Friday, January 30, 2009

The agile hairdresser

From the Auckland Evening Star, 13 February 1875. I reckon these guys blew any marathons we ever have here in Auckland completely out of contention ...
"A most exciting scene took place yesterday which taxed the physical powers of two of our most active officers of the police. The hair-dresser, Takaberry, who was committed this morning for six months, slipped £4 into his pocket belonging to Mr. Corcoran. Thakaberry was just in trim for running, having neither coat, vest, shirt, shoes nor stockings to burden his exceedingly spectral body.

"Information was at once given to the police, and Sergeant O'Connor made his noble appearance at Corcoran's. Thackaberry, known as the barber of Eden, or the close-cropper, observed the sergeant at a respectable distance, and immediately bolted up Wakefield-street, having a fair start, with the sergeant about fifty yards behind.

"The fox bolted on and on, and occasionally dodged the serjeant among the tombs in the cemetery, and then among gorse. Sometimes the sargeant lost scent for a time, then he would discover the fox out again as he did in the Khyber Pass Road. The chase into Newmarket was marvellous, and though unequal in point of physical dimensions, Sergeant O'Connor hotly pursued the fugitive.

"A glass of refreshing water at the Royal George Hotel revived the spirit of the officer. The barber, however, by this time had got out of sight, but presently was seen peeping from behind a cluster of ti-tree. Off he ran towards the Harp of Erin, and after him ran the sergeant, and near the garden of the Harp, O'Connor felt sure of his prey. The fox, however, barked him; it was a near shave, and he turned towards Auckland.

"The runaway tried hard to baffle his pursuer in the locality of Mt Eden, but failed in endeavoring to scale the wall. He leaped over the stones with wonderful agility, and wound round by the Eden Vine Hotel; and when turning into Grey-street was fairly exhausted, Thakaberry ran into the open arms of Constable Mulville quite beaten, when Sergeant O'Connor came up panting and secured the prisoner. he chase commenced at one o'clock and closed at ten minutes past five, and is worthy of being recorded in the future annals of New Zealand to the credit of the police."
For those who don't know Auckland's layout -- that initial run up Wakefield Street would have been an absolute gut-buster, let alone a chase down Manukau Road and then back through Mt Eden. Well done to Sergeant O'Connor!


  1. LMAO
    That was a ripper read!
    I read it out to hubby and son, they enjoyed the chuckle very much ;)

  2. Heh, heh! Glad you liked it, Jayne!