Showing posts from December, 2020

Ghost and Mystery stories - WHEN CHARLIE LOST HIS MIND - By Don Hale

When Charlie' lost' his mind - By Don Hale  IT was on the number 6 bus back from Eccles, near Manchester, on a bitterly cold, wet day, one November, that my friend Charlie first mentioned something about his amazing mind-reading claims.  We had been playing football against St Joseph's School at Monton - and won 3-2, - thanks to our centre forward Brian (Sniffer) Harris scoring a last minute penalty. The home side accused their goalkeeper of 'sleeping,' and of being 'nobbled,' as Sniffer struck home the winner.  Certainly the lad appeared to freeze, and made little or no effort to save the shot.  Charlie Cressbrook played on the left wing for our school team. On the journey home, as we celebrated a sweet victory with a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, some toffee cigarettes and a can of pop, he tried to tell the boys' about a dangerous trick he claimed to have mastered.  Charlie was a bit of a 'swank,' always boasting about something or other.

Ghost and Mystery Stories - The Woman in the Red Dress - By Don Hale

Ghost and Mystery Stories - THE WOMAN IN THE RED DRESS - By Don Hale THE battered old dredger 'Penrose Bay' eased alongside the jetty at Dover Harbour. She had just returned with a most precious cargo, about sixty servicemen, lifted from the bloody, smoke ridden beaches of war-torn Dunkirk. Once the butt of many a joke in the dockside taverns around Pompey, this rusting old flat-bottomed tub now took centre stage alongside a Frigate, two Destroyers and a host of other smaller naval craft and pleasure boats. This had been its finest hour! Sergeant Tom Evans grasped at a corroded handrail on its top deck and scanned the waiting crowds on the quayside for familiar faces. After more than two years of military service in France with the outflanked British Expeditionary Force, and thankful to escape from the rapid advance of the German invasion, Royal Engineer Evans was practically back in England again. His face became contorted though at the prospect of a reunion with his family. T

Children's Short Story - Billy the Bright Blue Ball by Don Hale

  (1) B ILLY – the Bright Blue Ball - a children's story The first in a series of fictional short stories by Don Hale. BILLY woke with a start to the sound of a small boy tapping a coin on the shop window. As he slowly opened his heavy eyes, he could see someone staring back at him. It was unnerving. Billy was in the far corner of the window.  He felt rather uncomfortable and was perched on a soft pack of coloured plasticine, which was at precisely the same height as the boy’s eyes. Each day at exactly 4pm, this very same boy passed by the window with his mother on his home from school. It was an old-fashioned toy and gift shop in a small village on the Lleyn Peninsula. The window was a magnet for children of all ages. It seemed like an Aladdin’s cave packed full of goodies. It had everything from a wooden yo-yo, to a spinning top, an impressive Knight’s Castle, string puppets, metallic cranes, cloth dolls and a large electric train set. The train could be started by pressing a sma


                                   The genuine detectives' office at Manchester Town Hall SHERLOCK HOLMES, DYNAMITERS, FOREIGN AGENTS AND ROGUES The perils of old Manchester & London  Report by Don Hale The period shortly before and after the turn of the 19th century coincided with the fictional publications of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who depicted his hero as the super sleuth Sherlock Holmes, and his able assistant Dr Watson.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - the creator of the Sherlock Holmes character His work was extremely topical, and although at times it was criticised by senior Manchester Detective Jerome Caminada, he often included important references to the ‘Dynamiters’ and ‘Foreign Agents,’ and Holmes regularly pitted his wits against the admirable Inspector Lustrade at the new Scotland Yard.                                   Famous Manchester detective Jerome Caminada By this time, London could also boast of a unique police riverboat force, incorporated within the main city

SELF EDUCATION FOR THE POLICE 1899 - a unique guide to Victorian policing

Self Education for the Police 1899 - A unique guide to Victorian Policing: Reproduced by Don Hale: Introduction This is a fascinating document unearthed by accident from the archives of my great grandfather’s personal effects, which had lain hidden and unseen for well over 100 years. He was a former soldier who left the services to become a police constable, sergeant, detective sergeant, detective inspector, chief inspector and finally the youngest ever superintendent of Manchester Police. The content of this document is based upon the copy found within the faded notes of Self Education for the Police, which became known as the ‘Bobby’s Bible,’ and contained all the information required for a police officer to do his duty. The unique book contained a host of question and answers, tests and a sort of template so that each officer could be guided into the appropriate course of action. Policing and living costs c1900 Police wages: A police constable around 1900 would earn about £67 per ye