Flagging (story by Colin Taylor)

When you make a concrete slab, I call them flags, unless you are careful to lay the liner in the bottom of the mould neatly, an hour later when you take out the finished flag, a crease or two from a disturbed liner leaves its mark in the base. What is only a tiny impression of the crease in the concrete, looks like a debilitating crack the entire width of the flag. Nobody pays £4.65 for one of those.

Paul Murphy wanted them though. It is questionable whether he purposefully laid the liners in the moulds incorrectly so that these “cracks” appeared, but he was the eager recipient of a barrow load of free ones every Friday, that would otherwise have been thrown in the rubble heap.

Ralph, the security man insisted on checking a random selection of them as Murphy wheeled them through the security gate of Coniston Concrete, should some of them be grade one perfects, none ever were.

Murphy always protested

“I am no thief”

Ever vigilant Ralph checked each Friday for two years.

Murphy’s protestations meant nothing the day the police came to his house and arrested him for the theft of 82 wheelbarrows.

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