P.c. 178 George Hill on duty in Port Vale outside Port Vale School, Hertford, supervising children who were leaving for a short residential course: my brother, who was one of the children, can not recall where they were going. The photograph was taken about 1960.
George was very well known in Hertford. A former paratrooper, who had been captured at Arnhem, he was always full of fun and ready for anything. “Never worry, never fear, P.c. 178 is here!” How could I forget one of his favourite sayings?
In those days the police at Hertford held a key for the Motor Taxation Department at nearby County Hall so that, out of office hours, they could search the records for the name of the registered owner of a vehicle or, if the vehicle was then registered elsewhere, which authority held the record. This task was frequently delegated to a cadet. George Hill was one of the first policemen at Hertford to buy a brand new car, a grey Vauxhall Victor, and he visited Motor Taxation to complete registration formalities. The lady knew George and told him that she had the ideal registration for him. In due course his car appeared at the police station with its new number: 999 KJH.