I WAS A REAL LIFE 'HEARTBEAT' WIFE
So many things happened while we living in the little Police Station/House at Nailsea - amusing, sad, downright weird! - that I hardly know where to begin! And this blog won't be very long because I have had an operation on my hand, and typing is difficult. So I'll start with a dramatic event! I'll call it:
REVENGE OF THE HELLS' ANGELS
One Saturday evening there was an accident on the major road involving a car and a motor cycle. Not so unusual, you might say. But in this case, the motor cyclist hit by the car was one of a huge group of Hells' Angels. And they were in no mood to exchange names and addresses and go on their way! Oh no, not they. They wanted retribution, and nothing less.
Terry, on his BMW, was the first officer on the scene, and spent some hairy minutes trying to calm a vast group of angry bikers (50-70 of them I seem to remember!)
and prevent them from lynching the terrified car driver before back-up arrived.
The motorist and his passenger were then taken into custody and taken to Long Ashton Police Station for their own safety.
The Hells' Angels were furious. One of their own had been injured, and they were baying for blood. They followed, and a mob surrounded the police station, demanding that the unfortunate motorist be handed over to them.
The first I knew of this was a telephone call at about 9 pm. I was just feeding and changing baby Suzie, but I answered the phone anyway - I always did - I so enjoyed being back in the thick of things.
This call though was rather alarming. Or should have been if I hadn't craved excitement.
The Hells' Angels were threatening to take hostages - police wives from country beat stations - whom they planned to exchange for their intended victim - the hapless driver. We 'out in the sticks' - as Nailsea was in those days - were to lock our doors and on no account open them to anyone until we were advised otherwise.
I was, I suppose, a little worried since I had two young children in the house. But mostly I remember getting quite a kick out of feeling part of the action. It could have been a Hollywood block-buster!
The siege of the police station at Long Ashton continued for some hours. By this time the offending driver and his passenger had been locked in the cells for their own protection. I think a very senior officer, maybe even the Chief Constable himself, and/or the Divisional Commander, hightailed it to Long Ashton and addressed the vengeful mob who were still outside, and eventually they realised they were not going to get their way and dispersed.
It must have been getting on for midnight before I got the call to say things had calmed down, but I should still be wary of a possible attack.
It was only when Terry came off duty that I realised just how hairy it had been for him, the only police officer up on the main road facing down dozens of furious Hells' Angels and trying to protect the motorist and his passenger from what would undoubtedly have turned very violent. I was very proud of him, and a bit ashamed that I had quite enjoyed the whole incident!
Next time - a couple of humorous stories ....