Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I went to my local pub yesterday, and I was surprised to see Alex and Val, two of the ladies who are normally to be seen behind the bar, striding down the road away from the pub. I feared a falling-out had happened, but they had in fact gone to look at the 'new pub' in the village. The village is a picturesque and charming little enclave near the Thames, with a 14th Century church, a manor house, and suchlike, and it is a favourite with TV crews. Over the Bank Holiday a house near the church had been dressed up as a pub with fake signs, a hastily-created pub garden, and a solid-looking statue that turned out to be made of fibreglass. By this afternoon it was as if nothing had ever happened.
Good luck to the people who made a bit of money for the use of their house. Good luck to the TV company for finding such a (nearly) authentic location.
But it did give me pause for thought about the reliability of even eyewitness evidence. Anyone who saw the place on Saturday would have been understandably sure that this was a village pub by a village church. Today, it's just a village church, with a few new tyre tracks on the nearby road. It's lucky that nobody's freedom depends on it.

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