Saturday, 31 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. The Chesterfield Canal

Q2.  Donald Pleasence

The initial clues seem to place us at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse, near Staveley, in Derbyshire.The 'roundhouse' is a railway turntable which is housed in a square shed and some of the references I checked, claim that it was constructed c 1870. Travelling seven miles or so north east of the 'roundhouse', would bring us to the Chesterfield Canal, which according to the OS map, has a railway running beside it for several miles.

M&LUR&C&GCC seems to stand for 'Manchester & Lincoln Union Railway & Chesterfield & Gainsborough Canal Company. The Chesterfield canal appears to have been opened  c 1877, seems to be around forty six miles in length and have sixty five locks according to some of the web pages describing it. The engineer who was mainly responsible for its construction was called James Brindley (died c 1772). The tunnel the puzzle author refers to in the clues is most likely, the Norwood tunnel. This was said to have been three thousand one hundred and two yards long at one time, although it subsequently suffered from a roof fall c 1907, due to mine workings being operated above it by the Kiveton Park Colliery Company.

The OS map shows fifteen locks on the north west side of Worksop, near the village of Shireoaks, which legend says got its name from the fact that an oak tree there overhung the counties of Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, although the tri point is now near Netherthorpe airfield. The quarry near the village of South Anston, supplied some of the stone used in the construction of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Worksop (62 Potter Street), was the birthplace c 1919 of a great old British actor, Donald Pleasence (who starred as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in the James Bond film 'Du Lebst Nur Zweimal' and as a forger in 'The Great Escape', to name a few of his films). According to some of his bios, Pleasence was married four times and made his debut playing Hareton in Wuthering Heights, c 1939. The walk along the Chesterfield Canal, is known as the Cuckoo Way.

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