Saturday, 9 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. Perranporth

Q2. In the Roar of the Sea

The initial clues seem to place us in the village of Perranporth, in a beautiful area known as Cornwall.From looking at the OS map, there seems to be a large beach and an expanse of dunes called the 'Penhale Sands', which lie to the north of the settlement.  A motor designer who was born there, at Woodbine cottage c 1898, was Donald Mitchell Healey. He seems to have been a total petrol head and not only did he design cars, he also raced them and became the technical director at Triumph, designing all of their cars, until c 1945 when the factory went bust. At that point, Healey founded the Donald Healey Motor Company Ltd, where his first model, the Healey Elliot went on to win some alpine rally events c 1947/48.

Penhale sands, from some of the sources I checked, seems to have been the site of St Piran's church and St Piran's Oratory. The Eastender had to look up what an oratory was but it appears to have been a smaller chapel intended for an individual's private worship. Building a church on sand dunes, as we shall later see, is not usually a good idea. St Piran is thought by some to have been Irish and born c 6th century ad. He is also the patron saint of tin miners and his colours, white cross on a black background, are said to represent tin being smelted from a stone, which he allegedly floated across the sea from Eire on, after being escorted from the club by angry heathens. His first disciples upon coming ashore are said to have been a fox, a badger and a bear, though how this enabled him to recruit more followers, remains somewhat unclear.

Fourteen miles north north east of Perranporth, would likely bring us to the Trevose Head lighthouse which some of the references I looked at claim is twenty seven metres high or eighty eight point five eight feet in old money. Appears to have been constructed c 1847. Taking the circuitous route to find the church mentioned in the clues, would take us past the village of Trevone and it was here that an author called Dorothy Richardson lived for a time. Richardson pioneered the stream of consciousness style of writing in her series of thirteen novels known as 'Pilgrimage'.

Driving past Trevone, brings us to the town of Padstow and this is where a great old British actor called Edward Woodward (born c 1930) lived, at Mariner's Friend, Hawker's Cove. Woodward according to some of his bios, made his first debut at the Castle Theatre, Farnham c 1946, in a play called 'A kiss for Cinderella', though subsequently came to a bad end, after upsetting some local pagans on a Scottish island.

A much loved poet, called John Betjeman (and who did not like his line 'Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough? ) lies in the graveyard of St Enodoc's church, which is situated about five miles as the drone flies, east of Trevose Head lighthouse. This church is also built on sand dunes, allegedly over the cave where St Enodoc lived as a hermit, on the east bank of the river Camel and for much of its history was almost engulfed by sand. It is said that at times, the parishioners had to climb through a hole in the roof to gain entry and that this had to be done once a year, in order for the rector to be able to collect tithes from the locals. No church service, no taxes, hence the reluctance to dig the edifice out.

The story of the battle to keep St Enodoc's church sand free, is described in a novel called 'In the Roar of the Sea' (published c 1892), by a writer and erudite polymath called Sabine Baring Gould. Baring Gould seems to have been some sort of literary dynamo, writing over forty novels, twenty four travel guide books, general interest books and a collection of folk songs, reputedly a total of twelve hundred and forty publications and all while holding down his day job as a clergyman. From the excerpts of the novel I read in the various archives I trawled through, one of the main protagonists in the novel, is called the Reverend Peter Trevisa,who was for twenty five years, rector of St Enodoc's and it was the problem of the church being swallowed by the sand, which finished him off, as he worked in vain to dig it out, without help from the tithe avoiding locals....

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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