Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Four Wigan Borough Police Ladies of the fifties, early sixti


Four admirable Wigan Borough Police ladies.
Photo: Albert.S. (Also must respect Laura Amy Holt & Susan Heyes)
Views: 1,686
Item #: 33203
1950/60s when their male counterparts exceeded their numbers. Not so in these modern times. I served with these ladies. ‘The Salt of the Earth.’ Amy Holt. Alice Jewel (The sergeant) I believe the one to left is Ivy?. The one on the right. I have forgotten her name. Such a long time ago. Sixty years.

Comment by: Mick LD on 11th July 2021 at 16:58

Albert - the officer on the left is Ivy Brooks (nee Russell). She married Joe Brooks.
Ivy was Inspector at Pemberton in the late 1970s for a spell. A real lady, and a good 'boss'.
I remember Amy well, although she retired a couple of years before I joined.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 11th July 2021 at 16:59

Great photo You will never see policewomen like that again These days they look like school girls.. What use are they?

Comment by: Veronica on 11th July 2021 at 18:40

This is a good one. Also good to see outside the polic station. I wonder what happened to the blue lamp.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 11th July 2021 at 18:57

MICK L D. I visited Amy three or four months prior to her passing away. She was residing in a nursing home in Ormskirk Road, Pemberton. I also attended her funeral.

Comment by: Cyril on 11th July 2021 at 19:57

have you ever watched those Police Interceptors programmes Ron, the young police women shown give back as good as they get and don't take any nonsense from those who think they are a pushover.

Comment by: irene roberts on 12th July 2021 at 09:04

As Ron says, the young policewomen these days look like schoolgirls but I think it is because we are all getting older! I went to Ireland for my 50th birthday and had to ask a policeman where the Molly Malone statue was, and even then, (nearly 19 years ago), I remarked to Peter that he looked like a schoolboy! I agree with Cyril about the young policewomen on Police Interceptors.

Comment by: Veronica on 12th July 2021 at 09:51

There was a series on TV some while back about the early police women. I think it was called PC49. It was on mainly in the afternoon. I would love to watch the series again. There was a lot of issues about what the women had to put up with from some of the disdainful male colleagues. Just the fact that women were allowed in the Police Force. They were ok to brew up, look after children and women's problems at the station etc.... ! They were proved otherwise however.... :o)

Comment by: Albert.S. on 12th July 2021 at 10:04

The building shown in the background would have been one of the public houses, on the corner of Chapel Lane.

Comment by: Edna on 12th July 2021 at 10:25

I remember Amy, she was a lovely lady.

Comment by: Peter on 12th July 2021 at 10:36

Darby Arms chapel on in background

Comment by: Albert.S. on 12th July 2021 at 10:48

Mick.L.D. Mick.When they posted me up to Pemberton Sub Div, at the end of 1962. Inspector Henshall was the one I/C.
Was the pub I mentioned, the Derby Arms?.

Comment by: Carolean. on 12th July 2021 at 11:03

Veronica. The programme was called WPC 56 on BBC at 1.45. There were 3 series understood they were. They are available on DVD as a full set (we have them) and are repeated on the Drama Channel. I believe the are also available on Britbox.

Comment by: Veronica on 12th July 2021 at 11:19

Thank you Carolean, I don't know where PC 49 came from! Must be Dixon of Dock Green!? They started getting some respect when they were used as Nightclub 'fodder' to trap criminals! Don't know whether that goes on these days. I really enjoyed the series. Mainly because it was set in the fifties I think. They scrubbed up well in their evening dress after wearing the uniform which wasn't very attractive in those days.;o))

Comment by: Mick LD on 12th July 2021 at 11:27

Albert - yes, the Derby Arms.
Insp Henshall was before my time, but I remember the ex Borough men I worked with at Pemberton mentioning him.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 12th July 2021 at 12:20

I recollect many years ago, at a police station where I was stationed. They were using the area for a police series. I was the station sergeant, and a female came and stood in front of me. She had loads of make up on. She asked. “ Can I use your toilet?.” I said. “ Are you acting as a scrubber?.” “No, I am the make up technician”. “ Yes you can use the toilet.”

Comment by: Jack on 12th July 2021 at 12:45

Veronica. PC49 was a radio series in the 50s played by Brian Reece.

Comment by: Veronica on 12th July 2021 at 13:07

I must have heard it then Jack but I can't rememember listening to it! Either I was 'playing out' or the wireless wasn't working at the time due to the 'battery' needing replacing. Happy days! Thanks for that anyway.

Comment by: Carolaen on 12th July 2021 at 13:47

Veronica. Just watching BBC 1 lunchtime news and discovered they are repeating WPC56 from today at 1.45 from the beginning.

Comment by: Veronica on 12th July 2021 at 13:52

How strange PC 56 is on the telly now! I'm just going to watch it ... what a coincidence !

Comment by: Albert.S.m on 12th July 2021 at 14:05

MICK.L.D. Mick. Can you furnish a name to the pretty young lady on the right?. It isn’t Kitty Holden, is it.?.

Comment by: Margaret on 12th July 2021 at 14:17

The lady in the middle is Alice Jewell, she was born and brought up in Golborne, she was a one of the best, a wonderful lady.

Comment by: Mick LD on 12th July 2021 at 14:18

Veronica - there was also a PC 49 comic strip, and PC 49 annuals, in the 1950s.
As a result, the term PC 49 got used jokingly to refer to bobbies on the beat.

Comment by: Mick LD on 12th July 2021 at 15:06

Albert - I've just had a look at the photos in James Fairhurst's history of the Borough force, and the fourth officer seems to bear a resemblance to Dorothy Lavery.
Can't be sure though.

Comment by: Veronica on 12th July 2021 at 15:41

I knew I had heard it somewhere Mick LD...I still can't remember where though!

Comment by: Albert.S. on 12th July 2021 at 17:38

Thank you Mick.L.D. The three I definitely remember. Cannot remember Dorothy Lavery. She may have arrived after I moved to Pemberton.

Comment by: Aubrey on 13th July 2021 at 10:04

The lady on the right could well be Dorothy Lavery, but she had left Wigan before I joined in 1960. There was another police lady that had left just before I joined, but I cannot remember her name.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 13th July 2021 at 10:57

Aubrey. There was Christine. She married Insp. Basil?. Shortly before he retired. They took a post office in Wales. He retired about the time that I went to Kent. Veronica and I met them, at a service area, on the motorway. We were going back to Kent, they were going back to Wales. There was another police lady. A short name, an unusual name, somewhat like Amy, or Ivy, but I can’t bring it to mind. I must have known Dorothy Lavery, but I just can’t bring her to mind. Margret Higham was in Wigan Borough Police. She went into the Lancashire Constabulary, on promotion to sergeant.

Comment by: Maureen on 13th July 2021 at 12:57

All through my Schooldays I wanted to be a poilcewoman,the bobby that took us across the road coming home from School used to say "Don't forget where you're going when you leave School".I met him years later and asked why I hadn't applied..but of course children came early so that was that..I would have loved to join the Police Force.
Re 'Big Amy' she was a lovely lady..when she was on the bus she was forever giving up her seat when the bus got full..even helping old ladies off at the bus stop even though she'd been long retired herself..I don't think I ever saw her in her seat for more than five minutes...that is a lovely photo Albert of three very proud looking ladies.

Comment by: Maureen on 13th July 2021 at 13:26

I apologise..I should have said four very proud ladies.

Comment by: Veronica on 13th July 2021 at 16:51

Yes you would have had to be quite tall in those days Maureen. That rule seems to have been relaxed, I've seen young girls not much taller than me and I'm only 5ft nothing.

Comment by: Maureen on 13th July 2021 at 18:59

Yes Veronica,I used to be 5'ft 6,but due to a collapsed disc I'm now only 5'ft 2 believe it or of my nephews is in the police force and when we went to his wedding there was plenty of Police women there,and honestly they all looked like dolly birds and were only as tall as me.

Comment by: Maureen on 13th July 2021 at 21:13

I apologise..I should have said four very proud ladies.

Comment by: Linma on 14th July 2021 at 06:27

My sons ex partner is a serving police officer and believe you me you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of that one.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 14th July 2021 at 08:57

I now remember the Inspector that married the police lady Christine. His name is/was. Basil Whittaker.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 14th July 2021 at 09:11

Basil Whittaker had a role to play in the prosecution tribunal relating to the Nazi war criminals, at the Nuremberg trials.

Comment by: DerekB on 18th July 2021 at 12:03

My father was in the Wigan Bprough Police Force. When I was about eight years old he had taken me into Wigan while off duty. I needed the loo and was taken to a gents down an alley off Standishgate somewhere near what was then Mark Williams. I was too young to know what was going on but my dad found it necessary to arrest a man who was already in there. All three of us were taken to Wigan Borough police station in a Black Maria where I was introduced to and left in the care of Big Amy. I fell in love with her immediately and stayed that way into adolescence. Over the years whenever I saw her, on or off duty, I was taken back to being eight years old again. A truly lovely lady.

Comment by: Albert .S on 18th July 2021 at 13:12

Mick.L.D. Was the one that had a short Christian name. Ina Duxbury?.

Comment by: Mick LD on 18th July 2021 at 15:05

There was an Ina Duxbury, Albert.
She appears in this photo, standing third from right.

Comment by: Albert. S. on 18th July 2021 at 16:09

I must have served with your dad Derek.B. Unless he had retired earlier in the fifties, prior to me joining.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 18th July 2021 at 16:20

Thank you Mick.L.D. I found the photograph under the police section.

Comment by: DerekB on 18th July 2021 at 16:53

Albert.S. It is a long time ago but we discussed you perhaps knowing my dad and discovered that you both did serve at some time together , though he would have been considerably older than you. His name was Thomas Bond, more commonly know as 'Tommy'
and he was one of the bobbies working the Beech Hill, Springfield and Gidlow beat.

Comment by: Veronica on 18th July 2021 at 17:14

That's a lovely story and memory Derek B. Perhaps Police women weren't as 'scary' to a child. That's not to say policemen weren't kind though. There was always a slight threat about police men as in saying " T' Bobby's coming!" But it was always true when older people used to say " if you get lost ask a police man"...

Comment by: Albert.S. on 19th July 2021 at 09:43

Derek. B. Your Dad Derek retired prior to me joining. Nothing but affectionate, and numerous good tales relating to him. I would have enjoyed the privilege of working with him. In the first place, was he a police war reserve?. There was another officer that had been, in the first place, a war reserve. He worked permanently in the front office, Danny Lowe. He was a rum old stick. He had the habit, when he wanted to knock the ash off the end of his cig, he would knock on his forearm.

Comment by: DerekB on 19th July 2021 at 10:34

Thanks Albert.S, for your comments. He did start out his time with the police as a war reserve and he and Danny Lowe were great friends.

Comment by: Joe Maplin on 19th July 2021 at 12:54

Amy used to call in at Wigan Exchange for a brew with the doorman,Dick Passat,Who I believe was another ex copper.
Think she was summat to do with traffic at that time.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 19th July 2021 at 14:55

Derek B . In Danny’s capacity as the reserve man, he would make sure the giant kettle, on a lever, in the fire place, in the parade room was filled, and boiling for the troops when they came in for their refreshment break. He would also put pies in the oven, from the refreshment boxes of individual officers. One time, a long in the tooth P.C. his wife had packed him a lovely apple&black currant pie. Sparks flew, when this P.C. came in for his break. Danny had put it into the oven, thinking it was a meat&potato pie.

Comment by: Mick LD on 20th July 2021 at 10:34

Albert - I remember being told a similar story about Newtown police office.
An officer brought a dinner to work in an enamel dish.
When he came in for his break, he found that Horace Staniforth was covering station duty, had failed to put it in the oven for him, to warm up.
He complained at length to Horace, and wouldn't let the matter drop.
The next time he brought a meal into work, he came in for his break, and found Horace had warmed it up for him in the oven.
Unfortunately it was a salad.
The officer never complained again.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 20th July 2021 at 13:22

Mick L D. One traumatic telephone call that I received at Newtown Police Station, just before 10pm, (Start of night duty.) from central was. “ Sorry to tell you, but your dad has died”. Three minutes later, another telephone call from central. “ It wasn’t your dad, it was your uncle”. Too late. Shock had already registered.

Comment by: Mick LD on 21st July 2021 at 05:47

A terrible mistaske for someone to make, Albert.
I passed the old Newtown office yesterday. I believe it is now sheltered accomodation flats.

Comment by: Veronica on 21st July 2021 at 09:29

It should not have happened over the phone a message such as that... unbelievable. I remember when a policeman would turn up at someone's door to deliver a message like that.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 21st July 2021 at 10:39

Mick L D & Veronica.
It was a terrible mistake by a colleague, but no doubt, a mistake. I had no intention of taking any vengeful action relating to the mistake. That would have been a bigger mistake, and being vengeful is in no way, in my nature.

Comment by: Veronica on 21st July 2021 at 12:50

I wouldn't have expected anything else from you Albert... and you are right.

Leave a comment?

* Enter the 5 digit code to the right of the input box. Don't worry if you make a mistake, you will get another chance. Your comments won't be lost.