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A Home for 'Bobbies'

Wiltshire Constabulary HQ, Devizes

A Model Force - Scale model of the new HQ designed by County Architect, F. I. Bowden May 1961 - Foundations have been laid, now build upwards! Wiltshire Councillor, Sir Charles Chitham, lays the foundation stone, 6th July 1961 August 1961 - 3 months on and the buildings are taking shape A year later and the new HQ is finished ahead of schedule The Grand Opening! Lord Devlin speaks to a crowd of 300 guests, 14th September 1962 ready for action with the latest equipment and mod cons... ...including sports facilities and a bar!

Wiltshire boasts the oldest constabulary in England. Established in Devizes in 13th November, 1839, thanks to the 1839 County Police Act, beating the Gloucester constabulary by a few days!

Its motto, 'Primus et Optimus', means, 'the First and the Best', and from 1880 on the constabulary was based at Bath Road, Devizes.

By the 1930s, it was clear that the force needed a new purpose-built Headquarters, but it wasn't until after the Second World War that work could begin to draw up plans and funds.

Construction began in 1961 and cost approximately £200,000 - millions of pounds in today's money.


Images: CopyrightWiltshire & Swindon History Centre – F5/281/3 May 1961, F5/281/3 Foundation Stone July 1961, F5/281/3 August 1961, F5/281/2 Main Building September 1961, F5/281/3 Lord Devlin September 1962, F10/200/97/16 HQ Equipment, F10/200/97/16 HQ Bar

This page is part of Walk Through Time