Saturday, 3 January 2015

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. Sir (Edwin) Hardy Amies

Q2. The Thames

The initial clues seem to place us in the village of Longworth, in Berkshire and it is hear that a fruit grower and novelist called Richard Dodderidge Blackmore was born (in the Vicarage) c 1825. He published among other titles, a three volume work, called 'Springhaven' c 1887. A poet laureate who wrote a piece called Naucratica, is probably Henry James Pye (born c 1745). According  to some of his bios, Pye lived in several places, Knotting in Bedfordshire, Queen Street in Westminster, Pinner in Middlesex and Great Faringdon, in Berkshire. Faringdon seems to be the closest fit with the clues, as it is eight miles or so to the west of Longworth.

On the east side of Faringdon, lies a hill known locally as Folly Hill and it is here that Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt Wilson (aka fourteenth Baron Berners, born c 1833) built a one hundred foot high tower. There seems to be a circa 12th century castle marked on the OS map for the site also and Cromwell appears to have stationed some of his goon squad there with a cannon, during the late unpleasantness of the English civil war. The Baron was a composer of sorts and entertained many celebrities, including Salvadore Dali (who put the piano in the pond and sticky buns on the keyboard), at Faringdon house.

Three miles to the north west of Folly Hill, lies Kelmscott Manor and this was leased by a wallpaper designer called William Morris (born c 1834) and a painter called Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Morris was buried in Kelmscott churchyard. Located a few miles to the north of Kelmscott, is the village of Langford and it is here that a dress designer/maker called Sir Edwin Hardy Amies (born c 1909) remains were interred. He was granted a royal warrant c 1955.

The three counties tri point, which from looking at various maps seems to be where the boundaries of the unitary authorities for Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire meet, lies in the river Thames, near the eastern edge of Lechlade On Thames. The river cole forms part of one of the boundaries and the Isis another but the three seem to meet in the Thames proper.


  1. Hello East Ender, Well solved again this week but I was puzzled at your reference to the River Coln and Isis. But please can you confirm the answer of the 2nd question last week was Petty France as the answers and winner don't appear on the online version of this week's competition.
    Thanks and A Happy New Year,

    1. Hello David, The paper copy of the Sunday Times does give the answer to the 2nd question last week as Petty France.

    2. Thanks very much Etch,


  2. Happy New Year David. I'm not sure at all about the answer to last week's question two. I think the people who said in the comments that it was most likely to be Petty France are probably correct but then there is the fact that the poet also lived in little Britanny and had many different addresses in London to consider, which made it a lot more difficult to solve. Regarding this week's question two, when I traced the boundaries of the unitary authorities on an OS map, two of them seem to lie part of the way along the rivers Cole and Isis (think the Isis is one of the sources of the Thames). It's possible that the Coln is classed as a tributary of the Thames as otherwise, the settlement might be called Lechlade-on-Coln but the boundaries tri point does appear to be in the river Thames, a little way east of Lechlade.

  3. Some referencessuggest:-
    (a) that the River Coln is a tributary of the Thames and meets that river west of Lechlade at N51.688082 & W1.70520,
    (b) that the tri-point of the county boundaries of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire is located east of Lechlade-on-Thames at N51.690675 & W1.68241 - (just north of the river),
    (c) that the Thames is known as the Isis from the point where it flows past Christchurch Meadows, (N51.746 & W1.2567) in Oxford to Iffley Lock, (N51.729 & W1.24).

    It has been confirmed that Petty France was the correct answer in last week's puzzle.