Object of the Month is back!

Object of the month is back! It returns with an artefact chosen by the mayor of Bishop’s Stortford, Cllr Richard Townsend. He chose this Special Constabulary Badge.
The mayor stated: “When asked to consider some artefacts in our extensive museum (housed within the South Mill Arts), the Special Constabulary badge caught my eye as I served a number of years in “Y” division throughout Enfield Edmonton, Southgate, Cheshunt, and Waltham Cross.”

During that time, I experienced many wonderful and some horrific and intriguing events. I worked with officers from all parts of the Metropolitan Police and their civilian support staff at police stations across “the ground”.

Seeing this medal also reminded me of the numerous attendances at Central London events, participating in crowd and traffic control, attendance at crown and magistrates’ courts presenting evidence, logging incidents, writing reports and serving all factions of the community. I especially enjoyed nightshifts, which were always active as we never knew what would be next and the work was always challenging, but sometimes frustrating.

During World War One, the regular police force was much reduced due to large numbers of policemen serving with the armed forces. The special police force had to take on extra duties; a fact acknowledged by the then Earl of Essex and Hon Chief Commandant of the Special Constabulary.  The Hertfordshire Mercury of 14th August 1915 published a letter the Earl had sent to Special Police Section Leaders in which he said: ‘ I shall be glad if you will impress upon the special constables of your respective sections that they are rendering valuable service to the county, and that the duties they are now performing are of great assistance and a real help at a time when it is greatly needed.’

The normal Special Constabulary badge did not have a date on, but this one was issued marked 1914, in recognition of their service. Sadly, the museum records do not show who it belonged to.

It is now on temporary display with other past and upcoming Objects of the Month in our Uncovered Gallery on the first floor of the Bishop’s Stortford Museum in South Mil Arts.