A Final Christmas Story

Martyn Hillier


Here’s another story from the past; again the late 1980s or so.

Police Constable  Rod Wells was based at St Marks and  a Mr and Mrs Logie-Campbell lived nearby.

A very community minded couple, they were mainstays of the community centre and born organisers of all manner of community events.

Anyway, Rod had been persuaded, coerced even, to be Father Christmas for the youngsters Christmas party, just a few days before Christmas itself.

Actually, it would be fairer to say that he had been stitched-up by Police Sergeant Chris Spry, who had volunteered him, in his absence………

I duly picked him up in a patrol car and on arrival it was explained to the youngsters that the sleigh, complete with reindeer, was parked up at the police station so the reindeer could have their supper whilst Father Christmas came to the party. Obviously…….

Anyway, it was a lovely hour or so whilst all the presents were handed out and to Rod’s credit he skilfully batted away a few tricky questions from enquiring, cynical even, young minds.

I clearly remember one ragamuffin who asked “Do you wrap all the presents yourself”? to which Rod answered “Well, no, because there are too many but I do have lots of elves helping me”.

Said ragamuffin turned to the assembled throng and announced “That’s what he told me when I asked him that last week, in the Co-op”. Cunning or what ?

On the way back we called by at my home to see my wife who about to leave for a night shift at Cheltenham General, hence the photos.










Once we’d left I detected that Rod was by now very much in role and  reluctant to call it a night, although I did point out to him that if I got a call we’d have to go, which would leave him potentially dealing with a job whilst dressed as

Santa or taking the costume off and being in shirt-sleeve order in late December……….

We called in at Dean Close School where a staff party was in full swing and Santa was well received by one and all…….

I was finally driving back to the nick when I thought we had one more card to play, so I called up and asked Control that Cheltenham cells be informed that I had a prisoner coming in, for Drunk and  Disorderly…….

We were informed that cells were expecting us, but that they were not exactly delighted…!

We got to the outer cell door and buzzed to be let in, at which point Rod went from his usual affable self to Mr Total Drunken Idiot.

I could see that our reception committee included Police Constable John Wright, the “legend of Leckhampton” and our arrival had rendered him less than his usual cheery self.

I managed to strong-arm my prisoner up to the counter and although I can’t recall exactly who the skipper was that night (possibly Roy Palmer), I could see a faint smile that said “I can see this is a wind-up”.

But not John, who gamely carried on trying to book the drunk in and  was getting more exasperated by the minute, until Santa said “Hello John; Merry Christmas”……….

Mr Wells, I salute you

This page was added on 08/01/2024.

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