Police Bottom of Garden

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Police Training Methods: As Citizens See it

Sir,

Your correspondent who was exposed to Kent Police Advanced Drivers in action recalls a similar incident a few months ago. I was going towards Maidstone from Dover when a similarly inscribed Jaguar shot past. Always game for something to relieve the tedium of a regular route I attached myself to his tail. The driver must have been just starting the course as considerable progress was made by me on the corners. By the time the Maidstone by-pass was reached I was quite enjoying myself and, to the further consternation of my passenger, proceeded to follow the Jaguar at about 100 m.p.h. When I started to follow the Jaguar it contained two correctly dressed policemen in front but the two in the rear were hatless. As our small convoy went along the motorway the constables in the rear put on their hats and smartened themselves up. By now my passenger was convinced I was about to be done and I was getting quite worried by my foolhardiness at travelling at this unheard of speed, but all was well and we went our separate ways.

One basic question emerges and despite many inquiries I have been unable to obtain a satisfactory answer, perhaps you can do better?

“Are the Police under training allowed to break the law?” (See following letter.—Ed.]

[Name and address supplied.—ED.]

—And As Bristol Constabulary Sees It

Sir,

With reference to the letter in November’s Motor Sport, concerning police training methods, may I as a regular and avid reader, put the matter in perspective.

Firstly, the Kent police were not speeding, as the writer implies, but were, I would suggest covered by Section 25, Road Traffic Act, 1960—”if the observances of the: speed limit would be likely to hinder the use of the vehicle for the purpose for which it was being used, on that occasion.” This is not, as you will automatically assume, a ” fiddle,” but designed for a specific purpose.

The overall purpose is this—assuming your writer is married, and during his absence from home. his home was raided by two thugs, his wife raped, and the house in the process of being ransacked. His wife recovers, and whilst the thieves are engaged, she manages to dial ” 999.” Would the writer expect the police to come at a Steady 40 m.p.h., strictly obeying the built up areas? He would expect the car to be at the door the moment the telephone was put down.

To dispose of his suggestion, that the speed be done on Brands Hatch—this is rubbish. Any fool can drive at speed on a track, all going one way. The art is to be able to drive on the public roads, safely at speed and arrive there—hence the training in high speed driving, in excess of the statutory 70 maximum.

You can take it from me, after 24 years’ driving experience, with all kinds of vehicles, the only drivers on British roads, safe to drive at speed, are the advanced police drivers. Whilst they are the best drivers in this country, it may not be stretching a point too far to say that they are probably the best in the world. Remember, unlike racing drivers, who have special cars, tyres, brakes etc., the police drivers, drive standard British cars—but they are trained in a system which is, within the limits of human endeavour, and error, almost foolproof.

However, don’t believe me; several police authorities run driver advisory courses, whereby they show the average motorist what driving is really all about, I would advise the writer to avail himself of this service. He might then by gracious enough to apologise for his hastilywritten letter. Probably with your expertise, you could manage to persuade the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Constabulary to let you spend a day on the Advanced Wing, and then you could write an article on your observations. You would probably end up being less “antipolice.” We do not expect you to love us, but remember, we are public servants—we only enforce the laws, that you wish your M.P. to vote for.

Knowle. Donald Grey. Bristol Constabulary,

Att. No. 53 Advanced Driving Course,

No. 7 District Police Driving School,

Devizes, Wilts.

[I just cannot agree that Advanced Police drivers are the only safe drivers on British roads, competent as they may be. What a sweeping statement this is! Moreover, the Section of the Act quoted may cover speeding police cars but I would be very surprised (albeit happy!) if it also covers a doctor hurrying to help at the calamity our police correspondent has described or competition cars on test which “would be hindered” if driven at under 70 m.p.h.

Incidentally, if these Police drivers are so competent with ordinary cars, why don’t they utilise this skill to earn good money winning rallies with Group 1 cars?

I will try to arrange for Motor Sport to spend a day with an Advanced Wing, as our correspondent suggests, but I endorse the the opinion of the original correspondent, that police drivers receiving training should not be allowed to exceed speed limits or drive in such close company on British roads. They should be trained abroad, where motoring writers now have to go to test fast cars properly. But I do appreciate the essential work our police do in time of emergency and bow much law-abiding citizens rely on them—which is why we don’t want them to be made to wast their time with radar traps, bacehus balloons and other toys.—Ed.]

*     *     *

Daimler v. Armstrong Siddeley

Sir,

Your Australian correspondent’s letter on his Daimler DB18 affords me the opportunity to write to you on three related subjects— altogether too much to resist.

First of all, on the subject of the open tourer. What a tragedy that touring cars are now obsolete. Bill Roddy has amply extolled the virtues of open motoring, and no sunshine roof or Aeroflow system can adequately compensate. Few people who have sampled open car motoring would settle for less, but unless they are now prepared to motor “sitting” with legs unnaturally horizontal with their behinds scant inches above the road, and with uninterrupted views of lorry differentials, belching exhaust pipes and the bottoms of hedgerows, there is little currently produced that isn’t a more expensive conversion of an already expensive car. Just another dreadful price we pay for monocoque construction. Well kept examples of the better cars of the 40s and 50s will surely appreciate in value, but how much more will the tourer be sought after?

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of driving and maintaining a 1949 DB18 coupé, and I am pleased to swap impressions with Mr. Inglis. At the same time I should like to compare this car with my own 1952 Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane—a comparison I have no hesitation in making—in spite of the Siddeley’s Alleged unpopularity.

These two cars are remarkably similar. The Hurricane is truly a four-seater, or even five or six in tolerable comfort. The driver’s seat is far less tiring than in the DB18—at least for my six foot—and the fore and aft adjustment is so generous that with sufficient leg room in the back, my seat can be set out of reach of the pedals! I cannot understand why the Daimler, costing more and very nearly as big as the Siddeley, cannot accommodate more than two people in comfort, nor even offer as big a boot as the Hurricane.

The Daimler seems to have done only about 30,000 miles, whilst the lurricane is now the wrong side of 70,000, still with the original engine and transmission—and perlectly fit. The coachbuilding just about bears comparison. Running on a smooth surface, both cars are silent, but with anything more than slightly rough going, the Hurricane rattles badly, whilst the Daimler is always silent and taut. Usage accounts for this to only a small extent, for the ample door hinges and more substantial body of the Daimler score here. The hood of the Daimler is more substantial than the Hurricane’s. It can be erected far more quickly—but the Hurricane’s hood is far better designed to keep out the weather, being zipped to the cant rails and well overlapped on the windscreen head. Neither hood stows tidily which surely could have been expected of these quality cars? The cars have identical heaters—the more draught-proof and “smaller” Daimler being the warmer car.

Re. performance, neither car should be thought of as a sports car (Hurricane a very sad misnomer) with compression ratios no more than 7:1, but 70 m.p.h. is reached, eventually, and uncomplainingly maintained when both are as smooth as turbines. With the smaller engine (2.3 to 2.5-litres) the Hurricane seems the more responsive and willing, but its steering is about as light and low geared as a road roller’s.

With similar 6-cylinder o.h.v. engines, both have preselector gearboxes; the fluid flywheel is always smoother though sometimes more vague than the Newton centrifugal clutch of the Siddeley. Both have alloy bodies, and though it’s purely a question of taste, Armstrong Siddeley surely had the better styling. The excellent rod brakes of the DB18 are better than the inadequate rod and hydraulics of the Hurricane could ever be.

Summarising, the Siddeley is a more stylish, roomier, and perhaps a livelier car than the Daimler which, for more money, offered a little better quality, a cigar lighter, and automatic chassis lubrication which unfailingly delivers oil to all parts—of the garage floor! (Very heavy steering suggests that the king-pins are denied this service.) It is interesting to wonder if the price difference was justified, but given the difficult choice now, I’d have to plump for the Daimler. At least, the Armstrong Siddeley had the dignity of becoming a “lost cause,” and the name does not insult its history by appearing now as a piece of badge engineering! Ask any Riley, Sunbeam, Wolseley, or even Daimler roan which he’d prefer.

Middle Herrington. John Wilkie.

*     *     *

Pre-War Trials

Sir,

Naturally I was most interested in your article involving pre-war trials routes, indeed I began to wonder if you had my book “Wheelspin” at your elbow, but I realise the references to Leckhampton are from the contemporary Autocar report (which I DO quote in “Wheelspin”).

The Herefordshire hills were first used by the trials’ “circus” of the day in 1937 when the Wye Valley Club upgraded their formerly rather “parochial” Hereford City Trophy Trial. Pont-y-Weston ” was a longish hill, starting between high hedges, with a rocky surface to start with, but becoming grass surfaced and rutted higher up, where it left the protection of the hedges.” When wet it was a case of: (Autocar again) “Most competitors changed up early to second and, if they had enough engine power to keep the wheels spinning, ‘made the grade’ in a series of slides and a rearward spouting fountain of earth clods. May’s M.G. shot up, the passenger waving cheerfully, in a veritable explosion of mud.”

Cusop Dingle started out of a water-splash and went up between high banks with a surface of rock outcrop strewn with fearsome boulders, more damaging than difficult, and never popular.

Most fearsome was a track known as Red Daren, which winds up the open hillside of the Black Mountains, grass-surfaced zig-zags finishing in an almost perpendicular climb up the mountain side, which was conquered only, I believe, by the late Alf Langley in a “Grasshopper” Austin.

I am surprised you could not find Leckhampton; the short approach is directly from the main Cheltenham-Birdlip road, opposite a sort of old tower. It was the (grass-surfaced) base of a long-since-dismantled wire-rope railway to the quarry at its summit. It is long, with constant (steep) gradient, and narrow. Great numbers of spectators’ cars parked in the main road added to the confusion, but if you have access to the contemporary Autocar report you will have read all the grim details. [I have!—Ed.]

You may not have delved into records which would tell you that Leckhampton was re-introduced into the “Colmore” in 1937, when as many as 17 climbed, and in 1938 as many as 34 were successful (Juniper was twice as lethal).

I think you climbed main-road Stanway, “Old” Stanway—much changed nowadays—went straight up through the woods where “main road” Stanway swings sharp right and swoops up the side of the hill. It used to be narrow, not very steep, but with a surface of rock outcrop and “steps,” on one of which I split open the sump of JB 7521 when in the running for a “Gloucester Goblet.” A section of rock outcrop towards the-summit was a favourite site for “Stop-and-go” or “Timed Re-start” tests.

Mill Lane was another rock-strewn track, with a long, long approach from the Cleeve Hill-Cheltenham main road. Descending towards Cheltenham, the turning is the last on the left before the main road turns sharp right at Prestbury. It was considered quite an obstacle about 1934/5 but its roughness was its main difficulty. A lesser track, known as “Piccadilly,” runs up parallel.

“New Kineton” was first used in 1935 and remained a “stopper” for some years. The passage of hundreds of cars and hordes of motorcycles has flattened and widened the track—it would be a “main road” to modern trials cars—but initially it “resembled nothing so much as an overgrown ditch of the type dug for carrying away flood water” and was “entered at rather an awkward angle through a gateway. The gate itself had been removed from its hinges but the massive gate-posts remained.” It was not unknown for cars to impale themselves on these posts.

Westdown was difficult only “at the first time of asking.” Once the “top dressing” had been churned off by many spinning wheels a clearly defined track formed. There were a lot of hills of this nature. Many of these tracks were not used even by the local farmers, during the war and when we went back to them most of them proved really difficult “at the first time of asking” but, in general, one well-supported trial over each was sufficient to scrape off the “top dressing” and leave a reasonable (by trials standards) amount of grip. I understand Widlake, one of the finest of the pre-war crop, now has a tarmacadam surface, but I wonder if Colly might still interest a modern trials machine? If you leave Luxborough church (near Dunster in North Devon) on your right hand and face westwards, the approach to Colly is the next turn to the left.

Solihull. C. A. N. May.

— — —

Sir,

How sad that your account of your exploration of pre-war trials routes (“On the road with products from Ford and B.M.C.,” October, page 927), which must have delighted many old trials drivers, is marred by some extraordinary mis-statements. You say that “such fun-and-games (trials) have been banished . . . because the Police objected to the amount of mud brought on to ordinary roads” and, later, “trials have been banned altogether from public roads.” The fact is, as I am sure you will, on reflection, agree, that although the “Competitions & Trials Regulations, 1965” placed a very tight control on trials where run on public roads, they are certainly not banned. For example the M.C.C. classics, which include the “Land’s End” and the “Exeter” to which you refer early in your account; are still very much alive and, incidentally, have the distinction of being designated as “specified” events by virtue of which no limit is placed on the number of entries.

Incidentally, a most unfortunate slur is placed on the organisers of past trials when you say “in those days it was trials… which were causing anxiety. Rallies were organised by responsible clubs . . . “. The obvious inference is, I am sure, quite unintended!

If only in the interests of the Sport I do hope that you may find it possible at least to publicise the fact that authorised and properly organised trials are not banished, or even banned from public roads and, furthermore, that the old classics are still run very much in their original form although the entry is now “classified” to cater for “ordinary” vehicles as well as trials specials.

Mill Hill, N.W.7. — J.P. Davis.

[I stand corrected. Concisely, I think the facts are roughly that when the R.A.C. realised, before the war, that the authorities were likely to bring pressure to bear on restricting or banning trials that used public roads between “sections” they introduced the ban on “knobbly tyres” by way of appeasement. Trials restarted after the war but ordinary or mildly special cars, even sports cars, found the muddy hills very difficult on the type of tyres to which they were now restricted. Consequently, enthusiasts for this type of motoring sport began to build special cars with much weight over or behind the back wheels. This had two unfortunate effects—it made it very difficult for the less specialised cars to compete with these new trials vehicles in competitions where previously they had taken awards, and these special “mud-stormers” tended to be unsteerable, even to tip over backwards, on steep gradients. The R.A.C., as ever with its eye on safety, decided to devise special regulations governing trials cars, from which the existing Trials Championships for very special, mainly Ford Ten-powered Specials, evolved. These vehicles, being unsuitable for road work, contest the Championship on private ground and are taken on trailers to these events.

That, off the cuff, is how my rusty memory recalls it. When I said trials had been abolished, I should have said curtailed in the form, and using the kind of cars, that had been a regular feature of the sporting scene up to and just after the war. Trials, I know, are still held. And, although trials did come into disfavour with the authorities (witness that 1935 S.U.N.B.A.C. Colmore Cup Trial which I referred to) whereas rallies were then big events, with the emphasis on reliability, time-keeping, driving tests and with elaborate Concours d’Elegance involved, and so were above suspicion, I did not mean to imply that the trials organising clubs were generally to blame.—Ed.]

— — —

Sir,

Your journey in a 1967 Austin-Healey Sprite, following the Route Card of 1935 Colmore Classic brought back many vivid memories of the excellent sport that pre-war trials provided and in particular memories of this event, which as you say was “tough,” but worth every mile which we in Scotland had to journey south to compete. The names of the Special Sections clearly recall the sights, the start at Fish Hill on a damp and misty February morning, the gathering of the competing cars, the back chat between competitors and friends, the changing of the rear wheels for the twin spares with the “Knobblies” which were essential wear in those days; the synchronising of your watch with “The Official Time ” and the “off.” The sounds too are remembered, the revs, mounting as wheelspin set in, or dying as the steepness of the bill defeated the power; and the smells—of hot mud or hot clutch!

You mention Leckhampton; this section had been abandoned before I was due to climb but I remember seeing what looked like a series of giant steps to the several slate quarries cut into the side of a very steep hill. As for Kineton—the competitor started with his wheels in a stream and, given the signal to go, it was flat out in bottom gear, literally leaping from rock to rock and I can assure you it was a very good moment indeed when you arrived at the top of the hill, under your own steam.

I still treasure the little Silver Cigarette Box inscribed, “Colmore Trophy Trial, 1935, first-class award.” On that occasion I drove a Singer Nine Le Mans 2-seater.

You followed the route of this 1935 Trial in a 1967 Sprite, whilst I competed in the 1936 edition of this trial in the first Sprite built, a Riley Sprite, a splendid pre-war 1½-litre car; in case you are interested in this little piece of history. I enclose a photograph showing my ascent to Kineton. Incidentally, this was the Riley Sprite’s first appearance in a competitive event, and again I am proud to say that a first-class award was achieved. Yes, those were very good days indeed and made even more pleasant by the camaraderie of the competitors. Thank you, Motors Sport, for bringing them to mind.

Edinburgh, W. Keith Elliot.

— — —

Sir,

I do like your idea of testing cars, such as the Cortina-Lotus and A.-H. -Sprite, in combination with exploring pre-war trials routes, the latter being a pastime of mine. I have had a most fascinating time finding these old trials hills especially when driving my 1936 Singer Le Mans 9 .h.p., ex-W. J. B. Richardson. Incidentally, Mr. Richardson, who is retired and now living in Brighton, has shown me a number of original old route cards, among which was a 1934 Alpine Trial in which he first drove a works Singer 9 and he proposed retracing his steps in an Austin 105.

May I recommend a few trials hills of scenic grandeur :—

Ibberton (Church Hill) near Blandlbrd. I in 4¾. Good vintage pub at the bottom and excellent views at the top, running away to the South.

Simms Hill, Ilsington, Devon. I in 2¾. (I ran into snow here in March).

Ash Vale, John A. Horne, Hon. Gen. Sec., Singer O.C.

*     *     *

Have We Become a Police State?

Sir,

Could you please inform when Mrs. Castle is going to issue the police with their Nazi armbands, as I would like to practise the appropriate salute.

Does this Minister really think there will be a drastic reduction in accident figures?

All the new Act will do is to widen even more the gap between motorist and police.

Brentford, L. Paine.

— — —

Sir,

Although I have been an avid reader of your magazine for many years, I have never before felt compelled to write to you, haying been content to read the views of persons more knowledgeable than I. This attitude changed completely as a result of an incident which occurred to me a short time ago.

Much is written today, explaining that the reason why the gap between the Public and Police widens almost daily is because they are compelled to enforce the Government’s rapidly increasing unpopular laws upon the people and, in particular, the motorist. The Police, however, have indicated now and then that they dislike carrying out these anti-motorist laws, but what else can they do other than give warnings for trivial offences? So the Police are, in their hearts, really on our side; rot! And this is why.

A short time ago I arranged a Bank loan to purchase another car. My own car, a Mini, although in quite good condition needed tidying up here and there and amongst other things I removed the bumpers to check for rust. I did, in fact, find small areas of rust and although the bumpers effectively hid these, I felt it unfair to the next owner not to make good. I removed the bumpers on a Friday evening and drove to-a garage the next day for the necessary paint, etc. On the way back home I was stopped by a squad car policeman (who had just fInished booking a motorcyclist) who waved me into a lay-by. The usual thoughts ran through my mind; I was insured, taxed, sober, and ten miles per hour under the speed limit. What on earth could be wrong? To my utter astonishment I was informed that my car was in a dangerous condition because by removing the bumper I had exposed a “razor sharp” edge of metal which protruded one and a half inches from the car’s body. (I might add that the headlamps and number plate on a Mini are the furthermost parts of the vehicle.) I told the officer why the bumpers were missing and pointed out the tins of paint I had in the car. I also said they would be replaced the following day (they were). A “don’t do it again”? An “all right sir, I understand?” Not on your life; booked there and then, somewhat to the embarrassment of his colleague it seemed to me, who, incidentally was far more sensibly testing the brakes (which proved to be o.k.). I shall not say any more at this stage as I fully intend to fight the alleged offence, and I hope by the time the case appears in Court I shall have enough material to present a first-class defence. I will merely add that you, yourself, must know of cars produced today with projections of equal, if not greater, potential danger.

If I am convicted of this “crime” I for one will not “have a go”, nor will I ever volunteer information of any sort to the Police. Selfish? Childish? Petty minded? Yes, but aren’t many of us, and wasn’t P.C. “X” mentioned above? [Name and address supplied.—Ed.]

*     *     *

“A Week Of Luxury”

Sir,

I have read your review of the 3½-litre Rover with interest and would like to comment on your observation that the switch controlling the instrument-lighting was “shorting.”

I have had three 3-litre Rovers Since 1960, the last being acquired in November 1965, and must have covered about 200,000 miles in all. In each car, I have experienced “overheating” of this switch, and was sufficiently concerned to have the unit replaced, shortly after acquiring the first car. This made no difference and, having had no trouble with this component on any of the cars, have regarded the condition as normal. Other owners with whom I have spoken have had exactly the same experience and accept the excessive heating as normal, too.

One last observation—the power-assisted steering appears to be adequate until one experiences a car designed to be driven properly. I have just acquired a Lancia Fulvia Rallye H.F. for personal, rather than business, use and the precision and lightness of its steering (and for that matter everything else mechanical) demonstrate what good design and engineering can achieve. You know this, anyway.

Thank you for an excellent magazine, and long may it prosper.

Epping, J. R. Lees-Jones.

*     *     *

M.O.T. Tests—Both Sides Of The Coin

Sir,

I should like to add one or two comments to those of Mr. Stimpson (Nov. issue), having almost put pen to paper in the same vein myself, following the letter from Mr. Armstrong (Oct. issue).

The parting of Mini rear sub-frames is not uncommon (people will let them stay full of mud, instead of occasionally clearing the drainholes in the bottom of the channel). However, the trouble is difficult to detect without considerable probing, even in its advanced stages, until the frame actually parts company under the rubber spring when a good bump is hit. There is considerable tension on this part of the frame and it is not necessary for it to corrode away, only to weaken somewhat.

Incidentally, you chaps who hare around in Heralds should try examining the chassis rear outriggers (the part the rear suspension radius rods are attached to) as these are getting in the habit of parting company with the rest of the chassis on earlier examples of the marque. This, believe me, gives far more frightening results than those of the Mini, since wheel control and braking are completely lost on the respective rear wheel. I personally have seen two of these recently and heard of several more.

My final point is this: how would Mr. Armstrong have liked the garage to say “Your car is O.K., but I am not going to give you a test certificate because your rear sub-frame looks a bit rusty—it might go on for years mind you, but it might not.”

Without the benefit of hind-sight, I suggest his reaction would have been an even stronger letter to Motor Sport. Owners’ usual statement—”It won’t take long will it, there’s nothing wrong with it”! Vehicles are tested as they are, not what they were yesterday or what they may be tomorrow.

‘Name and address supplied.—Ed.] ” Motor Mechanic.”

— — —

Sir,

Mr. Stimpson’s letter confirms something which I have been convinced of since M.O.T. testing was first introduced.

On more than one occasion in the past I have taken my car to be tested. On each occasion the garage has found some “failure” in the car which has not been noticed by either myself or the garage when the car has been serviced. This can only lead me to believe that in order to cover the loss on M.O.T. testing the garage will make a totally unnecessary repair.

Warwick, W. M.Hudson.

— — —

Sir,

The little “bleat” from Mr. Stimpson re M.O.T. tests has aroused me to write.

I always stay and watch my car tested. Being an impecunious motorist I can’t afford a new car so I am forced to submit to the system which makes me pay 15s. for a worthless piece of paper thin only brings discredit to the garage trade.

Even when the tests are carried out thoroughly I have never seen it take more than half an hour. The only tool used in any of them was a crow-bar to check the spring attachment points! As for the brake testing meter I bet that was claimed for on the tax form!

We also learn from Mr. Stimpson that we are forced by law to contribute to his rates and electricity bill!

I would have thought that 30s. an hour is a pretty good rate for any job! Also, in my experience “skilled” mechanics are few and far between, the general attitude being; “Oh, that will do!”

If it costs garages so much to carry out these tests why do they consent to do them?

Dorchester, J. Neimer.

— — —

Open-Air Motoring

Sir,

Now that the summer is over may I put forward the following piece of open-air motoring as a record for this country. I removed the hard-top from my Triumph Spitfire at approximately 2 p.m. on Monday 29th May and I did not put my hood up until some eight weeks and 19 hours later on Tuesday 25th July at approximately 9 a.m. when I was caught out by a very heavy rainstorm. Can anyone better this?

Coventry, R. I. Holmes.

*     *     *

Does The Team Think?

Sir,

As a result of the introduction of Mrs. Castle’s breathalyser test, there appear to be more lady motorists about. Surely this is defeating the object of the exercise, i.e., to make the roads safer?

Newark, Seamus o’Crogan.

[Without implying that experienced women drivers are incompetent, Mr. O’Crogan would seem to have a good point, because unwilling girl-friends, wives, mothers, aunts and grandmothers who normally do not particularly enjoy driving, at all events after dark, maybe in the rain and fog, now after a dull, stone-sober evening, will be increasingly required to get the mostly also-sober but alcohol-consuming members of the party home. It seems quite logical that this increase in timid, inexperienced ladies on the nocturnal roads could cause accidents that their husbands and men-friends, even after mild drinking, would have avoided.—Ed.] 

*     *     *

The Policeman’s Point Of View

Sir,

I feel I must write to you in protest at the chip you have on your shoulder towards the police force.

As a police constable I would like to put forward the point that the police do not make the laws, they enforce the laws made by the people through their respective M.P.s. We also realise that we too are quite capable of doing 32 m.p.h., to quote Mr. Dudman’s letter; and, how many motorists have been reported for exceeding the 30 m.p.h. limit when doing between 30 and 38 m.p.h. ? Not very many in my experience.

I should also like to add, as a parting remark, that so far as the breathalyser is concerned I, and the rest of the police constables I know, will only be using the device to ensure conviction of drivers who were previously getting off scot-free when they were quite drunk, and this was not uncommon. We shall not be stopping drivers with only one front light and giving them a breathalyser just because they have left a pub car park, and have had a pint or two.

Thank you for an excellent magazine, and please try to be fair.

Manchester, D. Wilkinson.

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The New Fords

Sir,

I have just taken delivery of a 1300 De Luxe cross-flow Cortina, and think it is the best value for money of any car in this price bracket. The bodywork is far superior to earlier models, the doors push shut with a satisfying clunk, and with my frequent stop-start driving following my job as a commercial traveller, the car returns a consistent 37 m.p.g. Fords are to be congratulated for producing a car combining such economy with excellent performance.

Writtle. B. D. Wynn.

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