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From Our Files: Mrs Brotherton's in khaki again, police shortage, and a 'dreadful' footbridge

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FIFTY-YEAR-OLD Mrs G. M. Brotherton, of Burley, is in khaki again. A Women’s Legion Ambulance driver in the last war, she volunteered for the ATS in 1941 and is now a sergeant.

Her two daughters are also in the service. Mary, aged 22, is an officer in AA Command, and 18-year-old Brenda recently completed her recruit’s training.

Sgt Brotherton has a real “housewife’s” job in the ATS, looking after the welfare of girls staffing Southern Command Headquarters. She brings to their living quarters the atmosphere of a well organised and happy household and the girls love having an older woman to “mother” them.

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GUNNER Bertie Bell, Royal Navy, whose address is given as Hordle, has been awarded the DSC for undaunted courage, determination and endurance in HM ships in many sweeps against enemy shipping in the Aegean under fierce and constant attack from the air and in maintaining supplies to the islands of Cos and Baros until they fell to superior enemy forces.

Gunner Bell, who is about 40 years of age, joined the Navy as a boy after passing through the famous Greenwich School, and had been mentioned in dispatches prior to being awarded the DSC.

He had served in the celebrated cruiser HMS Penelope since her last commissioning in 1941, and was wounded in the action which earned her the soubriquet of Pepper Pot, subsequently travelling to America for her refit. He was serving as gunner in her when the Penelope was sunk off the Anzio beachhead, but happily he survived this experience.

His parents, Mr and Mrs H. Bell, were Mine Hosts of the White Hart, Pennington, at one time, later moving to Portsmouth, and his father is an old naval man, finishing up as a coastguard at Lymington.

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An advert in the A&T from 1944
An advert in the A&T from 1944

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IF the wave of crime continues to rise at the same pace as today, within the foreseeable future the country will face a state of crime and disorder comparable to that existing in America today, where in many cities people dare not venture out alone after dark and where crime is the major and apparently insoluble social problem.

This was the sombre warning of the chief constable, Mr Douglas Osmond, when he presented his annual report to Monday’s Portsmouth meeting of the Hampshire Police Authority.

The report went on: “Police officers and those directly concerned with the state of society, know that this is only a small part of the story. The area of “dark crime” — that which is unreported and unrecorded, is daily expanding. Shoplifting, for example, is accepted as a major overhead in the running of departmental stores and supermarkets.

“Sexual morality is such that any idea of enforcing the provisions of the Sexual Offenders’ Act in respect of children under 16 is laughable.

"Not only is there a growing disregard of the law, but finding increasing favour is the idea that if a law interferes with self-indulgence then either it must not be enforced or it must be repealed.”

The report stated that cutbacks in manpower due to economic considerations slowed down the development of the police service towards the effective peace-keeping organisation.

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SPEAKING at the annual meeting of the parish church, Hordle, the vicar, the Rev. F. J. Barwood, expressed his concern at the spiritual task which faces every congregation.

“It is possible,” said Mr Barwood, “to have a full church which is spiritually dead. The true test of the vitality of a congregation does not lie wholly in its numbers. It lies in the quality of life shown by the Disciples of Christ in the everyday world which exists outside the four walls of the church.”

He issued a challenge to the meeting when he said: “Does the quality of life shown by members of the parish church and Tiptoe congregation match up to their Christian profession? Only those within your own homes, and your neighbours can answer that question.”


CHRISTCHURCH councillors stung by criticisms about the “dreadful” footbridge over the A35 at Somerford which they insisted should be provided, are to ask Dorset County Council if the structures can be replaced with something more attractive.

The bridges have been slated in the Department of Transport’s Good Bridges Guide as a “dreadful” example of how not to do it and were also featured in the national press recently. Councillors who would rather the borough was famous for its attractive Priory church than its eyesore bridges, called for something to be done about them.

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BOLDRE parish councillors await with interest the outcome of a row over the Hampshire Wildlife Trust’s action in clear-felling a stretch of heathland on their nature reserve at Sandy Down.

At the council’s meeting on Monday evening, David Scott referred to a site meeting when the Trust officials “talked down to our district council officers. I would not be so concerned if they had not been so condescending”.

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MONEY for a sound enhancement scheme at New Forest District Council’s Appletree Court headquarters might be better spent on elocution lessons for “inarticulate councillors who sit on their diaphragms,” it was suggested at Tuesday’s Central Services Committee, when the scheme was rejected and officers were asked to investigate installing more microphones in the council chamber.

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