The fremony at the library

This news item first appeared in the Peterborough Standard in 1979. Someone sent the clipping to Private Eye, which is where I read it and promptly came close to death from oxygen starvation.

It was and remains one of the funniest things I have ever read, although I recognise that it’s not to everyone’s taste.

Fremony at the library

Apologies for the quality. It’s been in my cuttings file for more than 30 years.

22 Comments

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22 responses to “The fremony at the library

  1. dom

    At first I thought I was reading a lost script from Count Arthur Strong. Very funny, well worth holding on to for 30 years!

  2. Catanea

    Funny…but long.
    I laugh like an hysterical two year old whenever I run across the words “University of Reading”. Obviously I mispronounce it. But it’s gettin worse instead of stale. That there should even BE a “University of Reading” makes it almost impossibly for me not to weep.
    You don’t have to pass this in moderation. I just thought I’d share it….
    Yesterday I encountered “Museum of Reading” and my husband thought he’d have to strike me. I am laughing now.
    What would it have in it? Glass cases containing individual letters… no, I can’t go on.

  3. Steve Wright

    So glad to find this here! I have a tea-stained photocopy of it from one of John Julius Norwich’s Christmas Crackers, but great to see the actual paper. Still makes me howl with laughter. Thank you.

    • bravenewmalden

      Me too. I met someone last night who has yet to reach the end, so cracked up he gets with laughter. So he’s missed the descent into full-scale surreality of Gary Cooper and his debut with the Queen’s Old Boys.

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  6. Loved it. Thanks so much for a really good laugh. I think it probably happened because the stone sub was down the pub and the page needed to go. Well…it’s an excuse, isn’t it?

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  8. CharliebBurgess

    Thanks for sending this on the rounds. It is too good

  9. gaz

    So funny. I nearly soiled myself.

  10. William Johnston

    … and just at the moment when I think I’m recovering, there’s the photo. Priceless!

  11. Gary Dawkes

    Karl, thanks so much for publishing this… I am the journo responsible for this tomfoolery back in 1978 when I was a young reporter on the Peterborough Standard which began using new OCR technology. Have just stumbled upon this and my ribcage aches from laughing so much at this journalistic gibberish. Apart from the repeated liremony and aremony hiccups, the highlight of this piece (IMO) is when the then 85-year-old Frank Parnell – not the fastest moving senior citizen of his day – “latched on to a through ball…to stroke the ball home”. Despite apologising profusely to the locals they never forgave me. But I do hope that, like everyone else who reads it, they and their families can now laugh and enjoy it as one of the great printing gaffes of all time. Gary Dawkes

    • bravenewmalden

      I’m glad and amazed you found this, and even more happy that you liked it! I’ll email you.

      • Gary Dawkes

        Kevin, great – look forward to hearing from you. So sorry for calling you Karl on the first draft post – another reason why the second one I sent you directly is the one to be used.Gary

      • William Johnston

        As if the first 95% of the article wasn’t already a sheer delight, the sudden arrival of Gary Cooper at the end is what really does for me.

    • Superb to hear from the man responsible. I’m currently the Chair of the Quiz League of London and your article lives on in the name of our post quiz pub gathering.

      We named it Fremony as one of its past venues was a pub near Highbury and Islington station know as The Library. Someone suggested we called the gathering Fremony and it still lives on under that name.

  12. Gary Dawkes

    Mark, great to hear this news. What an honour – I’m sure Frank (the elderly chap, seated, in the photo) would have been delighted. Well, er, maybe! Personally I’m almost lost for words – well, those that have any meaning anyway – that the Fremony has achieved something akin to cult status in our capital city’s quizzing community. I see you play for the Gray Monks at The Calthorpe Arms in Gray’s Inn Road. When or if we ever emerge from lockdown liremony, theremony and tremony I’d love to come and say hello one day to the Fremony fraternity and raise a glass with you to glorious cock-ups in print.

    • bravenewmalden

      I’d like to be there, too. Anything to perpetuate the legend that is the Fremony At The Library.

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