10 May 2006
A gallows tale
A Sussex farmer named David Lucas has found himself a nice little side earner: he makes gallows for export. Most punters are in Africa, and he produces a single gallows, of the type that used to stand in every English market town, and a gallows that can accomodate five or six customers at a time and which sits on a trailer. The cost is £12,000 for the former and £100,000 for the latter.
All his gallows are made out of "best English oak" and are guaranteed not to have any spring in them: that news must surely be of great comfort to the condemned as they prepare to tread the early morning air.
Needless to say the usual crowd of rent a gobs are mithering about his activities, and European Union regulations may put an end to this export trade at the end of July. For the record, so long as the UK does not bring back capital punishment, this writer sees no reason why condemned prisoners in other countries should have to suffer the indignity of being crapped on inferior equipment that may leave them bouncing up and down like yo-yos.