Saturday, 29 October 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 Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

Q2. Lynmouth Foreland Lighthouse

They might as well pre populate the text box for question one with the correct answer and have done with, as the huge giveaway clue "Perchance it is not dead, but sleepeth", immediately places us in North Devon, at the small section of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway (opened c 1898, closed c 1935, re-opened c 2004) which is still operational. Five miles or so, south west of the western terminus of the line, lies Arlington Court, which is described on the national trust website as an "Intriguing Regency house and horse drawn vehicles, set in picturesque gardens".

Travelling north east of the railway, would bring us to the towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, which are connected by a cliff railway. The OS map shows that there is also a 'Point Perilous' there. The puzzle author is not wrong when he says it has an ominous ring, for Lynton sits at the confluence of two rivers, which flow through steep sided and relatively narrow gorges and consequently when there is heavy rainfall, the place is at very grave risk of being destroyed by raging torrents and this appears to be what happened on the 15/16th August 1952, with a wall of water hitting the town and the boulders carried therein, which were propelled through by the water, destroyed many homes and the community suffered a shocking and appalling loss of life, with around thirty four people reported killed in the catastrophe. From watching some of the old newsreel footage of the event, it seems that the guy who owned the hotel, saved three people from being swept out to sea, by pulling them in through the window.

A good old rebel loose cannon Norman boy, called 'Percy Bysshe Shelley' stayed at Lynton c 1812 and one of his employees 'Daniel Isaac Eaton', was lifted by the bizzies, for handing out some of Shelley's pamphlets which contained extracts from Thomas Paine's 'Age of Reason'. Eaton's hermeneutics by way of defence at his trial were to no avail, as a biased religio-fascist judge and a dodgy jury, then convicted him on a trumped up charge of 'blasphemous libel' (The Eastender apologizes for inadvertently invoking the bewigged bampot from the Eilean Siar, and hopes he does not appear and start building walls) and the hapless pamphleteer was thrown into the chokey and pilloried once a month. Shelley wrote an essay c 1812 called  'A letter to Lord Ellenborough' (family motto "Law and Equity Combined") about the episode, which must have cheered Daniel Eaton up no end, while he was getting chamber pots, dead animals and rotten vegetables thrown at him by an angry mob.

The national trail is probably the 'South West Coast Path' and following it east and then north would bring us to the 'Lynmouth Foreland Lighthouse', which some of the reference sources I checked, claim is fifteen metres or forty nine feet in height. Also appears to have been constructed c 1900.

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


  1. Some of the ST staff must be on the piste already. This week's entry form shows the picture of Obergurgl but the caption is to win last week's prize of "a luxury break in Milan . . . ." sigh!

  2. I did wonder why they had a picture of a skiing holiday with a caption for a break in Milan.... ;-)