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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Cold Shower - Hot Climate (KesterTester115) - UPDATED

Updated: Jun 29

Staff facilities supplied by this particular employer would probably not pass current EU safety or health inspections :) Not that this chappie seems to mind. But where might this be?

Photo: This chappie was enjoying a rub down in a country that when I took this piccie, in 1983, was hot in more ways than one.

Sorry if you wanted to read something on the recent elections in Hungary. In fact, I have been busy with those results for much of this week, but haven't had time to do any blog posts. So, we have ...

... A different kind of KesterTester this week - as you might have guessed - not one from Hungary, nor even the the Central-Eastern European region.

Not an easy one, not even for train buffs - in case you didn't realise it, that's a side view of part of a steam locomotive behind the showering man. (And I won't alert those steam, buffs that I know immediately in order to give 'normals' a chance in this tester.)

I certainly think some super sleuthers could solve it. If not, I'll add more clues later.

Answers please via the website messaging system, or in an email (not in the comments, please, 'cos everyone can see those), and also mention 'KT115' if you would so that the KesterTester team do not lose your precious entry :)

Diligent as we all are, none of us wishes you to lose your personal chance of global celebrity status! (Nor the right to buy me two beers :))

Sleuth on!

UPDATE: Contestants and WINNER!

Once again, apologies for tardiness on my part – I know the waiting can be simply agonising for those seeking global celebrity status, but I've under the cosh with work of late, what with elections and stuff.

Whatever, this Tester produced a wide variety of suggestions, and even a suprise link to Hungary, albeit rather tenuous.

I had expected the need to give another clue, based on a famous film shot using the railway of this country – but in the end, you sleuthers precluded the need.

So, who suggested what?

Les Szabo interrupted his sojourn in France to write:

Greetings from Le Mans. As l have had the privilege of being exposed to your past, my guess is Pakistan!”

My old train buddy Brian Bartram, who's been the distance to the moon and back chasing Richard Trevethick's inventions, was (somewhat surprisingly for me) unsure.

Kester not sure about this one, but could it be Mozambique?”

Chris Sanders, likely to be found by the River Tyne when not guiding tours down the Danube, had a bash.

KT115 Message: Hope you are well. Sri Lanka? Chris”

John Cantwell, a sleuther ace from the early days of Testers, proffered.

“I will take a shot and say it’s Beirut.”  

Gosh, John – I'm not sure if the Hedjaz Railway ever reached Beirut. <Looks up on internet> ... no, it was from Damascus, heading south through [modern day] Jordan. But even if it had, not sure there would be much left in Beirut by the early 1980s.

Worth a try though, all good fun, so why not?

Even the reluctant Alexander Faludy deigned to have a punt:

As you know I don’t normally bother with KT’s but I will make a (rare) exception out of a sense of humanitarian duty / ‘noblesse oblige’.

My guess is South Africa.”

I am duty bound to be duly honoured, Mr Faludy!

Tom Chilton, never one to waste breath or effort typing, wrote:

Sri Lanka.”

Almost equally succinct, Greg Dorey chimed in:

Hi Kester,

Hope all is well. Sri Lanka.

Best, Greg”

Owen Brison is another putting his money on Lanka.

Hi Kester,

Sri Lanka? I'd have no idea were it not for Google, except presumably a country where English is one of the languages spoken.

Best wishes, Owen.”

Yes, it's a bit off-piste for even the most dedicated enthusiasts, isn't it Owen? Just up the road, the lure of India, which had much more going on in terms of railway variety, and Sri Lanka, at the time of this photo, had managed to get itself into a devastating civil war.

Hubert “Le Poirot” Warsmann, invariably does his homework. (I've kept this back, actually he was the first to answer.)

KT115, as far as I know Hunslet's B8c No 237 was part of a series of machines sold to Ceylon/Sri Lanka in the interwar period and although the current whereabouts of that machine are unknown, it was probably still in operation there 40 years ago.”

No, it wasn't Hubert. It was among perhaps 5 others dumped/left in open store in Colombo, but I don't know when it last worked. I have a feeling steam finished in Sri Lanka in the late 1970s – except for the narrow-gauge 2' 6” line – which for Europeans and other folk outside the USA amounts to 762mm. I think its creaking infrastructure was good for one train a day each way back then.

On the anecdotal side of things, Hungarian rolling stock manufacturer Ganz was briefly under British ownership in the early 90's and renamed Ganz Hunslet.”

Indeed. That had slipped my mind, Hubert. The new firm even built a new generation test train for the Budapest Metro system – I remember riding in it a few times around 1995 or so and then … nothing! It all went quiet. I have no idea what happened to the Hunslet investment (but I suppose I could guess).

Now, what was the extra clue I was going to give if I found you all floundering for the answer? Well, I'll make this into another Tester!

We'll call it KT115a.

Sri Lanka, under its former name, Ceylon, was the site for shooting a very successful US-British feature film in which the state railway played a key role.

What was that film?

And while you're pondering that, I'll let you know who can expect to be inundated with requests from adoring fans for selfies throughout July and August whether he be in Barcelona or Blackburn.

Five paper slips go into the hat (the Afghan hat for this one) and the winner of KT115 is …. drum roll for fame, fortune awaits he (plus two beers for me) … Greg Dorey esq!

Congratulations Greg, and thanks to all who 'had a go'. Now, what was that film?

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