Hertford Special Police – The Annual Dinner – Chief Constable and Motor Patrol Duty
Hertfordshire Mercury, 20th March 1931
The annual dinner of the Hertford County Permanent Police Reserve ( Special Constabulary ) , was held at the Shire Hall , Hertford on Thursday last week .
An excellent dinner was served by Mr Frank Creese, of the Green Dragon Hotel , Hertford , and Mr F. W. Vincent was the Toast Master .
The Mayor of Hertford ( Councillor S. Purkiss Ginn ) presided , and was supported by Major Elton Longmore ( Clerk of the Peace ) , the Chief Constable of Hertfordshire ( Mr George Knight , M.B.E.) , Major R. P. Woodhouse ( Superintendent ”B” Division) , Mr Samuel Wallace , Lieut.-Col. Hanbury Pawle , O.B.E. , Councillor A. R. Willson , Mr O.J.G. McMullen, Captain Douglas A. Burgess , Major John Longmore, M.B.E., Dr R. H. Mortis , Mr W. E. Blackett-Ord , Dr H. Medlock , Captain G. R. Steel, M.B.E. , Mr S. Harrington , Mr T. Ashley Webb , the Deputy Chief Constable of Herts ( Superintendent Randall ) , Supt Farrow , Supt. Wright and Mr W. Stacey ( the ex-Deputy Chief Constable ).
Those at the heads of the other tables were Captain M.L. Escombe, D.S.O. ( Supt ” B” Division), Inspector Arnold Thomas , M.B.E., Mr Hedley Morgan and S.P.s E. Ashman.
Captain Escombe , in proposing the toast , ” The Chief Constable and the County Police, ” said the watchword of the Chief Constable of the Herts regular police was prevention was better than cure . The Police carried that out by careful organisation and by adapting their methods to new conditions. He believed it was because of that and because there was a man like the present Chief Constable at the head , that Hertfordshire was today so free from crime. They, as Special Constables , felt it was a great privilege to work under such an organization . They hoped that when their time came they would not let the regular police down. They all had the greatest confidence in , and there was no one they would rather serve under, than Mr Knight. (Applause.)
Reponding, the Chief Constable said they had a lot for which to thank the Special Constables. His Superintendents told him that every time they had asked for help they had got it and that was an important thing. When he saw the crime round London , he thought they would think that they in Hertfordshire stood very well . Captain Escombe said it was due to him (the Chief Constable), but it was the people who helped him. They had a very good Standing Joint Committee who fully realized what the police did , and only recently had tried to help them further. He thought most of them would have seen the photograph in the Press of the new fleet of motor-cars and motor-cycles. They were going to work that fleet by day and by night , it was preventative work. He invited the Special Constabulary to volunteer for motor patrol duty when it was convenient for them .
Major Elton Longmore , in proposing the toast , ” The Special Police, ” congratulated them on the way in which they were helping regular Police. It was often said that the Police were a lonely force with nothing behind them at all , but here they had a magnificent body of citizens who were ready to come and help them and stand behind them. They had an efficient and real backbone behind the regular police in the Special Constabulary. He knew that Major Woodhouse had given up endless time to the organisation of that force to ensure it was on a thoroughly efficient basis .He thought that Major Woodhouse was to be congratulated on the force serving under him .
Major R.P.Woodhouse , responding, said that that dinner was the one opportunity of saying ” thank you” to the very many people who helped them. It made all the difference to the work that they did to feel that every now and then they got a pat on the back. There was quite a lot of people up and down the country who did not know that their force existed and he remembered the surprise expressed when Special Constables were found carrying out their duties in daylight .That,of course,was because most of their duties were nocturnal. For the last three months they had been taking the night air very regularly.The efficiency and smooth-running of their force depended entirely on their relations with the regular Police , and he thanked them for the pleasant way in which they treated the Specials. He also thanked Mr Bush who instructed them in St John Ambulance work , and Supt Sharp for what he had done for them in Jiu-Jitsu. He thanked S.P.c. Barber, who had again gone without dinner in order to give them music. The artists he also thanked for their services.
The toast ” The Visitors” was proposed by Alderman Arnold Thomas ( Inspector “B” Division), and responded to by Councillor A.R. Wilson.
Captain Douglas Burgess , in proposing ” The Chairman,” said it was a twofold pleasure to propose that toast, firstly because the Mayor was an old friend of his , and secondly because he (the speaker) , was pleased to be associated with that branch of the police with which his father played a leading part during the years of the War and he had asked him to convey his best wishes to them , and to express the hope that they would have a pleasant evening . They all congratulated Councillor Stuart Purkiss-Ginn on occupying the high office he did, and on the efficient manner in which he was carrying out his duties.
The toast was accorded musical honours. Responding , the Mayor thanked the Police for the help they had given him .
During the dinner musical items were rendered by the following quartet : – S.c. Tom Barber , violin ; Mr A. Hocking, violin ; Mr B. Goodman, ‘cello ; and Miss Jean Gregory, piano.
The artists , whose contribution to the evening’s entertainment were greatly enjoyed, were Miss Alice Bartleet, Miss Mary C. Norris, S.c. T. Brock Daniels, S.c. W.W. Richardson , and Supt H. Wright, with Miss Jean Gregory, A.R.C.M., as pianoforte accompanist.