Autumn 2020

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

News from the Police Archives

The police archives are as busy as ever with 68 queries and counting since lockdown began.

We are starting to get back to something that looks a bit like normal with displays, some socially distanced talks and events back on the agenda.

Currently we are getting ready for Black History Month and for Armistice and sometimes things that we dig up during that research challenge our understanding of the force and even county history.

For years we and The Citizen believed that Britain’s first black police officer to be sworn in was Astley Lloyd Blair at Gloucester in January 1964. Further research shows that there was already a black special constable serving in Devon who by the time Blair was sworn in had been ‘a special’ for 25 years.


Astley Lloyd Blair on duty.


The volunteers continue to work hard at home but are looking forward to when we can have a responsible catch up in person. We have all loved looking at the Heritage Hub webpages and learning about the staff, volunteers and other hub users who have added content during lockdown.

Archive Officer, Sue Webb and local historian Barbara Osborne also contributed to the Family History event at this year's Gloucester History Festival.

Listen to Sue's talk about Police collar numbers and Barbara's about police ancestors in these short videos from the Family History page on Gloucester History Festival website. Click here for Family History page where the talks are listed.


To see all of the Family History talks click here

Visit for more information about the Police Archive.


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