Talk on history of policing in the North-east

Ellon Probus Club president Norman Davidson welcomed new member Ian White and extended an invitation to all retired gentlemen to come along and join the club - new members are always welcome.

Guest speaker was Geoff Marston, a retired police officer, who has devoted his time and energies to recording the history of policing in the North-east. Not surprisingly Geoff’s talk was policing history and his account ranged from the days of the burgess appointed town watchmen, then known as ‘charleys’, to the modern national force whose officers are known as ‘bobbies’.

This transformation has been accompanied by changes in policing organisation but the function of maintaining law and order has altered little.

Modern policing was introduced to the UK in the 1840s through parliamentary legislation by the then prime minister Robert Peel. Within Scotland, through various Police Acts, over one hundred local police forces were created. However, following a series of amalgamations this was ultimately reduced to eight district forces in 1975 and was finally reduced in 2013 in a single force, Police Scotland.

Over the years police uniform has undergone considerable change, from the days of the trench coat, buttoned tunic and hard helmet to the modern amorphous ‘blackshirt’ outfit more symbolic of terrorists than peace-keepers. The distinctive diced cap, however, introduced in Scotland in 1932, remains and has been adopted by many police forces throughout the

world. A vote of thanks was given by Stan Smith.

The next regular meeting is May 28. Members are reminded that the annual area inter-club quiz is being held today (Thursday) at Buckie.