Behind the ‘Thin Blue Line’ – making connections with the Gloucestershire Police archive

At the end of April Gloucestershire Constabulary appointed Sue Webb as their project assistant. Sue brings a wealth of useful experience to the project from her background as a former police constable and head teacher.

She will be supported by expertise from three University of Gloucestershire interns who will be helping with the police archive activity strand during the 2016-17 academic year. They will be adding content to the police archive website and recording spoken histories of current and former Force members.

Sue recently took part in the recent Collections Care pilot training alongside three of the core police archive volunteers and one of our interns, Alex Griffiths.

Sue said, “The project is very exciting, although the Force archive group has been in existence for 16 years, in several different forms, the items for the collection seem to be scattered far and wide.  Part of my role is to try to bring some consistency and continuity to the archive and explore some of the elements that the volunteers do not have time for. So many elements so little time!“

The project website has been in a fledgling state for about 18 months and is nearly ready to go live:

It will not only share information with other stakeholders but also bring the archive group to the attention to both police and non-police persons. We want to encourage everyone to get involved with the force history, helping the collection and information grow.

Sue said, “We have already started putting out feelers to start a project on the floods of 2007 and may try to link this to reminiscences of the floods of 1947. We are aware that there are now a large number of police staff involved in these operations and want to ensure that their views are heard as well as those of police officers.  All in all it will be a very exciting year.”

Sue Webb (right) and Marion Chandler, who was the first woman superintendent in Gloucestershire, taken at the Cheltenham local history afternoon on 13th August.


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