Liverpool City Police

Underwater Section

by david "dai" thomas ret.

We all know that the passage of time can distort memory and my memory is no exception. I would be very happy to hear from those whose recollections are more accurate than mine or, even better, an official version of the history Liverpool City Police Underwater Section.

I was appointed to Liverpool City Police in 1962 and left in 1968 – I can’t recall how it all started but I think I was already an amateur diver and a good swimmer. My first memory of the Underwater Section was searching a canal, near the docks, for some kind of machine tool. We never did find it and progressed into recovering safes and fruit machines from underneath a bridge and very disgusting it was too.

Opposite are a few pictures taken shortly after the forming of the Liverpool Police Underwater Section - they depict a training dive in a flooded and frozen quarry outside Preston - I believe in around 1963/4

I'm the surly youth with the long hair but I don't recall the names of my colleagues except for the character in the Robin Hood hat - who was Glyn Jones - other people in the section were George Ashworth and J Hodge (187T).

Organisation was pretty informal in those days and at the weekends the group went out on training dives, as a club, with wives and girlfriends and anyone else who wanted to come. We trained in Bull Bay, Anglesea, Llanhelian Bay - Bala Lake which turned out to be only 20 feet deep. Other names on Logs I have are Tucknott, K.Price, D.Gleeson, Ken Ireland, Brian Carsons.

We often used our own kit and after dives treated ourselves with a bucket of dettol for something, I think, was unique to Liverpool called "immersion" !!! How we didn't catch anything is a wonder.

I qualified as a 1st class diver with the BSAC and attended short courses at Siebe Gorman and the Navy at Portsmouth which I paid for mysself - I carried on with my diving but preferred to catch thieves to diving in North 3 Husskison Dock.(sic)

I started my career as 144 G in 1962 at Old Swan and Dovecot but was soon in the Commando Squad and CID. I left for the colonies in 1968 with more experience than most after 6 years in Liverpool.

David Thomas
September 2011

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David Thomas
Underwater Section circa 1964(1)
Underwater Section circa 1964(3)
Underwater Section circa 1964(2)
Underwater Section circa 1964(5)
Underwater Section circa 1964(4)
Underwater Section circa 1964(6)
Underwater Section circa 1964(7)
Underwater Section circa 1964(8)
Underwater Section circa 1964(9)

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