network news: where's wally? 1 2 3 4


a personal account of a multiple-use-name entanglement

by Nigel Ayers

wally 1 adj: Scot archaic 1. fine, pleasing or splendid 2. robust or strong (C16: of obscure origin)

wally 2 adj: central Scot dialect. l. made of china: a wally dog; a wally vase 2. lined with ceramic tiles; a wall close - (from obscure dialect Wallow faded, adjectival use of wallow to fade, from Old English wealwan).

Wally lies slang. a stupid person. (C20: shortened form of the given name Walter).

Wallies pl. n. Central Scot dialect. false teeth; dentures.

Collins Dictionary of the English Language, 1986

No-one really knows why the vast Stonehenge complex of megaliths and earth mounds was erected on Salisbury Plain. However, in this century, the idea that the sarsen stone circle was aligned with the Midsummer solstice (whether it is true or not) has become more or less common knowledge. Following the Second World War, thousands of people gathered every summer at Stonehenge to celebrate and to watch the solstice sunrise. As well as a large body of revellers, a party from a druidical organisation also carried out its own, rather more pious, ceremonies. In the 1950s the informal gatherings were joined by skiffle groups.

In 1974, a small Free Festival was also organised alongside Stonehenge, where an obscure electronic noise band named Zorch (1) gave a performance through a dodgy PA system. A group of around thirty people stayed on after the festival and pitched camp in a field next to the stone circle. They lived communally in tents, a rickety polythene-covered geodesic dome and a small fluorescent painted tipi. It was an open camp, inspired by a diversity of wild ideas, but with the common purpose of discovering the relevance of this ancient mysterious place by the physical experience of spending a lot of time there. The Department of the Environment and the National Trust landowners set out to evict them. Such was the law in those days, the eviction process involved seeking a High Court injunction on named individuals. Aware of this potential legal loophole the occupants decided to exploit it and so they all adopted the one name of `Wally'.

The case made the front pages of national press and TV when the Wallies turned up at the London court in fancy dress and fed the journalists with some wacky material to fill their column inches.

A strange hippie cult calling themselves 'Wallies' claim God told them to camp at Stonehenge. The Wallies of Wiltshire turned up in force at the High Court today. There was Kris Wally, Alan Wally, Fritz Wally, Sir Walter Wally, Wally Egypt and a few other wandering Wallys. The sober calm of the High Court was shattered as the Wallies of Stonehenge sought justice. A lady Wally called Egypt with bare feet and bells on her ankles blew soap bubbles in the rarefied legal air and knelt to meditate. Sir Walter Wally wore a theatrical Elizabethan doublet with blue jeans and spoke of peace and equality and hot dogs. Kevin Wally chain-smoked through a grotesque mask and gave the victory sign to embarrassed pin-striped lawyers. And tartan-blanketed Kris Wally - "My mates built Stonehenge" - climbed a lamp-post in the Strand outside the Law Courts and stopped bemused tourists in their tracks. The Wallies (motto `Everyone's a Wally: Everyday's a Sun Day') - made the pilgrimage to the High Court to defend what was their squatter right to camp on Stonehenge. . . the Department of the Environment is bringing an action in the High Court to evict the Wallies from the meadow, a quarter of a mile from the sarsen circle of standing stones, which is held by the National Trust on behalf of the nation. The document, delivered by the Department to the camp is a masterpiece of po-faced humour, addressed to "one known as Arthur Wally, another known as Philip Wally, another known as Ron Wally and four others each known as Wally". For instance, paragraph seven begins resoundingly: "There were four male adults in the tent and I asked each one in turn his name. Each replied `I'm Wally"'. There are a soft core of about two dozen, peace-loving, sun worshipping Wallies - including Wally Woof the mongrel dog. Hitch-hikers thumbing their way through Wiltshire from Israel, North America, France, Germany and Scotland have swollen their numbers. Egypt Wally wouldn't say exactly where she was from - only that she was born 12,870 years ago in the cosmic sun and had a certain affinity with white negative. Last night they were squatting on the grass and meditating on the news.

The Times, August 13th 1974

The Court found in favour of the Department of the Environment, so the Wallies moved their camp approximately six feet away to a stretch of common land. It was there I joined them. I left the wind-swept Salisbury Plain a few weeks later with head lice and a bad cough. The camp, known as Fort Wally, remained in place until after the Winter Solstice.

The name `Wally' had come from an early seventies festival in-joke, when the call `Wally!' and `Where's Wally?' would go round at nightfall. It may have been the name of a lost sound engineer at the first Glastonbury festival, or a lost dog at the 1969 Isle of Wight festival. There have been other suggestions (2) for its origins, but it was a regular shout at almost any festival event.

In the autumn of 1974, an article by the Wallies appeared in the `underground' magazine Maya.

I look to the revolution to rename every citizen with one sound and the composite name of all citizens to be the analog of the deepest terrestrial vibration so that when we are all called we will all hear. Since Midsummer's day of this year, the year of the Tiger, 30 people have been living on and around Stonehenge, all answering to the name of Wally. Dancing, frolicking, acting out the Gospel of Free using Stonehenge as a cosmic wristwatch with domes and dogs, and horses, and music and troubadour costumes, and giant shirts embroidered with the Eye of Horus. At the beginning of the French revolution there was a movement known as the JACQUERIE in which everyone called themselves Jacques.
Your name is our mantra. Eskimoes believing in the Seven Ages Of Man that one changes as is known, totally, every 7 years, have a different name every 7 years. The Canadian Government, who, as all Governments, try to undermine the recording angel, by keeping tabs on people for no reason, are confused. How can a baby mean Priscilla, or Sebastian, or Donald... maybe one only hits the mantra by which one is known for a few seconds. One can only be known by God.
How can one own land? The Indians roared with laughter when the first white man arrived in the North Indies and offered the Indians gold in exchange for their land. The Indians wandered all over it, and thought it as an earthly sky. How much is a cloud worth? But when the saw what whitey was up to they became embittered. Shambala, the founder of the Dreamer Religion said: "The white man drives stakes into My mother s heart, he cuts her hair, he slashes open her womb, before she is ready to give him her fruit"
Sons of the Sun, the Wallys, are letting the mysteries of Stonehenge work through them, despite the barbed wire that surrounds it, despite the army bases, and despite the stale nets of secular legalisms.
Freedom is a career.

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