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Winter 2006 - Northumbria Narpo

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bobby
NORTHUMBRIA
WINTER 2006
Morpeth Court House
(see below).
The magazine of the Northumbria Branch of N.A.R.P.O. - National Association of Retired Police Officers
Rothbury Court House
“I remember on many
occasions choosing not to
go to bed via the cell
passage in order to avoid
the abuse being shouted
by a drunken prisoner...“
Read what Ken Stephenson
says about his early life in the
County days (page 13).
Inside this issue: Christmas traffic. Cherchez la femme. Photo
gallery. How to devise a policy. Old places remembered. My
most satisfying chalk. Book reviews. ... and much, much more.
President’s
Comments
WINTER 2006 ISSUE
The President's comments were unavailable at
the time of going to press. The text will be placed
on the website when received. Should any member
wish to read the President's comments and not
have access to the internet, please contact the
Editor.
www.northumbrianarpo.org
Contents
Special notice ............................................................. 2
Obituaries ................................................................... 2
Editorial ...................................................................... 3
Call for articles........................................................... 3
Christmas traffic ........................................................ 4
The thin blue line ...................................................... 5
Cherchez la femme.................................................... 5
Tegwyn Flitwick........................................................ 6
Policing Cyprus in the 1950s ................................... 7
Photo Gallery
Newcastle Police Gymnasts - 1913 ...................... 8
Newcastle Firearms Group................................... 8
Newcastle City Detectives - 1965 ......................... 9
Newcastle Police Rugby - 1965 ............................ 9
NARPO presentation.............................................. 10
How to devise a policy ........................................... 10
The hills are alive with the sound of music......... 11
Old places remembered ......................................... 12
Life for a police family in the County days ......... 13
My most satisfying chalk ....................................... 14
How impressions last ............................................. 15
Just Christmas.......................................................... 16
Life after early retirement ..................................... 16
You blew your whistle! .......................................... 18
Book reviews............................................................ 19
Hertfordshire Casebook ...................................... 19
Victorian Villains.................................................. 19
Breaking news ......................................................... 20
Contact details ......................................................... 20
Special Notice
DCI Nick Paterson in Crime Department is currently researching an incident in 1960 in Newcastle
where it is believed that an off duty police officer
was killed in a road traffic incident that may be
linked to a vehicle having been used in a crime.
Any information about such incident would be
welcomed from any officer who was serving in the
early 1960s in Newcastle. He can be contacted
through either Keith Little, the Editor or directly
on 0191 214 6555 asking for Major Crime or mobile
07771 808842.
Obituaries
It is with regret that we announce the deaths of
our colleagues below and we pay tribute to their
memory.
Pensioners, widows and widowers;
Mr George Amman; Mr Stanley Anderson; Mr
George Bartlett; Mr Bob Bolam; Mr Arthur Butler;
Mr Kenneth Carr; Mr Clifford Coultas; Mr Michael
Fielding; Mr George Furness; Mr Gordon Garbutt;
Mrs L. Gray; Mrs Lily Hart; Mr David T. Herron;
Mr Keith Iley; Mr Frederick Joicey; Mr John Luke;
Mr Don McLoughlin; Mrs G. Miller; Mrs A Moffat;
Mr John A. Moffitt; Mr Sam Mogey; Mrs E. L.
Moody; Mr William H. Myles; Mr M. L. Richardson; Mr J. W. (Bill) Simpson; Mrs Pat Smith; Mr
Geoff Walker; Mr Peter R. Welch; Mr Raymond
Whillis; Mr Stephen Whitfield; Mr John G. Young.
В©2006 Northumbria Branches of NARPO and the contributors named herein. All rights reserved. No part of this publication
may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by
any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright holder. To obtain permission,
please forward a written request to the Editor. The views expressed within this magazine are those of the authors and do not
necessarily represent the views of the Editors or the Northumbria Branches of NARPO.
Printed by Creation Print & Design Ltd., 2, Northumberland Street, North Shields, NE30 1DL. Tel 0191 2577007.
E-mail creationprint@btconnect.com
PAGE 2
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
Editorial
Christmas is almost upon us once more. That is one event, the occurrence of which we can
rely on. I say that to contrast it with the on-off policy of the Home Department: the second
thing to which we could almost afford the same degree of judicial notice, because the
certitude of its vacillation remains constant.
Recently, one home secretary was insistent that
police forces needed to amalgamate to prevent
some form of Armageddon befalling us all? How
strange, therefore, if the views were arrived at following informed debate, his successor as HM Secretary of State for the Home Department did not
share that cataclysmic vision. For the foot soldiers
– those people of whatever rank and grade who
actually provide the service to the public – it seems
that their views were as persuasive to the current
home secretary as those of his predecessor..
One has to question the status of the O’ Connor
report “Closing the Gap". It seems to have veered
from being immensely persuasive to needing further consideration. You may recall, in the Summer
edition, I posed the question as to the reliability of
the underpinning data in the report. Others have
done so too. David Davies, shadow home secretary, cited Prof Lawrence, Warwick University as
being particularly at odds with the management,
analysis and conclusions drawn from the data during the debate on police amalgamations 1.
POLICE PRISON SERVICE?
Once again, the police service teeters on the
brink of having to be a prison service. A wholly
inadequate response to the needs of the incarcerated foisted on the willing by the incompetent if not
the uncaring. Isn’t it about time resources were
directed towards the provision not only of additional prison places but also to provide some positive rehabilitative structure? The maxim, akin to
which �physician heal thyself’ would not be inappropriate surely has no relevance for a group of
people the social inadequacy of many being the
very reason they are incarcerated in the first place.
Prison is not merely about punishment, as important and necessary as that is for those sentenced to
serve a period at the pleasure of Her Majesty. I am
definitely no supporter of the route taken by previous home secretaries whose raison d’être, one
could be forgiven for thinking, was to make it as
difficult as possible for the police to secure a conviction or, where a conviction did follow, it should
be as easy as possible to overturn it on appeal. One
WINTER 2006
could cite examples, starting with the Bail Act 1976
and working forward, where the criminal justice
system ceased to act as a brake on criminality.
GRUMPY
Finally, as I am in my �Grumpy old men’ mode,
am I alone in being exasperated at the plethora of
speed limits that spring up without a vestige of
enforcement and are subject of a blatant disregard
from the majority of the motoring public. One
example of bad driving that gives rise to a fatal
accident, as tragic a circumstance as it undoubtedly is, surely is not a case for a speed limit to be
imposed. It is particularly not a case to limit the
speed on a stretch of road when it is largely
ignored and, as far as I can tell, rarely if ever
enforced. The almost total absence of enforcing
traffic regulations cannot provide a positive image
for the police. I remain to be convinced that there
are more important things to do. There may be
more pressing performance indicators to meet but
one cannot avoid reflecting on the total cost accruing from one fatal accident: ВЈ1,492,910 2 as at 2003.
1
Hansard 1st Feb 2006 Column 326.
http://www.parliament.the-stationeryoffice.co.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm060201/
debtext/60201-05.htm
2
Road Accidents in Tyne and Wear Annual
Report 2004 p.1
Call for articles
Policing Rhodesian Elections, February,
1980
Did you police the elections in Rhodesia in
1980? Why not get in touch and tell me your story.
I’m sure that your many colleagues would like to
know about the experiences you shared all those
years ago.
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
Editor
PAGE 3
Christmas Traffic
By Paul Heslop
How many former Newcastle City officers can recall (fondly) the annual ritual of
�Christmas Traffic Patrol’, where selected foot soldiers were sent forth to manage (for want
of a better word) the chaos caused by traffic, blocking road junctions and generally
throttling the free movement of everything on wheels? You name it: Northumberland
Street; Westgate Road; Percy Street; Grainger Street, and St Nicholas’ Street.
In those pre-Metro Centre days, Uncle Geordie
Cobleigh and all descended on the city centre in
their Wolseleys and Baby Austins, not to mention
public transport, to shop and see Santa at
Fenwicks, Bainbridges and C&As. Could anyone
who endured it possibly forget those halcyon days
of being almost crushed to death outside Fenwicks
as the traffic crept slowly along Northumberland
Street, the A1 then?
It was 1966, as I recall. I recall too every one of
the above locations on freezing December days,
peering in wonder at those jammed up junctions. It
was never clear to me just what I was supposed to
do about cars, lorries and yellow buses, slotted
together like pieces of a jigsaw in the middle of the
road. Wave a magic wand and make them disappear? Tell them to bugger off and let me wander
quietly up to Pilgrim Street for poached egg on
toast in the canteen? In fact, there was nothing
anyone could do – until, that is, the year they
issued us with ex-army wireless sets.
BEFORE RADIOS
This was long before two-way radios, of course.
I’m talking about a whacking great transmitter carried on one’s back in a haversack, with a three-foot
aerial pointing to the sky. They sent four of us out,
specially selected shock troops (so we were told),
skilled in the art of traffic management. We looked
like Yanks in those old war films. All that was
missing was the music, �The Halls of Montezuma’,
whatever. Being able to communicate, we could
each man a junction and divert traffic to another in
the knowledge that it was free from congestion, all
thanks to the wonders of the wireless.
Anyone today would feel a right plonker, carrying a backpack with the aerial swinging about and
speaking into a telephone handset. Not us, not
then. We were out on the street in record time,
pleased as punch at being selected to pioneer this
revolutionary approach to solving traffic congestion. When a double decker bus passed by, packed
with Christmas shoppers, I could see the astonPAGE 4
CLIP ART?
ished passengers staring through steamed-up windows, fingers frantically wiping away at the glass.
They were lifting their kids up to see the policeman, wireless and all, gazing in awe at the wonders of technology and what a treat before seeing
Santa.
How smug I felt as I stood near the end of the
High Level Bridge and reached for the handset to
send a message to the PC at the bottom of Grainger
Street. �Direct the traffic somewhere else, mate, it’s
jam-packed solid here.’ Well, actually, I didn’t send
a message. I didn’t receive any messages either.
None of us did, and for a very good reason. The
damn things didn’t work, unless hrhrhrhr means
something. How we won the war I’ll never know.
The odd expletive filtered through, uttered by frustrated polises whose self esteem, heightened
through being one of the chosen few, now plummeted through the inability to communicate. To
think: in 1901 Marconi was sending signals across
the Atlantic, and now, in 1966, I couldn’t send one
to somebody on Grainger Street. As for the traffic,
it continued as usual, going nowhere at a low rate
of knots. Cars; lorries; buses, whose drivers
showed amazing patience. Imagine the blaring
horns if it was Italy or France. Here, in downtown
Geordieland, drivers sat silent, resigned to the
inevitable. The plods with the wireless sets were
silent too. It was Christmas: what else could you
expect?
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
The Thin Blue Line
By Frank Douglas
Each time I say a last farewell
To a friend I’ve known so well and long
The thin blue line gets thinner still
As time, unceasing, marches on
Each week, each month, each bright new year
The thin blue line gets thinner still
As comrades from yesteryear
Depart in silence o’er the hill
I see them as in days long gone
Young men, agile, fit and strong
Dedicated in their lawful task
Protecting right and fighting wrong
The future’s now in other’s hands
As time changes with increasing speed
The thin blue line will soon be gone
Just memories of a special breed
Cherchez la femme
By Gordon Graham
Donna Delbert was a famous lady �fire eater’ who had appeared at all the leading music
halls countrywide. She had just been at the Sunderland Empire and was due in Newcastle
in the coming week. We knew all this because that was what the �forthcoming attractions’
told us.
Nightshift, during I think late 1948 Dave Gibson
and I were working the Quayside beats near the
Tyne Bridge; it was around 10.45pm when the light
flashed on my beat box in Sandhill. When I
answered it I was told that both us had to get to
Pilgrim Street as soon as possible.
Sensing that there was �something on’ Dave and
I made haste to get there. Dave’s long legs went a
bit quicker than mine and I had a job to keep up
with him. When we arrived at the police station it
was to find the shift inspector arming himself with
a handgun and a few rounds of ammunition,
which were normally kept under lock and key in
the station sergeant’s desk.
The inspector was Jack Hall, who was known to
friends and foe alike as �Knacker’. He put us in the
picture, a tip off had been received from some
female to say that Donna Delbert was a phoney
and that she/he was a G.I. deserter from the American army, and was in possession of a firearm and
was dangerous. He was in theatrical digs in one of
the large tenement houses at the Leazes near to the
St. James Park football ground.
This was exciting stuff, and just what was wanted to liven things up a bit on nightshift. We were
taken to the vicinity by car where Knacker issued
instructions. He was brief and to the point. I
quote him verbatim with an attempt to get the
accent. (Dave and I were disappointed not to be in
the forefront of the action.) “I want you two lads to
WINTER 2006
get into the back yard, stand either side of the
back door, tak ya pegs oot and if any bugger
comes oot, heet him, we’ll ask questions later.”
Well you couldn’t get much fairer than that!
It was of course black dark but Dave and I
climbed a few walls and got in without much difficulty, and there we stood either side of the back
door with truncheons drawn ready to fell anybody daft enough to try and escape. Believe me
they would have had a very slim chance. Mind
you I did think afterwards what if some poor sod
had come out with a bucket to get a pailful of
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 5
slack to bank up his fire, (it was after all a tenement dwelling,) and we had flattened him,
methinks our police careers would have come to a
very premature conclusion. Thankfully, nobody
did come out and we were withdrawn.
Knacker and his team had gained entry to the
building and to Donna’s room. He had
surrendered and was not dangerous: no firearm
was found. He had been arrested and we were
told to make our way back to Pilgrim Street.
When we got there it was to see the said Donna
Delbert sitting smoking a cheroot. He had shoulder-length dark, wavy hair; make up; lipstick etc.,
ladies clothing of course; nylons and high-heeled
shoes. What a character! He was extremely affable
and completely resigned to the fact that the game
was up. He had the lads convulsed with his patter and description of his experiences when
dressed as a female. It was all in the national press
the next day.
Knacker was in high spirits and he got a couple
of trips away to somewhere near Blackpool to give
evidence at Donna’s court-martial. He had a great
reputation as a story teller. It was as a well known
fact that if he got sat down with his legs crossed
and his top leg started to swing you were in for
some fantastic yarn, always told with a straight
face but with a hint of mischief. He was a rare card
and no doubt the tale of Donna Delbert would
become part of his repertoire and in the fullness of
time become fully embellished.
Dave and I had a good laugh as we made our
way back to the solitude of the Newcastle
Quayside to begin trying our property, every door;
window; unusual light etc. – I wonder is that still
done? It was just another night shift that went over
quickly but remains long in the memory.
Tegwyn Flitwick
“...and while some rueful inebriates of ours will undoubtedly be left staring
discontentedly from a barred window at Pilgrim Street nick, we shall be
sailing off into a beautiful sunset to the delightful strains of that fine old sea
shanty – �The Song That’s Sung at a Sing Song in Sing-Sing’!”
PAGE 6
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
Policing Cyprus in the 1950s
By John Hornby
I read with interest the summer edition's article by Campbell Findlay on his discovery of
the island of Cyprus, somewhere around the 80s. Having done so, I thought it might be of
interest to readers of Campbell’s era and later perhaps, to relate my introduction to the
island at an earlier age, July 16th, 1956, to be exact, with six other members of the
Northumberland County force.
As volunteers, we were with some 250 officers
from other UK Forces, seconded to Cyprus Police
to assist in the EOKA terrorist situation or, in
today's parlance, the Greek Cypriots' struggle for
independence.
Over the centuries, ruled by Venetians then the
Ottoman Empire, the Turks subsequently handed
the administration of Cyprus to Great Britain in
1878 and it became a British Crown Colony in
1925.
Rather than the four-hour flight from Newcastle, our departure was the start of a two-day haul.
We were taken by train to London with an overnight stay in a Metropolitan Police section house
followed by an eleven hour flight in a Viscount
turbo prop via Milan and Athens. The temperature on arrival at Nicosia airport was in the 90s.
Our accommodation, the Acropole Hotel, Nicosia,
was very pleasant despite a bomb on the roof the
same week. Some weeks later, a special branch
interpreter's bed was blown to pieces in the small
hours but luckily he was not in it. A female receptionist and her boyfriend were later arrested.
We were posted the day after arrival. I went to
Ayios Dhometios, a Greek suburb of Nicosia. Ned
Hindmarsh, ex Coldstream Guards, was posted to
the mobile reserve, a Turkish riot squad at Famagusta. John Jackson later was posted to Deftera, a
mountain village in the Troodos, where he was
blown out of his Land Rover. He survived to be
later in on the army's shoot-out, in an underground hide near Makheras Monastery, with
Afxentiou (pictured), Grivas' second-in-command.
Sinclair Will went to Lania, a village in
Limassol division. His quarters were an outhouse
at the back of the police station. Eric Maville DFM
(from an earlier war) was posted to the historic
western town of Paphos. Bob Turnbull, also blown
out of his Land Rover at Polis and John Blackburn,
roughed it in Traffic.
There were no tourists around in those days.
Ayia Napa was an almost off the map, mainly
Greek Cypriot village with a monastery. (If the
WINTER 2006
monks could see it
today!) I say a Cypriot
village because most of
the village populations
throughout the island,
despite the "Troubles"
were fairly happily
Greek and Turkish
occupied. Nicosia town
centre did not extend
beyond the Venetian
Grigoris Afxentiou
Walls - no Marks and
Spencer. Ledra Street was known as Murder Mile.
It saw the death of two Leicester police officers,
Thorogood and Carter, shot by Nicos Samson, a
journalist, who was acquitted at the High Court in
Nicosia because of lack of corroboration of his verbal admissions, which he said were given under
duress. The trial was in mid-summer 1957, so hot
that the judge allowed Counsel and himself to take
off their wigs during the proceedings. Samson was
later arrested and sentenced to twenty years
imprisonment in 1977 for his part in the attempted
coup three years earlier when he had been president for eight days after overthrowing Archbishop
Makarios and died in 2001 aged 66. The aim of the
coup had been enosis, union with Greece, opposed
by the Turkish Cypriot minority.
MURDERED GREEK CYPRIOTS
EOKA murdered more Greek Cypriots whom
they claimed to be informers, than they did members of the security forces. Tom Lockley, ACC
Crime from Staffordshire had, at the peak, over
200 murders on his books, several UK police officers included. Len Demon, from the Met, comes to
mind - in his usual place for breakfast at the
Acropole but not there for dinner. He was shot
dead at Nicosia Hospital escorting a political prisoner. We had one casualty from Northumberland,
Michael Lynch, who came over with the second
unit. His Land Rover was ambushed in the
Lefkoniko Pass and he was shot in the arm and
Continued on page 12
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 7
Photo Gallery
Newcastle upon Tyne Police Gymnasts - 1913
The names are
reprinted from the legend at the foot of the
original photograph and
may or may not accurately represent the positions of personnel pictured. The information
and material was kindly
provided by Gilbert
Woods on behalf of a
friend. The owner of the
photograph states that
her father, PC R Brown,
is second row second
left. The legend suggests
otherwise, hence my
caution about accepting
it as accurate. Is anyone
able to supply any further information about
the team?
Back Row:
PC Eaton W
PC Nixon T
PC Schofield J
PC McGuine
Third Row:
Unknown PC
PC Arthurs J
PC Hogg H
PC Feakes W
PC Stothard J
PC Coxon S
Second Row:
Unknown PC
PC Bacon G
PC Coombe W
Coy. Sgt Major
Neill E W
PC Williams C
PC Brown R
PC Marsh F
Front Row:
PC Cox
PC Adams J
PC Sanderson J
Firearms
Training
The Newcastle City firearms group as they were in
the beginning. There was
no formal issue of appropriate uniform clothing.
Seen here are Wally
Carr, Bill Cuthbertson, Bill
Scott and Ken Dodds. Can
you put names to the others
present?
PAGE 8
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
City detectives assess the evidence
A group view of the Newcastle City C.I.D. as at 1965 taken in the old City Police Club on Heaton
Road. Can anyone confirm that the identities, date and venue supplied are correct and fill in the missing
names? Please send any updates for the information of the editor.
1 Brian Saunders
2 Tony Lummis
3 Max Brown
4 Les Tyson
5 Joe Skipsey
6 Brian Simpson
7 John Whitfield
8?
9 Lance Davidson
10 Martin O Toole
11 Andy Hattle
12 George Harper
13 Mick Meldrum
14 ?
15 David Ryan
16 ?
17 Jack Fleming
18 Dennis Corbett
19 Phil Norris
20 Alan Oliver
21 Bob Anderson
22 Ken Richardson
23 Wally Carr
24 Norman
Thompson
25 ?
26 Robin Younger
27 Gordon McMurchie
28 Tommy Heron
29 Eddie Hurst
30 Brian Johnson
31 Eddie Briggs
32 John Hollows
33 John Hillyer
34 Malcolm Young
Newcastle City’s Finest - Police Rugby Team, 1965
From left to right In the back row:- A. Brown, K. Richardson, J. Snowball, J. Bensley, C. Lockwood, C.
McFarlane, D. Ryan, J.Sanderson, B.Howstan, A. Story, unknown, B. Galston. In the front row:- E. Walton, W. Carr, G. Aarvold, G. Knowles, D. Johnson, H. Simpson and D. Huntley.
WINTER 2006
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 9
NARPO
presentation
John McLaughlan, recently
elected chairman of the Northumbria Branch, presents
George Harper with a certificate
marking the award of his life
membership in recognition of his
many years valuable service to
the National Association of
Retired Police Officers
The presentation was made on
Friday 10th November 2006 at
the Northumbria Branch Annual
Dance.
How to devise a policy
By Bob Pattison
'About five years ago I was heading a small team of officers planning an exercise the force
was undertaking. This one was somewhat unusual, as we had decided for some reason to
involve two external agencies in its resolution.
Let us say it just seemed a good idea at the time
to the planning team. However, those involved
later in the exercise, as 'players' didn't think so as it
made a difficult and fraught job that much harder!
(As a forward police commander on a previous
occasion, I know just how difficult these things
are).
During the planning phase it was necessary yes it really was - for us to visit one of the external
agencies at their depot on the south coast. While
attending one of the several planning sessions
there, I saw a notice describing how policies are
arrived at in the military. On reading it, it became
very clear there is a great similarity between our
organisations! It took very little to adapt it from a
military perspective to a police one, and having
done so I kept it in a prominent place on my office
notice board - as a reminder of how not to do it!'
In the beginning was 'the Report’...
And then came the assumptions.
The assumptions were without form
And the report was without substance.
And the darkness fell upon the faces of the rank and
file
And they spake unto their Sergeants saying
"It is a crock of sh*t and stinketh".
And the sergeants went unto their inspectors and
sayeth unto them,
"It is a pail of dung and none can abide the odour
thereof”.
And the inspectors went unto their chief inspectors and
sayeth unto them,
"It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide its
strength!'.
And the chief inspectors went unto their superintendents and sayeth unto them,
"It contains that which aids plan growth and is
very strong".
And the superintendents went unto their assistant chief
constables and sayeth unto them,
"It promotes growth and is very powerful".
Then the assistant chief constables went unto the chief
and sayeth to him,
"This powerful new initiative will actually promote the development and efficiency of the force
and is therefore strongly recommended".
And thus the chief looked upon the report and saw it
was good, and the Report' went before the APG...
and in the end there is "Policy".
PAGE 10
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
The hills are alive with the sound of music
By Peter Barker
I have walked the hills and moors of Northern England for many years, much of the time
with a friend and colleague, Jim Heeley. While walking, we would find much to talk about;
the beauty of our surroundings; the many sites of historic and archaeological interest;
work related topics; and of course, as one does as one gets older, reminiscing about our
youth.
Jim had grown up in a Yorkshire mining village, where the main focal points for community
life were the chapel and the pub. I had been
brought up in a Methodist environment. Apart
from our mutual appreciation of the "great outdoors', Jim and I found that we also had in common a love of singing and in particular male voice
choirs, probably nurtured by our childhood memories of singing in the Methodist chapels which
were bastions of choral music. I would often,
whilst exploring the countryside, burst into song,
having nobody but the sheep to complain about
the noise!
It wasn't until Jim and I had both retired from
Northumbria Police that, out of the blue (if you'll
pardon the pun), Jim asked me if I had ever
thought about actually joining a male voice choir.
I had thought about it many times I suppose, but
had never been able to pluck up the courage to do
anything about it. This discussion was forgotten
about, at least by me, until one day, Jim informed
me that he had arranged an audition for both of us
with BACKWORTH MALE VOICE CHOIR!
(Apparently he knew one of their members).
Taken slightly aback by this announcement, I nevertheless felt obliged to go along with it.
We duly turned up on a Tuesday evening at
Cullercoats First School, and were given a fairly
simple voice test by Judith Blackburn, the musical
director at the time. This was more or less to ascer-
WINTER 2006
tain that we were not tone deaf!
We were introduced to the Choir, a body of
about 50 men from all walks of life. This was in
1999, and Jim and I have been members ever
since.
The Backworth Male Voice Choir was formed
in 1951 by miners at Backworth Colliery. When
the mining industry began to disappear in the
region, the Choir broke its ties and continued as
an independent body. It now has no connection
with Backworth other than the name, and the
memory of a proud history. Backworth Male
Voice Choir has performed all over Britain, and in
Europe. They have shared the stage at Newcastle
City Hall with the famous Glasgow Phoenix
Choir, and with Kenny Ball and his Jazz Men.
They have sung at the Albert Hall, London, and at
the Cardiff Arms Park with 8000 other male voices, with guest artistes Shirley Bassey and Tom
Jones. They perform at an annual concert at
Whitley Bay Playhouse and have taken a major
part in Remembrance Day concerts with the Royal
British Legion at York.
Friendly ties have existed for some years with
German choirs, and this September sees the visit
to North Tyneside by a choir from Hamburg. In
October Backworth Choir are going to Solingen,
famous for its steel manufacture, particularly
swords and cutlery, to visit Die Meigener Choir
and to sing with them.
There are currently one
serving, and four retired
police officers in Backworth
Choir. We rehearse at
7.30p.m. every Tuesday
evening at Cullercoats First
School, Mast Lane,
Cullercoats. Interested in
joining? then telephone the
Secretary Les Allan01912529489, or Peter Barker - 01912634339
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 11
From page 7
stomach, wounds from which he had to resign
from the police service
The British Army, as always, formed the main
part of the security forces with headquarters at
Episkopi and Dekalia (bases we still hold today)
with regimental units scattered around the island.
They also underpinned the more vulnerable police
stations. Army messes, particularly the sergeants
messes, made the UK police very welcome. Without them, we would have had a lean social life, as
visiting the local bars/tavernas was too risky.
Near the Acropole, however, we had Nice's, a provisions shop cum bar with grapevine awning and
a large fridge with Tuborg, Carlsberg and Keo
(still the island's main beer) ice cold. Kyrenia was
the popular seaside town for a weekend swim and
the Dome Hotel, still in business today, was then
taken over by the NAAFI, where the Keo was
cheap.
For pursuits more scenic, we explored the
Kyrenia mountain range, right along the north
coast into the Panhandle with the Byzantine castles
of St. Hilarian, Buffavento and Kantara. The jewel
of all was Bellapais Abbey where the poet
Laurence Durrell lived and featured in his book,
"Bitter Lemons". The Troodos mountain range, in
the middle of the island, is higher but heavily
forested. Its centre point is Kykko Monastery, then
suspect as associated with EOKA activities.
Despite the troubles, I still look back on my two
year in Cyprus as the most memorable of my 30
years service, with paper work at a minimum. lt is
a long time ago though: 50 years last July. Three of
us that I know of have survived to three score and
twenty, John Jackson, Eric Maville and myself, all
now living at the coast. John signed on for a further two years in Cyprus and came back with a
Colonial Police Medal. I returned with a new VW
Beetle and a future wife, Lorna, seconded from
York City. Eric also signed on for another two
years, finished his service in Northumberland and,
with his wife, returned to Paphos, and the sunshine, for some twenty years. He bought a boat
and went fishing.
Lorna and I have been back to the island twice,
to North and South, but found the partition very
sad and life so removed from the Cyprus we knew.
Nevertheless, the Island of Aphrodite, its mountains, beaches and climate, is a pleasant country to
visit and the Cypriots, on both sides of the divide,
friendly people. They all speak English.
So thank you, Campbell Findlay, for reawakening memories of Cyprus.
Editor’s footnote
I note in the Hexham Courant of Friday 22nd September 2006 that 50 years ago, PC Stanley B. Pearson left
the country to become the first Hexham officer to do
voluntary service in Cyprus.
Old Places Remembered
By Ken Dodds
Earlier this year I went to a memorial service in the Wirral for an old army friend. Whilst
there, I felt like a fish out of water as there was only one other person that I knew. Whilst
talking to this person an old gentleman came over to us and introduced himself. He
introduced himself as the parish priest of the family.
He told us that he had recognised our northeastern accents and enquired where we came
from. When we replied Newcastle, his face lightened up and he laughed saying, “O dear lord, I
remember that place for my sins, I had some villainous days and nights there when I was a young
lad.”
We had a good talk and he told us this story:;Before becoming a priest he had been a seaman
on the Norwegian timber boats trading into the
Tyne in the early 1950s. Like all seamen he spent
his off duty time in pubs and dives in the different
towns on the river. He asked about different dives
PAGE 12
in various places, like the Jungle in North Shields
and The Princess in the Bigg Market, Newcastle.
Were they still there and were they still as bad,
were they still the hangouts of the �Totties’ as he
called them – ladies of the night in other words?
He had not been in our area since he had
become a priest and was most interested to hear
about the changes that have taken place – he said
with tongue in cheek! After about two hours of
good talk and many chuckles, we left and I forgot
about him in time - that is until about a few weeks
ago when I had a telephone call from the widow
of one of my old army friends. She asked me if I
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
had remembered her priest and the talk we had
had. She also told me that he was coming to Newcastle for a few days and wondered if I would be
willing to meet him and show him around the City
so that he could see all the changes that have
taken place.
Willingly I did so and met him, he could not get
over the changes that had taken place. When we
walked down the Bigg Market, he just shook his
head and laughed, his words were, “All the old
pubs have gone, just look at the place, it’s a foreign world to an old timer like me. Some of the
pubs are still here – the Half Moon, The Beehive,
but oh how they have changed.” We went down
to the Quayside where he was amazed at the
changes. When he saw the new bridge he was
speechless.
I spent two days taking this new friend around
the area and enjoyed it and he really enthused
about all the changes and kept harking back to the
way they were and now. When he finally left to go
back to his parish, he said to me, “Changes are
inevitable, some for the good and others not so
good, just as we change. Look at me an old parish
priest, but what a bad young fellow I was and the
things I got up to. Thank the Lord I changed. I’ve
enjoyed these days up here and seen the changes
that have taken place, but now I regret having
reminded myself just what I did and got up to. It
would have been better if I had never come back
to torment myself, I’ll have to do a lot of soul
searching, when I tell those young devils back
home when I catch them misbehaving. Never
mind that’s part of my job, but at least I know
what it’s like to be reminded of the follies of
youth.”
Since he returned home I’ve had a very nice letter from him thanking me for my time and
expressing pleasure at seeing the new Newcastle. I
think he does regret having come and having been
reminded of his past, but at the same time I think
he enjoyed seeing how places change and may be
it might help him in his work
Life for a police family in the County days
by Ken Stephenson
I noted with interest the article written by Fred Moffatt, particularly the part about
Police Authority accommodation for officers of the Northumberland County Constabulary
back in the old days.
It made me, like Fred, “ponder” on two of the
houses in which I lived with my parents in the
1940’s and 50’s, and indeed the conditions in
which police officers were required to live and
work then in rural areas of Northumberland.
My father was Mark Stephenson and in 1945 he
was Northumberland County Constabulary Sergeant No. 307 based at Morpeth. The accommodation provided for the �rural’ Sgt. at Morpeth was a
flat located on the second floor (as I remember) of
the Morpeth Old County Prison Castle located in
Castle Square, Morpeth, a photograph of which
is also depicted on the front cover of the
Northumbrian Bobby.
I was born in the flat in 1945 and can just
remember racing around the narrow stone corridors of the accommodation on an old tricycle. Also
located within the castle was the old County
Court-house, which was magnificent with its wood
panelling and tiered seating around the public gallery. It appeared almost in every respect like an old
Roman amphitheatre.
WINTER 2006
It was
somewhat
ironic that
having lived
within the
splendour of
such an historic building
Morpeth Court House
for 5 years (I
believe Fred has detailed some of the buildings
past history in a previous edition of the �Bobby’)
that at the age of 19 I should in 1964, return to it to
be sworn before Alfred Appleby J.P. as a Constable
in the Northumberland County Constabulary.
The Old County Prison wasn’t the only unusual
police accommodation in which I lived as a sibling
of a serving police officer. In the summer of 1950
my father was moved from Morpeth to live and
work in the Coquet Valley, and so we moved to
the old Court-house at Rothbury.
On the ground floor was a kitchen, living room
and (considered very posh at the time) a separate
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 13
dining room. There were also 3 cells and my
father’s office. On the first floor were the courtroom, a toilet and washroom that according to the
notice on the door was “For Magistrates use only”
and 3 bedrooms. Access to the bedrooms was via
bedroom 1 into bedroom 2 into bedroom 3. In
order to get to bed one had a choice:
Choice 1 was to leave the lounge by a door
leading directly into the corridor for “Magistrates
Only” access to the courtroom, climb the stairs,
enter the courtroom, walk through it, pass the
“Magistrates Only” toilet and enter the
bedrooms.
Choice 2 was to leave the lounge by a door
leading directly into the cell passage, walk past 3
cells, past my father’s office, and climb the stone
stairs to the bedrooms. These stairs were, as I
remember, also the public access to the courtroom.
We lived in this house for 5 years until I was 10
years old. I remember on many occasions choosing
not to go to bed via the cell passage in order to
avoid the abuse being shouted by a drunken prisoner, this could clearly be heard when sitting in
the lounge.
One of the conditions of residence in this
accommodation was that my mother would
undertake the role of cleaner for the courtroom.
Can you imagine married officers joining the
Service now having to tolerate conditions of service such as this!
At the rear of the old Rothbury Court-house
was a stable, outside toilet and a large garden,
which ran down to the river. I believe my father
leased plots of this large garden to local people
who used them as allotments.
The old Court-house is now a library on the
ground floor and an art gallery on the 1st floor.
Each floor is open plan and nothing remains of
the old accommodation. I live in Rothbury and
when visiting the library often recall the good
times I had
living in
the building as a
child.
Rothbury Court House
Editor’s note
Morpeth Court-house, designed by John Dobson,
was built in 1820s to resemble a castle. As far as I can
tell, it was used as a prison between 1826-1882 and then
as a court–house until it closed in 1980.
My most satisfying chalk
By Alfie Sarin
The most satisfying chalk of my life was on Christmas Day in the mid �60s. I was on late
day in Byker on the previous day when I was sent to a house breaking in South View
West. I was greeted by a man who was crying. I went into the sitting room of his home to
be confronted by a woman and three children, all sobbing their hearts out.
They told me that the family had returned from a pantomime at the Theatre Royal to find the house
burgled. The only things stolen were the Christmas presents that had been stacked under the Christmas
tree. I had kids myself then and was pleased when I could get away from the I.P.’s house.
There was a bad family that lived a few doors
away. The man of the house was the sort of person
who took money for cigarettes, beer and the bookmaker from the family benefit money and gave the
remainder to his wife. I had dealt with the family
previously and knew that the kids did the breakins while the father sold the gear on Shields Road,
allegedly, mainly in the Raby; Heaton Hotel and
the Butchers.
Christmas Day arrived and I was on 6am – 2pm
(Remember the quick change-over?) It was tradition that no-one got locked up on Christmas day
PAGE 14
because the station staff would be very busy doing
paper-work or cleaning the station or something
of that nature. The staff that day I seem to remember were Insp. George Amman; Stn Sgt. Alan
Sanderson; beat Sgt. Eric Parker; operators Ray
Brunsden and Douggie Garrett and station cat,
Bob Trotter. They weren’t happy when I told them
I intended locking this prig up but when I added
that I was going to speak to the three managers of
the likely premises to give me a bell when he
turned up and that the three young kids whose
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
presents had been stolen were heart-broken, reluctantly, I was granted a dispensation.
I had paperwork to do so I stayed in Headlam
Street. The phone rang about 12.15 p.m. It was
from the Butcher’s, the roughest pub of the three. I
shot down there, went into the bar: there were
presents but no punters. I was told that he was in
the toilets: my heart sank; what state would he be
in? I saw Freddy Mills and his baddies, all with big
smiles on their faces. I went into the toilet with
trepidation and found him lying face-down in the
trough. I rolled him over: he was soaking wet and
bleeding from the nose, mouth and a few other
cuts. He said that he wanted �Millsy’ locked up for
robbing him and beating him up. I asked whether
he was trying to say that he had slipped in a pool
of urine and hurt himself. I told him that if he
wanted to get out of the pub in one piece and me
also, he should button his lip. He told everybody
that he had fallen down and was going to
Headlam Street with me. The manager handed me
a sum of money which he claimed to be the proceeds of a whip round. The punter wasn’t happy
about this, because most of it had been his and he
wasn’t too happily received at the nick as you can
imagine.
As you will recall, evidence is usually retained
for court but, due to special circumstances, I was
allowed to give the presents back to the children. I
will never forget those smiles. They made up for
everything.
The prig was a cautioned under the Ponteland
Water Act never to drink on Shields Road again. I
Editor’s note
As Alfie’s tale pre-dates the ’69 amalgamation can
anyone remember any other �helpful multi-functional
act’ such as the more frequently quoted Ponteland Powers Act? Was it the name used pre-amalgamation?
An interesting addition about Freddy Mills was the
day I happened to be in the Bridewell on an unrelated
matter in the early �70s when it was I believe Freddy’s
mother who wished to visit to offer counsel. Freddy,
obviously wrestling with some deep philosophical
dilemma had removed his clothes, presumably to focus
on the problem in hand. When he did deign to accept
the visit and was brought up from the cells below, he
chose to present himself clad only in his familiar three
quarter, black leather coat. It was an interesting social
commentary on the range and variety of persons with
whom we dealt.
WINTER 2006
How impressions last
by Ken Dodds
Some time ago, I was asked the question:
“Are police officers as good as they were"?
My reply: “I certainly hope so .Why?”
The questioner: “They don't give that
impression”.
My reply, “Why?”
The questioner: “They do not look it. No proper
uniform: going around in jerseys, those big yellow
jackets and the big padded vest things. All that
stuff on belts, those big daft wobbly helmets on
titchies. They do not impress me at all. With all
that gear on them, you would think they were
going to war, or afraid to be out without it.”
My reply: “They aren't afraid to be out, as to
going to war. They are at war with some elements
of society, and all that gear is for your protection
as well as theirs. The vests are for protection from
bullets and stabbing. The yellow jackets are for
identification, especially at night an in the dark,
etc. As for the helmets, they are reinforced to protect from head injuries, just like a crash helmet on a
cyclist or those on motorbikes. As for height - size
is not everything - quality counts. When did you
have a conversation or anything to do with a police
officer on duty?'”
The questioner: “Donkeys years ago, with a
ginger haired sergeant who had a moustache. He
was big, had creases in his proper uniform that
you could cut yourself on, and his boots gleamed
like glass. He was straight up, talked politely, and
was smart in his Newcastle uniform”.
(My thoughts: “Blimey that was George Lewis”)
My reply, "That must have been 30 or more
years ago. Things have changed a lot since then, so
have people.
Clothing and equipment has changed, hopefully for the better, so have police officers. Try talking
to them. Their job is more complex than when you
last had dealings with Sgt. Lewis, but basically
you'll find them the same.”
The questioner: “Maybe, but that man
impressed me and I believe I must have compared
all other policemen with him. Rightly or wrongly'”
After we had parted, my thoughts were that
George Lewis's turnout would impress any one we did not all match up, but his impression on that
man has lasted all this time.
WHAT AN EPITAPH!
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 15
Just Christmas
William A Laws
Winter in the village, where everything was still
snow lay thick all around, with nature having its fill.
Nothing moved or made a sound, only a small bird
perched high upon the church, wanting to be heard
It was the annual Christmas dinner, for all in town.
Christmas carols were played, as they all sat down.
A wonderful time was had, but soon came to an end
and off home they went, for Christmas they defend
The Christmas tree arrived, for erection on some land.
For Christmas time was near, and everyone lent a hand.
Slowly it was erected, and fitted neatly in its place
In the village square, being decorated at a steady pace
During the night snow fell thick, covering the ground.
While the children were asleep, not making a sound.
It was a snowy Christmas day, with presents galore.
Lying on tables, on chairs, but mostly on the floor
The town council bought new lights for this great tree
then they switched them on, so everyone could see.
Multi coloured they were, spread from bottom to top.
Shining over the square, and into the butchers shop
So let me take this opportunity
to wish all the members a wonderful, wonderful
Christmas,
and a happy New Year
Tom the butcher had sold most if not all of his meat.
Everyone was satisfied, and would soon have a treat.
Christmas dinner was a favourite, with plenty of food.
Spread all along the table, and it made one feel good
The trials and tribulations of
Life after early retirement
– the pitfalls and pleasures of creating a second career
By Philip Parkinson
In the first part of this occasional series of articles, Philip sets the scene, charting his
transition from serving police officer to working in the health care industry. – Editor.
Leaving the police service is a traumatic experience. Retirement is forced on some and employment prospects are often poor. Most people think
obtaining employment will be easy, we are pillars
of society, as a general rule very honest, give a
good days work and can be relied upon: we are
disciplined, after all. The reality is that we are
often perceived as arrogant, do not suffer fools
easily and are very capable of speaking our mind
on a number of issues. Sadly those qualities (if
you like) are not wanted in commerce.
The financial considerations are important: a
wife and children, a mortgage, credit cards and
loans, you are still making a home, even though
you are out of the police service. Calculations on
what interest you will earn with the lump sum
will quickly make you realise that a life without
working is not an option. Applications go out for
work, C.V.s are produced in large quantities and
numerous phone calls all promise the same, “We
will write to you soon”. Don’t hold your breath
PAGE 16
waiting for those letters to arrive.
The world which you are trying to enter has
several surprises. The bigger picture; the strategic
view; target figures; measurable results; bench
marks; Investor in People; ISO 9000; charter
marks: the list is endless. Most of them something
never confronted in a previous working life.
Demands for better service, higher quality, more
efficiency and more accountability, go hand in
hand with customer satisfaction, better response,
higher levels of training and so on.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that
the customer’s perception is that standards of service have declined but, as a society, we have
become much more demanding than in the past.
Litigation is a word used almost daily by the general public and all employers have to watch what
they say, how it is said and when it is said.
As employees of Northumbria Police we experienced different styles of management, from the
hard discipline to the open minded, empowered
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
approach. All styles worked in a fashion and produced results, some more measurable than others.
As members of the police service, we all remember the demise of the shipyards. After all, was it
not inevitable if hundreds of men slept in the
workplace on nightshift, with the acquiescence of
middle and junior management? That workplace
could be very dangerous for those who might consider speaking up. The shipyards could not and
would not be competitive. The work ethic
appeared to be doing as little as possible for as
much as possible. How short-sighted those men
were. The miners had fallen into a similar trap
and our experience of industry as a police service, I
would argue, was a poor one. Of course, there are
other perspectives as to why both of those industries failed. One perspective that is prominent and
very persuasive concerns the will of central government. However, that is a perspective to be discussed on another day.
I VENTURE FORTH
After the police service, my first employer was
ruthless in his approach to staff: “no prisoners taken” springs to mind. If you failed in your performance for one day you were made to feel inadequate and devalued. As I watched other staff
members struggle with this management style I
was in wonderment. Results were achieved but
the achievement was short lived and occurred only
when the employer was about. The rest of the time
a malaise settled over the staff and motivation was
not on the agenda. There is an interesting parallel
here with the police service. Any management
style that requires the manager to supervise for
much of the time is doomed to fail unless there is
an inordinate number of supervisors to achieve
the goal. It was not surprising, therefore, that I
experienced such a sporadic performance in my
first post-police employment. It was here that I
first got the idea to start an apathy club. The membership would all have to be apathetic and my
work colleagues filled that criterion perfectly, with
the exception of one. However, I never got round
to it simply because I became too apathetic and,
maybe, that singular exception evaporated too.
The first employer failed in so many ways with
staff by devaluing them and investing no money in
training or resources to assist them in their work.
Eventually the results reflected the staff’s attitude
and as a consequence people did leave and customers left in droves, forced out by poor and falling standards. The result: the business went bust!
My second employer was better. Training was
high on the list of importance and appraisal folWINTER 2006
lowed appraisal, so much so that staff had little
time to do their work. Strategies changed daily as
did the company’s objectives. Personnel changed
very rapidly, one executive leaving followed by
new ideas imposed on the staff with the arrival of
fresh blood.
This process was repeated so often that bets
were placed on which executive would last the
longest. As these people moved on they left a
wake of destruction. Staff became demoralised
and disheartened and even the chairman and
chief executive lost their own direction for the
company.
They give you a chance; you grasp the opportunity to make a difference with both hands. I began
studying all that I could get my hands on in relation to the business. I studied motivation techniques and staff management but I was operating
in an environment without the help of the disciplined regime such as the police service. The
level of sickness absences was extremely high,
morale was poor and facilities were a disgrace.
What would good old Fred Hertzberg have done
here, you may well ask. Gold, Silver, Bronze was
the answer though convincing the powers that be
that it would work took longer than you would
have thought. Policy makers in business work to a
timetable that has no limit. In short, you can run
out of that expensive commodity: time. One of the
difficulties can be that the policy makers want not
only to set the strategic direction for the company,
they also want to control the implementation
strategy and then manage the personnel as the
policy is applied. Eventually, they saw the light,
albeit some distance off. Before doing any of the
process of convincing higher management, it was
vitally important to get the staff on board with me.
However, the Gold, Silver, Bronze method had
worked in the past, and with briefings being cascaded, before long all the staff were happier, sickness was reduced and a team spirit developed.
Before I got carried away with the success of
my suggestion, it was important to remember that
I only introduced the systems. Others worked at
implementing them and credit must go to all those
who worked hard to make the process succeed.
Peter’s, books on management and others, one
read with interest but they failed to address those
stubborn individuals who would never accept
change however it was packaged. However, the
Peter Principle seems to flourish in those
organisations, even though they are not the archetypal hierarchical bureaucracies. The skill of being
diplomatic, necessary in the police service, proved
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 17
invaluable. However, it proved difficult to accept
with a muted voice, the standards exhibited by
some of the staff who came to work dressed inappropriately. The idea of dressing casually on a Friday, one to which I do not subscribe, was applied
to the dress for every day of the week. �Where is
your hat?’; �Don’t chew gum’; �Clean your boots’ words that had been spoken to us all several times
over a career, at least in the initial stages by oldtime sergeants, still rang in ones ears. �You represent the police service. Be smart. Don’t let your
other officers down’. More words - at the time
they were delivered one didn’t know how much
they would help deliver that message later in life.
Maybe, I didn’t even imagine that I would ever
need to deliver such a message.
MESSAGE NOT LOST
Pride in appearance; team player; representing
the company and identifiable to others as someone
who is proud to be associated with their fellow
work mates: the message was not lost; it worked
and more importantly worked for the customers.
Name tags: something simple helps in memory
and helps good communication. They are simple
management techniques so easily forgotten in the
hubbub of business. After eighteen months I
introduced the notion of empowerment, giving
staff members who had the skill the opportunity
to move forward and begin training others and
once again those words delivered by an inspector
many years previously rang so true “If you think
training is expensive what price ignorance” But as
the truism states, “failing to plan is planning to
fail” and it raised the spectre of doom. Christmas
Eve arrived and the boiler for the central heating
failed, then a few minutes later the reserve one
failed. In all one’s keenness to develop the best in
staff, the simple housekeeping systems are overlooked. Full of despair as temperatures fell with
seventy old people to keep warm at 72 degrees
Fahrenheit and the staff all wanting Christmas off,
this would be the test of all tests. Would the staff
respond, we began making telephone calls and
explained the issue first then began asking for
support (mutual aid) from other homes: would it
work. Police techniques again applied in the business environment: it all worked; everyone was
great. They turned in from home to work sixteen
and more hours; other staff from nearby homes
brought hot food and drinks and partied into the
early hours with the customers. It was the best
Christmas party I had ever been to.
PAGE 18
You blew your
whistle!
By Ken Moore
I recall an incident way back in 1968. I was
night shift working the West End Station
beat, and making my way back to the station. The night shift station beat polis had to
sweep the floor before going off duty so you
got back to the station about 5.30am.
About 5.15 a.m. I was walking up Westgate
Road and beside Westgate Hill school when a
young lad turned the corner out of Hartington
Street ahead of me.
On seeing me he was off like a whippet. I took
off after him but had not a cat in hells chance of
catching him. He was running towards Stanhope
Street and knowing that Alan Robinson No
618 would be in the area making his way back to
the station, I took out my as then unused whistle
and blew it. (They never did give you a course on
how to blow it and summon help.)
The youth stopped dead in his tracks and
walked towards me. I had to ask him why he had
stopped, to which he replied "You blew your
whistle"
It transpired that he was an absconder
from 'Wellesley Nautical School' and had been on
the loose for quite some time. He had been living
in an old police hut in the allotments behind the
home of the then chief constable, Frank Gale.
A prolific stealer of things from cars he made
the day for the CID, and got me out of sweeping
the floor!
Ken Moore No 623 (still living in retirement without taking the pills)
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
Book Reviews
This is an occasional item where books submitted will be reviewed. The Editor,
Northumbria Bobby is happy to receive copy or published works for review and inclusion
in the next available issue.
Hertfordshire Casebook
Victorian Villains
This is the fifth book published by Paul Heslop
and the third in a series where he has reinvestigated crimes committed in a particular
locality. Many will remember Paul as a police officer in Newcastle City Police and Northumbria
Police, prior to moving to Hertfordshire Constabulary.
In Hertfordshire Casebook, the author reviews a
number of prominent cases dating from 1871 to
2004. The book runs to 200 pages over fourteen
detailed chapters. The final chapter recounts the
2004 murder of Robert Riley Workman in Furneux
Pelham, as yet undetected. The author has revisited the scenes of the crimes, where they still exist
and also spoken to some of the investigators as
well as undertaking extensive reviews of the news
media of the day to amass the facts of each case.
The books contains copies of relevant news media
items, photographs, maps and plans to illuminate
the material He provides a summary of the evidence, the verdict where the case has been concluded and, in most instances, ends each reinvestigation with his own commentary on the
probity and persuasiveness of the evidence. You
do not have to agree with the conclusions of the
author to make this an interesting read. After all,
this is not presented as a piece of academic
research and the author is allowed therefore the
latitude to apply personal reflections. In fact, in
some instances, disagreeing with his summation
may actually sharpen the reader’s appreciation of
the evidence and police investigation of the particular case.
Copies of the book, which retails at ВЈ9.99, may
be obtained through the author at
paul@heslop67.freeserve.co.uk . Those readers
without access to the internet may obtain a copy of
the book by contacting the Editor, Northumbria
Bobby.
Barry Redfern has compiled an eminently readable chronicle of prisoners who were incarcerated
in Newcastle gaol between 1871 and 1873. The
framework of the book is an exploration of a number of cases emanating from records held by Tyne
& Wear Archives Service. Barry reviews the circumstances of each of the cases, providing whatever details records of the day allow. He has supplemented the text with extracts from news media
and official papers. By providing some social context for the cases, the author has made an interesting exercise even more informative and it is possible for the reader to take the place of the detective
making the arrest or empathise with the plight of
the offender. In some instances, the offender is
without a vestige of grace and his or her callousness is equally obvious.
This is a very interesting read: one which I
found absorbing, even though it contains many
graphics and fact and figures which in a less well
engineered book could have become obtrusive.
Here, they neatly complement the text.
If Victorian Villains could be improved then for
me, more delving in to the social history would
have made it even more interesting. To be fair to
the author, however, that was not his brief and,
therefore, not to have expanded that element must
not be a levelled as a criticism of what is a very
thorough piece of social and criminological history
as defined through the lives and times of the cases
reviewed.
The book, priced at ВЈ6.99, is available at book
shops throughout the region or on loan from
libraries.
Other titles by the author: The Shadow of the Gallows.
Editor
Other titles by the author include: The Job – 30 Years a
Cop, The Walking Detective, Old Murders and Crimes
of Northumberland and Tyne & Wear.
Bedfordshire Casebook.
Editor
WINTER 2006
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
PAGE 19
In the next issue:
Who's who at the Royal Quays Ferry Terminal, Phoenix Theatre, Blyth, Oh for a proper sit-down-tea and
much much more...
Deadline for Summer 2007 issue... 31st March 2007. Late items will be accepted but publication in the
next issue cannot be guaranteed.
Breaking News...
If you contact the chairman of the new police club, Newcastle and provide him with your email address
he has offered to keep people aware of impending �dos’. He can be contacted at
northumbriasocialclub@fsmail.net. Notified events will also be posted on our web site. Application
forms for the social club are also available on line or from Keith Little.
Back page pic
An imposing view of the house
and garden of Cragside.
Picture by P. Mather.
Contact details
Editor:Mr. Percy Mather,
12, Pinewood Avenue,
Northburn Chase, Cramlington,
Northumberland, NE23 3TX.
E-mail for the �Bobby’
north.bobby@freeuk.com
Websites
Northumbria NARPO –
www.northumbrianarpo.org
Northumbria Police www.northumbria.police.uk
Northumbria Police Federation www.norpolfed.com
PAGE 20
Branch Secretaries:NORTHUMBRIA BRANCH
Mr. Keith Little,
45, Falstone Avenue,
South West Denton,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 7ST.
Email:
secretary@northumbrianarpo.org
NORTH TYNESIDE BRANCH
Mr. Fraser Farish,
83 Hotspur Road, Wallsend,
NE28 9HJ.
GATESHEAD BRANCH
Mr. Eric Pyke,
19, Bridlington Avenue, Low
Fell, Gateshead, NE9 6XJ.
SUNDERLAND BRANCH
Mr. Arthur Pattison, MBE.
10, Cliffe Court,
Sunderland, SR6 9NT.
SOUTH SHIELDS
BRANCH
Mr. Harry Sprouting,
2, Field Terrace, Jarrow,
NE32 5PH
DURHAM BRANCH
Mr. Barry Crawford,
8 Warwick Place, Peterlee,
County Durham, SR8 2EZ.
NORTHUMBRIA BOBBY
WINTER 2006
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