T3:3/8 Hatfield to Groombridge

This is the third of eight disks in the T3 series, “The Eight Ages of Man”. It’s not a very detailed picture, but now we can finally address the problem of matching the 8 ages of the disks to the 7 ages of the original Shakespeare verse.

Flickr gregory williams hartfield groombridge t3 3 8

(Image: © Copyright Gregory Williams (Flickr) and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Here are the first three ages, according to the Bard:

      At first the infant, 
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel 
And shining morning face, creeping like snail 
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, 
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.

So we have:

1 Infant

2 Schoolboy

3 Lover

And here are the first four disks:

1 T3:1/8 — the Infant

2 T3:2/8 — the Baby?

3 T3:3/8 — this disk — the School attendee

4 T3:4/8 — the Lovers

So the designer has inserted a school age disk into the sequence, in order to get a series of 8. And to appeal to the youthful end of the cycle network users. Good plan!

I can discern a few details that match a school attendee. First, conspicuous at the top is the famous triangular road sign depicting two children, designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert.

Children crossing

Margaret Calvert based the girl in the picture on a picture of herself. She apparently didn’t like the elitist grammar school overtones of the earlier sign, which featured a boy wearing a cap and carrying a satchel:

“There was a different attitude to schooling coming in and I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to turn it around and have a girl leading a small boy.”

I can’t make out much more detail on the disk, but I can see a pocket calculator, and a pot of pens and pencils.

As for the text, we can decode this using the key to the cipher.

On the left, we have:

a i m s h o o t s

On the right:

e n t r o p y  ' s

On the bottom:

e , s e k g h t o

which isn’t sensible, but if the symbols are viewed upside down, they can be read as:

e ’ s e i g h t p

which looks very like the “time’s eight piece cage” bit again, from the second disk in the series.

If you can find or take a better photograph of this disk, please submit it, so that we can decode more of the graphics.


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