Making It Up

Vernon Coleman

Late in his career, cricket writer Neville Cardus admitted that he had not seen the final day of the thrilling 1929 Test Match between England and South Africa but had gone walking in Kent instead.

He had wrongly assumed that the match would be over quickly. It wasnít.

Using a Press Association report for the statistics, he made up his 1,500 word report for what was then called The Manchester Guardian.

Reading Cardusís confession in an old copy of The Cricketer magazine I am reminded that I did something vaguely similar when I was young.

At the age of 18, I was living for a few months in Schaffhausen, Switzerland before going to medical school. (I had spent nine months as a Community Service Volunteer in Liverpool and needed a break.)

While in Switzerland, I wrote a good many articles for British magazines and newspapers and when looking around for ideas I found some promotional leaflets for drama festivals being held in Switzerland and Germany.

I didnít have the money to spend on train fares and hotels so I wrote a review of one of the plays while sitting in a cafť in Schaffhausen Ė using the promotional material in a leaflet.

The Guardian printed the review and so I continued my modest, temporary career as a European drama critic for The Guardian and wrote another. The cheques they sent, though modest, helped me through the summer.

I canít remember what the plays were, or what I said, but I know that I was a very generous critic.

Copyright Vernon Coleman March 2019

My seventh and latest diary Tickety Tonk is available on Amazon as an ebook and as a paperback. Itís the last one.