Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 119

Location of interview:Kent

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:17 October 1955

Date left Met Police:30 June 1988

Rank of leaving:Sergeant

Divisons served:

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 3: 6’172: Life before joining the MET police.  Born in Wiltshire, 3rd son.  Father was the local Grocer and mother was a seamstress.  Education at Grammar school.  Moved to London to become a Cadet after school.  Predominance of sport.  Job at Grocery store helping his father during holidays and after school delivering food.  Aunt was a gunsmith and ran a sport shop.  Brother’s jobs.  Father’s connections through sports with the local police.  Starting with the MET cadets because there were no local vacancies.  Parent’s positive reaction to decision to join the MET.  Sporting activities.  Importance of sporting abilities for acceptance into the MET police.  Wiltshire county under 16 team.  Cricket.

Track 4: 16’50": Cadet 17/10/1955 until 1958.  Progressed into the senior cadets.  Process of joining the cadets in 1955.  Soho recruiting centre.  First impressions of London.  Entrance test.  Had O’levels so enjoyed entrance process.  17th October 1955 started at Beak Street.  (?)  Describes the accommodation and provisions at Beak Street.  First impressions at Beak street; basic facilities.  Training at Hendon.  Uniforms.  Swimming and other physical training.  Hendon college.  Marylebone Lane station after training at Hendon.  Drills.  Life after Hendon.  Swimming.  Avoiding Boxing.  Describes other recruits and their backgrounds.  Popularity of the football teams and cricket.  Predominance of fit and sporting recruits.

Describes absence of female cadets and absence of any female recruits.

Track 5: 15’50": Trenchard House Section house in central London after Hendon.  Describes social life as a Cadet.  West End Central patrol.  Recalls his good relationship with officers on the relief.  Discos and evenings socializing with other officers.  Recalls the females they would meet.   Describes the lifestyle as a cadet living at Trenchard House.  Salary as a cadet.

Standard of accommodation.  Canteen.  Responsibilities as a cadet and running school crossing patrols in London.  Marylebone Lane school crossing.

Cannon Row and talking with the manager of the division team.  Recalls his issue as a short officer.  Recalls that his name was passed on to the Cannon Row division because of his football sporting attributes.  Playing with the A-division.

Track 6: 8’37": Transfer to the recruiting center.  Administrative work.  Role watching recruits during their entrance examination process for any apparent physical problems. Considers the recruits and background in national service.

Describes playing football for the division and subsequently being allocated role in Albany street on duty.

Track 7: 11’3":  After Albany street he moved for senior cadet training to Kennington Road.  Promoted to PC officer.  Describes the training and experiences during this period in South London.  Describes role as a senior cadet and problematic relationship with acting police officers.  Uniform as a Senior Cadet.  Self-defense training as a cadet.  Social life as a senior cadet and clash with other residents who were students due to noise.  Playing pool.  Basic accommodation condition.

Track 8: 18’19":  Transfer to Canon Row as a PC.  Early experiences as a PC and making arrests.  Limited arrest experiences.  Role as the ‘monument watchers’ on protection posts.  Weekend demonstrations.  Fire arms officer.  Training to become a fire arms officer.  Cannon Row store of fire arms.  Protection posts with armed officers; Downing street.  Carrying a Fire arm on duty.  Working at Buckingham Palace.

Incident of a man approaching him on his protection post.  Traffic point by Scotland yard.  Dealing with a fatal traffic accident incident.  Atmosphere of the posting and police work.  Supervision by the duty officer walking the beat to check on PCs.  Playing football.

Communication equipment.  No radios.  Call box.  Role watching traffic.  Houses of Parliament crossing postings.  Security role at 10 Downing Street.

Track 9: 7’14": Incident at Canon Row involving a yob firing fireworks at people in Trafalgar Square.  Describes apprehending the man.  Reflects on the role of a plain clothed officer in the incident and his limited role. Accommodation.  Section house accommodation by Westminster Cathedral and Gilmour House. 

Track 10: 7’46": Working at Buckingham Palace during his posting at Canon Row.  Incident while in the posting.  Meeting the Queen.  Incident of the lawn being damaged.  Recalls salute by armed guard at Buckingham Palace.  Recalls Donald Vagen’s break in to Buckingham palace and the Queen’s bedroom.  Describes the reaction to the incident.  Staff party.

Track 11: 2’23": 1966 February passed promotion exam for acting Sergeant exam.   July 1966 promoted to Sergeant.  Posted to Rochester Row to learn role of acting policing, rather than protection posts.  Reflects on the importance of this training period before being posted to Suffolk.  Sporting ability made his working relationships easier.

Track 12: 8’32": Posting to Suffolk as a newly promoted Sergeant.  Relationship with the Commander.  Became the Commander’s clark.  Recalls a Suffolk PC who wrote a poem about the role of the relief on a Sunday morning.  Describes the football team and the high level of talent.  Sports clubs in the forces and the changes that have occurred. 

Track 13: 8’03": Responsible for incoming prisoners; incident of a prisoner harming themselves during a search.  Describes the prisoner who had cut his wrists.  First aid.  Fear of his role in the accident as custody officer.  Describes another incident of an officer calling for aid during the arrest of a man.

Track 14: 1’38": Police career and role dealing with other people.  Reflects on his approach to tackling difficult situations with people.

Track 15: 2’05": Reflections on his career in the MET police.  Enjoyment of his career, colleagues and experiences.  Considers changes that have occurred in the force now. 

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