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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Monday, December 08, 2008

Man of Mystery

There is a statue of a one-legged swimmer - or, possibly, diver - outside Southport's ironically-named "Funland".

I took this photograph of him.

I thought it would be easy to find out his identity.

I was wrong.

I have exhausted every combination of search terms I can think of, but Google is giving me nothing. (Apart from telling me that there is a bronze statue of Queen Victoria and one of Red Rum in Southport. But I knew that.)

If you know - or can find out - who he is, please put me out of my misery and tell me.

(Actually, that should probably read, "Please put me out of my misery by telling me". It would be a bit bloody mean not to tell me until after you'd put me out of my misery. Particularly if you had taunted me with the fact that you knew beforehand...)

The Editor


Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

OK, I'll tell you, but I can't put you out of your misery.

I believe that this is the towering sculpture of Professor Gadsby, a one legged diver who used to entertain the crowds by diving into the sea from the end of the pier, mentioned here.

10:20 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

Professor Gadsby, the one legged pier diver.

10:40 pm  
Anonymous JackP said...

It's Professor Gadsby, Lady B.

At least, that's what The Commission for Art and the Built Environment tells me.

10:59 pm  
Anonymous JackP said...

Oh, and for what it's worth, the combination of search terms that worked for me was:

southport pier diver one leg

...and hey presto, it was the first result.

11:02 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

My misery is relieved: thank you.

That'll teach me to search under "amputee", rather than "one leg"... (It never occurred to me to search under "one leg", as it happens.)

According to this article from the Southport Reporter, he was "well-known for diving into a sea of flames".

So it would seem that Professor Gadsby was, quite literally, an end of the pier attraction.

Oh dear: and there was me hoping he might have been a famous paralympic athlete :-(

6:36 am  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Actually, I just searched in Alta Vista for southport sculpture diver, it gave me a gallery, 2 news articles and then the Prof. Gadsby piece.

Apparently, there were many similar end-of-pier entertainers, although I think Prof. Gadsby's unipedal performance may have been a USP. They all called themselves "Professor".

Anyway, you've given me a great idea for my next history project!

12:38 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Am I to conclude from this that Google is no longer the king of all search engines?!??

I may have to go and lie down in a darkened room now...

12:43 pm  
Anonymous Andrea S. said...

Actually, I believe Alta Vista is *older* than google. Or at least, that (and I think yahoo.com) is what I used as a search engine before I had even heard of google.

As I recall, my first exposure to google was when I was teaching a university class some years ago. I received a student paper that I thought might be plagiarized (the writing style wasn't consistent throughout the paper itself, and was not consistent with the writing style I had seen in in-class essay exams from the student). I had only partial success finding the source(s) of the plagarized text through altavista.com and yahoo.com, so I went to the university library to see if they could help me further. The librarian told me that most students were now using google.com. And sure enough, once I plugged in a few phrases from various spots throughout the paper into google.com, I was able to quickly track down where they had been taken from.

The Internet makes it easier for students to cheat ... but also easier for teachers to catch them at it.

I do hope that your quiet lie-down in a darkened room is soothing for you.

3:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Professor Gadsby.

Any fule kno that!

PS Anyone diving off Southport Pier these days is likely to get more than they bargained for (or rather, less)

12:03 pm  

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