For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009

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Friday, 8 January 2021

THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF...

FROM THE GUARDIAN TODAY - FRIDAY 8TH JANUARY



Two women have described how they were surrounded by police, read their rights and fined £200 each after driving five miles to take a walk.

The women were also told the hot drinks they had brought along were not allowed as they were "classed as a picnic".

Guidance for the current lockdown says people can travel for exercise as long as it is in their "local area".

The police force involved, Derbyshire Police, said driving for exercise was "not in the spirit" of lockdown.

One of the would-be walkers, Jessica Allen, assumed "someone had been murdered" when she arrived at Foremark Reservoir on Wednesday afternoon.

16 comments:

bowlandclimber said...

Et mois...
I've walked from home on 5 days this week, the other I drove 3 miles. Confused.com

Phreerunner said...

I abandoned today's 'Friday morning stroll' with a friend who lives 8 miles away. I could have cycled to meet him, but we agreed that minimal contact with anyone at all is the most sensible approach at present. I've decided not to drive anywhere except in a 'caring' capacity. Sue has had her first jab so she can continue to do the shopping.
You'll see that I'm doing some Alpine reminiscing...
M

bowlandclimber said...

M. I agree. I think minimal driving and contact are the wisest choices. The cases and deaths today are frightening, it is all out of control again since the premature end of the last lockdown in November.
Perhaps aero-modelling is an even safer choice.

Gayle said...

Last Sunday evening I spent a goodly chunk of time reading not just the government guidance on permitted activities, but also the legislation that sits behind that guidance, so as to make an informed decision as to whether I could reasonably travel to Cannock Chase on Monday. I decided it was a close thing, but came down on the side that it was reasonable. (What wasn't reasonable was the amount of sheet ice that I encountered on the tracks there; it was an 'interesting' outing and something of a miracle that I remained on my feet!)

As I drove home afterwards it had been my intention to repeat the excursion on a weekly basis, but by Monday evening, based on the announcement of the lockdown, I was very firmly of the mind that such travel was in no way still acceptable. All exercise will now be taken from home, which is unfortunate given the state of mud hereabouts and the lockdown not having reduced the amount of traffic on the roads to the level that I'm happy running along the main roads - but in the grand scheme of things, those are undeniably trivial gripes.

All that said, had I been in the shoes of either of those women who were the subject of the story, I would (unless something in the full set of circumstances, which aren't known to any of us, suggested otherwise) not have accepted a fixed penalty, but would have defended myself in court.

Gayle said...

Oh goodness, I wrote an essay again. Sorry about that!

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - Thanks for that. It is not easy to get all this into perspective. I see the police are now having second thoughts about their action. What I would have demanded in exact detail would have been: under what legislation they were issuing those fines. I don't see how any legislation would stand up to challenge if specific distances were not defined - it is all too wooly, but at the same time I agree wholeheartedly that these strict measures must be applied, but they MUST be properly defined.

Essays are more than welcome here.

AlanR said...

You would have thought that the police of all people would have read the rules. That the rules were guidance and not statute. The force in question said that they were leaving it to their officers to decide what was reasonable which in itself is totally stupid as 2 people never share the same view entirely. Because there was so many police involved with the 2 ladies that it seems it was some kind of test. I feel sorry for the 2 ladies. 5 miles is not unreasonable in my opinion. Also to say that having a take away coffee is a picnic is absurd and its a good job they weren't carrying an offensive apple or they could have been tasered. I agree with Gayle, I would have gone to court.

Margaret Oliver said...

I had read/heard somewhere that one of the women lived 15 miles away. How true that is I don't know. If the full circumstances were as in the report, I agree with Gayle that I would not have accepted a fixed penalty but would have taken the matter to court.

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R and Margaret Oliver (welcome to the blog Margaret, new commenters are much appreciated) - I emphasise again that I support the application of strong measures so long as they are properly defined. As for going to court I reckon the result would depend completely dispassionately on whether a law was broken and that would be fairly easy to establish so it would be prudent to find out if that was so or not before proceeding. If the law had been broken it would then be up to whoever was presiding to rule on the fine which would then be a more subjective decision - one with sympathy may reduce it to say £1 ?

afootinthehills said...

I would have gone to court - although here in Scotland if I had refused to pay the fine this would have, I think, gone to the Procurator fiscal and I doubt it would have made it to court.We fully intend to drive 5 to 8 miles to walk and since it will only be us - we are not meeting anyone else so we will be no risk to anyone. I think it was appalling the way these two women were treated.

Dave said...

If the circumstances are as reported I would have thought the worst that should have happened would be that the two women be asked to turn around and go back home. And I'm not sure - having waded through the lack of clarity - that the law requires even that.



bowlandclimber said...

I'm not sure we have all the facts in this case. It concerns me that a photograph has been taken of the two women with their coffees. Which third party took the photo, almost looks like a photo shoot or publicity stunt. https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/0436/production/_116387010_walk1.jpg
Were they going for a walk or just meeting up for a coffee and chat? Where did they get the coffees? All is not what it appears. We may never know.
If that had been you and me Conrad there would not have been a photo and I doubt it would have made the papers. I'm all for tougher lockdown otherwise we will never get out of this and thousands more will die. We all blame the politicians for their tardy and inadequate measures, but I suspect the public are as much at fault.
A Policeman's Lot is not a Happy One. Happy One. W S Gilbert.1879.

Phreerunner said...

Meanwhile, in Sale, Trafford...

https://phreerunner.blogspot.com/2021/01/saturday-9-january-2021-social.html

Conrad, how do I get an aero-modelling starter pack, I suspect my old glue has dried out, but some of the Humbrol paints may still have some life....

Sir Hugh said...

BC - a very thought provoking comment.
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Phreerunner - not sure if that is a genuine question or tongue in cheek but if you want such info I would be pleased to pass on the bits and pieces I have gleaned recently. Acrylic paint is now more widely used. The Humbrol/Revell enamels I tend to use for small details. The water soluble acrylics work much better in my air brush and they are much easier to clean.

afootinthehills said...

Martin - I agree with Conrad re soluble acrylics. Don’t know about ‘starter packs’: some kits come with paints and brushes (poor) but I buy my own. It’s just a preference but I like Revell or Tamiya kits and use Revell Aqua Acrylic paints. I use Tamiya Thin cement and Revell glue. I also use Micro Sol and Micro Set for decal application. Take care both of you.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Conrad, Gibson, I may get going with something once the house is straight and if I can fit it in between scanning and other projects. I have one or two part assembled models to get me going. Still waiting for carpets, and lots of stuff to throw out to make the place a bit tidier!