Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 01

Location of interview:Chislehurst

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police: 3 March 1952

Date left Met Police:24 August 1983

Rank of leaving:Superintendent

Divisons served:G, H, P, C, E, NSY A Dept., R

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 2: 6'19”: Life before the Metropolitan Police: Family and Deptford Park; WW2; Evacuation to Brighton; returned to London; Evacuation to Cornwall after home destroyed by enemy air action; re-housed.   Lewisham first employment in Boys Brigade offices, Westminster; mother and brother killed by enemy air action, Woolworths, New Cross; effect on family; changes employment to County of London Electricity Corporation, accounts department. Support from Boys Brigade during the London Blitz; example and training sets his course for future life. National Service and returns to work for now nationalised London Electricity Board. Saw headline in newspaper; police to be paid £500 per annum.

Track 3: 9' 31”: Joining the Metropolitan Police: application and selection process; Beak Street Training School, Beak Street; and illness and delay in completing training. Posted G Division: Divisional commander and policing Union of Fascists, Commercial Street; describes Beak Street, Training School; nature of training; high number of former National Servicemen; rote learning; discipline; enjoys training. Old Street Police Station; Section House; describes conditions; Continuation Classes; learning from older PCs and police whistles and torches. Completion of probation period; quality of training; and working a Beat.

Track 4: 2' 27”: Working a Beat: dullness of work; types of patrol; policing on one's own; effective communication; describes Police Station ground; Traffic Points; and laden horses and carts.

Track 5: 1'04”: Rehoused from Old Street to Stoke Newington Section House; trolley buses; and policing Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation.

Track 6:  1'35”: Old Street: burglary at tobacco warehouse; arrests suspect; and receives Commissioner's Commendation.

Track 7: 3'50”: St Johns and Lewisham Railway Disaster: smog and ambulances. Marriage, accommodation and travel to work; foot tunnel from Greenwich to Isle of Dogs; public baths for washing; failure to be granted police accommodation; and buys own home.

Track 8: 8'41”: Isle of Dogs: two working Beats; cycle allowance; describes Beats, staffing and refreshment breaks; and Jack, the Isle of Dogs police station cleaner. Describes work: dullness of work; Section 66 stops; domestic disputes; nature of Police Station ground; bomb sites and air raid shelters; sexual offences arrest; Police Box and Police Van; and instinct and evidence. Process: and petty arrests. Public attitudes to police: and policing close knit communities. Dispirited by working on Isle of Dogs; working with end of service officers; Reserve Officer.

Track 9: 6'51”: Transfers to Aide to CID: 2yrs as plain clothes Officer; working Isle of Dogs and across Division. Arbour Square Police Station, called to London Hospital: patient who had been seriously assaulted makes allegation against Ron and Reggie Kray and Terry Ramsey; helps arrest Krays at a billiard hall; use local knowledge to arrest Terry Ramsey; gives evidence at Old Bailey; two of three convicted; and Kray twins swap places on a prison visit. Meet Ginger Marks who later disappeared, believed murdered and buried under new M1. Fails to be selected for CID Training: Return to uniform Isle of Dogs; seeks promotion and/or work outside police.

Track 10: 6'51”: Sergeant Examination: instructions and instructor; no study leave; and learns of examination success via Police Box message. Preparation for Sergeants Course: preliminary experience at Poplar Police Station; describes police station ground; Blackwall Tunnel; East India, West India and Millwall Docks; meets the trade union leader Jack Dash; witnesses bascule bridge incident; describes unrepaired wartime damage to footbridge; and demise of docks.

Track 11: 12'16” : Working hours: describes normal duties shift patterns and hours worked; booking in and out; Book 92; patrolling, arrests and custody procedures; mentions demonstration; Parading, Appointments (notebook, truncheon, whistle and torch); stolen cars. Days off duty: tiredness; effect of shift working on family life; son's comment on; and need for unsocial hours allowance for police. Restricted social life: time off in lieu; welfare and isolation of wives; and effects of majority Officers recruited from all over UK. Police Social Clubs; police sport; children's Christmas parties; as secretary Lewisham Police Social Club; and regrets no longer part of police life. Esprit de Corps: and good discipline.

Track 12: 5'39": Mentions application to Mounted Branch; and opportunities to apply to MP Branches.  Promotion to Sergeant: Sergeants Course, Peel House; instructors and instruction; rote learning; and view of course. Posted to P Division; attends Catford Division HQ for divisional postings. Posted Brockley: describes Police Station ground; after three years, posted to Lewisham. Describes role and duties of Sergeant: describes role of Station Officer.

Track 13: 5'10”: Brockley and Lewisham: plain clothes work; licensing and vice. Previous street illegal betting work Isle of Dogs and Poplar. Afro-Caribbean population Lewisham: unlicensed drinking clubs; raid and warrants; Court work. Catford Dogs: 'Crown and Anchor' (dice) and 'Three Card Trick' operators; unlawful betting; arrests, no radios, limited vehicles. Hither Green Railway Disaster: amazed by willing contribution of Off Duty Officers. Describes Lewisham Police Station Area: domestic disputes. Seek and achieves promotion to Station Sergeant after six years as Sergeant.

Track 14: 3'53”:Continues Brockley and Lewisham: describes communities; new centre for Afro- Caribbean population; deputy to Chief Inspector appointed to liaise with new communities; housing of new communities, upper Deptford and Lewisham. Race Relations.

Track 15: 5' 54”: Continues Lewisham: allocated Beatles performing at Lewisham Gaumont; spent six hours with them to keep fans at bay; helps them escape from fans; describes Beatles and relations with. Mentions Public Order work: Winston Churchill's funeral, Queen's Coronation, Silver Jubilee and Notting Hill Carnival. Station Sergeant: posted to C Division: effect on central London posting on family life; and describes role. Mentions demonstrations. Drunkenness: bridegrooms.

Track 16: 5'30": Women Police: service conditions; civilian matron; expertise with women and children; expertise lost with integration; opposition to; physical strength; women public order work. Station Sergeant work: football; Vine Street Police Station re-opened; moved back to; CD1 and CD2; mentions demonstration at Grosvenor Square; social life; discipline. Promotion to Inspector.

Track 17: 8'54”: Promotion to Inspector: learns of success via Police Orders; studying while working; postings and career paths. Posted E Division: Holborn; describes Police Station Area; travelling to work and parking for Inspectors. Aliens Office: political asylum for Russian ballerina from Covent Garden; and case of forced marriage. Role of Inspector: less station duty.  Demonstrations central London: Red Lion Square; head injury; Divisional Surgeon; Senior Officer involvement in policing; far left groups marching against far right meeting at Conway Hall; planned disruption to march; attack on Hall; Public Order Duties on a Saturday; effect on family life. Role of Inspector: describes Police Station Area; Great Ormond Street Hospital; helicopter landings; shale field; memorial to De Vere Harmsworth and three sons fallen in WWI.

Track 18: 6'19”: Police work: describes foot patrol; Police Radios. Lewisham and Police Radio: had been tasked with issue of Police Radios; opposition to; invaluable resource. Walking: call from Area Car murder of sex worker; reported by perpetrator; investigates scene and makes arrest; handed to CID. IRA terrorism; Weather Centre, High Holborn. Promotion by Board to Chief Inspector.

Track 19: 4'04”: Ordinary Police Duties, Holborn; describes communities.  IRA terrorism: Kings Cross; Dental Hospital; arrest of porter. Active Area: Panda Cars; Noddy Bikes (Velocette), nodding to Inspectors. Sergeant Collator Lewisham. Promotion to Chief Inspector.

Track 20: 1'14”: Follow up interview: introduction.

Track 21: 4'26”: Role as Inspector A2(1) Forward Planning Branch: describes role; photographing prisoners; dedicated administrative units; prisoner property reforms. Promotion Chief Inspector: describes candidates and eligibility; eligibility by length of service; passed Board and promoted.

Track 22: 5'37": Posted to R Division: south of the Thames; close to home. Promotion system: Board Interviews. Station Sergeant West End Central: accelerated promotion Sergeants; holding the fort; interesting nature of work; unfair system; did not hold back his promotion. Earlier promotions. R Division Greenwich: regular hours and no shift work ; posted Sidcup.

Track 23: 5'55”: Interview with Commander at Greenwich: Posted Sidcup: describes ground; maintained Public Order Duties; Shield Training. Posted Administration Unit, Woolwich: dismayed by non-operational role; but found tasks interesting; traffic prosecutions; typing section; audio recording of statements. Posted Community Liaison Officer and head of Juvenile Bureau; race relations work; Lewisham; Late Duty Senior Officer working scheme.

Track 24: 3'45”: National Front march: New Cross to Lewisham Clock Tower; in charge of final group of marchers; bricks and bottle throwing by opposition; marchers very young; loss of interest by public in demonstrations.

Track 25:  7'41”: Juvenile Bureau: describes role; Cautioning; administering Cautions; parents reactions; admission of offence; comments on system; refuses second Cautions; types of Offences and behaviour; reaction to police. Community Liaison Officer: describes role; Children in Care; Youth Committee; role of youth workers; voluntary sector; Girl Guide refusal to march on Poll Tax demonstration; pressure from Council on Girl Guides; mentions own support from Boys Brigade during WW2.

Track 26: 4'05” Community Liaison Officer: Race relations R Division; meets religious communities and places of worship; positive response from BME communities; Erith Asian community. National Front: comment on leadership. Promotion to Superintendent: posted Woolwich second in command: describes role.

Track 27:  7'03”: Superintendent Woolwich: describes role and staff; Women Officers; commanded Sub-Division for twelve months; demonstration; Late Duty Senior Officer Scheme. Retirement: employment outside Police service; local government housing; Ministry of Defence Establishment security.

Track 28: 18'24": Life in retirement: hobbies and work with FOMPHC. National Service and National Servicemen in the police; his National Service. Return to civilian life and London Electricity Board, Camberley. Recruitment police. Recall to Army 1953 [Korean War]: stood down and returns to police. Discipline high amongst former National Servicemen; loss of influence has led to decrease in standards; need for intrusive supervision. Opinion of him as Police Officer: in retirement; during service; effect on family; view of his rank by others in retirement.


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