London, Chatham and Dover Railway Police

A fascinating insight into the way our forebears were engaged has come from the a new article on The Dover Historian website.

The article, by Lorraine Sencicle, is one in a series documenting how the English ‘packet’ service out of Dover, that is ships carrying official messages and mail, evolved over the centuries. This article concentrates on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company’s venture between 1860 and 1874. It is entitled Packet Service V LCDR & the Route to Dover’s Prosperity.

Of particular interest to the BTPHG is the use of the railway company’s police on the ships, and the fight against the rise in crime affecting their passengers. It also documents a joint operation between the LCDR police, the South Eastern Railway Police, Dover Borough Police and the Metropolitan Police.

The Dover Historian website is a treasure trove for the history enthusiast, there is information on Dover, the port and the railways that served it.


💡 Webmaster’s Tip:
The article is a long one, so although it is worth reading in full, you can use your browser to do a word search for ‘police’ to get to the most relevant parts.

The Great Storm, 1987

The Great Storm

In the week when we had very severe weather in the British Isles, by some bizarre co-incidence it was also the 30th anniversary of another climactic weather event in southern England.
Rob Ekins, a PC at BTP Brighton at the time, remembered the part he and his colleagues played that night in an article for History Lines: The GREAT STORM, 1987

One of many articles we hold in the HistoryBank section of our website.

UPDATE – November 2017: To commemorate the 30th anniversary Rob was interviewed by the Eastbourne Herald newspaper:
Eastbourne Police Officer Recalls Storm

New BTP related book

Nineteenth Century Railway Crime and Policing

A new addition to the BTPHG virtual Bookshelf has been made.

BTPHG member and BTP History Writer, Malcolm Clegg, who has researched and written several articles for our newsletter History Lines has recently published a history of railway crime and policing in the nineteenth century.

From the publisher’s website: ‘A fascinating historical insight into the role played by the early railway policemen and the types of crime which they encountered. Their endeavour to maintain law and order whilst at the same time performing operational duties to keep the railways running.’

National Dog Day 2107

Okay, so now we’ve got your attention with a couple of cute puppy photos, if you were not aware tomorrow (Saturday 26th August 2017) is National Dog Day.

Time to remember that the railway police recruited their first officially trained police dogs well over 100 years ago, and they still remain a vital part of the policing family today.

You will find various references to them on this website – just put ‘police dog’ in the search box (above right).

And we have a photo gallery dedicated them here – Police Dogs!

You will also find an article on the BTP website on the Dog Section and if you are on Twitter the BTP Dog Section have their own account – @BTPDogs.


UPDATE: September 2017
Elvis is growing!

Elvis and friend.


You may have noticed a bit of rebranding on the site.

We’ve renamed Storybank as Historybank. It’s just a bit more descriptive, as it doesn’t just contain ‘stories’, but factual topics such as court reports and research articles.

The contents are as before, but with a better name!

HistoryBank can be found in the PAGES menu, to the right of the screen.

BTP History Week

BTP History Week

All this week (w/c 03 July 2017) the BTP Media Department are celebrating the history of the BTP on Social Media.

So if you are on Facebook or Twitter keep an eye out for some history related posts.



Twitter: @BTP

They also have some information on their website:

Of course, we’re all about BTP History all year round!

Birthday Honours 2017

Two new entries for the Honours, Decorations and Medals list.

Alun THOMAS (Chief Superintendent, currently T/Assistant Chief Constable) and Steve GREENWOOD (Special Chief Inspector), have been rewarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, 2017.

T/ACC THOMAS, leads the Specialist Operations teams at BTP, whose job it is to disrupt and deter terrorist activity, and keep the public safe – including the firearms, dogs, behavioural detection officers and specialist response units – has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).

SCI GREENWOOD, who volunteered an incredible 573 hours to BTP last year, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Congratulations to them both.

[Source: BTP website THOMAS / GREENWOOD]

One Minute of Silence

London Bridge Station, 6th May 2017.

Today, Tuesday 6th June 2017, at 11:00 hours, Officers at London Bridge observed the 1 minute’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack last Saturday.
(Source: Twitter @BTP)

Robert William SMITH

A short memorial tribute was held for PC Robert Smith last Saturday (29th April 2017) at York Cemetery.

Robert, aged 64 years, was killed during the early hours of the morning of the 29th April 1942, during the biggest raid by the Luftwaffe carried out on York in World War Two. He was on duty in the police office when it took a direct hit. Robert was buried with his daughter.

The ceremony was organised by the BTPHG, and was attended by members of Robert’s family, serving and retired officers, and the Railway Mission.

A fuller account will be detailed in a forthcoming edition of History Lines.

The event was also picked up by a local newspaper, The York Press.

Tribute to PC killed in York bombing raid during the memorial – BTP history group members, relatives and their friends and current BTP officers.

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