Monday, 21 February 2011

Light Beacon of Hackney Downs (Ley Marker)

We consider ourselves observant individuals but we get great pleasure when discovering things in our borough that are hidden in plain view.  We've walked, cycled and run past this particular spot for years. Recently we've taken dozens and dozens of shots on Hackney Downs. While walking through there recently this beacon seemed to have sprung up from nowhere. An odd sight really considering this is a large grass area (possibly built on a large mound), surely not a Crow's Nest and why. On closer inspection we found the plaque it was erected in commemoration of the Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The steel structure could easily house a gas pipe for a flame but we found no evidence to support that theory. In fact we couldn't find any information on the beacon! 

We did notice it was aligned with a small standing stone in the children's play park in the background. Considering Hackney Downs is a sacred place of great energy we researched Beacon and found some interesting definitions.

'A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.

Beacons help guide navigators to their destinations.

Classically, beacons were fires lit at well-known locations on hills or high places, used either as lighthouses for navigation at sea, or for signalling over land that enemy troops were approaching, in order to alert defenses. As signals, beacons are an ancient form of optical telegraphy, and were part of a relay league.

In England, the most famous examples are the beacons used in Elizabethan England to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada. Many hills in England were named Beacon Hill after such beacons. In the Scottish borders country a system of beacon fires were at one time established to warn of incursions by the English. Hume, Eggerstone castle and Soltra Edge were part of this network

Beacons and bonfires are also used to mark occasions and celebrate events.'  Wikipedia

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Dogs of Alcibiades (Victoria Park) - Friend or Foe?

Unusual name for sculptures representing a dog that rescued a person from drowning. If memory serves there was a plaque around the area somewhere telling a story of a dog that rescued a child / person from drowning in the lake. People and council appeared moved by the heroic dog's actions on the day and a Lady Regnart presented two sculptures of the dog or a dog in 1912. All appears above board except the name of the dog wasn't Alcibiades and we're pretty sure it wasn't of Greek origin. This title The Dogs of Alcibiades evokes something far more sinister than a child rescuing animal.

'Guarding the main entrance at Sewardstone Road are replica statues of the Dogs of Alcibiades, the originals of which stood here from 1912 to 2009 until vandalism led to their being removed, restored and rehoused elsewhere in the Park.' Wikipedia

So the sculptures were originally placed somewhere else in the park where they were vandalised and the decision was made to place replica dogs at this particular gate. Personally, we'd never researched the dogs although of late felt they were connected with the Dog Star Sirius. That still may be the case. Although when researched The Dogs of Alcibiades lead to an historic individual by the name of Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides. A prominent statesman, orator and general from a famous aristocratic family. They made him a general but Alcibiades changed political allegiances on a daily bases. My next thoughts were considering the park had its own Speakers Corner and Hackney itself was known as the borough of nonconformity maybe that's why they named it after him. He was a general and played a pivotal role in the second half of the Peloponnesian War as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician.

 Death of Alcibiades

 I mentioned the dogs to a friend who'd recently holidayed in Greece. He said they saw many wild dogs and used to feed two dogs in particular that hung around their apartment. He said locals would frown upon them for showing the dogs due care and attention. He asked an old couple why they found him playing with the dog offensive. They said the legend in Greece is that 'dogs steal your soul'  so locals keep well away from them.

If this was a school history lesson then this may ring true. The planners of this park designed it to meet esoteric specification so we must apply such techniques when analysing these topics. The dogs are facing a gate named Bonner Gate after the Bishop of London Edmund Bonner who either owned Bonner Fields on which some of the park was built or they named the fields after him. 

This man is best known for his zero-tolerant persecution of 'heretics' under the catholic government of Mary l of England. Truly a wicked man whom took great pleasure in personally torturing hundreds of people. They called him 'Bloody Bonner' and at the height of his madness history states he took part in the burning to death of three hundred 'heretics'.  The man was hated among people loved amongst the aristocrats such as King Henry VIII or Thomas Cromwell. He held the position of Last Major of Stepney (bordering Hackney and 5 minutes from Olympic 2012 site) and eventually fell from favour and imprisoned until his death in 1569 (reign of Elizabeth I).

Not an idéal candidate to name a road, street, school and park gate after. In our opinion these markers are possibly connected with a blood ritual of sorts. The entire park is mapped out following esoteric specifications and every structure serves as a Ley Marker and possibly more. You can access Bonner Gate via Approach Road (indicating direct of Ley) or Bishops Way (Ley Line traveling down Hackney RD (A1208) , Bishops Way (B127) which crosses over Sewardstone RD through /across Bonner Gate, over Regents Canal, past the dogs to the lake.

At the other end of the causeway which runs through Bonner Gate and Victoria Park is another gate called Gore Gate.

 666 Lottery Logo - It Could be YOU!

We also noticed this which many may say is a coincidence to which we disagree...