HistoryThe Borough of Reigate Police Force

A Look at some of the aspects of the Force since it was inaugurated in the 1860s

If you have material that could be added to this page please contact author Alan Moore

The idea of expanding the page beyond the history section and much of the additional material came from Robert Bartlett,

Editor of the Surrey Police Old Comrades Association Police Association Newsletter 'Old and Bold'.

To contact Robert email editor@old-and-bold.info

Police Stations
Robert Bartlett
Officers killed WW2
Police Vehicles
Insignia & Ephemera
Biography:- Jock Mason
People and events
Obit. Sgt Ronald Bowles
Nutfield College
 
HISTORY - The Early Police
   
     The first ‘police’ in Reigate manorial days were borough and parish constables and it was not until 1851 when a police presence other than these was established by Surrey in London Road, Redhill.  It later moved to Reigate and at one time there was a sergeant and six constables for whom the parish paid into the County rate.
      Incorporation in 1863 was followed by the creation of the Borough of Reigate's own force in 1864.  There was to be a Superintendent at 90 p.a. plus quarters, a sergeant at 21/- p.w. and 8 constables at 18/- p.w.  The first Head Constable was George Gifford but he lasted only nine days and was succeeded by George Rogers who held the post for many years.  The station house was at 3, Carlton Terrace, Redhill, alongside the Market Hall, but as there were no lock-up facilities prisoners had to be catered for elsewhere until a house in West Street, Reigate, was rented at 25 p.a. and the cellar was converted to two cells.
      In August of 1864 consideration was given to the siting of a central police station near Shaws Corner and land for the purpose was purchased from Mr Waterlow.  The project never got under way and the
land deal was eventually reversed.  A new police station was built alongside the Market Hall in 1866 and became the headquarters for the two towns.  Reigate's station remained, although it was moved from West Street to premises between the Public Hall and the Congregational Church.  The title of Superintendent of Police was changed to Head Constable in 1870.
      In these early years, hours and conditions were onerous, as were the rules – ‘No PC to leave the borough without permission, nor to be in the borough out of uniform whether on or off duty’ - and the behaviour of the locals left something to be desired, for in May of 1882 the Watch Committee resolved, 'That the Head Constable take steps to render the High Street more orderly on a Saturday evening.’  Perhaps Saturday nights in Red Hill had always been rowdy, for the Watch Committee minutes of November, 1864, authorised the Superintendent to, 'buy new hat to replace one destroyed by crowd.

The photo (h1) above was taken of the Borough police force in 1879, then appropriately called 'the thin blue line'. The police station was in Carlton Place, which was alongside the Market Hall in Redhill, and the force had grown to nineteen men, including the Head Constable on the left wearing the top hat, Mr George Rogers.
(picture courtesy HNHC)
 
      The expression ‘you just can’t get the staff’, has the meaning that those you do get are less that satisfactory. This could well have applied to the Borough of Reigate’s early police force for in 1864, the first year of its existence, PC Stovell was fined for misconduct, PC Dashwood, and later PC Stovell, were discharged (reason not given), PC Foss was reprimanded and later fined five shillings, PC Ison was told to be more respectful and later fined one day’s pay, PC Harling was convicted of stealing, and PC Serjeant was reprimanded for ‘exposing an immoral article’. Drink was the downfall of several PC’s as in 1865 PCs Baugh and Beddington were dismissed for being drunk, and in 1871 PC Lewis was dismissed for drinking with poachers. In 1874 PC Whiteland was dismissed for ‘being found in a house of Ill fame’. And misdemeanours were not confined to the lower ranks. Head Constable George Rogers was followed in 1888 by William Pearson, who resigned in 1891 and was replaced by William Morant. In 1894 Philip Woodman was appointed but was fairly soon arrested for embezzling police funds at his previous employment in the Bradford police force. It must not be assumed that less than satisfactory behaviour was the norm, however, for during the years of the Reigate Borough force there have been many examples of of brave and heroic actions and exemplary behaviour by its officers and men. The appointment of Head Constable James Metcalfe, who ended this period of change at the top by remaining for 36 years.
h2 h3
George Rogers, Borough Police Superintendent 1864-88
(Picture Alan Moore)
 Inspector James King, who retired in 1899 after almost 32 years service in the Borough of Reigate Police Force (Picture Alan Moore)
   
It's a bit soon to deviate from the police history proper but the above photo shows some of Inspector James King's family. He had 7 sons and 1 daughter and this photo would seem to have been taken around the time of WW1. There are only six sons in the photo plus the daughter. Those who are identified are Harry, who is in civvies at the back, Frank Herbert front left, Ethel front centre and George front right. If anyone can identify the three sons in uniform in the back row or supply any information about the uniforms they are wearing please contact author . Information will be sent on to Helen Cameron, the gggranddughter of James King, who kindly supplied this photo.
   
POLICE HISTORY continued - The Turn of the Century
     By the 1890s the Reigate Police Force had increased in numbers with the growth of the two towns and the Redhill police station had become too small for the increased size of the force and extra responsibilities, such as weights and measures, something not missed by HM Inspector of police who in a report stated it was inadequate, and that the police force therefore was rendered inefficient. The significance of this was that the withholding of a certificate of efficiency would lose the Council the 1,750 grant it received annually from the Home Office for the upkeep of the force. The Council began to consider erecting Municipal Buildings that would incorporate a Police Station and Law Court.
       At the turn of the century there were two inspectors, four sergeants and twenty-eight constables. Municipal Buildings were duly built at Reigate and made provision for a brand new police headquarters station and cells in the basement with stairs leading to the court (now the council chamber) on the first floor. There was also a new house next door for the Head Constable. The Reigate station was sold and the Redhill station, although no longer the force HQ, remained as the local station.   Accommodation at the new Reigate building was also to eventually become too small as the size of both force and council increased steadily, and the Reigate police presence was later moved to a house called Cherchefelle in Chart Lane.
picture h4
..........................................The police force of 1904 (Picture Alan Moore)
h5h6
Chief Constable Mr J Metcalfe in charge of the Borough Police en route to a civic service at the Reigate Parish Church in 1909. Members of the Fire Brigade are marching behind.  (Picture Alan Moore)Chief Constable Metcalfe walking alongside the procession
commemorating King Edward VII on May 20th 1910
(Picture Alan Moore)
  
h7h8
A policeman on traffic duty at Reigate Market Place in the
early 1900s
(Picture Alan Moore)
A policeman on traffic duty at Reigate Market Place in the
1920s or 30s
(Picture Alan Moore)
  
Another picture of a policeman on point duty at Reigate Market Square in the early 1900s
  
h9h10
A policeman on traffic duty at Regate Market Place dealing with the arrival of one of the coaches run from London to Brighton before WW1 by American millionaire Mr Vanderbilt (Picture Alan Moore)A constable on traffic control duty in the centre of Redhill before traffic
lights were installed in the 1930s.
(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
  
In July 1932 tenders were sought for automatic traffic signals at Reigate and Redhill Market Places. The saving would be 1,000 per year in police manpower at a cost of 240. By September 1932 automatic traffic signals were being installed in both towns with Reigate's being working on a timed basis and Redhill's being operated partly by road pads.
  
HISTORY (cont) - The First World War
             During WW1 the regular police force had to carry out many extra duties, which left a gap that was filled by 'The Vigilant Association'. This was an organisation formed in 1914 under the presidency of a Mr G.H.Redwood that attracted volunteers who wanted to provide a service to the community. It was soon realised, however, that if they were to have authority they would have to be properly recognised by the official police command, so It came about that the Head Constable took charge and swore them in as a body of Special Constables before the Borough Magistrates. The Borough was divided into eleven beats, and over each beat was appointed a Chief. The names of these Chiefs never appeared in the press, the reason given being that they wanted to carry out their work for its own sake and not for the purpose of parading themselves or their work before the public. Special Constables had no uniforms but were issued with armlets, whistles and truncheons, and later on badges. They patrolled the beats from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Needless to say, the weather was often atrocious, and men returned home after their night's work soaked to the skin or frozen, or both. Nevertheless, the presence of the Special Constabulary freed the regular police from the mundane and allowed them to carry out necessary war duties.
            In 1915 members of the regular police began joining the colours and a system of introducing paid Special Constables came about. This was a controversial situation. The 'Specials', volunteers to a man, had never asked for payment at any time, and when they were suddenly asked to provide paid service in lieu of regular members of the Force found themselves 'unable to wholly meet those needs'. What exactly this meant is unclear but it was said at the time that the 'Specials' should have been retained as a purely voluntary force and those drafted into the paid service kept as a separate auxiliary force. The result was that the well-intentioned 'Vigilants' had lost much of its momentum by the end of 1915.
h11
The police force of 1919 outside the municipal buildings in Reigate (Picture Alan Moore)
 
h12h13 
Two unknown policeman of years gone by. (Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)An early Reigate Borough constable
(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
 
   
HISTORY (cont) - The Inter-war Years
After WW1 police duties were normalised. Head Constable James Metcalfe retired on the last day of 1930. He had joined Accrington Police in Sept 188, six years later becoming a clerical sergeant and later an inspector at Bacup. He came to Reigate as Head Constable on December 22nd 1891.
His replacement, William Henry Beacher, who had been an Inspector at Worthing and a Superintendent of the West Sussex Constabulary, became the new Head Constable of the Borough as from the first day of 1931, his pay of 460pa to rise in five years to 560 with free residence. Some controversy in Council arose over his request for his dress uniform to include a sword, as the previous Head Constable had not had one. The cost of four guineas was approved, however. He also had 100 per year for upkeep of his motor vehicle. The new man was an accomplished horseman and was often to be seen on duty in the area on horseback, although he also had an official car. Athletics was also an interest of his, and not just as a spectator, as he was winner of a 100 yards handicap race at one of the police sports events. A sad sequel to this change of Head Constable was the death of Mr Metcalfe only eight months into his retirement in August 1931, aged 67.
pictures h14 and 15           
Above left - Chief Constable William Beacher Above Right - Chief Constable James Metcalfe in 1917
(Pictures courtesy Robert Bartlett)
 
A Tribute to W.H.Beacher.
....... On the 10th June, 1974, W.H.Beacher was laid to rest after the very impressive service at Horsham Parish Church. This very homely town was much beloved by Bill (as he was affectionally called) as it was at Horsham where he became one of the youngest Superintendents in any Police Force. I first came in contact with him by reason of the fact that I was then living at Horsham and went to him to join the Surrey Constabulary in 1926. From the start he commanded respect. His dapper manner and immaculate appearance instilled in the young constable a very real sense of pride in his job.
....... On his promotion to Chief Constable at Reigate it gave him a more profound reason for giving to the community the full respect of the Police Force in which his heart and soul was dedicated. The recent articles in 'Off Beat' are a sincere memorial of his sincere faith in our British Police Force. In his latter years he had been crippled and housebound by arthritis, but always loved to see any of us 'old ones'. I visited him three weeks before his death and to meet him was like going into another world with his treasures opf his police service surrounding him, proving how devoted he was to a service he loved so dearly.
.................... Author unknown
 
Chief Constable Beacher in a favourite pose from the 1930s (photo by Windsor-Spice of Redhill)
 
A Talk Given by Police Supt. Beacher
 
  
Tony sent the following: -

On Friday the 30/7/2010 I decided to go to Horsham and try and locate Mr Beachers grave. This was after I had seen the article on the web site which said that Mr Beacher was buried in Horsham after his funeral at Horsham Parish Church. I made enquiries at the church, to be informed that he would not be buried at the Church but at Hills Cemetry. Hills Cemetery is located on the A281, Guildford Road at Horsham (RH12 1TT). So having reached Hills Cemetery I made enquiries with the friendly and helpful staff and was led direct to Mr Beachers grave. Please see the photographs. Mr Beacher is buried with his wife. There is no mention of Mr Beachers police service.

                                          

                                                                                            

Mr Beachers grave stone reads -

TREASURED MEMORIES
OF
ELLEN A. BEACHER
FELL ASLEEP 4th DEC 1967
AGED 72
LOVING WIFE AND MOTHER
HER LIFE A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY
ALSO OF HER LOVING HUSBAND
WILLIAM HENRY
WHO DIED 1st JUNE 1974
AGED 83

  
At Redhill, in 1932, purpose-built premises were opened in London Road for the combined presence of police and fire brigade there. Closer co-operation this year between police and fire brigade at Reigate took the form of one of the firemen being paid to take care of stray dogs kept at the police station. The Special Constabulary was in existence at this time and one of the re-organisations undertaken by Mr Beacher was the formation of a Special Constabulary Mobile Section – a kind of ‘Flying Squad’ – under Special Chief Inspector Sir Malcolm Campbell.  With such a man in charge it is not surprising that the two sections formed comprised one of ‘moderately fast cars’ and another of ‘super fast cars’. While on the subject of the ‘Flying Squad’, another innovation organised by the Chief Constable in 1935 was that of a local aviation branch at Redhill Aerodrome, the first of its kind in the country.  Twelve machines and pilots were on call for aerial search purposes with police on board as observers. Chief Constable Beacher remained in the post until the Borough force was merged into a new Surrey force during WW2 when he became Superintendent of the Reigate Division.  The station at Cherchefelle closed in 1972 when the new Reigate Road Station opened.  The Redhill station closed soon after and the centralisation of the force in the two towns, first envisaged 108 years before, was effectively complete.
 

The last officers of the Reigate Borough Force before it was merged with the Surrey Force during WW2
(photograph courtesy of Surrey Police Museum)

 
h16h16a
Members of the Regular Force and Special Constabulary Aircraft Section (formed in 1935) being inspected by Chief Constable Mr William Beacher. The section consisted of a dozen pilots using Redhill Aerodrome who carried regular police as observers during duty flights. (Picture Robert Bartlett)The Reigate Borough Police Cricket Team 1934
Picture Robert Bartlett)
   

It is believed that the man at the centre of this group is Chief Borough Special Constable, Captain C J Sutton. Picture probably dates from 1937. If anyone can identify any of the officers or give any additional information, please contact author

See also h20 below

(Picture courtesy Dave Vigar)

h17

 
Another picture of the Special Constabulary, probably from 1938. At the centre is believed to be the Surrey Constabulary Chief Constable, Major Nicholson, and that the Chief Borough Special Constable, Captain C J Sutton, is slightly to the right of centre. Again, if anyone can identify any of the officers or give any additional information, please contact author. See also h19 below. (Picture courtesy Dave Vigar) h18
   



(Card courtesy Dave Vigar)

h19

A dinner card from March 1938 for the annual Special Constabulary dinner at the Lakers Hotel, Redhill. In attendance was the Mayor of Reigate, Alderman H.J.Hamblen, and Captain H,J.Sutton representing the Borough Special Police. Present for the Regular Police were Inspector H.B.Stacy and Chief Constable W.Beacher. Also present was Inspector J.F.E.Goad.
   

h20a
h20b
A dinner card from March 1937 for the annual Special Constabulary dinner at the Warwick Hotel, Redhill. In attendance was the Mayor of Reigate, lt.Col. Dudley Lewis. Representing the Borough Special Police were Captain H.J.Sutton and Inspector M.R.Stacey. Present for the Regular Police were Inspector R.E.Neale and Chief Constable W.Beacher. Also present were Inspector R.E.Heeton, Inspector J.F.E.Goad and the Chief Constable of Surrey Major Nicholson. This card presumably would accompany picture h10 above. It is noticable that Chief Constable Beacher is absent from both photos.(Card courtesy Dave Vigar)
   
h20c
Reigate Borough 1942-43
Back Row: H Simmonds, D Brazier, PR Robinson, G Coe.
Front: Sgt Selby, Insp Atkins, Sgt Patrick, G Capelin
(Picture owned by Tony Collman)
 
h21
Surrey Police cadets at Batts Hill, Reigate 1968. The site was where the TA Centre is now.
from the left, back row - Paul (Jed) Stone, Tony Grant, Graham Hardy, Clive Gatton, Ian Neave, Andrew Claydon, Martin (Bill) Addison, Dave Durrant
and front row - Dave Ellis, Derek Harding, Steve Firman, Bob Gaywood, Fred James (bless him), Chris Pascoe, Chris Myers, Tim Ashton, Peter Martin
 
Cadets at Reigate 1964
 
Specials' Parade, Reigate 30.4.1986
 
WILLIAM FLOWER SYMONDS
These photos of special constable William Flower Symonds, collar number SC186, pictured in 1940 on the left and in 1941 centre.  Formerly in the army – a Lieut in the Dorsets - he was in the Mesopotamia theatre of war during WWI.   He was a member of the Reigate special force during WW2 and lived at Belmont House, Belmont Road, Reigate for many years. He is shown at the rear of that house in the photo on the right. (Photos courtesy Richard Symonds)
   
BIOGRAPHY of WILLIAM FLOWER SYMONDS
            The second son and third child of Daniel John Symonds and Katherine Sarah Flower of Symondsbury, he was born on 27th September 1890 at Symondsbury and later, when his father rented Ashton Farm from the late Mr. Edwin Pope, the family resided at Upwey until his father’s death in 1905 when they moved to Weymouth.
            He first went to school at “Casterbridge” in Cornwall Road, Dorchester. He next went to Stubbington, near Portsmouth, afterwards going to Marlborough and Oundle (Crosby House, 1908-1909). Upon leaving school in 1909, he was articled to his brother-in-law, Mr. Reginald Mason – a chartered accountant specialising in brewery accounting and who was a relative of Mr. Mason who was at one time in partnership with the late Mr. Alfred Pope at the Dorchester Brewery.
            In 1914, within a week of taking his final examination as a Chartered Accountant he entrained at Dorchester en-route for India with the 2/4th Battalion Dorset Regiment to which he had been commissioned with the rank of 2nd lieutenant. Upon arrival in India, he very soon found himself in charge of nearly all the accounts of the regiment including a savings bank that he organised for the benefit of those – and there were many – who wished to save up some of their pay for future use. At Ahmed-Naggar he was appointed Machine-gun officer to the Battalion, but in those days there were no machine-guns to train with and therefore his men had to carry out exercises with a dummy gun and tripod made in the Pioneer’s shop to his specifications. Then, it seemed, he found plenty to occupy his time, so much so that if one of his junior officers depicted him on guard duty they gave the cartoon the caption “The sub of all work RESTS from his labours”.
           Towards the close of 1915, he was married at Bombay Cathedral to his cousin Miss Grace Augusta Flower Bartlett who was born in 1892 at West Knighton, Dorchester.
           In the middle of 1916, William was drafted to Mesopotamia to join the machine-gun Corps. He had not been there a month before he was discovered by the Financial Advisor to the G.O.C. and appointed Local Audit Officer to the force, which post he held until he left Basra in 1919 en-route for blighty and demobilization. His activities, in the meantime, had been acknowledged by a mention in dispatches.
            On returning home, he resumed his studies in Brewery accounting under Mr. Mason until he was appointed Secretary of the Colchester Brewery Company in 1921, to which town he had moved. After that concern was absorbed by Ind Coope & Co. Ltd. In 1926, he rejoined Mr. Mason as a partner in the firm of Mason & Son of which firm he eventually became a senior partner.
            In March 1921 his first son was born and the family moved to Croydon, where they remained until 1934. They then moved to Belmont, Belmont Road, Reigate, and in the same year William was appointed a Director of Eldridge Pope & Co. Ltd., in succession to his Uncle Mr. William Pope Symonds.
            With the outbreak of the Second World War, he was fast approaching 50 years of age and was told that he was far too old to re-enlist in the Army on active service. Instead, he joined the Reigate Borough Constabulary as a Special Constable, and served in that capacity throughout the duration of the war.
            In 1958, upon his retirement from Mason & Sons, he moved to Weymouth, purchasing a little bungalow in Dorchester Street, Upwey, telling his wife that they were “coming home”. Here he threw himself into all kinds of activities. He was a keen sailor and member of the Weymouth Sailing Club, and was often participating in competitions in his Z-class Bermudan sloop “Ultimus”, which he had had laid-up for the war in Poole Harbour, and which he had personally had re-rigged from a ketch configuration. When not sailing, both he and Grace would often be found at the sailing club playing bridge.
            Another hobby of his was auditing the books for the local branch of the Tory Party and also those of Eldridge Pope. He also gave service to the Parish, keeping the parish accounts and helping in so many practical ways with whatever was required, cutting the grass at St Anne's and generally keeping the churchyard shipshape. He was once heard to remark that his was a responsible job, he had dozens of people under him!
            Thus he is remembered for his good sense of humour, his enthusiasm and energy, his amazing alert and mathematical mind, and as a family man who loved and was proud of his own family. Some measure of that pride can be demonstrated in the fact that, single-handedly, he organised in 1958 a grand reunion of the Symonds Clan at Symondsbury.
            In 1978, Grace began to deteriorate in health, and had to go into a nursing home. Rather than be parted from her for an instant, he elected to take up residence in the home with her, such was his love and devotion. Sadly, he suffered from a fall in 1979, breaking his hip, an accident from which he never recovered. He passed away within a week of the fall.
 
And there's more police connections in the Symonds family 
The sender of the above information about William Flower Symonds, his grandson Richard Symonds, was a Police Cadet stationed at Reigate. His section Sgt was a Mr Cutler (who later became an inspector), and his PC whom he was shadowing on the beat was a PC Allway. See attached photos. He was sent to Nutfield Police Training College and then posted on to Walton-upon-Thames.

..................................................................................... Richard as a cadet

 
Richard 3rd from the right in the middle row as Police Cadet, Mount Browne, Guildford 1967Close-up of Richard from the photo on the left
  
Richard far left of front row as a police constable Nutfield TrainingSchool 1968Close-up of Richard from the photo on the left
   
   
Police Stations - Redhill and Reigate
   
p1 p2
Few early postcards of the centre of Redhill fail to show a policeman on point duty.  It must have been quite a contrast for local residents when this familiar figure was replaced by traffic lights in the early 1930s.  This innovation was something that had been pressed for by the Home Office for a considerable time, the main gain being the manpower saving.  More of this was achieved around the same period when it became a fire brigade task to drive the ambulance, although control of the vehicle remained with the police (Picture Alan Moore) This picture from 1869 shows the Redhill police station. Its location was just behind the building with its side covered in advertising in the picture left. Access to it was made by turning between that building and the Market Hall just in front of the horse cabs. (picture courtesy HNHC)
   
p3 p4
The new police station in London Road, Redhill, shared the building with the fire station and the swimming baths at the rear. The police station entrance was on the left side corner. At the time of this picture the fire station has already moved to St David's at Reigate.
(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
 During WW2 police officers are wearing helmets alongside the Redhill station's heavily sandbagged entrance. The car was equipped with a loudspeaker and was used to tour the area issuing information, including warning of impending air raids when the siren on the Co-op roof froze in winter. (Picture Alan Moore)
   
p5p6p7
The original Reigate police station is shown left of the church in Reigate High Street (Picture Alan Moore)The police station at Cherchefelle in Chart Lane, closed 1972 (Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)A 1921 postcard view of Chart Lane with Cherchefelle on the right (Picture Alan Moore)
   
Information from Lesley Saunders:
I was interested in your query about Reigate Police Station. David Saunders was based at Reigate when it was at Chart Lane and we inherited this painting from him. (don't know where he got it).  The painting is by J Hassell and is dated 1823. It is of Cherchefelle, Chart Lane, the building that became the Reigate Police station from 1943 to 1972.
 I hope this will be of interest to you.

Thanks, Lesley, this is of great interest. Cherchefelle was how that part of Reigate around the present St Mary's Church was named in the Domesday book. The house of the same name was built by Thomas Scawen of Great Doods on the site of an Inn called the 'Five Bells' that closed in 1770. Before becoming the police station it had been offices of the East Surrey Gas Company. AJM p8

   
 p9 
 The new police station in Reigate Road, opened 1972 (Picture Mr Robert Bartlett) 
   
p10p13p11
p12p14
The new police station in Reigate Road and the Chief Superintendant's office
(Pictures Robert Bartlett)
 The conference room (top) and the CID office
(Pictures Mr Robert Bartlett)
p15p16
The club room (Picture Robert Bartlett)A visit to the Chart Lane police station by Her Majesty's Inspector od Police on 27th July 1968
(Picture courtesy Ray Elliott)
Email sent to Bob Bartlett, : -
................ Have just been looking at the web site and was interested in the pictures of the visit of the HMI in 1968. At the time I was with the RCS at Crawley but in picture p16 foreground (above) is Bill just before he was promoted Inspector and posted to HQ. The old storno radio brings back memories! I remember being on plain clothes obo in Redhill and trying to be discreet whilst "winding up" the long aerial. It was very difficult to try to hide it as I recall it was almost 3 foot in length. Still, it was more convenient than running to the police phone in the box in the wall at the crossroads!!  Happy days. I worked at the old nick in Redhill in 1967 and I think our days were a lot more fun than they are now.  Is it compulsory for retired "coppers" to say "It's not the same as it was in my day"!!!
Rose Murray
(The wife of Bill Murray – she retired as an Inspector as did Bill)
   
 
Many of the pictures on this page have been supplied by Mr Robert Bartlett, who was the last Chief Superintendent based at Reigate in the early 1990s before the position was done away with.
rb1 rb2
Two pictures of Chief Superintendent Bartlett. In the left hand picture he is in front of a portrait of the last Chief Constable of Reigate, Mr Beacher.
   
Reigate Borough Police Officers Killed During WW2-
 
PC WOODS DFC and Bar


PC Woods joined the Reigate Police on 25 August 1939 aged 26, having been born 8th May 1913 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was 6ft 1- inches tall with fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes, single and had been employed as a cable tester with Southern Telephone Cables, Essex.
PC Woods joined the RAF 28 June 1940, although records show he resigned from Reigate Borough Police on the 15 November 1940. As Wing Commander Woods DFC and Bar RAFVR he served in No126 (Persian Gulf) Squadron. He died aged 33, killed whilst on operations with the RAF and remembered on the Malta Memorial. He was the son of William H. Woods, and Kate Dora Woods, of Harborne, Birmingham. 

(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett) w1

 
- PC SKINGLEY DFC
w2

(All three pictures courtesy Mr Robert Bartlett) w3

w4
PC Skingley DFC - killed during WW2He was part of a flight crewPC Skingley on police duty
Missing from night operations with the RAF during an attack on Courtrai on the 23 May 1945 the Air Ministry stated that Flight Lieutenant Skingley DFC lost his life on the 21 July 1944. PC Skingley joined the Reigate Borough Police on the 27 April 1936 aged 19 having been born on the 7 July 1916 in Watford. He had previous military service with the 1st Battalion the Royal Sussex Regiment in which he served for 2 years and 14 days. PC Skingley’s job when he joined the police was a Furniture Remover living at 8 Clifton Road, Watford. His mother was Winifred Maude and his father was deceased.  The officer was described as being 5 feet 11 inches tall with a fresh complexion, brown hair and grey eyes.
His service record: - 18 November 1936 passed First Aid exam - 5 December 1936 Discreditable conduct fined 1 on each of 3 charges and 2 on another charge - 27 April 1937 Second Grade - 4 April 1938 Appointment confirmed as from 27 April 1938 - 27 April 1938 3rd Grade - 27 April 1939 4th Grade - 10 July 1939 Disobedience to Orders fined 2 by the CC - 27 April 1940 5th Grade - 27 April 1941 6th Grade - 11 August 1941 Joined the RAF - 27 April 1942 7th Grade - 1 February 1943 transferred to the Surrey Joint Police Force - 27 April 1943 8th Grade.
Pc Skingley’s father was a police officer as was his grandfather, and on his wife’s side was a policeman who was present at the Sidney Street siege in 1900. He was a member of the Reigate Borough Police where he lived with his wife and where their son Ross was born.
   
- PC Geoffrey Alexander Farquhar, Reigate Borough , Corps of Military Police, Died aged 27, 22.11.1944 (No picture available)
Killed in a motoring accident in West Bromwich whilst serving as a member of the Special Investigation Branch of the Military Police.
PC Farquhar a single man joined the Reigate Borough on the 5 June 1939 and was posted to the Redhill Division. Having been born on the 6 May 1917 in West Norwoodhe was the son of Henry and Mary Farquhar. When he joined the police he was living at 62, Broxholme Road, West Norwood and was employed as a clerk at the London School of Motoring, Hampstead.
The records show previous public service as “Surrey Constabulary 1 month and in the Metropolitan Police.
Service: 3 June 1940 2nd Grade - 26 March 1940 passed ambulance exam - 29 January 1941 congratulated by the CC and Chairman of Reigate bench for his action in the case of Police v Byers (drunkenness and assault on Police) - 1 Sept 1941 appointment confirmed as from 5 June 1941 - 27 October 1941 Discipline for falsehood and prevarication fined 2 - 5 June 1942 4th Grade - 14 September 1942 Neglect of duty fined 10/- by the CC - 1 February 1943 Transferred to surrey Joint Police Force - 3 June 1943 called up for service in HM Army - 5 June 1943 5th Grade
   
- PC Dennis Marshall Walder Reigate Borough, Sergeant RAFVR, Died age 26, 24.8.1943 (No picture available)
Dennis Walder served as a Sergeant RAFVR No101 Squadron. He was the son of Horace Albert and Harriett Annie Walder, of Plymouth. He was killed whilst on operations with the RAF and remembered on the Runnymede Memorial. No101 Squadron were based in Ludford Magna: June 1943 onwards, flying 363 sorties over Berlin between 1943-44 losing 25 aircraft, 133 men with 42 taken prisoner. Missing from an operational sortie over enemy territory on the night of the 23/24 August 1943. The aircraft failed to return and there was no news. On the 14 April 1944 the Air Ministry stated that Sgt Walder lost his life on the 24 August 1943.
PC Walder joined the Reigate Borough Police on the 19 April 1938 when he was 21 having been born in Midhurst on the 6 February 1917. He was described as being 6 feet 1 inches tall, fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. He was a single grocer’s assistant living at 60 Goldsmith Road, Horsham.

Service: 15 February 1939 Passed second Ambulance exam - 19 April 1939 2nd Grade - 3 May 1939 Commended by the CC in case of 3 young persons charged with store breaking and larceny - 19 April 1940 Appointment confirmed - 19 April 1940 3rd Grade - 6 January 1941 Guilty of a summary offence and fined a day’s pay - 19 April 1941 4th Grade - 21 May 1941 Passed Police educational Exam - 2 March 1942 joined the RAF
19 April 1942 5th Grade - 1 February 1943 Transferred to Surrey Joint Police - 19 April 1943 6th Grade.
Information From: Rob Davis Bomber Command Losses Database:

DATE: 23-Aug-1943 / 24-Aug-1943 UNIT: 101 Squadron AIRCRAFT: Lancaster III RAF BASE: Ludford Magna TAKE-OFF AT: 20:31
SERIAL: EE192  CODES: SR: Y TARGET: Berlin PILOT: Mahoney, John Philip, Flight Lieutenant, (129466) (killed) CREW: Sergeant John William Lowe (flight engineer) (1497432) (killed),
Sergeant Dennis Marshall Walder (navigator) (1324776) (killed), Pilot Officer Patrick Joseph Ryan (bomb aimer) (135110) (killed), Pilot Officer Joseph Eric Woodgate (wireless operator) (155878) (killed), Sergeant Archibald Eric Thomas Hill (mid-upper gunner) (1269266) (killed), Flying Officer Frederick Edward Phillips (rear gunner) (136525) (killed)
DETAILS: Lost without trace; all members of the crew are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.  The 1953 edition of the Runnymede Memorial register shows P/O Phillips as belonging to 601 Squadron.
When war broke out in 1939 101 Squadron was at West Raynham flying Blenheims and it was with these that it made its first bombing attack on Germany in July 1940. It operated by day at first but in mid-August switched to night operations, a high proportion of its attacks being directed against enemy invasion barges in the Channel and North Seaports. In April 1941, a flight of the squadron’s Blenheims was detached to Manston in Fighter Command’s No 11 Group, and from there, operating with fighter escort, began a sustained attempt to close the Straits of Dover to all enemy ships during daylight. In this modest fashion, No 101 inaugurated the Channel Stop – an operation that, with enlarged resources, soon became as good as its name.
During May and June 1941, No 101 Squadron converted to Wellingtons and in September it paid its first visit to Italy and successfully bombed Turin. In May and June 1942, it took part in the celebrated 1,000-bomber raids on Cologne, Essen and Bremen; on each occasion all its aircraft returned safely. In October 1942, the squadron got its first four-engine aircraft – Lancasters – and before the year ended paid four more return visits to Turin. In the New Year it added Milan and Spezia to its Italian targets in between supporting the ever-growing offensive on German industrial targets and mine laying. On the night of 17/18th August 1943, 20 of the squadron’s Lancasters took part in the epic raid on Peenemunde and, despite a lively night-fighter defence, all the aircraft got back.

101 Squadron Wellington B Mk 111101 Squadron Lancaster B Mk 111

The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth. Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force. (CWGC site)

 
Police Vehicles
   
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The workhorse of the 1970s. This picture 1972.
(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
Ford Zephyr police cars of the 1960s (Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
   
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Equiped for any emergency incident, Ford Thames vehicles based at Gatwick (Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)Police car of the 1970s - the 'jam sandwich'.
(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
 
   
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The new traffic car of 1966 (Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)A similar vehicle to the Autin Werstminster at Reigate above but at Dorking in about 1967, used to cover as far as Redhill and Reigate
(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
  
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A Triumph Saint motorcycle used to patrol the A23 in 1967. (Picture Robert Bartlett)Similar bikes would have been used in Reigate. (Bob Gaywood wrote in to indentify the officer as Dennis 'Bomber' Brown)
(Picture Robert Bartlett)
The Saint was used nation-wide
(Bob Gaywood can't place the officer here but thinks (guesses) it could be Terry Winton from HTG (Godstone). Anyone confirm this?)

(Picture Mr Robert Bartlett)
   
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A police car at Reigate when the police station was in Chart Lane. (Picture Robert Bartlett) Pc Eddie Davies, Reigate, 1963/4
(Picture Robert Bartlett)
Email from Eddie Davies re picture v11 above: -
The picture was taken at the time of the Reigate Borough Bi-centenary by a local newspaper by a photographer who came on board with us for the day to take pictures of what a police patrol car got up to in the area. The car was an Austin A99 Westminster index 576NPD call sign J24 from Godstone Traffic Centre.  Note all we had in those days, a little blue flashing light on the roof, a P.A. hailer and bell on the front. It was about 1963/4; we had just met up with the photographer at Reigate Police Station and it was the first picture he took as we drove out of the yard of the then Reigate Police Station. The driver was PC 1 Roy Bristow  (wonder where he is now) and that’s me looking out of the window  - P.C. 720 Eddie Davies.  And what lovely days they were when we appreciated being Policemen!! Regards, Eddie.
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The first motorcycle cops in the Borough, Jock Mason and R.Brownlow, were first seen patrolling the streets in 1931/2. Here PC Mason is seen on his machine in 1932 (Picture Alan Moore) Jock Mason riding escort for the 1948 olympic torch. The torch was carried by Reigate Harriers runner Fred Prevett and the pair are just crossing the Market Square at Reigate (picture Pam Adams)
   
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Fred passed the torch on in Reigate and here it is having passed down West Street, and with motorcycle escort crossing Reigate Heath (pictures courtesy Derek Bull) -There is more on the Olympic torch on the Station Road page in the Redhill section of this website
   
Information from Ray Elliott re pictures below: - I was posted to the old Reigate Police Station as divisional motorcyclist in 1966 and rode Bravo 19, a Triumph 500cc Speed Twin with a top speed of about 75 mph.  My opposite number was Bob Willis.  My skipper was Brian Cutler.  I have attached a couple of pictures of Bravo 19 taken in Blackthorn Road, outside my police house, in July 1967. In early 1968 divisional motorcyclists were withdrawn in Reigate and replaced with three Mini Panda Cars.
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(Pictures of Bravo 19 and himself courtesy Ray Elliott).
   
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 (Pictures of Panda 1 courtesy Ray Elliott). 
   

PC Andy Hasted at Reigate as a divisional motorcyclist 1968

 
Reigate Borough Police Insignia and Ephemera
   
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A beautiful badge with the old Reigate Borough emblem set in oak leaves below a crown. The date 1863 refers to the inauguration of the Borough Corporation (Picture Tony Collman)A Reigate Borough police buckle shown full and in close-up. Date is unknown but it could be a senior officer's belt buckle as it is very ornate. It has a white Reigate Borough Police button in the centre. A different pattern Reigate Borough Police belt buckle has been seen which is probably a Ps/Pc's one.
(Pictures and information Tony Collman)
   
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Chrome Star (Picture Tony Collman)Black Star (Picture Tony Collman)Reigate Borough Police letter R worn with collar number on high neck tunics. There was also an earlier version in white metal. (Picture Tony Collman)
   
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Reigate Borough Police chrome collar badges earlier version in white metal. (Picture Tony Collman)Reigate B.P. Kings Crown chrome cap badge earlier version in white metal. (Picture Tony Collman)
   
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Special police badges from WW1 and WW2. The 1914 one is the earlier pattern and is larger than the other one. The 1914 badge came in three versions, Gilt, White metal and Brass. It is assumed that the Gilt one was worn by a Specials officer, but this is difficult to confirm. The specials lapel badge for WW2 (on the right) is the later small pattern and the last pattern issued. (Pictures Tony Collman)A brass plate, perhaps from one of the Borough police stations. (Picture Tony Collman)
   
The Reigate Watch Committee instituted a Police medal for Good Service in September 1913, to reward 25 good years service by members of its Police force. The medal was in Silver. On the obverse of the medal was depicted the Borough coat of arms, with the inscription 25 Years Good Service above with Reigate Borough Police below. The reverse had a wreath of oak leaves, with a space for the recipient’s name, rank and date of award. The medal ribbon was of a medium blue and the medal was discontinued on the 1st of March 1943, when the force was amalgamated with the Surrey Constabulary by virtue of the War Emergency Powers Act. James Metcalfe was the Chief Constable when the medal was instituted.e12e13e14
  A Reigate Borough police 25 year good service medal, the reverse of which shows that it belonged to Sergeant Gilbert Attwood. The St John medal is dated 1911 so gives us the period in which Sgt Attwood served. (All three pictures Tony Collman)
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A letter from Chief Constable Beacher to PC40, D.L.Brazier, complimenting him on good work done in connection with a 1941 football matchButton 
   
Chief Constable William Beacher's medals
   
A collection of Borough insignia
   
 
Jock Mason - A Biography
This is an abridged autobiography that was given to me by Jock Mason in 1995; I have not seen his full biography. This version is missing much information and ends prematurely in 1955 when Jock was still only fifty-four. Nevertheless there is plenty enough here to make it well worth reproducing as a record of his time in the Reigate Borough Police Force and generally of times gone by. AJM
 
....... William Henry Burns Mason, better know probably as Jock Mason for all of his time in the south of England, was born in St Andrews, Fifeshire, Scotland. His father was a master blacksmith who, along with his brother Alexander, employed other blacksmiths and together carried out all kinds of blacksmith’s work, including making artistic iron railings and being engaged in the construction and fitting of kitchen ranges and bank safes. His mother was a native of Switzerland.
....... Jock had a fairly hard upbringing. He worked part time from the age of ten until he became a full-time errand boy at the age of 14. At 16 he went to work for a cycle and motor-cycle engineer. This continued for a short while only until he got and apprenticeship as a marine engineer aged 17 in March 1918. The apprenticeship was at Tayport, 11 miles from home, and he got digs there to avoid the daily return journey. Jock worked day and night shifts and was earning 32/6d a week after five years.
....... With the end of WW1 conditions worsened, with the night shift cancelled and men paid off. Hours were generally reduced and with the corresponding loss of earning Jock had to leave his digs and go back to living at home, which meant making the 22 mile round trip each day. To make this less arduous he bought a 1901 Minerva motorcycle for 15 shillings. A boneshaker for which new tyres could not be bought; Jock rebuilt the wheels and fitted modern tyres. He also carried out a refit, replacing the old coil ignition with a magneto and painted the frame. He sold the machine for 15 and bought a Bradbury motorcycle from a local policeman for 45. At one time he lent the machine to another policeman who sadly came off, breaking his spine. The man spent several years as an invalid before he died.
....... Jock found extra work at a local garage as a mechanic where he gained experience on all the principle machines of the time plus learning electrical welding. The owner was also the master of the local fire brigade and signed Jock up as a volunteer fireman for which he was paid a retainer and call out fees. His main job remained as an apprentice marine engineer but in April, 1923, the finish of his apprenticeship coincided with a trade depression and, along with thousands of other engineers, Jock was forced to join the dole queue. He decided that there was no future in engineering and began to look elsewhere for work. Employment in the police was one avenue to explore and Jock wrote to several forces, including Glasgow, Liverpool, Brighton and Reigate, asking if they had vacancies. The reason that Jock wrote to Reigate was that his father had been in the army during WW1 and had guarded cordite stored in the caves there. He had told Jock what a nice town it was. As it happened the only force that did have vacancies was Reigate.
...First he had to go to St Andrews police station to complete an examination paper. This was successful and he received instructions to report to Reigate Borough Police station at 9am on 1st April 1924. After a long journey he arrived the previous night, met Inspector Hood who arranged digs for him in Clarendon Road, Redhill. He attended as instructed on the 1st April when Inspector Hood set him a two and a half hour written and oral examination. He was medically examined by the police doctor and then interviewed by Chief Constable Metcalfe. He was told he would be accepted as a probational police constable and provided he proved efficient and reliable over a two-year period would be enrolled as a regular member of the borough force at 3.10 per week including allowances. At 10pm the next day he was sworn in at Reigate station by the Chairman of the Watch Committee. He was issued with a uniform, whistle, handcuffs, truncheon, pocketbook and oil lamp, the borough by-laws and a copy of ‘The Police Constable’s Guide to his Daily Work’.
..... On the 2nd April at 10pm his work began. He accompanied PC Robertson on his beat around the Earlswood and Meadvale areas. He stayed on night duty for two months, accompanying beat officers all over the Reigate Borough area. During the third month he was either on his own or was accompanied by newer recruits. No specific training was given other than attending police courts weekly and studying the police manual in off-duty hours. After three months of nights Jock was given a month of days 6am to 2pm and 2pm to 10pm alternating weekly. Duties included beats and also point duty at Redhill and Reigate Market Squares.
    
In police uniform
(Photo Fraser Mitchell)
In fire uniform
(Photo Fraser Mitchell)
In Scottish attire
(Photo Fraser Mitchell)
On the beat
    
The first photo above was taken by Windsor-Spice of Redhill and was sent to his mother in 1924; the last one was also taken in 1924. The two centre ones may be earlier as Jock was a fireman in Scotland.
    
..... In 1924, there were only three ambulances in the borough. One belonging to St John Ambulance Brigade was used mostly for carrying private patients. Another was owned by the Reigate Health Department and was used for conveying patients with contagious diseases. The third belongedto the Reigate Borough Police and was used for street accidents. This ambulance was the first mechanical vehicle to be allocated to the Reigate Police and there were only four officers capable of driving it. The vehicle was a T-type Ford with two forward gears and reverse. The ignition system was operated by four high-tension coils which, together with the headlamps and horn, relied solely on a generator driven by the flywheel. There was no battery so oil lights were fitted for use when the engine was not running. The ambulance was difficult to start. Sergeant Ash, knowing of Jock’s mechanical background, asked him to look into the problem. Jock discovered that if the headlight switch was left in the on position it deprived the ignition system of electrical energy. Turn the switch off and the engine started without trouble. The sergeant reported Jock’s success to the Chief Constable and he was immediately put in charge of the ambulance and the 1924 Morris Cowley that was used for transporting prisoners. To enable his availability for this duty he was allotted special contingency duties in Reigate during the day and station officer duties at night.
 
Left - Jock on point duty at Redhill town centre crossroads.

Right - Jock on his wedding day (see note below)

   
NOTE: - Inspector Frederick Howlett, mentioned above, became Jock Mason's father-in-law. He came from the parish of Charing in Kent and applied to join the Reigate Borough Police on 7th May 1885. Aged 21 and single he stood five feet nine inches tall and had been a stableman. He gave his reason for wanting to change his occupation as 'getting too heavy for my work', presumably a reference to horseriding.

In order to be eligible to join the Reigate Police Force candidates had to be between 20 and 30 years of age; stand at least 5' 8" without shoes; be able to read and write a legible hand and be of good character and strong constitution. He had to provide certificates from at two well-known respectable persons.

In 1885 the starting pay was 1-1-8, rising to 1-4-9 after 6 months and to 1-7-8 after two years.

  
Chief Constable Metcalfe retired on the last day of 1930 and was succeeded by Chief Constable William Beacher who made changes. He transferred the ambulance to the fire brigade and abolished beat patrols in favour of an area system whereby officers were allowed to patrol any part of the specified area as long as they kept in half-hourly contact with the stationvia public telephone boxes and a series of twenty-four police pillars that were fitted with telephones.

Jock Mason (left) and PC Brownlow n their machines in 1930

...... The 1930 Road Traffic Act brought about the formation of mobile police patrols and the Reigate Watch Committee authorised the purchase of two Red Wing Panther motorcycles. One was issued to and officer named Brownlow, the other to Jock Mason. They became the first mobile police patrol in East Surrey and at the time were known as ‘Courtesy Cops’.

...... Jock says in his autobiography that the new Chief Constable’s appetite for publicity was boundless and on special occasions like the borough carnival or the Derby Races he would borrow a large horse from a Redhill stables and parade the main roads dressed in his best uniform. This practice came to an end after a coach backfired in London Road, Reigate, and his horse reared and threw him to the ground. He was never seen riding on horseback again.
  
Jock on his machine. His first motorcycle was replaced
by a four-and-a-half horsepower Sunbeam after two years, and two years after that, in 1934, was replaced again by a Singer Lemans nine horsepower patrol car.
Jock riding escort for the olympic torch in 1948 .The
torch was carried by Reigate Harriers runner Fred
Prevett and the pair are crossing the Market Square at Reigate.
(Photo Pam Adams)
  
Jock became a member of the police tug-of-war team and took part in competitions around the country. The team became well-known and took on all-comers, winning the 1933 Surrey Championship Cup
The Reigate Borough Police tug-of-war team in action in 1934Jock and tug-of-war colleague
 

Sir Malcolm Campbell at a 1930s photo-call arranged for the famous driver. Far left is PC Mason.

 
...... During the summer of 1934 Mrs Mason was approached, via Dr Dulake, by the BBC to give a talk on ‘How I Keep House, by a Wife of a Police Constable in Reigate’. She agreed and the broadcast took place in the autumn.  The talk was a great success with many letters of congratulation received. Unfortunately a London oven company were not so happy about it and brought a court action for slander. The case revolved around their loss of sales due to their oven being declared in the broadcast to be unfit for the purpose it was intended. As the term for the oven used in the broadcast referred only generally to ovens, and not to the complaining company’s product specifically, the case was won by the BBC.

Mrs Mason in 1935

...... During the middle 1930s the black clouds of war were forming and Jock attended lectures on air raid precautions and poison gas warfare. Towards the end of the 1930s the political situation became very acute and there were incidents at Redhill, especially at weekends, when Sir Oswald Moseley and his Fascists travelled by road to Brighton where they held rallies. There was also an unconnected incident when a group of unemployed men arrived in Redhill en route to a protest rally in London. Jock had the job of finding them food and accommodation and eventually got permission to bed them down for the night in the Sports Stadium in the Sports Ground. They had no food but Lamberts Bakers gave bread and Burtons Butchers a large cheese.
...... By 1939 war seemed inevitable and lorries conveyed sand from sand pits in Bell Street, Reigate, to London for the sandbagging of public buildings, local hospitals were sandbagged, blast walls erected, and the basement of the Town Hall was reinforced as it was made ready to be an incident reporting centre for the police, fire and other emergency services.

..... Jock was put in charge of the testing and assessment of two dozen car owners who had volunteered to drive Civil Defence ambulances in the case of war. The tests involved driving a van commandeered for the purpose and driving and manoeuvring without lights at night. Some of those who were found unsuitable were allowed to remain as volunteers as long as they used their own vehicles. Others remained as ambulance attendants.
...... Subsequent to these activities Jock set up an ARP ambulance depot at the rear of Wray Park Garage in London Road, Reigate, and another at the Corporation refuse disposal works at Earlswood. He also took over a cottage as an office and accommodation for ambulance personnel and had storage facilities for emergency equipment and petrol. Notices were sent to three owners of trade vans in Redhill and three in Reigate that they had to supply one vehicle each at the ambulance depots.
...... The ambulance depots were staffed immediately upon the outbreak of war and Jock was authorised to purchase four more vehicles and have them converted to ambulances. In February 1940 Jock was transferred to the Civil Defence as Transport and Ambulance Officer.  More vehicles were purchased and converted but as they all had to stand outside when not in use could be difficult to start in cold weather. This and other problems with the designated ambulance centre at Earlswood caused the Redhill depot to be relocated at a purpose-built garage in the Sports Ground just north of the entrances from the main Road in 1940.  Similar problems at Reigate  culminated in the requisition of the Reigate Garage as from 31st March, and for accommodation of personnel as from 3rd April 1941.
...... Jock managed the day to day operations of the ambulance centres for the rest of the war until the improving situation following the allied invasion of Europe caused a reduction in Civil Defence personnel.  He returned to the Borough Police Force on 5th January 1945. .......................................................

Jock in Civil Defence uniform

 

The Civil Defence ambulance centre (now demolished) and personnel in the Redhill Sports Ground (now known as the Memorial Park). Whether Jock is amomg those in the picture is unknown.

 
.... Two incidents occurred shortly after. The first was when Jock retrieved a boy from live electricity cables at Brown’s Brickyard at Meadvale. In spite of applying artificial respiration the boy was pronounced dead upon the arrival of a doctor.
..... The second was when two armed soldiers had attempted a hold up at Aldershot and were reported as heading for Reigate by car at 4am. Jock waited in a patrol car at the Black Horse at Reigate Heath and gave chase when they passed, ramming their car in Castlefield Road. The two men were captured and a sten gun found in their vehicle.
..... Jock also attended the scene when the US Air force bomber crashed into Reigate Hill when returning from a raid on Germany.
..... He remained on traffic patrols, seeing the new traffic department established at Guildford in 1947.  Early in 1948 radios were installed in police cars and Jock was in charger of Headquarters’ car with call sign M2R05. His last arrest was in 1950 when he apprehended a man in Redhill for loitering with intent whilst in possession of an 18” jemmy.
..... Jock resigned from the police force as from 30th June 1951 after twenty-seven years service. On his record were a dozen commendations, including one for arresting six men in possession of a stolen car in Bell Street, Reigate, one for the arrest of jewel thieves following an arrest in Sussex, and another for his actions at the fire at Gatton Hall in 1934. These and many other of Jock’s actions are not included in his abridged biography. It is worthy noting that in his very early service Jock had to appear before the Watch Committee for the very serious misdemeanour of not saluting Alderman Lemon in Tunnel Road, Reigate.
. ... .On retirement Jock took a holiday and indulged himself in the building of a steam engine he had started in 1924. He also did some jobs at home before buying a 10hp Austin van and doing handyman jobs locally. Aged 54 he decided that it was time to fulfil his ambition to travel and secured a position as a Master-at-Arms, which was a security officer, on the Winchester Castle, a 162,000 ton cruise ship on a voyage to South Africa. He recounts his exploits during this voyage but as they form no part of his police life nor contribute to the local history of Redhill and Reigate they are not reproduced here. The end of the voyage is also the end of his abridged autobiography, and therefore this section of this webpage.
  
In Master-at-Arms uniform......Jock and wife Eva in 1988.
  
  
People and Events 
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CCTV first went live in Redhill in October 1995. On Friday January 16th 1998 the system was launched throughout the Borough of Reigate and Banstead. Switching on the additional new cameras is the Chief Constable of Surrey, Ian Blair, with the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Sarah Goad and the Mayor of Reigate, Mary Waller.Early in WW2 Billingsgate Fish Market relocated to the old brewery buildings at Linkfield Corner; fish dealers' trucks lining Cromwell Road and the bottom end of Linkfield Street.But for various operational reasons the scheme was not successful and after two weeks the market returned to London. In the above picture a policeman controls traffic as porters ply their wares from temporary market to waiting vans.
  
 
Have there been any mounted police in the Borough of Reigate? In this picture of the Prince of Wales' 1923 visit to the Police Orphanage in London Road, Redhill, there's a policeman far right of picture but behind him there's what looks like a mounted policeman. Has anyone any more information? (Picture Alan Moore) 
  
 

More hole diggers, this time from around 1971

  
  
Sergeant Ronald Bowles - Information received from Michael Mackman (Son in law)
 
Ronald Bowles (Sgt) died peacefully on April 18th aged 94. He was the last surviving member of the Reigate Borough force which he joined in 1938. He was conscripted into the armed forces in 1942 and drove a tank (no mean feat for a 6 ft 4 inch Corporal) seeing action in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. He retuned to Reigate and was promoted Sergeant in the newly merged Surrey Force, serving at Woking with his older brother John (Inspector). His wife Mabel died on 14th June 2010 at the age of 87 when Ron was 93 old. Ron was an avid reader of  'OffBeat' and constantly amazed at people retiring from the Force who joined after he retired. He moved to Essex in 2009 to be nearer his daughter and grandchildren and was active and enjoyed life right up until the end.
   
Pictures of Ron and his Reigate Borough insignia which he always treasured. The one taken from the newspaper report when he retired is not great - he always said it was a fair reflection of how he felt that day!!
(Pictures and caption courtesy Michael Mackman)
  
....In the centre (retirement) photo above Ron is wearing medal ribbons. As already mentioned he was conscripted in 1942. It was a class of conscription from the Police force and he had to join a combat unit. It was either him or older brother John (the penalty of being the younger brother?) who had to go. He wanted to join the RAF but ended up in the Royal Armoured Corps as a tank driver, no mean feat for a 6 ft 4 inch man!! I have no idea how he squeezed in one. He was later transferred to the Assault Engineers and was due to go over to France on D Day.
....Some wonderful civil servant in the War Office had decided that even tank drivers should be made to wear hob nail boots and just before D Day whilst climbing over his tank he slipped and badly gashed his head and was invalided out of the troop. None of that troop survived D Day and he returned to action about 3 weeks later and fought through France and Belgium and then took part in the amphibious landings into the Netherlands. He fought through from there up until the Rhine and was waiting to take part in the assault to cross the Rhine as part of the final push. He developed a rash and was given a shot of the new wonder drug Penicillin to which he proved allergic and came out in nasty blisters - much worse than the original rash! He was pulled out of the front line and none of his troop survived the Rhine crossing. He was invalided back to the UK where he used his considerable typing skills (learned in the Police!) to bag a job as a clerk. He then had the enjoyable experience of drawing up his own discharge papers, returning to Reigate Borough and re-joining his brother John. We think someone was watching over him at that time!
....So, his medals reflect his war service, no unusual or especially noteworthy ones but a typical collection for those who joined up and fought at that time. There is also a Police long service medal. Quietly, he was proud of the medals (rightly so) and as a demonstration of that, and his enduring sense of humour, we found him sitting up in bed, in his pyjamas, wearing the full set on the morning of the 50th anniversary of  D Day.
  
  
Recollections and Information about the Surrey Training College at Nutfield
From D. Vigar
Nutfield PTC - "Holmesdale"- was situated just behind the Crown pub in Nutfield.  It was presumably Home Office property and functioned as an Initial Police Training Centre for No 6 District until the early 1970s.  I guess it was taken on because of a 'bulge' in recruitment, but it didn't last very long - it was an additional centre to ease the pressure on Sandgate.  Prior to this, Surrey recruits often got farmed out to Chantmarle, Dishforth, Cwmbran etc. when there weren't enough places in the southeast - not funny in the days when car ownership wasn't universal.  
...... I went to Nutfield for my initial course in June 1966, then did my continuation at the old army barracks at Shornecliffe.   By 1968, Nutfield  was taking four-week continuation courses, then closed down - Grosvenor Hall at Ashford took these over, then took over all Home Office training when Sandgate closed around 1974.  There was also a continuation training centre at Shotley in Essex for a while.  Holmesdale has now been converted into some very up-market luxury apartments. Being sent to Nutfield was a bit of a sod for me, living in Reigate!  Mind you, I had to tell my mother that the course was SO intensive that I couldn't possibly get home at weekends.........! 
...... I remember that all new arrivals had to meet the green Home Office bus (remember those?) at Redhill Station and be driven to the Centre as a group  - you weren't allowed to just turn up there on your own for some reason.  We duly reported and were picked up by the bus - about six of us, all from Surrey.  At the imposing front door of the mansion in full regalia stood an equally imposing figure - the Drill Sergeant, in the shape of Owen Allard, who many of you will remember with great fondness.  What a lovely man.  On this particular morning, however, he wasn't either fond or lovely.  "Oh, the Surrey Lads, eh?" he barked. " Well, Surrey lads, I've got some news for you.  Every other bugger came yesterday!"  HQ had screwed up on the joining date!  This, of course, was the signal for running round the square in full kit until he judged that we had purged our contempt, and he made our lives a misery thereafter! 
...... In my class at Nutfield were officers from such dimly-remembered forces as Bournemouth Borough, Hastings Borough, Brighton Borough, Eastbourne Borough, Portsmouth City, Berkshire, Southampton City and East and West Sussex - quite a collection.
...... BTW - I have the postcard that was illustrated in O & B.  I also know someone who lives there.

From Alan Fletcher
In March 1966 I was at Nutfield for my course. The Instructors were mainly from Surrey and Kent. I recall PS Owen Allard, PS Ford, who later joined Surrey. The trainees were from Hampshire, Kent, Surrey and Berkshire. It was a lovely building. A pub at the bottom of the driveway was very popular. On Parade days it was amusing as when the Officer came to you you had to give your name and force. Me being a "Geordie", Albert Robinson coming from Barnsley, Dyffed Jones a "Welshman" and others who I cannot remember at the moment it was a bit like the "United Counties". There were some "local guys" also, John Gilbert being one that I can recall. I believe after the Police left it became a training centre for the Fire Service.

From Arnie Lewis
I can say that I have happy memories of being on Coarse Number 1 ( Yes One). It must have been in about October 1965. Owen Allard (A well known Surrey Sargeant) was an Instructer there. He was quite a character. There was quite a big intake from Surrey if I remember correctly. A number of us had been Cadets together and were on the intake. My collar number was 975, and most of us was allocated sequential numbers. Clive Barham 974 , John Judd 973 (later transfered to Devon/Cornwall), Mick Bird (deceased), Bubbles Brimblecombe, Ray Ackland, Peter Pay,
Danny?

From James KIRK (Retired Superintendent, Surrey Police)
As a newly appointed Superintendent in 1971 (having been the Chief Inspector Training Officer at HQ since 1969) I was selected as the Commandant of the Home Office Police Training Centre at Nutfield, Surrey. The centre consisted of a large country house with substantial grounds on the south side of the A25 behind the Crown public house in the Nutfield village. It was a residential centre staffed by local Home Office personel, the senior member being the 'Secretary'. There was also a matron and house staff, a head chef and catering staff, and a senior groundsman and ground staff.
......The Home Office (F5 Division) owned the whole centre and some houses in the grounds.  The instructor police staff were seconded from the four home forces (Surrey Sussex Hampshire and Kent) to the Home Office on a 2 year contract.(extendable to 3 years). The Commandant, and the Deputy Commandant could be selected from any UK force by the local Chief Constables Committee. The Centre was set up to train the probationer constables with about 18 months service on their continuation course of two weeks having had their initial course at the Home Office Police Training at Sandgate, Folkestone, Kent.
......When I took over the Secretary was Norman Bellhouse (an HEO), and my deputy was Chief Inspector Jackson from Lancashire (living in one of the houses at the centre). I have some photos of the staff somewhere.
......There was a ghost at the centre, known as the 'White lady', apparently seen by many staff and students on the first landing and top floor of the main house. My only experience was seeing the dog of the senior groundsman refusing to go up the main stairs to the first landing and nothing would ever make him go up those stairs. but he would go up all the other stairs in the house. The centre plaque motif and centre tie was of a white squirrel seen over many years in the grounds of the centre. I did see a white squirrel quite a few times and also many rare red squirrels in the grounds.
......I was informed by F5 Division in the summer of 1972 that the centre at Sandgate was to close down and because the Nutfield PTC was too small for the intakes from Sandgate they would be closing down Nutfield as a PTC as well. I was given the task of closing down the centre by the end of 1972 and of purchasing and setting up the newly acquired PTC at Grosvenor Hall, Ashford, Kent (formally a cadet school for the Met Police) at a cost of 750,000. I took over as the first Commandant at Ashford on 1st January 1973. I rented 12 houses from the Kent Police for the civilain staff that transferred with me.
......After we left Nutfield the centre was taken over by the British Transport police for their training centre, but I believe that it is now converted to a home for the elderly.

 
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