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History on 18th July

British Cops’ 1-2-3 in Olympic Tug o’ War

Shepherds Bush, London The 18th of July 1908 AD

If only the 2012 British organisers of the London Olympics could sort a few events like the 1908 tug of war at White City. A description of the competition would be beyond all credibility were it fiction. Firstly Britain entered three teams, while the rest of the world could muster just four to go against them, and of these the Germans and Greeks withdrew before push came to shove, or rather pull.
Those withdrawals left only one quarter final to be held: the might of the USA against... Liverpool Police. The stalwart Americans objected to the scouse coppers wearing their police boots, and when that objection was thrown out the Americans walked out. That left just Sweden of the outside competitors, and they lost to our Liverpudlian flatfeet, later not bothering to turn up to contest the bronze medal against Metropolitan Police K Division.
And the winners were... City of London Police, defeating their Merseyside colleagues 2 pulls to 0. So Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze to three different British police forces – and they were British, several of the team members coming from Ireland for a start. At subsequent Olympiads, by the way, City of London Police won another gold and a silver.

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