I had a drink with my friend Untruth yesterday evening. That sounds rather metaphysical, doesn’t it – I had a drink with Untruth, then the two of us played a game of darts with Competitiveness. We invited Indifference to join in but he wasn’t bothered. No, its really nothing like that. Untruth is the internet name of my friend Neil Phillips. Neil and I first met when we both took part in the same heat of the first round of Mastermind 2006, where we were both beaten by the excellent Katharine Drury. Can’t yet go into detail about the exact circumstances of what we were both doing in Cardiff on a Thursday afternoon, but doubtless it will all unfold one way or another in the fullness of time. But I know that Neil reads the blog, and I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the evening, and I wish that I could have stayed a bit longer. Hopefully see you soon, Neil.
The main reason that I had to rush away was that I was question master for the quiz in Aberavon Rugby Club at 9 pm, approximately 30 miles to the west. I kind of knew that posting earlier in the week about the wrong’uns which were asked in the quiz I went to on Tuesday was tantamount to tempting fate. Still, I asked this question : -
“Which is Wales’ oldest National Park ? "
In the book - “I Never Knew That About Wales “ I read that the Brecon Beacons National Park holds the distinction. Now, I have to admit that I didn’t actually know whether this was correct or not, so I took it on face value. Last night I asked the question, and all bar one of the teams wrote the answer –
“The Pembrokeshire Coast Path “.
Had all of the teams written this down I would have not batted an eyelid, and pretended that this was the answer that I had written down all along. However one team did have the Brecon Beacons. Hence I gave a rapid disclaimer as I read out the answer , as I told everyone where I’d found it, and apologised if I had it wrong. Still, it made me pause for thought enough to google the question this morning. Only to find that all of the websites that came up claim that Snowdonia is oldest ! None, incidentally , claimed that the Beacons are. So how did this happen ? There were a couple of possibilities , I thought : -
· Maybe I read it wrong from the book. So actually I went back to check. No, it clearly said that the Brecon Beacons was Britain’s oldest National Park, established in 1957. Then on the pages for Caernarfonshire, it clearly said that the Snowdonia National Park was established in 1951 ! Shome mishtake shurely ?
· Maybe the book got it wrong. As just proven, the book did indeed get it wrong, which leads me to suggest that they should add a bit to the title – ie – “I Never Knew That About Wales Because Its Wrong”.
I don’t want to be unreasonable, and I do accept that however meticulous one is about checking and rechecking one’s facts, mistakes will occur. However you have to say, there are only the three National Parks in Wales, and so it shouldn’t have been that difficult to figure out which is the oldest. I can only apologise to the teams involve, and add in my defence that at least I’m not asking anyone to pay good money for my mistakes, though.