• Kester Eddy

A Triumphal Twin-Arch Celebrating Half-a-Century of Something? But What and Where?

Updated: Sep 22

KesterTester51 (it clearly should have been KT50!) - Stands proud somewhere in this region. It's pretty substantive, so it must have cost a packet. Maybe it's a national monument? Well, many in this nation would probably say it is - but what for?

UPDATED with results of KT50

Photo: These arches stand near the main railway station in a city relatively unfavoured by tourists, despite the astonishing architecture of its nearby main square. I'd say it's tasteful architecture though, rather than triumphalist, which is perhaps most fitting. Piccie from 2008.

Now I forbid anyone from using google to get this (or you must admit it if you give in to the temptation). There are enough clues in the pic and my text for the clever sleuths in here to track this down - I promise everyone who reads this will recognise what it is all about when the answer is given.

Ironically, the man who made this place what it is was a foreigner (kind of - certainly not a local - although in those days it didn't matter much) and I believe it's foreign-owned these days too, by a company in a country far, far away. (I'm sure the directors are fully aware of the importance of not messing about with things and risking local sensitives though.)

Your answers, please, via the website messaging system or an email (if you get it right, and put it in the comments, it kind of spoils the fun for the rest).

As for KT50 - I don't know what to say. It's definitely proving difficult, yet the place was suggested by at least two punters for the photo which turned out to be Ozd steelworks (KT31 - dated March 20th). It's very difficult to give more clues. There is one huge one which would give it away far too easily - everyone and their dog would know it.

I can say that Gábor Várszegi, bass guitarist with the 1960s rock band Gemini, has (or had) an interest in this town. Not much of a clue, it's true, but the town is not on the main road, which skirts the urban centre a few kilometres to the north.

It is on the railway though, indeed, I think this piccie is taken from a railway bridge, looking westward.

What else can I say? Look, Hungary doesn't have too many rust-belt industrial centres - although that's not really an appropriate term for this particular photo.

I'll aim to post the results tomorrow (assuming I get time) - otherwise, it looks, at last, as if I've finally won a KesterTester!. Personally, I feel it is nothing less than I deserve after all these efforts against some real clever cloggs that stop at nothing to get the right answers.

And at last I can buy myself two beers in celebration, smile happily with the selfie-seekers and bask in global fame.

UPDATED - Results of KT50 - Those dark Chimneys

OK, this was a toughie, but it was do-able.

First out of the traps was Tom Chilton, who wrote in:

Hi KJ, As you say, not many clues in the KT 50 pic. But... high voltage you say? Aluminium smelting requires lots of electricity (cf Invergordon) and there was an aluminium smelter in Hungary.

Car factory quite nearby, you say? Esztergom?? I remember the aluminium smelter was in northern Hungary, possibly on the Danube between Komárom and Esztergom? So I'm plumping for Almásfüzitő.

I like the thinking there, Tom. Hubert "Poirot" Warsmann thought likewise, although he left out the reasoning - Almásfüzitő was his pitch too.

But Jock MacKenzie was of a different mind: I will try the former smokestacks of Miskolc......, he said.

And after a week, that was it. This meant I had to offer at least some new clues, even though I was looking forward to winning my first ever KesterTester - silly, soft old me, eh?

With the extra clues above, Tom Chilton changed his bid. Well, this was not covered by the rules, and I appealed to the Competition Committee - and would you believe it - they sided with Chilton - against me, me what appointed them in the first place. Talk about lack of gratitude!

Tom wrote: Ajka is the answer. The event that could not be named was the red mud spillage in 2010.

I was outraged, but had to ask him how he came to this answer: I scanned a map of Hungary to find an industrial city with a main road to the north. I found Ajka.

Your mention of a clue too useful to reveal confirmed that it was Ajka, the scene of the notorious red mud spill in 2010, he retorted.


And there it stayed until last night until Monday, I think it was, when David McCall, who has frequently sleuthed away with no glory, wrote in to say: Your KT's have been stumping me lately, with KT50's only clue that it was near an automotive assembly plant "some distance." Given the time, I would narrow it down to either Opel in Szentgotthard or Ford in Szekesfehervar. It's less likely that one would find such a scene near the Austrian border, but there are so many locations near SFV where one could find some smokestacks. So all I can do is take a shot in the dark: Ajka.

Pretty darned good shot in the dark, David. Dead right.

So that meant two names to go into the hat - ok, I'll be honest, I tossed up a euro 1 coin and it came up heads.

And this means ..... the glory and fandom of KesterTester50 goes over the pond and over the states to Oregon!

Well done David, who's missed out quite a few times. Congratulations to all who had a crack, all sensible ideas.

By the way, I got told off by one reader, who seemed to think I was spreading negative views of Hungary. Dear M, it's just an image. It's reality, but I don't find industrial landscapes as negative, they have their own beauty, they have their own story of humans who have sweated away over the years.

M wants me to go to the opera (or ballet school, I forget) and photograph the recent reconstruction. Well, the problem with that is a) it takes time, and I haven't got enough of that these days and b) there will be a zillion, zillion photos of that on the web. I'm not saying this is the only shot of Ajka's aluminium smelter, of course, but it is unique. I find it moody, but not negative in any way.

Now, I'll put another photo clue up on the KT52 test in a few minutes.

Best wishes!

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