Saturday, 3 December 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. Dalbeattie

Q2. Southerness Lighthouse

Quite tricky this week, if you believe the clue about the lighthouse designer being born in 1854, then this places us at Helliar Holm, in Orkney which was according to some of the reference sources I checked, built by David Alan Stevenson c 1893. Helliar Holm however, does not fit in with the other clues in the puzzle and those seem to point to the location as being in Dumfries and Galloway and the thirty three acre 'Hestan Island' which has a solar powered lighthouse, with the originals being built c 1893 and c 1850. Couldn't find much information about an engineer born in 1854, who built the second one.

The Abbey is probably 'Dundrennan Abbey' which was built c 1142 by David I, who was a son of King Malcolm. It is thought that Mary Queen of Scots stopped here c 15th May 1568, on her way out of Scotland. A small town which lies to the north east of the abbey and which is famous for granite is likely to be 'Dalbeattie'. A king called 'John Balliol' (died c 1314) is thought in some quarters, to have been the owner of 'Buittle castle', which lies on the north western outskirts of Dalbeattie.

Driving south east from Dalbeattie, could bring us to Southerness and this dorpie has a disused lighthouse which was first constructed c 1748/49 and deactivated in the mid 1930s. Some of the reference sources I looked at claim that it is around thirty two feet high.

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


  1. Some bios suggest that Alan Stevenson (1807-1865) built the first Hestan Lighthouse in 1850. He appears to have been the eldest son of Robert Stevenson (1772-1850). The second lighthouse on the island appears to have been built by his nephew David Alan Stevenson (1854-1938) in 1893.

  2. David Alan Stevenson was the son of David Stevenson, part of the famous lighthouse engineer family. He spent his early years at 8 Forth Street, New Town in Edinburgh. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and University. On Wikipedia you will find more details and a list of his lighthouses he built in and around Scotland.

  3. Wikipedia doesn't mention Hestan Island lighthouse for David Alan Stevenson, but the Northern Lighthouse Board does (albeit spelling it Heston), giving a date of 1893.

  4. Dalbeattie is indeed famed for its granite so looks like a winner

  5. In this week's not moderately difficult puzzle, (11th December 2016), and accepting the "wrong turn" it's a complete mystery to me as to how the author managed to end up in Worsthorne, (Ron Greenwood's birthplace), when attempting to travel from The Embankment, (a.k.a. The Straight Mile), in Burnley (possible answer to Q1) to The Singing Ringing Tree (possible answer to Q2). Perhaps the "Tree Panoptic" signs were shrouded in mist at such altitude?

  6. The footballer was Tommy Lawton, he was born in 1919 and was the top scorer in 1937-38. He was born in Farnworth.

  7. Tommy Lawton played for Burnley (Brun Lea - Field on the Brown river)