A Brolly Wally

“Britain’s most troublesome brolly” goes to auction on eBay after its wally owner nearly gets shot by armed police whilst carrying it

Whilst a chimney pot filled with a collection of umbrellas owned by the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire we featured in February 2016 sold for the staggering sum of £4,375 at Sotheby’s due to its provenance, an Exeter man featured in DevonLive today is unsurprisingly not going to find his brolly selling for nearly as much after it nearly got him shot.


According to the paper’s plainly short of a real news story Chloe Parkman, “brolly wally” Mike Devlin was “swarmed by armed police five times while carrying his beloved novelty umbrella [with a samurai sword handle and a shoulder strap]” and now “has taken to eBay to get rid of it – on the orders of his other half.”


Speaking of the brolly, Devlin declared:


“You kind of get used to people pointing guns at you after a while. I lived in USA and have been to guns stores and in Germany where all cops have guns as well. But, in the UK, they seem obsessed by my umbrella.”


“I can vouch for it – it is a really strong umbrella and never breaks – but it is not a deadly weapon.” I just find the whole thing quite amusing. People accuse me of being an attention seeker, which is ridiculous. I have never called the police.”


“In all the years I was in Germany I never had a problem. The first issue I had was when I came to England and stepped off a plane and security pulled me over and wanted to know where I got it from.”


“I often get stopped by members of the public, and there have been five instances now where armed police have stopped me. On previous occasions when they discover it is just an umbrella they laugh it off. But it then culminated in them confiscating it.”


Referencing a recent incident when they pointed guns at Devlin, Devon and Cornwall Police remarked:


“We received a report of someone in possession of what looked like a samurai sword. It turns out it wasn’t a samurai sword, it was an umbrella made to look like a samurai sword. It looked realistic, to the armed officers as well.”


Now listed on eBay in an online auction that concludes in 3 days, Devlin’s description of the ‘offending’ brolly reads:


“I love this umbrella, had it for ages, but sadly I need to get rid of it. Why? Well, that’s an interesting one.”


“My other half doesn’t want me to get shot by the police. Y’see, couple of weeks ago, I had 4 assault rifles pointed at me, and surrounded by 8 police officers as I made my way home. This was the 5th time I have ran into armed officers (or should I say they have come running to me, including back-up units, and sending helicopters out), and whilst I have always found it highly amusing, she is, however, not overly enthused by it. I know, right! But what can I do?”


“So, here I am offering this immaculate umbrella that undoubtedly has caused more trouble in the UK than any other umbrella in British history. The winner will (reluctantly)receive the umbrella, and the police return sheet – they took it off me the last time, only for an armed officer to return it to me a few days ago.”


“The media is watching this listing (that image is from ‘The Times’), so you may even be contacted by a reporter should you win.”


“What will I spend the money on? Dunno, really – maybe a couple of drinks to drown my sorrows. Ugh, I need a drink now…”


Whilst 33 bids have been made for the brolly with a current price of £103.50, a brand-new version of exactly the same umbrella can be bought elsewhere on the site for just £24.99. Perhaps someone might care to ‘rain-in’ the 33 wallies before they take a bath.


A Brolly Wally – The very same umbrella that Mike Devlin has cleverly PR’d in ‘Devon Live’ and ‘The Times’ supposedly even can be had brand-new for just £24.99 (if you desire to walk around risking a police incident).
A Brolly Wally – On the Facebook group ‘Angry People in Local Newspapers’ there was much discussion of the saga. One member, Steven Phillips, suggested: “He needs to get a less ambiguous brolly” and included a picture of an umbrella disguised as a gun.
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. Matthew, you have clearly demonstrated a modicum of journalistic integrity, for which you must be lauded. However, aren’t you even slightly tempted to update your words on Stunt? You previously showered him with praise and described him as “the man to watch in 2018”. However, he’s gone consistently downhill since then, barfing bile and slobbering online like a rabid dog as he insults hordes of innocent people. He’s not a man to watch, he’s neither innocent nor even a “businessman”, regardless of how loosely the term is applied. Why not turn the tables and use your impressive skills to write something forthright and honest about Stunt’s antics?

  2. I am a “wally” am I?

    Good to know, Matthew; so glad you cleared that up for me, as here I was thinking I was rather intelligent.


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