Monday 24 November 2014

Explosives Handling Course, Catterick Camp 1960’s

Explosive Handling Course 1960's

Many Thanks to Steve Hodgson for supplying this picture of an Explosives Handling Course, at Catterick Camp in the 1960’s.

Officers from the Special Incident Squad & H.Q. CID attended

Back row: Lawrie Hodgson, Brian McDonnagh , Paddy Farrell, Maurice Soady, Dennis Cullen,
Army Major running the course, Jim Strachan, Harry Scott, Stan Davison
Front row : Army Sgt, Steve Coxon, Gordon Bacon, John Glendenning, Stan ?, Army Sgt, Bernie Price.

Inter Services Post Joint Operations

RAF Air Sea Rescue

Many thanks to Norman Davison for this photo from an Inter Services Post Joint Operation, which was an emergency dialysis cabin lift at Annfield Plain, Catchgate area to Hare Low, Birtley.

Pictured are : Traffic North Officers: Peter Thomas, Ken Bailey, Bill Newby, Norman Davison, Brian Jones,
pilot & co. pilot. R.A.F. Air/ Sea Rescue

Can anyone identify the Traffic Officer far right ? (Many Thanks to Frank Hewison, for identifying Brian Jones)

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Paws Up Christmas Cards are now available…

PawsUp Xmas Card-1Paws Up (The Durham Police Dogs Benevolent Fund) are delighted to announce their first ever production of a festive greetings card.

These are now available to order on line at the Paws Up shop.
Just click on the image to be taken to the merchandise page at
As ever, all proceeds are to help our retired four legged colleagues.

Please note that this is ONE card only ...
It is reversible, with an image on both sides and designed to appeal to people of all ages !

One side shows our very own drugs detection dog -
Police Dog 'Dexter' posing amongst presents with Paws Up mascot 'Bob'.
On the reverse is a lovely festive image of 'Bob' only.

The cards are A6 in size and come with an envelope.
Full colour, printed on 300 Gsm card and left blank inside for your own message. 

For mail order / on line sales, we are selling these exclusive cards in packs of 10 for only £5 - including P&P.

They have a limited production of 1,000 cards available.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Support our local retired Police Dogs : Paws Up Calendar 2015

Paws UpThe ‘Paws Up’ team have been busy preparing the 2015 calendar and it is now available by


The calendar costs £8 including post and packaging and has some fabulous pictures of our local Police Dogs.

Get yourself a great calendar and you will also be helping to support these dogs after their working lives are over

Thursday 13 November 2014

Life Should Mean Life–Sign the E-Petition

Harry RobertsPC Geoffrey Fox, Det Con David Wombwell and Sgt Christopher Head were murdered in 1966

The recent announcement of the parole board that Harry Roberts, who was found guilty of the murder of three police officers, was to be recommended for release has prompted an e-petition calling for a  Compulsory Life Tariff for Murder of the Police.

To sign the petition use the link below :

Click Here to View/Sign E-Petition

The President of NARPO Ian Potter has described the release of the notorious police killer Harry Roberts, who was jailed for life for murdering three unarmed officers in Shepherd's Bush, West London, in 1966 as ‘a disgrace and an insult to the families of the victims and yet another demonstration of how this Government have scant regard for policing in this country.’ Roberts was released from Prison on Tuesday(11/11/2014) despite opposition from various police bodies including the Police Federation. Ian Potter said ‘ A large number of our members will have been serving at the time of this heinous crime, which at the time sent shock waves through the Police Service owing to the nature of this callous and cold blooded murder of three unarmed Police Officers carrying out the job they loved. This man should never have been considered for release and should have remained incarcerated for the rest of his life for committing this cowardly act, which was an offence against both the victims and the nation as a whole. We wholeheartedly agree with the comments made by the Police Federation amongst others and our thoughts are with the victims’ families and our NARPO colleagues who served with the victims at the time of their deaths. I now call upon this Government to urgently introduce legislation that ensures life means an ‘entire life sentence’ for the killers of police officers.’

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Is this how we start a Steel Band ?

1970 Durham City Magistrates

This photo was taken outside of Durham City Magistrates Court in 1970 and taken from the Northern Echo.

If I remember correctly,  Clishy “Hendo, is this how we start a Steel Band?”

(The real story was that these items were recovered from the main Durham to London railway line by Tom Clish… disaster averted and a commendation for Tom)

In pic left to right, Jeff Wittingham? Tom Clish, Peter McNulty and John Henderson.

Many Thanks to John Henderson for sending in the photo.

PS. Tunic’s and ‘Bulled’ boots – Those were the days Smile

Monday 10 November 2014

THINK! Don’t Drink Drive 50th Anniversary Advert

The 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th month

Flanders FieldRemembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day.

It was first observed in 1919, however until 1945 it was called Armistice Day. Traditionally there is two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month because that was the time (in Britain) when the armistice became effective in 1918.
Today, in the UK Remembrance Sunday is also observed on the Sunday nearest to November 11th. So, in the United Kingdom, two minutes' silence is observed on November 11 itself, and on the second Sunday of November. Remembrance Sunday, ceremonies are held at War Memorials, all over the UK and over the years it has become a day to commemorate not just the sacrifice of servicemen and women but the suffering of civilians in times of war.

Remembrance Sunday is commemorated by church services around the UK and a parade of ex-service personnel in London’s Whitehall. Wreaths of poppies are placed on war memorials from the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, to the tiniest war memorials in villages all over Britain. Small wooden crosses are placed in Gardens of Remembrance as private acts of remembering individual losses and suffering and people pin poppies to their coat or jacket.

History states that it was the poem 'In Flanders Fields' written in 1915 by Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian Medical Officer, that captured the imagination of the British people in the dark days of trench warfare on the Western Front when so many young soldiers failed to return. Six months before the Armistice, McCrae was brought on a stretcher to a big hospital on the French coast and saw the cliffs of Dover from his room. He died that night and was buried in a cemetery above Wimereux. Before he died, he said to the doctor: "Tell them this . . . If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep." An American woman, Miss Moina Michael, wrote a moving poem in reply and bought 25 red poppies, wearing one herself as a way to keep faith with the war dead; a French woman, Madame Guerin, came up with the practical idea of making and selling artificial poppies to help ex-service men and their dependents in need.

Britain's first Poppy Day was held in 1921 and the money raised helped children in war-devastated areas. The Royal British Legion opened its own poppy factory in London in 1922 to give practical help in time of need to all who have served in the armed forces and their widows and dependents. The paper poppies that are worn today are made by ex-service personnel and are sold by representatives of the Royal British Legion, an organisation of ex-servicemen and women. Today, they make more than 35 million poppies and 65,000 wreaths for the annual poppy appeal. Poppies grew in great abundance in the shell-torn fields of Flanders during the War. Because of its abundance it became the symbol of remembrance of two world wars.

Newly Promoted Inspectors Course. 1979

Newly Promoted Inspectors Course. 1979<br />

Newly Promoted Inspectors Course. 1979
Joe Alderson, Tom Soulsby (Northumbria), Matt Longstaff, John Bell (Northumbria), Lloyd Luke, Barrie Bell (Northumbria), Terry Stonehouse? (Cleveland)
Alan Craig (N.Yorks), Norman Davison, John Burke (Cleveland), Alan Campbell ( Director of Studies),
Ronnie Haine (Northumbria Instructor), Angela Shaw (North Yorks) Jim Strachan

Many Thanks to Norman Davison for the photo

The new Durham Constabulary Headquarters

HQ HQ inside

Durham Constabulary has recently taken ownership of a state of the art new Headquarters facility, designed to provide everything needed for the challenges of modern-day policing.
It replaces the old building, which was constructed in the 1960s and was no longer fit for purpose.

The new-build, which staff moved into during August and September, is positioned opposite the old base at Aykley
Heads,Durham. It houses call handlers and dispatchers, as well as other central services including the force’s
executive team, and the finance, human resources, criminal justice, intelligence and information technology
departments.There is also an office for Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg.
Chief Constable Mike Barton said:“A few years back we took a look at our existing headquarters, the on-going
maintenance cost for a building that was becoming a bit of a money pit, and the feasibility of maintaining it longer
term, and deciding it was time to do something about it.
“The build of the new headquarters along with the on-going developments across our estates were essential for us to police effectively in the 21st century”.
“We now have around 600 people housed under one roof, and have moved a selection of other departments out to other locations in order to streamline operations.
“Our old facility was out dated and had become a drain on resources, costing far too much of our budget each year to
maintain. The gas bill is 0% and the electricity is 6% of the former HQ. All these savings mean £750k per annum -
which pays for 17 police officers.We took the decision to invest in our future and develop a purpose-built central hub.
We’ve been able to deliver this project on time and within budget due to the commitment of our small estates team,
who have worked tirelessly over the past few years to make this happen.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg said: “I am delighted that we have taken ownership of a new headquarters
building that is constructed to an extremely high standard, and is designed to last 60 years”.
“Durham Constabulary headquarters staff now operate in an open-plan work environment,which lends itself to
smarter team working between separate departments. I firmly believe that this can only make the service we offer the
people of County Durham and Darlington even better.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the development of the new build and for their on-going
commitment to improving the estates facilities across the organisation. It’s also important to note that we own the
buildings – they are not PFI contracts which are now proving very expensive to maintain”.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 1187 George Edward Atkinson

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer :  PC 1187 George Edward Atkinson, of Howden le Wear, who died on October 31st aged 74yrs, .
PC Atkinson was appointed by West Riding Constabulary on the 14th September 1959.
He transferred to Durham on the 30th September 1965, where he served until he was medically retired on the 28th February 1985.
He leaves a wife  Betty, daughter Gillian & sons Andrew and Christophe.
The funeral service will take place on Friday, 7th November 2014, at 10.45am in the Howden Le Wear Methodist Church, followed by Cremation in the Wear Valley Crematorium. Family flowers only, donations in memory may be left at the church for Church Funds. The service is not private.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

Monday 3 November 2014

Latest edition of the Durham Peeler now online

Durham Peeler - Winter 2014NARPO chairman Alan Watson has been burning the candle at both ends to once again to produce the Winter 2014 edition of the Durham Peeler.

Please CLICK HERE or on the image to view the magazine

To ‘catch up’ on previous editions of the Durham Peeler visit the website at :

Police Federation Magazine for October is now online

October 2014Police Federation Magazine for October is now online on the website.
To view the magazine please click HERE and then click on the individual thumbnail image on the page

Sunday 2 November 2014

Death of a retired Police Officer : Inspector Ronald Bell (Ex Durham & Northumbria)

Ron Bell 2

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer : Inspector Ronald Bell (Ex Durham & Northumbria) who died on Monday 27th October 2014, aged 89yrs.
Mr Bell joined Durham County Constabulary on the 22nd May 1948 and served at Horden,Stockton,Billingham,Port Clarence & Billingham Crime Cars.
He was seconded to British Police Cyprus between August 1958 and February 1959 and on return was promoted Sergeant at Darlington in 1960, also serving at Seaham and Easington before being promoted to Inspector in October 1967 and was transferred to Sunderland where he served until he retired in September 1976 (Northumbria after amalgamation in 1974)
He was a Founder member of the Durham County Constabulary Male Voice Choir in 1948 and sang until May 2014 a total of 66 years
He is survived by his son John, a former Durham Police Officer (PC 494) and partner Dorothy.
The funeral will be held at  Ewesley Road, Methodist Church Sunderland SR4 7RJ at 12.45pm Friday 7th November 2014, followed by cremation at Sunderland Crematorium  SR4 7RS 1.30 pm.
There will be a buffet at the Rosedene, Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland SR2 9BT after and all friends are invited
Any donations to the British Heart Foundation
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time
Picture below shows Ron in his Billingham Car Crime days....


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