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Shurely shome mistkae …?

The Lawd knows that I shouldn’t be one to gloat: this is a classic case of ‘pot calling the kettle black’ because I’m the worst proof-reader I know.

I don’t even call myself a wordsmith but the fact is that I’ve been a fan of scribbling, typing and tapping stuff out since I was a small boy way back – probably before most of you were born. However, yesterday I came across a classic example of a basic cock-up and feel sufficiently emboldened to share it with Rusters today.

Let me expand.

Yesterday I had a lunch engagement in Richmond in the south-west area of London. Arriving about thirty minutes early and with nothing particular to occupy myself in the interim I took a local ‘feature’ publication – The Richmond Magazine – from a side-table and began flicking through it as I sipped a restorative gin and tonic whilst awaiting my ‘date’.

Suddenly I came across a full page advertisement that drew my attention.

It had been placed by the well-known St Edwards, Oxford public school and the thrust behind the exercise (presumably) was the notion that stout, wealthy and intelligent locals in the Richmond area might like to be reminded that St Edwards existed.

Furthermore – as proof of how accessible the school really was, this in a context where some might ordinarily think that Oxford was too far away and impractical a location at which to further the educational development and upbringing of their little Johnny or Algernon – it pointed out that it runs a bus service from parts of London via which the object of their affections might reach the school on a regular basis.

So far, so good – or so one might think.

However, this is reckoning without the intervention – possibly by omission, given that to which I am going to draw your attention – of somebody with such responsibility at the school, or at any advertising agency or PR company that it had employed for the purpose of delivering the project to its completion … and just possibly also whomever within the magazine’s advertising sales team was administering the deal.

I would now like to draw Rusters’ attention to the detail of the advertisement (see right):

Specifically the spelling of the word “Kensington“.

I have to admit that yesterday, sitting at my lunch table, a broad smile spread across my face the moment I first saw it.

When I was a public school boy, about a hundred years ago, one of our regular school match opponents in every sport we played was Teddies. It was in rugby and hockey that I can still recall the encounters we played against them – they were always tough, aggressive, blood and thunder, ‘no quarter asked or given’ affairs.

I therefore have to confess that – to this ungracious, surly, unworthy and malicious lout – the act of discovering this minor horlicks perpetrated by a formerly arch-rival educational establishment caused a warm feeling of combined triumph and glee to course through my veins.

There’s nothing more calculated to undermine a reputation, or indeed the perceived excellence, of an educational establishment that to make a slip up of this nature.

All I can say is “Way to go, chaps!” (from one of your old foes) …





About Guy Danaway

Guy Danaway and his family live on the outskirts of Rugby. He is chairman of a small engineering company and has been a keen club cyclist for many years. He has edited Cycling Weekly since 1984 and is a regular contributor to the media on cycling issues. More Posts