The Bacup and Rawtenstall petty sessional division consisted of the townships and places of Dunnockshaw, Newchurch, Deadwen Clough, Bacup and Wolfenden, Cowpe, Lenches, New Hall Hey, Hall Carr, Lower Booths and Higher Booths. One of the very first Police Constables appointed in Bacup was Nelson Howorth otherwise known as " Old Nelson” when he died on March 12th 1865 he was the oldest member of the force in the Rossendale division.  Nelson was joined by P.C. Martin who with several others was brought to Bacup when the railway was being constructed from Waterfoot to Bacup, to deal with the navvies working on the railway. The police in those days prayed for dry weather, as when it rained this meant more time in the various drinking establishments for the navvies which in turn led to more brawls and fights.In early January 1856 Mr Lawrence Heyworth put forward a motion during the county sessions which was agreed to, that the “Magistrates of the Higher Division of the Hundred of Blackburn be authorised to sell the present police station house situated on Todmorden Road, and they find and buy a suitable piece of land in order to build a new police station house a sum of £700.00 was granted for the purpose”. On the 29th July 1857 the Bacup Court House was opened, the first petty session there being held on that day. Four years later in April 1861 Mr R Robert Munn, of Heath Hill House, Stacksteads proposed that petty sessional be formed into a police division to be called “ The Bacup and Rawtenstall Police Division” and that the number of constables for such police division be one superintendent, three sergeants and twelve constables. A further £800.00 was granted in June 1861 towards alterations needed as a result of the formation of the Bacup and Rossendale Police Division being formed.Bacup like many other towns and cities had a lot of public houses and drinking dens which was probably one of the major causes of crime and disorder in Bacup.
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A policeman's lot was not a happy one it seems either as a parish constable or as a member of the  newly established force as the Policemans poem opposite shows. Which is hardly surprising when  you consider than in 1867 the strength of the Bacup Police force consisted of 1 Sgt, and 2  policemen, their beat extending from Sharneyford to the Glen in Waterfoot. A year later in 1867  there was an increase in manpower with 3 extra policemen to cover Stacksteads, Irwell Springs,  and Edge side.   Long George one of Bacup’s most infamous parish constables was born in 1778, the name  representative of his height which was it is said 6ft 4. He wore breeches and a swallow-tailed coat, with brass buttons a skull cap, which he replaced on special occasions with a felt hat. A blue apron hung from his loins and on his feet a pair of shoes slightly less than 18ins in length.  A Sgt in the militia, he was a money-lender dealing in small sums, saving his own money with  nothing wasted. Apparently one could make the mistake when he was seen in the street that  George was a parish relief case, rather than the actual man of wealth that he was, because whilst  he always complained of poverty when he died aged 94 in 1872 he left the sum on £5,000.00  The Bacup Watch Committee was formed in July 1887, its first Chairman was Councillor  Shuttleworth he was appointed on the 9th July 1887. The newly appointed Watch Committee    appointed Inspector Cumming of Barrow in Furness the Chief Constable of the Borough. He, in  turn, appointed one inspector, two sergeants, and seventeen constables.  On the 6th August 1887,  the committee decided to purchase the courthouse from the county for the sum of £2,000 plus a  ground rent of £ annum this was completed the following year.    Members of the Bacup Borough Police Force were granted, 1days leave in the months, of October,  November and December, January, February and March, with a further 8 consecutive days in the  summer months a total of 14 days per year.    A police mortuary was provided at the Court House, in  July of 1889 at a cost of £23.00 with a  weights and measures office opening a year later on April 1890 in a room rented from the Atlas  works.  At this period in Bacup’s history, the Police, Fire and Ambulance service all came under the  umbrella of the Watch Committee. In June 1890 a complete ambulance carriage was purchased  for the sum of £19.10.0. John Harland was appointed Chief Constable, on July 1891, followed by  Sergeant Metcalfe of Accrington who was made Inspector in May 1892. In September 1892, the  Chief Constable having concerns on the poor state of the boroughs fire appliances recommended  the buying of a manual fire engine, the meeting was adjourned with orders that  Mr Harland should  obtain prices. Following a disastrous fire at Beaulah Chapel in which 5 of the 6 lengths of fire hose  burst, the Chief Constable was granted permission to purchase a hose cart, 180 yards of hose,  and 1 standpipe the total cost being £ 38.00.  On the 21st December 1894, Inspector Metcalfe resigned with Sergeant Downing being promoted  to the rank of Inspector.  Over the years various changes took place within the Bacup Borough  Police Force, such as the constables being provided with bicycles, a new horse ambulance in  1901, life-saving classes in 1905, and in 1909 and agreement made that any constables being  punished for breaches of discipline forfeited 3 days leave in addition to fines. In August 1914 Chief  Constable Harland retired,  his place being taken by James Niven Campbell, of Clitheroe.  1914 saw many changes to the main police station and outstations, with connection by telephone  being made from all outstations, electric lighting was installed and a new Leyland Fire engine was  ordered. 
Felix"  P.C.25  Martin,  one of  Bacup's  most  respected  Police Officers  Felix earned his  nickname from local people  who would watch him whilst he did  point duty in Bacup Centre. One of his  most interesting cases involved a  robbery taking place at a local quarry in  the middle of the night; in blowing the  safe the thieves accidentally knocked  the telephone from standing on the  desk and a live connection was  established between the quarry and the  local GPO.  The intern contacted the  police station and when the thieves  emerged from the quarry office they  were confronted by members of the  local constabulary.P.C Martin retired at  the end of the 1940's with the rank of  senior Inspector. *with kind thanks for  the photograph and information to his  son Clive* 
Second World War Described as one of the most trying times for the British Police Force the situation as everywhere was tense. Bacup police station was undergoing structural changes in able to strengthen it against Ariel attack. Policemen on the beat had to discard their familiar helmets and wear the tin hats as well as carrying a parcel of protective clothing. Local painters had to be employed at painting the kerbstones with white paint in order that they may be seen during a blackout by local pedestrians. With the Blackouts came new ancillary roles for the local police with the enforcement of blackout restrictions.  By December three of the regular faces had been recalled to H.M Forces, .P.C James Kelso P.C  20 Norman Scott, and P.C.23 Henry Marshall ex Guardsmen.  In June 1940 a new Wolsey police car was purchased to replace the Minx. On the 28th April 1941, P.C Norman Scott was taken prisoner of war by the Germans and remained in captivity for over four years. He had been posted as missing on the day he had been taken prisoner but it was not until three months later that news learned of him being a prisoner of war. August 1941 saw the Women's Auxiliary Police Corps recruited for administrative duties up until this time no woman had served on the Police Force for whole time. This is to be remembered as a year that started with a small trickle and ended with a steady flow of men joining H.M. Forces—Clerk Cadet Frank Mitchell to the Army on the 23rd April; P.C. 9 Frederick A. Oxford to the Army on the 20th August; P.C. 26 Leonard Halliwell to the Navy on the 20th October; P.C.22 John M. Matthews to the Army on the 5th November. On the 22nd February, 1943 P.C.25 George Wilkin left the force to join the Royal Air Force.  The 14th August brought the introduction of Very High Frequency Wireless (speech) both at Headquarters and in the motor patrol car; a receiving and transmitting unit being installed in both cases. From September 1945 to December, that steady flow of man-power which in 1942-1943 had helped to swell the nations reservoir, was trickling back. P.C.22 John Matthews returned to the force on the 10th September; P.C.25 George Wilkin on the 15th September; P.C.26 Leonard Halliwell on the 8th October; P.C.9 Frederick Oxford on the 13th October; P.C.23 (now P.S.4) Henry Marsh on the 12th November, and P.C.20 Norman Scott on the 26th November. On April 1st 1947 Bacup Borough Police was merged into the County Police Force along with other police forces such as Accrington, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Clitheroe etc and as such became known as the Lancashire Constabulary.
The Great War At the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914, PC’s Coates, Willis  and Gribble, reservists were called to the colours. he various regulations  and restrictions during the war placed a great deal of extra work on the  local police.  In March 1915 Constable 26 Withers joined the army he  was later killed in action.   The following month April 1915 Constable 10 Hunt enlisted, following him  in January 1916 was Constable 25 A Thomlinson. On the 12th February 1916 Constable 23 D  Ferguson enlisted he was killed in action on the 21st March 198. Constable 19 Bayley enlisted on  May 1917, the following year April 1918 Constable 16 Walsh joined the army. Sadly in September  of the same year Constables, Coates and Thomlinson resigned from the Bacup Borough Police  force, due to injuries received whilst at the front. Constables, Gribble, Hunt, Walsh and Bayley were demobilised in January 1919. Constable Willis  was demobilised the following month at which time he re-joined the force and Sergeant Ernest  Sturt was appointed Inspector.  
Police Specials 1914 P.C Martin Bacup police 1889 Members of Bacup police force Early police Bacup police attending service at St John's Church Early traffic cop Bacup Police 1975 Police car on Bank Street Bacup Bacup Police 1887 Crash In Stacksteads