The day I arrested the Krays...

PUBLISHED: 17:04 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:10 25 August 2010

A POLICEMAN’S LOT: Former superintendent George Taylor.

A POLICEMAN’S LOT: Former superintendent George Taylor.

A POLICEMAN whose 30-year career included arresting the Kray twins and escorting The Beatles through crowds of screaming fans will help preserve the memory of post-war bobbies.

A POLICEMAN whose 30-year career included arresting the Kray twins and escorting The Beatles through crowds of screaming fans will help preserve the memory of post-war bobbies.

George Taylor, 78, from Chislehurst, served with the Met from 1952 to 1983 rising through the ranks from constable to superintendent before his retirement.

Serving at Sidcup, Greenwich, Lewisham, Woolwich and central London constabularies, Mr Taylor helped police the 1950s' Dockers Strike, had dealings with gangster Ginger Marks and was at the Grosvenor Square riots and the National Front march at Red Lion Square.

A huge perk of the job came when he had his notebook autographed by the Fab Five as he guarded them when they appeared at the Lewisham Gaumont in 1964. He was also in the front line at historical London moments such as the Queen's Coronation, her Silver Jubilee and Winston Churchill's funeral.

Now, the grandfather-of-five is set to take part in a project that will be preserve the memories of officers who served from 1946 until last year.

The Copper's Story, a project created by Friends of the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection (FOMPHC) and funded by an £18,400 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will collect memories from grassroots officers to document the changes in the police force over the years.

On his most memorable arrest, where he arrested Ronnie, Reggie and Charlie Kray and gave evidence against them in their longest ever trial for GBH in 1953, Mr Taylor said: "It took a bit of investigation to get to arrest them, but we did it in about six or seven hours after the incident.

"In that case, one of the twins was found not guilty and three months later he went to visit his twin in prison and changed places with him!"

Already the project has attracted 40 retired police officers to record the oral histories and a minimum of 28 volunteers will be involved in collecting the reminiscences which will be published in the form of a DVD/CR Rom and on a website.

Once complete, the work will be kept at the British Library Sound Archives, local history libraries and the Met's own Historical Collection.

Dr Chris Alderman of the FOMPHC said: "Because policing matters, nearly everyone has a view on how it would be if they were 'in charge'. But how many of us really know what it takes to be an everyday police officer in London?"

The FOMPHC keep historical artefacts in a warehouse in Charlton and hope to later gain funding in the future to open a museum about the history of the Met.


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