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IN about 1962, one of the senior officers at Derby Borough Police was Superintendent Shipton, known to all of us as “Shippo”, writes John Loach.
He was the proud owner of a chocolate brown Austin A45 saloon.
It was his pride and joy and he had it cleaned most days by the cadet, or whoever was available, in the garage.
On one particular afternoon, while parading for duty for the 2pm till 10pm shift, Shippo strode into the parade room.
He spoke to the inspector in charge of the parade. If I remember right, it was Inspector Frank Ward.
Shippo said: “Inspector, when you have finished your briefing, I want you to assemble the men outside in the yard.
“I have arranged for a demonstration of the latest technology to assist with the arrest of any person who contemplates robbery.”
We then all trooped out into the yard, where we saw a  security company’s van with two young men in suits standing by it.
Shippo introduced us all to the two men and asked them to carry on with their demonstration.
One of the young men produced a leather briefcase with a chain attached to it, which had a handcuff at the end.
He gave the briefcase to his colleague, who fastened it to his wrist with the handcuff. He then explained to us that the briefcase was designed to carry cash and other valuables to the bank, or vault.
If anyone attempted to snatch the briefcase, then the chain would break free from the case and, at the same time, would set off a canister of yellow smoke and dye, which would ruin the contents and implicate the would-be criminal.
We all looked on in a relatively bored silence. The young salesman then decided to demonstrate.
 He snatched the briefcase out of his colleague’s hand and ran off up the yard, passing close to Shippo’s pride and joy, his Austin A45.
The chain came away from the briefcase and a cloud of bright yellow smoke exploded out of it.
This was not only smoke, but a fine yellow dust which settled all over Shippo’s car so that it looked like a big chocolate pudding, with custard on top of it.
We all started to snigger, which gradually turned into laughter.
Shippo became red with rage and he shouted at the two young salesmen: “Get out. Get out of this yard and don’t you ever dare come back.”
He then turned to the cadet who worked in the garage and shouted: “And you, get my car cleaned. I want to see it shining like new before I go home.”
He then turned on his heels and stormed off back to his office. All through the afternoon shift, whenever any of us met up, we had a good laugh about Shippo’s car.
It’s a funny thing, but why is it that we find other people’s misfortunes so funny? I suppose one could say it was a bit like a clip from a Norman Wisdom film.
Another funny thing was that, when Shippo finally retired, he went to work for the  same security company as its Derby representative.
However, I do not think that he ever gave any demonstrations. Not to us, anyway.

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