'End of an era for city’s police force'

It was the end of an era for Preston's police force
It was the end of an era for Preston's police force
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On Friday, April 26, a final biennial meeting took place at the Lonsdale Club, Fulwood Hall Lane, Preston. It was a meeting of the remaining police members since the transition of the Preston Borough Police Force - on April 1, 1969 - into the Lancashire Constabulary force.

It was a memorable occasion, full of sentiment and sadness of course, remembering those who were no longer with us and who would have attended in the past.

The event was organised in the 1980s by three police members, Terry Martin, Secretary, Mel Johnson and Mick Hammond, without whom this biennial reunion would never have existed and for whom I give my personal thanks for all their dedication and hard work all these years.

A display of photos showed police who served from the 1880s onwards. There were also photos of officers representing Preston Police at sports events, such as cricket and football. Details of the history of the force, compiled by myself, was also on display.

The event was attended by approximately 50 members.

Naturally there was much to chatter about, as this was the final curtain for this reunion. A final speech by the oldest member attending, ex-inspector Russ Gorman, was well appreciated.

I myself only served in Preston Borough Force for five years - 1964 to 1969. I transferred from Manchester City Police Force to my home town of birth.

I have fond memories of the force and those I served with at that time. I worked in all sections of the Preston force.

Although it had only just under 200 officers when I arrived (it was a compact force), it always served the public well, especially in the centre of the then town.

It was very different to today when foot patrols are minimal in numbers.

The closing of police stations and the loss of 20,000 officers nationally, in the past six years, will prove to be a grave mistake and will have repercussions in the future.

Watch this space!

What does the public rate payers now see visibly as value for money?

Although Preston Borough had a lack of finances, it served the community to its best of its ability, every day generally.

J Siddall

Retired police officer