Tuesday January 2, 2018
Polished black Wolseleys with Winkworth bells, Bakelite telephones, traffic lights on striped poles, road signs ordering motorists to ‘Halt’ – all captured in the Pathe archive:
1953 Luton Road Courtesy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUpbcTVFmBg
Some priceless shots of Bedfordshire some 64 years ago, a world of Corona delivery lorries and the then-new Zebra crossing as Eamonn Andrews tells of how the police have started ‘Courtesy Patrols’. The officers in their unmarked Ford V8 Pilot are there to give advice rather than to issue tickets while a gang of proto-Teddy Boys narrowly avoid being run over by an L-Type Vauxhall Velox.
1960 TV Camera Traffic Control - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KvuFpyXxUQ
It is quite incredible to consider that Durham was using the world’s first television traffic control system as early as 1960 and this colour film shows a Triumph Herald Coupe, a Ford Zodiac, a Morris Minor 1000 and – one double-takes – a Type 14 Lotus Elite. It almost makes a chap want to leap through the screen.
1960 Girl Police Cyclists - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSu6PhA0H8A
Ignoring the deeply patronising title – and the announcer’s continual use of the term ‘girls’ – this is a fascinating look at the Velocette ‘Noddy Bikes’ that was once as much part of policing as point duty. The motor-cycles gained their nick-names from the PC riders having to give a respectful nod to Inspectors and above as saluting was too hazardous! N.B. The commentary includes the near-inevitable phrase ‘a pretty fair cop’. No comment.
1962 A Policeman’s Lot - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woRLIT1nJgg
Brylcreemed thieves using a FB-series Vauxhall Victor De Luxe as a getaway car from a raid on a jeweller’s shop, Morris LD30 Black Marias, police telephone boxes (personal radios for beat officers still lay a few years in the future) and Rover P4s being stolen by a Hank Marvin look-a-like. My favourite character has to be the dapper housebreaker with a very fake Terry-Thomas moustache and, of course, he is eventually apprehended by the long arm of the law in their Austin A99 Westminster.
1963 It’s Just Out Job - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRxvYUw0Q6U
Starring a Humber Super Snipe Series III Estate that was one the Met’s traffic accident vehicles. Here it attends a staged accident involving a Riley RM and, naturally, there is some excellentt footage of Wolseleys, from the 6/90s on the Henley skidpan to the 6/99 in Epping Forest plus a WPC learning ‘Roadcraft’ at the wheel of an Austin A55 Cambridge Mk. II.
1966 Police Cadets - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JY6eigxHmA
One of the many gems from the Pathe Archive, detailing the London Metropolitan Police’s Cadet scheme and featuring a mighty Wolseley 6/110 equipped with the recently-introduced klaxon sirens. An absolute must-see for any enthusiast of 1950s and 1960s cars – Austin A40 Farina, Hillman Super Minx, Singer Vogue…
1969 New Police Equipment - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0sOpqF1a7w
A fascinating snap-shot into policing circa 1969 – the era of The Sweeney may be just five years away but here the emphasis is very much on sensible short-back-and-sides. The patrol car fitted with an early fax machine is one of Sussex police’s famous Ford Cortina Lotus Mk. IIs, seen here in pursuit of a suspect in a very battered PC-series Vauxhall Cresta De Luxe.