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Take a late October Sunday morning and the A30 road at Whiddon Down, confound matters even more with a contra flow in each direction. Add a 30 mph speed limit for fun and this combination would be bad enough but then spice it all up with a rather nervous bullock who has wandered onto the road. “Well”, I hear you say, “there’s nothing ‘legendary’ about that”! Until October the 29th 2006 I would have whole heartedly agreed with that sentiment and so probably would have PC Steve Thompson.

Let’s recap here and summarise the whole incrediBULL scenario, it is a sunny autumn Sunday morning and the section of the A30 at Whiddon Down is having the old roundabout reMOOved. Not only that a bridge now crosses the road BELLOW. In order to do this one lane in each direction has been coned off and a 30mph speed limit is in force. This in itself causes congestion but on this particular day things are made worse by the appearance of a bullock wandering up and down the road. Before long a police patrol car arrives to take STOCK of the situation and after a quick appraisal of the situation PC Thompson steps out of the car. Now as a policeman the PC is more familiar with STEAK-outs than rampant livestock. Unfortunately the bullock is having nothing to do with any attempts of gentle persuasion and stubbornly continues to wander up and down the carriageway. UnBULLievably the animal managed to avoid the traffic and had up until then caused no damage. The stubborn bovine ignored all the threats of fines and AsBULLS and continued with his unsocialBULL behaviour.

Then the policeman made the biggest mistake of his career and decided to approach the agitated beast, well actually it was the second biggest mistake of his career, the first mistake was to leave the car’s camera running. Nobody is quite sure what the policeman was trying to do, some said he was attempting to apprehend the animal. But does not logic dictate that a 400kg bullock would not fit into the back of a patrol car – it would FILLET. And besides even though the animal was the only PRIME suspect what could it be CHARGEd with? So anyway, he donned his WELLINGTONs and then in an attempt to STEER said beast away from the road the BEEFy policeman gingerly took one step towards the bullock. Then the beast took one step towards him and so the dance continued. The process was again repeated but this time the bullock took two steps. Gradually the interval between the two grew shorter and what the policeman failed to spot was the shake of the bullocks head. If you know cattle that is bovine for, “I’ve had enough of this BULLSHIT and I don’t like your attitude”. Sure enough the next thing that happens is that the bullock starts to trot towards the PC. The trot then turns to a canter and finally the policeman realises that he has 400kg of rare sirloin bearing down on him and decides to HOOF it. I think he had also underestimated how fast a beef casserole with its legs still attached can move. Luckily, in the nick of time PC Thompson managed to STEER himself out of the path of the rampant bullock and narrowly avoided a good butting in the RUMP.

Whilst this RUMPous was unfolding the traffic was by now backed up for about 5 miles in each direction, which for midday on a Sunday was not a good idea. Stranded motorists were COWering in their cars as the bullock ranged up and down the stationary traffic, some even began impatiently tooting their HORNS . A local vet, SIR LOIN MRCVS, had been called but he was unable to sedate the animal and sadly for the bullock there was also a police marksman in attendance. Following a STIRK warning a rifle was produced, a BULLet loaded and then tragically a loud crack signalled the end of the poor bullock as the marksman had hit the BULLSEYE. The poor animal was the unceremoniously dumped on the roadside until the knacker’s van could come and pick it up. Although there were reports that the nearby Little Chef was doing a roaring trade in fresh, locally killed, beef burgers. A couple from HEREFORD who witnessed the whole event said that they thought the police’s action was heavy handed and the shooting of the animal smacked of BULLy-boy tactics. They did add how impressed they were with the policeman’s agility and DEXTERity in avoiding the irate beast although his swerve was a little JERKY.

One cannot help feeling sorry for PC Thompson because somehow his so called friends and colleagues released the camera footage to the media and the whole incident was widely reported on the internet. When asked about the ordeal the policeman said that all he wanted to do was to go home and recover from the shock by watching some TV and having a few of his favourite tipples – Vodka, Ice and RED BULL and a nice bowl of OXtail soup – BULLy for him!

And just in case you think this is a ‘cock and BULL‘ story the picture below shows the GOREy details of how the PC nearly lost his BULLOCKS.


The only question I have is this, judging from the video the policeman was hammering down that road at a fair old lick and I would imagine he was doing about 35mph. Will he be collecting 3 points for exceeding the enforced speed limit of 30mph? Oh, and one other thing, I would love to know is what is his star-sign – Taurus by any chance?


About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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