Ray 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
|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.|
|05:45||Local magistrates court.|
|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.|
|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.|
|21:40||The obligatory ‘Diseases of Animals’ exam for rural policemen.|
|22:30||Policing Red Marley and Shelsley, hill climbs.|
|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.|