The History Maintenance Commission have been investigating the impact on history and our current status if Horatio Nelson, the one armed and one eyed British naval hero, missed the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 to attend a Health Benefits Tribunal. In a previous release of research findings it was surmized that a sculpture of the town of Nelson in Lancashire, England would sit atop the famous column in, what we currently know as, Trafalgar Square and the myriad possibilities and pitfalls of that were aired for public scrutiny. This new probe investigates the concept that the column would still be constructed but with something else substituting for the absent Nelson.
Mortimore Hackpot, spokesperson for the HMC in NYC, was at pains to stress that basically anything could occupy that prestigious peak position in London.
‘For the sake of this release, we have concentrated upon the strong probability that the sculptor of Nelson’s statue, Edward Hodges Baily, would likely be given the opportunity to choose what frequents the top of the column,’ Hackpot explained, ‘and the likelihood would be that he would choose to immortalize women’s breasts from that elevated perch. In which case our investigations reached the conclusion that the powers that be would refuse to endorse Baily’s creation and make the top of the giant column vacant. Then, it naturally follows with land in central London available only at a premium, they would rent the space out to, if one excuses the pun, to the highest bidder.’
So who was Edward Hodges Baily (apart from what we have managed to establish that he was the sculptor of the statue of Horatio Nelson that stands on the column of his name) and why are the HMC convinced that given free reign he would have chosen to chisel a giant pair of bosoms to bless the column in a world in which Nelson missed the Battle of Trafalgar?
EDWARD HODGES BAILY……was born in 1788, appropriately enough for someone who became a lover of busts, in the city of Bristol. (For those not conversant with the nuances of Cockney Slang, Bristols – short for Bristol City’s – computes to the part of the female anatomy that rhymes with that. His father was a celebrated carver of figureheads for ships. Busty mermaids were his speciality and the Hodges Baily home was festooned with examples of these voluptuous and erotic carvings. As a consequence Baily became a strong advocate of feeding bottled milk to babies to avoid them getting splinters.
In 1795, Baily was sent away to boarding school where he immediately felt homesick. This was deemed an improvement on home itself where he usually felt seasick. At school Eddie displayed a keen awareness of figures, but not the mathematical variety. He made very convincing wax busts of famous women. So good were they that he was issued with several challenges to duels at dawn by irate husbands who believed he had obtained intimate knowledge of their wives that usually they weren’t even privy to. They only began to suspect the offending party was a schoolboy when his choice of weapon was revealed to be a catapult.
After leaving education, Baily was able to concentrate upon the female bust full-time. He opened a successful studio and was able to make a good living from his art. However, he came a cropper when he undertook a large commission on behalf of the Royal Family. Unfortunately, the Prince Regent had no intention of paying for it. Consequently, Hodges Baily went massively into debt and his collection of female busts fell into the hands of the receivers. It was thought that the receivers would never relinquish their grasp of these assets. The Government thought it was confusing for a creator of busts to go bust, so ordered Hodges Baily to declare that his business had gone ‘Tits Up’ instead.
This is basically the case that the HMC has for concluding that Edward Hodges Baily, left to his own devices, would place a giant bust of a woman upon the top of what would’ve been Nelson’s column. It is a compelling argument that brooks no disagreement.
So what of the likely outcome the History Maintenance Commission predicts will occur in terms of the top of the column being available to hire from 1843 onwards? Here follows details of some of those the HMC forecasts will rent the space at the top of the giant column:
1844 – The Duke of Wellington – It quickly becomes known as The Duke of Wellington Column, unfortunately he has to quit his perch there as it leads to confusion with his weekly articles in The Daily Herald of the same name.
1859 – Charles Darwin – Upon publication of The Origin of Species its author Charles Darwin immediately seeks sanctuary on top the huge column as it’s out of reach of those wishing to pelt him with rotten fruit and worse for revealing that humans are descended from apes. It also adds compelling evidence to his argument because he doesn’t use any ladders to ascend the 161 foot column!
1875 – The Metropolitan Police – The Met use the top of the column as an early form of eye in the sky on deviant behaviour on their patch (presaging the helicopter by decades) albeit a static one. Criminals are promised more lenient sentences if they commit crimes within viewing range of the elevated police as an inducement.
1894 – Great Ormond Street Hospital – The column becomes the isolation ward of the hospital.
1897 – Radio Enthusiast Michael Rowe – Hires the column in the hope of picking up Marconi’s first ever broadcast from Flat Holm Island in The Bristol Channel over 100 miles away via radio waves on a set that cost him an absolute bomb at Curry’s.
1922 – Nancy Mitford – Hired by the parents of the debutante Nancy Mitford on the occasion of her 18thbp birthday to introduce her to high society.
1936 – Tourists – Used by tourists, one at a time, to gain a splendid vantage point of the capital city. Due to its shape it becomes known as The London I.
1969 – NASA – Conspiracy Theorists believe that Apollo 11’s Eagle Lunar Module really lands on top of the column and not the surface of the Moon.
2020 – Ronald Berkins – Friends of Ronald Berkins think he is taking Social Distancing to extremes when he hires the top of the column during the Covid 19.
Categories: Horatio Nelson