Coventry (1880)


Coventry, famous for an ancient legend, is like to gain fresh notice for a new invention. The days of chivalry have yielded to the rule of a practical age and when a tax has to be levied the judge of the county court takes the place of the Lady Godiva. The Laureate, when he sang of “New men who, in the flying of a “wheel, cry down the past,” scarcely thought how soon his metaphor would find a literal interpretation. The authorities of a busy manufacturing town have taken a hint from the machinery which surrounds them and propose to apply it to a new purpose. It is said that the Coventry constables have so much work upon their hands that their legs will not carry them as quick or as far as their duties require. The “flying of a wheel” is to be called in aid to assist tardy locomotion and in a short time the force will be supported on tricycles. The object is to enable them to get to their different beats at night and to facilitate the serving of summonses in the outskirts of the town. The police have always been formidable in the eyes of the parties whom they seek, but a defaulting debtor pursued by a constable mounted on a tricycle and armed with a summons sounds more like a horrible dream than a probable reality. If the idea is tried and succeeds in Coventry, it will no doubt be adopted in other towns. In the meantime, it were well to consider whether country postmen might not require and receive similar assistance.

Daily News, April 28, 1880

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