THAT EXCELLENT guardian of our past, the Hackney Society, has launched a campaign to save a grim reminder of a time when punishment was primitive.
In the 1800s this pillory – OK, let’s use the more brutal term, the whipping post – stood near St John-at-Hackney not far from the tower pictured at top, until 1999, when vandals had a go at it.
Some people might wish the vandals had been apprehended and jammed in the whipping post. Others might want to see council officers put there, because the supposed safekeeping comprised Groundwork’s depositing the pillory in the garden behind Groundwork’s Lower Clapton Road offices.
The Hackney Society’s Sean Gubbins says there pillories “remain there, rotting”.
With the help of other local history-lovers, the society has at least got hold of a tarpaulin to keep the rain off the pillory and it has obtained restoration-and-conservation cost estimates.
Two problems: (1) where to dry the whipping post so it is in a state to be restored and (2) who owns it, the Church of England or Hackney council?
The answer to both could be Hackney council but bureaucratic impasses are preventing answers’ emerging. Meanwhile, the whipping post deteriorates.
David Altheer 260116
* Anyone who can offer a temporary refuge for the whipping post should contact email@example.com
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* Interest declaration: David Altheer is a Hackney Society member.
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