Following the recent death of comedian Sir Ken Dodd of Liverpool, it brought back memories of my personal first meeting with this wonderful, jovial man, whilst I was serving initially in Manchester City police force “D” Division in 1962.
At this time I was working from Lower Ormond Street sub station near to Manchester University, covering all Oxford Road towards the city centre.
I was informed by two ladies I knew, working from a sweets and cigarettes kiosk at the junction of Charles Street and Oxford Road, that at 9am this day, Ken Dodd was coming to see them with two tickets for one of his shows in Manchester. He was staying at the Midland Hotel at this time nearby.
I had just completed working the traffic light controls in the busy morning rush hour at this junction, when I saw Ken Dodd approaching.
He was immediately recognisable with his hair, front teeth and grinning face. The two ladies told him my name and introduced me.
He replied “By jove, constable, pleased to meet you.”
He then, in one devilish movement, grabbed my helmet, put it on himself and walked into the main road, giving a stop signal to the traffic, which came to an abrupt halt.
In doing so, he then shouted: “How’s that, by jove? What a marvellous day to stop all this traffic, then to clear off for a pint!”
I was stunned for words obviously.
He then stepped back and returned my helmet, laughing and saying, “Ah well, that was a first, thanks officer!”
This was always something I could never forget and so hilarious at the time.
There was only one Ken Dodd as we know, full of humour and wit.
He will be sadly missed as one of the truly great comedians from the days of the old musical hall variety theatre era.
Thanks for all the happy memories Ken, God bless.
Diplomacy’s foreign to Boris
When Boris Johnson compared the holding of the World Cup in Putin’s Russia to Hitler’s 1936 Olympic Games, he should have thought about the effect this would have on the millions of ordinary Russians who lost relatives in the ensuing conflict of the Second World War.
It may well not have been his intention to offend them, but that is how they will see it.
Incidentally, Hitler’s racism ideals were severely dented by Jesse Owens, a black athlete winning four gold medals.
Success by the English team could possibly have a similar effect on Putin’s sporting propaganda ambitions.
Irony of EU and UK passports
Annoyed though I am that the contract for Britain’s traditional blue passports is set to be awarded to a foreign company, the irony has left me with a wry smile.
The reason that the Franco-Dutch company, Gemalto, has been nominated over a British company is because EU competition rules mean that the best-value bid had to be chosen.
Now we all want best value, but we should be free to choose which company we want, given the circumstances of the job involved.
And if ever there was contract which should be filled by a British firm this is it.
The new passports are a symbol of our freedom from EU rules and regulations, but this decision shows that while we are heading for the door we cannot yet march to the beat of a different drummer.
North West MEP
UK Independence Party
‘Stop horrible cruelty’
Well done to Marjorie and Lillian for bringing up the subject of halal meat used in schools (LP letters, March 10 and 15).
I hope Lancashire County
stop it because of the horrible cruelty.
After the death of the animal, LCC should bring the circumstances out into the open, not behind closed doors.
Our children are brought up to love animals, not kill them in that way.
I wish we would all stand up for non-halal meat in our schools.
If people don’t like it, let them, as I have said before, have a packed lunch.
In the late 1960s, Harold Wilson told us we were entering an age of white hot technology and we should embrace it.
In the early 21st century, we are changing the way of human life and every creature on this planet.
This, of course, makes some people very rich in our world.
How will this affect the evolution of human life and every creature that survives here?
We must get back to real life.