Peter Pickering - Words and Worlds Interwoven

Unseen Shadows

A Tale of Guns, Ammo, and Cold War Echoes

It was the late 60’s, an era resonant with echoes of rebellion and uprising, and my recently acquired car — a white Mini Cooper registered number 9986 UE — was a silent testament to those unsettling times.

Tucked away within its boot was a daunting arsenal, composed of a Browning Auto-5 12 gauge shotgun, a Browning .22 caliber rifle, a Mossberg .410 shotgun, and my ever-faithful BSA .22 air rifle. Always well-prepared, there was enough ammunition to handle a small uprising. The hidden cargo, a necessary preparation for the weekend shooting excursion at my grandfather's farm in Barrow-on-Trent, near Derby, added an unforeseen dramatic twist to an otherwise ordinary journey.

As I set off along the motorway, from home in Warwickshire, the English landscape was a calming familiarity against the drone of my Mini Cooper. However, this trip took an unsettling turn when I noticed a car that had been trailing me with an unsettling persistence. An eerie tension filled the air as flashing lights sliced through my rearview mirror and a siren disrupted the steady hum of the journey.

Pulling over, a swarm of standard questions buzzed around me, stinging me with their intensity. After the initial barrage, I was asked, rather sternly, to step out of the car. The boo