Saturday, 16 May 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. Harrow-on-the-Hill

Q2. John Lyon

The initial clues seem to place us in the London borough of Harrow, which used to be served by the Metropolitan Railway c 1863 to 1933, reaching Harrow c 1880. At one time, from the pictures I've seen of them, the door handles of the trains had 'Live in Metroland', engraved on them

Picture of Engraved Doorhandle

The poet, seems to be Mr 'Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!' himself, Sir John Betjeman, who published a book c 1954 called "A Few Late Chrysanthemums", which contains poems about some of the boroughs served by the Metropolitan Railway, and one which is titled 'Harrow-on-the-Hill', which contains the lines:

"Then Harrow-on-the-Hill’s a rocky island
And Harrow churchyard full of sailors’ graves
And the constant click and kissing of the trolley buses hissing"

The second poet appears to be George Gordon, Lord Byron, who published a work called "Lines Written Beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow", c 1807. The church is called St Mary's and Byron's daughter, Allegra, may be buried there. Lord Byron attended Harrow school and some of the references I checked, claim that this was founded by a farmer called John Lyon, c 1572. The school was originally named 'The Free Grammar School of John Lyon' and subsequently morphed into Harrow School. Harrow school moved away from the founder's original intention of educating local boys and became full of students from outwith the parish. To resolve this problem, the 'Lower School of John Lyon', was opened for business c 1876.  A playwright (born c 1751), who attended Harrow school, is probably 'Richard Brinsley Sheridan'.

One of the songs sung at Harrow school, which is titled 'Forty Years On', contains the lines:

"Forty years on, when afar and asunder
Parted are those who are singing today,
When you look back, and forgetfully wonder
What you were like in your work and your play,
Then, it may be, there will often come o’er you,
Glimpses of notes like the catch of a song –
Visions of boyhood shall float them before you,
Echoes of dreamland shall bear them along,"

N.B. The Eastender has moved to moderated comments due to the number of people who normally write letters in green ink, posting on his page. Rest assured though, if you have a non abusive comment relating to solving the puzzle and possible solutions, he will publish it.

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