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About ayedeeyew

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  1. "In 'M' Division as Constable DURING service" is how I read that. I suspect the dot of the "i" is just a little wayward to the left.
  2. Sent this to my mother, who is a dab hand at transcriptions, and she had these three observations: Without even knowing details of the Piddington family she thought it was not MR/MRS, but Wm. - the standard abbreviation for William Not "Yours sincerely" but a "Yours TRUELY", possibly with a missing E. Note the wayward slash of the T over the middle of the word, which is repeated in words like "thought", "photographs" and "think". She read the last sentence as "Thanking you and APOLOGISING".
  3. “…I think if he is still alive I thought the PENSION office might give me the address of himself or his wife which I very much would like to GET or you PERHAPS would kindly put me in the way…” Edit - next bit - "I don't think he held a HIGHER RANK but not sure" I now believe.
  4. Your latest posts on Edward Watkins would appear to confirm my earlier suggestion about George Keay. It shows the minimum age of 21 in place in the City of London Police from as early as 1871, thus George Keay in 1881 being only 18 would have had to have added 3 years to be eligible to join.
  5. Standard WW2 era gas rattle, eg: https://bananamafiamilitaria.co.uk/original-ww2-british-home-front---air-raid-precautions-arp-gas-rattle-mkii-1939-1704-p.asp
  6. In the Metropolitan Police of the same era, the minimum age limit for joining changed sometime between 1860 and 1895 from 18 to 21. I wonder if he added a few years to meet the newer requirement?
  7. Back in March, I acquired a virtually mint unused pairing of a 1943 dated Lancashire Police 7-button jacket and 1938 dated riding breeches from Ebay for the grand sum of £39 (including UK P+P). When I inquired about the provenance, I was told the following story: "Morning. I'm glad you're happy with them. The uniform was found in a milk churn along with another pair of breeches which I'm listing shortly. I asked my partners mother who is 88 who told me several stories. At hay-making time some police used to work on the side for a few extra pounds and extra large ham sandwiches and tea with whisky in it. Also because the police headquarters is at the back of us some police used to pop in for a nightcap. If it was snowing they would be hemmed in and sometimes items of clothing would be left behind. The other pair of breeches where a policeman who had dropped them whilst riding his bike. The mother in law couldn't see who was riding to return them to the owner so kept them until the rightful owner was found but he never was lol." Not sure quite how much of that is true, but I have no reason to believe it was made up to enhance the value! Since then I have been gradually acquiring the bits needed to restore the tunic to its former glory and was able to start work on Saturday evening. These are the results... Below - jacket as received. Only the two epaulette buttons and one of the chest pocket buttons remained. Those three remaining buttons were all a matched trio of Lancashire Constabulary KC chrome buttons. I actually bought this tunic to use for WW2 Police kit, but have since decided not to - curiously, though clearly at least lightly used/worn it has never had either the collar or epaulettes pierced for insignia: And the breeches: After three and a half months, I finally had put together a set of buttons that would do the tunic justice. The smaller is a perfect match in every respect to the original three, the larger comprise a perfectly matched set of 5 that came from South Africa, a perfectly matched example to those that came from the UK, and another that only the most OCD would spot is not a perfect match to the rest! And after - now looking much as it would have done back in 1943: There was one more job to be done - one of the few signs of wear/use was a seam split under the right arm that appears to have been somewhat crudely repaired in the past (possibly the real reason the jacket had been left at the farm?): And after a little work with the needle and thread: And the rest of the spares (!) acquired in the process of getting the set of buttons up to a standard I was happy with:
  8. First things first - having worked in the costume industry and enjoying living history as a hobby - unless the provenance is impeccable, etc, then don't be fooled by the buttons/insignia a tunic like this has on. As the pattern had been largely unchanged since the 1850's when introduced they still enjoy plenty of use representing Police of earlier periods from when the jacket itself might have been made. My own jacket (mentioned below) I use for Ripper era is a good example. Having said that, nothing from the pictures you posted screams wrong, so you might have a nice untouched original set up. As touched upon above, the best way to date these tunics... is to find the date. This might seem obvious, but buttons/numbers/etc are easily changed, so not reliable indicators. Most of these type jackets are dated underneath one of the lower skirt pockets. I illustrate my 1956 example below: The number 12 above is the size, which will be what the number 10 refers to. This particular example was reissued or inspected in 1962, and it is this marking that is found inside the right shoulder: Earlier jackets can be found marked in differing locations - this 1918 example is marked in the main body of the jacket, in the back section: These last two were in two items of WW2 era kit acquired recently - breeches with basic 1938 stamp in back section, and tunic with basic 1943 date in right armpit:
  9. My copy came from a maker called Neil Storey, if you are on Facebook he can be contacted through: https://www.facebook.com/neil.storey.50
  10. That's a very useful post, and builds nicely upon something I was saying in another thread some while ago where certain forum members seemed to think the marking was that of the Woolwich Dockyard instead of correctly being the War Department! http://gmic.co.uk/topic/60591-the-start-of-my-collection/?tab=comments#comment-568905
  11. The late Victorian/early Edwardian pattern plates can be found if you keep your eyes peeled - having been looking for one for some time now I am aware of about 4 or 5 that have been offered for sale over the last year or so. For some reason they tend to turn up at the smaller auction houses where I didn't learn about them until their online catalogue listings turn up on Google searches several weeks (if not months) after the fact... A noticeable exception was one listed on Ebay at the end of April. The seller was in the US, and for some reason Ebay had told him the plate was a prohibited item to own in the UK - this is of course complete nonsense, since they have been obsolete since before the Great War! As a result the seller wouldn't ship directly to the UK and wouldn't be convinced otherwise, but after a lengthy conversation the seller agreed to let me bid on the grounds I would have it shipped to a friend-of-a-friend in the US, who would then forward it to me. End day came, and with a much lighter wallet I became the proud owner of the plate to 131 C : http://postimg.org/image/k1fezhc9n/
  12. Time for another update - finally finished my 1897 jacket. This was a based on an original probably interwar RA dress blue jacket that I had professionally converted to more closely resemble the correct pattern: http://postimg.org/image/70it33tgb/ http://postimg.org/image/araywqnyz/ http://postimg.org/image/41idmrhln/ http://postimg.org/image/474yyrzdn/ So now I have all the basics to get my WW1 Police kit in use. Only took about 6 years in the end... took advantage of the nice weekend to get some shots in wear done. In tunic: http://postimg.org/image/l9nj5tqsb/ And with frockcoat added for night use: http://postimg.org/image/6em4cpnff/
  13. Did you ever find a replica or casting of a QVC helmet plate ? I am also searching for even an impression of the crown to make generic victorian plates in resin for a play over here in the US...cheers...Tom


    1. ayedeeyew


      Hi Tom,

      The one I currently use with my late Victorian Met kit is a cast copy by a chap in the UK called Neil Storey. He is the maker of one that Dave Wilkinson was singularly unimpressed by on a recent thread on the subject of these plates. Neils are pretty good for most purposes, but all are cast with the number H171.

      I actually acquired an original from the US only the other day. I'm thinking of looking into how difficult it would be to get a 3D scan done of it and then have (blank) plates done in 3D printer. Unfortunately that will probably take some time, and I'm in no rush to start.

      Worth pointing out that the type of crown used on this plate is generally known as the "Guelphic" crown. The standard QVC being the one with the edges bulging out further over the base (as, confusingly, used on the tunic buttons of the same period).

      Hope his has been of help.


  14. 2717 will be the whistle serial number. Nothing to do with the collar number or warrant number of the policeman it was issued to I'm afraid... Have a look over this site, plenty of helpful information on these whistles: http://www.whistleshop.co.uk/history.html
  15. Another update - my 1906 to 1930's plate is finally complete! The last number was fitted to the plate, and the plate then fitted to the helmet I had prepared earlier. Just like the other original fittings it's now held firmly in place by short sections of matchsticks: http://postimg.org/image/unhhqq3ez/ http://postimg.org/image/46w1mopxt/ http://postimg.org/image/kejxhpjvx/ And alongside my earlier pattern helmet: http://postimg.org/image/y5ha7eb03/