Danny Benjamin - Early Seventies
Waistband - Marc Bolan suit
Local Villain's Advice
It was just after ten on a cold damp winter's night
... a young policeman was enjoying a crafty smoke, hidden from view in a
recess next to our 'broom cupboard' in Uxbridge market. He saw a young lad
enter the deserted market. He came in one entrance and almost right up to
'our' policeman, but didn't see him. After looking around he quickly ran
to the other entrance, making sure all was clear.
returned with a half brick in his hand and threw it at the window,
but not hard enough, for it bounced back! Why, oh why, our intrepid
policeman didn't arrest him there and then I don't understand. Possibly,
carrying a brick wasn't enough to make an arrest? So it continued
and, sure enough, the next attempt made short shift of our window!
After grabbing a handful of shirts, the miscreant backed out, only
to be immediately grabbed by our now alert policeman.
On another occasion Colin and I, who were so keen that we would never
ruin our takings by window dressing during the day, were working late.
We printed our tickets in the upstairs office and wouldn't even start
to empty the windows until six. Then, we would work right through
the night, usually having breakfast with our friends in the bakery
next door at four in the morning! On this particular night our friendly
local policeman, William, came in for a chat and we broke off work
for a cup of tea. It was about 2 a.m. Suddenly a police car shrieked
to a halt outside whereupon our 'mate' William disappearing into a
fitting room! Within minutes, both Colin and I had been arrested -
they thought we were thieves!!
It wasn't so easy to prove that we actually owned the shop. I showed
them the shop keys but I had no items to identify me. Fortunately
Colin had his wallet and so finally, with very bad grace, they accepted
the fact and left us to continue with our work.
But what of our missing friend, William, I hear you ask? It was obvious
that he was more frightened of the 'car cops' than we were! He was
really shaken up. Possibly, being discovered not walking the streets
on a cold wet night would have ruined his prospects of promotion?
He never said, and I could never reason it out!
We went through a bad stage of petty burglaries, and then the burglars
discovered that if they kicked our doors it set off our alarm. So,
if they wanted to burgle any premises in the area, all they had to
do was set off our alarm and, whilst the police descended on our premises
and awaited our arrival, carry on with their skulduggery, knowing
that the local constabulary were otherwise occupied.
Marc Bolan powder blue suit (Bonhams)