I joined the force on June 23rd, 1963, and was Con.54WP Bigelow. After 13 weeks at Bruche, I was based in Hardman Street, where Ivy Woods was the Superintendent of the Women Police and Wright Teesdale Smith was the Chief Constable. My beat was A Division and, due to the fact that I was a real country bumpkin, I didn't know my way around Liverpool and relied heavily on my 'A-Z' street guide! I enjoyed being on point duty, which was mainly Whitechapel, outside the main Post Office, outside Woolworth's in Church Street, and, in the freezing winter of 1964, was in the 'Tea van' from where I'd spell the lads on the main junctions, such as the Mersey Tunnel, so they could have a hot drink and defrost!
I soon learned where all the best 'Tea specks' were! I joined the Police Concert party and we put on shows at the David Lewis Theatre and the Town Hall. Chief Inspector Marriot was the musical director and was really enthusiastic, to such a degree, that, when we were doing Oklahoma at the Town Hall, his false teeth shot out but he managed to scoop them back into place, un-noticed by the audience of dignitaries, including the Lord Mayor! How we were able to continue singing amazes me as we were all laughing so much!
I think it was during the winter of 1964 that the pedestrian controlled lights first came into being, and we had to stand by them, using a megaphone to instruct pedestrians on the correct way to use them.
I received a Chief Con's commendation for hanging on to a violent prisoner who had been systematically breaking into cars parked in Pilgrim Street. He battered me, and my parents and brothers wanted to go to court and give him a good hiding! Fortunately, I was able to persuade them to stay away! When Ivy Woods was informed, she was only interested in whether or not I'd managed to hang onto him! Actually, the only way to prevent him running away, was to pull down his trousers! A very ingenious, but successful move! I really enjoyed being in A Division, but was transferred to Eaton Road, G Division which I found rather boring, lacking the excitement of the 'big city.
Heather O'Callghan nee Bigelow (Retd.)
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