About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Great Woolworth's Caper Re-Visited

I've been a little bit busy of late and finding time to blog has been just a tad too difficult.  Therefore, for your entertainment, I beg your forgiveness for the following re-post.

Back in the day, when my followers numbered less than the digits typing this text, I posted 

"The Great Woolworth's Caper"  a recollection of my wicked and wild childhood.  I hope you enjoy it (again).


Let me take you back to a time when police officers regularly patrolled on foot without fear of having to break into a run and were never more than two minutes away from a cup of tea; a time when a 'police chase' was nothing more than a fast whistle-blowing and gasping walk; a time when crime was actually considered un-cool.

The year is 1969, the month was August, and school was out for the summer holidays.

I was ten years old and about to commit a heinous crime and become the subject of a police interrogation for the very first time.

It was a Saturday.  I remember that the local football ground was being used for a farmers show on that day and the town (Ashington, Northumberland) was buzzing (in a 60's kind of way).  I had a bag of (peri)winkles,  a pin and some jelly babies and I was on my way to see "The War Wagon" with messrs Wayne, Douglas and  Keel at the local Regal cinema..

On my way to the cinema I passed the ideal place for Mini-skirt-spotters ... Woolworth's!

Mini skirts were still turning heads in 1969, but unlike today, big knickers (Bridget Jones's) were still all the rage.   So, whilst touring the aisles of Woolworth's, carefully and strategically dropping things as mini skirted women passed by, nothing more than great expanses of flower-patterned material was revealed*.

I decided on that day that Woolworth's was a boring shop and needed to be livened up somewhat.  The "pick and mix" sweetie counter just didn't cut it any more and I had to do something.

That was when I saw a plastic box at the end of one of the aisles.  It was full of super-bouncy rubber balls that were aptly named 'Super-balls'.  They were smaller than their almost tennis ball sized cousins (Power balls) and very easy to conceal.  So I concealed some ... I ate my jelly babies and stuffed the bag full with at least ten to fifteen balls ... my winkles were deposited under the counter and that bag too was filled with balls.   With two full bags and bulging pockets, I made my way up the steps that lead to the shops rear entrance.

I then stood in the doorway and scanned the shop floor in front of me.  No one was looking!

As quickly as I could I took all those super-bouncy balls and one after the other I propelled them back into the shop in every conceivable direction.  People started screaming and balls pinged off floors, walls,  shelves and a good many heads.  I fired salvo after salvo into the throng of panicking customers, dodging after each one behind the scant cover that the door frame offered.  I was in tears of joy as old lady after old lady** ducked, skidded, fell and rolled their way behind counters and into safety.

As the last of my 'ammunition' was expended, I turned towards door behind me to make my escape, only to run head first into one of the largest stomachs I have ever seen.  I ricocheted onto my backside and slid ineloquently to a halt at the top of the stairs and looked up.

The 'stomach' turned out to be wearing a policeman's uniform and it belonged, in fact, to a jolly looking fat police sergeant that I had seen around town and called names on many occasions.

It was obvious that he recognised me as he said "Are you going to come quietly, Mr. Capone?  Or do I have to call in the F.B.I."?

For hours (or so it seemed) I was questioned by the sergeant and store manager as to my motives for committing such an atrocity.

"It was only a joke" was the answer I would have liked to have given, but terror had clamped my jaw shut and I could only manage to mumble incoherently.

I was released with a stern telling off ... eventually ... but only after a thousand and one apologies were demanded (and given) and only after the manager conceded that no real harm had been done and that some of the staff and customers had had a good laugh about the incident.  Luckily, my parents were never informed and my arse was saved the wrath of my fathers belt.

*Ok, at this point I have to admit that I wasn't really doing my best every opportunity to look up mini skirts!  
No.  At that time of my life I was still in the throws of "girl hate" and a dislike of everything girlie.

**I was ten.  Twenty-five was old to me


  1. What a great story. You rogue.
    We used to set all the egg timers at the kitchen store to go off 5 seconds apart from each other. Great fun until someone decided (probably the parent of a young boy) to wrap them in hard plastic.

    1. Egg timers! Next time I go into the £1 shop I'll have to remember that. They lie around loose there!

  2. Bonza tale. I could just imagine everybody running for cover it would have been really funny indeed. What a scallyway you were at ten :-).


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