Traffic Admin 1961

1961: Traffic Admin: Peter May: (taken from Old and Bold) Eric Spurgeon was the shift sergeant in the Control Room when I was hauled in there as a young PC (with ex-cadet capabilities!) in the 1961-1962 period - just before I was posted to Oxted.

Ron Roffey was a Sergeant and occupied a chair in the top attic room at Mount Browne. I was called into service at HQ "T" Accident Department in mid 1960 having joined the cadets as Cadet No. 18 which number I took from John Hurst and whose job I had taken at Burpham Traffic Centre when John joined the regular Force in March 1960.

After three months, I was swapped with Paul Holt and was sent to HQ "T" Admin - Accident Department. Ron Roffey was the Sergeant (and a gentleman to boot) and that's when he, in charge of "T" Admin and Accident Deptartment, I believe, occupied that chair.

The others in the gang in the adjoining Accident Department were:

  • PC Stan Norton - a Guildford die-hard who constantly dropped fag-ash onto and into his typewriter and who enjoyed relating the story of the Spanish gentleman named Manuel Penis who he once had on the Aliens' books at Guildford;
  • PC Eric Skinner, father of Nigel Skinner tragically killed on his motor bike at Cranleigh;
  • Alec 'Swanny' Gilbert, an ex-RAF man who was recovering from a 'traffic department back'.

Incidentally, Alec Gilbert had been paired at Burpham with Doug Brazier and, can you imagine that, at a time when the Surrey Constabulary was trying out the Sunbeam Rapier as a traffic car, having to fit Gilbert and Brazier into that small vehicle? They must have been fifteen stone each!

Also in the Accident Department office was civilian clerk, Jenny Blackburn who inadvertently and innocently on one occasion was enquiring about soft-toy making and asked where she could go to get felt. Needless to say, Eric Skinner suggested the Mount Browne basement!

Also in the office when I was there in the 1960-61 period was Rosemary Boxall as a new employee! She had finished a sort of world tour and finished up locally needing a job. As a young person, I must say I did enjoy Rosemary's company and we had a mutual relationship, which proved of use in later years when I wanted something out of HQ!

Whilst I was stationed at Accident Department at this time, we had a visit from some statistical researchers from the Road Research Laboratory at Crowthorne, one of whom was Valerie Storey - a few months later tragically involved in the A6 murder of her lover, Gregson, which resulted in the execution of James Hanratty. I can still remember Valerie who spent several days poring over the accident registers, which I had so meticulously maintained.

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