Knowing your local bobbies

THIS week’s Archive Corner picture shows two police constables based in Dinnington in 1964 when the colliery was the hub of the community.

Monday, 5th December 2011, 8:14 am

The photo appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post on 9th July that year and was sent to us by Robert Cannings, of South Anston, whose father Dick is seen on the left.

Pc Cannings had been policing the town for 13 years and is pictured with Pc John Jones, who had worked there for five years.

They were both the sons of miners and described as “comfortable, patient men”. They stressed how an understanding developed between the miners, their families and the local policemen.

Pc Jones said: “Generally, if you are straight with a miner he will be straight with you.”

“They don’t harbour resentment. I’ve lost count of the times men have said to me ‘well lad, tha’s got tha job to do’.”

Pc Cannings said that the police sergeant in charge of the section was a guide, philosopher and friend to the villagers. They turned to him when they were in trouble.

Dinnington’s policemen, on their part, could put a name to most of the 11,000 people who lived in their section.

Back when this photo was taken Dinnington Colliery employed 1,700 people and yielded half a million tons of coal every year, provoking a sense of pride in the whole community.