Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

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Monday, 3 February 2014


This week sees the return of  the police series based upon the activities of a police inspector whose patch is Northumberland and Durham in the mid 1960s.  There`s nothing better to evoke a past era on screen than the director`s choice of cars of the period; more than any other prop,  well chosen vehicles inform  the viewer immediately that  they are being taken to times past.  George Gently drives a 3 litre Rover  and his sergeant an MGB and laterally a Ford Corsair.  The scenes around the police station have various police Ford Zephyrs parked. 

Over the years police forces have splashed out on various high powered cars for their high performance capabilities.  It is hard to believe now but in 1964 whilst Sergeant Bacchus was tearing up theA1 in his MGB the Metropolitan Police were cruising about in Daimler Darts.  MGAs, MGBs, various Jaguars and assorted Rovers and BMWs have been bought for constabularies up and down the country.  Arguably their excessive costs could be justified by the circumstances of their times.  Cars used by everyone from fugitives to families were progressively becoming faster.  An expanding economy released vast increases in government spending including the modernisation of the police.  Police numbers, until the recent redundancies,  were twice the level of the 72,000 in the 1960s. With spending restricted on all aspects of the law `n order departments it is somewhat surprising, that even supposedly on loan for display only,  a McLaren Spider 12C decked in police livery is the feature of a publicity shoot.  The McLaren Spider 12C has a 3.8 litre twin-turbo engine with 600 brake horsepower, surely enough to make even Jeremy Clarkson quiver. A police spokesman confirmed the car was on loan from McLaren for the motor show and would not be used on the roads.  With previous history to go by what are the odds some bright spark will suggest the car joins its predecessors patrolling on the M1?   

1 comment:

  1. When I was a lad in North London I'm sure I saw a pair of traffic cops squeezed into Sunbeam Alpine with the hood down - oh those balmy sunny days of old...........