The Off Beat Post July 2019

The Off Beat Post



It was great to receive such wonderful comments and stories from you all.

It appears that some may not be receiving the issues. Some glitches are happening where the issue is sent to your trash or spam folders so please spread the word to check them periodically.

I am able to send the copies straight to your email address but you may need to go to the foot of the issues and click on “Do you want to see all of this email?” as the photos may not be shown on the original.

A web post has been created on the NARPO site by Brendan Foy for the newsletter. So anyone who misses previous issues can read them via the below link:

The Off Beat Post




David Dutton uses the garden to brighten up his day whilst dealing with the aches and pains of ill health and gets great pleasure and satisfaction from the beautiful flowers and the taste of his fresh veg.

Here are some of his photos.

Sgt Derrick Simmons and Constable Ian Turner jumped into the freezing cold waters of The River Crouch at Hullbridge in February 1969 to rescue two boys who had been cut off by the rising tide.
Sadly one boy did not survive.
In his summing up at the inquest, the Coroner, Guy Jerman went on to to say of the Police of this country that they were, ” Not only upholders of the law, but they are expected to act with initiative, resource and enterprise in all kinds of situations regardless of whether or not they are proper matters for them as policemen.
I think we, as members of the public, would do very well to remember that the man who irritates us by booking us for parking or ticking us off for speeding might be a man who tomorrow is performing some feat of heroism beyond his duty but which we expect of him simply because he wears the uniform of a policeman”.

Great words that sum up so many aspects of our Service!

In 1970 both men were also awarded the Wilson Trophy by the Chief Constable for “The most meritous Act performed in the Course of their Duty”

I am in contact with Ian. Does anyone know anything of Derek Simmons?


From Keith Davey

Seeing the article about Eric Carter in the June Issue reminded Keith of his experience.

“Leading up to D-Day all the streets in our estate were crammed with military vehicles etc., that is all except ours as it was very narrow (Byron Ave. Southend). I was most put out as I was the only one at Bournemouth Pk. school who had no boasting rights Until one day coming home from school the street was full of lorries small tracked vehicles etc. The soldiers relied on their new “neighbours” for hot water and treats, if they were lucky!
Suddenly, one morning, they were all gone and I hadn’t heard a thing. The ‘photo shows the granite kerbstones still in their chipped state, they have never been changed. I took this within the last five years so they are probably the same now.”



From Bob and Dorothy Craven

An assessor from the above came to see us last week.

Our GP had placed our names with them as he had thought we needed more support.

She was very professional and experienced in all health issues.

We thought we were getting all we needed but were surprised when we found out what could be done for us to make our lives a lot better and as is their intention to “Keep Us Out of Hospital”!

We highly recommend you get in touch with them to ensure you are getting all from the NHS that fits your needs.

SOUTHEND TEAM 01702 372060 OR 01702 372061

I am sure there must be similar services in other areas!

The Off Beat Post Garden
The Off Beat Post Garden
The Off Beat Post Garden

A Postcard from:

David and Irene Westoby

Cruise on the River Danube – A Holiday to Remember

Celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary we cruised the Danube from Passau on the German Border through to Budapest in Hungary finishing with three nights in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Calling at Linz, European capital of Culture 2009, Melik wine growing region, the spectacular scenery of the Wachau Valley, beautiful Vienna and finally the ancient city of Prague with its Mozart Theatre, many statues, Old Square and amazing Astronomical Clock.
11 days of cherished memories, wonderful experience and highly recommend!
Our travel company was Emerald Waterways.

A Post Card from the River Danube
Our ship
A Post Card from the River Danube
A View while cruising
A Post Card from the River Danube
View from the Ferris Wheel in Vienna
A Post Card from the River Danube
The Astronomical Clock in Budapest

Silver Medal for Eddie Coates

Silver Medal for Eddie Coates

Using the supreme concentration gained from many grub breaks at Southend Nick, Eddie Coates gained a Silver Medal in the No5 Region Snooker Championships at Brighton in 1970.

The Essex team also included Dick Bloomfield, Peter Rouse and Dave James


Courtesy of Tony Everitt

One midweek day at Leigh Police Station, I paraded for 10.00am to 6.00pm duty and was instructed by Sergeant Peter Webber to “take a Velocette and get lost as there were too many of you lot on duty.” The only stipulation on this duty day was to relieve the Front Office Clerk, Gerry Covington, at 5.00pm.

“No problermo, Sergentio”.

Thus conforming, I selected a suitable bike from the entire motor pool, picking the one with the delinquent wireless.

Having done the pre duty check, I mounted said vehicle and joined the traffic circus of Leigh-on-Sea.

Up, down, round and round, up down round and round over the entire Leigh network of roads, only to administer the “Number One Look” to those cyclists silly enough to overtake me.

Refs came and went then back on the road again, the miles adding up.

Then, at 4.45pm., I headed back to Leigh travelling eastwards along Marine Parade, when, after some spluttering and a mile from the Station, my Stead stumbled to a halt. Out of petrol.

I knew, if I didn’t relieve Gerry on time, I would be drummed out of the Gerry Covington Leigh Canteen Club.

What to do; no fuel for miles!!!

I thought, if I could stop the next vehicle on the road, perhaps I could siphon some petrol from the tank and remunerate the driver.

Soon, a vehicle approached, travelling westwards. I stepped in front of said vehicle and in compliance with the Highway Code together with my Eynsham Hall training, held up my right hand and terminated its forward movement.

It was a London County Council Ambulance with a crew of two.

“Sorry to trouble you chaps but my Bike is out of fuel and I must get back to the Police Station. Can I syphon some fuel from your tank?

“Oh, no”, said the Driver. “We’re. Diesel”.

“DRAT”……………. Plan “B”? There was no plan “B”.

Responding to my obvious frustration, the Driver said, “Don’t despair, we’ll help you out”.

With this, he reversed the Ambulance up to the bike, opened the rear doors and between the three of us we eased the Velocette into the casualty area in the back. It fitted perfectly in the space between the two stretchers. With his crew one side and I the other, we set off at a snail’s pace arriving outside Leigh Nick, in Elm Road at 5.00pm.

It was always my intention to reward the crew and then slip into the nick surreptitiously but to my horror, the Driver said, “I’ll just let them know you’re back” as he dashed into the front office. I can just imagine what he said……………..”Don’t worry, I’ve got one of your lads in the back”……………..

We drove to the car park at the rear of the nick and unloaded the bike to the amusement of all at station and in the car park.

I retained my membership of the “Gerry Covington Leigh Canteen Club”

Tony Everitt Cons 39 Circa 1967

For those who haven’t got a clue what one was!!!

The Velocette LE was a motorcycle made by Velocette from 1948 to 1970. The designation LE stood for “little engine”. Used by over fifty British Police forces, the police riders became known as “Noddies” because they were required to nod to senior officers, and the LE was nicknamed “the Noddy Bike”. Wikipedia
Top speed: 50 mph (80 km/h)
Fuel capacity: 5.7 l (1.3 imp gal; 1.5 US gal)
Oil capacity: 1 l (0.22 imp gal; 0.26 US gal) wet sump
Tyres: MkI 3.00×19, Mk II & III 3.25×18
Also called: Noddy Bike
Weight: 120 kg (260 lb) (dry)
Seat height: 710 mm (28 in)

And here is one of our Velocettes displayed by Cadet Brian Reynolds in the 1960’s at the rear of the old Southend Police Station in Alexandra Street.

Can anyone name the other Cadet?? And the Police Dog??

Future Events

The Essex Police Pensioners Garden Party 2019

Essex Police Sports Association Pavilion,
Police Headquarters on :-

Friday 2nd August 2019 at 2 p.m. for 2.30 p.m.

Contact Sam Barkway at

Footnote :
This year the Buffet is provided free of charge
by your NARPO branches

Old Cops Club Reunion Lunch

Southend Rugby Club
Sumpters Lane
Southend on Sea SS2 5RR

1.00pm Friday 30th August 2019

Cost £15 per head Send Cheques made payable to:

The Old Cops Club
27 Chase Gardens
Westcliff on Sea

Another Reminder!

This newsletter is about you, and its success relies on your input.

My contact details are below and I look forward to hearing from you.

Useful NARPO Contacts

Southend Branch

Chairman Fred Simpkins
+44 (0)1268 459 185

Secretary Peter Yorke-Wade – Peter Yorke-Wade
+44 (0)1702 624 217

Membership Secretary John Coyle
+44 (0)1702 527 455

Welfare Dave and Hilary Seago
+44 (0)1702 526 583

Social Secretaries Mike and Lyn Beaveridge
+44 (0)1702 529 985

Chelmsford Branch

Sue Heaton –
+44 (0)774 884 8393

Colchester & North East Essex Branch

John Tingue –
+44 (0)125 581 3102

Copyright © *2019 BOB CRAVEN, All rights reserved.
OFF BEAT POST – Newsletter for Retired Police Personnel

Our mailing address is:
20 Marcus Chase Southend On Sea Essex SS1 3LG

Contact Bob Craven or text +44 (0)7884083641

The Off Beat Post July 2019