Policing Brockham in more modern times
PC 425 Granville Lindsay who joined the Surrey Constabulary 4 June 1974
I was interview by the Chief Constable Peter Mathews and discussed hobbies which included church music and singing (I was at the time a church organist and choirmaster). While at Dishforth training school I had a telephone conversation with Superintendent Albert Tobin (Police choir secretary) and was advised that the police male voice choir practised at Dorking, there was a police house vacant at Dorking and would I like to join the choir? At the time I had not been given my posting. The best answer I have ever given was to say yes of course I would join the choir! My probationer posting was to Dorking and I lived at Spital Heath, joined the choir and sang next to John Finch. This started a long friendship with John and when John was retiring he contacted me (by this time I was working at HQ in the control room and living at Farncombe) as I had always said that I fancied Brockham as a posting.
Next was a grilling..I mean meeting with Sergeant Peter Cole at the Holmwood Office, several reports later and in May 1980 I arrived in Brockham as the new Mr Finch I was able to continue working the 3 villages, Brockham, Betchworth and Buckland much as John had. I was still making points at the phone boxes, going round on my bike and taking a turn with the car from Holmwood office.
When we worked the car for whichever duty we were on we started from home at the duty start time, cycled to the office and took out the car. Duty also terminated at our home having cycled back from the office at Holmwood..no fun on a 6pm-2am shift!
As a regular visitor to the school at Brockham I would take my turn at playing the piano for the morning assembly and the first time that I played the organ at Brockham church for the school carol service was a hoot as most of the village suddenly saw me in a new light My wife quickly became an unpaid member of the Surrey Police family when callers with many problems/complaints called at the house. Many times my children would be ushered out of the dining room as 'Daddy is working' but the children would say 'That's so and so's daddy and they are in my class.'
In 1987 the old Holmwood office was closed and we all moved to Spital Heath in the old traffic garages and policed the villages from there with the addition of a small motorcycle. In 1992 the whole of the Holmwood section was disbanded and the rural area was policed from Dorking with no specific officer for the villages. At this time I jumped ship to the vacant crime prevention officer's post based at Leatherhead where I remained till I retired in 2001 having moved offices from Leatherhead to Dorking then to Epsom and back to Leatherhead.
There are many stories....the lad who arrived on my doorstep with a large bottle of scotch 'my dad says I've got to say thanks but I don't know what for' There had been a party in the village the night before and I had delivered a very drunk teenager home to his parents rather than the cells.
...my cycle being put on top of the bonfire and attached to the pole the night before it was lit; I used to take a turn guarding.
....the rabbits and pheasants on the back doorstep; collecting prescriptions from the doctors/chemist and taking to Atkinson House and Broome Park; the lunches at Beechams when they had food tasting days; the hunt dinners which the whole section attended!