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LEARNING THE TRADE.

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
As I mentioned in a previous post I was always getting mistaken for a gangster or a copper up until l I was about 50 or so. Well I was in a pub one evening when I was around 27 ish. Got chatting to a bloke as you do and he asked me if I wanted to buy a ring. I didn't mostly because I was skint. Just as well he said , oh yus ? yes its con Ive been doing for years. Get me a beer an I 'll tell you how it works. So I did .

You find a soft touch in a pub whose had a few then show him this diamond ring that you want to sell cheaply and quickly . Its the wife's' and I left her yesterday, its worth x grand but you can have for £ 50 or 1oo quick coz i need the money to get away from the ole cow . I know what yore thinking , you think this ring is fake but I tell you what just to prove that its Kosher you take me to any jeweler you like and well get it checked out.
So off they go to the shop of the punters choice, tell the bloke behind the counter that we want to sell him this ring and how much is it worth to you ? Jeweler looks at it sees that its worth a few bob and makes an offer but wants to see proof of ownership etc.
Sorry mate its the ex wife's' an shes got the paperwork , So the jeweler declines to buy it but offer's to pawn it if he is a pawn broker as well. So the bloke says thank you very much but I wanted to sell it and my friend here is interested in having it .
Out they go and the seller says to the punter have you got the readies on you etc. They work out the cash someway or 'tother make the sale then off they go . When the punter gets home or tries to sell the ring on at a jewelers he discoveres that the stone is glass, matey swapped the rings over on the way way out of the first jewelers.

Then he asked me if I wanted to come in with him as the two of us could make two hits in the area in the same day. ...................... all you gotta do is buy a ring from me and I ll give you the paste one for free an off we go .

Apparently he had been doing this scam since the 1950's
Later on I tell you a story about the time a copper on the beat mistook me for CID and said that he wasnt a beat copper but he was in Islington CID as well. So I said what are you in Disguise then ? ( as he was in uniform) but he didn't get it .
 

ScooterDog

Clanker
Cool story bro. Bit of a stretch to put this in Finance, Property and Law though.

Why were you always mistaken for a copper (or gangster?)
 
Cool story bro. Bit of a stretch to put this in Finance, Property and Law though.

Why were you always mistaken for a copper (or gangster?)

I’ve never been a police officer but there has been the odd occasion in the past where I’ve been sussed as one by somebody.

It’s usually in a pub and and the last time, I walked into my regular pub and some traveler people were in there who looked at me and said I was a copper. these days. Given my age now, they put usually you down as a retired policeman.

It’s probably partly down to the fact that my hair is often neatly cut and I have had a moustache since my army days.

I just laugh and say, nope, never been a policeman in my life which is the truth.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
Cool story bro. Bit of a stretch to put this in Finance, Property and Law though.

Why were you always mistaken for a copper (or gangster?)
well i fort scam and law fitted ??

I am a big lump and used to have what might be called a "well spoken cockney accent" Also it may have been my military bearing ? Just after having a haircut People used to clear away through to the bar for me , when they stopped doing this I knew it was time for a trim.
I cant realy say why people mistook me for a copper or a crook I m neither. I was at an engagement party once for tow coppers getting married the lady one was a friend of my wife's. Anyway we were in a pub in Muswell hill an I could hear the young coppers , i was 38/40 whispering " nah yew go arsk him " and so forth. In the end a plucky young constable asked me if I wanted a drink ho fank yew says I large brandy please. Then he starred to ask me if was was from Kings cross and I said no Holborn,because that's where I worked at the time . After a while his oppos gathered up the courage to join us and each one in turn offered me a large Brandy without me being asked. Then gradually they asked how did I get into the squad and was it lively ?

So I said what do yew mean ? anyway they thought I was in the mucky book squad for some odd reason. They looked relieved when I told them that I was a civy .

So Im in a small east end pub with two of my mates , they knew everyone there but i'd only visited it a few times, this was just after my divorcée , they were all in a group huddle chatting and somehow i was on the outside of the group, a chap comes up to me an says " oi yew working? " yes fank yew I replied then he sent me a beer over.
Cut a long story short two more blokes came up and asked me the same question followed by a beer .
When the third once asked me, I turned to my mate Markey an said oi Mark tell these blokes that i have a job will you, three of 'em have asked me now . Marked looked over at the corner gave a slight nod of his head and said he's wiv me . Two minutes later about five black bags filled with leather Jackets were swiftly passed over the counter.

Couple of weeks later the guvnor asked me if I knew how to blow up a pub , but it can't be a fire. Wot I said confused, he had heard a couple of my mates call me Beau Gest BHP and they told him I was like a ranger or a mercenary type bloke . I had been in the Royal Engineers Regs, Anglians T.A and ran off to join the French Foreign legion but got sluing out after two weeks . My civy friends believed that I was too tough for the Legion ! If only they bloody knew and I swear on my horses life I didin't give then ANY reason to think that I was other than what I was , they told the guvnr that I could blow things up and live in a dessert on a tin of baked beans for six months by myself. The guvnor took them at their word and wanted me to do a job for him. I didn't ask for any details but told him two ways of doing it himself.

Couple of weeks later he tried to recruit me and two of my mates to help sort out a sarf london mob who are pushing their luck . We said oh yes giss a shout well turn up . the guvnr said its tomorrow night.
So when were in the car to go home Mark said to me are you realy going tomorrow then BHP? Like buggery am I was the swift retort yew could get 'urt doing tricks like that . Which was just as well as we heard that two blokes got shot that night !! I never went anywhere near that pub again in my life !!!

So why people thought that I was a gangster or a copper I never knew it was just something about me I suppose . Loads of odd things like this happened to me I promise never once was I walting it up or bloating.
 
I had a drink with Roy James in the Lamb and Flag in Swindon back in the late 70's - Great Train Robber - he knew we were coppers. He was down visiting someone who we (police) were acquainted with, we happened to be in the pub grabbing lunch when they came in. So we chatted for a while.
 

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