Friday, April 04, 2008

I'm Chevy Chase And You're Not

For fear of doing a non-political entry (and, indeed, for fear of tilting at windmills), I find myself ensconced in a little saga I call, "Why I'm A Researcher And You're Not"...

With FA Cup semi-final weekend upcoming, everybody here in Cardiff is trying to get a piece of the "first time in 81 years" buzz. So it was entirely unsurprising to see the National Library of Wales joining in, with the release of what they claim is a cine film of the 1927 FA Cup winning Cardiff City side parading the cup in Rhayader, Powys.

Lo and behold, we do indeed find a film of a man on a flatbed lorry displaying no less than two trophies;

Followed by a nice close-up of the larger trophy;

All of which is fine, except that as the 35th ranked quizzer in the country and a sports specialist, I know full well that the current trophy of the FA Cup was designed in 1911 by Messrs Fattorini and Sons, Bradford and has been used ever since, for example in this photo of the 1927 Cardiff City team after their victory (courtesy of Cardiff Central Library);

Spotted the problem yet? Now, it is possible that the smaller trophy on the left in the film is the original design, but that trophy was last used in 1910 and then presented to FA President, Lord Kinnaird.

So you have to ask yourself; if the film-maker's recollection is correct and this is the 1927 team, why on Earth would they be in possession of a trophy that hadn't been used for 17 years, and it his recollection isn't correct, why on Earth did no-one at the National Library check that the trophy in the film was actually the one they were claiming it was?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No Metaphors To Declare

It takes a peculiarly British sense of humour to make April Fools Day the day on which most major changes to government services come into effect. This year's main event is of course the "National" Travel Pass for elderly and disabled passengers in England, something that has kicked up something of a storm on this side of...

Well, what exactly? Offa's Dyke is the traditional metaphor, but recently our politicians have been trialling something a little more Churchillian. Not that they don't have a point, mind you; between restricted commissioning of specialist health services and failure of joined-up thinking along the border, the raising of the drawbridge has loomed large in the policy of successive governments.

But what to call this thin red line from Shotton, on the Dee, to Chepstow, on the Wye? Darren Millar took the first shot from the Conservative benches, calling it a "slate curtain" in the Assembly. Today Kirsty Williams returns fire for us with a
"daffodil curtain" for bus users.

I'm sure there are more variants to be found, but I must admit to rather liking the daffodil idea; after all, West Gloucestershire is famed for its daffodil production and, as a man of Gloucester, I know that ancient law says that any man approaching the city from the west on a market day is presumed to be Welsh and may be shot with impunity...