By Margaret:  In July Glossopdale Women’s Institute were fascinated to hear from Ernie Drabble about his life long career with Derbyshire Police.  Most of his childhood was spent in Chinley, helping his father on the family farm.  But he had always had the ambition to be a policeman and as soon as he was 16 he walked into the Ellison Street Police Station and applied to join the cadet force there.  After his time with the cadets he progressed to the regular police force and was initially stationed at Matlock where he met his wife.  In order to get a Police house when their baby was due he moved to Glossop.

But most of his talk consisted of the enquiry into an event many of the members remembered when a man was murdered and his body found near a lay by in Taddington Dale.  There was no apparent motive for such a vicious crime; only a small amount of money was missing and the victim had no known enemies.  Ernie talked the members through the various stages of the investigation.  Forensic evidence suggested a particular type of rifle was used; nearly two years later information from a fellow prisoner of the most likely suspect (in prison for another offence) led to the recovery of exactly the same type of rifle from the bank of a stream.  We learnt that every reel of sellotape carries telltale identification marks from dust added when the glue is put on the paper, so every batch is unique.  That same sellotape was found on the hands of the dead man, in the house of the chief suspect and, when it was eventually found, on the rifle.  Members were impressed with the meticulous way in which every small clue was followed up, even when it seemed unlikely the murderers would ever be found.  But the combination of painstaking investigation and forensic support ended in life sentences for the two men involved.

Ernie has now retired from the police, but is still working as a Witness Relations Officer.  He obviously had more tales to tell.  Members made it clear they would be glad to hear from him again and learn more of his experiences.

The next formal meeting of the WI will be on Wednesday 20th September at 9.30a.m. At the Labour Club on Chapel Street.  Pat Osborne will be talking about Beatrix Potter and all ladies are welcome.