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April1973

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The Lower Ipswitch Healy Silverstone Club



London (Reuters) - The clumsiest car thief in Britain was brought to book in Court yesterday after running himself over in the execution of his "art." Alan Daglish was quietly easing a sports car into the road from a driveway in a country town when it ran over his foot. To make matters worse, the car then stuck and pinned him to the spot. The car's owner was having his supper at the time, unaware of what was happening, until a persistent sounding of a horn brought him outside. He found Daglish, anxious for relief, only too willing to admit his guilt. Daglish was subsequently fined 15. "Ahah, good, they caught one of them." I gloated as I read the tiny item buried deep in the back pages of The New York Times among the ads for camps for over-privileged children. I closed my eyes blissfully to better picture the heartwarming scene. I see the car's owner-just beginning to dig into his steak-and-kidney pie. He has just returned from a day spent warding off creditors at his threadbare office on the fringes of The City. His wife Pamela, a tall, thin, toothy type somewhat on the lines of Joyce Grenfell, had just begun her evening's harangue: "Your mother called again." "Er ... ?" "Well, aren't you interested? Is It going to be another one of THOSE nights?" "I say, the pie needs a bit o' salt, don't you think?" Reginald has long ago learned that no matter what he says she will clatter on once she has the bit in her teeth. "Salt! Ail you ever think about is your steak-and-kidney pie and that silly motorcar with its leaky bonnet what always spoils my shoes when it rains, and . . . " "Damn!" Reginald barks out, his guardsman mustache quivering with rage. "I don't mind you nattering about every night, but keep my Healey Silverstone out of it. A bloke slaves all day grubbing out a few pounds and he can't even have a spot to eat without his old woman blowin' about." Reginald, now in command, goes back to forking in the s & k while continuing to read his newspaper. The teapot whistles noisily on the gas plate. Pamela, snuffling noisily, begins to make the evening tea. "The 'Carry On' boys are on the tally tonight," Reginald announces, chuckling. "I suppose that means we're not going out again tonight." "Yer bloomin' right. They're running 'Carry On, Constable.' That's the one where Sidney James goes sloshing about and this bobby gets himself ... " Pamela cuts in, "You don't have to tell me about it. We've only seen it six times." Reginald pours himself a glass of beer and loosens his tie when suddenly the heavy silence is broken by a high, distant beeping sound. "Did you tell that layabout brother of yours he could use the Silverstone again?" Reginald shouts angrily. "Why no. You know very well Trevor is laid up with the gout," she sniffs haughtily. "No wonder, after trying to drink up all the gin at the Stoat and Sceptre. He's nothing buta .. . " Beep!Beep!Beeeeeeep! Reginald sits for a long instant, his glass halfway to his lips, foam on his mustache. "I say, Pam, that does sound like the Silverstone's hooter now, don't it?" Pamela, still distinctly miffed, answers as she pours a dollop of thin blue milk into her tea, "Well, it's not poor Trevor." BeeeHep! " Biimey, summat's up." Reginald leaps to his feet, knocking over his chair, and charges out into the rain. "EA. WOT YEA DOIN' MUCKIN' ABOUT WI' MY HEALEY?" Reginald bellows into the soupy English night. "WOT YEA DOIN' MUCKIN' ABOUT WI' THE HEALEY?" "Pardon, Guv, but it's on me foot." "Wot yer mean, 'it's on me foot?' I tooled the Healey in not minutes ago and I distinctly know there was no foot under it at that time." Reginald flails away at the stranger with his furled umbrella. "Me foot's killin' me. Ow! For God's sakes man, can't you see me foot's caught under this blasted old heap?" Reginald snorts angrily at this last. "Old heap, eh? That's a Healey Silveratone. Why. the last issue of Motorcar stated that among postwar sports vehicles ... " "BLARST! Me bloody tool's killin' me. Cut out the yammenng and set me free." "Ah, me lad, not so fast." Reginald raps him smartly with his umbrella. "It's plain you was up to no good." Reginald rushes to the back of the flat, rain streaming off his mustache. "HOY! PAM! Ring up the constable. Bloke out here has got his foot caught under me Healey." Pam. ashen-faced, struggles with the phone. "You mean you run over him in the drive? Ran him down in cold blood?" "Of course not, you great flaming nit, 'e was up to no good.'' Beeeeeeep! Beeeeeeep! Reginald rushes back into the rain. "Hold it, lad. Blowin' that hooter will get you nowhere. Yer stayin' right where you are until the law arrives. You'll not get away wi' this, or my name ain't Reginald Potterton!" "Potterton, if you have a speck of decency in yer, you'll move this bloom in' wrack off me foot." The culprit struggles vainly to free his imprisoned appendage. "OWA, it's got me even worse. It's creepin' up me ankle." "Well, me lad, I'm gonna sit right here and keep an eye on yer until the law arrives. And don't you try no false moves or I'll give yer another crack wi' this.'' He brandishes his umbrella like a broadsword, swishing it about in the darkness. "All I wanted was to take me dolly out fer a little joyride." The mysterious stranger begins to snuffle. At this moment, out of the rain, a ponchoclad bobby appears, swinging his billy with a neat, practiced hand. "What's goin' on 'ere?" "Constable, this 'ere bloke was trying to nip off with my Healey." "Wot bloke?" The constable peers into the darkness and produces a large flashlight from under his poncho. "This mug 'ere in the bushes, Constable. Caught 'im beeping the hooter on the Silverstone. And he got himself caught." The constable turns the beam of his light on the cringing car thief, still gamely struggling to free his foot. "Ahal Caught you right in the game, eh? Now let's have a look into this matter. Your name, sir." "Alan Daglish. Please, me foot is . . . " " Easy, lad. I'll do the talking here." "Help. Me foot's gonna fall right oft. I can't stand it." "It's as clear as the nose on yer lace, Constable. 'E was plannin' to bun off wi' the Healey.'' The constable flashes his light full in Reginald's face. "Excuse me, sir, but I'll handle this case. You can't be too careful with this tot. Your name, please." " Potterton. Constable. Reginald W. At your service." "Not the Reginald Potterton of the Lower Ipswich Healey Silverstone Club?" "The very same" "Cor! I've been wanting to meet you for a long time. I'm Jones, Sergeant Inspector Sidney M. of the Upper Chelsea Alvis Tourer Restoration Association." "You're Sidney Jones? Who at one time owned a Morgan three-wheeler?" "The same, sir." "OWWRR! Me foot!" "None of yer lip, Daglish." The constable prods Daglish sharply in the ribs with his nightstick. He turns his flashlight on the Healey. "Say, Potterton, this is a bit of a stunner." Reginald and the sergeant walk around the Silverstone as the unfortunate Daglish continues his struggles. "I must congratulate you, Potterton, you've done a splendid job." ''Care for a drink, Jones? A little nip to warm the bones on a cold night." "Thank you, sir. I'd be honored. Ordinarily we don't drink on duty, but I'll make an exception tonight. Ain't every day you meet Potterton of the Healey Club." "Please! The pain is killing me!" "Watch it, lad. Yer in enough trouble as it is. You just mind yer manners." Reginald and the constable enter the flat. both dripping water conspicuously on the floor as they enter. "Pam, a spot of whiskey 'ere." Pamela darts about getting glasses and a large soda siphon. "Reggie," she squeaks. "what's up?" "Pamela, dear, I want you to meet Constable Sidney Jones of the Alvis Tourer Restoration Club of Upper Chelsea." "Pleased to meet you, ma'am." Reginald pours whiskey into the glasses. "Well, Sergeant, here's to your Alvis." The policeman raises his glass. "And Potterton, here's to that splendid Silverstone." They toss off the Scotch. Beeeeeeep! Beeeeeeep! ''Well, Potterton, back to work, as they say." The constable dons his helmet and buttons his poncho. "You know, Constable, that name Alan Daglish is familiar to me. There's a Daglish, Alan D., who's a member of the Jowett Jupiter Collector's Club of Middle Bromwich." "Could be the very same, sir. That mob is capable of anything. Well, good night and good luck. I'll see this bloke gets his just desserts for this caper." Back in the flat. Reginald swats Pamela on the bottom with his newspaper. "We've already missed half of 'Carry On, Constable, so what do you say, girl, we go down to the pub for a pint or two before closin' time? What do you say?" "Why, Reggie, it's the first time we've gone out in a month," she squeals. "Well, tonight calls for a bit of celebrating. It ain't every night you meet Jones of the Alvis Restoration Club." Out into the night they go, Reggie at the wheel of the Silverstone, driving like Stirling Moss in the rain.


Copyright: 1973 Car and Driver