|A funny thing happened to me||Malcolm Dunne|
|About Cricket||Tom Singleton|
|Can you lead a horse to water?||Pete Tussler|
|Assorted Thoughts||John Bayless|
|Immortality lives in words||Pete Tussler|
|The horse and the PC||Malcolm Dunne|
|Some Job Humour||Various|
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the office!
I was on the way to my early turn shift as Custody Sergeant at Chiswick
Police Station. I was travelling north along the A3 on my motor cycle and
entered the Robin Hood RAB. I saw a car was spinning towards me on its
roof. I braked and managed to avoid it.
Great to see the pictures
from Adrian showing our prowess at cricket. A little known fact is that we
invented 20/20 cricket at TDV and, for those who did not play in those
epic matches, the rules were as follows:-
It also meant that there was no boring stuff like like forward
defensive strokes being played - every shot was meant to be a six,
although very few ever were. We also knew that the game would last a fixed
time and give everyone a good run out.
I had worked with Rob Tutchings over the course of 17 years at TDV and through three collective marriages (two for him and one for me) and on reflection, probably spent more time in his company than any other person.
During those years I got to know his strengths and weakness and he, mine. Horses where not his favourite animal and it fell to me to take the lead, whichever seat I was in, if the call involved an equine. It was either by luck or misfortune that, as a crew, we took a disproportional high number of horsey calls.
One winters morning, the A3 was crawling and slipping to a standstill at the junction of Upper Richmond Road. It was bloody cold and the road had a veneer of ice. Rob and I were dispatched in the old Range Rover OV26 to resolve the problem and get London back to work. Making progress, with lights and two tones, we were able to “offside” almost the whole of West Hill. In any rush hour that was indeed unusual. Close to the Fire Station, we saw the reason for the impasse. A Young’s Brewery dray was straddling the two westbound lanes and the rubberneckers were crawling eastward and inspecting the strange sight.
Major was an experienced dray horse and knew the brewery routes. Sharing the shafts was Minor, a young horse that was serving his apprenticeship under Major’s tutorage. In a similar vein to the Met system of pairing old with young, the Brewery was finding the same problem as the Met, where wild enthusiasm was pitted against wisdom or sloth.
Major knew that, if the drayman steered to climb West Hill, there was a long slow hard slog to the Pubs off the Common. If he headed to Putney, the route was short, flat and easy. Major was in charge and knew where he wanted to go. Minor, however didn’t care and would follow, blindly, the instructions given via the reins, just like a young probationer.
Despite the vocal encouragement of the Drayman and frequent flapping of the reins, Major, on the left shaft, wanted to turn right and Minor on the right was determined to go left.
We arrived to see both horses having a dispute that involved much Lipizaner like prancing that caused ice chips and iron shoe sparks to fly. The drayman was perplexed as he dare not turn the dray around and face the brewery as Major would be off back to his stall like a racehorse and he had spent the last half hour watching the confrontational shenanigans of the two horses.
To keep his job, the drayman had only one route. Forwards and upwards. Two traffpols in a two-ton, 4X4 would tow anything on their roads, so the answer was easy. Shackle them up and we’ll give them a pull.
It was one thing saying it and a completely different thing to do. Shire horses are bloody big and after half an hour of tangoing they were sweaty beasts with a great deal of attitude. Rob confidently attached the towrope to the Range Rover and presented me with the other end. I looked to the drayman and he confidently raised the reins and implied that my licence didn’t cover his class of vehicle. I crouched and edged forward. The hoofs were huge and were reinforced with thick, shaped iron. They also moved randomly up and down as the horses’ danced and then slid on the icy road. Nearer and nearer I moved towards the chain shackle that united the two horses. Hot breath was blown over my geltex jacket and I felt globules of horse sweat or spit land on my neck. I carefully looped the tow chain over the shackle and snapped it closed.
That, for Major, was the final straw and for Minor the starting gun. Both horses resumed their dance macabre. I dropped the tow chain and that further noise spurred them to try harder. The drayman, luckily, was quick witted and released the brakes and both horses were jerked backwards and stopped. I bolted forwards and clambered towards the safety of the open road. I quick thumbs up to Rob and the slack was taken up and Major and Minor were given a bit of direction and assistance. The two horsepower “assisted” procession was off and away and the congestion was cleared. However as I walked between the Range Rover and horses I had time to watch the expressions of the great motoring public. To some there were smiles of incredulity and others reacted as though this was a commonplace event.
To Rob and I, it was another story with which we could bore our family and friends
formerly Pc 823 TD Pc 82 SW and now Pc 228TD
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TDV was a very happy garage. This was probably because for most of the time it ran in spite of the senior officers and not because of them. The canteen was where quietly fought darts matches contrasted with noisy card games. If we had had next door neighbours John Ross would certainly have received a noise abatement order.
Don't forget the sailing team, courtesy of Commander King and Ravens Ait and the hard fought battle against the RAF. This gave some garage members a lifelong interest in sailing.
It was certainly the only garage where the troops were supplied with tea and ham rolls by the breakdown crew guvnor .(during a protracted accident and closure on the Esher Bypass.)
You ask for memories of the garage. For me they tend to be the silly
things with an element of that special laid back police humour that is not
found in other walks of life.
Another memory is driving through a country lane in Cobham and coming
across a large estate car with the rear door open and with smoke curling
up from it. The windows were smoke blackened and four well dressed gents
were standing on the verge. "It's all right ,officer", said one. "The car
caught fire but we put it out." I asked, "Anyone hurt?" and as I did so
noticed the unmistakeable figure of a person lying on the verge under a
People are normally remembered for events that left a mark on the world but, at TDV, we remember people for other achievements. One man will always be remembered for his verbal belly flops into the pond of life.
Dave Springle was a governor, to whom, TDV meant something and those that knew him must accept that he kept the garage open far longer than the protozoic senior management teams really wanted.
However, despite his fervour for TDV, he had a failing that undermined his good intentions. In “The Rivals” Sheridan called them malaprops. At TDV, they were spronglisms. Everyday, we hung on his every word, waiting for the inevitable gaff. Some were priceless. When he was riled, he went straight for the jaguar. When AIDS was becoming a Health and Safety issue we were warned of the dangers of becoming HGV positive. On delivery of a Harley on evaluation, we were asked to treat the Harley Ferguson with respect.
However, few of these verbal own goals were as public as one hot June day in 1992. Steffi Graf was on course to win the All England Lawn Tennis Championship and so was Andre Aggassi. In the spotlight of global sports press coverage there were also rumours that the potential champions were dating. This news opened the floodgates to the tacky feeding frenzy that is the tabloid press. The refined gardens of SW19 were alive with photographers that were to become famous as “the paparazzi”.
This was a relatively new word to the English then
and not so commonplace as it is today. However, the Met Police were at a
loss has to how to deal with people who would secret themselves in to
hedgerows in private properties and invade others privacy via a telephoto
lens. As the Wimbledon fortnight progressed, so did the cunning of the
paparazzi as they learnt the lie of the land surrounding the Tennis club.
Finally matters came to a head.
The Met reacted swiftly to this outrageous harassment and, the next day, Insp. Springle arrived to brief the Wimbledon Traffic Serial of the contingency plans that had been formulated. Foot duty serials would be deployed to the temporary rented homes used by the players and they would call, via R/T, to the traffic squad, whenever the players were to move. If the traffic squad were needed during any refreshment break, the warning would be given over the tannoy system at the remote temporary police compound.
During the lunch refreshment period the air resounded to the voice of Insp |Springle stating, “ The pepperoni are in Steffi’s bush”. The bikes didn’t deploy. They couldn’t move for laughter
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The Horse and the PC
offffffficer' went to the Magic Roundabout in Mitcham. He spied a local
'caravan dweller' riding a horse bareback, over a bridge at Commonside
East. The horse was being galloped at a fast pace and whipped with the
reins. The horse wavered from side to side, frightening pedestrians
especially a woman and child. (although the proverbial Nun with a, pram
was not there).
Evidence was given, with the ultimate
skill of a Black Rat.
This story proves that Black Rats are
professional, and adaptable in all situations.
How I had sex with the inspectors wife
Ok its not true, but it got you to read this.
Above is a couple of anecdote, are they going to be the only one, or will others send them in?
It's up to you to see if this section works. Please take a moment to tell your tall tale!