Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 66

Location of interview:Orpington

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police: 5 May 1952

Date left Met Police: 1 August 1982

Rank of leaving:Inspector

Divisons served:M (Carter Street & Tower Bridge), P (St Mary Cray & Sydenham), R (Lea Road), Z (Croydon).

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 1: 01'02”: Introduction to interview.

Track 2: 15'58”: Life before the Met Police: describes family circumstances, Petts Wood, schooling and early work. National Service Royal Artillery: Hong Kong; surveyor. Father: oil refiner; mother a machinist and on marriage became house wife. View of school; Grammar School and financial limitations; technical school; plan drawer in police. Hobbies: table tennis; football and cricket; stamp collecting; childhood during war years and limitations to; Scouts; enemy air action.  Comments on evacuation: V2 raids; stays with friends in Cornwall. Childhood reaction to enemy air action; school and air raid shelter; school 3.5 days a week; informal schooling arrangements. First employment: builder's office, Beckenham; quantity surveyors, Holborn and Hanover Square; taking quantity surveyor's examinations curtailed by National Service. Army service: ordnance survey Hong Kong; travel abroad and troopship journey; life and posting there; unit he worked; enjoyed posting. Reaction to officer in army: working in a trade unit. Flash spotting and calibrating guns.  Not sent to Korea due to demob: TA service, describes new skills learnt. Comments on technology in Korea. TA based Bromley Kent: Off Pay from Police; additional pay in army.

Track 3: 09'15”: Joining the Metropolitan Police: friend had relatives in the service; disenchantment with civilian life; mother's reaction. Application process, Beak Street: whittling down candidates; Army qualifications; accepted into police; comments on friend's failed application.  Peel House and Hendon: syndicate transferred to Hendon. Rote learning: enjoyed time at Hendon; comments on fellow classmates. Women Police Officer trained at Peel House. First Aid training. Swimming. Drill and parading: drill. Instructors and course: training staff;

Track 4: 07'08”: Discussion with instructor: humour. Own marriage and circumstances; father works for Westminster Bank; cricket score and day out with wife; wife's travel abroad. Late travelling back from visiting future wife: meets instructor on way home. Living on a shoe-string. Travelling to work: walking and public transport; purchasing a bicycle. Childhood public transport.

Track 5: 14'02”: TS Hendon: does well; Honours Tie. Posted Carter Street Police Station: Section House; describes conditions; being disturbed at night and getting used to conditions; mess room; pecking order in Section House. Owning a car: staying at home in Petts Wood; early turns; pre-war Morris 8; selling the car and getting married; reaction of colleagues to owning a car. Learning Beats: called to RTA; lorry crushes bus stop and death of young women. Rigid discipline: bomb damaged buildings; Night Duty Shop Patrols, describes; Duty Officer, cold weather,  improperly dressed with coat collar turned up. Reaction to Night Duty: early workers and death of Stalin.  Coronation of Queen: early parade in Number One uniform; sandwiches and buses to town;  posted Haymarket; refreshments at Aliens Office; no operational feeding; making own way home; lift home with Army Ambulance.

Track 6: 02'50”: Queen of Tonga. Duchess of Kent's coach needs bump-starting; seeing the Queen; Royalty. Queen of Tonga:

Track 7: 29' 59”: Carter Street: Shop Patrols; ghost story,Victorian building off Walworth Road; story told in Daily Mail; Harry Cole. Marriage: transferred to St Mary Cray: describes Police Station Area; train strike and manning bus stops; First Reserves; street lighting switch off at midnight. First arrest: juvenile and house breaking; Juvenile Courts; space ship; limited number of arrests; RT Car. Attitude of experienced officer: St Mary Cray and quiet life; Probation; Parade Shed and Front Office; knocking and waiting; only officer on duty; rural policing; travelling itinerants and horses; recovers horses; stray animals paddock; colleague's trouble with a foal. Domestic disputes: describes incident; comments on; not many cases of; cases not pursued by complainants.  Women Police Officers: Origins of officers: from all around UK. Jokes and japes: describes incident; lost wallet. Bullying not an issue on Relief:  Discipline: marching out; comments on Inspectors. Special Constables and War Reserves. Senior Officer at Station: Chief Inspectors and accommodation above the station. Marriage and Police accommodation: wife's asthma; Police Married Quarters, Sydenham; friendships made. Social life: unsociable hours and making friends; one day off a week. Family life. Hobbies: work dominates; walking and gardening.

Track 8: 24'58”: Posted Sydenham: describes Police Station Area; called to Superintendent; posted stand in Plan Drawer whilst still a Probationer; working 9-5; Plan Drawer dies; post of full-time Plan Drawer on sub-Division removed. Lewisham Train Crash: St Johns: describes crash and damage to bridge; collecting human remains; hardened to trauma; eating brawn sandwiches. Police humour: not callous, but way of detaching themselves. Promotion to Sergeant: describes and comments on. Posted R, Lea Road: describes Police Station Area; hard work, paperwork and typing. Traffic Patrol: Process Reports. Describes Superintendent; OB; reading of gas and electric meter; new Superintendent comments on. Private estate; Fanny Craddock's garden party; food and champagne; Velocette; Stewart Grainger. Winter of 1963: James Callaghan; digging out snow; Christmas drink; Colin Cowdrey, cricketer. Lewisham Rail Crash. Break in at Cheesemans department store: chasing suspects; one arrested and one escapes across river; arrest later of bedraggled suspect. Burglar disturbed: teacher lodger and obscene photographs. Cycling to work;  postings to Sidcup and long journey. St Pancras Rent Riots: all leave cancelled and sent to incident; long hours. Shell Mex House: demonstrations an agitators. Enjoyed posting at Lea Road. Ordered to sit promotion: promoted to Station Sergeant.

Track 9: 10'19”: London's communities: new BME communities arrived later: White British, Londoners; St Mary Cary; Lea Road; describes. Young people: different society; discipline; home life; school and teachers; employers and Army; respectful attitude. Happiness of childhood; playing in woodlands; father very strict but fair; was generally the case. Young people spent a lot time out of doors; Scouts, youth clubs and Boys Brigade; sports and games. Televisions: describes FA Cup Final, Charlton v Burnley; 1948 Olympic Games, boxing. Describes later television: buys own set and cost of; shares access. Wembley Stadium in childhood.

Track 10: 17'46”: Promotion to Station Sergeant: posted Balham; describes  Police Station Area; tours at Duty Officer; took driving course; GLC. Posted Wandsworth Common: escape from Wandsworth Prison of Ronald Biggs; describes and comments on. Office bound role. Posted Tooting: trips to Brighton Races to supervise; family days, posts clubs and tug of war. Owen Kelly. The New Scotland Yard: opening by Queen. Velocettes and Sergeants: course at driving school while on Lea Road: describes driving one. Acknowledging Inspectors and Noddy Bikes. Selected to become Inspector, Croydon. Grosvenor Square 1968: posted Audley Street cordon; swept aside after charged by crowd; missiles; dense crowds; no operational feeding; Inspector's canteen and buying supplies for Serial. Level of violence: first time had witnessed to such a level; coming home safe and sound; frightening situation and no safety equipment; Inspector's flat hats; truncheon; comments on Vietnam war. Challenging the accepted order: family life and questioning children.  Reaction to future public order work: them and us; upholding the law; Notting Hill Carnival. Comments on Police reactions. Society changes in the 1960s. Brixton Riots: Railton Road; missiles and safety equipment; support from BME community and objection to disorder by some in community. TV coverage and wife's reaction.

Track 11: 29'28”: Inspector at Croydon: Royal Enclosure, Derby Day, Epsom; describes and comments on; public order and the Queen; never spoke to Queen; guard of honour, opening NSY; Queen's very blue eyes; obsolete post, convenience of gentry to mount their horses; business studies PhD student. Contact with jockeys' parking arrangements; tip on horse; St John's Ambulance men place bets for officers; loses. Charges Police Officer with murdering wife. Armed bank raid, Croydon High Street: disarms suspect. Fire and death of two little girls: comments on trauma of.  Bramshill:  Police College, and six month course; comments on course; Commonwealth Officers; Constabularies; differences in policing; found to be unrealistic; guest nights; being away from family; refused Anguilla posting. Posted Tower Bridge Police Station: not happy about; advised he will enjoy it; he did. His Bermondsey background. Describes Police Station Area: big villains and juveniles; staffing levels. Bombing of Tower of London by IRA: confusion over location; first senior officer on scene; Leman Street Duty Officer; danger of secondary car bomb; evacuating public; TV coverage and getting press back; threatens arrest of; Bomb Cars; White Tower. IRA terrorism: surveyor's brief case, bomb squad and controlled explosion. Suspect Parcels: injuries to officers. Drawing truncheon: Tower Bridge; Q Car and stolen car chase; decamp; shattered from chase, corners 'suspect', advises on likelihood of truncheon use; 'suspect' is a CID officer. Incident with route of royal car; Queen and Duke of Edinburgh; Old Kent Road; describes problems arising and comments on; royal reactions; acts a guide; reports incident up the line.

Track 12: 16'23”: Death by Dangerous Driving: describes charge; fatality and pathologist; continuity of identity; pathologists, students and invitation to instruct on Death by Dangerous Driving; invited to front and centre. Tall Ships Race: Communist Polish Ship; ship tied too tight on tide; not allowed on ship; sailing cadets brought to safety. Posted Court Inspector, Inner London Crown Court: 17 courts; mainly lesser cases; Lords Hailsham and Denning; comments on judges.  Duties of Court Inspector: describes role; managing police matters; commendations and criticisms; order; role removed now. Public Order Serials and normal duties. View of retirement: future employment; Bank of Tokyo; perks and bonuses; very different work and adapting to non-police life; granddad and father Christmas; retires. Describes and comments on working at the bank and retirement age changes; keep perks till 65. Enjoys retirement. U3A and other clubs: MPHA and FOMPHC; family life; gardening. How viewed as a retired police officer: looked to by neighbours. View of his rank by others.


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