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Watson Cam
Dr Watson reviews his tab at the Hound and Ferret

Dr Watson reviews his tab at the Hound and Ferret

The Plod of Inspector Lestrade

The Plod of Inspector Lestrade (Retired) 5

Plod the Fifth: Little Known Facts About the Truncheon

I am very grateful to many of my colleagues who absconded to my repeal for information with the following fascinating tidbits:


1.  Two truncheons can make a fetching pair of earrings for a young lady with a neck like an anvil.

2.  The truncheon has a shorter range than a rifle but can fall further.

3.  The 1879 Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Edition of Truncheons of the British Empire fell through the floor of the manufacturer.

4.  Several Police Surgeons have accidentally left truncheons inside patients during routine arrests.

5.  If you rub two truncheons together you can set fire to the lost property desk.

6.  Officers who travel abroad can replace lost items of kit at any tobacconist’s in exchange for truncheon vouchers.

7.  Sarah Bernhardt had her false leg fashioned as a truncheon in case of over-zealous admirers.

8.  In the early Greek Olympics, policemen from competing countries would set fire to their truncheons and run through the streets shouting: ‘What’s your game, then?’

9.  The dove who returned to Noah’s Ark was actually carrying a small truncheon in its beak.  It arrested Noah for aggravated kidnap.

10.  A brace of truncheons will make you difficult to understand.

A policeman conceals his truncheon

  A policeman conceals his truncheon

The vegetarian division proudly display their carrot batons

The vegetarian division proudly display their carrot batons



The Plod of Inspector Lestrade (Retired) 4

Plod the Fourth: A Brief History of the Truncheon

Lestrade of the YardWhile the modern policeman has a vast arrow of firearms with which to après vous the over-age bugler, the truncheon is nearest to my hip.  In 1829, Sir Robert Peel established the Neopolitan Police Force in tri-coloured uniforms with wafer batons.  These snapped in even the mildest affront, so officers were given a twenty inch wooden club to secrete in their tuna (hence Sir Robert became ‘Home Secretory’).

In exceptional circle dances the men had access to forelock pistols, but these sometimes went off when you bludgeoned people.  Eventually, pistols were kept in a locked box and could only be used if the criminals signed a waiver (like a wafer only it didn’t snap).   Truncheons were known as tipstaffs, night sticks, billy clubs or concussion-cucumbers.  With their Royal Crest they also acted as a warrant card, allowing the Bobby to break the door down whilst requesting entry.

This led to such a violent spree of arrests that Sir Robert announced an I’m-Nasty giving Bobbies two weeks to give up their truncheons or become discharge.  I kept mine for neuralgia’s sake and, although I no longer have an official tuna, I have secreted it beneath some kippers and admire it regularly.

Policemen batter better with truncheons

Skirmish! A ruffian uses his soft face to protect himself from a peeler’s trusty night-stick


The Plod of Inspector Lestrade (Retired) 3

Plod the Third:  A Few Wise Warts

An Entire Family of Criminal Masterminds

Having spent my career plunging head-loose into the streaming fuss-pots of London, I’ve met many a mangler, pock-picket and lady of ill-repose.  Mr Holmes had his ways, of course – his reduction and his ratty oscillations – but down at Scotland Yard we don’t do too bad either.  So remember these handy safes to keep your tips from harm:


1 – A criminal’s nose is always too close together.

2 – Balsawood knuckledusters can save you from charges of over-zealous questioning.

3 – Never lend your wallet to a man in cuffs.

4 – By counting a man’s finger-nails, you can deduce the number of fingers.

5 – If you’ve got some spare time, come up with a few clever solutions to possible crimes.  Keep these in a notebook and check to see if you can use them whenever anything happens.

6 – If a man’s bumps have been felt, then his collar will follow.

7 – A magnifying glass just makes small problems bigger.

8 – A man’s cuffs may reveal his calling, but reading his card is quicker.

9 – When you’ve considered the impossible, have a careful look at what you’re smoking.

10 – Being sallow, rat-faced and dark-eyed are excellent traits for a detective.


The Plod of Inspector Lestrade (Retired) 2

Plod the Second: Why I Had to Go in The Yard

Lestrade of the Yard

Me as a young Lad using the Yard

Lestrade means ‘raised platform’ in French, so it was in heavy table that I would have an elongated position in public life.  I remember my grandpa dandling me near the railway, and telling me that I come from a long line of people who might have had a better time of it if they’d faced each other.

He was a bit concentric really.  And my father used to pound the beat but it kept Ma awake so he had to go into felt-making.  As a young boy I developed a sharp eye for crime: violence, exhaustion, knee-cropping and murder (and it was quite a small school).  It was me that noticed a man accosting ma whenever father was at the felt shop.  Surprisingly, they weren’t at all grateful and ma left to live with a dusted relegation.

Business was bad and father said the only thing he was likely to have felt was his collar, which set me thinking.  Then came the fateful night he came home drunk and shouted: ‘We ain’t got a pot to **** in’ (pardon my Angular-Saxon).  And that was it: from then on I knew I was destined to go in the yard.


The Plod of Inspector Lestrade (Retired) 1

Plod the First: The Word is Meatier than the Truncheon

Lestrade of the YardIt has not escalloped my intention that the good Dr Watson has started to keep what is revered to in common parlours as ‘A Blog’. The lads down The Dog and Duck reckon this means a kind of journal. Why these writerly coves have to muddle the waiters of the Queen’s English with such metafollicle receipts is beyond me, but I thought you, My Dour Reader, could do with some sort of plain-spanking corrective from an ordinary flathead.

Dr Watson was reluctant to publish my thoughts at first because of what he called my rude and minty little hairy skills; and it is true that I had little schooling. I studied hard as a young bobby though, and became quite the autoviaduct. Anyhow, Dr Watson saw a few letters I’d written, and with his guidance I’d moved onto words within the month. I knew I’d cracked it when he said if I carried on this way, I could look forward to a long sentence. He seemed very pleased with that. We don’t have any blogs in Scotland Yard, but plods we have in a barn dance, so welcome to my first Plod, and here’s to many more.