The Open Day at police headquarters is always a great opportunity to showcase Gloucestershire’s amazing police heritage. This year’s event, on Saturday 17 September, was the best one yet with over five and a half thousand visitors coming through the gates.
The Police Archive Group, Gloucestershire Archives and Gloucestershire Family History Society were all brought together in the “history zone”, with complementary displays and expertise. Everyone was kept very busy with people finding out what will be on offer in the new Heritage Hub as well as seeing what’s available in the police archives. There were lots of enquiries about police ancestors and the team of police volunteers will be following up many of over the coming weeks.
We made sure to take along the register of rural Constabulary- a star item from the official police archives. It’s packed with information about the earliest recruits to the new Force in 1839, and the neat copper plate handwriting is a source of wonder to children of the digital age.
And there’s still interesting material at large in the community – we had promises of photographs and memories from ex officers and from people who had suitcases, belonging to ex members of the constabulary, in their attics. There were also some tentative enquiries from people not connected to the police who were interested in joining the archive group. It was also great to hear that many people were already aware of the police archive website that went live just a couple of weeks ago.
All in all, a very productive day.
Co-authored by Sue Webb, police archive officer, and Kate Maisey, Gloucestershire Archive development officer.
Police archive website – www.gloucestershirepolicearchives.org.uk