Saturday, 8 August 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. Maybole

Q2. Loch Doon Castle

The initial clues seem to place us in the village of Kirkoswald, in south Ayrshire, where John Davidson's (aka Souter Johnnie's) cottage lies, on Main road. Davidson was the model for the cobbler in the epic ballad 'Tam O' Shanter', by the whisky poet himself, Robert Burns. The church there appears to have been founded by St Oswald (feast day August 5th). Davidson and Douglas Graham (the model for Tam O' Shanter), are buried in the churchyard.

Travelling north east of Kirkoswald, would bring us to the town of Maybole and it is here. according to some of his biographies, that the road builder John Loudon McAdam (born c 1756) was schooled, under the Scottish parish schools system. A castle which is situated some seven miles southeast or so from Maybole, is Blairquhan castle which was owned by the Kennedy's c 16th century and subsequently rebuilt around 1824 by the architect William Burn, for Sir David Blair. The castle doubled for Balmoral in the 2006 film 'The Queen', starring Helen Mirren.

Driving seven miles east of Blarquhan castle would take us to the town of Dalmellington, where the OS bench mark G624 is situated, on Kirn bridge, over Muck Water. An OS bench mark is a brass or gunmetal plate that is usually attached to a triangulation point.

Six and a half miles south from Dalmellington, takes us to Loch Doon Castle, which is an eleven sided ruined structure, originating from the 13th century, which used to sit on an island in Loch Doon but was subsequently dismantled and painstakingly reassembled c 1935, when that insel slipped beneath the waters, after a hydro-electric project was built on the loch. 

N.B. The Eastender has moved to moderated comments due to the number of people who normally write poison pen 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


  1. Nice to see you back. I agree with all your answers but one thing puzzles me that on your blog the date is always the Saturday and the competition in not available to around 1210am on Sunday morning.

    Best wishes,

  2. Not sure about the date thing David, possibly the blogger site is hosted in a different time zone......

  3. Date thing - true, it says August 8th for you but checking other blogspot/blogger posts today they have Sunday 9th.... maybe if you posted before, say 5am, the time zone thing might kick in but I read many blogs and never seen a problem before.

  4. Thank you Eastender for your witty and informative answers. Have you ever won the prize yourself or is it merely a cerebral exercise? Thank you again

    1. Hi Paula, the Eastender rarely enters the competition but does love puzzles, data mining,researching stuff and detective work ;-)