Who Do You Think You Are Lad…. Stirling Moss?

I read this morning that 121 years ago today Englishman Walter Arnold became the first person to be convicted of speeding.

In an act of wanton recklessness, Arnold was caught driving at the ungodly speed of 8 mph, which exceeded the speed limit at the time by 2 mph….. I’m assuming it was driving anyway, not that there was some sort of walking speed limit in the late 19th century.

The article I read didn’t elaborate on the any further detail about the Kent man’s arrest, however, I’d like to think Arnold didn’t go quietly when the police confronted him.

Hopefully he made it a tough cop for the bobbys, which included fleeing the scene at speed. Subsequently resulting in a police chase, during which the boys in blue had to break into a brisk walk to catch the fugitive from justice.

The drama ending with him being manhandled aggressively from the car and cuffed, while he yelled “You’ll never take me alive, copper!…… Oh, it appears you have” to the arresting officer. The officer perspiring profusely after having to raise his walking speed.

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Walter Arnold’s punishment for his recklessness was a fine of a shilling plus costs. In 1896 at least there were none of the contemporary consequences such as required attendance of speed awareness courses, or indeed licence points.

If there had have been speed awareness courses in the late 19th century, they’d have had to be facilitated fairly locally. After all, if you could only drive at 6 mph it would have took the minimum of an hour to get across town. That being said, even in our times of higher speed limits, the traffic volumes on 21st century highways mean it can sometimes take that duration now.

You can still get arrested in our current times when driving at 8mph. In fact a local paper recently wrote of a man being charged while driving at 8 mph on a suburban Leeds road. Admittedly, it wasn’t for speeding, he’d been curb crawling in Chapletown!

I’ve just had a break from penning this piece while Karen and I went to see the movie La La Land, in Leeds. One thing for sure is nobody would have been convicted of speeding in the first scene where vehicles were stuck in a traffic gridlock on a Californian highway.

If I was a film critic, I’d wax lyric about the multi Academy Award nominated film. In particular, the spectacular cinematography, its creative nuances and better than expected original music. As I’m not I’ll just say that it was better than the crap I normal watch.

It was a highly entertaining spectacle with a cornucopia of colour, nifty choreography and top performances from it’s leading actors. Is it worth multiple Oscars? We’ll find out in a few weeks. Although, personally I’d be surprised if it won all of the categories it has been nominated in.

This musical that told the dreams of a jazz musician and his wannabee actress barista girlfriend was certainly refreshing and my feet were regularly tapping along to the predominantly jazz based music.

I’m not going to spoil the whole plot, but what I will say is there is a shock later on when Ryan Gosling is revealed as Luke Skywalker’s dad!

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