Job Vacancy for a Police Superintendent in Kendal

I’m not sure they’ll still be accepting applications for this job and its tempting salary!¬†¬†But either way….. No perquisites! ūüėÄ

Job available for a police superintendent in Kendal, Cumbria, in 1844.

The Drovers’ Inn at Linthwaite

In reality, this is the Horse & Farrier (1677), in my home village of Threlkeld in the Lake District National Park, but in ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ and¬†the¬†other Cumbria Police Novels to follow,¬†the Drovers’¬†Inn at Linthwaite is based upon it.

The Horse and Farrier Inn at Threlkeld, which for the purposes of ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ and the rest of the ‘Cumbria Police Novels’ series become the¬†Drovers’ Inn and Linthwaite, respectively.

The Salutation Inn — now sadly just known as ‘The Sally’ —¬†which in the books is the Birch Hill Arms, is in the background on the right (with a red sign on the wall).

I took this photograph¬†during the mid-1990s, despite the copyright date shown on the image.¬† This was after¬†the Farrier¬†had been modernized as a pub but before the interior had been radically altered to create an admittedly great ‘restaurant with a bar’.

All about Carleton Hall – Cumbria Police H.Q.

History

The ‘mesne manor’ of Carleton Hall, one mile south-east of Penrith, was “formerly the residence of the ancient family of the Carletons, who appear to have been settled here from soon after the time of the conquest, until the failure of male issue by the death of Robert Carleton, Esq., in 1707.”[1]¬† This occurred after seven successive generations of Thomas Carletons as the ‘man of the house’,¬†and the Hall was then¬†purchased by John Pattinson of Penrith, attorney-at-law.[2]

The south east side of Carleton Hall, Cumbria Police Headquarters, at Penrith. Strictly copyright, 1979, Eddie Wren. All rights reserved.

In 1828, Thomas Lord Wallace sold the hall and manor to John Cowper, Esq.¬† “The grounds and walks owe many of their attractions to the correct taste of Mrs Wallace, widow of James Wallace, Esq., His Majesty’s Attorney-General, and mother of the above-named Lord Wallace.¬† That lady succeeded in rendering Carleton one of the most beautiful spots in this part of England…”[1]

During the first half of the twentieth century it was the home of the Carleton-Cowper family.

The Grade II* Listed Building is described as early 18th Century, with alterations made later that century.  It was restored in 1859 and partly rebuilt in 1937.[3]

The name ‘Carleton’ originates from the¬†Old English words¬†‘ceorl, ‘carle’ or¬†‘charle’, which mean ‘farmer’ or ‘free peasant’, plus¬†‘tŇęn’ a ‘vill’ or ‘settlement’.¬†The meaning is¬†therefore: ‘settlement of farmers’, as a result of which prolific originations¬†the place names and surnames¬†of Carlton, Carleton¬†and Charlton¬†are quite common in England.[4]

During the war years of 1940-43 the hall was occupied by the Furze Close School and from 1943-46 it was a military hospital.

Police Years

In May, 1950, the hall was occupied by the Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary, forerunner of the Cumbria Constabulary which in turn came into existence when the modern, non-metropolitan county of Cumbria was created in May 1974, at which time both entities absorbed small areas from North Yorkshire (the Sedbergh area) and Lancashire (the South Lakes and Furness). Cumbria is the second-largest county in England, at 2613 sq.ml. (6,767 sq.km.).

An intake of cadets on the south east steps of Carleton Hall Police H.Q. in the late 1970s, Photo copyright, Eddie Wren, 1979. All rights reserved.

Related old buildings nearby¬†which used to be the stables, carriage houses, etc.,¬†frame three sides of a courtyard which during police years has been known as the ‘traffic yard’, where the vehicle repair garages are located.¬† The rest of the police headquarters consists of modern buildings of various ages.

Recollections

Steve Shearwater:¬† When I was stationed at H.Q. Traffic (nowadays known as the Roads Policing Unit), back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the main entrance foyer¬† of the old building at¬†Carleton Hall was still lined with large, grand oil paintings, with eyes that —¬†according to several of my former ‘control room’¬†colleagues who like myself used to do security checks through the hall at all hours of night — would “follow you around,” always seeming to be looking at you¬†wherever you walked.¬† Given that the only illumination,¬†by necessity for security checks, was a small flashlight, the autonomous, random¬†creaking of ancient floorboards and the legend of the ‘grey lady’ ghost added to the experience!¬† I presume that the oil paintings and the grey lady are all¬†still there.

Specifically on the subject of the ghost, Gordon Mackenzie fascinatingly writes: “I would be about 7 or 8, so maybe 1965/6, my dad [the headquarters caretaker]¬†had a workshop in the cellar of Carleton Hall next to the Armoury and which¬†was eventually used to store weapons in about the 1970‚Äôs.¬†¬†We used to live in one of the cottages which became the printing Dept in 1977 and I used to go and see the old man at night in his workshop, no security in those days.¬† I asked him one day about the¬†ghost.¬†¬†My Dad was very private and we had a struggle to get anything out of him about his childhood and war service, but this night he opened up to me about the ‘grey lady’. He said that he saw her on several occasions and not to be scared of her, and that she had a friendly face and was a guardian of Carleton Hall. She was searching for her baby daughter that her husband had killed in a fit of anger because he wanted a son and heir! The old man never spoke about the ‘grey lady’ again and would not repeat what he said to me, he denied it.¬†¬† A long time ago but one of those moments in my life that I will never forget.¬†¬† Carleton Hall can be a bit spooky to some but we never felt anything like that, I suppose we were used to it having grown up there.”

In this context, Heather Thompson has mentioned that some of the staff in the Admin. Dept., located in the actual Hall, hated working overtime because when it was time to leave they found the deserted building creepy.

Steve Shearwater

More recollections¬†from¬†serving/retired¬†police officers¬†and staff about any suitable H.Q. topics¬†would be very welcome for inclusion on this page (side-issue pages can easily¬†be added). Please post¬†any¬†pertinent,¬†non-controversial comments in the ‘Replies’ box,¬†below, and if possible¬†perhaps also send¬†digitised images¬†for inclusion (all info & images¬†will be credited to the sender).

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Sources

  1. The history and antiquities of Cumberland: with biographical notices and memoirs, 1840, by Samuel Jefferson, Vol. 1; pages 93-4.
  2. The history and antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, Vol. 2; pages 403-4.
  3. British Listed Buildings
  4. Wikipedia

Acknowledgements (other than those mentioned in the actual article, above):

  • Mark Jenkins

The former Keswick (‘Hawthwaite’) Magistrates Court

Now part of a restaurant, this is the interior of the former Magistrates Court at Keswick — the place known as Hawthwaite in Steve Shearwater’s Cumbria Police Novels — and it is still largely intact and recognisable.

.¬†¬†¬† The interior of the former Magistrates Court at Keswick, the Hawthwaite of Steve Shearwater’s¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬† .¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Cumbria Police Novels

The former witness box is beneath the small canopy, between the first and second windows on the left.  Journalists sat behind the barrier that is nearer the camera, behind the lady in blue and red.

The magistrates — sometimes just two but usually three — sat directly¬†behind the far barrier, up where the two distant people are, in this photo, and of course, facing this way.¬† The Magistrates’ Clerk — the only legally trained person on the team (generally a qualified solicitor) —¬†sat this side of that same¬†barrier, where part of a wood and¬†red leather seat can now be seen.

If the¬†defendant was still under arrest and therefore coming from the cells, they would be with a police officer¬†in the dock, seen here correctly¬†with¬†its brass rails still¬†around it (behind the stacked, children’s¬†high-seats,¬†on the right).

The lock on an old cell door – now a small, semi-private¬†dining room –¬†at the former Keswick police station¬†(photo¬†by Elizabeth Pennington)

Lastly, non-participating spectators would be seated where this shot was taken from, behind the nearest set of rails visible in the photograph.

I would be very curious to know how many police officers, over almost the entire 20th Century, went into this witness box and gave the oath:

“I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I will give shall¬†be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†

[Note that there is no “so help me God” in Britain¬†so over-enthusiastic witnesses who had seen too much American¬†television and¬†tried to include the phrase were reprimanded for not reading the words¬†from the card!]

This was followed by the announcement of rank, number and name, e.g.

“Your Worships, I am Constable 8-6-8 Shearwater, currently stationed here at Hawthwaite”¬†(or whichever other police station).¬†

One then waited until the prosecution gave the instruction to proceed with what is correctly known as¬†the ‘evidence in chief’.

Historical: It is thought local courts have been held in Keswick for hundreds of years. There was a Copyhold and Baronial Court in the town from medieval times. By 1847, a magistrates’ court operated on the second floor of Keswick Moot Hall on most Saturdays.

Building work commenced on Bank Street on the Keswick magistrates court and police station in 1901 and they were opened by Cumberland’s Chief Constable in 1902. They are on the site of a former workhouse that had been founded in the will of the eminent lawyer and judge Sir John Bankes, of Keswick.  Born in 1589, he was eventually called to the bar, elected as an MP, and was knighted in 1631. He was appointed Attorney General and from 1640 until his death in 1644 he was Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, one of the highest judicial officials in England and now the name of the restaurant that occupies these buildings. The court and police station remained in use until the year 2000.  As well as being a magistrates’ court for almost 100 years, the building was also used for many thousands of inquests, including those concerning many major accidents on the A66 and mountain and lakes tragedies.

Sadly, asset-stripping¬†by closing¬†police stations and courts has been happening throughout Britain for many years now, and whilst it¬†might be argued that we can get by with fewer, centralized courtrooms, there can be no denying that crime is on the increase because of fewer police officers¬† (down by over 20,000, nationally) and similarly that road deaths are also rising because of the reduction¬†in staffing or even the complete ¬†disbanding of each county’s Roads Policing Unit.

Steve Shearwater

Additional reading:   ANGER AND SADNESS AS KESWICK COURT CLOSES FOR BUSINESS, plus an additional article about the closure of the court, both from the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald

 

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    Copyright, 2017.  All rights reserved.    But the whole page may be shared on social media as long as it remains completely intact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife Crime: Cumbrian Peregrine Falcon Shot

27 March 2017

The RSPB* is investigating the death of a wild peregrine falcon in Cumbria…

.                      Peregrine Falcon (not linked to this incident). Copyright photo: Eddie Wren

The bird was given a post-mortem but the cause of death could not be confirmed. However, an X-ray carried out by a local vet uncovered three lead shot fragments in its neck, knee and hip, revealing the bird had been shot at an earlier date, but survived despite its injuries…

PC Sarah Rolland for Cumbria Police said: ‚ÄúIt is quite apparent that the peregrine [found at] Newbiggin had been shot at some stage in its life. However, the post mortem indicates the fragments of shot may be historic and were not the direct cause of its death…”

Peregrines, like all birds of prey, are protected by UK law. Anyone found guilty of killing or harming a peregrine could face a fine of £5,000 and jail. Despite this, since 2010 there have been 57 confirmed cases of birds of prey being shot in northern England alone.

If you have any information relating to this case [or any other wildlife crimes]¬†call Cumbria police on 101…

Read the full article, from ITV.

Steve Shearwater

 

* RSPB        Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Should the British Police all be Armed?

Terrorists are known to¬†select targets which give them maximum publicity and this week’s attack at Westminster¬†in London, at a globally-known landmark, with four victims killed from a total of three countries and¬†injured¬†people from 11 different countries, certainly created global news.

Now, in the immediate aftermath, it is accurate to say that media companies are still seeking every angle on the story.  Here in the Border Television region of Northern England and Southern Scotland, the question is being asked:  Should all police officers in our relevant counties be routinely armed?

.        Armed Police in Newcastle (Photo: ITV)

Many members of the public now believe that arming the police would be a good thing, although it needs to be said that many were against the presence of armed officers at a 2016 Christmas Fair in Newcastle (see the above photograph) because it was so out-of-keeping with the nature of the event.  Yet it also needs to be said that such events clearly do present themselves as potential targets from a terrorist point of view.  So there is a distinct clash of public opinions on this issue.

I joined the police back in the early 1970s and from the outset was of the stated opinion that if the British police, as a whole, were permanently armed during the period of my service, I would resign on principle.

Are the British police perfect?  No, not by some distance, but they still rightly are the envy of many developed nations and iconic in their typical absence of firearms, other than on targeted protection duties.

As tragic as the death of PC 4157U Keith Palmer was, two days ago, it has to be said that almost certainly he was the only person injured or killed as a result of not every police officer at the Westminster¬†location being armed, and it is possible he might not have been able to save himself even if he’d had a gun, if he was caught unawares.¬† It is unlikely in the extreme that the police would have fired shots at the car when it was among pedestrians and other vehicles¬†on Westminster Bridge where all of the other injuries and deaths occurred, and in any event that did not happen.

Would the permanent arming of all police officers throughout Britain prevent terrorist attacks or the lone-wolf attacks of mentally unstable people?  Quite clearly not, otherwise there would have been no attacks in France or Germany or any other countries where all the police are armed.

Aside from terrorism, Britain’s serious crime squads naturally do carry firearms whenever deemed necessary, but that is not what this is about.

One key question is: Would arming all police¬†officers reduce the number of officers who are murdered on duty?¬† This is a very appealing conclusion to draw.¬† However, based on the information given in the¬†source shown in¬†paragraph (b) in the below footnotes, ‘only’ about 134 British¬†police officers have been the victims of deliberately intended deaths in the 117 years since the start of the year 1900 — an average of 1.145 officers per year.¬† (Note that this does not include over¬†300 police victims of¬†the euphemistically-named ‘Troubles’¬†in Northern Ireland or of IRA bombs in¬†England.)¬† This question therefore is whether arming all British police officers would be likely to reduce the remarkably low number of officers who are deliberately killed on what can be classed as normal duties.

Would there be any disadvantages to arming all British police officers?  Three that stand out are:

  1. It is argued, with some justification, that criminals committing serious crimes are more likely to carry firearms to aid their escape if they know the police will be armed.  This clearly increases the danger for anyone in the vicinity;
  2. As soon as a police officer with a handgun gets into a physical confrontation, there is a danger that the person or people he/she is fighting with will try to take away the firearm and could potentially use it against the officer, a particular risk if drunk, drugged or mentally unstable people are involved.  This, in turn, is more likely to cause officers to use their weapon themselves.  Again, the dangers increase dramatically.  Please view the 15 October 2016 article in the footnotes below, and you will see that in just one year there were an estimated 23,000 assaults against British police officers.  I cannot believe for one minute that if guns had been carried at all of these events there would have been no lethal outcomes;
  3. It is, in my opinion, inevitable that at least some crime suspects would end up being shot when a gun-free policing approach would otherwise have brought them in alive.¬† This, of course,¬†isn’t a criticism of the guns, per se, but of the fact that with any very large body of armed officers some will inevitably interpret and apply¬†the relevant rules and laws, shall we say,¬†“a little too freely.”¬† Other countries’ police forces already provide repeated examples of this undesirable situation.

At the opposite extreme to the current state of affairs in¬†Britain, it is a fact that in just 20 days during January 2016, police officers in the USA shot and killed more people than had been shot and killed by the police¬†in Britain in the previous 25 years!¬† I’m not pretending that either country is like the other but with a population ratio of just 5:1¬†the disparity is so cataclysmic that in Britain¬†we really must ask ourselves¬†whether we wish to risk heading in that direction.

This is an important topic.¬† Please feel free to add your comments at the foot of this page (polite and sensible only, please).¬† Or just a ‘Yes’ for arming all police officers or a ‘No’ for not doing so will suffice!

Steve Shearwater

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Related topic: Roll of Honour for Cumbria Police Officers

Footnotes:

a)¬† How many British¬†police officers are harmed in the line of duty?¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “The Home Office estimates there were 23,000 assaults against officers in 2014/15, and (in the then 70 years)¬†since 1945 more than 250 officers [see below]¬†have been fatally shot… [Between 2010 and October¬†2015], 11 officers of the Metropolitan police lost their lives in the line of duty.”¬† The Guardian. 15 October 2015

b)¬† It looks possible that the above¬†claim that “since 1945 more than 250 officers have been fatally shot” may be¬†misleading¬†because a separate, seemingly¬†well-sourced list shows that a total of ‘just’¬†260 officers have been killed as a result of¬†criminals’ actions¬†between 1900 and 2016 (of whom 68 officers¬†were shot and 23 stabbed).¬† Of these 260 deaths, however, ‘only’ about half of them (i.e. 129) appear to have died as a result of deliberate assaults by an offender, as opposed to say deaths that occurred during pursuits.¬† This latter¬†list, however, excludes those officers killed in the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland which may¬†explain the aforementioned¬†apparent¬†disparity in overall¬†numbers.

 

 

Help with UK police jargon & Cumbrian dialect words, for overseas readers

It was obvious from the outset that I couldn’t write an accurate police story without using the appropriate ‘period jargon’ and that similarly¬†my novel¬†couldn’t capture the fabulous aura and personality of the Cumbrian people without including¬†dialect speech.¬† But if these aspects might put off some¬†readers from outside Britain, don’t worry; help is literally at hand!

“Blues & Twos” – driving at speed, using the flashing blue lights and two-tone sirens (now multi-tone, but the nickname persists)

Simply have your laptop, tablet or smartphone handy when you are reading and if you find any confusing words or phrases click on the tabs at the top of each page of the website, for either — unsurprisingly — ‘Police Jargon’ or ‘Dialect’, and your confusion will disappear!¬† (And if it doesn’t, please tell me and I’ll fire the person who wrote this!!!¬†ūüôā )

Steve Shearwater

Purchase the Cumbria Police Novel ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ here

The Facebook page ‘Cumbria Police Novels’ (which is the ‘tag line’ at the top of each page and blog post¬†on this website) now has both the paperback and Kindle versions of ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ on sale¬†through Amazon UK. British readers¬†click here.

Readers in the USA, Canada and other countries, click here.

 

 

 

A new dialect list for agricultural and farming words in Cumbria. Would you like to help?

As a young police officer who quite often had to deal with farmers in order¬†to enforce such as the stock movement laws designed to minimise risks from livestock¬†diseases such as foot and mouth (USA: ‘hoof and mouth’), I was frequently faced with solid dialect speech.¬† Having been born and¬†raised in the Lake District, and having worked as a lad on several farms during school holidays, I wasn’t troubled by the dialect — indeed, I loved it —¬†but sadly this delightful aspect of our Cumbrian culture has been fading for decades.¬† This has given me a determination¬†to preserve at least some bits of it in my writing.

A lot of my long-term and¬†new-found friends in various Cumbrian groups within Facebook have contributed a lot to the now-growing list of general dialect words on the steveshearwater.co.uk¬†website and it has been so successful that I’m now asking for everyone’s help with a list of specifically farming-related dialect words, which I think may be unique once it’s created in sufficient depth.

Many¬†agricultural words undoubtedly are found across larger areas than just our county of Cumbria so their inclusion in the imminent¬†list¬†may be short-term until we establish for certain whether they are unique to the dialect or not.¬† Also¬†included will be dialect/regional words for features found in the ‘statesman farmer’ type of houses that were built here in the 18th Century and¬†for other types of farm buildings.

If you want to participate and suggest some agricultural dialect¬†words please reply to this message on Facebook or¬†submit your answers on a ‘Reply’ within this message on the steveshearwater.co.uk¬† website.

Finally, on the shearwater website there is now the facility for readers to ‘like’ individual pages and posts so I would be very¬†grateful if you would click the ‘Like’ buttons¬†at the bottom of¬†any pages you approve of.¬† (There are¬†also buttons allowing you to¬†‘share’ those pages straight to Facebook, Twitter¬†or Google+, so please feel free to use those, too, if you wish.

One last thing, if you want to¬†help with the creation of this presumably unique list, you will have to do well to beat the West Cumbrians because they submitted far, far more suggestions than everyone else combined, for the general list.¬† Come on, everyone else in Cumbria…. or will you let them win hands down, once again? !!! ūüėÄ