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Guinness Man image!what is it about the black liquid that captures our Guinness Man so deep to the core?

just how did Guinness Man become lured to the dark side? Legend has it that it was one rainy bitterly cold winter night that saw the man himself enter premises of ill repute colloquially known as "his local"

what happened next has been passed down from outstation to outstation and cannot be totally confirmed even with the massive research capabilities of RCC

but with what has been cobbled together from outstation overheard snippets of third hand conversations and scribblings from toilet walls it is almost totally possible that Guinness Man met up with an old friend - a big black bushy beard has been spoken of twice now - so unless it was a fake

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Enter John Child's WORLD!!
all in the day of a HATO

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Our forums regularly see the latest rumours, fears and worries of the H.A guys and gals who hit the UK's motorways each and every day.


Guinness Man – Sunday 1.4.07

Guinness Man: is that falkor?

falkor: it's falkor here, have you been trying to get through? view Guinness Man's profile

Guinness Man: yeah just a couple of times but these things happen don't they?

falkor: my missus left the phone off the hook upstairs for 2 hours

Guinness Man: oh well

falkor: she was speaking to her mother [laughing]

Guinness Man: hopefully you weren't paying

falkor: [laughing] and another bloke was supposed to ring me at 3 o'clock you know

Guinness Man: ah right

falkor: and I said to my missus this is the first one that hasn't phoned through out of eleven interviews

Guinness Man: and I'm the second one

falkor: [laughing] I thought "I don't believe this" then of course when it got to dead on 4 o'clock I thought "what's going on?" so I picked the phone up and there was like an empty sound - there was no dialling tone - I thought "oh my god" and I went upstairs and my missus had been on the phone two hours ago to her mum and of course she never put it back properly [laughing] so I'm sorry about that

Guinness Man: not to worry, no problems

falkor: you've been on some police rideons haven't you GM?

Guinness Man: yeah I've had one or two

falkor: how did that happen then?

Guinness Man: they were arranged by my supervisor

falkor: that is pretty good isn't it?

Guinness Man: yeah I thought so. I like my supervisor I think he's one of the better ones

falkor: have plenty of other Traffic Officers at your outstation had that as well then?

Guinness Man: nearly every one to a man, they've all been offered it but you can't make people do it

Guinness Man: I think the majority of people if not all of them have been out on police rideons with a couple of police forces that's Essex and Cambridge

Guinness Man: I've also been out with the ISU - that obviously isn't quite the same, but it's still informative

falkor: ISUs?

Guinness Man: incident support units

falkor: incident support units?

Guinness Man: Carillian guys they provide hard closures etc under chapter 8 regs

falkor: do they wear a uniform?

Guinness Man: they wear hi viz tops and trousers

falkor: what sort of vehicles do they ride around in?

Guinness Man: transit vans

falkor: are they marked up?

Guinness Man: yes they're liveried up just like Highways Agency vehicles except they are yellow and red battenburg

falkor: can you just run me through what they're supposed to do GM?

Guinness Man: they do chapter 8 type traffic management providing closures of all kinds lanes etc, their cones are the big 750mm jobs, their signs are on the big metal frames so are more visible

falkor: thanks very much for that because I've often seen ISU on the forums and thought I've got to ask somebody one day what the heck it means and BDV's another one that always gets me

Guinness Man: broken down vehicle

falkor: oh no [laughing] they're simple when you know how

Guinness Man: yeah it's just quicker on the airwaves

falkor: there's another one that you mentioned the other day GM, T.O grade assessors which you say you've got at your outstation

Guinness Man: Traffic Officer grade assessors

falkor: what do they do then?

Guinness Man: they assess other Traffic Officers

falkor: but they're not supervisors?

Guinness Man: no but initially I think the email came out - it was aimed at supervisors I think, but I think that was a misrepresentation of what was actually required and then it was opened up to the floor as it were and several people, well there's two going away actually on a course tomorrow and that will bring us up to three assessors at our outstation

Guinness Man: we've already got one assessor on our outstation and I know there's others at Dartford and South Mimms

falkor: is it a good idea?

Guinness Man: I think so yeah, they're using several training organisations - they've used Junction 17 and there was one other we used and I can't remember for the life of me what the name of it was now but because they're quite big organisations you get a variation and you've got no control over what they're teaching you - you know they've got an itinerary from the HA - but they all have their own styles and they all comes from different police forces and as you know ... police forces all work slightly differently - so their training tends to be slightly different but I think bringing it in inhouse it should standardise it more because it will be all HA, everyone's will be assessed by the HA

falkor: you could be badly assessed

falkor: couldn't you?

Guinness Man: you could be but to be honest the type of people who are in the Traffic Officer service don't sit back and take crap also its not pass or fail you either reach the required standard or you get further training to get you there.

falkor: have you been assessed then GM?

Guinness Man: I was assessed by a Junction 17

falkor: at what stage does it happen?

Guinness Man: that was within 3 months of starting

Guinness Man: I would guess at some point we would all be reassessed I would have thought to make sure that we're not forgetting what we've been taught, stuff like that. I've been doing this now for quite some time and I have not been reassessed but I have been out crewed with an assessor - whether he's doing an unofficial little look at me I don't know

falkor: my god really?

Guinness Man: its not a problem

Guinness Man: we were working live really right from the word go even though we hadn't been designated

falkor: so when you get assessed he turns round to you and says "Oh you're a Grade B or a Grade C" does he?

Guinness Man: no no no you're assessed on the various disciplines for want of a better word .... y'know how are your reactions on the motorway trafifc management knowledge of procedures

falkor: [interrupting] can you appeal against that decision?

Guinness Man: I would imagine that if you're not happy you're going to say that you're not happy. He puts some words on the form - you put some words on the form

falkor: is there any objectives in that? does he turn around to you and say "oh you've got 3 objectives" anything like that? or not?

Guinness Man: you can call them objectives - he will say "oh I think you need to work on this" or "you need to work on that" and then later on in the week he'll revisit that if the opportunity arises he'll see how you're doing that time, so I would say yes to that

falkor: waking up drivers, you've done a few of those in your time haven't you GM?

Guinness Man: [laughing] oh yes

falkor: you got any good ones?

Guinness Man: well I had one I couldn't wake up for ages

falkor: really?

Guinness Man: yeah even gave him the panther light in the face, it's quite a powerful light - what with that and banging on the window and the roof brought 'em round

falkor: but if you're going to be waking up drivers there's got to be two traffic officers there hasn't there? you can't do that on your own

Guinness Man: no you're always part of a team although I have been out on my own once when I was acting TRA

Guinness Man: but it depends how confident you are I guess and plus I'm quite a big guy anyway

falkor: the only situation I can think of where a Traffic Officer would be called upon to do that is where you see an "abandoned" car on the hard shoulder and there's a driver in there, is there anything else outside that?

Guinness Man: not really. Occasionally you can see someone's asleep in a car but then there are other times when you drive by on the opposite carriageway and you can't see anyone and you assume it's abandoned and then on your way back up you stop with it and discover that there's a person or persons asleep. sometimes it's a job to tell really whether they're abandoned or not until you've actually visited them

falkor: true. It's just made me think actually, there's quite a lot of motorway service stations in and around the motorways that HA are patrolling, do Traffic Officers ever get called to motorway services to help out or not?

Guinness Man: we're not actually called to the service areas as such but we do patrol them, we do have a ride round the car park and the lorry parks, mainly at night really when it's dark because that's when you're going to find things I guess but mainly you might have a drive through once during the day

falkor: you do see a lot of staff in those motorway service stations that have got radios, are they able to radio through to you and call you or not?

Guinness Man: no not that I'm aware of no

falkor: they can't do that?

Guinness Man: no

falkor: so that's why they're not calling you then I suppose

Guinness Man: at one of our service stations there's a PCSO there almost permanently anyway

falkor: yeah I think I met him once

Guinness Man: her

falkor: HER? oh well but I think they're doing that more and more. I've been to a few motorway service stations where you see a sign as you enter the actual sliproad "PCSO on duty at these services" or something like that

Guinness Man: yes they have a little office that they're given and there's a presence there pretty much all of the time

falkor: GM you've got a caravan of your own haven't you?

Guinness Man: yes I have

falkor: have you had that for a long time?

Guinness Man: yeah I've been caravanning since the late 80s

falkor: is it just you and your missus?

Guinness Man: it is now, the kids have grown up and I dare say will try borrowing it in years to come and be told where to go

falkor: [laughing] but you used to take the kids on there

Guinness Man: yeah

falkor: because I did that with my 2 kids - I didn't have a caravan I had a Sherpa caravanette, I absolutely loved it

falkor: so is it Scotland you go to? any favourite destinations?

Guinness Man: I've been to Scotland. I like Holland and I like Belgium and I love the Dordoyne area of France

falkor: it must be a bit tricky though when you've got to go on the wrong side of the road because you're sitting on the wrong side of the car then

Guinness Man: not at all

falkor: no? no difference?

Guinness Man: no, again it's if you're confident. obviously if you weren't confident you wouldn't do it I guess

falkor: but if you compare going to Scotland to going to Holland GM the immediate difference that I can see there is the language barrier. At least in Scotland you can understand everybody

Guinness Man: I don't know about that [laughing]

falkor: [laughing]

Guinness Man: [laughing] I think we're fortunate because most people speak english or some english and even if you've got to draw little pictures or point you make yourself understood and it's part of the experience anyway

falkor: did you see any dykes?

Guinness Man: yeah

falkor: you did?

Guinness Man: yeah

falkor: you had your finger ready?

Guinness Man: I did yeah

falkor: whereabouts in Scotland?

Guinness Man: Oban

Guinness Man: I've only been once and that was a couple of years ago, it's not a place for children I don't think because of the potentially bad weather

falkor: as long as you've got the weather up there you're on a winner

Guinness Man: I couldn't believe it, we went expecting rain, rain and rain and I think we had rain once for about 2½ hours

Guinness Man: the rest of the time it was shirt sleeves and mid 60s to 70s

falkor: if you get that you're away aren't you

Guinness Man: it was really marvellous and we didn't get any midges

falkor: I was gonna mention that because if you're anywhere near water up there you normally get a flippin havoc load don't you

Guinness Man: well we were right on the coast - the actual site I should think we were 75 yards from the beach

falkor: well if you go on these sites nowadays they've got showers they've got activities they've got shops haven't they?

falkor: have you been to any National Trust sites at all GM?

Guinness Man: not National Trust no, I'm a National Trust member but no

falkor: they've got caravan sites!

Guinness Man: I didn't realise that

falkor: I went down to one, Devon I think it was and the bloke in charge of the caravan site there got everybody doing tug of war and games and that, if you were in the campsite in the day he'd organise you to do something! there were horses there, stables, showers a shop

falkor: have you come across that?

Comment on this interview! Have your say on what falkor and Guinness Man were talking about : just click here

Guinness Man: no I haven't

Guinness Man: what I do - I'm a member of the caravan club and I actually belong to the local centre

Guinness Man: the local centre is like a social club - it meets at a different place each weekend. It's family orientated for the most part and there are adult ones that are suited to adults because of what's going on - that's not swapping or anything - that's because it's an evening meal and dinner and dance stuff like that that probably doesn't suit the children then there are other things that are more family friendly, there something there for everyone. It's a good way of having a cheap weekend away lot's of entertainment, kids are occupied in a safe environment because everyone seems to look out for everyone else and it's rather relaxing

falkor: and when your kids were a bit younger you had 3 different Rovers - the 2000 SC ....

Guinness Man: [interrupting] I had a 2000 a 2200 and a 3500S

falkor: well I know the last two were manuals because you can't have an auto 2200TC or an auto 3500S

falkor: what about the first one was that an auto?

Guinness Man: no that was a manual as well

falkor: you had three manuals?

Guinness Man: yes

falkor: why's that?

Guinness Man: I don't know

falkor: I love the autos!

Guinness Man: well since then most of my cars have been autos

falkor: oh have they?

Guinness Man: yes

falkor: because the 3500S that was like a prized manual because first of all when they kicked off with those cars they were ALL automatics - for those V8 engines they didn't have a manual gear box man enough to take it on did they?

Guinness Man: no

falkor: do you remember all that?

Guinness Man: yes the 3500 auto was just the 3500 and the 3500S was denoted as the manual

falkor: oh that was the top dog that was

Guinness Man: yes

falkor: everyone wanted that one, everybody was after that 3500S because they thought that was absolutely ....

Guinness Man: [interrupting] it was quite economical as well really for the size of engine

falkor: really?

Guinness Man: I used to manage mid 20 mpg quite easily

falkor: yeah that was very good for those cars. I loved those cars but if you'd got the TC or the 3500S you got the round dials didn't you?

Guinness Man: yes

falkor: but if you got the 2000 it was just the square long one

Guinness Man: with the square oblong guage

falkor: completely different instrumentation wasn't it?

Guinness Man: well you had full instrumentation in the TC and the 3500S

falkor: but if you had the 2000 there was no rev counter

Guinness Man: no just engine temperature and fuel

falkor: that was no good was it? [laughing]

Guinness Man: it did matter in those days it doesn't matter so much now [laughing]

falkor: [laughing] I gotta say I did love those cars and actually when British Leyland stopped making them New Zealand carried on did you know that?

Guinness Man: absolutely, that was the last real Rover in my eyes

falkor: were you in the Rover P6 club?

Guinness Man: yes

falkor: well I got the magazines through and it said if you still want a brand new Rover 2000 get one exported from New Zealand! they were making them like mad, I don't know how long for

Guinness Man: no I don't

falkor: I was absolutely perplexed over that thinking should I do it?

Guinness Man: [laughing]

falkor: but you can still get some absolutely superb Rover 2000s nowadays can't you? if you really want one and can pay the money

Guinness Man: yes there's some good ones about

Guinness Man: there's two in the village actually where I live

falkor: oh that must be driving you mad!

Guinness Man: well one's laying in a field - keep looking at it thinking "shall I?"

falkor: yeah but it's a lot of work

Guinness Man: the other one's on the road and looks quite nice

falkor: nice one GM now I was going to ask you about Prospect because you've made a few comments about the union

Guinness Man: yeah

falkor: so you've got mixed feelings have you?

Guinness Man: not really. You can't blame the union for the things. Well you can blame them for some things but the union is only as strong or as weak as its membership and if the members don't want something or there's not a clear cut majority then the union can't really go forward and if it's that close then management know and they're going to push and push and push until you either give or everyone jumps, so it's very much down to the membership

falkor: because I noticed that you posed a question "Has there been a union meeting at your outstation?" and I haven't seen one word about a union meeting at any outstation

Guinness Man: well we've never had a union meeting at our outstation

falkor: that is wrong isn't it?

Guinness Man: it is wrong yes but I'm not going to knock shop stewards or whatever because it's a thankless task but if they're going to take the job they should commit to it and do it properly

Guinness Man: there's very very little information if any comes via the shop steward

falkor: but the big thing about these union meetings at the outstations is that it's going to have to be in duty time

falkor: that's what all the others do

falkor: if you've got a union meeting you can go in duty time

falkor: do you agree?

Guinness Man: well it's impossible to get everyone in duty time I think but not everyone needs to attend

Guinness Man: if you've got a representative from each shift

falkor: [interrupting] oh fair enough yeah fair comment

falkor: well I'm in Surrey Police and joined Unison which I'm very glad I joined as I needed them within a few days of joining but I've had 2 or 3 emails from them saying come to our AGM at Police HQ, it's in duty time

Guinness Man: it's not always that easy though

falkor: yeah but if you tell everybody that it's in duty time that's a big plus isn't it?

Guinness Man: and you can travel in the firm's motor possibly

falkor: you can travel in the firm's motor?

Guinness Man: well if you're on duty

falkor: but this would be at your own outstation

Guinness Man: it would be at ours but if you're out on patrol and the meeting's say at 10 o'clock half way through your shift ....

falkor: ah right I got you now

Guinness Man: so it's not costing you anything to even get there

falkor: no I've got to go along with that

falkor: now I did upload 4 Gerry Anderson videos to google, did you see any of them?

Guinness Man: no I haven't

falkor: one of them was Gerry Anderson's origins - do you remember him?

Guinness Man: I don't, no

falkor: you don't?

Guinness Man: I do remember Gerry Anderson yes

falkor: Which was your best one?

falkor: out of all his programs?

Guinness Man: well to be honest I never used to watch a lot of TV

falkor: oh you didn't?

Guinness Man: no I still don't

falkor: what did you do then?

Guinness Man: play games errr I was a bit unlucky I suppose because my mother died when I was quite young

falkor: oh dear

Guinness Man: I was looking after my younger brother and sister, I didn't really have a lot of time

falkor: crikey GM

Guinness Man: but that sounds worse than it is - I haven't had an awful life y'know but in my younger years I didn't have a lot of time really

falkor: but when I put that post on and you came back with F.A.B. so you know about ...

Guinness Man: [interrupting] I have seen the odd programme don't get me wrong I haven't seen a whole series but I have seen "telly"

Guinness Man: I'm not one that's watched a lot of telly

falkor: you've had a very different sort of upbringing to what most people have had from the sound of it

Guinness Man: yeah but there's a lot of people worse off

falkor: that's a good way of putting it - I think we can all say that can't we?

Guinness Man: that's something to remember whenever you think life's against you, there's always some poor sod a lot worse off

falkor: it's a good way of keeping cheerful

falkor: moving on .... what about PNC checks, do Traffic Officers need them do you think?

Guinness Man: yeah I've had several done for me during my time with the HA

falkor: any problems over it?

Guinness Man: in what way?

falkor: delays, not able to do it, asking you why you want it

Guinness Man: occasionally you might be asked why or whatever

Guinness Man: sometimes the hairs just stand up on the back of your neck and funnily enough every time that's happened we've had a result for the BibS

falkor: but you said you'd only done 3 PNC checks the whole time you'd been a traffic officer

Guinness Man: yeah I probably have

falkor: that's not many is it?

Guinness Man: no actually I did one this week 'n all so there's four now

falkor: so you just need it like when you said when you absolutely like you said when you find that the hairs are standing up on the back of your neck then you gotta do it

Guinness Man: yeah I mean most of the time people are with their cars and I like to think that most of the time I am a reasonable judge of people

falkor: yeah

Guinness Man: and I'm fairly gregarious by nature - y'know people are normally quite welcoming in the environment that we meet them

Guinness Man: they're not having the best of times at an accident, broken down or pulled over on the hard shoulder - they're not really sure who we are I never claim to be a police officer and make it clear that I work for the Highways Agency

falkor: that's it, good idea

Guinness Man: I've only had one guy that's been aggressive and I made it clear to him what I expected of him behaviour wise and what have you. If you make it clear where the boundaries are there's a lot less possibilities of things going wrong

Guinness Man: and the PNCs we've done have all given good results as well for the BiB

falkor: so that's alright then

Guinness Man: if it's not been the driver it's been the passenger that's been wanted or whatever

falkor: moving on swiftly do you do these double days or do you do night duty?

Guinness Man: I'm 24/7, I like to do the full range

falkor: so you got no problems from the missus saying oh I don't want you to night duty or anything

Guinness Man: no when we first met I was working shift work

Guinness Man: I've had a number of years working straight days - it's not something that's causing us any problems at all

falkor: well with the kids gone you've got that out of the way haven't you

Guinness Man: well they're still at home - it's just that they're old enough - y'know they're in their 20s so

Guinness Man: so there's no problems there really and they're company for mum they're in at night when she could have been on her own if I'm not around

falkor: the only problem with night duty is at Christmas really isn't it? if you're doing night duty over Christmas then that's not too clever is it?

Guinness Man: well you know what you're letting yourself in for and it's not every Christmas

falkor: and also if you do work it over Christmas you're getting a bumper pay packet next time round I suppose

Guinness Man: we don't

falkor: you don't? YOU'RE JOKING!

Guinness Man: no ... it's all in the wage

falkor: hold on a minute GM if you work a bank holiday that's double pay

Guinness Man: no no we get all our bank holidays to book

falkor: oh that is bad, I don't agree with that

Guinness Man: well we all knew what it was up front

falkor: I thought they had to pay you double time for a bank holiday by law

falkor: didn't you?

Guinness Man: I honestly don't know

falkor: so when you work a bank holiday, you get nothing for it in your pay packet

Guinness Man: no. Your whole rosta's set out and you're paid on your rosta - there's a certain amount in there for weekend working and what have you. You get a 20% shift allowance for 24/7

falkor: have you worked many bank holidays GM?

Guinness Man: some of them yeah

falkor: which ones ? Easter or Christmas?

Guinness Man: I worked the New Year so there's a bank holiday

falkor: and you didn't get anything for it?

Guinness Man: no

falkor: I'm blown away by that, I really am

falkor: As you say it's all planned for - I've never heard of an organisation that turns round ...

Guinness Man: [interrupting] I think what's happened is that employing people like us was new for the HA, all their sort of people were office based - all their project managers just work office hours but someone like us coming along shift work 24/7 it's totally new to them and I've been led to believe that what they've done is they've gone out and approached other agencies seeking guidance as to what other areas get

falkor: oh I see

Guinness Man: and I would guess that someone said well there's this and this and this thinking well we'll play it down a bit we don't want everyone knowing what we're getting or whatever and then the agency have come up with the package that they've come up with. But that said, we all knew what it was when we applied for the jobs

falkor: it's in your contract? view Guinness Man's profile

Guinness Man: yes

falkor: fair enough okay I can't argue then

falkor: thanks very much for phoning up GM!

Guinness Man: that's no problem at all

falkor: thanks for being so persistent

falkor: thanks a lot, see you back on the site

Guinness Man: okay mate

Guinness Man: god bless you and goodbye

falkor: bye
interviews 2007: summary information
#sitememberinterview date GO TO includes
1national Traffic Race Track27.3.07 V I E W  ever pressed the emergency button?
risk of litigation on RRBs
12½% shift allowance or 20% shift allowance
PITO | the site before NT
national-PCSOs early days
2national-PCSOs alihowe27.3.07 V I E W  dogs and cats | street wardens | 3 litre Capri | Granada 2.8 Ghia
Lotus as a summer project
judo for PCSOs
going over to the dark side
heavy confrontation | actually doing crime reports
3national-PCSOs GlynB27.3.07 V I E W  UNISON PCSO working group
Drum and Bugle Corps | South Yorkshire Police Band
PCSOs can go onto age 65? | membership of UNISON
Met Police's PCSOs are gradually replacing Station Officers
lower pay for PCSOs? | zig zag lines
PCSOs being issued with batons etc
4national Traffic mondeoman28.3.07 V I E W  Gist logistics | Prospect, union
Police ride ons
verbal abuse in the course of your duties
the site before NT | we’ll be traffic police
get rid of all the PCSOs
5national Traffic Tricky30.3.07 V I E W  Major Incident Training
Dartford River Crossing Police
cooking | Accuracy Brevity and Clarity
Muttley in the hi-vis
French | spam | Dr Who
6national Traffic pongolad30.3.07 V I E W  caravans | legless on the motorway
United Nations
tropical fish
7national Traffic Keokeo31.3.07 V I E W  the problem of passwords and usernames
firefox V IE | subMerged
H.A. model of Toyota Landcruiser
Silverstone grand prix | night security
maglite | driving instructor | CSMA | Blues Brothers
Bradford's media museum | a windy Thursday
8national-PCSOs micky1.4.07 V I E W  'PCSO observers' | s59 seizing a car
offduty | 'pointless taxi productions'
challenging people to races
access to crimint and CRIS
PCSOs being posted to the front office
the 2004 survey!
9national-PCSOs CIDB1.4.07 V I E W  Kew Gardens 2005 | £80 PNDs
PCSO ANPR operator | seizing for no insurance
XBOX 360 | shoplifters
going to the gym 4 times a week
a power to detain, but without using force
UNISON | handcuffing someone
10national Traffic Guinness Man1.4.07 V I E W  police rideons | incident support units
Traffic Officer grade assessors
Rover TC and the Rover 3500S
union | bank holiday working
11national Traffic TheWanderer30.3.07 V I E W WorldWidePolice | emergencyservicesonline
Dartford River Crossing Police
YouTube and the motorway videos
cover shifts | John Child
car stickers and metal badges
#sitememberinterview date GO TO includes

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