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Birmingham City Police 1839 - 1974

mw0njm.

A Brummie Dude
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Birmingham City was one of the only, if not the only, Forces to use a Duplex VHF radio system. The difference being that transmission and reception were on different frequencies and audio could be heard or interrupted even when transmitting. Much like one would use a telephone.

This changed following the 1974 amalgamations when a Simplex system was introduced that corresponded to those of the surrounding/amalgamated Forces.
i have a few old ex police radios pye.mobile and portable. some simplex somes duplex and mixed in one set (multi channel) 19 a rig check anyone got there ears on
 
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nickcc101

master brummie
View attachment 131515View attachment 131508
i have a few old ex police radios pye.mobile and portable. some simplex somes duplex and mixed in one set (multi channel) 19 a rig check anyone got there ears on
View attachment 131515View attachment 131508
i have a few old ex police radios pye.mobile and portable. some simplex somes duplex and mixed in one set (multi channel) 19 a rig check anyone got there ears on
The radio set pictured looks very similar to the one the speed check Policeman was wearing in 1964 when I got caught speeding on Short Heath Road, presume he was in contact with his colleague in the Austin Gipsey which I flew past.
 

joe 90

master brummie
i had a bottle of wiskey off of derrick capper cc. when i was part time in the royal angus hote when he was in a meeting about, .Battle of Saltley Gate i was doing cloak room duties
Derrick Capper's brother was the vicar of the church where l lived at Banner's Gate Sutton Coldfield and he signed as one of my refeeres to get into Birmingham City Police. I also represented the Mounted Branch at Sir Derrik's funeral service At St Martins Church in the City.joe90
 
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Steve R

master brummie
Just spent a fascinating hour reading this thread, thank you to all those that contributed. In particular I have never seen the picture of the police Mini's lined up and also the comments on the police strike. The strike in particular in interesting at the moment and next month will be 100 years as the first officer went out on the 1st August. As stated this was the first and only time the police went on strike and it only lasted a few days. There was however a police strike in London in 1918 but there demands were quickly met so little was heard about it. The WMP museum will be releasing a book to commemorate this event where 120 officers were immediately dismissed. This is one officer more than is quoted normally but we have discovered one initially not listed but found in later police orders. We will be holding a private ceremony with all the families we have managed to trace for descendants of those dismissed on the 2nd August and will have an event/open day at the Lock - Up on Saturday 3rd where we will display some of the material from the book. We will also have a talk on the strike during the evening. Like all of our events (including an open day this Saturday) members can get details from our site WMPeelers.com Once the book has been released I will post a few picture to compliment some of the ones posted on this thread.

Steve R
 

barryf

New Member
is dave sadler the one living in cornwall?? i think he was a mate of my dads...lew wright
I remember sgt Haywood. He was my sgt when I joined the force in 1973 I was in single men's quarters in Bradford street and my unit was 'D' unit and the watch inspector was INSP Bright my collar number was F171 I have many fond memories of Eric
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
My son recently gave bought me a book 'Cops and Robbers(history of the police car)' by
Ant Anstead, broadcaster,former policeman, Amongst the photos I was thrilled to see one I had seen before a few years ago on a site for Austin motors, it is of my Dad standing next to an A40, a promotional photo when Birmingham police started using the car.
 

Steve R

master brummie
Hello all
I mentioned in post 146 that volunteers from the West Midlands police museum will be holding their next open day at the former Lock - Up building in Steelhouse Lane on the 3rd August 2019. This will also be an event that commemorates 100 years since the police strike and we will also be delivering a dedicated talk on the strike during the early evening. For full details of these events log on to WMPeelers.com This is a fascinating piece of history of Birmingham policing. Few people seem aware that 120 officers joined the strike and all were dismissed immediately. We took receipt of the book volunteers wrote to commemorate this today which has some fantastic on the Birmingham Force of 1919 and documents the role of the National Union of Police and Prison Officers (NUPPO). There are pictures of Birmingham officers, stations and much more. visit our shop on the site and also look at the plans we have for the building subject to achieving our funding

Steve R
 

A WOODHALL

New Member
Good Afternoon
I have recently joined this forum and is fascinating. Thanks to all those responses. I'm conducting family history for my late father and was wondering if anyone knew him or his family.
His name is Donald Woodhall and he joined BCP in September 1952 after attending Mill Meece training centre. His Collar No was C222 and was stationed at Dudley Road, Kenyon Street, Ladywood and Thornhill Road. He served with BCP until December 1973, when he left to run a record shop (JO JOs Records) on College Road in Handsworth. He re-joined WMP in October 1975. He latterly was stationed at Belgrave Road, Bournville lane then Lloyd House Process Dept. Collar No was B5395, when he retired in November 1984.
Also what has become of the Mill Meece training centre? I drove past the village a few weeks ago, but couldn't see any trace of the centre.
Thanks in advance
Son Andrew
 

jmadone

master brummie
PART 2 The Hockley Brook Disaster
The year 1920 was the occasion of the Hockley Brook disaster in Birmingham. This brook, which rises in Warley Woods and flows into the Tame at Bromford, ran through the Hockley area. Hockley at this time was a hotch-potch of back-to-back houses, courts and workshops crammed into one area. On 15 August 1920, following a heavy downpour of rain the brook suffered a flash flood. The water level rose inexorably.

Whilst patrolling the area Police Constable C187 Bell saw eight children leaning against a wall. As he later told a Coroner’s Inquest from where he stood on a bridge he saw that the wall was being washed away. He shouted at the children, "Get away from that wall, I say," and made his way towards them. As he drew close, the wall collapsed into the current. He grabbed out and caught one child at risk to his own safety. However, two 14 year old boys were swept away and drowned. On 6 September PC Bell was awarded five guineas by the Watch Committee and given three merit stripes.

Superintendent Penrice was also rewarded for his action in helping those rendered homeless in the flood which by the time it had abated had covered an area of one square mile.

Birmingham’s First Fingerprint Prosecution
The first successful prosecution by way of fingerprint evidence occurred in Birmingham in 1905. The circumstances of this case are that at 11.55 pm on 22 September 1905, Mrs Lily Shaw, the wife of the licensee of the Britannia Inn in Hampton Street, Newtown was in bed when she heard the sound of breaking glass below. Mrs Shaw blew hard on a whistle she kept for such purposes. This attracted the attention of PC C538 Ollis who ran to the premises and arrested a well known criminal, George Eccles, close by. Eccles admitted smashing a kitchen window of the pub in order to burgle the premises. He implicated a Dennis Kennedy as his accomplice. Kennedy was arrested but he denied the offence, perhaps knowing that there was no other evidence to connect him other than the word of Eccles. The gods had failed to smile on Kennedy as the previous day PC Ollis and his inspector, Mr Parry, had attended a lecture at Kenyon Street Police Station on the new science of fingeprint impressions. Both officers went to the Britannia and found finger marks on the glass. They developed these latent prints by use of mercury, chalk and graphite. The evidence was sent to Scotland Yard for expert evidence which proved Kennedy’s guilt. At the next Sessions he was sentenced to 18 months hard labour.

The Murder of Police Constable Snipe
The Birmingham Daily Mail for Monday 19 July 1897 reported that PC George Snipe had died in the General Hospital as a result of injuries he had received quelling a disturbance in Bridge Street West with other policemen. The paper stated, `Enquiries show clearly that the trouble originated in a row between persons who had had more liquor than was good for them and who were not disposed to take kindly to interference of the police on being turned from the public house at closing time’.
A certain William Colrain was arrested by PC Snipe and PC Mead for being drunk and disorderly. A crowd gathered and tried to rescue Colrain whereupon PC Mead arrested a Charles Elvis. Stones were then thrown at the officers, one of whom blew his whistle attracting the attendance of PC Claydon. The officers were then attacked by a volley of stones, feet and fists.

The police forced their way into the entrance of St Matthews Church. It was here that PC Snipe was struck on the temple by a thrown brick. He collapsed and Charles Elvis escaped. A member of the public ran to Kenyon Street Police Station, from where Bridge Street West Police Station, which was three miles away, was alerted. Several officers attended the scene. PC Snipe died four hours later in the hospital.

A woman came forward and informed Superintendent Monk of the identity of the person who had thrown the brick. This in fact was her boyfriend a James Franklin. He was later arrested in the locality by PC Belfield. Elvis was also recaptured.

The reporter from the Mail described Franklin on his appearance before the stipendiary as, `An inoffensive looking man rather small in stature, pale in complexion with no whiskers’. He denied the offence but was later convicted at the Assizes for manslaughter and sentenced to penal servitude for life.

PC Snipe was 28 years old and left a widow and child. His general character was described as `exemplary’. The helmet he wore on the night of his murder rests in the Force Museum. It bears the marks of the murderous attack upon him.

PC James Power
PC James Power has the misfortune to be the only ex Birmingham police officer to be executed for murder. The murder which occurred on a canal bank in Hockley after he had been dismissed from the Birmingham Police in 1923.

James Power was born on 7 December 1894 in Thomastown Kilkenney. He came over to England and lived at 2 back of 8 Heath Street South Dudley Road, Birmingham where he gained employment as a tram conductor. James Power joined Birmingham Police on 15 March 1920. His record shows that he was disciplined twice, once on 13 July 1922 ‘That he did fail to work his Day Duty Beat Number 18 in accordance with orders in that he did not work Barnsley Road and Rutland Road at about 7 pm on Wednesday 14 December 1921’. He was reduced in pay for 12 months (a pay cut of 1/- a week).
However on 10 January 1923 things got worse for PC Power when he was disciplined in the following terms:

(1) ‘Discreditable conduct by acting in a manner likely to bring discredit upon the reputation of this force by taking Miss Clara Violet Hammersley (15) Domestic Servant in the employ of Mr Frederick Taylor 4 Melville Road Edgbaston against her will down Hagley Road, Holly Road, Melville Road and through a gate to an allotment situate in Melville Road when on Beat Duty in uniform some time between 9pm and 9.30pm on Thursday 14 December 1922’.
(2) ‘Neglect of Duty for failing to report a complaint made to him by Mr Frederick Taylor 4 Melville Road Edgbaston at 9.40 pm on Thursday 14 December 1922 that a police officer had behaved improperly to his Domestic Servant Miss Clara Violet Hammersley just previously, which complaint should have been reported by him when reporting off duty at Dudley road Police Station at 10 pm the same date’. Officer Suspended 22 December 1922.

At a hearing before the Joint Standing Committee on 10 January 1923 he was dismissed immediately. It transpired that when Mr Frederick Taylor complained to PC Power, Mr Taylor was not aware that PC Power was the offending officer, PC Power was reported to have said to Mr Taylor on receiving the complaint, "It’s that Bugger on the next beat he is a right sod I will speak to him."

James Power got employment at Cannings Constitution Hill.

On Saturday 2nd July 1927, 18 year old Olive Turner of Ford St Hockley was murdered on the canal. Brief circumstances are a man posing as a police officer approached Olive and a Charles Broomhead whilst they were walking the canal at about 9.44pm. Charles became suspicious and managed to run to get help but Olive was not so lucky and her body was found next day in the canal. Her watch stopping at 11.41 pm the time her death appeared to be pinpointed with accuracy. Initial suspicions fell on Broomhead but his story was corroborated by witnesses who also described a large powerfully built man dragging Oliver.

As a result of all the witnesses a detailed description was obtained, ‘a man about 40 years, 5’10", broad, dark hair, wearing a dark suit; dark cap; walks somewhat splay-footed and has a rather swinging gait’. This description was recognised by Det. Sgt. Albert Edwards as resembling James Powers the ex Police officer from Kenyon St who left the force under a cloud. Arrangements were made and Powers was identified by Broomhead in a street as he left his place of work – Cannings Constitution Hill. Eventually enquiries revealed that Powers had been preying on courting couples on the towpaths demanding money by menaces and a girl came forward stating she had been raped earlier that year under similar circumstances. Power appeared before Birmingham Crown Court 7/12/27 on charges of Murder; demanding money with menaces; assault and rape, but only the most serious charge was considered as was customary at that time, the Murder of Olive Turner. After two days Powers was found guilty of Murder and the other offences were left on file.

On Tuesday 31/1/1928 Powers was hanged at Winson Green Prison. The hangman was Thomas Pierrepoint. Thomas Pierrepoint’s nephew Albert also became a famous hangman assisting his uncle in the early days of his career; his sister lived just off Broad St and another descendent is a police officer
This case was the subject this morning of BBC's programme "Murder, My family and Me." whereby living members of the murderer's family, assisted by Q.C.s, one for the defence and one for the prosecution, attempt to show a miscarriage of justice. The appeal this morning was based upon alleged questionable police procedure at an identity parade and and a possible misdirection to the jury by the trial judge.
After hearing the argument for both sides the judge hearing the case (A retired High Court judge) upheld the original verdict of Guilty.
 

Ken_R

master brummie
Also what has become of the Mill Meece training centre? I drove past the village a few weeks ago, but couldn't see any trace of the centre.
Thanks in advance
Son Andrew
Hi Andrew.

Although the name Don Woodhall rings a vague recollection, I can't say that I remember him.

As for Mill Meece, certainly from the late 60's BCP Officers were trained at Ryton-Upon-Dunsmore which is just outside of Coventry. I did happen to drive along that road a few years ago and, similarly, I couldn't see any trace of any former training facility.
 

A WOODHALL

New Member
Hi Andrew.

Although the name Don Woodhall rings a vague recollection, I can't say that I remember him.

As for Mill Meece, certainly from the late 60's BCP Officers were trained at Ryton-Upon-Dunsmore which is just outside of Coventry. I did happen to drive along that road a few years ago and, similarly, I couldn't see any trace of any former training facility.
Hi Ken
Thanks for your response. Where were you stationed. Don used to work with Harry Stone and Roy Kendrick. Roy is 90 now and I saw him a few months ago and he lives in Stratford Upon Avon. Are you still living in Birmingham. I shall be travelling down to Redditch between Xmas and New Year to visit cemetery's and lay wreaths at Perry Barr and Witton. Do you remember Bob Lamb and Ted Minchin
 

Dendy

Brummie babby
I remember sgt Haywood. He was my sgt when I joined the force in 1973 I was in single men's quarters in Bradford street and my unit was 'D' unit and the watch inspector was INSP Bright my collar number was F171 I have many fond memories of Eric
Barry, what is your surname? Dad is 91 in February and is trying to place you.
 

mw0njm.

A Brummie Dude

Radiorails

master brummie
Lots of calendars for 2020 seem to have it incorrect it appears. Anyway, I expect some towns and streets may have a celebrations as it is a Friday and the week-end follows it.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
As calendars often seem to appear in the shops in October or November , I am not surprised, with the possible lead time for preparation, printing and distribution, that this rather late change has resulted in the mixup
 
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