Our Committee

The Committee has a well-balanced mix of age, background, experience and skill.  Everyone involved is committed to making improvements to the Branch, its service to members and maintaining that all-important social contact with all our members.  

Help them to help you --- tell them what you need --- tell them of members/partners/ex-colleagues who are indisposed.  

Ask them about getting advice, legal or otherwise --- committee members are willing and ready to help

updated 2/3/17

 Following the St Helens and District Branch Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 1st March 2017 there have been a number of changes to the committee. There will be a full update added to this page in due course.

President - Gordon Roberts

Born in St Helens, was educated at Cowley Boys Grammar School, leaving at the age of 16 years.

I Joined St Helens Borough Police as a cadet for 2 years, followed by conscription in the Royal Engineers. I was demobbed from the army on 1st September 1955 one week later I was back in inform as PC 37 at St Helens, serving on foot patrol, administration department and traffic departments.

In 1967 transferred to CID and in 1971 promoted D/Sgt. Between 1974-1977 was posted to Newton-le-Willows, before returning to St. Helens August 1982 to August 1988. I was then attached to Regional Criminal Intelligence Unit at Manchester. My role preceding retirement in October 1986 I was attached to Criminal Intelligence Section at Merseyside Police H/Q.

Upon retirement joined the Port of Liverpool Police(CID), but left after one year to work on cruise liners in the Caribbean as a Security Officer for 2 yrs. Other jobs I had before giving up work completely at 60 yrs of age was that of Security Manager for the John Lewis Partnership in Liverpool and an assistant undertaker.

Hobbies: DIY, decorating, gardening and family (grandchildren) I am President of St Helens Probus Club and was appointed President of St Helens Branch of Narpo on the 1st March 2017.

Vice President - Eric Henderson

Eric was born and bred in St Helens attending Cowley School to the age of sixteen. After a brief spell at Pilkingtons and two years National Service with the RAF he joined Lancashire County Police in 1956.

He served in Huyton, Bacup, the CID in Fleetwood and Ashton in Makerfield before being promoted to DS. Following the county reorganisations in 1974 Eric moved to Merseyside  Police and worked as a DS at Eaton Road. 

Ill health caused Eric to retire in 1978 after twenty two and a half years service.

Siince retiring from the police he has worked as a security officer and run his own craft business.

His interests include bowling  and is currently Past President of the St Helens Probus and serves on the committee .

Chairman - Fred Dickinson

I was born at Haydock, the son of a Market Gardener.

I first earned my living as a poultry farmer, I then worked in research initially at I.C.I.  and I then at Pilkingtons. Following  Pilkingtons' strike in the early 1970's  cut-backs in research  resulted in my taking a  job driving  wagons for a local manufacturing firm, eventually becoming the Assistant Production Manager.

I joined Lancashire Constabulary in November 1972 and was annexed into Merseyside Police in April 1974, in which force I worked until retirement in 2002.

I became Chairman of the St.Helens Branch of N.A.R.P.O. in August 2014

My hobbies are 'home-grown food' gardening, helping to run a 'not-for-profit' Gardeners' Association at Newton-le-Willows, Charity fund-raising with various organisations and watching my five grandchildren grow up.

Vice Chair - Brenda Neary

 I joined Merseyside police in 1978. St. Helens was my initial posting followed by Newton Le willows. I spent some time in the Control room at St. Helens. I was on the first Merseyside HOLMES indexers course in 1988 which resulted in my working in a number of high profile major incidents all over Merseyside. I completed my service as a trainer, working at Mather Avenue, Lea Green and the Crime Faculty. I retired in 2008 after gaining a BA. I went on to earn a Masters Degree in history.  Once retired I worked briefly for JMU with the Police Recruit foundation degree. I spend my time knitting, researching local and family history, walking my westie dogs and watching the mighty Saints. I have been involved in Girl Guiding for more years than I care to remember.

Secretary - John Russell

Joined the Lancashire Constabulary in July 1961 and after initial training at Stanley Grange Preston was posted to Widnes Division as a uniform Police Cadet.  In June 1964 was appointed as a Police Constable and again after further training at Stanley Grange and 13 weeks at Bruche Warrington was then posted to foot patrol duties in Prestwich and Radcliffe Sections in Bury Division. In 1969 I was transferred to Crime Patrol duties with the 5 District Task Force based at Oldham.  Becoming a Fingerprint and Photographic officer in Bolton, then Southport, Seaforth and finally St Helens. (In 1974, the area I was serving  in  became part of the newly formed Merseyside Police).  I retired in Feb 1996 and joined the St Helens and District branch of NARPO actively joining in at their functions. In 2004 I was approached to become a member of the committee and remained so until 2006 when at the AGM I was appointed as Branch Secretary.  I immediately formed a new committee and was fortunate to utilise some members of the previous committee whose knowledge and experience was a great help.  Since that date our branch membership has more than doubled and we have a thriving branch, a hard working dedicated committee and hopefully a happy membership.

Assistant Secretary - Ann Houghton

I have almost 40 years experience in office administration and customer relations, some thirty years of which have been spent with Welfare and Benefit Departments. I have a Diploma in Applied Social Sciences from the Open University.

In 2006 I was co-opted to join the St Helens and District Branch to give advice on Welfare and Benefit matters and assist with the administration. I have also attended the Welfare Course provided by Narpo H/Q Wakefield.

Treasurer - Ray Muspratt 

I was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and after a secondary modern education, left school to work at Boscombe Down, working on navigation and radio systems in military aircraft.    I decided to join the police and, after some deliberation, opted to join the Liverpool & Bootle Constabulary, which was the geographical area most suited to my biggest passions at the time, music and football.    So it was that in 1970 I emigrated to Liverpool.     I married in 1972 and moved to Wigan in 1973.     I have two children and five grandchildren.    My police career began at Eaton Road and Tuebrook and in 1977 was promoted to Sergeant at Newton-Le-Willows.    In 1981, after a short stint at St Helens in the custody office, I was promoted back to Tuebrook as an Inspector.   During the '80's I gained a B.A. degree with the Open University.   I transferred to the OSD Support Group in 1985 where I spent the best 5 years of my life.   I had young children growing up and loads of overtime, hence more money to enjoy life.   In addition, crime patrols, dealing with public disorder and firearms situations in the company of dedicated, eager, professional men and women gave me 100% job satisfaction.     In 1990, I was promoted to Chief Inspector at Copy Lane where I prepared the order for 2 Grand Nationals and then in 1992 was transferred to Admiral St.   I was promoted to Area Commander at Kirkby in 1993 when I trained as a football police commander and silver commander for public disorder and firearms operations and in 1995 got the job as head of the Operations Department.   Main responsibilities there were operational planning and football matches (which gave me the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe). I retired in 1998.   My main interests now are spending a lot of time with grandchildren, gardening, family history research, looking after rental properties, live music, taking G.C.S.E.'s (so far 2 A's and 2 A*) and driving my cabriolet sports car (on sunny summer days), in the main visiting National Trust sites.

Branch Chaplain - John Rowley

I joined Merseyside Police in June 1978 and was posted to ‘L’ Division, St Helens.  I was soon to move to Sutton box to work 8 beat.  In November 1979 I was moved to Newton-le-Willows to work with fellow commitee member  Ray Muspratt as my Sergeant.  In 1989 I moved on to pastures new, to ‘C’ Division.  Apart from six months attachment to the C.I.D. I have always worked in uniform and for the last few years of my service I was a neighbourhood officer.

Since my retirement in 2008 I have been able to renew old friendships.  The St Helens branch of NARPO is very friendly and there is a lot of good work done mainly behind the scenes.  I was recently voted onto the committee and I look forward to helping and serving our members for as long as you will have me.

I am currently the secretary of the Widnes branch of the Christian Motorcyclists Association.  I also assist with the running of the North West Bikers church. 

Committee Members

Alan Leap

I served until 2005, when as a result of an injury I had to finish, my last post was at Clinkham Wood, St Helens, working at the shared offices with Helena Housing. I like all types of fishing but unfortunately my back sometimes prevents me from doing much. I have been teaching myself to play guitar but have not got very far, although when people found this out I was given a few guitars which sit in a spare room most of the time. I got a bit involved with a national group of retired officers who pass on info about injuries and some of what they feel are injustices by various forces towards some of the recipients of the injury awards, which is of course ongoing.

Margaret Dickinson

I am the wife of a retired police officer and we have been married since 1972.  I joined the St Helens Branch Committee in 2008 and found myself arranging a number of outings for our members, both day trips and 5 day excursions.  I am also the Treasurer of Newton-le-Willows Gardeners' Association and help to run the sales hut and lots of other activities (including writing the newsletter, twice yearly) concerning the gardeners.  I also like baking and jam making.

Sheila Shaw

I was born in St Helens and have lived here all my life. I married my dear Late husband, Ian, in 1960. ( Ian was the previous Branch Chairman) He had spent his 30 years in St Helens Borough Police which became Lancashire Constabulary and subsequently Merseyside.  With our two children we spent our leisure time outdoors, camping, caravanning, mountain climbing.  I joined the Guide movement in 1978 and still get involved. 

Maureen Hamer

I started my employment with Lancashire Constabulary in 1969 as a civilian photographer at Moor Farm, Hutton, Preston. In 1973 I became a police officer with Lancashire Constabulary and later with Merseyside Police. I was posted to St Helens but have also worked at 
Newton-le-Willows before transferring to Group 4 traffic at Prescot. I left after 10 years when my first child was born. After 13 years in retail security I returned to work for Merseyside Police in 2003 as a community support officer again working within the St Helens area at Rainhill, Thatto Heath and
Newton-le-Willows. I retired in December 2013. In my spare time I enjoy looking after my two grandchildren, walking, travelling, attending exercise classes. I became  a member of the committee in 2014. 

Eileen Cummings 

Anita Ashcroft QPM

Eileen Cummings

After leaving school I was employed at Pilkington Bros. at several of their sites, after 13 years I decided to apply for the Police Service.

I joined Merseyside Police in 1975, following initial training I was posted to Newton-Le-Willows, and subsequently moved after 1 year to St. Helens where I served for the rest of my service.

I retired in 1995 following an injury.

After my retirement I worked as a manager in the hotel business for a short time.

I spend my leisure time reading, knitting, cross-stitching and as my Facebook Friends know – completing jigsaws. I also enjoy visiting National Trust properties and I am a member of the St Helens Friends of the National Trust and attend monthly meetings.

I have also been the Secretary of the Original St Helens RLFC Supporters Club for several years until its dissolution 2 years ago, and from this you may correctly assume that I am a lifelong supporter of the Saints and a season ticket holder

Born and raised in Parr St. Helens, I joined Merseyside Police in 1978. I was first posted to Copperas Hill and then St. Anne Street in Liverpool City centre. In 1984, I transferred home to St. Helens and then Newton le Willows.

I joined the Traffic Department in 1988 and worked at Smithdown Lane, Oliver Lyme Road and Maghull Traffic until 2000. when, due to a serious health condition, I was taken off patrols and posted into the IMU at St. Helens, followed by the intelligence unit . During this time I became an integral member of the force Disability Support Network.

In 2003 I was asked to set up Merseyside's PPO Scheme which was a new Home Office initiative aimed at reducing offending by our most prolific criminals and working with partner agencies - one of five pilots in the country. It was so successful it was rolled out Force wide and became used as best practice. The PPO scheme is now used throughout the UK. The team and I received a Home Office Commendation for our achievements.

In 2009 I was awarded the Queens Police Medal for distinguished service in the New Years Honours list. I retired in 2010 having completed 32 and a half years.

In retirement I am currently a local Parish Councillor at Eccleston and enjoy travel, trying to keep fit, DIY and gardening.

Anita M Ashcroft, QPM.

 Geoff Alford was voted onto the Branch Committee at the AGM on Wednesday 1st March 2017

Reg Horrocks was voted on to the Branch Committee on Wednesday 21st february 2018 

Photographs and  pen pictures will be added in due course