You've Met The Met

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There are fewer of us around these days who took part in the Miners’ Strike of 1984/5, what with it getting on for nearly 30 years ago.  Urban myths and legends abounded at the time and I feel compelled to recount one now before it dies along with the rest of the industry.

Many will remember that local police forces were unable to cope with the demand on their resources to control coalfield areas and hence out-of-town forces were drafted in.  (One suggested reason being that politicians didn’t want post-strike relationships between the local police and the community being soured by the dirty work they needed done.)

The self-appointed elite of these “foreigners” were the Met.  Used to dealing with East End low-life rather than shit-for-brains colliers they considered themselves the Dog’s Bollocks and, indeed, were set apart from other forces by their unique white (as opposed to blue) shirt collars.

The story goes that on one occasion in Grimethorpe, a God-forsaken saloon town near Barnsley, where the people made nothing of themselves except fucking good soldiers or colliers, the Met were controlling picketing.

They’d snatched a number of pickets and held them secure in the meat wagon.  Because of the numbers they were taking they didn’t have enough handcuffs to restrain the prisoners so they’d used plastic electricians’ tie-wires.

On the way to the station one of the officers accompanying them in the van produced a sticker and slapped it on their coats.  Not a good reader at the best of times but standing no chance of trying to read it upside-down, one of the prisoners said, “What’s that?”

The bobby said, “It says ‘You’ve met the Met’”.

With his hands secured tightly behind his back the miner looked at him for a few seconds  then nutted him square on the bridge of his nose and said, “Yes, and now tha’s bin to Grimey”. 

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Tommy Carroll

Sat 12th Jan 2013 02:09

'' The worst thing you can do to coal is burn it'' A. Scargill...In reference to the many uses of coal BEFORE the remainder 'Coke'(a cleaner product) could be used to fire power stations.
Harry your comment could have been written by The Daily Mail.
The NCB and Tory government conspired to destroy the National Union of Miners: It was necessary to break the UK's strongest union in order to privatize the coal industry -closing down 'unprofitable' mines then Import millions of tons of substantially cheaper coal ('Brown Coal' a dangerous to health product). This attack on the miners and mining was to enable further attacks on Trade Unionism generally.
ps amusing anecdote John.

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Laura Taylor

Fri 11th Jan 2013 10:06

Haha - great ending John!

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Harry O'Neill

Thu 10th Jan 2013 22:41

As a former striker you might be interested in this.

In the early seventies I was a delegate at A T.U.C. conference in the Brighton Pavillion and was sitting behind Arthur Scargill and heard him and joe Gormley (Who I think was the president of the miners union by then) throwing jibes at each other across the chairs.

It`s sobering to know now that one of them ruined the industry, and the other was accused years later of passing on information about exremists to the secret service.

Funny old world, isn`t it?

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 10th Jan 2013 18:53

GBH = Grim Bloody Humour??
By the way, the Met. sergeants and PCs also wore blue shirts (inspectors and above wore white) until it was agreed that all would wear white in some pay and conditions arrangement long before any required "aid" was sent ooop norrrth. And the old black helmet badges and rose were replaced by the less impressive slightly garish "chrome metal" versions that still adorn their high hats here in the Smoke - no doubt a great help to night-time neer-do-wells who could see them coming a mile off!! Such is progress.

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