Robin Hood and his ten merrie men on wheels

I’m much indebted to Tony Hatfield for drawing attention, in his indispensable blog “Tony’s Ramblings”, to a wonderful story on the BBC News website.  Here it is, in its entirety:

Eleven bailed over stolen coach
Eleven people have been bailed after being arrested on suspicion of stealing a 30-seater coach. Northumbria Police said the coach was taken in the early hours of Sunday morning from Neville Street in Newcastle, near to the railway station. Police were alerted by the vehicle’s owner, Robin Hood Travel, and stopped the coach as it headed south on the A1, near Washington Services. All those arrested are from the Nottinghamshire area, police said.

The eleven — eleven!  a cricket team, perhaps? — suspected coach thieves are all from the Nottingham area, and the coach was stolen from Robin Hood Travel.  Where on earth was Maid Marion?  I suppose we shall never know:  this has all the hallmarks of a story which died the moment it went out, the dénouement buried in some dusty Newcastle police station file.  Unless brave Robin contrives to steal it in a daring raid, pursued by the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham.  And who, we may ask, has recently been clandestinely robbing the rich to pay the poor?  A burly Robin Hood, no less, cunningly disguised as a son of the manse from Scotland.  Now what would Gordon need a 30-seater coach for?  To transport the entire Blair Cabinet to Beachy Head, perhaps?  We know it was heading south….


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