The 23rd Adventure Club Podcast: Trains, Massages & Dastardly Engineers

After a month of doing proper (paid) jobs, Lloyd NotDavies and Tim NotCarruthers are finally back in the room! It’s October 23 in ‘The Riddle of the Sands’, a day when Carruthers takes advantage of the mighty German railways to speed his way to Amsterdam for a night in a proper bed. The only downside? He has to endure half the journey with the creepy engineer, Böhme: “Don’t forget to go to Lloyds…”

So, it’s railways, luxury hotels by the Amstel River, and possible real-life role models for Böhme. If that floats your boat, don’t forget to pledge your support for the Adventure Club Handbook at Just £25 gets you a Handbook, a Field Audiobook, an e-book and full web access to our live web adventure.

First up, Lloyd NotDavies gets his Bradshaw’s out and indulges his obsession for timetables (07:34). We discover how Carruthers would have got from Nordeney to Amsterdam in real life in 1898 – and how Tim NotCarruthers can ride (roughly) the same route today. Astute readers will notice how quickly a German army could travel through Holland and Belgium by train. Lloyd refers to the famous historian AJP Taylor to show the importance of train timetables in army mobilisation and the start of World War One (14:05).

The last of the steam trains on the Norddeich – Rheine line. Photo by Eduard Erdmann at

Tim NotCarruthers ignores the rattling of sabres and researches, instead,  the nicest possible hotels to stay at by the Amster River (19:35). He finds a historic hostelry with basement showers and a unique line in deep massage and physical therapy. Tim also goes looking for a slop-shop in the Jewish Quarter in Amsterdam, and uncovers the dark reasons for why he can’t find it (24:38).

Famous for Mezger’s physical therapy treatments – an obvious place for Carruthers to stay… “AmstelHotelAmsterdam” by Massimo Catarinella – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons at Wikipedia

And so to real life examples of Böhme the military engineer – Böhme the Nazi war criminal (28:08); von Pressel the chief architect of the Baghdad Railway (31:30), von der Goltz Inspector-General of Fortifications in 1898, and lover of young Turks (33:13); Krupp the steel magnate, and lover of  young Corsicans (36:23).

Club Business: John Ironside on German comedy videos (39:43); Zydny on Lancaster guns (40:41); Tony F on rowing speeds (41:36); Kass reports calmly on a proper sailing (mis)adventure (43:43); Jeff loves our Memmert episode (45:28); Brian offers to set us up with rowing lessons (45:40); Jon joins in with tales of Thames sculling at speed (46:33); a special ‘Ahoy’ to Adrian for finally tracking down the original Queenborough steamer pier (48:30).

Missions for next week – members assistance required.

‘a tedious journey’: how to get to Esens from Amsterdam in roughly 12 hours, and then walk along the Bensertief. Share your knowledge of the Dutch/German railways and canals with us.

‘the quiet cobbled streets of Esens’: anybody been to Esens? We need to find the humblest guesthouse in town.

‘these budding canals’: it’s finally time to talk about canals. Any (relevant) stories you have, please get in touch.

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