Joe had an uncle in the police, who
was a sergeant at Albrighton in Shropshire. At the time
policemen were important members of the local community,
considered to be on par with doctors or solicitors, and
were well respected. Joe’s uncle didn’t think that lorry
driving was a suitable career, and convinced Joe to
apply to join the police when the war had ended. He said
“There’s no future in that young Joe, you ought to try
for the police”. Shropshire police were not recruiting
during the war, but Wolverhampton was keen to recruit
servicemen, who would be able to join the force as soon
as the war had ended.
Joe’s uncle obtained an application
form from the new Chief Constable of Wolverhampton,
Norman W. Goodchild, O.B.E. who had been appointed in
June 1944. He had previously been Chief Constable of
Barrow-in-Furness. After completing the form, Joe passed
his medical, and a written exam, and then had to come to
Wolverhampton for an interview.
He was marched into the Chief
Constable’s office in Red Lion Street Police Station,
but the interview seemed to be going wrong, right from
the start. Mr. Goodchild said “You’ve got a police
record, you had better tell me about it”. Joe explained
how he had 3 convictions during his time at the haulage
One night when driving on the A49
between Liverpool and Hereford he was reported for the
illegal use of a spotlight during the blackout, and
fined ten shillings. He was also reported for not
painting the bumper white, a requirement at the time.
The bumper had been damaged in Liverpool and the garage
had not repainted it. For this he was fined another ten
shillings. This was a lot of money because he was
earning just two pounds a week.
The third conviction happened when
a sack of corn fell from his lorry in the Mersey Tunnel.
It was seen by the local police who picked the sack up
and stopped him when he came out of the tunnel. This
time the fine was two pounds, a whole week’s wages.
Luckily Mr. Goodchild was a man of
vision. After Joe’s explanation he said “It does show a
mark of irresponsibility, Davies, but I’ve looked at
your army record, and it is exemplary.” Joe thought to
himself “Thank goodness you don’t know what actually
happened in the army”.