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Law & Order ....
Jenny Pennell & Liz Gilding

The police house in Dereham Road was built in 1934 and prior to that the policeman used to live in Chain Cottage (one of the row near to the old bakery on Church Plain).

During the first world war the policeman was P.C. Powell, he was followed by P.C. Lound and then P.C. Singleton.

Next came P.C. Read in the early 1930s. He lived at Chain Cottage moving to the new police house in 1934. It is said that one day he had been playing bowls and afterwards (as he usually did) went into the Swan P.H. In the bar drinking were three men he recognised and he asked the landlady (Mrs. Earl) to lock the door to the room where the men were whilst he sent for reinforcements. Two policemen arrived from Dereham and the men were arrested and charged with the burglary that had taken place at Hurren’s Hut a few days previously.

After P.C. Read came the most talked about policeman of them all, P.C. Nightingale (known to the villagers at “Nighty Nighty”). He lived with his wife in the house at Dereham Road, moving there from Weston, (she was also known as P.C. Nightingale as she had a reputation for being nosy and kept her eye on everything that happened in the village - she apparently also had a very loud voice).

He used to hide in farm gateways at night to watch for cyclists coming along with no lights (not an uncommon thing in the 30s and 40s).

Next came P.C. Pitchers who retired to a house in Back Lane and died only a couple of years ago.

He was followed by P.C. Anderton.

If anybody has any further information, stories, or more exact dates of when these policemen were in the village we would be pleased to hear from them.

February 2004.

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