Sleb Safari: Vogue the magazine versus Vogue the Cornish hamlet

Publishers Conde Nast had asked The Star Inn At Vogue to change its name – not realising it was named after the hamlet in which it stands.
Maeve Connolly

TO Cornwall this week where Vogue magazine has apologised profusely to a small pub that shares its name and which it threatened with legal action.

Upon becoming aware of Star Inn at Vogue (the pub), Vogue (the magazine), sent a cease and desist letter with a firm request for the owners to rename their business as a link between the companies “was likely to be inferred”.

Star Inn at Vogue is so-called because it can be found in the hamlet of Vogue which has been around for a couple of centuries.

Rachel and Mark Graham are the owners and Mark told ITN it was “a case of the big boys trying to stomp on the little boys, and as soon as I realised what they were trying to do, I went 'you're not having me, my handsome'."

Sleb Safari will freely admit to being confused by that quote. Was Mark distracted by a horse trying to take a bite out of him?

In his original letter to the New York publisher’s London offices, Mark had written: “... Vogue is the name of our village, which has been in existence for hundreds of years and in fact is a Cornish word, not English.

"I note in your letter that you have only been in existence since 1916 and I presume that at the time when you chose the name Vogue in the capitalised version you didn’t seek permission from the villagers of the real Vogue.

"I also presume that Madonna did not seek your permission to use the word Vogue (again the capitalised version) for her 1990s song of the same name.

"You are both at liberty to use the uncapitalised version without our permission. As a side note she didn’t seek our permission either.”

So sassy Mark, Madonna would approve. 

Vogue is owned by Condé Nast which has since written to the couple, apologising and accepting that “further research” would have helped. The apology was accompanied by a handwritten note “from one Vogue to another”.

Now Sleb Safari is wondering whether Vogue has ever sent a cease and desist letter to Vogue Williams, model, DJ, The Jump alumnus and “media personality”.

Rachel and Mark Graham only came to own the pub after finding it closed while out for a bike ride 17 years ago.

Sleb Safari loves the idea of buying the businesses that are closed when you rock up to the front door. In no particular order, it has of late been met with an empty step at its favourite café, a bank and, surprisingly, Tesco after 9pm on May Day. There aren’t enough coins in Sleb Safari’s piggy bank to buy a supermarket but maybe the bank would have offered a loan - if Sleb Safari could just figure out those opening times.


Derry Girls shaped hole in our lives

YOU would have to be a stone not to have been moved by the final episode of Derry Girls and the Good Friday Agreement special. The two were glorious, with hilarity, hope, tragedy and pathos co-existing in perfect balance and a soundtrack that catapulted Sleb Safari back - way, way back.

The special offered up delicious moments - Orla’s opening dance sequence, Tommy Tiernan’s dance moves, Jennywood, Clare and her burger phone, Sr Michael in that Aran jumper (eat your heart out Chris Evans), Cool Runnings, the journey across Erin’s face of every thought and feeling she has, Chelsea Clinton and the letter… Basically, every scene.

Saying goodbye to a show we hold close to our hearts is difficult but we needed to leave the girls plus James just as they are, 18 and perfect in their imperfections.

And what better than to go out on a high -  the kind of high you can only get on the Big Dipper at Barry’s with your school friends, in the summer sunshine. 


Out of the mouths of babes

Sleb Safari was tickled at the weekend by violinist Nigel Kennedy. Not literally, you understand. Not even at arm’s length with a violin bow. Sleb Safari was tickled by something he said.

Nigel lives in Poland where he makes beautiful music in a studio in the “wooden highlander house insulated with straw” he and his wife built in the Malopolska mountains.

Reminiscing with The Times about growing up in England, Nigel explained that his early years were spent with his mum in East Sussex until he won a scholarship and was enrolled at a prestigious music school in Surrey where the teachers only ‘got’ music.

“The teachers had no idea how to relate to children. When I was seven my violin teacher asked me to read some Shakespeare aloud. Afterwards he said, ‘What do you see between the lines?’ I said, ‘All the white bits’.”

Bless him and his seven-year-old literalism.

Social Media Smut

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access