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Carry on up the Khyber Pass

26 Feb

Details, details … This little putto romping around with a sickle is according everything I can find an allegory of plenty or of Summer; take your pick. (I’m guessing that there are more similar putti in this series representing the other seasons but we only have the one that I know of.) It is situated in East Park’s Khyber Pass where a bright stainless steel plaque close by informs us that “This “Folly” was originally the site of a copy of an Arab doorway from Zanzibar, used at the entrance to the East African Pavilion at the British Empire Exhibition held in 1928, and later erected in East Park in 1930.” Which is all fine except the the British Empire Exhibition was held in 1924 but that’s a mere detail compared to the claim that the folly was actually built in 1885-88 to commemorate the ‘capture’ (I use the word loosely) of the Khyber Pass by the British Army in the second Afghan War (see here for example). Now I have written in the past that the folly was built from bits of the old Tudor garrison that stood at the mouth of the river Hull. So what’s going on? Well I think there’s a pinch of truth in all these tales. Certainly a turret from the garrison was part of the folly but was moved to Victoria dock. The original Victorian folly must have been added to in the late 1920’s as there was an Arab doorway in the past which has gone who knows where?
Anyhow here’s what that East African Pavilion looked like back in 1924 in Wembley when the sun did not set on the British Folly, sorry Empire.

And here’s the informative plaque

Ooopsy by Hull City Council
The weekend in black and white is here.