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Dave Wilkinson

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Everything posted by Dave Wilkinson

  1. Nick, If he had a Crown and a bath star on his shoulder then he would (in those days) be a Superintendent Grade 1. A Chief Superintendent would have a Crown above two bath stars and a Superintendent Grade 2 would have a single Crown. The Deputy Chief Constable of Oxford would have been a Superintendent Grade 1. So, if what you say is correct then they have by accident or design got it right, certainly insofar as his rank insignia is concerned. However, if he is being referred to as a Chief Superintendent then alas, they still have it wrong! Oxford had (at the time of the amalgamation) two Supts. One was the DCC (Supt. Grade 1) and the other was the Supt. of the Cowley Div. who was a Supt. Grade 2. The rank markings for Superintending ranks changed (I think) in the early 1970's to that which we know today in consequence of the two separate grades for Superintendent being abolished. When I say this I am referring to provincial forces in England & Wales. I do know that in Scotland they had (at one time) one or two unusual ranks which were not used south of the border That also applies of course to MPD ,City of London and Northern Ireland who also retained a degree of individuality in respect of their rank system.
  2. I must confess that I have long since stopped watching police related dramas, as I simply get "wound up" by the inaccuracies such as those mentioned here. Hence I've not seen any of the "Endeavour" episodes. However, if they are suggesting as part of the script that there was an officer of Chief Superintendent rank in the Oxford City Police then that is something else they have wrong! I've just looked at a copy of the Police & Constabulary Almanac for 1968 (the force amalgamated on the 1st April) and the Oxford City Police is shown as having a Deputy Chief Constable (below CC) with the rank of Superintendent. To be accurate he was Superintendent Leonard North. Perhaps the lack of salutes has something to do with the fact that he did not exist?
  3. Err.......No. Not even in the Metropolitan Police!
  4. Oh Robin! You will certainly upset Dave Conner now...............
  5. Nick, There are political reasons why I believe it will be a long time before we see a national police force in England, if ever. You have to have the political will and it is not there at the moment. Also, you will find very few ACPO ranks advocating such a move. The reason? It would be proffesional suicide to do so. Most would loose their jobs if a national force was formed as has been the case in Scotland. Its okay for Stephen House to advocate such a move, He's got the top job! Finally, don't forget one long standing anachronism in English policing. The City of London Police. Numerous attempts have been made to consolidate it with the Met. over the years and all have failed. The reason is because powerful politicians with City connections have indicated that they would stop such a move. In fact I would go as far as to say that I think that hell would freeze over before the City Police met their demise.
  6. Dave, It's all a matter of opinion! I visited Inverness several years ago and saw both the epaulette badge and the small cloth badge being worn. I knew what the design consisted of but had that not been the case I would have been none the wiser. I have examples of both and again (in my opinion) the design is so convoluted it tends to convey nothing really other than confusion. I'm referring to force issued items and not tie pins etc. The wallet badge was indeed a credit to the force. That said, why produce a very nice badge at great expense and then hide it in a wallet so that no one can see it? Perhaps that's why it was short lived. Fife similarly produced a series of warrant badges, The last issued one was quite striking - but again hidden away where no one could see it. "Fob" badges saw a short period of favour in Scotland but again they for the most part faded away after a short time. It is as if one part of the organisation wanted to shout its identity whilst another was hissing "shush, they may find out who we are...." The cash expended on all these short lived excursions would have been better spent on producing a decent cap badge for each individual force instead of the very poor looking (in my opinion) national badge. Oh, and before I finish I must mention Tayside Police. One Chief Constable the had the audacity to order the introduction of an enamelled version of the Scottish national badge with a scroll below indicating "Tayside Police". A well made badge which fulfilled both force and national identity. It was short lived and was replaced by the "el cheapo" national version when he retired. I await with interest to see what next is produced from a badge point of view in Scotland. They already have a national badge so in theory (if they want to save cash) they need not do anything. That said I've heard a rumour that someone has already splashed out on a design which has been rejected by the Scottish Herald. I watch with interest........
  7. The badge of the Northern Constabulary was an interesting one, but (alas) far too complicated and intricate to "translate" into a chrome plated metal badge and which when produced as such and affixed to an item of uniform looked like a chrome "blob" with no detail whatsoever available to anyone remotely interested in examining it. A great pity.
  8. A very nice Coat of Arms! It's a great pity that the Chief Constable/Police Authority did not have sufficient pride and spirit of independence to produce a decent cap badge to display their achievement. Too late now.................
  9. As a collector of police insignia, the Scottish Police have always been a great disappointment to me. The adoption of the "national" badge many years ago I feel was the start of a downward spiral of local identity loss and although individual force names (albeit regionalised) were retained there always seemed a lot of "sameness" about them. That is a collectors view and in no way detracts from the professional service which the individual forces provided to their communities, which at the end of the day is all important. Spending large sums of money on introducing a new corporate image etc is not in my view a good start. Your average man or woman in the street does not give a jot about the wording on a police vehicle or the sign above the door of a police station, He or she simply wants a professional response from the police when they need it, and I'm sure that in Scotland that will continue. Despite the views of the new Scottish Chief Constable (Stephen House), I doubt very much if the national structure is likely to see the light of day south of the border in England. In quite recent years Cumbria and Lancashire Constabularies went to the Government saying that they wished to amalgamate and presented a blueprint with costings to facilitate the merger. To great surprise it was not approved! Wales I personally feel, (with its own Parliament) could follow the Scottish lead. We will have to wait and see.
  10. No, you are wrong in your assumption. The following is taken from the book "Maintaining The Queen's Peace", (a History of the Birkenhead Borough Police) by S.P. Thompson, published in 1958 by the Birkenhead Watch Committee. " APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONERS. In 1832 there was violent opposition to an application to Parliament for an Act to supply a public market and to establish police in Birkenhead. Despite this opposition the Act received Royal Assent on 10th June 1833............................The Commissioners proceeded to carry out the provisions of the Act and a Police Force was appointed. The Act continued in force until the incorporation of the townships of Birkenhead, Claughton, Tranmere, part of Higher Bebbington and Oxton into the Parliamentary Borough of Birkenhead on 13th August 1877". So, the Birkenhead Borough Police was formed in 1833. The Cheshire Constabulary were formed on 20th April 1857. An earlier Act dated 1st June 1829, allowed the Cheshire Justices to appoint "Special" High Constables and "Assistant" Petty Constables and to pay them. However, this did not constitute the formation of the Cheshire Constabulary (taken from the book "To the Best of Our Skill & Knowledge", a History of the Cheshire Constabulary, and published by the force). Cheshire Constabulary policed Birkenhead for the first time following the amalgamation of the Borough Police on 30th January 1967. I hope this makes the situation a little clearer for those interested individuals.
  11. Brian, The additional points which you mention are well made. The "Chief Officer" badges are easily identifiable in that they are usually marked "sterling" on the reverse or are actually hallmarked and because they are silver and prone to tarnishing they tend to appear "dull" when placed alongside a chrome plated (Inspectorate ranks) version. Such badges were commonly issued to ranks above Chief Inspector in many English & Welsh forces but the high cost has in most cases resulted in the expensive silver badges being replaced with the much cheaper silver plated or chrome plated versions of the same design. Alas, a sign of changing times! Dave.
  12. Brian, I've been looking back through your postings in respect of Staffordshire Police and came across this one which is not altogether accurate. What you have is not the Chief Constable's cap badge but a warrant badge which is issued to every officer in Staffordshire Police. The badge is affixed to the leather warrant card holder. The green & blue "enamelling" is in fact plastic. If you look at my attached photo you will see the warrant badge (which you have) on the right hand side. On the left hand side you will see the "ACPO" (Chief Officer) ranks cap badge. This is in sterling silver with hard fired enamelling and a felt backing to the Staffs. knott. This particular badge was given to me by a Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable who I was fortunate to meet when on a course at the Staff College in 1989. This is the badge being worn by Chief Constable Kelly whose photo you append in another of your postings. I hope this clarifies things for you and others who may have mistaken the warrant badge for a senior officers' cap badge. Dave.
  13. A timely warning to those interested collectors who may see similar UK police items being offered for sale on a well known internet auction site, the seller being based in Bulgaria. Be very careful about touching any apparently genuine UK police badges being sold (He also offers military badges) . They are almost certainly Bulgarian made recent reproductions. The seller has his feedback configured in such a way that "buyers" cannot be identified. I've always regarded (a personal opinion) this as a very suspicious tactic. Forewarned is forearmed!! Dave.
  14. Mervyn, I appreciate the points you make. However, I have photos of Liverpool City wearing top hats and carrying rattles and similar with whistle chains showing but no sign of a cross belt. I think the cross belt theory may have been an assumption made by someone way back in the mists of time and as with many such assumptions with the passage of years they tend to become cast in cement. The shape of the whistle may have been a whim of the CC, perhaps a simple explanation was that the "lipped" version was more expensive. Whatever the explanation, the purchase and issue of this unusual shape persisted for a great many years with the "lipped" version making its appearance with Liverpool Police just after the first war. Even then the "oddity" was not withdrawn and I can recall occasionally seeing them on the end of a chrome chain still being worn by older Liverpool bobbies in the early 1970's. They are certainly very common and thousands upon thousands of them must have been issued. On most days if you do a search on that famous on line auction site you can usually find two or three for sale. Best wishes, Dave.
  15. Mervyn, I've collected police insignia, photographs and memorabilia from my home City of Liverpool since the early 1960's and have never seen any evidence that Liverpool City Police Officers wore a crossbelt with the whistle pushed into a holder on the belt. Photographs (and I have a very large number) indicate that whistles were worn normally in the tunic or greatcoat pocket as with other forces. The only crossbelts were worn by the Mounted Dept. when wearing their ceremonial uniform and even then the whistle was worn with the chain exposed and the instrument itself placed in the pocket of the stand collar tunic. Why Liverpool issued this type of whistle is something of a mystery. I often wonder where these myths originate! Best wishes, Dave.
  16. Monty, If all else fails I have a nearly new signed copy of Mr. Mitton's book which is surplus to my requirements. Best wishes, Dave.
  17. Monty, You can discount South Wales. South Wales Police was formed on 1st June 1969. Posting a copy of the photo may assist. Dave.
  18. The photos of Sir Colin which you have attached are helpful and I think I may be able to take this forward a little further for you. I think that the tunic you have is probably one which once belonged to Sir Colin. However, I don't think it was used by him whilst he was in the Met. Police. I think that he had this tunic made when he was appointed Commandant of the Police Staff College, Bramshill. The Commandant was at that time also an HMIC. He would have worn the uniform of an English Chief Constable with the addition of the "HMI" monogram between the Crown and wreath. You may find traces of these having been removed. Now, why do I say that the jacket may be from this period? Well, the town of Aldershot where the tailor is from is not far from Hartley Witney where the College is situated. Anyway, that's my theory. He probably took the jacket one of perhaps several) with him to Australia and wore it there for a time. I hope this is helpful. Best wishes, Dave.
  19. I think it unlikely that this uniform would have been worn in Australia as I feel certain that the colour of the cloth differs and also I think the rank insignia. Another matter springs to mind and that concerns shoulder patches. Someone will no doubt correct me if I'm wrong but I think that all the Aussie forces wear shoulder patches (all ranks). I hope this is helpful. Dave.
  20. "Commissioner" ranks in the Metropolitan Police have blue cushioning to the rank Crown and have done for a great many years. The colouring upon the Crowns of other items of insignia used by police in England & Wales is normally (but not always) red. The tunic suggests use by an English/Welsh Chief Constable. NOT an HMI. If worn by an HMI then there would be a monogrammed "HMI" positioned between the Crown and the wreath . I'm unsure of the relevance of the Queen's Police Medal being mentioned or the year 1980. Dave.
  21. Police Officers from the UK home police forces were seconded as volunteers for service with the Cyprus Colonial Police Force during the conflict and were usually promoted by one rank for the duration of the secondment. In other words a UK seconded Constable would serve as a Sergeant with the Cyprus Police and would revert to his previous rank on return to the UK.. The seconded officers were awarded the General Service Medal with Cyprus bar. As far as I'm aware all the seconded officers were from the UK. Your medal was in all probability awarded to a UK police officer. I hope this is helpful. Dave..
  22. If it is on the collar of a tunic jacket it probably indicates "Hampshire Constabulary". Dave.
  23. Brian, I appreciate that this thread is VERY old, but I have only just happened upon it. Your photograph of of a member of the Lancashire Constabulary. The "old" County Arms are depicted upon the belt plate. The supporters on the arms are (unusually) two dogs. The first aid badge on his arm reads "Lancashire Constabulary". I hope that eventually getting an answer to your long ago posed question was worth the wait! Best wishes, Dave.
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