KesterTester 32 - I suspect this may be one of those annoying images that seem familiar but you just can't put your finger on it. Only it's got to be somewhere between Poznan, Pécs and Plovdiv, so thinking caps on! (Could there be a clue there?)
A golden opportunity of fame, fortune and fabulous prize (see below for proof) awaits the winner, drawn out of the EU-conform black wooly hat in a week or so's time. Please send a message off the site or an email with your genius answers :)
As for the KesterTester 31 - this produced an impressive number of entries, probably a record, even if these were mostly intelligent guesses.
Actually - I'll update this later tonight, as a) I've realised I missed a group of regulars off the email list - so I've sent them details with an hour or two to still make and entry, and b) there is someone in town I'm meeting who can have the inestimable honour of doing the draw.
UPDATE: The die is cast, the deed is done, and the draw is drawn. None of the BBC, Deutsche Welle or CNN were flexible enough to change their plans and record it, but the first ever KesterTester draw by a hand outside the Competition Committee circle was executed this evening, and Mr Steven Fisher dipped into the EU-approved, black wooly hat in District II at 19.30 and drew out .... number 5.
But before the grand announcement, just to mention it that I think this attracted a record number of correct entries - eight - with about as many near misses. (Not so sure about Nyiregyhaza though, Greg? I can't remember it being that industrially impressive.)
In the meantime, Frank Hegedus also suggested the town of Gary, Indiana, as the US equivalent to Consett. He added that "growing up in a similarly dreary, industrial-era town along Lake Michigan, Muskegon, I did not realise the sky was blue until we moved away. I just thought it was naturally pink. "I am afraid I do not know where your picture was taken," proffered Ajka...? Devecser...? Ózd...?
But you are only allowed one, Frank, so .... Ajka is your suggestion then.
Among the other popular entries were Diósgyőr/Miskolc, Stálinváros/Dunaújváros and one, perhaps two for Salgótarján.
The only other location that I could think of that might just fit the bill was Győr , that is the Rába factory - but even though that is a massive site, it surely hasn't got anything like the chimneys (or smokestacks as our American cousins would say) as in this photo. Indeed, I can't imagine what they were all for. It's almost as if there were a 5-year plan in the 1950s simply to build chimneys - not that anyone knew what they were for, just the plan spelled it out - build smokestacks.
Well, among those who did not win, but deserve a mention, were David McCall (always the bridesmaid, never the bride David it seems when it comes to KesterTesters) who got the right answer (but the wrong draw number) and Alan Sutton, who had a wonderful tale to tell which went like this:
"Looks to me like Ózd and the factory will be Ózdi Ácelmü.
"I gave an organ recital there in 1990 in the Lutheran Church, which I remember was absolutely packed, and then afterwards there was a reception in a building with some kind of glorious name like the Lenin Cultural Centre or something similar.
"The smoke was still belching out of those chimneys in 1990.
"The journey to Ozd was hilarious as we went in a Polski Fiat which had very dodgy brakes, and I do remember somewhere near Pászto the driver was using the handbrake to slow the car while going down a hill. Another sign of the times - the Lutheran pastor was a woman and it was the first time I had seen a female priest (the Anglicans didn't have them then)."
I have cut out two paragraphs as they may be sensitive, and I feel I need Alan's permission to publish them.
The photo is, indeed, of Ózd, and congratulations to all who got it right. And funnily enough, just yesterday I was talking to someone for a story and she came up with an example from Ózd. Sad to say, but it really is on the list for one of the most disadvantaged municipalities in Hungary, stuck as it is on the border with Slovakia (with nothing on the other side) and with poor links to the Hungarian hinterland. Anyway, before we give the name of the esteemed winner - take a look at this - the first prize for the previous KesterTester, delivered to my door by Sándor Németh, a very gracious winner who related how he struggled through the crowds, including many hysterical teenage girls desperate to catch a glimpse of a KesterTester winner, to claim his award and deliver FOUR cans of beer to me. Tuesday, I think it was. Here they are:
OK - so now for the big moment - the proud winner of KesterTester 31, with the answer:
"Hi KJ, I guess the pic is Ózd, as I imagine it was the first place to suffer from unemployment."
and listed as number 5 is (once again) - Mr Thomas Chilton (who must owe me at least 8 beers by now).
Congratulations Mr Chils. Now what about KT 32?
I wish everyone a safe and happy Easter.