Fun holiday photo quiz: And the winner is…..

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 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 and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Photo feature.


  • Boringly I like to factcheck these things and Aberdeen does now have a “branch” of Ikea – although it is only an “order and collection” one. The internet suggests that it is close-run thing whether Aberdeen or Bergen is closer with the internet suggesting Bergen is but only by 4 miles. So for some at least in Shetland technically at least (probably) the nearest branch of IKEA is in Aberdeen.

    The good news is that Google tells me that it will only take a mere 337 hours to walk from Lerwick to Bergen!

    I’m off to get my Swedish meatballs and a life!!!

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 13th Aug '18 - 4:16pm

    Paul, did you see my comment a 7.11 this morning, on your second post about Bergen train station? The one entitled something like “an extra prize and some clues”?

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 13th Aug '18 - 4:22pm

    Sorry, Paul, I see Charles’ answer was long before mine actually, but I’d been looking at the second article, where discussion continued 🙂 Congratulations Charles 🙂
    Thanks for the mention Paul 🙂

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 13th Aug '18 - 4:40pm

    Anyway, thank you for the entertaining quiz, Paul 🙂 Would be good to see quizzes like this as a regular feature on Lib Dem Voice. Hope you had a good holiday. Did it give you enthusiasm for the Norway Option? 🙂

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