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Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Sat 13 Apr, 2019 12:26 pm
by iansmithofotley
Hi Paul,

Joe Lee's number was PC 621.


Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Sat 13 Apr, 2019 1:53 pm
Sadly Joe,who lived nearby to myself, passed away a short time ago. I remember as a young boy having the temerity to refer to him as "Joe" which brought about the stern rebuke "MR LEE TO YOU LAD!" An old school bobby to be sure.

Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Sat 13 Apr, 2019 7:25 pm
by iansmithofotley
There is an article about Joe Lee here: ... 1931-2017/

Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Tue 06 Aug, 2019 12:23 pm
by Bobby339
Hello everyone I was 339 Dave Heeley joined 1969 stationed at Ireland Wood then Mounted section till we were caught drinking in the Brown Cow I was with Terry fletcher 427 Paul Dobson 901 and Wynn Foster Those were the days

Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Thu 03 Oct, 2019 11:41 am
by Rachael
Hello! I'm trying to contact detective sergeant tony / anthony mills of killingbeck who was working as recently as a few years ago. He inspected a case in 1997 which I'd like to speak to him about for research. Can anyone help? thanks. Rachael


Posted: Sun 07 Jun, 2020 9:05 pm
by Grace
jetwalking wrote:
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 10:12 am
Hello everyone - can you help please. I am new to this forum- so please be patient! I know that there is some extremely detailed police knowledge/input on this forum - and I have spent ages reading their threads to try and get the information that I need. I am currently constructing a wooden memorial to officers with whom I have served with in West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police/ West Yorkshire Police. The tribute involves including their personal collar numbers. Three officers (who I did not know) but who's deaths had an immense impact on me as a young serving officer were:PS Michael HawcroftPS John SpeedWPC Yvonne Fletcher (Met)From joining and reading your discussions I have ascertained that PS Speed's number was 696 (which sounds like a good old Leeds number)- could anyone confirm that please? I have written to the Met for WPC Fletcher's number (would be grateful if anyone knew that) - that leaves me with PS Hawcroft's number - any ideas please?I have noticed that no collar number is ever mentioned/ inscribed on any memorials to these former officers?Thanks in anticipation - I served with people like Graham Widdowson (626) Bob Mason (2675) Ian Broadhurst (at the moment I don't know his collar number either)regards jetwalking

Hi Jetwalking.

I hope its okay to try and get in touch with you on here. I don't know how I even came accross this thread. I see from your post that you served with Graham Widdowson 626 who was my dad. He died in the early 2000s when I was 13 and my brother was 7. I know he started his career in the police with the Met in London in his late teens early 20s and then moved to WYP where he was based at Bishopgarth, Carr Gate and I think Pudsey for a time.

I have enjoyed reading some of the stories on this thread and just wondered if there were any stories of my dad's policing days that you could share as I don't know much. No worries if not.

Thank you in advance.

Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Mon 08 Jun, 2020 11:46 am
by jma
Re: Terry Fletcher and Graham Widdowson

I've mentioned earlier in this thread how I have clear memories of long ago and the more recent stuff is hazy. (I'm not alone in this.)

At 0945 Monday 16 October 1967, I paraded for duty at South Divisional HQ, AKA Dewsbury Road Police Station. The group I was going to be posted to was on nights but the daytime first shift allowed for things like curtseying to the superintendent, on in my case his deputy Chief Inspector Peter Russell.(He looked a bit like Tim Rice but oozed sarcasm.)

After that, it was out on patrol in the divisional Hillman Imp van with my first section sergeant, PS260 Ralph Clay, who was also on days for some reason, and PC427 Terry Fletcher who was the driver. I remember we went to some sort of manhunt in Middleton Woods but the fugitive was arrested before we got there. In the afternoon, it was chucking it down and I was on foot patrol with Terry. He took me straight to a council yard (Cleansing Department?) in Kidacre Street where we settled down in the warm boiler room and dozed all afternoon till just before home time and I was left wondering if that would be the pattern of the next thirty years.

I remember hearing about the Brown Cow incident some years later and I suppose it wasn't a surprise.

I remember Graham Widdowson by name, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering the right person who went with that name. I certainly worked with him but if pressed, I'd have thought that was at Force Control when it was at The Tyrls in Bradford. I worked there from 1987 to 1991. If I'm thinking of the right person, at some point he was posted to the Mounted Branch which, by then, was at Carr Gate.

I've a clear memory of the officer I'm thinking of visiting Pudsey as a mounted officer at a time when they used to park the horsebox somewhere like a local police station and then patrol in the area. I was an inspector at Pudsey from 1993 till I retired in July 1997. I remember chatting with this officer in my office about when we had previously worked together.

I used to be a keen cyclist and one recurring controversy is how to approach equestrians from behind: briefly as a cyclist you cannot do right for doing wrong. I asked the person I'm thinking of and his explanation was it's all down to the horse rider. An unblinkered horse can see behind and if it needs a better look it will swing its head. A good rider will immediately look round to see what's attracting the horse's attention, where others will try to control its apparently stupid antics, which is likely to upset the horse even more. When that type of rider eventually realises there's a cyclist who's seen it all, that's when the blame game starts. I've repeated that explanation to many cyclists over the years.

I hope I'm remembering the right person. My only excuse if I'm not is that I worked at perhaps ten different police stations as well as spells at Headquarters in Wakefield and at Force Control. That means a lot of names to put to faces.

In conclusion, I'd say that both people I've been reminiscing about here were really nice, friendly people ie the sort who make what can be a hard job easier.

Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Tue 09 Jun, 2020 3:17 pm
by jma

If you found Secret Leeds while looking for info about your Dad, it may be worth pointing out that there are not many retired police officers active on here. iansmithofotley is one but if he did not know your Dad he may not post.

Ian seems to keep much more in touch with news about former colleagues than I do and I think he's probably a member of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, (NARPO) which may be a way to make contact with people who knew your Dad. It's complicated by there being eight branches in West Yorkshire, broadly based on the pre-1968 amalgamations and you have no way of knowing the best one to start with

Here's the website of the Leeds Branch, which includes email contact details.

If you want to continue your research, don't hesitate to make contact there because I'm sure they will have a way of circulating your interest to their members and there are likely to be former colleagues who will be ready to share their memories. Most of us old men love doing that.

Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Tue 09 Jun, 2020 10:31 pm
by iansmithofotley
When I saw the post, yesterday, I did a bit of research as I did not know Graham Widdowson personally, albeit I had heard the surname as it is quite unusual.

In 1968, I used to work with Cedric Paver in the Leeds City Crime Squad and his number was DC 626. Cedric got promoted to the rank of sergeant in the 1970’s and then to inspector around 1981, when his number became available for re-issue.

It seems that Graham was born in the Wakefield/Pontefract area in 1959 and he died on 3rd June 2004, aged 44 years. He lived in the Crofton area. From what Grace has said, if he first joined the Metropolitan Police Force, then it would probably have been around 1978/79, and then he transferred to West Yorkshire Police in 1981 and was allocated Cedric’s old number of 626. If Graham died in service, then he died as a police sergeant.

As a result of Mick’s post about the Mounted Branch, I contacted Wyndham Foster (ex PC 721), who has been a lifelong friend of mine. Wyndham served in the Mounted Branch for many years when it was based at Templenewsam. Again, Wyndham knew of the name Widdowson but did not recall Graham. It is probable that Graham may have served in the Mounted Branch after Wyndham transferred elsewhere in the late 1980’s (later to Crown Court Security). I think that the Mounted Branch moved from Templenewsam to Carr Gate, Wakefield in 1995. At that time, the Police helicopter was based there and (possibly) also the Dog Section.

I worked as an inspector at Bishopgarth, Wakefield, from 1990 until 1995, teaching newly promoted sergeants from West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside, but Graham was not a course member. He may have attended a course run by a South Yorkshire inspector, who was a colleague of mine, or he may have got promoted after 1995 (when I retired).

Whilst I was there, I don’t recall Graham working at Bishopgarth as a staff member in Detective Training, Uniform/Probationer Training, I/T Training or Public Order Training, which were the main departments there. There is no doubt that he would have attended many of the courses held there, as a course member, during his service.

So far as relates to the name ‘Widdowson’, in the West Riding/West Yorkshire forces, there were three other Widdowsons – Bernard Widdowson PC 1540 (B. 1916, D. 2005) who served from 1938 until 1963, Eric Widdowson PS 1327 (B. 1922, D. 1988) a brother of Bernard but service details are not known, I think that they were originally from Barnsley. There was also Henry Widdowson, (B. 1920, D. 1996) a sergeant (number not known), originally from the Sheffield area but worked at Dewsbury. I do not know if any of these former officers were related to Graham Widdowson.

I am sorry but I don’t have any further information about Graham Widdowson.

Re: Former West Yorks Police Officer's collar numbers

Posted: Sat 13 Jun, 2020 1:00 pm
by jma

In much the same way as Ian, I've put out some feelers to try to trace anybody who knew your father.

You mentioned that you thought he had worked at Carr Gate. One of my neighbours worked there for many years in Dog Training. He remembers the name but cannot put a face to it, but, more to the point, he is still in contact with a lot of former colleagues and he in turn is putting out his own feelers.