I’VE only just learned of the death of former Wigan policeman Reg Tolson.
Retired for many years, Reg, of Wrightington, was the officer who vetted every show at Wigan Hippodrome to ensure it was “fit for people to see.”
Wigan Council’s Watch Committee members were real sticklers as to what was and was not seen on stage back in the 1940s and 50s.
Reg recalled: “It was very funny. Most of the committee members were working class men, miners and the like, and you’d have thought they’d have been very broad minded and could take a bit of a joke.
“Not a bit of it. I went to the shows on behalf of the chief constable and had to report if any aspects of what was on stage could offend the audience. He would then report to the Watch Committee.
Reg, interviewed in the 80s, said swear words had to be deleted. A certain amount of nudity was allowed in reviews...but the ladies had to stay perfectly still. It was “only rude” if she moved.
He remembered a lass who was dressed in a g-string and laurel leaves. The councillors cut the scene: “They must have thought of hot-blooded Wigan men losing control” he laughed.