Next week Norman

Norman. Next week Norman.

This is our first house. Loved it to bits. Bought it in the 80s. We were 80s babes. We loved all the Nigels as well as the Normans.

Here we have our lovely terraced house, one of six in a short Victorian terrace. A bedroom that ran the full width of the house, a smug Partner, and an exceedingly nice Series III.

Oh, and dust sheets hung up downstairs in the absence of curtains.

But it was time to move so we employed an estate agent. I am great at buying houses and crap at selling them, so Partner gets that end of the deal.

He chose to use something called Connect Property Services, or some similar name.

Made no difference to me. I was busy working away and only came home at weekends.

The estate agency was a relatively new firm. The 80s boom was already showing signs of receding, but we got a buyer.

Partner got on well with the owner of the estate agency. Norman. I would arrive home late Fridays and the two would either be in the pub together, or chatting on the porch, or whatever. He was an ok bloke.

He was pretty straight for a dishonest copper. He’d done his time after fitting someone up, but at least he told us about it. Probably a lot more honest than most estate agents.

Once we had our buyer we kept asking him when the sale was going through. ‘Next week,’ he said confidently. Hence ‘Next week Norman.’

It was months in the end, but still, he sold our house. And he wasn’t a bad guy to us.

Years later, I was listening to Radio Four, and there was one of those strange morning programmes they used to have. It was total fluke I had a day off.

I shivered. I still do when I think about it. The programme was about Next week Norman – told from the point of view of the person who was fitted up.

Despite being a journalist, it was so strange to listen to half an hour on national radio talking about a guy that you used to go drinking with. He really was a crooked cop. And I knew him. He was so honest with us that all the details on Radio Four exactly matched what he told us, his rank, his station (West End Central), and the planting of drugs.

July 18: The Met pays up to #500,000 damages and costs to six people wrongly accused of possessing drugs in 1984. Charges were dropped 14 months after the arrests when Inspector Norman McGowan was jailed for a year at the Old Bailey for stealing drugs, allegedly to plant on people.


Mr Mullins was charged with assaulting a police officer and possession of cocaine, but no evidence was offered against him when the case reached court in January 1986.
Mr Bhatt alleged that in concocting his case against Mr Mullins, PC Bennett was acting in agreement with other officers of D Serial at West End Central police station under the command of Inspector Norman McGowan.
In 1985 Insp McGowan and PC Michael Buchanan, both from West End Central, were sentenced to 12 months and six months respectively, Buchanan’s sentence to be suspended for two years. They were found guilty of stealing a police bag containing a herbal substance. McGowan was also found guilty of instructing a police officer with the intention of perverting the course of justice.


Next week Norman. Wonder where you are now? You sold our house for us though, and you never let us down. You didn’t lie to us either.

My other source:
Norman McGowan.


7 comments on “Next week Norman”

  1. Sounds like a thousand people I know. The cost of being a ‘good cop’ is often actually becoming a bad one.

    Do you have a box of tissues to hand? I have no friends, outside they don’t want to know the pig next door. Inside, can I trust you? I have been doing this job since 1996. There are three coppers I would call friends. I would trust them with information relating to me. I would not trust them with investigations without checking them. A sad reflection on society or just a hint of realism in a world geared to the fast buck?


    • We’ve ‘known’ a few police officers in our time and, while not necessarily agreeing with the way some of the work gets done (diplomatic for me) we’ve enjoyed their company, as you say, on a personal level.

      The answer – realism?? We all have to do a job, and to get paid for it. Having said that, I know people in the public sector (now on bigger bucks than I ever was) who did things I would never have done. Probably why I am no longer there. And probably why the world is full of arseholes.

      I still want to come round for dinner.


  2. The only person I would trust 100% is myself.
    Saw the pic, thought, mmm another notch in my landy spotting, nice series 3 there. Only to be told that in the 2nd paragraph. 😉


    • It was ours by the way. Still is 🙂 A has told me I should have pointed that out. 1974. Just missed the tax free status 😦 before the bastards introduced the cut-off point.


  3. hmmmm….
    an interesting story. who would have thought!
    the only cop i know personally is a retired one, and one whose opinions i value. oh, not true. i knew another retired police officer in my early childhood who found a kind way to deter my brother from selling me. he was a good egg with a wonderful sense of humour – he and his wife were great neighbour to my parents who had just recently immigrated from Germany. so helpful. i was only 4 years old when we moved away, but i still have memories of them.
    anyhow, glad i am not a cop.


    • I missed your comment 😦 it happens sometimes just as I miss posts.

      As individuals, the ones I’ve known have pretty much been great. Whether work or personally. Hey, we went on a long distance work, and the local inspector told me to park my car at the police station, so they could keep an eye on it 😀


  4. […] when we bought our first house, I was delighted to discover that suddenly, gladioli started to shoot up in the front garden. What […]


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