General > Tealing Police Station (1960-1969)
Tealing Police Station (1960-1969)

PC David Oram was the last "village bobby" to live at the Tealing Station, just off the Forfar Road across from Tealing Wood, from 1960 until 1970.  As a young man, he was posted to Tealing at very short notice and arrived in October 1960 with his wife Dorothy and their two daughters, aged 2 and 5.  Being in sole charge of the station was a 24 hours per day responsibility, with one day off weekly and long hours on call.  He was lucky enough to be provided with a black Police BSA 200cc motor scooter which really helped him get around his large and busy beat but he recalls that, most of the time, he was frozen to the seat!

His responsibilities were varied.  Attending road accidents, sudden deaths, shotgun, firearms and explosives licences, handling and investigating offences, stray dogs, patrolling the area, animal matters, bike safety at the school etc.  Fortunately, he found the people of Tealing to be "law abiding and well behaved" - most of the problems involved visitors or those just passing through.  PC Oram particularly remembers dealing with many accidents on the road between Lumley Den and the Shiellhill Road, which, even back then, was dubbed an accident black spot.  On at least two occasions vehicles landed spectacularly close to the police station and he literally "put his head outside the door" of the station to deal with them.

A fair bit of time was spent in contact with the local farmers.  "I got to know practically every farmer on my beat and found them quiet, hard working members of the district, not that easy to get to know, as they were not what one would term the "gushie type".  In the mid -sixties PC Oram had to deal with one of the biggest outbreaks of swine fever in Scotland at the piggery and had to hurriedly learn about the role of the police in such situations.  Dogs worrying sheep was also a recurring problem and chasing animals through fields certainly kept him fit and healthy.

Policing was what one might term "creative" in those days.  He recalls having to deal with 6 young men who had been thrown off the bus in Tealing for being rowdy.  They were stranded and desperate for a lift into Dundee.  Much to their relief, PC Oram and a colleague, PC Goldie, offered them a lift in the police van.  Only they didn't mention that Dannie the police dog was already occupying the van, until they had locked them in.  Apparently, Dannie growled at them all the way back to Dundee and there was not a further cheep from any of the young rowdies.  Very effective and no paper work to do!

'Towards the end of his period in Tealing, policing methods changed and the one-man stations were gradually withdrawn.  PC Oram's wife Dorothy penned a poem about the demise of the village bobby, just a few verses follow: ­

Year in he tends his beat with pride,
And tries to take things in his stride,
He's just an honest working lad,
Dealing with the good and bad.

He copes with property, lost and found,
Cow with staggers, dogs to the pound.
Children lost, sheep on the road,
Permits for guns, out of gauge-load,

Many a sad day he must get through,
Dealing with accidents, injuries too,
People left with an aching heart,
He must show compassion, yet stand apart.

But the cry today is amalgamation,
One man, one job, in re-organization.
The man's category we must select,
The computer says -reject -reject,
So the country bobby he must go,
It's for efficiency you know!

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