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18th November 2014 - Policing   1959 – 1989    

George Tennant

President Ian Dewar welcomed a large attendance to the meeting on Tuesday 18th November when George Tennant, a retired Police Inspector gave a talk on his thirty years in Policing.

He was attracted to Policing being brought up in Whitburn which was full of policemen due to the location there of two Police camps and he was used to having a police lodger at home. However he first spent 5 years as an apprentice baker and then served as a Chef doing his National Service in the RAF. In 1959 he joined the Lothian and Peebles Constabulary, then one of thirty two forces. The purpose of policing was officially, “Protect life and property and report offenders to the Courts”. George was posted to Peebles and fitted with a uniform discarded by a retiree. He was, untrained, sent out alone on foot on the beat, equipped with just a truncheon (hidden down his trousers), a whistle to summon help, a notebook and a waterproof crayon!  The latter was to mark out the area of a crashed vehicle as the priority was to quickly remove the obstacle from the scene to keep the traffic flowing. On returning he would be asked “who did you speak to today?” Crime was low in Peebles and he was regarded as to be there to help the public and Police and public got to know one another. Then he was transferred to Gorebridge which was quite different with thefts of electricity and coal from neighbours being constant. Then onto Livingston where theft of building materials from the New Town building works was a major enterprise.  John Lindsay gave a hearty vote of thanks. Next meeting is an Open Day to all welcome, on Tuesday 2nd December at 10,00am, Municipal Hall with a panel of senior pupils from Biggar High School.

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