Saturday, 25 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. The Trans Pennine Trail

Q2. Roy Castle

The initial clues seem to place us in the town of Hadfield, which is where the railway which once navigated from Manchester, through Ashton-Under-Lyne and thence across the Peak District national park to Sheffield, terminates. The line was known as the Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Line and Manchester Railway (SA&MR) and closed c 1981.

The recreational trail which tracks along the route of the disused SA&MR, passing the Bottoms, Valehouse, Rhodeswood, Torside and Woodhead resevoirs and which starts at Southport on the west coast and ends at Hornsea on the east coast, some two hundred and fifteen miles later according to their web site, is most likely the 'Trans Pennine Trail'. 

Six miles or so north east from Hadfield, lie three tunnels that the SA&MR trains once passed through. These are Woodhead one, Woodhead two and Woodhead three (three miles and sixty six yards or 5346 yards long according to some of the sources I checked). Woodhead one appears to have been mostly built by an engineer called Charles Blacker Vignoles (born c 1793). According to some of his bios, he built the Николаевский цепной мост (Nicholas Chain Bridge) over the Dnieper in Kiev, between 1846 and 1853. This elegant span built by a remarkable engineer, was blown up by the Poles c 1920. Woodhead two appears to have been built by Joseph Locke (born c 1805). Locke was made a chevalier of the legion d'honneur for his work in constructing the railway between Rouen and Le havre (c 1843) and also constructed railways in Spain and Holland. Woodhead one and two were closed c 1954 because they were too small to support electrification and it was for this reason, that Woodhead three was constructed.

Travelling five miles north north east from the Woodhead tunnels, would bring us to the birthplace (c 1932) of a talented all round entertainer, TV and film star called Roy Castle. Castle was according to some of his biographies, born in Holmfirth, West Riding of Yorkshire. He starred in the big screen productions of 'Dr Who and the Daleks', 'Carry on up the Khyber' and 'Dr Terror's House of Horrors', had a TV comedy show and c 1972 presented a children's TV show called 'Record Breakers' with Ross and Norris McWhirter. Castle broke several records on his own show, including one for tap dancing (c 1985), in which he completed one million taps in twenty three hours and forty four minutes. Holmfirth is also where some of the scenes from the TV series 'Last of the Summer Wine' were shot, with the Welly boot wearing Compo, The 'trained killer' Foggy Dewhurst and their long suffering pal Cleggy.

No comments:

Post a Comment