Today I phoned the emergency services for the first time in my life which is not bad going for somebody of my advancing years.
Yesterday a friend passed comment on my recent exercise regime (streak = 90 days) and how I might be suited to being a Community Support Officer. The thought of a little bit of power and the opportunity to dress up was quite appealling (those who know me could confirm this would be right up my street if you pardon the pun). I wonder whether Nick had experienced some sort of premonition because less than 24 hours later I could have got my first collar.
I was proceding in an easterly direction along Lanley Hall Road Lane at approximately 05:50 hrs when upon turning into Guest Road my attention was drawn to 3 youths walking in the opposite direction.
To be fair I almost ran into them, I had headphones on so not sure what they said but I think I said ‘Oops’ or something equally butch before darting onto the road to avoid impact. They were probably more startled than me as I was in hi-viz with matching gloves (you just need to accessorise darlings!). I wondered what they might be doing at this hour so rather than cross the motorway to do the usual circuit along Thatch Leech Lane etc I turned back off Bury Old Road onto Nursery Road and then crossed the mini-roundabout onto Glebelands Road.
I spotted them ahead, two on the pavement and one on the road ‘passing by’ a Rover Metro. I ran past them on the opposite pavement and shouted across ‘Morning lads’ in the cheeriest tone I could muster for 5:58am and making it clear I had seen them. I couldn’t hear what they said (if anything) because I had Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat it’ ringing through my ears (quite appropriate in hindsight).
I turned back onto Bury Old Road (overtook a cyclist climbing up from the Heywood Rd junction) and then turned back down Guest Road and onto Glebelands again.
They had made their way further along and one of them had the rear passenger door open on a Volvo estate. I thought it unlikely that it would be his car, so I shouted ‘I knew you were up to no good’ or something that didn’t involve swearing or anything perceived as aggressive. I then turned 180 and ran back along Glebelands until out of their sight and called Dibble. I was reluctant to phone 999 but the 872 5050 number is a complete waste of time in my (bitter) experience. I have phoned it in the past but you are passed around the houses and the chance of it working outside of the normal waking day would have been remote.
The first thing I said was ‘I’m not sure if this is an emergency but…” In hindsight it was the right thing to do as they could have come back to find me and with this in mind I removed the flourescent jacket and head band which made me fairly conspicuous (think of the mutant lovechild formed by Rambo and a Lollypop Lady).
They of course were less conspicuous. Obviously I run so quickly I couldn’t hope to give a detailed description and it was dark too so could only say they were dressed in dark clothing, each late teens, around 6 foot and could only guess at their ethnicity (a dodgy thing to do in these times!). I couldn’t pick them out in an identity parade though if the alledgedly deployed patrol car was to spot them they could cross reference the dabs of at least one of them with the Volvo on Glebelands Raod as they had got so far as putting the rear seat down to ‘explore’ the boot area. I doubt that anything actually happened as a result of my report though.
Let’s just hope they’re not out and about and a little bit upset early tomorrow morning.