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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blushing British Bollards

They might have been called "Hore Beacons" if it were not for the eccentric trait of the British aristocracy in adopting "double-barrelled" surnames.

An insurance company manager in Devon, England called Jacob Isaac Belisha and his wife Elizabeth became the parents of a man who name is immortal throughout Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Jacob passed away a year after the birth of his son Leslie. Elizabeth remarried. Her new husband was Sir Adair Hore and they adopted the surname Hore-Belisha.

Half Famous
Leslie went onto a political career marred by prejudice about his Jewish heritage. But his name, well at least fifty percent of it, will live on forever.

Leslie, you see, is the inventor of the "Belisha Beacon". These blushing bollards can be found at either end of a "zebra crossing" (okay, that's another blog post).

The Blushing Baron Meets the One-Eyed Dutchman
Belisha Beacons are intended to attract the attention of motorists to the location of a pedestrian crossing. But of course the 1st Baron Hore-Belisha couldn't have anticipated competition from the One-Eyed Dutchman called a Gatsometer.

Nowadays, British motorists have their eyes firmly fixed on their speedometers to avoid being shot in the back by the ubiquitous, mindless, robot speed cameras.

Pedestrians crossing the road have been relegated to the status of collateral casualties in the war against helpless British motorists. Leslie, 1st Baron Hore-Belisha, would have turned bright orange at the very thought of it.

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