Saturday, 4 October 2014

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. Brading

Q2. Robin Day (aka Sir Robin Day)

The initial clues seem to place us in the town of  Ryde, on the Isle of Wight (the Eastender recalls being astonished to see London tube trains on the pier, when he visited the place around twenty years ago). Said pier, according to some of the references I checked, does seem to have been around seventeen hundred and forty feet in length, when it opened c 1814. There was another pier at Ryde 'Victoria Pier 1.0' which opened c 1854 and appears to have been destroyed five years later. 'Victoria Pier 2.0' seems to have been constructed c 1864 and was at that time said to be nine hundred and seventy feet in length. The last traces of 'Victoria Pier 2.0', were washed away c 1924.

Two stations south of Ryde, the line intersects with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, which is according to their web site, a heritage railway. Travelling around four and a half miles south of Ryde on the more modern railway, would bring us to the town of Brading. There was once a branch line which navigated north east two and three quarter miles or so, to Bembridge but this closed c 1953. The broadcaster Sir Robin Day (born c 1923) was educated at Bembridge school. Sir Robin is reputed to have upset a guest he was interviewing on his show, one 'John Nott', by claiming that he was a 'here today and gone tomorrow politician'. A painter called Joseph Mallord William Turner (born c 1775) appears to have partially crafted a painting of the island's only remaining windmill, which was constructed c 18th century and taken over by the National Trust c 1961.

King Charles the First (mother Anne of Denmark) stayed at Nunwell house to the west of Brading, on the 18th of November 1647, which was one of his last nights of freedom, before he got lifted by the goon squad and thrown into the chokey, at Carisbrooke castle. There seems to have been some kind of settlement at Nunwell since at least the 11th century but have found no definitive source stating that Nunwell was built c 1610, seems to have been used as a family home since c 1522, though may have burned down at some point and been rebuilt c 1609/10.


  1. Some sources appear to suggest that the house along with other buildings at East Nunwell had fallen into a state of disrepair and following the death of Sir William Oglander in 1609, his son, Sir John Oglander (1585-1655), had them rebuilt in the same year.