1956-60

1956: Denis Turner: As Surrey's knowledge and expertise grew so did their reputation, not only nationally but also internationally, and this resulted in Surrey officers travelling half way around the globe to set up a brand new Dog Section for the New Zealand Police Service. So it was that in September 1956, Sergeant Frank Riley of the Surrey Constabulary disembarked in New Zealand from the vessel Hinekura after making the long voyage from England.

New Zealand police dog

The New Zealand Prime Minister Sid Holland wanted to have a police dog section after he saw the Surrey Constabulary police dog school during a state visit to England. Sergeant Riley arrived with his fully trained police dog, Mount Browne Miska a nine-month old dog named Dante, bitches Karen and Silver and twelve two-month-old puppies born during the voyage.

Constable Colin Guppy, who handled Dante, joined Sergeant Riley to become New Zealand's first police dog handlers. A Dog Training Centre was set up in Trentham in conjunction with the Police Training School. The Training School moved to Porirua in 1981 but the dog training centre remains on the original site set up by Sergeant. Riley.

1956: Marilyn Monroe: My name is Michelle Morgan, and I am an author, currently writing an in-depth biography of Marilyn Monroe's life. In 1956, Miss Monroe travelled to the UK in order to make "The Prince and The Showgirl" with Laurence Olivier. During this time, Marilyn worked at Pinewood Studios and lived in Englefield Green, Surrey. During Marilyn's time in Surrey, she was protected by a variety of Surrey Police Officers, particularly one called Roger Hunt.

A90 police car prior to HM the Queen's visit to Guildford in 1956

1956: A90 prior to HM the Queen's visit to Guildford.

1957: Peter Bradley: When I joined the Surrey Constabulary in 1957, the sergeants had small Ford 10, black 'Butchers vans' to meet you on points etc, and to fly you around your unoccupied house list, after the Superintendent visited and found them not done to satisfaction!

The CID was using Ford Popular and, as far as I remember, at first there were no area cars. These were introduced later, and were allocated to the more senior men to man. They were Hillman Minx estate cars, and the radio was in the back, making a terrible noise. I remember one older PC telling me that they were so noisy, if you were parked up at night a whole regiment could march past and you would not hear them. Later we had the Hillman Husky and anybody could use those but I do not think they were on main scheme radio.

1957: Rent allowances increase:7 The Police Council concluded an important agreement on rent allowances. This recognised the position of owner-occupiers and introduced the system of assessments of rental values by the district valuer. The maximum limits were increased to forty two shillings and sixpence a week in the provinces and fifty two shillings and six pence in London.

1957, 22 October: Boxgrove School Guildford: The elderly caretaker Charles Barrett and his younger assistant were not good friends and they fell out over who should carry pupil' s bags at the start of term and get tips from the parents.

Early in the morning the matron at the school heard shouting and it was soon discovered that the caretaker had been injured in the cellar and the assistant William Dodds was seen to be breathless and bruised. Dodds said as he came to start work he passed a man on the stairs, who then ran off. He had heard shouts of "Help" and "Murder" as if someone was being belted. As he went to help Barrett, Dodds was attacked before the intruder ran off.

Police were soon there and an ambulance called to take the injured caretaker to hospital where he was found to be dead. DI Adams read the statement made by Dodds very carefully and decided to re-interview him, addressing the points head on.

Dodds eventually made another statement in which he said that Barrett was in a frightful temper and accused him of failing to do his job properly. Blows were exchanged and the level of violence increased until Barrett was fatally injured.

Dr Mant undertook the post-mortem finding blunt instrument injuries probably a torch and a spade. Dodds was found guilty of murder.8

1958: Lump sum pensions are introduced:9 Agreement was reached on a scheme for voluntary commutation of a portion of a police pension in exchange for a lump sum payable on retirement. Originally this was only for officers ‘in good health'.

1958: John Molyneux: I joined Surrey Constabulary in 1958, and one of the many conditions of service was that the promotion exam from PC to PS, in police subjects could not be taken with less than four years service. However, before this exam was taken, exams in educational subjects English, arithmetic, geography and general knowledge had to be passed.

There was no service limit on taking these. I took the exam in November, 1961, (I have still got the papers.) Whilst the promotion exams had a serious purpose, some of those who sat them did so each year, not expecting to pass but because it was a good day out away from normal duties.

The exams were held usually in Guildford Civic Hall, although it was sometimes held at Dorking Halls. Passing the exam did not guarantee promotion. It could be several years before being called before the Promotion Board.

1958: Traffic Department: Tony (Harold) May: I applied to join the Traffic Dept whilst I was still stationed at Chaldon police house in the old Caterham Sub-Division, part of Oxted Division. I was tested on an Austin A70 by the then police driving instructor ... more

Alec Storey

1958, 11 February: Pirbright: Alec Storey (a foster son originally Alec Taylor Lawrence) turned up on his motor bike at Knaphill office pulled a .22 pistol from his waist and said that he had shot his mother five times in the head.

He had borrowed the gun from a neighbour for target practice. He had accidentally fired the gun and his mother came to the bedroom to inspect the damage.

As she bent down to look at the damaged carpet Alex wrote in his statement: "She then got down on the floor to look at the bullet hole. While she was like that I pulled the trigger which resulted in her being hit on the head. I think she jerked forward straight away and fell flat on her tummy, with her head on its left side. I then aimed a second shot at her and emptied the magazine in her head."

Police went to the four hundred year old converted farmhouse on Pirbright Green and found the murdered woman and the lad was charged and appeared at the Old Bailey. He was expensively educated but Alec was an extremely disturbed young man who had been dug from a bombed building in London when very small and given over to adoption by a family struggling to make their way. He felt he did not belong to anybody or anywhere.10

Evidence was given by DS Henry Helsdon. He was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sentenced to three years.

Control room, March 1958

1958, March: Control Room.

1958, December: The murders of Martin and Stephen Bromley: Diana Bromley the wife of a senior civil servant murdered her two sons Martin aged thirteen and Stephen aged ten at their home Inval, Haslemere, firstly by giving them barbiturate tablets to make them sleep.

Diana made a bed up in the garage and reversed the car in. She then carried the boys down and lay them on the bed, turned on the car engine and lay beside them, determined that all three should die. After some time, and death not having overtaken them, the mother took a cloth belt and strangled Martin. Stephen was carried to the bathroom, filled the bath and drowned her second son. To make certain she then took a razor and slashed their throats.

Mrs Bromley then slashed her own throat, but not enough to die, so she tied a heavy object around her neck and jumped into the garden pond. It was not deep enough so she got out and walked back to the house where later that evening she was found in the garden by the gardener.

Neighbours were called but at first nothing was found until Diana was seen and a 999 call made. A local doctor came and treated Diana and certified the deaths of the two boys and she recovered enough to be charged with murder by DI Cornish. On remand she attempted suicide which caused a degree of brain damage and in time she was found unfit to plead.11

1950s, late: Guildford: Charlie Mitchell: Did you do your basic training at the old Guildford Police Station in Woodbridge Road? For those of us who did in the late fifties it must bring back many memories. Going on nights was an experience; ... more

1959, 22 January: Tony Keefe: Mike Hawthorn fatal: Road Traffic Accident Guildford By-pass, Thursday 22nd January 1959. We were only a few hundred yards away from the scene of the accident ... more

1959: The author has compiled a detailed report on the state of Surrey Constabulary from those serving in 1959 and is presented as separate document.

1950s: Fred Booker: Policing Surrey in the late 1950s: From October 1954 I was stationed at Godalming and worked the town area as a police constable. ... more

1957: Dog Section: Fred Booker: I joined the force in 1952 and after the necessary wait of 5 years on the beat I was welcomed at the kennels by Police Sergeant Darbyshire as an applicant for the position of dog handler. It was February 4th, 1957 and ... more

1959: Dog Section: Stan Wood: The Bob Ling years 1959 – 1966: On Harry Darbyshire's retirement in 1959, Bob Ling was promoted to Sergeant in charge of the Dog Section. ... more

1959, 17 February: Turkish airliner crash at Newdigate: Turk Hava Yollari (Turkish Airlines) was carrying a government party including Mr. Menderes the Prime Minister. He escaped only to be executed a few years later for treason. ... more

1959: Redhill: Jim Rankin: The police station was located in London Road I think a former Fire Station with Swimming Pool at the rear. The officer in charge was Inspector G Almond who used a Hillman car. The Sergeants were: 327 G Read, 286 G Keeping, 35 L Gay, 81 J Mahony; CID DC 87 Hughes and 564 Barratt their car was a Morris Minor. Motor cyclists used the Triumph Speed-twin: PC 425 House and 397 Robinson 7-3 pm 3-11 pm us.

Usually the more mature PCs were station officers: PC 191 Bland, 429 Hughes, 363 Bennett, and 372 Hoyle. There were about fifteen to twenty other PCs working 6-2, 2-10, 10-6 and daytime cover shifts, and most seemed to stay with one particular sergeant and station officer.

The Redhill town beat was No1 with telephone kiosks used for points with most officers using cycles. The Husky utility was usually deployed around the furthest points i.e. Merstham and would deal with minor accidents. PC 284 Ransom, a war reserve PC was often on J** Husky as was PC Hoyle. I assisted Station Officers; telephone switchboard operator; lost and found (huge hardback book).

1959: Mervyn Saunders: Assault on Weybridge Nick: In 1959 I was a seventeen-year-old cadet at Weybridge Police Station, then a divisional headquarters. My duties up to ... more

1959, Tuesday 4 August: (Dave Strudwick Scenes of Crime Officer) before the days of Scenes of Crime Officers a murder of an old lady in Oast House Road, Oxted ... more

Paddy Swain was involved in the investigations of the above case. The author [RB] has transcribed his notes on his police career and can be found by following this link.

1959: My childhood in Coldharbour: In July 1959, I was born at home, to Eric and Ann Shields in Coldharbour village. My father was the village policeman. We lived in what was then the police house, which was situated next to the village shop opposite the schoolhouse. All of these properties have now been turned into private homes, but in the scheme of things, the wonder of Coldharbour is how little it has changed in almost fifty years.

I have two older sisters Julia and Lynette. I think a third girl may have been something of a disappointment to my Dad who was secretly hoping for a boy to follow in his footsteps. In the fullness of time he was not disappointed; in 1972 he became a proud Dad for a fourth time, when my brother Barry was born and in 1980 just after Dad retired, I joined the Surrey Constabulary and served for seven years.

Due to my Dad's promotion, we moved from Coldharbour, it just happened that we moved out on my 6th Birthday. Living in the police house, my Dad was always on duty and would often get a knock on the door from lost walkers or other general enquiries.

In the cottage next door to us (the other side from the shop), lived Uncle Dick and Auntie Rose they were brother and sister and they became firm family friends. Sadly they have long since passed away.

Dick and Rose Sanders were a true inspiration; they worked tirelessly for the good of the village. They were choristers and bell-ringers at Christ Church, they arranged the flowers and kept the church clean, I can still see the image of Auntie Rose scrubbing the white altar steps and polishing the brass eagle lectern. They tended graves in the churchyard and Auntie Rose cleaned the school and wound the clock on the schoolhouse. They visited their elderly friends, (I particularly remember Mrs Baldwin in the cottage next to the old forge).

Uncle Dick kept a garden full of fabulous flowers (especially dahlias) and vegetables. My Dad also kept his garden well and grew flowers and vegetables. At one time we had two ducks in the garden, we called them Waddle and Toddle and had some fun and games when trying to get them into the pen at night to protect them from the foxes. One day, a farmer came and slaughtered them (or whatever farmers do) for us to eat them.

Thanks to my Dad's photos I can remember the winter of 1963 when there was heavy snow, which started on Boxing Day and lasted through to March. Coldharbour was virtually cut off to the outside world. My Dad was a carpenter by trade and made us a sledge and we went tobogganing on the field behind our house.

1959, March: A 28 year old man pleaded guilty at Surrey Assizes to breaking into Leatherhead Parish Church stealing money and maliciously wounding the vicar. He was sent to prison for four years. He was in the process of emptying the offertory box when surprised by the vicar who was hit on the side of the head with an axe and three more times on the hand when the vicar tried to stop him. As he ran off a member of the public detained him.14

1959: Cyril V. Hearn BEM: Nick Brent: I knew CV or Dickie Hearn as he was known to all his friends. I first came into contact with him when I was a boy cadet in 1959 stationed at Walton on Thames. He was on permanent station office duties and a more helpful, ... more

1960: Willink increases pay by up to 30%:15 The Royal Commission, led by Sir Henry Willink, recommended that the pay of a police constable should be increased by a maximum of 30%, bringing the pay of a PC with seventeen years' service to £970 a year. The recommendation was accepted by the Government, and similar increases were negotiated for ranks above constable.

1960, 10 July: PC 257 Frederick James Stevens aged forty three was fatally injured in a road accident when his police car overturned Broadford Road, Shalford.

1960s: Richard Bond: Dead Chinaman at Shottermill. There is a stream that runs down between Lion Lane and Weysprings. In the 60's a Chinaman was found blocking a culvert behind the children's play area. I do not believe anybody ever found out how he came to be there.

Graham Ingram: The Chinaman in Shottermill, small point from my wife, (lived in Haslemere then) she thought that it was a woman and an unsolved mystery.

1960s: Ray Harlow: Camberley safe blowers: Sergison, Unwin and Tomkins and Duncan were involved in safe blowing activities in the l960s in Surrey. ... more

1960, about: Richard Bond: In Horsell in about 1960 a man called Pike murdered a married woman who he regularly visited. I think by administering town gas as an 'aphrodisiac'.

Ray Harlow: The man in Woking was called Pike. He was the gasman who called upon houses and had more than one lady friend he visited whilst the man of the house was out. He used to excite them by getting them to sniff CTC [carbon tetrachloride] and putting it on their breasts.

He was a dangerous man. I seem to recall this was around the late 1950s very early 1960s. I was working in the process office in Woking at the time. I think I am right in saying that DI Roberts (not Tom) was the Officer in Case and DS Wally Simmons assisted but I may be wrong as it was a long time ago. Messrs Wontners and Sons would have been the solicitors involved for the Surrey Constabulary. Superintendent George Pentecost was the divisional superintendent at this time.

The methods used by Pike with CTC regarded as "sensitive" at that time and I am not aware whether this was ever published. I remember the DI's name was Lou Roberts and I didn't make it clear it was the effects of the CTC that killed the woman. I think Pike was convicted of manslaughter.

I may be wrong, but I seem to remember the Detective Superintendent at HQ Crime Bureau was involved, Superintendent Eric Boshier. Carbon tetrachloride gives you a high and apparently heightens the senses. A bit like glue sniffing I suppose but no personal experience!

Peter Bradley: I remember the incident of the woman found dead in Horsell. She was one of many seduced by a gas man, meter reader or whatever he was, who used to seduce his women customers by giving them a whiff of gas. Coal gas that is, not natural. Unfortunately for him and the woman, he gave her too much, and she died.

She was discovered I believe, lying on the sofa in her underwear. I have a feeling he used to take them up onto Horsell Common, and stake them out, and take photographs of them, leave them for some time, before returning to release them.

My only contact with him was after he was arrested and I was station officer, so had to visit him in cells. As I remember, he was a most unlikely looking Romeo, being short, fat, and bald, wearing thick specs.

David O'Connell: Wishing to foist his desires upon a lady he devised a method to overcome any resistance she might show. He had read that coal gas, the domestic gas of the day, if administered to the point of stupefaction acted as an aphrodisiac. He ran a pipe from the gas stove to the back of the lady in question with the idea of rendering her senseless and non resistant to his advances. Unfortunately he overdosed the poor lady and killed her.

He was charged and convicted of manslaughter. The News of the World of the day had a great time relaying the story in lurid detail.

1960s: John Molyneux: I seem to remember some when in the 1960s, a vanload of us was sent to a strike at Vickers at Weybridge. The anticipated violence did not happen.

 


7 http://www.polfed.org/aboutus/69DD9AB47F534348AD5D1415843163AA.asp [19 January 2010].

8 Maxton, Caroline (2005). Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Guildford, Wharncliffe Books, p. 164.

9 http://www.polfed.org/aboutus/69DD9AB47F534348AD5D1415843163AA.asp [19 January 2010].

10 Maxton, Caroline (2005). Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Guildford, Wharncliffe Books, p. 79.

11 Maxton, Caroline (2005). Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Guildford, Wharncliffe Books, p. 92.

14 Dorking Advertiser.

15 http://www.polfed.org/aboutus/69DD9AB47F534348AD5D1415843163AA.asp [19 January 2010].

 

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