The Daily Mail reports that 60-year-old Alf Thompson happened to be at a mini-mart in Manchester’s Salford district when a masked, knife-wielding robber threatened the store clerk and demanded that he open the till.
As it happens, Thompson, a retired psychology lecturer, is a historical re-enactor, his period of choice being the English Civil War. He regularly plays the part of a Cavalier, and is described as “second in command in the Earl of Northampton’s Regiment of Foote in the Sealed Knot.” Apparently caught up in the Cavalier spirit, Thompson employed a move from the “battlefield” to disarm the attacker. When the thug then drew another knife, Thompson repeated the process, disarming him again, and subduing the assailant until the constabulary arrived.
‘If it wasn’t for the re-enactment group I couldn’t have done it,’ he said.
‘It is never real when we learn how to deal with knives and swords but the movements are for real.’
For his heroics, Thompson has received an award from the police. The robber, meanwhile, has received a 3 1/2-year sentence. In the words of a former football coach at my high school, “What a roundhead.”
A tip of the Mondo Mortarboard to Anne Brannen, via Facebook.