Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Don't believe everything you read

Towards the end of last week I picked up a copy of our "freebie" newspaper, the instantly forgettable "Walton and Weybridge Informer". You know, the weekly that is pushed through your front door whether you want it or not. 90% of the newspaper is made up of adverts, and most of the stories are truncated so that if you are really interested you have to read the full story in the sister newspaper, the Surrey Herald (75p).

Now the reason I mention this is that, on the back page, there was a picture from a Chertsey Town match. In one of my very earliest posts (24th August) you may recall that I was bemoaning how little (if any) coverage Chertsey Town get in the local press. You would be excused for believing that the town did not have a football team. The back page of the "Informer" is usually devoted to Esher Rugby Club. To have a picture from a Chertsey Town match was, to say the least, unusual.

There was no accompanying report with it, only the picture. The picture caption read:

"Scott Edgar (right) rolls in Chertsey's third goal in Saturday's 3-0 FA Cup win against Erith".

Now, as you know, Chertsey were eliminated from the FA Cup at Sittingbourne on 1st September in the Preliminary Round after beating Wick in the Extra Preliminary Round. So to see a picture from their FA Cup triumph (in October) against Erith Town was all rather... baffling?

An obvious error, but it got me thinking.

I wonder how many people believe Chertsey are still in the FA Cup? There may well be a small group of Chertsey fans who are walking around town revelling in Chertsey's greatest ever FA Cup run. They may need expert help; the emotional trauma of the truth may be too much to bear. It saddens me just to think of it.

This error now makes me question the accuracy of the local paper's BIG news stories. Did the "Friend's of Chertsey Library" really raise £13.78 at their coffee morning, with cakes made by Ethel and Mavis? Did callous thieves really steal the life size paper mache model of Bruce Forsyth from the local craft shop. The same paper mache model that was found two days later balanced precariously atop the church flag pole. Was Chesney Hawkes really the guest of honour at the Black Cherry Fair? How do I know that any of this is true? It may well all have been utter fabrication or, at best, unmitigated errors.

Everything I once believed in I must now question. My whole value system is in tatters. I'm going to write a letter of complaint to the editor. No doubt they will only print part of it.

So it just goes to show, don't believe everything you read.

Except this blog. Obviously.

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