Amwell Crossroads was a regular problem for the police in the 1960s.  If it wasn't dealing with accidents it was being sent to do traffic duty on a Bank Holiday as there was so much traffic on both roads (remember this before a national speed limit was introduced) that we had to perform point duty to enable the queues of traffic on the A414 to cross the equally busy A10.  With vehicles approaching at speeds in excess of 70 m.p.h. it certainly made sure you gave a very clear "stop" sign with your arm raised vertically to approaching traffic.

    However, on 25th April 1969 I was on early turn and had just returned home in order to have my breakfast at about 8.30 a.m..  I'd not been home for very long when I was directed to attend a report of a lorry on fire at Amwell Crossroads.  I knew there was a major problem as I reached the queue of traffic somewhere near the level crossing at St. Margarets so I had to drive on the wrong side of the road all the way to the crossroads - assisted by drivers in the stationary traffic waving me on at the sharp bends.  When I reached the scene there was traffic chaos with traffic stationary in every direction.  A lorry had travelled from the Hertford direction and as he started to cross the A10 he realised that his load was on fire.  Needless to say, he abandoned his vehicle.  The fire service soon arrived and extinguished the lorry and its load, but not before traffic queues had grown much worse.  Afterwards I had to return home to eat the rest of my breakfast and change my uniform as it reeked of smoke.


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