lies Whiteley village, some of the references claim that the money to build this was bequeathed by William Whiteley (owner of Whiteley's department store) following his murder (he was shot) c 1907. Three miles south of Brooklands, lie the 240 acre gardens at Wisely, now owned by the Royal Horticultural Society and gifted to them c 1903 by a merchant called Thomas Hanbury (born c1832).

Travelling four miles south east of Brooklands, brings us to the village of Stoke D'Abernon and it is here that a musician born in 1916, Yehudi Menuhin, founded his music school c 1964. Some sources claim that he made his musical debut aged 7, c 1923, in San Fransisco. The address of the Menuhin school is given as Stoke D'Abernon but it lies south of the M25 and is not actually in the settlement itself, which lies north of the M25. A little way to the south of the village and close to the motorway, lies St Mary's church which was built c 7th/8th century.  The church does appear to have some brasses which date back to the fourteenth century. The brass of Sir John the Elder is said by some sources, to be the oldest in England.

Link to the competition

Where Was I?

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Quite tricky this week, a bit of nacht und nebel going on, with a poet who is normally associated with the Lake District and three mountains of the same height, two of which are also located there and one, the correct one, which is not. Near as I can figure it, this week, the most likely answers seem to me to be:

Q1. Llanberis

Q2. William Wordsworth

The initial clues place us at the Watkin path, on the slopes of mount Snowdon, in Wales. Sir Edward Watkin (b 1819) was a liberal mp and had a chalet in a place called Cwn Llan, near the village of Nantgwynant. Some references claim that the path was opened by William Gladstone c1892, who addressed a crowd of about two thousand people, from a rock, which indicates the start of the path and is now called 'Gladstone Rock'. Scenes from one of the best loved British comedy films of the sixties were shot here, the film was called 'Carry On Up the Khyber' and featured a battle between the troops of Sir Sydney Rough Diamond (The Third Foot and Mouth 'Devils in Skirts' Regiment) and the warriors of the wicked Khasi of Kalibar ( To British ears, a very funny play on words, Khasi sounds like the word kharzi, meaning toilet). Some sources claim that the film was made c 1968.

From the information given, the puzzle author most likely travelled north east on the A498, passing the Llyn Gwynant lake, before turning to the north west, onto the A4086 and heading to Dolbadarn castle, which is really beautiful and standing next to the lake, looks like where somebody like the king of Thule might live. A check on the references confirms that Dolbadarn castle was built c 13th century. A shade further on up the road lies the town of Llanberis, there was a branch line to this town and some sources claim that this closed c1932. The railway the writer is talking about, however, is most likely the SMR or Snowdon Mountain Railway, which operates by a rack and pinion system and ferries lardy boy passengers, who are not fit enough to ascend the proper way (ie by hiking), to a station at the top of mount Snowdon, which is known as 'the highest slum in Wales'

The 726 metre or 2382 feet high peak, which can be seen from the train, is likely to be Moel Eilio. There are two peaks in the lake district which are also 726 metres high (Clough Head and Hindscarth), which together with the reference to the poet associated with the area, can cause some confusion about the author's actual location (probably why that particular wordsmith was chosen, very crafty ;-) ). A check of the references confirms that there are two viaducts on the SMR which fit the clues given, these are the 'Lower Viaduct' at 166 yards with 14 arches and the 'Upper Viaduct'  at 63 and 1/2 yards and four arches. The poet who wrote of visiting the summit of Snowdon, on a "warm, breezeless, summer night", was William Wordsworth. The quote appears to be from a work called 'The Prelude' which was published c 1850.

Link to the competition:

Where Was I?