• Kester Eddy

Eastern Europe Personified: Staring at the Wall under Socialist-Realist Man

Updated: Jul 24

KesterTester79 - It was a grey, grim Sunday afternoon in a grim location - But where? (Updated with extra clues.)

Photo: I'm not sure why this gent is looking at the wall, although it was a bit of a depressing location, but maybe the telephoto lens has distorted the perspective to give a false impression. I can't remember, to be honest. The red stars were still around, but they were coming down at this time, November, 1989.


Not sure what extra clues I can give for this piccie if it proves too difficult, but I expect I'll think of something. If you think you know the answer, please contact via an email of the site messaging system with KT79 in the text, so I don't miss your entry.


And don't forget last week's piccie - just where is that guzzling statue in his housing estate? I have added a bunch of clues to help you, as it has proved rather difficult.


Have a good week - let's hope the temperatures over the next few days are not a repeat of last week.


UPDATE - Extra Clues

This is obviously a tough one - nobody's got it yet. OK, this town was one of the first to suffer high unemployment in Hungary as the local factories closed down. This was not in the 90s, but already in the late 1980s. In fact, according to one article by (I think) Nick Thorpe, later of the BBC but then in The Independent newspaper, this town had the first 'job centre' in the Hungary. This was in 1988 or 89. (In the communist era, you were expected to find a job for yourself, and it was illegal to be unemployed for any length of time. )


The town still has an above average unemployment rate.


Gosh, what else can be said without giving it away? Hmmm. The last time I was there was in the summer of, I think 2003, and I have to say it looked and felt a whole lot better than 14 years previously. I had joined a birdwatching trip led by local bird expert Gerard Gorman, and once outside the town bird life was quite spectacular, including beeeaters (a most exotic species). Doesn't help much though, does it?


It's 240 kilometres distant from Budapest by rail. Yes, you can get there by train - with one change it usually takes 3 hrs 20 minutes, so that's an average speed of 72 kmph - or 45 mph. Not a very direct route though.


OK, and from the municipal website, it has a mayor from the Jobbik party. I think that's yer lot.


UPDATE: Contestants and Worthy Winner! Right, I've got round to sorting this one out. Alan Sutton is always one to have a crack at a KesterTester, and wrote in: “Well all those clues it sounds like Sátoráljaújhély but I did not think that had the worst unemployment rate in Hungary. Tiszavasvári was pretty grim as was Tiszaújvaros (Leninvaros) but those are less than 240 km from Budapest. Surely the man looking at the wall is having a pee?” Re the last point: This town was down at heel, for sure, Alan, but I don't think its good citizens had got to that sort of level, well, not in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon anyway. I have a suspicion it was a bus stop or some such nearby. Also, I'm not sure if it was/still is the worst unemployment rate, Alan, but the town in the tester has been notorious for high unemployment for many a year. I know Sátoráljaújhély has had it bad too since 1990 (not a bad guess, BTW), but I didn't think Tiszaújvaros was ever particularly hit? It was, of course, largely created in the 50s and 60s, and it was definitely very industrial, but I am under the impression that TVK has maintained employment for the majority of the population, even in the rough 90s. Anyway, you are there or thereabouts, but … … next in was Tom Chilton. “The answer to the latest KT is Ózd. It was the clues what done it - the clincher being checking the train timetable on Elvira. BTW I wonder why MÁV chose Elvira as the name of their travel info website? The name has strong associations for elderly arty types like me,” wrote the bashful, modest Tom. Yes, I put in the distance by rail (at least on the current network) as a kind of clue, but you had to know what you were doing with that distance, as it wouldn't appear to be so far away at first sight of the map. (You have to go a long way round via Miskolc if going by rail today, you see.) Steve Anthony wrote in, helpfully saying: “The statue on wall is in Ozd. Apparently a sculpture from 1950 by Nagymengyi András, on wall of old factory building. Lots more info here [in Hungarian]: https://www.kozterkep.hu/7461/vasmunkas” I hadn't realised it was so famous Steve – thanks for that! Zsolt Maroti was equally informative. “The town is Ózd. Zs - PS: The mayor, Dávid Janiczak, is not Jobbik anymore but independent, representing the Ózdiakért és Ózdért Egyesület.” Ah, he's fallen out with New Jobbik, perhaps? I guess the next question is which side has he fallen on? :) Steven Nelson joined the party too. “That's a tough one! It looks a little bit like András Nagymengyi's 4.5-meter-tall, 1950 "Ironworker" relief on Gyár út in Ózd. But that's just a wild guess! Hope you're doing great,” Not such a wild guess, Steven – well, it might have been, but it's also spot on. (I must say, I'm impressed with the depth of knowledge about Hungary that Perspectives' readers have.) David McCall was being at his most respectful best (but it won't get you any extra clues, David!), writing in: “My dear Kester, I suspect that the wall on display in front of the man (who appears to perhaps be preparing to relieve himself) was removed/demolished before I took my first trip to this city (when the new GE plant was being built), but from your clues it is clear to me that the city is Ozd!” I think it's a protected piece of art, David – I think there is a good chance it is still there. Finally, the last of half-a-dozen correct entries came from Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann, who gave me a telling off. “What's the drill here, summer fatigue or testing squared? You used the Nick Thorpe clue in a previous KT (30 or 31) for which the answer was Ózd.” Sorry, Hubert – I'd forgotten that. Yes, blame the heat, please! “To be precise, this is the wall of the Ózdi Acel Muvek, but no glory and no claim to the woolly hat (a blessing in this heat anyway).” But into the Woolley hat you must go, Hubert, or Brussels may well cancel my Tester licence or in some way sanction me most severely. So ….. here you go and the winning number in the draw is …. 5! Which is Oregon's favourite mayor, David McCall! Gosh, David – I suspect the wave of selfie demands has only just subsided from your last KT triumph and allowed you freedom of your own pavements. Now it's all going to be repeated again. As for the beers, they must be building up no end, no wonder the Annheuser-Busch share price is on the rise! You'll have to pay for excess luggage on your next flight over here at this rate :) OK, congratulations to you and all who 'had a go' – have a great week, and don't forget there are still two 'live' KesterTesters still up! I'll put some new clues up for the factor sign in a day or two!


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