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My Diary

Police Chase: ‘The Bow Street Runners’

My bus journey home from the City ends at Bow Road station. From there I just walk down to Bromley by Bow and then catch the tube. It’s quite a nasty looking area with all the deteriorating high-rise council flats. There’s quite a bit of rebuilding going on, but there is no greenery in sight, just one park I notice – a not very nice looking one. Noone ever seems to be walking around about there. At least not anyone young.

Today I’ve been feeling sick all the way home. I can’t breathe. I feel hot. I need some water and fresh air. I pull off my coat. It is so crowded. I decide that I’m not going to catch the bus from now on. I’m going back to a zones one to four travelcard, even though it is more expensive. A Chinese girl is leaning on my arm and her hair brushes against my face. She’s talking to her boyfriend. I ask the lady sitting next to me if she wouldn’t mind opening the window for me. She looks around for it. It is right behind her head. She obliges. I sit there, pulling at my collar. It is so incredibly hot. She says don’t worry, everyone’s feeling the heat. Not like this, I think.

I get off at Mile End. I decide to just walk all the way down. The air is cool outside and it is not too windy. I’m walking past Bow Road and a crazily tall blonde guy with cropped hair runs out of the station in a cheap-looking check shirt and jeans and I make way for him, because he’s obviously not going to. I’m thinking to myself how rude people are nowadays and then two police officers, a guy with black hair and a blonde woman, run past me, spitting something into their walkie-talkies. They must be after the guy. But they’re so slow. They’re jogging. They don’t really look like they want to catch him.

He’s made an exit behind me to the left, down the street. I stand around and watch, along with three other guys. A black guy comes out of the tube station, one of the Underground workers. He’s looking with us. I tell him I saw the guy and ask him if he needs a description. Where did he go? He’s gone down there – the police are after him. No, it’s alright. He walks back into the station. I walk off.

It’s ironic I think. I know a little bit about legal history. I know I’ve just seen some Bow Street Runners.

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