St Albans, January 1965

After two years of working from the former St Albans City Police Chief Constable’s house whilst the 100 year old police station was demolished, a new building opened in January 1965 and the press were invited to have a look around. This picture shows the late shift parading on 12th January. This “staged” picture was not how things normally were as Inspector E. P. T. (Ted) Cook is shown conducting things: he would seldom be seen at parade. Others present are (from left to right), P.c. 325 Jim Collier, P.c. 780 John Weeks, P.c. 108 Maurice Neville, P.c. 619 John Seabrook, P.c. 76 Robin Banks, P.c. 488 Jim Gammon and P.s. Harry King.

Being January it was cold outside but Ted Cook had already insisted that we should parade dressed ready to go onto the streets, including our greatcoats, as that was what was written in Standing Orders : in the cold and draughty old house, we never wore coats. In the centrally heated building and with the sun streaming through the windows (and with Harry King’s connivance) we stood there sweating and when Ted Cook and the photographer walked in, the latter asked why we were wearing coats. Ted immediately asked the same question so Harry King told us to take them off. Needless to say, we never wore them again for parade.

This picture was taken by a Herts Advertiser member of staff and appeared on the front page of the 13th January 1965 edition.

This page was added on 24/11/2015.

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  • My husband Len German remembers many of the names above, I remember Harry King.

    By Elaine German (23/10/2018)
  • This would be the time my father PC Eric Martin would be around. Does anyone remember him.

    By A Martin (06/04/2018)
  • I remember serving with PC Robin Banks in Watford. He used to get a lot of smiles and even laughs when he introduced himself in the witness box!

    By adrian jones (24/01/2017)
  • I remember parading at the old police station in Victoria Street opposite the old fire station in 1958 in overcoat, handcuffs, truncheon, and lamp. One night on Station Duty I sent a drunk across to the fire station about 3am and told him if he rang the big brass bell pull the nice fireman would cook him a nice breakfast. I later met the nice fireman on duty that night and he was not a happy man. I recall volunteering for station cleaner duty whilst Mr Foster the cleaner was on holiday and I blew the boiler up that heated the station after someone had painted over the safety valve. Happy days.

    By Ivan judd (23/02/2016)
  • Inspector Jim Crawford had the same attitude that winter. Working nights on foot in the London Road area of St. Albans the temperature was about 0º F. (-19ºC.) and I had my scarf over my face, not to mention two pairs of socks and pyjama trousers under my uniform trousers. About 3.00 a.m. Jim pulled up in his car, opened the window about two inches and told me to remove my scarf. I did – but only until his car was out of sight.

    By John Weeks (22/12/2015)
  • I remember wearing coats ready for the outside when parading for duty at the Old Victorian St Albans Nick. I also remember in the bad winter of 1962/63 being told by Inspector Ted Cook to remove my balaclava I was wearing under my helmet when he made a conference point with me in Harpenden. Me on cycle patrol and he in a motor car and it was after midnight – Very cruel I thought but he had the pips.

    By John Halsey (05/12/2015)