Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Think the Sunday Times IT bod's been out glugging the cheeky juice again and forgotten to publish the online version of the puzzle but the East Ender has the printed copy of the newspaper and 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. Lutterworth

Q2. Percy (Sinclair) Pilcher

The initial clues seem to place us a tad north east of the city of Coventry, near the Oxford canal, which some of the sources I checked, claim is around seventy eight miles long and was completed c 1790. It appears that in the eighteen twenties and eighteen thirties that the canal was shortened by around fourteen miles and six furlongs, around Braunston and Hawksbury Junction.

A hotel which is a good fit with some of the clues given, is possibly Coombe Abbey, which was built by Cistercians c 1150 and which subsequently became a family home after old " 'enry the Eighth I am", shut down the monasteries. It appears to have become royal property after this and came into the hands of the Earls of Craven until c 1923 and then subsequently became a hotel.

The aeronautical engineer and truly great British genius, who was born c 1907 and tested his W1X gas turbine engines at Lutterworth, was probably Sir Frank Whittle. Three miles or so south of Lutterworth, lies the site of the three arched Roman bridge at Tripontium, it is situated next to the Roman road 'Watling Street' (aka the A5).

The poet Laureate mentioned by the puzzle Author, is most likely Alfred Lord Tennyson. I found a reference which claims that he wrote his famous elegy to his friend Arthur Hallam, at Shawell Rectory, which is very close to Tripontium. 'In Memoriam', was published c 1850 .

The William and Mary style house, is probably Stanford Hall and it is in a field near this, that a memorial to another great British genius lies, the monument to the hang glider pioneer, Percy Sinclair Pilcher ( born c 1867). His Hawk glider crashed here in 1899, resulting in his passing from this mortal coil. Pilcher had a triplane with an engine fitted to it, ready for flight testing in his shed but the crash may have prevented him from achieving powered flight, before the wright brothers.

N.B. Due to the number of people who normally write poison pen letters in green ink posting on his page, the Eastender has moved to moderated comments but rest assured, if you have a non abusive comment related to the puzzle and its solution, he will endeavour to publish it.

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