Thursday, January 06, 2005
Peddle the van up to full ramming speed ! about 40 mph up hill (this episode took place in High Wycombe, where the hills are so steep even mountain goats have nose bleeds !!) “B39(my callsign in those balmy days when we all knew each other) “B39, on scene and dealing)(no 10 codes either – American cop TV still in its infancy)
The scene is set – quite a nice area, detached houses in ¼ acre plots, two well dressed gents shouting nose to nose over the garden wall !
“Right chaps, you come with me, and you go back in to your house” – rule one – separate the contestants then they can both start on you!
“Right Sir, what’s the problem” – and so it unfolds
MR A, had applied for planning permission for a double garage on the side of the house next to Mr B. No problems in the first instance as Mr A and Mr B got on well and discussed it first. Mr B had no objections, and if it looked ok was probably going to get the same builder to do a double garage for him. So far, so good. The builders came, saw and sat down and had tea etc., and eventually built this magnificent edifice on the side of Mr A’s house.
They finished off, put in the new fangled electric doors and everyone stood and looked and OOHED and AAAHED as the doors opened and closed at the push of the button.
THEN COMES THE CRUNCH. Mr B, looking at the thing from the road realises that the garage is encroaching on to his property by AT LEAST 6 INCHES. When they were building it one of the things they had to do was take down the garden wall between the properties to dig footings etc and it was amicably agreed that Mr A would pay for the re-build of the wall and put a nice brick pier at the road end. Mr B was right ! it was noticeable, if you really looked hard that the wall was nearer his house than before and the side gate would not fit. Mr B gets a strop on and says “It will have to go”. “What,”says Mr A. “I’ll pay for a new gate etc etc etc “ “Nope” says Mr B, “Its coming down – its on my land without permission”, and proceeds to dig his heels in.
Enter TVP in the guise of Mog the magnificent (as I was in those days)
“We can sort this out amicably, can’t we gents”
WRONG !! This goes the whole route – Solicitor’s letters, County Courts, even I get dragged in to give evidence, and as is usual in these cases the worst possible outcome
ITS GOT TO GO. Appeals, much shouting over the now disputed wall, wives and children (who used to go on holidays together now pointedly ignoring each other in the street. Thousands spent in legal fees – all over 6 inches of land !
Comes the day when the bulldozers are due to appear. From evidence gathered later from witnesses in the road it seems that the forces of evil (in the shape of the council road gang) who were going to demolish the said garage had turned up and started a brew (as they do) when Mr A comes out to gloat – Its got that far ! – The usual shouting started and then witnesses stated that Mr B came out of the garage holding a spade which he was brandishing in a threatening fashion. “Don’t threaten me” says Mr A, “Its coming down today !” “Over my dead body”, says Mr B
“That can be arranged” says Mr A and the usual insults start to fly – Mr B suddenly seems to realise that he’s holding what becomes known as “the murder weapon”
and crash bang whallop – murder done over 6 stupid inches of ground !!!
Both houses ended up sold to pay for legal fees, one family ended up with no father, the other with a father in jail – what can you say – senseless ? – they didn’t think so
Sorry, all I could think of through all that was the Norman Collier style radio call we used to make to WPC's (ooops Female Police Officers). Where they would get the beginning of a transmission, 4 seconds of static followed by the words "Six Inches."
A policemans sense of humour. I'm sure someone will find the sorrow in the story though :-)
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I must admit I am glad to be away from the calls like this though, worse than dealing with the actual death, at least when that happens it's final, the dispute can go on for years.