Bobbies on bicycles, two by two...

A picture believed to show the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Denis Daly, visiting Marchants Hill, 1940

Six evacuees killed as mortar exploded in camp dormitory

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I am now of an age when I can remember when we had a police force instead of a ‘service’, when bobbies rode about on upright bicycles and wore gaberdine macs.

Constables wore blue shirts and a tie and police cars were Ford Populars. The thought of a policeman on the street with a gun was unthinkable.

All contact with their local station was via a police box with a flashing blue light above it to attract their attention.

The thought of anyone trying a terrorist attack never even entered my mind, in fact I would not have even known what the phrase meant.

Sadly, today, that innocent world of my boyhood and youth has long passed with policemen wearing stab vests and carrying an arsenal of weapons.

I know we shall never return to those distant days, but I am glad I was brought up then and not today.

What my grandchildren have to look forward to fills me with dread and I wonder what life will be like when they reach my age.

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