Twenty or so fresh inmates lined up by the gates of the prison. Shivering in the cold, grey damp air, nervous anticipation spread quickly through the ranks. The prison warden eyed us grimly as we proffered our photographic identification – numbers were issued, and hung round our necks, mobile phones were confiscated till our release. I was number 9 as the first 15 of us were marched through the gates on the way to Clink.
Across the exercise yard, through the automatic doors which locked shut after we passed through and we were in a holding bay waiting for the next set of doors to open. We were famished as we anxiously awaited the rest of our group to join us. Would they all behave and conform, and if not, it didn’t bear thinking about.
Our leader, Agnes who had obviously been in some kind of gangland fight earlier, was calm and in control as she led us on to the prison refectory and the much awaited meeting of our fellow lags.
After having been warned about what happens if you grass up in the Clink, I will skip the interim passage, suffice to say, we served our time and were freed to leave and join the outside world. Am I a better person for the experience, yes. Can I honestly say that I won’t go back – no. I bonded “in there” and if my ladies go back – I’m going with them.
Trip to “the Clink” January 2013