Wednesday 29 March 2023

Death of a Retired Police Officer: PC 1414 Eric Findlay Strachan

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer, PC 1414 Eric Findlay Strachan of Chester-le-Street, who died at his home on Monday 13th March 2023, aged 78 years.

Eric was appointed to the Metropolitan Police Force on 13th January 1964, serving at Kennington / Oval ‘L’ Division; after transferring to Durham Constabulary in 1974 he served predominantly at Chester-le-Street, the Peterlee, ending his service at Durham City Police Office.  Eric received his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, but was sadly medically retired in 1987.

His photograph depicts him, in ceremonial uniform in 1965, in preparation for the State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill.

He is survived by sons, Allister and Stuart; Eric’s wife, Audrey died in 2014.

A funeral service is to be held at 2.00pm Monday 3rd April 2023, at Durham Crematorium, South Road, Durham DH1 3TQ.

Family flowers only, any donations in lieu to the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Following the funeral, friends and colleagues are invited to join the family at Chester-le-Street Cricket Club, Ropery Lane, Chester-le-Street DH3 3PF.

Our thoughts are with Eric’s family and friends at this sad time.

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Death of retired Police Staff: Harold Cairns

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of retired Police Staff, Harold Cairns of Cassop, who died on Sunday 5th March 2023, his 71st birthday, in University Hospital North Durham.

He started work with Durham County Constabulary on 26th January 1972 as a Dispatcher in force control room, remaining in that post up until his retirement on 28th January 2011.  He was very proud of his service with Durham Constabulary.

Harold’s wife, Vera, predeceased him in 2018.  He is survived by brothers, Thomas, Ian, Stephen and Darren, his nieces Amanda and Melanie and their respective children, Kieran and Conner; Aurora, Aryanna and Alexander as well as many other nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews.  He is described by his family as being a ‘fun uncle’ and role model, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and this ethos has permeated down through the family.  His amazing presence will be a great miss to them all, and especially great nephew Kieran, who spent most of his time with him.

Harold’s funeral service will be held at 2.30pm on Friday 17th March 2023 at Durham Crematorium, South Road, Durham DH1 3TQ

Following the service, friends are welcome to meet up with the family at Bowburn Hall Hotel, Bowburn, Durham DH6 5NH

Family flowers only please, any donations in lieu to the Great North Air Ambulance.

Our thoughts are with Harold’s family and friends at this sad time

Monday 13 March 2023

Darlington Sub-Division Pensioners Night 2023

 “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SOIREE”  Darlington Sub-Division Pensioners Night

Following on from last year’s success, we are delighted to announce another Pensioners Night.

It will take place at Darlington Cricket Club, Feethams, commencing at 7.30pm on Thursday, 11th May, 2023.

The evening is open to all retired Police and Support Staff who served or worked in the sub-division. There will a free drink on arrival and pies and peas will be served later in the evening. Plus, a raffle with some wonderful prizes.

We hope you will contribute as this will help finance future reunions.

To assist with catering, will you kindly reply to Paul Murphy, either by SMS to 07968 246286, or email to and state whether you will/will not be attending.

If you can think of anyone else who may not receive this, then please pass on the message.

Unfortunately, we will be unable to provide transport.

We look forward to welcoming you on the 11th May.

Signed: The Committee

Sean Jackson, Fred Wood, Malcolm Lear, Alec Francis and Paul Murphy

Friday 10 March 2023

Death of Retired Police Officer’s Wife: Beaty Bainbridge

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Beaty Bainbridge of Chester-le-Street, who died on Monday 27th February 2023, aged 74 years.  

Beaty was the wife of retired Police Constable 328 Allan Bainbridge who served with Durham Constabulary between 1974 and 2000, latterly with the Accident Investigation Unit.

After leaving school Beaty worked as a shop assistant and also as a Health & Safety Officer.  She was an accomplished seamstress and owned her own business.  Serving as a councillor for Chester-le-Street (East Ward) for some 15 years, in May 2022, she was also elected as Chair of Durham County Council.

She is survived by husband Allan, son Michael, his partner Amanda and their children, Craig, Ben, Thomas and Sam, daughter Debbie, her partner Derek, grandchildren, Laura and Rachel, and great grandchildren Jack and Liam.

A funeral service is to be held at 10.30am Tuesday 21st March 2023 at St Mary and St Cuthbert’s Church, Church Chare, Chester-le-Street DH3 3QB

As Chair of Durham County Council Beaty supported two charities and donations in lieu of flowers are requested to be directed to: Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Haswell and District Mencap.

Our thoughts are with Allan and Beaty’s family and friends at this sad time.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Hardwick Camp Cadet Reunion: Change of date

The Hardwick Camp cadet reunion initially posted for Saturday 8th July 2023 has now had to be changed to the Saturday following, the 15th July after notice was received from Dawn Wright Secretary of Sedgefield Cricket Club informing that the date had been doubled booked and was no longer available

If anyone wants further details or is unable to attend the revised date please contact George Storey via email, 

Next meeting of the Durham Branch of NARPO

The next meeting of the Durham Branch of NARPO is as follows :

Monday 13th March 2023 19:30 hours

The meeting will be held at Spennymoor Masonic Hall, Dundas Street, Spennymoor.

In order to assist with catering at the meeting, would anyone intending to attend please contact either : 
Stuart Ingram  : 
Ray Jones :

The next three meetings are due to be held at Bishop Auckland Hospital Club on:
Thursday 11 th May, Thursday 13 th July and Thursday 14 th September 2023 all at 19.30 hours.

Death of Police Widow: Audrey Muriel Stratford

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Police Widow Audrey Muriel Stratford of Chester-le-Street, who died on Thursday 5th January 2023, aged 90 years.

Audrey was the wife of the late Sergeant Joseph Edward (Ted) Stratford, who died in 1998 and served at Chester-le-Street.

Audrey was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and attended Canning Street School, upon leaving she worked at Books Fashions in Newcastle.  She met Ted, originally from Halifax, at Oxford Galleries Dance Hall and they married in 1951.  They had four children and lived in Chester-le-Street before moving to Durham in the 1970’s. 

Whilst Audrey spent much of her time at home looking after their children and later their grandchildren, she worked in the Civil Service for a time and volunteered with the WRVS at Durham Hospital Tea Bar.

She is survived by her daughters, Josephine and Catherine, sons, Stephen and Philip, 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren

A family funeral service took place on Wednesday 1st February 2023 at Durham Crematorium.

Our thoughts are with Audrey’s family and friends at this sad time.

Death of a retired Police Officer: PC 1271 John Robson

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer: PC 1271 John Robson of Peterlee, who died in Sunderland Royal Hospital on Thursday 23rd February 2023, aged 81 years.

John joined Northumbria Police in 1969 and stationed at Sunderland.  Following amalgamation, he transferred to Durham County Constabulary covering mainly Peterlee and Horden before retiring in 1993.

He is survived by sons Ian and his wife Julie, Jonathan and his wife Leigh and David. Grandchildren Chloe, Matthew, Ethan, Holly, Caitlyn and Camryn and great grandchildren Aurora, Lennon and Freya.

A funeral service will take place at 10.30am Thursday 16th March 2023 at Durham Crematorium, South Road, Durham DH1 3TQ.

Any donations to the British Heart Foundation.

Following the funeral friends and colleagues are invited to Castle Eden Cricket Club.

Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this sad time.

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