.jump-link{ display:none }

Friday, 24 October 2014

Sepia Saturday - A Policeman's Lot

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history through photographs.

I came close to giving  up on this prompt  - after all I had nothing on policemen and had  looked already this year at beards, caps and doorway.    

Then inspiration  dawned, thanks to the  Gilbert &  Sullivan Opera and the song "A Policeman's Lot is Not a Happy One" from  "The  Pirates of Penzance", where the policemen have a key hilarious  role in trying to apprehend the pirates.

And that took me back to rather a long time ago when I sang in the chorus of the Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group.  Our  performances were the highlight of my year, a wonderful experience  and "Pirates" remains my favourite - lovely costume, ringlet hair pieces, great  choruses to sing,  and even some dancing.  How could I ask for more?

The policeman's lot might not have been happy - but mine was! 

  I am third from the right (girl) with the orange lining to my hat.  

There is a police connection  with my family but it puzzled  me and  provoked the question to my father  "What exactly do  you do, Daddy? " 

In the 1950's I have  memories at primary school of being asked every year to fill in a form with personal details, one of which was the occupation of my father.  

I knew the answer to this was   "commercial traveler" - not something I could come to terms with, as to me a traveler meant someone such as Marco Polo or Sir Walter Raleigh who undertook daring journeys across the world in centuries past.  Dad used to go away for days at a time, but usually from  Lancashire to Westmorland and Cumberland - not exactly exotic destinations for an explorer.   

I also remember relating at school that on Sundays he was a policeman - something again  I could not quite understand.   I  saw him go out in the evening  in his uniform, though he did not wear the traditional flowerpot helmet of the regular constables, but a peaked cap.   

The reality was this was a voluntary role as a Special  Constable.  I remember feeling very proud seeing him on duty,   as I stood with the Brownies waving our flags, when the Queen came to Blackpool.   

Click HERE to discover more bloggers' policemen tales


  1. I don't remember ever having to know what my father's occupation was for anything to do with school. He was an automobile insurance underwriter and most likely I wouldn't have had any idea what that was anyway - not until I, myself, went to work for an insurance company as a clerk/receptionist in their auto claims dept. Love the link to the prompt with Gilbert & Sullivan. Perfect choice!

  2. I love G&S and now I'll be singing it all evening! My Dad was a commercial traveller too and co-incidentally in the 50s we lived in Westmoreland which was art of Dad's 'territory'.

  3. About my father's occupation...all I really understood as a small child was that if I misbehaved he would be disbarred and we would starve. Interesting that you remember these childhood impressions. You were fortunate to get to perform in Pirates, one of my favorites too. You look very perky in the photo.

  4. Well of course now I want to know what a Special Constable does. I've never heard of them before.

  5. Somehow I can't help thinking about a Monty Python policeman skit when looking at your G&S photo..

  6. Well you've started something with your reference to a Special Constable. After reading about Special Constables for both England and Australia I certainly wouldn't want to sit a test on who can, where and why ! I have never known anything about them before. Thanks.

  7. I had a post with the same title as yours back in August 2012 and included a video/song the GBS - http://bobscotney.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-policemans-lot-sepia-saturday.html

  8. I thought for sure I had a policeman or sheriff in the family but could find no reference. I'm surprised your photo didn't come to mind immediately. Perfect answer to the prompt.

  9. Thank you to everyone for such interesting comments and yes, Wendy I should have thought of this photograph far earlier than I did. To answer the questions on Special Constables - they still exist and are trained volunteers who work with and support their local police.They come from all walks of life - and they all volunteer a minimum of four hours a week to their local police force, forming a vital link between the regular (full-time) police and the local community.

  10. A perfect photograph, even though they are just acting their parts, and you look lovely too.


Thank you for your comment which will appear on screen after moderation.