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Author Topic: Rochester Police Station.  (Read 47301 times)

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kevin payne

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2012, 16:28:13 »
In the guilhall museum they have changed the entrance,and now you go through the door that they used to take the prisoners through,also,if you stand on the stairs,look out of the rear windows,looking down and to your right,you will see windows with bars,which were the prison cells,now the kitchen area.Next to the corn exchange clock in the high st.,is a new restaurant,i was aloud in there while it was being converted,a very ancient building,with stained glass windows up at the back,and some kind of tunnel thingy in the cellars,if you face the front of this building and look up ,there is an old wooden plaque explaining that this building used to house the city jailers.Beneath the six poor travellers,their is the first prison cell in rochester,two policemen mates showed me some photos of it,theres a place where prisoners would be chained and flogged,and if you payed sixpence,you could take part!!

kevin payne

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #54 on: July 27, 2010, 18:14:36 »
When the police station on castle hill was demolished,i went down there to find that getting on my hands and knees i could still see some of the prison cells,being young i was quite excited at the time as i had read that harry houdini had escaped from one of them within a blink of an eye,i have seen an old print in a local book showing houdini and chief inspector arnold of rochester police,sitting on a bench in the castle gardens to back this story. 

seafordpete

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #53 on: July 16, 2010, 17:06:09 »
Hence 'epaulette' for 'shoulder strap', I suppose? That's brilliant, Pete.
yes

Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2010, 15:16:45 »
Hence 'epaulette' for 'shoulder strap', I suppose? That's brilliant, Pete.
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seafordpete

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2010, 14:17:39 »
Epaul, presumably angicized version of "epaule " a shoulder but also meaning buttress

Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2010, 10:35:39 »
I think that's one of the Cathedral spires in the background.

Now I realise that the building was not at the top of the hill coming up from the Esplanade, at the bend in the road in your uncropped aerial photo, that makes sense. As for 'epaul', I can't find an English translation of that word (or rather, 'Google Translate' can't).
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Offline numanfan

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2010, 09:15:30 »
I've just noticed a conical tower at the bottom end of the building that does not show in the aerial photo.

I think that's one of the Cathedral spires in the background.

As for "Epaul Lane". I'm sure I've read somewhere that it derives from Apple Lane, so it's possible there were orchards in the area (or farmers sold their goods there).

 And being Rochester they couldn't have common old Apple Lane on the map :)
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2010, 20:19:08 »
I've now got the answer to my original question - the location of the pre-war police station as being behind, not in, the Guildhall, so thanks to all for that.

I assume the 'front' entrance was in Castle Hill, as per photo 2. I've just noticed a conical tower at the bottom end of the building that does not show in the aerial photo. Has anyone any ideas about that? It seems a big building for just the 'local nick', so was the Theatre ever there at the same time?

Something else I've learnt today is the re-naming of Castle Hill to Epaul Lane; does anyone know the background
to that?

Now all that's needed is clarification about the 'Rochester Division' of Kent Police. :)
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2010, 18:29:02 »
I was talking to my father about this and he told me a story you might enjoy.

In the sixties he started teaching at Woodlands School in Gillingham, and he was one of the teachers taking a group of kids on a trip to Rochester Cathedral & Castle. Towards the end of the trip as they were going past the Police Station a bunch of the kids decided to play 'knock-down-ginger' on the police station door, pressing the big brass bell push then running as fast as they could into the High Street.  When I asked him what he did then he told me he did the only thing he could do - he ran with them, hoping the police weren't too quick at answering the door! (He remembers the names David Morris and Tom Rodden from this 'outing' - appaently David was the bell pusher and Tom cuts my father's hair these days!)

He also confirmed the Police Station was where the car park on Epaul Lane/Boley Hill is now.

(Edited for additional details)
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2010, 15:30:13 »
I don't need a map after all.

I can see now that the 2nd photo (and the one in Reply#28) is the right hand side of the large building in the aerial shot and was taken at the sharp right hand bend. One of the Castle Gardens entrances is at the extreme right, and the wall on the left is not the Castle Gardens wall, as I thought. I was convinced that the hill led down to the Esplanade, but in fact it leads down to Boley Hill. The 3rd picture was taken from the same place. And I grew-up in Rochester - what can I say? :) :)

Thanks again, Numanfan.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2010, 13:14:57 »
I'll post one later today.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2010, 11:26:51 »
That's an amazing photo, but surely the Liberal Club/Theatre/Police Station is at extreme top right of the uncropped photo, opposite the Castle Gardens - it actually has a 'Castle Theatre' sign (see Reply#28). The wall at the left of that photo is the Castle Gardens wall. So what is the large building in the latest photo?
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2010, 22:29:39 »
Thinking again, I wonder if the Station House is the small building between the Police Station and what Leofwine suggests is the school.

Another thought (more than one a day! - it's begining to hurt my head :)): Was the area surrounding Rochester City (Strood, Chatham, local villages etc) called 'Rochester Division' by Kent Police, hence the title of the 1908 photo? It would not contradict Rochester having its own police.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2010, 12:50:05 »
Of course! I was just checking to see if anyone else noticed :).
The map shows the building across the end of the lane, and I wonder if it is the Station House mentioned here:
From the book ?A History of Rochester?: City of Rochester Police (my summary).

21st September 1837: Formed with 1 Superintendant; 2 Inspectors; 22 Constables; 1 Station House Keeper.

21st November 1842: Force reduced due to lack of finance (what?s new?); 1 Superintendant with residence in the Station House; 1 Inspector; 3 Day Constables on duty from 6am to 9 pm; 10 Night Constables on duty from 9pm to 6am; 1 Constable as Superintendant's Assistant.

In 1926 the force was: 1 Chief Constable; 3 Inspectors; 5 Sergeants; 42 Constables; 6 River Constables.

Yet there are about 100 people in the last photo.
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Rochester Police Station.
« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2010, 10:31:13 »
It ties in with the map in Reply#36, although the Police Station is shown at the side of the lane and not across the end as in the photo.

That is simply explained - the building on the left in the photo in reply 50 is the police station - it even has what looks like an old fashioned police light outside it.   The building 'facing' the photographer (running across the lane) is a seperate building (perhaps the school mentioned in the 1838 directory?)
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