Tuesday, 23 March 2021

National Day of Reflection

Since the first lockdown began in 2020,  hundreds of thousands of people have died. 
Too many lives have been cut short and  millions have been bereaved. 
Behind the statistics and whatever the  cause, every death has been devastating  for the people left behind.
Many have been  unable to properly say goodbye to their  loved ones, comfort or even hug each other. 
As a nation, we need to acknowledge the  millions in silent pain.
So join us on 23rd  March, the first anniversary of the first UK  lockdown, for a National Day of Reflection. 
Let’s come together to reflect on our  collective loss, support those who’ve been  bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.
There are still tough times ahead, as the  death toll continues to rise.
So whatever  your background, whatever your beliefs, and  whatever you’ve been through, please join  us for our first National Day of Reflection. 
This annual day will give us all time to  pause and think about this unprecedented  loss we’re facing, and support each other  through grief in the years to come.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1108 Ian Derek Richardson

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1108 Ian Derek Richardson.
Ian died on the 5th March 2021 aged 70 Years.
Ian served with Durham Constabulary initially joining as a Police Cadet in 1965 and then worked across the Force in Jarrow, Newton Aycliffe, Traffic, Darlington and Barnard Castle prior to his retirement on 4th August 1996.
Ian was much loved and will be greatly missed by his wife Judith, two children and friends and family.
The funeral will take place on 16th March 2021 at Wear Valley Crematorium at 15.30hrs.
The service is limited to close family and friends but the Crematorium has advised you may stand outside as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.
Donations in lieu of flowers have been requested to Air Ambulance.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Policewomen Z Car drivers on 90 m.p.h. Motor Patrol Duty (December 1966)

PW’s Jean Peck & Liz Garry (Nickson) with Austin Mini Cooper S Patrol Car

This is the text from a press article dated 22nd December 1966 :

Four policewomen - one of them from Darlington - have just completed a four-week police driving course. And  now they have two months to prove the worth of women
on motor patrol duty.

Elizabeth Garry from Darlington, Stationed at Washington, Jean Peck, stationed at Peterlee, Valerie Welsh, stationed at West Hartlepool, and Mrs. Ann Laing, stationed| at Stockton, all drive the 90-mile|an hour police Mini Coopers.
The idea came from the Chief Constable for Durham County, Mr. Alec Muir. The head of the traffic department, Chief Supt. William Harper, said that if it is a success, |policewomen might be put on motor patrol duty permanently.
“There is a large percentage of woman drivers, and they may feel more at home talking to a police-woman,” he said.
All the girls could drive before they took the Police Course-it was intended to teach them how the experts cope.
They also learnt something of the mechanical side,
If the experiment works, they may go on to take an advanced course at the Sedgefield Motor School.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Death of Retired Police Staff: Elizabeth (Liz) Mitchinson

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired member of Police Staff, Elizabeth Mitchinson, who died in Darlington Memorial Hospital on 11th February 2021, aged 90 years.
Liz joined Durham County Constabulary in 1959 and worked at Bishop Auckland Police Station as a typist, with most of her service being involved in the preparation of files in its Court Office.  After 31 years dedicated service she retired in September 1990.
Her funeral is to take place at Wear Valley Crematorium, Coundon at 3.30pm Wednesday 24th February (Covid restrictions apply). Donations if desired to the Great North Air Ambulance charity.
Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Book of Condolence at Police HQ re Janet Williams

Regarding the death of Police Staff (7947), formerly retired Police Officer (PC 1754) Janet Williams, who sadly passed away on 8th February 2021. (See website entry of the 13th Feb)

Durham Constabulary has set up an internal book of condolence, which is not accessible to anyone outside of the force.  It is therefore requested that if anyone has any messages they would like to be added to the Book of Condolence, they be forwarded either directly to Welfare Department, Constabulary Headquarters, Aykley Heads, DURHAM DH1 5TT, or to our Branch Secretary, Stuart Ingram at durham@narpo.org

Please clearly mark the message, Ref: Janet Williams.

First girl police cadets with Supt. Finlay : March 1959

Back Row L to R : Supt. S.M. Finlay, Liz Garry, Sheila Colter, Kath Wood, Val Welsh. Front Row : Sue Tait & Eileen Jackson

Durham County Constabulary's first girl police cadets : March 1959

Picture shows The Chief Constable (Mr A.A. Muir) showing County Durham’s girl police cadets weapons from the force’s Black Museum.

The text below is from the newspaper article with the picture from March 1959

“Six girl police cadets, were the first in the Durham County Constabulary were on parade at the Aycliffe HQ yesterday to meet the Chief Constable (Mr A.A. Muir).
Most of them joined the force last month and they were wearing their new uniforms. These are the same as those of County Durham policewomen except the cadets have berets instead of hats.
Mr Muir joking about the smartness of the berets, said he would probably have to change the policewomen over to them as well. He did in fact have the Durham policewomens uniform changed to a more feminine style about six months ago. The tunic now has fewer pockets and no belt. Later white blouses may replace collars & ties.
The six cadets , all grammar school girls were chosen by Mr Muir and Miss S Finlay the policewoman Superintendant from about 40 applicants.
They are Eileen Jackson from Darlington who is stationed at the Aycliffe Headquarters, Susan Tait from gateshead stationed at Whickham, Elizabeth Garry at Darlington, Kathleen Wood from Wolsingham at Hartlepool, Sheila Colter at Consett and Valerie Welsh, still at school.
Kathleen Wood is 18 and the others 17. Sheila Colter is the daughter of a policeman, Insp. P.H. Colter of Consett
The girls have so far been doing clerical and recording work in the police offices, but later they will be going out with policewomen on visits and interviews. Kathleen Wood said she enjoyed every minute of it. Eillen Jackson said she had always wanted to join the police force since she was ten, anyway "I really like it"
Hitherto a girl wishing to join the police force in County Durham has had to wait until she was 20, and perhaps take another job in the meantime and at 20 the constabulary has been unable to recruit enough girls of the right type. The cadet scheme is intended to fill the gap.”

Police Mobile Column ?

Any information of this photo please email durhamnarpo@gmail.com

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Joseph Spencer and Harry Kirkup who were awarded the George Medal

Photo's of Joseph Spencer and Harry Kirkup who were awarded the George Medal. Text below from newspaper article.

4576 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 20TH JUNE 1961 : Awarded the George Medal:

PC Joseph SPENCER, Constable, Durham County Constabulary.
PC Henry Marshman KIRKUP, Constable, Durham County 'Constabulary.

Constables Spencer and Kirkup were on duty in a Police Patrol car when they received a radio message that three men using a motor
vehicle had. been disturbed while attempting to break and enter a Social Club.
At about 12.30 a.m. they saw the vehicle containing the three men. The officers gave chase and pursued the suspect car for a distance of about five miles at very fast speeds.
During the chase  twelve shots were fired at the Police car. The pursued car eventually crashed in a back street and the three men, each armed with rifles, got out and pointed their rifles towards the Police Officers whose car had drawn up behind. Undeterred, the Officers rushed forward to make an arrest.
A shot was fired directly at Kirkup  and the bullet passed through his uniform cap within two inches of his head. Another man fired at P.C. Spencer.
The 'Constables arrested one man on the spot. The other two men were arrested later.

Durham Police Cadets–Finlay House–March 1972

Photo of Durham Police Cadets, Finlay house from March 1972.

Cadet Commandant Hugh Blenkin (centre front) and the late Liz (Garry) & George Nickson who were tragically killed in a road accident in Scotland in July 1977

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 1754 Janet Williams

It is with deepest sadness that we advise colleagues of the death of Mrs Janet Williams (7947) who worked as Resolution Adviser in the Complaint and Internal Investigation Team within the Professional Standards Department.
Janet previously served with Durham Constabulary as a police officer (PC 1754) from May 15th 2000 and served at Peterlee, Seaham, and Durham City retiring September 14th 2015.
She returned to the force in February 2016 initially in Intelligence at Durham City before moving into Professional Standards Dept.
Janet died in hospital on February 8th.
Our thoughts are very much with Janet’s husband John, their wider family, friends, and colleagues at this sad time.

Further to previous messages regarding the loss of colleague and friend Janet Williams who died in hospital on 8th February 2021 funeral arrangements are now confirmed as follows:

A funeral service will be held at 2pm on Tuesday 2nd March 2021 at Sunderland Crematorium. Due to current restrictions only those invited by family are able to be present for the service.

Any sympathy cards or messages can be sent to John and family via Welfare @HQ.   Janet’s niece has also set up a Just Giving page where anyone who would like to make a donation in memory of Janet can contribute      https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KerryParkin1

Our thoughts remain with Janet’s family and friends during this sad time.

Monday, 8 February 2021


Due to the current restrictions, brought about by the Covid pandemic, our Annual General Meeting,
usually held in early January was unable to take place. As a result, we have sent out emails to our
entire membership for whom we hold addresses, with details of our Branch Officers, Committee and
vacant roles, together with a copy of the 2020 AGM minutes.
Copies of our annual accounts have not been generally circulated, but I can assure you that we are in
a sound financial position. Any queries regarding the 2020 minutes or accounts should be directed
to the Branch Secretary.
If you have any queries regarding these documents please contact our Branch Secretary at
Vacant Branch Positions are for an Assistant Secretary, Welfare Officer (1 nomination has been
received for this role) and 2 Committee Members.
The names of all Branch Officers and Committee can be viewed on page 4 of the Winter 2019 edition
of the Durham Peeler.
The current Officers and Committee, with the exception of Paddy Farrell (died 10 December 2020)
and Ches Brighouse (standing down), are willing to serve a further term.
The closing date for nominations for the vacant positions is Sunday 21 February 2021.
Hopefully all vacant positions will be filled and it is proposed that, subject to objection, all current
Officers and Committee will be re-elected en bloc.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Death of a retired Police Officer : 1685 John James Woodward

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : 1685 John James Woodward.
John died on 21st January 2021 after being ill for some time.
John James Woodward served Durham Constabulary prior to his retirement on 20th January 1989.
A private family Funeral will take place due to the current restrictions on 15th February 2021.
Our thoughts are with his partner Maureen at this sad time.

Death of retired Police Officer : PC Gordon Galley

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of retired Police Officer : PC Gordon Galley, who died on the 19th January 2021 aged 90 years.
Gordon was appointed on 5th July 1952 serving at HQ training, Darlington, Easington Colliery and Peterlee Traffic/Motor Patrols in 1957. He went on to the dog section initially at Chester-le-Street in 1961, then Darlington and from 1967 at Harperley Hall. In November 1979 he moved into the Control Room at Darlington then in 1980 he moved to Darlington Town Office before retiring on 4th July 1982.
Gordon was a much loved Father to Bryan and Jill. He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.
A private family funeral will take place due to the current restrictions.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.
Donations in lieu of flowers have been requested to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Any condolence cards are welcome and will be distributed to the family via Occupational Health at Headquarters (Please write on the envelope FAO The family of Gordon Galley)

Friday, 22 January 2021

Death of Police Widow : Joan Wood (Wife of the late Sgt 2312 John Wood)

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of Joan Wood, who died on the 31st December 2020, aged 72 years.  Mrs Wood is the wife of the late Sgt 2312 John Wood, who retired from the Custody Suite at Durham City Police Station in 1997.
A private funeral, due to current restrictions, took place at 11.00am Friday 22nd January 2021, at Durham Crematorium.
Mrs Wood is survived by her two daughters, Lindsay and Catherine and granddaughter, Cecilia and will be sadly missed.
Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
Donations in lieu of flowers has been requested to Age UK, County Durham.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Death of a retired Police Officer : Chief Inspector William Maurice Kennedy

It is with regret that we have too inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer : Chief Inspector William Maurice Kennedy, who died on the 3rd November 2020 aged 89 years.
Mr Kennedy joined Durham Constabulary on 30th August 1954, having spent 3 years serving in the RAF and having worked as an Apprentice Draughtsman.
From HQ training Mr Kennedy served at Stockton, Norton, Stockton CID, Stanley CID and HQ CID Northern Crime Squad.
Promoted to Sergeant in Sept 1967 he served at HQ CID Admin then at Crook CID for 5 years.
In July 1975 he was promoted to the rank of inspector and served in Control Room, Crime Prevention, Durham City where he was Deputy to the sub divisional Commander.
In Sept 1982 he was promoted to Chief Inspector and served as Deputy Sub Divisional Commander at Wear Valley, then as Chief Inspector (Admin) at Durham.
In January 1984 he joined Community Relations Branch until January 1985 when he transferred to Derwentside, he medically retired on 13th March 1985
William will be sadly missed by all his family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this sad time.
A private Funeral was held due to current restrictions.
Donations in lieu of flowers have been requested to Cancer Research.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Death of a retired Police Officer : Mr Arthur Newsome (Ex Durham)

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : Mr Arthur Newsome aged 83yrs, who died on 31st December 2020.
Arthur served in the Sunderland Borough, Durham and Northumbria Forces until his retirement in 1989. 
He retired to the Whitley Bay area of the north east.
Details were forwarded by the Sunderland NARPO Branch Secretary.

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