Test case for football

full moon AP The full moon is seen over the snow covered McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

CROMER Town Football Club, in Norfolk, England, have been having a great season, they’re top of the local league. But they could be about to lose the ground they’ve occupied for almost 100 years. You see, it’s 21 years since King Olav V of Norway died.

Eh?

Yes, it’s bizarre. Local landowner Evelyn Cabbet bequeathed the land to the club in 1922, but with a clause specifying that 21 years after the death of the last descendant, living at the time, of King Edward VII, ownership of the land should pass to the town.

The last descendant of Edward VII – alive in 1922 – was Olav V of Norway, his grandson. Olav died in 1991, starting the 21-year countdown.

But now Cromer Town FC believe they have found wriggle room. A certain Lord Harewood was also a descendant of Edward VII. He was still in his mother’s womb in 1922 when Evelyn Cabbett died and her will came into effect, but he was very much alive and only months away from being born.

He died only last year, meaning – or so Cromer Town FC’s lawyers argue – that the club have a 21-year breathing space before they have to leave.

It’s an interesting case. Will the ancient Roman Law maxim of Panis in forna (Bun in the oven) prevail?

Watch this space.

Poaching case (1)

THIS week’s item on poaching in Suffolk reminds reader Brian Kennedy of an incident in Dublin, where he grew up.

“In the early days of the 20th century Lord Howth had a large demesne stocked with game. One day a young man from the town was arrested for poaching in the Lord’s demesne.

“He was duly brought before the magistrate, Lord Howth himself. When charged the young man said: ‘How can I be guilty of poaching on my father’s lands?’

“The Lord and everybody else looked at him. He was, as they say, the spitting image of his Lordship.

“Case dismissed.”

Poaching case (2)

WHICH recalls in turn the famous Zululand case where a magistrate and his deputy were both caught poaching and were taken to court.

The senior magistrate went into the dock first and pleaded guilty. His deputy, sitting on the bench, fined him £5. Then they switched roles.

The deputy magistrate pleaded guilty, at which his senior said: “Poaching has become very prevalent in these parts. Why, this is the second case before this court today. I have to make an example of you. I fine you £10.”

Corker coming up

THE LEVESON inquiry into the ethics and culture of the British press took an entertaining turn this week when the lady editors of three celebrity magazines – Hello, Heat and OK – jointly took the stand and were grilled over such moral issues as publishing pictures of celebrities which make them appear embarrassingly fat.

Lord Leveson himself appeared bemused by the very existence of such magazines, declaring they were not journals he had read before.

Just wait until they call the editor of The Tatler. The goings-on in the mink and manure county set, and The Tatler’s role in reporting them – how the girl reporter in the twinset and pearls gets the lowdown on the duke by seducing the butler. This’ll be a corker, mark my words.

Crash course?

A BUS COMPANY in Bangalore, India, has dropped a proposed “Most Impact Idea Award”.

It had been dreamed up by the Ponytails as part of an incentive scheme for drivers to build up the company’s image. But some curmudgeon decided it wasn’t appropriate for a bus company.

Sigh! Back to the drawing board.

Bonanza!

STILL in India, a schoolteacher checked his bank account to see if his salary had gone in. To his astonishment he was in credit by 490 billion rupees ($9.8 billion).

Parijat Saha, of West Bengal, earns 35 000 rupees a month. He made no attempt to draw on the funds – which are “uncleared” anyway – and phoned the bank, who are unable to explain where they came from.

This surely is the working of karma. If the bank can’t explain the mistake, they should just give Parijat the dough – or at the very least pay him interest.

Tailpiece

A POLICE recruit is asked in an exam: “What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?”

His reply: “Call for backup!”

Last word

Punctuality is the virtue of the bored. – Evelyn Waugh


sign up