The man who first mooted the idea of a museum for Cheshire Constabulary, was proud to see the results at the Warrington venue’s Open Day.
Former Deputy Chief Constable Graeme Gerrard was among the 302 guests at the third August Open Day at the Arpley Street Museum of Policing in Cheshire.
Graeme was born in Hong Kong, as his dad was in the Army, but the family moved to England when he was two.
He joined Cheshire Police when he was 16 and worked alongside museum manager retired Police Constable Peter Hampson (pictured).
Graeme was an Inspector, then Superintendent, in Warrington. He later moved to Force HQ in Winsford where he was Deputy Chief Constable until retirement in 2012.
When the force sold its headquarters in Chester and its training centre in Crewe, he responded to calls to preserve relics that were of historical interest.
“A few colleagues came to me to see if items could be preserved, otherwise many would have ended up in a skip. At the time we didn’t realise the historical significance of many of these items.”
One exhibit – which proves to be popular with visitors today – is the Astra police car. He said the toy company Matchbox copied it to make a model, later the car was stored in the police station garage.
When the old cells at Arpley Street were no longer needed – being replaced by county custody suites – the cells were donated to the museum. It was then that the site started to take shape as the museum of today.
Graeme, a former chair of the museum for many years, hadn’t visited the museum since 2012 and was impressed.
“It’s a fabulous attraction and I’m impressed by how it’s developed. It makes you wonder where all this stuff would have gone if we hadn’t started the museum.
“It gives me a great sense of pride to see how it’s grown and seeing everyone enjoying their visit today. There’s also a great bunch of volunteers to bring the visit to life.”
Graeme and his wife live in Kingsly, they have a grown-up son and daughter and four grandchildren.
In his spare time, he does talks on his career and raises funds for the museum.
The final August Open Day will be on Wednesday 30th from 10am to 3pm.