UK police constables c1956 from the TV series Dixon of Dock Green
It was a Saturday night in 1956 and I trotted
along the lonely streets of the town. The pubs had long shut and all those
years ago the traffic was light to non existent. I was heading for the train station
just about a mile away. The last train left at 5 minutes past midnight. My
destination was home nine miles away. Well ten miles if you count the run from
my girlfriends house to the station.
Every Saturday night was the same,
those lingering kisses and the last fond embrace had to be measured to the last
second. I hadn’t missed a train yet but as we tended to stick to each other
like glue a longer wait until the first train in the morning was always a possibility and
being Sunday that would be a very long wait indeed.
I was going downhill now down
Downing Street past the mens clothing store, past the fish shop and just as I passed
the grocers two figures stepped out of the shadows.
“Just a minute lad” said one.
Just my luck, I could skirt the drunks and the tramps in doorways but to run
into two policemen on a dull night shift, I was just what they needed to help
pass their boring night away.
“Where are you off to in such a
hurry?” said one. While the other sized me up with his torch.
I could barely talk as I was out
of breath. I mumbled something about trying to catch the last train to Alton. However that was the problem.
They weren’t interested in my plans but only what I had been doing.
“But where have you just run from?” the
first one asked implying foul deeds I was escaping from.
So I had to relate where I had
been, who with and why and the utter importance of me catching the last train
that left in but a few minutes.
He came closer and shone his torch in my face. My
panting breath had no taint of alcohol perhaps only the sweet scent of my
girlfriend so my innocence was convincing.
“OK my lad off you go and don’t
leave it so late next time.”
I resumed my run to the station.
The level crossing gates were starting to close and as I scampered over the
footbridge I knew that I would make it after all.
On recounting my adventure to my
girlfriend later she reluctantly made me leave a few minutes earlier in future. Less
than a year later we were married so my worries were over and we stayed
together all night…every night!