Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary members were transported back to the 1960s and 70s at their 21st century Zoom on April 6th. Mike Robson a long-standing colleague and former policeman gave his recollections with a fund of stories of those now distant days. Training over 12 weeks at Newby Wiske saw a militaristic start with marching, kit inspections and bed making all part of the short sharp introduction.
Once qualified Mike’s first beat was Thornaby where a new town was still in the process of construction (this was 1968). There were good days but delivering bad news was also part of the task and Mike was obliged to notify a mother that her son has disappeared presumed drowned whilst swimming on holiday in Switzerland, her reaction was extreme and violent as she sought to attack and throttle the bearer of this awful news. There were amusing times too- on one occasion they attended a house explosion to find an elderly gentleman naked after detonating his gas lit illuminations. He was taken into care where on pleading pennilessness the carers purchased a new set of pyjamas, meanwhile Mike and his colleagues on securing the house and any valuables discovered a positive treasure trove of funds (all shilling pieces) under the gents bed
There were several tales of football hooliganism, rife in the 1970s, Chelsea were the most aggressive and a narrow escape came to pass when Mike felled a tall blond and aggressive supporter who lashed out and injured his colleague in retaliation. He was taken into custody and searched whereupon a loaded revolver was discovered in his coat pocket! Another the football crowd incident, this time at Hartlepool saw Mike attacked and assaulted when he sought to resolve a disturbance. Unfortunately, the trial of his assailant at which he was obliged to give evidence clashed with an alternative commitment at which Mike was to act as Best Man for a friend’s wedding. On rising to speak in his morning suit with carnation lapel the magistrates took his statement and dismissed him in sufficient time to cover his secondary role that day.
Although not covered in the same detail Mike’s career blossomed when his aptitude for computers coincided with Cleveland Police developing their command and control systems utilising this , then new-fangled technology. Their systems were so advanced that police forces across the globe visited to study their pioneering work all of which made Mike a very happy police inspector. In giving the vote of thanks Mavis Hiscox expressed the thanks of all for a career of public service whose good and bad sides we had just experienced.