David Charles Jones
My name is David Charles Jones. I was born in Brecon in 1929. From there, when I became 18, I went into the Army, national service for three years. I then came back to Worcester on the railway and whilst down there I met a young lady. She lived in Penarth and she had quite a good job in the Post Office. Well she said, "I don't really want to come up there."
And then on one occasion I went to Penarth for the weekend and she pointed out a rather tall policeman on the other side of the road. And she said "I think you should talk to him. He's been talking to me." And I looked at him. He was a bit taller than me. And I said to my wife to be: "Well if he wants you, he can have you." She said: "Don't be silly, go over and speak to him." And I spoke to him and his circumstances were similar to mine and he decided to leave the railway and join the police force. I did the same thing. I think the wages were slightly better than average but there were other considerations like a free house which was rent-free.
There was this huge tomcat. A sargeant came along and he said: "That tomcat's on your beat area. What you gonna do about it?" "Well," I said, "I'll sort him out now, Sarge." And my handcuffs were in my right-hand pocket and when you drew them handcuffs. I flicked the handcuffs and they went across the road, zoonk zoonk zoonk zoonk, across the road. Missed the tomcat, hit the kerb and straight through a plate glass window. So I looked through the window and I thought, well, I cannot get my handcuffs out and they were right at the back of the shop. But then I remembered that the lights in those days were gas lights and we had a gas light man came around in the night with his pole to put the gas lights on. So I knew where he kept his pole. I went round, got the pole and I was able to hook my handcuffs out of the window. So I decided to say that possibly a big lorry had come along, and a stone had fallen off it and bounced up and broke the window and I got away with it.
When I moved from Penarth to go to a station up in Croeserw, which was a village. There were three people in that village that ran the village. They are the three P's: the policeman, the priest and the publican. We knew everything. The Catholic priest came along to me, just after I arrived, and he said: "If you've got any trouble with my flock, before you give them the summons and take them to court, will you speak to me?" Now Catholic priests were all big fellows and they were all taught how to box and they gave the boxing gloves to the naughty boy and they gave them a little bit of a belting round the ear. Never no more trouble.
I was respected. I am now respected by some of the elder people or even some younger children and when I see them now, and I've been retired 25 years, people will say to me "Hello Mr Jones". There was respect in those days. But I had retired before anybody spit on my uniform or called me any naughty names. That wouldn't happen in my day because I would've walloped them and it's as simple as that.