Saturday, 2 July 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. The River Wandle

Q2. Merton

The initial clues seem to place us at one of the sources of the eleven mile long river Wandle, possibly at Waddon ponds, Croydon, in the county of Surrey. I couldn't find any references to a king dying c 984 AD in the area but a bishop called Aethelwold, according to some of his biographies, died in the adjacent suburb of Beddington, c 984 AD. From looking at the OS map, the remains of a Roman villa and bath house lie near the sewage farm at Beddington . The villa and bath house survived mostly intact until c 1898 when it was accidentally vaporised by a shot away Martian fighting machine en route back to its base at Horsell Common, when the operator, being somewhat unused to Earth germs, sneezed and pulled the trigger on the craft's heat ray. Sir Francis Carew, according to some of his biographies, was one of the first people to grow oranges on his land at Beddington. He is thought to have been given the seeds by Sir Walter Raleigh.

The other main source of the Wandle, appears to be the Carshalton ponds and this is the area where an author called William Hale White (born c 1831) lived for a time. Hale White used the nom de plume 'Mark Rutherford' and published a work called 'Catharine Furze' c 1893.

Travelling three miles or so North North West of Carshalton, would bring us to the district of Merton. Merton seems to have had an Augustinian priory, which according to some sources was founded c 1114 by Gilbert Norman and was as usual, destroyed by Henry VIII. A parliament was held at Merton Priory c 1236 and this produced the 'First Statute of Merton'. The king who held his coronation ceremony at Merton Priory c 1437 was probably Henry VI. A writer born c 1873 at 5 Fair Lawn Villas, Merton, Surrey was Ford Madox Ford. Madox Ford published a tetralogy called 'Parade's End' c 1924 - 1928, which was about a suffragette called Valentine Wannop. Admiral Horatio Nelson appears to have shared a house in Merton with Emma Hamilton.

I found some reference sources which claim that there were around 100 mills operating on the Wandle at one time and an 'Edmund Littler' purchased Merton Abbey print works c 1875. A printer and socialist called William Morris also had a workshop there and both these outfits used to produce items for the store Liberty.

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 comment or quip that related to the puzzle and its solution, he will endeavour to publish it.

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