Ray Thomas

Thomas_Ray_May2017Ray moved to Great Witley in 1970 aged 40 to take up the position of Police Sergeant following his promotion. Ray and his wife Lillian came from Shifnal near Telford and Ray still lives in the village at the old police has although Lillian passed away in 2006.

Ray worked closely with Tom Dallow, the police constable in Great Witley and together they were responsible for a ‘section’ known as Martley, Clifton Clows Top, Astley, & Callow Hill, which included many smaller villages within those areas.

Ray, & Tom Dallows son Bill, jointly recorded their memories. Policing has changed a lot since 1970 and their recording describes how local policing used to be in our  villages, and how it changed up until the 1990s’.

Ray & Bills recording (36 mins 5 secs): Thomas_Ray & Dallow_Bill_20170221_1_2_A      

Policing the Witleys 1957 to 1980s


Start Topic Period
00:00 Introduction  
00:18 The ‘Martley Section’ covering local villages and early transport..  
01:15 Reductions in local police force.  
02:50 Names of the local police for each beat.  
03:30 Communication between beats and start of radio communication.  
04:50 Some typical crimes.  
05:19 Motor patrols.  
05:45 Local magistrates court.  
07:00 Poaching.  
07:50 Court days and the chairman of the magistrates.  
09:38 Police wives taking and passing on messages to the police.  
11:25 The police cells at Great Witley.  
12:50 Coroners court, jurys and the mortuary.  
14:30 Local magistrates.  
15:25 Working hours for the beat men.  
16:10 Local ‘intelligence’ and dealing with the gypsies and fruit pickers.  
19:00 Changes in rural lifestyles.  
20:20 Anthrax outbreaks.  
21:40 The obligatory ‘Diseases of Animals’ exam for rural policemen.  
22:30 Policing Red Marley and Shelsley, hill climbs.  
24:00 Tin baths.  
25:00 Trials of new police ‘scooters’, egg thieves, gate removing, and other the old ways of dealing with troublemakers.  
29:30 Local dance nights and youngsters getting drunk.  
32:00 Apple picking and cider.  
34:00 Changing attitudes to police.  


  1. Kevin Badham says

    Lillian worked at the Hundred House and was a lovely lady, remember her husband who ran the local station and the court building next to the station house. Its pity that she died in 2006 as i have great memories of her at the Hotel such a lot of fun and made the work go well.

  2. Hilary Watters says

    I was born in the first police house back in the 1970s when my Dad, Les Furminger, was a local police officer. We knew Ray and Lillian very well. Ray being my Dad’s Sgt but also our neighbours. I remember the magistrates court and the cells, and I have many happy memories from that early part of my life.

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