Caught in the act




When I was at school in Ealing just after the war, a fellow sixth former invited me to ride my bike to Silverstone, stay on his uncle’s farm and watch the first post-war grand prix.

His uncle had a field right beside the circuit so he opened it up as a car park. Before the race started the field was full and he was in the milking parlour counting out the money. Some months, or even years later, he received an ambiguous letter from the income tax authorities that simply said: “We have reason to believe you have understated your tax return.”

Attempts to find out what they knew failed, so he decided that it must be the car parking money. He admitted that he had “helped a few drivers park their cars” but felt it wasn’t worth declaring, or perhaps he had forgotten. The Inland Revenue then produced an aerial photograph showing that you couldn’t have got another car in the field if you’d tried. Don’t ever underestimate the taxman.

I am, yours, etc,
Graham Arnold, Dereham, Norfolk