It was a pleasure to support Brewin Publishers yesterday at Touchwood Centre in Solihull for their ‘meet the author’ event. Great to be able to discuss ‘Top Secret Worcestershire’ and other projects with the public and of
course to meet ‘Mr Brummie’ himself – the iconic Carl Chinn.
The last in this latest series. The written content for the latest book is now three-quarters finished and contains some great recollections from retired officers. We are still looking for a few more covering the West Midlands Police and the period 1974 to 1999 – have you got a story that you have always had in your head that could now go into print in a book that will support a very worthy cause. Today’s appeal is a bit of a ‘mixed bag’ so we are looking for memories of the West Midlands Black Police Association being set up in 1997, the Mounted Branch before it was abolished in the late 90s, Underwater Search Unit, any members of Force netball,swimming,basketball, and cross country teams and last but not least some comment on ‘police bars’. Please respond on the post initially and we can sort out contact details – the memories can be as long or short as you like (The picture is just a favourite but signs off for this little series)
Just a few more posts for ‘Reporting For Duty’ to illustrate the areas of research we are interested in. The new book will cover the history of the West Midlands Police from 1974 to 1999. We are still looking for recollections from retired colleagues who have memories of policing during this period. These are just a few of the current chapter headings : ‘The rise of the National Front – 1976’, ‘The Ladywood Riots – 1977’, ‘The Battle of Digbeth – 1978’, ‘The Battle of Cronehills in West Bromwich – 1979’, ‘The Handsworth Riots – 1985’. (The picture features the then PC Derek Rowe in Newton Street, Birmingham, beside the last gas lamp in 1976. Courtesy of the Birmingham Post & Mail who have agreed to allow us to use it as a front cover.)
Mike Layton and Steve Burrows are currently researching a book called ‘Reporting For Duty’ which will chart the history of the West Midlands Police from 1974 to 1999. It will be a historical book but also include recollections from former officers as well as over 100 images. Several successful appeals have been made on the ‘Bostin Books’ website, and Facebook page, and the project has moved at a staggering speed. Within the book will also be listed the names of twenty-four West Midlands Police officers who died on duty, or on their way to commence duty between 1974 and 1999. (The list accords with that compiled for the Force Roll of Honour as found on a Google search for anyone who wants to check). We will be donating 50% of any future royalties from the book to the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust. If anyone has personal memories of any of the officers that they would like to share with us please get in touch and contact arrangements can be sorted out. (The pictures were taken recently in an area known as ‘The Beat’ at the National Memorial Arboretum where ‘fallen’ police officers are remembered – lest we forget)