What does that mean?

The Stink is set in London in the nineteen seventies and though much remains the same, there are the odd references in it that might catch people out, especially if they are not from the UK.

I don't think there are many, but I will put a few below  and if there is anything that puzzled you, let me know on Twitter orFacebook and I will add them here.


Jack Regan - he was a character in a hit cop series called The Sweeney and was played by the great John Thaw who later on would play Inspector Morse.  Regan was as tough as they come, punch and swear first, ask questions later.

SPG - Special Patrol Group.  This was a branch of the Met Police who worked across boroughs and were often seen as the police heavies.  When they were disbanded, they were not missed by the public.

Boys are Back in Town.  This was a single from Dublin rockers Thin Lizzy and had a huge amount of airplay.  It just seemed to be everywhere and stuck in the head. 

Capital Radio.  Capital (later often called Crapital) was the UKs second Independant Local Radio station and, with LBC, served London.  Now it is part of a huge group, but back then it was stand alone and  was well loved.  Of particular note was a late night programme called Your Mother Wouldn't Like it, presented by Little Nicky Horne.  The programme was famous for playing Floyd's Wish you were here without commercial breaks.  Nice and wouldn't happen now!

Milky - Milkman.  Okay, you worked that out!

Escort Mexico - Escort Mk 2 was seen as a bit of a cool motor and since parts were easy to find, they were one of the first stops for young guys when it came to doing them up.  Mexico's were souped up versions and pretty quick, though not by today's standards.

Bendix - a make of washing machine that seemed to last forever.

Nimble Bread - this was a bread aimed at people on diets.  Actually, it did absolutely nothing for them and was pappy, cotton wool and horrible.  However, they had a great ad with a girl in balloon with the song "She flies like a bird."

Beeching - Okay, spot the Typo!  Beeching was a politician that was famous for closing down huge sections of underused railway in Great Britain in the early sixties.  Unfortunately, between me and my proofreader we both managed to miss that I wrote Beecham by mistake, who was a conductor.  Oh, well!  Someone will get an anorak shaped laugh out of it at my expense.

M25 - The London Ringways Plan.  For those not in the UK, the M25 is the huge London Orbital that was half completed in 1986.  I say half completed because having joined it up, they realised it didn't have enough lanes and to this day are still working on it!

Cortina - another iconic Ford car.

Timex watches - these were popular with boys especially.  They were cheap and meant to be very accurate.  Never had one myself as I have always hated watches.

Fiver - not so complicated this one.  Five Pound Note.  Worth a hell of a lot more then than now.  My first job only paid three fivers a week.  Now you can't even buy your fags for that.

Fags - Cigarettes!  Actually, since none of my main characters smoke in this book, I am just throwing it in to save some future confusion with certain American folk.  Note:  Back in nineteen seventy six, I and my girlfriend were the only two of my friends who smoked, so having these five not smoking is not particularly odd.


More will come later.