StoryBank

A series of articles concerning our rich history; divided by area of interest:

If you have any interesting tales, historic musings or funny memories, why not tell your story?
Email StoryBank@btphg.org.uk to send an article or get in touch first to discuss the matter.

 

Railway

Railway Police Superintendents’ Annual Conference at Windsor 1897
A particularly interesting photograph has come to light…..

John William Freeman: an extraordinary soldier and policeman
Very many officers served in the armed forces before joining the ranks of the Police, and railway and dock forces were no exception. For some it meant a lifetime in uniform but few can match the exploits of John Freeman…..

A Little Bit of Humour Goes A Long Way – the Swansea Blues Brothers
What happens when you match a hard working Detective Constable with a mischievous sense of humour with a Detective Sergeant with the same outlook…..?

The Civilianisation of Chrissie Dunn
At Birmingham New Street in 1990, Chris Dunn was one of a small group of civilian control room operators brought in to take over from older officers who had traditionally performed the role since control rooms had been invented. After initial training, Chris wrote this thoughtful account of her transition into becoming a ‘civvy’…..

Communications – the early years
The short paper by Chrissie Dunn was an interesting insight into the modern methods of Control Room work and caused me to muse on the situation when I joined BTP as a Cadet in 1963…..

Rachel’s Story
…..a success story with a happy ending!

The Night Ferry
A Young Constable’s Nightmare…..

Newdigate Bearings and Bedworth Lead
I was watching an episode of Heir Hunters on T.V. one morning and the focus turned to a woman from Bedworth, Warwickshire, who had died intestate. She came from a mining family and there was film of miners at work and of the local colliery; Newdigate Pit. This took me back over 40 years to when I was a P.C., stationed at Coventry…..

The London General Omnibus Company
Is it a BTP Constituent Force or not?

Early Railway Policing (Police and Education)
The duties of a Leeds & Thirsk Railway Police Inspector whilst the railway was still under construction…..

My Day’s Work
Policewoman Piper takes us through a typical day at Liverpool Street, in 1943.

Prosecuting Cases at Court
Viv Head looks back at a case from 1907 and mentions a case of his own…..

The Respirex
A look at some First Aid equipment from 1973…..

GWR Pocket Book / Warrant Card Holder
Dick Evans has kindly donated this artefact to the History Group…..

Constable on the Track
David Paul Armstrong recalls his time on the beat with the British Transport Police…..

Sherlock Holmes and the railways
W.O. Gay explores the great detectives links to the railways…..

Constable Stabbed in the Back
The story of PC Waterland’s brave actions in 1956…..

Railway Girls in Blue
A newspaper article on New Street’s WPC’s in 1967…..

WPc Janet Barker – the story behind the picture
We deal with an enquiry and find out about the life behind the photo…..

The Tadworth Plaque
Rob Davison describes the unveiling ceremony that completed the project…..

Wartime plane crash hero finally honoured
A memorial plaque is unveiled celebrating PC Thomas Beeston’s heroic actions…..

The Bullion Run
Brian Gosden recalls the moving of gold bullion by train in the 1970’s…..

The Railway Police
An article from The Police Review about the Conditions of Service in 1920…..

Children’s Christmas party, 1950
A report from the Police Athletic Club’s annual event.

 

Docks

Southampton Harbour Board Police 1847 – 1980
In the grand plan of history, the tiny Southampton Harbour Board Police Force (SHBP) may not have figured greatly. Yet it was one of the earliest dock police forces authorised by Parliament…..

Maritime Blue Photo Exhibition
Marking the 25th Anniversary of the British Transport Police withdrawal from the nationalised docks & ports…..

Police Deaths in Hull during WWII
Looking Back to Bombing Raids in the Second World War. During that war, the City of Hull, like many other British towns and cities, was subjected to sustained bombing raids; 1,241 of its citizens were killed during enemy air raids between 1939 and 1945. It became the most bombed city in Britain outside of London….

Charlie 61 and Other Stories
‘Charlie 61’ was the call sign of the British Transport Police general purpose patrol Ford Transit at Cardiff Docks. General purpose patrol vehicle? In 1970, it was the only patrol vehicle…..

Policing the Weymouth Tramway
On the 7th June 1880, the “Great Western Railway Regulations for working the Weymouth Tramway with Locomotive Engine” were brought into force. These stipulated that engines passing over the Tramway must always be accompanied by a Policeman in uniform…..

Newport Docks Disaster
On 2nd July 1909, a major disaster occurred during the construction of a new sea lock at Newport Docks which resulted in the death of 39 men. Recent correspondence has highlighted the parts played by two Dock Constables…..

An Award for PC Patrick
PC Patrick helps save three children from a burning building…..

Henry Wreathall’s gallery
Retired officer Henry Wreathall shares some photographs from his collection…..

The Making of the Barking Bobbies
Newspaper report looking back at the end of the BTP era on the Humber Ports….

PC Ronald Thackery – the story behind the picture
A photograph from the son of a rescued child shows the human face of the historical citation….

PC Reuben W. Miller – the story behind the picture
A look into the life and family of PC Miller. photographed in a group shot in 1895…..

Pc Joe Mullins retires from the Docks – the story behind the picture
A retirement piece by a local Southampton newspaper

The Busiest Level Crossing in Britain
Derick Brown reminds us of the times the railway police had a busy fixed post…..

Lilian Daisy Gale
The sad tale of our only female officer fatality…..

 

Canals

Policing the Canals
It’s a very long time since BTP policed the canals, nearly fifty years. Canals today are very much a haven of peace and tranquillity with lots of wildlife and hired cruising barges rushing sedentarily along with all the vitality of a lazy hedgehog. But it wasn’t always like that of course…..

Dock Policeman Missing
A bowler hat floating in the Victoria Dock leads to a sad discovery…..