Trouble at the Sun Inn
One Saturday winter’s night about 9pm instructions came over the telephone to attend the Sun Inn where there was a drunk causing bother.
The Sun Inn was a small place near the top of Boothroyd Lane an uphill walk of a couple of hundred yards. There was only one entrance straight off the pavement into a narrow passageway about fifteen feet long with a door at each side at the nearer end leading on the left to the snug and on the right to the tap room. At the far end of the passage which was only 3 feet wide was a serving hatch in the left hand wall.
There must have been twelve or fifteen people crowded in the corridor all with drinks in their hands. The snug and the tap room were also full. The landlord poked his head out of the hatch and shouted that a youth at the end of the passageway nearest the hatch was causing trouble. The youth was a man in his early twenties the same age as me. I knew him as Michael Grogan one of a number of sons in the Grogan family known for crime and violence.
I pushed my way along the corridor through the other drinkers. They were not happy at the presence and behaviour of Michael and wanted to see him removed but at the same time they were not endeared to a copper who was expected to do the removing. At the end of the corridor because of the restriction in space I was literally eyeball to eyeball with Michael. Quietly tried the coaxing words but to no avail so the only response was effing and blinding. Then the stronger words to leave the pub. No effect. Then the laying on of hands and quickly we were exchanging punches with no help expected or forthcoming from the crowd or the landlord.
Michael and I were now grappling on the floor. He was as strong as I was and I could see me losing the fight unless I got the top hand. I was by this time partly kneeling so I reached for my truncheon pocket with my right hand (not as common an event as films led people to believe) but it was becoming necessary in this so far evenly matched scrap.
I drew the truncheon high above my head to deliver a telling blow wherever it might land and I was aiming for the head but when I brought my arm down my hand was empty as one of the crowd (a woman) had hung onto the truncheon.
Anger, frustration and fear seemed to give me enough strength to overpower Michael and hustle him to the door.
The landlord must have rung for assistance for was I glad to see a police car outside the door and the driver coming to assist me to get Grogan into the police car.
Someone from in the pub politely handed me my truncheon before we drove away, me still trying to subdue the prisoner.