A diary of one man's utter failure, depression, frustration, cock-ups, and impecuniousness, which started in August 1947
After being on the minimum wage for so long, it came as a surprise to me when the boss asked if I'd like to do higher paid assignment for a day. I jumped at the chance.
Then it came to light that it was a Prisoner Escort job, with an increase of a mammoth 15p per hour!
I drove the armoured van to pick up a prisoner from Nottingham clink, and drive him to the Queens Medical Centre for treatment on his arm he injured with a fight with another prisoner. Nice!
After my credentials were checked, a prison officer who was about 6 foot, and a prisoner that dwarfed him climbed into the back of the van.
He placed the route plan on the dashboard of my security companies battered old Transit. Then gave me an RT to use in the event of any emergency.
The Prison Officer explained the duties required of me. Amongst which the prisoner was to be handcuffed at all times other than when he was being treated, then one of us must be by his side at all times.
It went okay at the QMC, we were leapfrogged ahead of the other patients - and the giant of a prisoner was tended to in no time.
As we were leaving by the authorised route, a shuddering came from the transit... we ground to a a halt.
The Officer got out to investigate, and informed me the whole tyre had shredded on the off side front.
Of course being the super-efficient security company we were, there was no spare in the van!
He said he'd check and inform the prisoner in the back, and I was to RT in to inform their control, then phone my security company for an immediate replacement.
I radio'd in our plight.
Then minutes later, as I was dialling to call our control room for a replacement vehicle (that I knew didn't exist), the arrival of three police vehicles that blocked the front and rear of us, and armed officers stationing themselves a various advantage points - all within seconds - confused me somewhat!
Within minutes there were more police vehicles than I thought existed all around us.
The Prison Officer had forgotten to tell me that if a certain two words were used in any message to their control, they were taken as meaning 'Urgent/Emergency situation back-up required'
Of course muggins here used those two words in my message!
The prisoner thought it all hilarious.
The Officer was in deep phoo phoo!
My company somehow kept the contract with the Prison Service.
I was never chosen for those duties again.
The inquest went on for months.
Aged Approx. 5:
* Learning from the midwife that Mother said "Throw it on the Trent (river)" when she delivered me, brushed away the cigarette ash, and handed me to her.
* Realising it is not nice to get thrown in a canal.
Being looked after by a fictional Auntie, who used to take hours to give me a bath, and threw in massages and tuition for free. (Ah... memories)
* The head (and the smell) of the escaped elephant as it rampaged past my open bedroom window.
Aged Approx. 6::
* Mother popping out to the bookies.
Aged Approx. 13::
* Mother coming home.
Aged Approx. 7::
* Seeing the neighbours first toilet roll (Izal), but still preferring to cut up and use the Evening Post newspaper squares.
Aged Approx. 8::
* Seeing the neighbours massive, wood encased television set.
* Seeing the neighbours daughter Jane's (name changed) private parts.
* The neighbours daughter Jane.
Aged Approx. 9::
* Finding out that the hot ashes and soot from the trains above the back yard on the viaduct at the station, could set fire to my hair.
Aged Approx. 9::
* Going scrumping can get you locked in a police station cell for the day, then taken home by the bobby, then belted all over the place by your father.
Aged Approx. 10::
* Tried the first Hoola Hoops - wondered why they had invented them? Still do!
* Getting six of the best from the headmaster for fighting in the school playground - when all I did was to get beat up!
Aged Approx. 12::
* Hearing of the Manchester United F.C. team plane flying back from a European Cup tie in Belgrade crashes on take-off, and 21 of the 44 people on board are killed.
Aged Approx. 13::
* Starting work - what a shock!