Ronin question: "What color is the boathouse at Hereford?"

In the DeNiro film Ronin there’s a minor character at the beginning – forget his name – who claims to be British ex-military, from Hereford. DeNiro puts him on the spot by demanding, “What color is the boathouse at Hereford?” I assumed Hereford must be the location of a military academy – the British equivalent of West Point – but I did a search and apparently it’s just a town and there’s no academy there. WTF?

DeNiro’s character asked that question as if he knew the answer to see how that person (who’s name I’ve forgotten as well) reeacted. He only did it to prove that the person hadn’t ever even been there, and was lying about being ex military. Wether or not there was a military academy there was inconsequential. DeNiro didn’t need to know anything about the place. The person being asked obviously didn’t know what he was talking about. That’s probably why your search turned up nothing.

I thought Hereford was the place where the Special Air Service (SAS) trained, the unit that Sean Bean’s character claimed to be an ex-member of. I don’t know if there’s an actual boathouse there, but that question certainly put the faker on the spot.

That’s my understanding as well.

Thank you, IMDb:

Well, what is the color of the boathouse at Hereford?

To my knowledge there isn’t one - it was just a ploy (since the faker (Sean Bean) wouldn’t know either way).

in the words of an Ex-SAS mate (who we once asked this question of in the pub):

“If there was a f*cking boathouse i never saw it.”

Also, if i remember correctly, De Niro pronounces “Hereford” Heeer-ford (two syllables). In actuality its more He-Re-Fud (three syllables).

Why, of course there is a boathouse at Hereford. Actually, there are two. Take a close look at the picture in the top right corner of this link. The eights boathouse (looks like it’s brown and white) is on the left, the “old” boathouse, which is red, is on the right.

Don’t know if that’s the one Sean Bean was referring to, and frankly I doubt it. But there certainly is a boathouse in Hereford, if not at the SAS headquarters.

Don’t tell him Pike.