Monday, 12 August 2013

Durham’s first Police Helicopter

The first Durham Constabulary Helicopter

The photo was apparently taken at Peebles Hydro…. Anybody have any more info on our first helicopter which was brought into service by the then Chief Constable Alec Muir ??

The helicopter is a Brantly B-2 operated by British Executive Air Services (BEAS). The call sign G-ARVY and was damaged beyond repair in an autorotative landing near Kidlington, Oxfordshire, on the 28th August 1964 and was subsequently broken up for spares.

If you have any info, please email :


Anonymous said...

I recall a photograph of ex Chief Inspector Jack Blair with a similar aircraft in a previous NARPO article.

Ken Thurlbeck said...

I believe the first helicopter taken into use by Durham was privately owned or leased to Alastair Craig, brother of actress Wendy and a former schoolfriend of mine, who owned a local haulage company. I think it too was a Brantly and taken into use in late 1962. The original Brantly was replaced with a similar machine, possibly the one shown in the photo, which I know was damaged beyond repair in August 1964

I was attached to Communications Department at Force Headquarters from late 1962 to late 1963, albeit in a lowly clerical capacity and washer of the departmental transport, but was aware of the work of other members of that Department in providing ground to air communications,

The late Jack Blair was actively involved in flying as observer in the helicopter but I think that in the early stages Alf Charlton was also involved. Perhaps his powers of recall are better than mine and he could throw some light on the subject.

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