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Brian Wolfe

Staffordshire Police - a history and items from my collection

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Here is a shot of the hilt. You can see the release button and the ray skin grip.

Ray skin is white in its raw state and you will see white ray skin use on many Japanese edged weapons. In cases such as this the raw ray skin is dyed from the back and then the surface bumps are ground off to produce the white-topped bumps. If the grinding is done until the surface is smooth the finished product has a pattern that looks like small circles. This is often used on jewellery boxes and other decorative items. The tang of the blade runs through the grip and is penned over

where it comes out through the pommel. This is indicative of massed produced swords rather that the tang being threaded and a threaded button attached at the end of the pommel, though mass production could also see the button used I think the more expensive swords would not have the tang end penned over as is the case here.

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Here is a shot of the blade tip which shows the false edge on the back of the blade. A false edge is typical of the hanger style swords. Also shown is the scabbard's chape (brass tip) which is not the best fit that I have ever seen but I believe it to be original.

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This sword would have been suspended by a leather frog through which a sword belt would run. I did not show this side of my sword but the frog stud is intact.

This photo comes from the "Swords & Daggers" book referenced earlier in this post. This style of frog is seen on many, if not all, older bayonet scabbards,

Edited by Brian Wolfe

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To round out this post and give it the "Swords 101" treatment here is a photo from the book noted earlier showing the suspension device used on the original "hangers" from which I suspect the name of this style of sword was derived.

Regards and thanks for "hanging" in there until the end of my post. That's "nerd" humour. :D

Regards

Brian

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Nice functional blade... you could put your eye out with that!

Mother always said, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye ( :cool: or two)".

Somehow I think I'd rather take my chances with a 9mm than a two foot razor!!!

Cheers

Brian

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I was wrong - I thought it was going to be a decorated truncheon !

Fairly rare with the engraving for Staffordshire - dates from the 1850's and is almost certainly supplied by Parker Field and I think you will find Hiatt's in Birmingham, made it for them. Use boot polish on the scabbard and the brass will polish up nicely - I only use gun oil on my blades. The belt to support the frog was a cross belt - over the right shoulder. This style of hilt guard is known as the 'D' pattern - the earlier ones had a 'stirrup' hilt guard. The blade is double fullered - being sharpened on either side.

When the Chief Constable's ordered swords it cost another 2/6d to have an engraving - so, most have blank blades. For insurance , I would estimate £350 - £400.

Congratulations - a great addition to your Staffs. collection.

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Hello Everyone,

This is a collar badge for the Special Constabulary of the type used by the Staffordshire Police. These are generic and while I can not say that this one was actually used by the Staffordshire Police force it is exactly the same pattern. The badge with its King's crown measures 16 mm in width and 21.5 mm in height. As indicated by the photo the badge is afixed by means of a cotter pin that runs through two eyes soldered to the back of the badge.

Regards

Brian

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Hello Everyone,

I have just added this police whistle marked to the Staffordshire Constabulary to my collection. It measures 18mm at the collar and the barrel is 16mm in width. The total length of the whistle is 83mm. It is marked The Metropolitian, Patent, Staffordshire Constabulary, J. Hudson & Co., 131 Barr St, Birmingham. I built the dispaly stand in my shop and is oak with red felt lining.

The dealer claimed this was from the Victorian period but I have my doubts, I'm thinking that perhaps Geo V, WW I era. I would like to hear from more experienced collectors as to the date they would think most likely, it would be most appreciated.

Regards

Brian

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Here is a closer view of the engraving.

It's difficult to properly photograph an object that is cylindrical but I think it shows fairly well.

I'm not sure how common these are but it is only the second one that has surfaced (to me) since I started collecting to the Staffordshire Police about three years ago. The first one went for more than I had in my reserves at the time. This one came up and I was lucky enough to have a fair amount in my reserves. I braced myself for a health bidding war and wouldn't you know it I was the only bidder. I guess the only other collector that didn't already have one was me! :lol:

Regards

Brian

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Is it a ciollar badge?As I recall, versions of these with St Edward's Crown were worn by Specials in Cambs Constabulary on the shoulder strap above "collar numbers", after the dark blue on light blue (Cambridge blue?) cloth sewn on shoulder titles were dispensed with, around the time they were allowed to wear helmets as well as caps.

Badger, where are you?

In fact, yes, I think I've seen WWII illustrations of this badge being worn as a collar badge.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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Hi Brian, Hudsons were at 131 Barr Street from 1885 to 1888. so yes it is victorian

Many thanks Ian.

I must admit that I never thought of searching for Hudsons at 131 Barr Street. :banger:

Thanks again,

Brian

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Is it a ciollar badge?As I recall, versions of these with St Edward's Crown were worn by Specials in Cambs Constabulary on the shoulder strap above "collar numbers", after the dark blue on light blue (Cambridge blue?) cloth sewn on shoulder titles were dispensed with, around the time they were allowed to wear helmets as well as caps.

Badger, where are you?

In fact, yes, I think I've seen WWII illustrations of this badge being worn as a collar badge.

Hi Leigh,

I just ran down to my evil workshop (#2) to take this photo and when I pulled up the web site I see you have made an addition to your reply.

When I did my pre-post research all I could find of any photo of an officer wearing collar badges was this one with the Staffordshire knot under the crown. I made the assumption that the Specials would have had the same regulations.

Regards and thanks Leigh,

Brian

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Hello - Brian. Congratulations on your ascendency ! I like the way you have mounted this whistle - shows it off very effectively. These old whistles were well made and just kept getting re-issued - my own was Victorian.

Prior to the 1880's the method of alarm was for a constable to carry a rattle. Tests were carried out in the early 1880's and it was found that a whistle could be heard three times as far as a rattle. The change over was gradual and the early whistles were of the pea type - however it was found there was confusion with other whistles and Hudson's brought-in the air type.

For a Chief Constable to have his Force name stamped-on, cost extra money - so many of them are un-named. A good one like this - about £30 - but I have heard of them fetching higher prices. Out of interest is that roughly what you paid ? Next time ask me first - I literally have several cupboards filled with this old Police paraphanalia.

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Hello - Brian. Congratulations on your ascendency ! I like the way you have mounted this whistle - shows it off very effectively. These old whistles were well made and just kept getting re-issued - my own was Victorian.

Prior to the 1880's the method of alarm was for a constable to carry a rattle. Tests were carried out in the early 1880's and it was found that a whistle could be heard three times as far as a rattle. The change over was gradual and the early whistles were of the pea type - however it was found there was confusion with other whistles and Hudson's brought-in the air type.

For a Chief Constable to have his Force name stamped-on, cost extra money - so many of them are un-named. A good one like this - about £30 - but I have heard of them fetching higher prices. Out of interest is that roughly what you paid ? Next time ask me first - I literally have several cupboards filled with this old Police paraphanalia.

Hi Mervyn,

I usually don't add what I paid to my posts, just a quirk of mine, as I'm not an investor just a collector.

However, since you asked I have no problem telling you what I paid. It was $85.00 Canadian or about 46 GBP. I will keep you in mind in the future for police memorabilia...how's the postal strike progressing by the way?

Regards

Brian

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Hi, Brian, just to give you 2 more Staffordshire items to look for there are 2 other types of Staffs whistles. The first is the acme thunderer type with the side panels covered with the tops of staffs buttons. The other that I haven't seen and is described as very rare is described as an oval whistle with a crest attached to a porteous top. Cheers Ian

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........Prior to the 1880's the method of alarm was for a constable to carry a rattle. Tests were carried out in the early 1880's and it was found that a whistle could be heard three times as far as a rattle. The change over was gradual and the early whistles were of the pea type - however it was found there was confusion with other whistles and Hudson's brought-in the air type...........

Another means of raising alarm was to repeatedly strike paving slabs with truncheons.

The whistle I carried, by the way, was a RUC one.

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Hi, Brian, just to give you 2 more Staffordshire items to look for there are 2 other types of Staffs whistles. The first is the acme thunderer type with the side panels covered with the tops of staffs buttons. The other that I haven't seen and is described as very rare is described as an oval whistle with a crest attached to a porteous top. Cheers Ian

Hi Ian,

That's good to know, now the search continues.

Regards

Brian

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Hello everyone,

Here is a lapel pin commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Stafford Police in 1992. The pin measures 18.5mm wide and 24.5mm in height. On the back is marked JEEVES Co, WATERLOO LIVERPOOL and is held in place by a standard lapel spike with round spring catch as is found on almost all lapel pins today.

The enamel work is in perfect condition and the pin itself is in mint condition. This is probably no surprise as if it is the same in the UK as here these pins would have been handed out by the hundreds and many probably never seen any wear but instead ended up in a drawer somwhere.

As a short history of the founding of the Staffordshire Police here is an exerpt from the Commemorative magazine from 1992.

October 1842

The foundations of the modern Staffordshire Police were laid in October 1842 at a meeting held at the Court of Quarter Sessions at Stafford. There is was agreed that a Chief Constable should be appointed to take charge of a County Constabulary which would be divided into three districts. The first, a Mining District in the south of the county, would include the towns of Bilston, Willenhall, West Bromwich, Wednesbury, Smethwick and Handsworth. The South Staffordshire Constabulary had been formed in 1840 to police this area and was amalgamated with the new Force on its formation. The second, a Pottery District in the north, would encompass the six pottery towns of Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton. The third area would be known as the Rural District and would consist of the remaining areas of the county. This arrangement excluded the four towns which already had an established police force: Stafford, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Walsall and Tamworth.

More later on the first Chief Constable of Staffordshire.

Edited by Brian Wolfe

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The First Chief Constable 1842

At a further meeting of the Quarter Sessions, held on 6th December 1842, the first Chief Constable of the Staffordshire Constabulary was appointed: he was John Hayed Hatton, a 47 year old professional policeman. Under his direction men were quickly recruited and underwent rudimentary training in the yard of Stafford Prison before being allocated to one of the Districts.

By the end of 1843, 79 of the original recruits had either been dismissed or discharged or had resigned. A further 16 left the following year and only 7 actually retired on pension. As the majority of dismissals were for disciplinary reasons, it seems likely that few were suited to life in a constabulary which conformed essentially to military principles.

All the County Police Officers were subjected to the most stringent discipline and it was surprisingly easy for a policeman to find himself "on the carpet".

In 1862 for instance, P.C. George Coleman was fined 19/ - for gossiping with prostitutes whilst he was on duty. Compare this with his colleague, P.C. George Colclough, who was fined 21/- for the more serious crime of smoking his clay pipe while on duty.

Ah, the good old days. ;)

Regards

Brian

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Very interesting background, Brian, to an important area. Couldn't have been easy to control with such a diverse population. They were formed under what was known as ' The Permissive Act' which in 1838 gave Towns and Counties the right to set-up their own Forces. A lot of areas didn't follow and in 1856 a further act was passed -this was the 'Obligatory Act' and from that date Britain came under a uniform policing system.

I like the comm. pin - the enamel is of good quality - and already, it is 17 years old...

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Hello Everyone,

I am very happy to be adding this Inspector's Hat complete with hat badge to my Staffordshire Police collection. I have been told that the braid on the cap signifies an Inspector's grade but I have no way to verify this information so if anyone knows please enlighten me. I do have a photo in a book of a Superintendent from the 1920s wearing a different style of hat but with the same braid. When I say "braid" it is realy a padded strip of cloth and not actual braiding.

The "chin strap" has the badge over it and there have been creases left in the strap that look to be original. The only photo of a higher ranking officer that I have is of the Chief Constable, featured in my "Collector's Image Gallery", and his badge (same as this one) is mounted above the strap. If Staffordshire is anything like the police departments here then there is a bit of leeway as to the exact positioning of a hat badge. I believe this item to be authentic.

Regards

Brian

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The cap was made in England by Weston Cap Limited. There is some wear on the edges of the head band as may be seen in the photo otherwise this is in pretty good condition.

Regards

Brian

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