Hong Kong Riot Police in the Yorkshire Dales

HK Saracen #14 ready to take down any communists that dare attack the Dales.
HK Saracen #14 ready to take down any communists that dare attack the Dales.

This dis-located Saracen armoured car can be found in its rather unnatural habitat of rural Swaledale – the wilder heartland of the Yorkshire Dales – guarding the forecourt of a used car dealer on the edge of the small village of Reeth.

These 10-ton behemoths were built in Britain, although many were exported to far flung corners of the world, mostly to be used for crowd control. The Chinese markings on this one, hint to its former home of Hong Kong1 , to which 15 were imported in the 1970s as a reaction to the violence of the Leftist Riots that had taken place there a few years earlier.

The Chinese markings on the hull (察警)(translates to something like
The Chinese markings on the hull (察警)(translates to something like "Caution, Police".
A Browning machine gun to keep Maoists at bay, next to the faded insignia of the Royal Hong Kong Police.
A Browning machine gun to keep Maoists at bay, next to the faded insignia of the Royal Hong Kong Police.

Somehow this example came full circle, and returned home to its country of birth, where it was apparently bought on a drunken whim by its current owner, and now plays the part of used-car-salesman at his garage. It seems like there’s a self-referential metaphor there somewhere, but I’m going to choose to ignore it as its quite sobering.

Best just looking at the photos really.

  1. This South China Morning Post has a decent article on the history of the Saracen in Hong Kong, and a couple of stories from the owners of some known survivors (including this one I’ve written about)
Previous
Next