Care home staff hope to reunite resident with his ex-colleagues from Wigan police

Care home staff hope to reunite one of their residents with his former colleagues from the police service in Wigan.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 1:29 pm
Alan Rawsthorn spent 30 years with the police

Alan Rawsthorn, 87, spent more than 30 years working as a police officer in the borough.

Other news: Almost a thousand homes have stood empty in Wigan for more than six monthsHe now lives at Lakeside Nursing Home in Standish, the same building he remembers as a “naughty boys’ home” many years ago.

Mr Rawsthorn has been recalling his career with the police force and sharing his fond memories.

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Lakeside staff were so moved by his stories that they are now trying to find his former colleagues, so Mr Rawsthorn can be reunited with them after all these years.

Clare Croston, group marketing and PR executive, said: “I think it would mean the world to him. He has been retired for longer than he worked now. He worked in the police service for 30 years and has been retired for that long and he misses it. He would absolutely love it.”

She would also like to arrange a visit by current officers, who could tell Mr Rawsthorn about modern-day policing, and a ride in a vintage police car.

Mr Rawsthorn was just a child during the Second World War and did national service at 18, before deciding to join the police force.

He started work in Lower Ince in 1951, aged 20, where he stayed for 12 months before moving to Golborne and Shevington.

He said: “Every day was different. I’d start at 2pm and had no idea what was going to happen between 2pm and 10pm.

“I was there for the miners’ strikes and the riots in Liverpool, but as a police officer you have a very special bond with your colleagues that never goes. You look after each other.”

Mr Rawsthorn was given the nickname Handlebar Harry during his lengthy career with the police force.

It came from children in the area laughing at his police bike and the handlebars on it.

The name stuck with him for many years and even today people call him Harry.

Former colleagues of Mr Rawsthorn, or anyone who can help with a visit by police officers or a vintage car ride, are asked to call Lakeside Nursing Home on 01257 422931.