Valley Wives Meeting Reports – April & May

From Joan Steel
Due to holidays, this is a belated report for April and an interesting account from Janet(Clarke) about the May Meeting.

Alan Copeland was our speaker for the April meeting and among over thirty subjects he speaks on, we had the talk with slides on “Tales of the Unexpected”. Generally, people tend to miss many interesting and unusual things during their ordinary travels, if they are not observent. Alan has photographed many curios and odd items connected with e.g. early days of motoring, war heroes, churches and other buildings, countryside items, royalty etc. and has researched their histories, stories and legends. He entertained us with many amazing tales of things locally that we could go to see for ourselves as well many further afield that he had described. Alan was warmly thanked for a most facinating evening.

The speaker at the May meeting was P.C. Lee Turnham, our local policeman who told us that he began his career at Southall where he was allocated itchy woolen trousers, a blue shirt a balsa wood trunchon and a pocket book. He had to supply his own boots. After only one week and no training, he was sent to High Wycombe. Later he was sent for ten weeks training, then returned to High Wycombe and became a qualified P.C. after he had gained two years experience. Four years later he took a post at the Vehicle Traffic Department where he inspected vehicles that had been in accidents, one being the lorry that ran out of control on Amersham Hill. Eventually P.C. Lee became Area Beat Officer for Hazelmere and finally Neighbourhood Police Officer for eight villages. During his talk he showed us items that had been used in offences or had just been confiscated e.g. a knife that had been used in a house burglery, a kitchen knife which had been used on him, two knives carried by young girls, two air guns and an air rifle that had been used to shoot a cat. His uniform has changed over the years to combat trousers, polo shirt, bullet proof jacket with belt to carry handcuffs and a cup for liquid. The helmet has changed to a flat cap and riot helmet with visor, also a high visibility jacket. P.C. Lee said community police are efficient at dealing with petty crime, so always telephone him and if he is out on duty, leave a message for him to listen to on his mobile phone. He answered many questions at the end of the meeting and stayed to talk to people. P.C Lee donated his fee to the hospice fund. Sylvia (Kinch )gave the vote of thanks for a very interesting evening.

Our next meeting is on 1st June when Kate Miller’s talk is “Himalayan Singing Bowls”. For our competition please bring an interesting item begining with W.