Locked up in the Police Station Cells for the day
Dad thought it was a treat to take me on marathon walks occasionally. We’d take no food, just a bottle of tap water. We’d walk for miles and miles, always eventually stopping near an orchard in, Bingham, Plumtree, Ruddington, or Bunny, that sort of village-like place. Then him picking an apple or pear, then getting out his penknife and slowly, very slowly cutting off the skin, (which I got to eat) he’d slice up the apple, and I’d get my one slice… enough for a little un he’d say. Then on the way back, he’d call in the pub, bring me out a bag of crisps (with a little sachet of salt, always Smiths), open the bottle of tap water for me, then disappear back inside the pub for about three days… well it seemed like that to me. But at least he never forgot I was with him like Mother used to do. And; he always took me home – well someone had to do the housework! This trip out I went with me mate Jack – but it didn’t turn out how we’d planned it!
On one of the rare occasions that I was able to sneak out and have some fun (as I thought at the time), I joined a mate, and we walked out to Ruddington, to an orchard I’d spotted while out on one of Dad’s marathon walks earlier in the month – with the mischievous intention of scrumping some apples for ourselves.
I was up a tree, dropping the illicit apples down to Jack… when the owner appeared from nowhere…
Jack legged it through a small gate, but that escape route was then barred to me by the owners body by the time I’d got out and down from the tree – so I ran and jumped over a low wall of about 2ft in height, little thinking that the other side might be a drop of about 12ft into the deep mud of a field!
By the time the owner, and newly arrived police officer got down to me, the pain was slowly easing, and the bruising coming out on my face head, and shoulder.
I was unceremoniously handed up to the policeman – who told me I was to walk at the side of his push-bike back to Nottingham’s Queens Drive Police Station!
Telling me this he managed to skilfully and adeptly clip me around the head and ear-holes several times with his leather gloves, whilst pushing the bike with his other hand.
We arrived at the police station, and I was recorded by the desk sergeant, and unceremoniously placed in a bare wall station cell, with bars and door in the shape of a dome, with only concrete/brick slabs to sit on.
It reminded me of the Sheriff’s office cells in the Wells Fargo, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne cowboy films I’d seen at the flea-pit (The Grove Cinema).
But it still scared the hell out of me.
Eventually, some six hours or so later, a constable came in and removed me from the cell, telling me I was to go with Constable Merriman (and merry he certainly was not), to be taken home to Dad!
It seems somehow they knew when Dad would be arriving home.
Out of the station, then along Kirkwright Street. Again at the side of a constable and his push-bike. (A different constable this time) Who had the same excellently honed capability and skills of catching ones ankle with his pedals, clipping your ear-hole, and giving your chin a hefty accidental regular belt with the torch that hung on his tunic belt, painful, but I had to admire his skills even then as he drew blood.
As we got nearer to home, the crowds gathered as the officer took the route there via the middle of the road, down the cobbles into Brookfield Place, by then we had a group of about 12 spectators following us, then of course he (the officer) had to shine his torch in all the house windows as he passed them, and even tried out his whistle – thus the neighbours added to this spectator sport of ‘ogling the downfall of young Inchcock! ‘
He then proceeded to knock hell out of the front door, (this commotion ensured neighbours from over the end wall would not miss any of the total embarrassment of young Inchcock and also join in the ever increasing number of spectators), the door was opened by an already irate Father, because his young un had not been there to get his meal ready and light the fire when he got home, changing his face colour from normal colour, to red, blue, and back to red, as the Constable loudly explained to him: ” I’ve bought ‘this’ home ‘arry, (twisting my ear-lobe as he pushed me toward my irate looking father), caught it scrumping at William’s orchard – will you deal with it Harry?”
Dear father had got his belt off and in his hand before he’d finished replying to the Constable: “Oh eye, yer can rest assured on that one Bert!”
Three days later, I could just about manage sit down again without too much pain from my rumps losing battle with Dads infamous belt and buckle battering!
That was my first and last attempt at scrumping.