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Saga of the Rubber

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Saga of the Rubber-soled Shoes! Details   Interesting Articles  

The Story of the Saga of the Rubber-Soled Shoes.

Saga of the Rubber

Exhibit 'A'  Doc Martin's rubber soled shoes

This “comedy of errors” began in September 1978, when the Bermuda Police planned to open a new Police station at the Airport and, as Eastern didn’t have sufficient personnel at the time to run two stations, personnel had to be recruited from other divisions to make up the shortage.

At the time I was living in Warwick East and working in Somerset, and I was one of the two people being considered for a transfer from West to East. The other one was Eric Ingemann, who at the time lived right out at the tip of Spanish Point and had a daily 30-mile round trip to & from work. His family home was near the Airport, his father had just died, and everyone reckoned that he’d be the obvious choice to go East. In fact, he was such an obvious choice that they overlooked him altogether and sent me instead! I’d made no secret of the fact that I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going East, but I said that I’d give it a shot and, if it didn’t work out, I’d try and switch with someone who really, really wanted to be there. The obvious switch candidate was a fellow Scot called Gordon Farquhar, who’d recently been moved from East to the Ops Room and would have given his right arm to get back East, and I’d previously worked in the Ops Room anyway, so I’d have had no problem with that move.

Anyway, about a week before I was due to move, I phoned OIC East (Chief Inspector Harold Moniz), and the conversation was roughly as follows:-

“Morning Sir, PC Kerr here. I’m told that I’m coming down to join you next week: where and when do you want me?”

“Ah, morning Davie. You’re going to the Airport, where you’ll start Lates on Monday under Sgt Mackenzie” (yes, the one and only “Spider”). “Do you know where the Airport Police Station is?”

“No Sir, I’m afraid I don’t: I haven’t been to the Airport for months.”

“No problem. Just drive into the main car park, and you’ll see a big sign that says ‘Airport Police Station’.”

“Fine Sir; see you next week.” And that was that (or so I thought!).

About 1530 on the Monday in question (18 Sep 78), I drove into the main car park, parked my vehicle, and looked around for the big sign saying ‘Airport Police Station.’ Nothing: not even a small sign saying ‘Airport Police Station’! I wandered around for a few minutes, but with no success. I eventually landed up in the main airline check-in area, and a mate of mine with whom I used to play football said, “Hi, Davie: what brings you down this way?”

“As a matter of fact,” I said, “I’m looking for the Police Station!”

“Oh, you don’t know where it is? Come with me.” So off we went towards the Police Station. On the way there, a voice from behind me called, “Davieee! Where are you going?”

“Down to the Police Station,” I answered.

“Wait for meee!” This was Spider: he didn’t know where the Police Station was either!

As we were the first two there from the Late Shift, Spider (whom I’d known for years as we used to play football together) said, “Davie, you’re first here, so I’ll give you Station duty for the time being until we see who else turns up.”

“OK Sarge, no sweat.” So there I was, Station Constable of Station X-ray.

As it was the first day of the new Police Station being operational, Commissioner of Police Nobby Clarke, OIC East Harold Moniz, and OIC Airport Inspector “Cuddly” Dudley Swan were all buzzing around making sure that everything was moving smoothly, and, Bermuda being what it is for stories, it wasn’t long before Customs were telling anyone and everyone the story about the two Policemen who couldn’t find the Police Station! Nobby naturally wasn’t too happy about this, and he had a face like thunder by the time he and the other two came into the station about 1715. Spider had deployed his troops and “done a runner” by then, so I was on my own when the Three Amigos appeared. I stood smartly to attention (as was the custom in those days in the presence of senior officers!) and said, “Good afternoon Sir!”

Nobby growled something back, and they all went into Dudley’s office. A few minutes later they all came out again, and Nobby growled at me, “I understand you don’t like it down here, huh?”

“Well, Sir,” I replied as tactfully as I could, “it’s a bit of a long haul down from Warwick.”

“OK, I’ll fix that. You’ll be walking the beat in Hamilton tomorrow. What do you think of that idea?”

“Please Sir, not tomorrow Sir, it’s my birthday tomorrow Sir!”

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