Saturday, 20 February 2016

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. Maesteg

Q2. A Run For Your Money

The initial clues appear to place us in the town of Maesteg, in Wales. The Welsh national anthem 'Land of my Fathers', was according to some of the references I checked, written c 1856 by Evan James, with its first public airing being performed by Elizabeth John, in Capel Tabor, Maesteg, the same year. A poet called Vernon Phillips Watkins was, according to some of his biographies, born at Lloyds Bank House, Talbot Street, Maesteg c 27 June 1906. One of his poems was titled 'North Sea'.

Maesteg has a railway which terminates in the settlement, the viaduct referred to in the clues is possibly the Cymmer viaduct but it seems to be the Cymmer tunnel that is one thousand five hundred and ninety five yards in length.

Travelling south east, then east from Maesteg would bring us to the village of Llangeinor and it was here in an area called Tynton, that some of his bios claim the radical free thinker 'Richard Price' was born c 1723. He moved to London and does appear to have hung out with/influenced people like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

After leaving Llangeinor and turning left, the puzzle author is probably driving north on the A4064, which terminates about a mile south west of a five hundred and sixty eight meter/one thousand eight hundred and sixty four foot high plateau, called 'Werfa' (aka 'Mynydd Llangeinwyr'). Returning to the village and then motoring east round a hairpin bend would place the puzzle writer on the A4061, which would bring him eventually to the village of Nant-y-moel. It was here, according to some sources I checked,  that scenes from the 1949 film 'A Run For Your Money', were shot. The movie is about two Welsh miners who win a cash prize and a trip to London. Starred Donald Houston, Meredith Edwards and Alec Guiness. I did find a reference which claims that the last passenger train service, left Nant-y-Moel station, on the third of May, 1958.

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 if you have a non abusive comment or quip, related to the puzzle and its solution, he will endeavour to publish it.


  1. Phew , too many red herrings today.
    Adam Smith seemed such a good answer for the philosopher that i spent ages on the wrong track.
    The poem sent me off on another misdirection with Conan Doyle.
    At least the film was easy to discover.

  2. I initially thought that the philosopher might be Thomas Paine but wrong birth year (1737) and wrong part of the country (Norfolk)...

  3. Hi EastEnder,
    Just one answer missing from your blog is the line in the adjacent valley is the Garw valley branch line with its stations Llanngeinor, Pontyrhyl, Pontycymer and Blaegarw opened from 1887 but all closed in 1953. The line which remained open for freight traffic up to 1997 is currently being restored by enthusiasts.