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York: Anecdote

Jim Walvin

Read out at the October 2004 Commemoration

Of the many stories I could tell about Peter, my favourite is this. In the immediate aftermath of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ killings in Derry, I joined a large protest march from the University of York campus into the centre of the city. I was immediately behind Peter as we headed towards a large Victorian building which, at the time, was home for the communications of Northern Command. Its entrance gates were blocked by wall-to-wall coppers.

In the middle stood the largest policeman Iíve even seen, a sergeant who was at least 6í6” tall. As we approached the police line, Peter, stepped out of the march, shuffled over to the sergeant, stood immediately in front of him, wagging his finger under the copperís nose. ‘Under the 1936 Public Order Act, itís a serious offence to dress up as a policeman’. ‘And you can piss off’, was the studious reply.

Peter re-joined us, chuckling to himself.

This was essential Sedgwick: instant, clever, and funny.