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14 July 2014
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You are in: South Today > Features > The village bobby

PC Dennis Thorne at East Meon in 1949.

The village bobby

What's all this then? Archive photos, unseen for more than half a century, taken at a time when village policing could mean rounding up a stray cow.

Photographs, taken in 1949, have been discovered lying forgotton in an attic. 

PC Dennis Thorne at East Meon in 1949.

PC Dennis Thorne

The pictures show East Meon's PC Dennis Thorne, who was photographed for an American magazine. 

You can see the photos in our village bobby gallery.  Use the link to the right of this page.

The idea was to show US readers how England was adjusting to life post-war. 

PC Thorne can be seen rounding up a cow, chatting to villagers and posing proudly with his trusty bike. 

The archive was discovered by Dennis's son Martin.

East Meon still has a policeman and Martin has come back to the village, to share these snapshots of social history with the man who wears the uniform today - PC Dave Baker.

PC Baker still has a bike but he normally uses his car - the response time is faster!

Times may have changed but have they changed for the better?  Would you feel safer if there was a more visible police presence in your community? Use the form below to tell us what you think.

last updated: 13/09/07

Have Your Say

Would you like to see a return to the days when the village bobby was a more familiar sight?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Martin Thorne (PC Thorne's Son)
Dad was offered a Velocette whilst at has last posting in Kingsclere but it was too large an area so he had a 1955 Ford Popular supplied. I think he would agree with both Keith Smith and PC Dave Baker, the current police officer in East Meon about local policing. The response to this 2 minute item has been overwhelming.

Harold Bunker
The village Police houses are fast disappearing. I have a friend who patrolled Hurstbourne Tarrant Nr. Andover on his bike and on his Velocette, a water cooled motor bike which was very quiet. The villagers felt safe knowing they had a policemen in the village. This was during the sixties.

Keith Smith
This is just what we need today.More PC Thorne's on the local beat - and on bicyles.

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