The Police Box and bloody arrests

by Kitty

I worked Westtown, Daw Green, Flatts, Eightlands and Northfields for 3 years from 1948 to 1952.  As there were 19 public houses and 3 clubs withing that area, I crossed swords on many occasions with their customers, often with a good-natured exchange after an admonishment over some minor infringement of the law, sometimes with an arrest.

A quick sizing up of the situation where trouble was developing or even where physical violence was in play led you to decide whether to deflate the situation with a friendly word of advice or whether an arrest was inevitable.

With most of those arrests, the drunk came quietly, sometimes a forceful persuasion was necessary.  Some arrests were bloody.

Policemen in those days carried no mobile phone, no personal radio (neither had been invented) and the only way of communicating was by telephone at a Police Box but the beat officer would only be available at either location at pre-set times.  The other alternative was to send a policeman to find him.

In Westtown the only Police Box was at the junction of Webster Hill and Boothroyd Lane.  As we became more sophisticated in the early fiftiees the ringing telephone in the Police Box was enhanced by a simultaneous flashing light on top of the Police Box.

Frequently the telephone ringing at the Police Box would require me to go to this pub or that house to quell a disturbance.