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Jill Guest's latest research into Cradley Police Station and Constable Thomas Dyson.

Front View of the Police Station                          Colley Lane with the schools on the left & Police Station on the right.                                         

It is not known when the Police station opened, it is first mentioned in Kelly’s Trades Directory 1884 listed as, County Police station High Street, John Clare in charge.

The 1888 Kelly’s lists William Webb in charge.

The 1892 Kelly’s lists County Police station, Colley Lane Walter Clarke officer in charge.

By 1904 Walter Clarke is the Sergeant in charge and four constables.

1901 census Colley Lane Police Station.

Walter Clark Head married 40 Sergeant of Police born Britton Gloucs.

Louisa Clarke wife married 39 born Tetbury Gloucs.

Edward Webb boarder single 24 Police Constable born Tenbury Worcs.

George Dyson boarder single 23 Police Constable born Severn Stoke Worcs.

Charles Clarke son 18 single Furnace fitter born Oldbury Worcs.

Florence Clarke daughter 8 born Cradley Worcs.

William J Allen Head married 37 Police constable born Hanley Castle Worcs.

Louisa Allen wife married 37 born Hanley Castle Worcs.

William C Allen son 6 born Cradley Worcs.

The Journal of Police Constable 317 George Thomas Dyson was found in a drawer in the Police Station when it was being used as a Community Centre. It is dated from August 9th 1900 to 14th May 1903. Instructions for use are inside the front cover. It contains mainly dates, hours of duty and places patrolled around Cradley and the surrounding districts.

In the front of the book are several documents, the one shown below (bottom right) relates to the movement of pigs during an outbreak of swine fever and is dated 15th October 1889 signed by Frank Oliver. One pig is to be moved from Frank Oliver's Barn Farm, Two Gates, Cradley to Frank Oliver's Oldnall Farm, Two Gates, Cradley. The form is counter signed by sergeant Clarke.

The Maypole was a Public House in Maypole Hill Netherend Cradley kept by the Leonard Family for several generations.

From Thursday October 18th 1900 to Thursday 25th October George is on leave at Severn Stoke where according to the census he was born. All his leave in the journal is spent back home. In 1903 he gets married at Severn Stoke, and by the 1911 census he is a Police Constable at Clows Top Bewdley with his wife Helen and son Alfred Harold Dyson aged 6 years.

 1911 Census Police station Cradley has two families and two single police constables living there.

William Nobes head 44 married 17 years Police Sargent Worc. County

Annie Maria Nobes wife 50

William Arthur Nobes son 16 single

Beatrice Maud Nobes daughter 11 school

Percy George Nobes son 8 school

 Joseph Ernest Johnson head 37 married Police Constable

Elizabeth Louise Johnson wife 33

Harold Ernest Johnson sone 11 school

 Ernest Hayes 27 single Police Constable

Arthur Joseph Ashford 25 Police Constable.

A typical weeks patrols from the Journal

 Friday 12th October 1900 Hours of duty, 9am-5pm & 8.30-12.30pm. Names of places visited, Stourbridge, Lutley & Hagley Gate, Colley Gate & Overend.

Remarks, To Attend Petty sessions. Met PC304 Lutley 9pm, PC228 Hagley Gate 10pm,S337  PC231 Overend 12midnight.

 Saturday 13th October 1900 Hours of duty,9am-1pm, 2pm-5pm & 10pm to 4am.Names of places visited, Station, Stourbridge, Two Gates & Overend, Cradley Park & Colman Hill, Netherend & Cradley Bridge. Remarks, Cleaning Station. Received Pay from Mr Supt. Pugh £2.5s 9d

Met S337, PC 231 Overend 12midnight. S337 PC 262 Cradley Park 1am  PC231 Colman Hill 2am.

 Sunday 14th October 1900 Hours of duty 2.30pm -4.30pm & 9.45pm- 4.45am.Names of places visited Colley Gate & Oldnall, Overend & Two Gates, Netherend & Cradley Bridge, Round of Beef & Careless Green. Remarks, On Patrol Met PC122 Overend 11pm, S337 PC288 Netherend 12.30am. Met PC262 Careless Green 4am.

 Monday 15th October 1900 Hours of duty 6pm-8pm & 10pm -4.30am. Names of places visited, Two Gates & Overend, Colley Gate & Overend, Cradley Park & Two Gates, Fairview & Careless Green. Remarks, On Patrol. Met S337 PC122 Overend 12 midnight, met S337 PC288 Cradley Park 1am PC122 Fairview 3am, met PC288 Careless Green 4am.

 Tuesday 16th October 1900 Hours of duty 6pm-8pm & 10pm- 4.30am. Names of places visited, Two Gates & Oldnall, Colley Gate & Overend, Cradley Park & Wassell Grove & Hagley Gate. Remarks, On Patrol met S337 Colley Gate 11pm PC122 Overend 12 midnight S337 PC288 Cradley Park 1am, PC288 Wassell Grove 2-30am, PC202 Hagley Gate 3-30am.

 Wednesday 17th October 1900 Hours of duty 6pm-8pm & 8pm-2.30am.Names of places visited Colley Gate & Overend, High Street & Maypole, Overend & Cradley Bridge. Remarks On Patrol Met S337 PC231 High Street 11pm, Met Staffs PC Overend by crossing 1am.

 Thursday 18th October 1900  Names of places visited Severn Stoke On Leave.

Remained at Severn Stoke until Thursday 25th October returning at 9pm.

Please click the PDF button below to download a list of cases bought forward by George Dyson PC 317.

The last entry in the journal is Thursday 14th May 1903. Entry on back page November 10th 1902 Posted 12 Bills respecting swine fever infected area.

Between August 10th 1900 and May 14th 1903  PC George Dyson PC317 brought forward 170 cases.

Of those 16 were ladies, 11 charged with coal stealing, 4 with indecent language and 1 drunk on the highway.

There were 54 cases of Gambling                                                     2 Riding bicycle on footpath

31 cases drunk & disorderly                                                              1 drunk on licenced premises and assault on Police officer

28 cases indecent language                                                               1 drunk on licenced premises

16 cases of coal stealing mainly women                                           1 Drunk in charge

11 cases wilful damage                                                                        1 Driving without a light

10 cases drunk on highway                                                                 1 Riding a bicycle without a light

6 Breach of the peace                                                                           1 Horse straying

2 Driving without lights                                                                        1 stealing post

2 shooting with catapult

Nearly all of the cases resulted in a fine some with costs and some including costs, only one resulted in prison, that of Benjamin Barker who on 20th March 1903 was given a two  month prison sentence for Wilful damage and was fined 10/- and costs for being drunk on licenced premises.

The largest fine of 40 shillings including costs was given to John Henry Smith for the crime of stealing post on 27th February 1903. The smallest of 6d and costs was given to Sydney Taylor on January 4th 1901 for Wilful damage.

As  PC 317 George Dyson’s patrols took him to Wassell Grove, Hagley, Wollescote and Lye not all the miscreants were from Cradley, they were all tried at Stourbridge Petty Sessions on Fridays. PC Dyson also had to travel to Stourbridge to collect his pay.

Saturday mornings were spent cleaning the Station. He was also responsible for posting bills and serving summonses while on patrol.

On Tuesday 9th October and Wednesday 10th October 1901 he was on special duty at Stourbridge Town Hall.

Taken from the County Express January 1977, The Police Station in Colley Lane was to be demolished and a new community centre built in its place. The Police Station had closed some years earlier and had been used as a community centre. It was demolished and a new community centre built in its place.

Three keys were found still in the doors of the cells of the police Station.

Written By Jill Guest 2022

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