Thanks to everyone who took part in our fun quiz on Friday – and to those who thought about it but were stumped by it!
We showed the photo above, which I took on my recent holiday. We asked you to name the location of the photo, which was mentioned wittily in a distinguished Liberal MP’s auto-biography.
The answer was Bergen railway station in Norway, which Jo Grimond, Liberal party leader 1956-1967, mentioned in his auto-biography (see below).
The first person to give the correct answer in our comments threads was Charles Dundas. Charles receives the accolade of “LDV Super Anorak” and a “very good” condition copy of Jo Grimond’s said memoirs.
Congratulations to Charles and also well done to runner-up Catherine Crosland, who also got the right answer, but a little later than Charles.
Here is an excerpt from my blog, Liberal Burblings, which explains the reference:
(Last night I had) a very civilised vesperal chat last night with the Liberal Democrat legend that is Erlend Watson.
The term “walking encyclopdia” is over-used. But it certainly fits Erlend as far as political matters are concerned. You press his button and he regurgitates the most extraordinary minutiae from by-elections and political personalities stretching back eighty years.
Last night’s featured tale from Erlend was about where he hails from – the Orkneys. Jo Grimond was MP for the Orkneys and Shetlands and was said to have coined the witty remark that Bergen is the nearest railway station to Shetland. In fact, Jo did include this in his auto-biography, but it was in the process of telling the tale of a volunteering soldier on Shetland at the outbreak of the Second World War. This soldier was sent a form to fill in by the army which asked him to state his nearest railway station, so they could send him his call-up papers to it. The soldier replied to say that his nearest railway station (Bergen) was in enemy hands.
In fact, like many of these sorts of stories, the truth behind the story is not as much of a “slam dunk” case as the story would suggest, as move.shetland.org relates:
“Is it true that the nearest railway station is in Bergen, Norway?
It’s an appealingly romantic notion, but a modern Norse myth. The railway stations at Thurso and Wick in northern Scotland are both closer to Shetland, though not by very much if you’re in our northernmost islands. Bergen does, however, distinguish itself by having the nearest branch of IKEA – the next closest is in Edinburgh.”
For railway and Norway fans, here are a couple more pictures of Bergen railway station:
* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is currently taking a break from his role as one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.