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Poles Apart and All Around

More Than a Few Totem Poles to be Found Around

News of the 2006 Prestoungrange Totems has attracted widespread curiosity ... and more! Timber merchants in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire and the Elvingston Science Research Centre close by in East Lothian are now both known to be a long way ahead of any of our plans in the Pans!

The pole in Berkhamsted stands on the Grand Union Canal in the gardens of what is now Alsford Wharf, a modern apartment building. Its made of Canadian red cedar as we know it should be; and more than 30 years old now. But the clue as to why it is there lies in the family name Alsford whose timber wharf it was for many a year. And the tale of how it came to be carved is told in print by John Tearle.

Its pedigree is quite magnificent having been carved in Thunderbird Park under the supervision of the legendary Mungo Martin, Chief of the Kwakiuti Indians who live in the north of Vancouver Island. And despite that 'Thunderbird' Park connection, the bird in Berkhamsted is a Raven as our's shall be in the Pans.

Photographs taken by the Grand Union when Prestoungrange and Lady Prestoungrange went visiting are shown below.

Click to enlarge all images

The Elvingston Pole

Janice Simpson, who created the totem pole at Elvingston Science Centre By Gladsmuir in East Lothian, is a nostalgic American with totem memories. It was her husband David who prevailed upon her to come and dwell amongst us. The pole she created is topped with the mythical Thunderbird and carries symbols of animals dear to her heart. Its obverse side presents an owl such as inhabits Elvingston Hall's magnificent parklands. Janice Simpson is pictured below with her pole and a very much alive dog related to the coyotes.

Published Date: July 8th 2005

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